Saturday, June 28, 2014

What I Know About Dracula

Dracula is a man that wears a long black cape,has sharp pointy fangs, and sucks mortal's blood through their neck, "In my point of view that is". I have seen many different kinds forms of Dracula , from Edward Cullens in Twilight to Count Dracula in Sesame Street. I don't really know a lot about Dracula, but what I do know is that he is still a very famous character in books, movies, and theather. There are books that are about him, movies inspired by him, even little children dress up like him for Halloween. Dracula is a known figure by everyone. At first, I thought that Dracula was all about sucking blood and turning into a bat, but there is so much more then that. Throughout history, Dracula has evolved to being a lover, fighter, and a terrifying  monster. Back in the day, Dracula look had so many features. He had sharp, long, pointy teeth, a long black cape, a white pale face, wore a suit, and was just evil to the bone. As time moved forward, Dracula became a lover. In the movie Twilight, Edward Cullens "the vampire" was so in love with a girl named Bella Swan and would do anything to be with her. Dracula was also good for kids. In Sesame Street, Count "Dracula" taught children how to count. Dracula also has weaknesses. Back when it was all black and white, Dracula could be destroyed by garlic, a wooden stack, and sunlight. I don't think Dracula can be destroyed by anything now. I haven't seen too many vampire films in a very long time. Society has brought Dracula back to the 21st century in so many shapes and forms. Hopefully when I start reading the Bram Stoker, "Dracula", I can get a better vibe from the blood sucking devil.

 

Science: Enemy or Ally?

In the article "The Imagination of Disaster" by Susan Sontag speaks about how science fiction films give a world wide fill of anxieties to the people who watch them. She also writes about science fiction films does two jobs with fantasy. One job is help us as viewers get out of less exciting films and distract us from horrors and by showing last minute happy endings. The another job is have fantasy give us sense of what is actually normal. A quote that Susan Sontag writes to makes things simple is "...fantasy beautifies the world. In the other, it neutralizes it". 

Question 4: a science fiction film that I saw recently called "World War Z" which was mainly about a zombie apocalypse which encompassed the world. Susan writes that science-fiction films are not all about science but there about disaster because science even though it is helpful, it is also very dangerous how one mistake can lead to situations like the world ending. 

Friday, June 27, 2014

If aliens don't come to us, we go to them!

 In the article "The Imagination of Disaster" Susan Sontag discusses everything about science-fiction films. Sontag claims that science fiction films have more disaster than science in those films. There's not just science in there. She breaks down a scenario of any science-fiction film into points, for both:  black and white, low budget films and wide-screen, high budget films.
 She compared science-fiction to horror movies and wrote about differences. The horror is, mostly, shocking. It tries to scare the viewer with an ugly face, suddenly appearing on the screen and shouting. The science-fiction is about destruction, panicking, violence and how people stop being "civilized". Eventually, we crave science-fiction more than anything else. Simply, because it feels more real.

 Question #4
 I, mostly, agree with Susan Sontag's breakdown of science-fiction films. However, the film I'm going to talk about is quite different. The film is called "Prometheus"(2012) by Ridley Scott.
 Prometheus is a about a group of scientists observing Earth's caves looking for paintings. They find a lot of evidence of ancient aliens, probably the ancestors of humans, who artificially created the entire life on Earth and left the evidence of their activity. They leave some hints for humans to find their home planet in the future, which is very far from Earth. However, their future technologies allow them to fly to the different solar system.

(1) The arrival of the thing.
The main character finds strange symbols observing the caves. Later, he realizes that symbols are just group of stars navigating him. He is already married and his wife shares his interests. They look for symbols together, though no one else shares their enthusiasm.

(2)Confirmation of the hero’s report by a host of witnesses to a great act of destruction.
When the main character gets enough evidence that prove his theory, he tells about his finding to the mass. Local scientists, geologists, army, police are sending candidates which would fly to the other planet.

(3) In the capital of the country, conferences between scientists and the military take place, with the hero lecturing before a chart, map, or blackboard.
Not in the capital, but in the spaceship scientists and military argue about the plan of the journey. Suddenly, the main character intervenes that sets his own rules and makes a plan.

(4) Further atrocities.
At some point the hero’s girl friend is in grave danger. Later, he'll be in danger himself. Lot's of people die. We see the staff panicking. There's total lack of cooperation. Everybody just tries to save his own life. In the end, we have just one survivor.

(5) More conferences, whose motif is: “They must be vulnerable to something.
Before the end, people, finally, realize where they are and who is killing them. They'll discover how to fight it and trying to plan the escape from the planet. Unfortunately, it didn't work. The main heroes' wife stays alive and she's continuing the journey alone.

In my opinion, we crave science-fiction more just because it feels more real than horror.






Have Things Changed Since Susan Sontag's Time?

