Sunday, December 14, 2008

American Obsession with Vampire Culture: Questioning the Limits of the Daily Self

William Patrick Day's "Vampire Legends in Contemperary American Culture" and a slew of other texts -  a myriad of books,  essays, and online articles  -  attest to the fact that our culture has a fascination with the wider scope of human experience:  the darker aspects which have been repressed or at least drastically modified by the limits of our daily experience.  Freud,  in  his "Civilization and its Discontents", knew and spoke  well that we pay a price for the order of civilized social life.  Leviathan arises from the sea of the collective daemonic unconscious to impose with severity its boundaries and limitations.  The social contract puts humans in collusion to limit themselves in order to cope with the collective daily fight for existence. 

Gender politics,  the secularization of our culture,  and popular  theories of biology and quantum physics all work to increase  pressure to extend the boundaries of the daily self:  either by expansion which encourages,  or repression and severe limitation which cries out to be redressed. 

In art and cinema the return of the repressed is beocme  a daily occurence.  That is a fine thing,  so long as it does not become an excuse to encourage a fractured existence,  in which contents of the human psyche which ought to be evolving  -  and thus inherited,  incorporated,  and surpassed;  in a word,  redeemed  -  beome forms of dark entertainment,  and in daily life exist in a sort of ghostly twilight,  to serve as a battery for the twisted ego of the bureacratic folly ( say,  of hyperfeminism???). . . This was Jung's message regarding confronting our shadow:  Not to view it as entertainment nor escape,  but as a stranger:  And therefore,  as a stranger,  give it welcome,  in the words of young Hamlet. . .

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