    In Susan Sontag's "The Imagination of Disaster",  the author writes about the impact of disaster movies in American culture, particularly science fiction films. Since Sontag wrote her essay in the 1960's many of her ideas are outdated and some of her examples are no longer applicable to modern times. She first describes two different types of science fiction movies; high budget technicolor productions and low budget black and white films. She says that in each of these categories, most films follow a similar formula, with similar monsters/aliens usually involving some sort of invasion, with the inhabitants of Earth coming together to fight a common enemy. She also says that many times there is a main character who is a scientist of some sort and plays a major role in the main conflict and resolution.
      Sontag gives many examples of classic horror/science fiction movies (mostly from the early twentieth-century) and suggests many abstract ideas on the importance of science fiction films in society. For example, she suggests that science fiction movies usually involve a couple as the main characters and that the alien life-form usually lacks any human qualities and therefore seeks to dehumanize the human race (an idea which she interestingly relates to the vampire genre). This idea of dehumanization seems to be Sontag's main emphasis on the significance of the science fiction genre, since she states that it is the fear of this dehumanization that promotes the need to resist being taken over and unity of the human race.
         While Sontag's formula and recurring themes in science fiction are still relevant in some cases, much of her thoughts do not apply to todays works. Firstly, the "B movie" science fiction films of the 1950's she refers to are no longer relevant today. Therefore, it is hard to relate to her arguments if you are someone who has not viewed these old films. Today, almost all science fiction movies are big budget CGI filled blockbusters. Sontag's formula also does not apply to every modern day work of science fiction. For example, in M. Night Shyamalan's "Signs", an alien race seeks to destroy humanity, while the film focuses on a former priest, his brother, and two children. In this film, not only is Sontag's family model broken up, but her idea of dehumanization also does not apply. We are given no insight into the alien's motivation for invasion..However, we are told that they are hostile creatures who seek to harm humans (as opposed to a feelingless life-form such as a robot or blob).  There is also no uniting of human forces, as ultimately the demise of the Aliens comes from them being allergic to water ( which Earth happens to be about two-thirds of).
          The fact that Sontag's model isn't applicable to every work of science-fiction does not imply that she is wrong. It simply means that as time goes on, genres evolve and movies begin to take on new meanings in pop-culture. Despite what changes take place in film, one thing that stays the same is that the movies are there for people to be entertained. Science fiction will continue to evolve, and as long as they continue to be entertaining, they will continue to start relevant.



       - In this scene from signs, the main characters discover crop circles on their farm, and  they begin to suspect aliens may be behind it. (www.moviesnobs.net)



It's all about chaos

In the essay “The Imagination of Disaster” by Susan Sontag, she begins by stating why science fiction films are so popular, and she says it’s because of their ability to do the unthinkable and still be “too close to our reality” (Sontag 317). She argues the different elements that go into science fiction movies like budget, locale, and what technology is used (black and white or Technicolor) Sontag also gives us two lists of models of how different types of sci-fi movies usually go like. “Science fiction Makes it possible for moral scruples to be lifted, for cruelty to be enjoyed… in the figure of monsters from outer space, the freakish, the ugly and the predatory” (Sontag 324) Sontag claims that like in horror films, in sci-fi films we take pleasure in what wouldn't be morally acceptable in the real world. But unlike Frank Rose in “The Art of Immersion Fear of Fiction” we don’t get inside anyone’s feeling we are just spectators. She believes that in science fiction films ‘things’ (machines) are more important than humans, because they are the source of power. “The other world creatures which seek to take ‘us’ are an ‘it’ not a ‘they’ (Sontag 329) she believes sci-fi films reflect the anxieties people have today.


The movie I chose was Inception (2010) this movie supports what Sontag is claiming, that sci-fi movies are not really about science but about destruction, although this movie has both there is way more things getting destroyed than there is scientific discovery. “Science fiction films are not about science fiction. They are about disaster, which is one of the oldest subjects of art” (Sontag 321). I don’t think the models she gives for how sci-fi films usually go really apply to this film, it’s not the world that’s getting invaded it’s someone mind.  This film also supports her claim that sci-fi films do the impossible, because in the film buildings bend and move in was not possible in real life. 

 

Patterns in Sci-Fi


                So has anyone thought about how science fiction movies do seem to be similar to the scripts that Susan Sontag provides in her essay?  The main point of her essay, “The Imagination of Disaster” I feel is to tell us readers that most science fiction movies just follow the same format or “script” as she puts it.  While it provides good visual entertainment for movies and serve as a good fantasy world to escape to in books, in the end it just gets very predictable.

                Sontag gives many examples of movies involving aliens attacking Earth and somehow humans fend off the aliens or help the aliens with their problems using some special weapon or technology of human design.  She talked about a movie called, “This Island Earth”, which the planet Metaluna is being attacked by an enemy planet and the aliens come to Earth to seek human help.  Sontag goes on to say, “… science fiction films is neatly channeled into the yearning for peace, or for at least peaceful coexistence.”, which I believe she has a point in most sci-fi film that involves aliens coming to Earth.  Humans would try to make peace with the aliens or coexist and if that doesn’t work it is all out war.

                I agree with Sontag's breakdown of science fiction movies that they do tend to follow a certain pattern.  It is like the movie, “Independence Day”, aliens arrive on Earth and hovers above all the major cities of Earth.  Humans first wanted to make contact and establish a dialogue with them but the aliens had no intentions of make peace.  Later after some one-sided battles in the aliens favor, the President of the United States accidently looks into a captured alien’s mind through telepathy, from the alien, comes to find out that they just wanted to consume the planet’s resources.  After a failed nuclear attack on the aliens, a scientist/reporter figures out a way to use a computer virus to nullify the alien’s advance technology to give the humans a fighting chance.  In the end aliens gets defeat by a computer bug and humans survive the alien apocalypse.




The Imagination of Disaster


        In the article "The Imagination of Disaster" Susan Sontag tried to show how the science fiction films could not be science but about disaster and is centered on the oldest subjects of art. According to Sontag, "The science fiction films are strongly moralistic." (Sontag 324) The pervasive trauma is cause by the use of nuclear weapons and the probability to have the nuclear wars. The nuclear weapons represent a big issues to humanity and the environment. Sontag points out that the science and the technology work together against the division. The science fiction films show powerful anxieties about the condition of the individual mind. Sontag makes in evidence the perpetual human anxiety about death and the nightmare cause by these films is uncomfortable close to reality. In certain cases, A strong invulnerable hero with a mysterious lineage comes to do battle on behalf of good and against evil. The science fiction films contain a vast amount of wishful thinking, some touching, and some depressing. (Sontag  327)
 
    Questions # 4:
     As an horror movie "Shaun of the Death" Ed and Shaun play too much fun in their roles. The movie has a serious characteristic in some point they need to act seriously, especially when they observe the zombie woman in their back yard, they made joke of her. As Susan Sontag makes in evidence in "The Imagination of Disaster" that science fiction films are not science, but disaster. Sontag's point of view may not consider in all dimension because the science fiction movies sometimes contain elements of science that make sens to the story.

Susan's Imagination

In "Imagination of Disaster" by Susan Sontag, Sontag talks about science fiction. She begins with telling us how science fiction either brings out the good and/or bad in us. She talks about how certain things are so unrealistic and unthinkable in the sense of imagination. Throughout her essay, Sontag breaks down certain elements of science fiction films (a little on novels, too) and compared the black and white, low budget films to the technicolor, wide-screen, high budget films. She also mentions and compares the story line of technicolor films and black and white films. She also compares science fiction to horror films, saying that "But in science fiction films, unlike horror films, there is not much horror." In the end, Sontag talks about how science fiction increases our anxiety and that the films are merely a sample of "most people's response to the unassimilable terrors that's infect their consciousness."


Response to #4:
The contemporary science fiction movie I chose was The Dark Knight. I chose this because it was the first thing I thought of that would be able to be analyzed according to what Sontag says is the five phases of the movie. I do believe the film goes with those five phases except the last phase which talks about there being a conference and them trying to figure out the opponent's weakness. I don't think it followed this phase because Batman was not working with the police to defeat the villain. Also, Batman is a little more realistic than other science fiction films where a lot of things that occur in the film are, in fact, thinkable. 

The Disastrous Imagination, The Iron Giant




The Imagination of Disaster was about Susan Sontag's perspective of science fiction. She believed science fiction had more to it than what they showed on the screen. In her essay it pointed out the different views she had about horror films, disaster, morality. She showed that in some movies made the representation may be more technical and political. She pointed out science was magic and there is always the good and bad side we crave to watch when we watch science fiction. The more disaster there was in movies the better the movie became. She also showed the difference between horror movies and science fiction. In science fiction there was more violence and destructions, but in horror movies it's shocking, and more gore. Overall this essay showed why were attracted to science fiction.

I agree with Sontag's perspective of science fiction. A film that solidifies Sontag's argument is The Iron Giant by Brad Bird (1999) and it fits under the characteristic of science fiction. It has mostly violence and destruction in the at the climax of the film which fits Sontag's description of science fiction. According to Sontag "Science fiction films invite a dispassionate aesthetic view of destruction and violence-a technological view"(324). In the film the Iron Giant, when the robot is discovered by the military they try to attack the robot leading it to complete chaos and destruction. This solidifies Sontag's argument that violence and destruction is a key factor to describing a science fiction film. In Sontag's view, "Of all the standard motifs of science fiction films, this theme of dehumanization is perhaps the most fascinating"(330). I agree that the film is fascinating when it comes to dehumanization because my experience with the film the Iron Giant solidifies it the robot is huge, but when he turns evil in his protective state he becomes a killing machine with multiple weapons that causes chaos and violence. Sontag herself writes,"Science is magic and a man has always known that there is black magic as well as white"(326). In the film the iron giant, it had a hero who was the iron giant and he had the balance of magic black because he was evil when highly provoked and white magic because he sacrificed himself in the end to save the world from a nuclear explosion. A political perspective could be taken from The Iron Giant because the robot can represent a foreign country and the government represents a superpower country trying to control a slight situation. Even though the Iron Giant has a hard time controlling himself , the iron giant decided to save the boys that were falling off a building.

When it comes to the topic of science fiction most of us will readily agree that it's entertaining but the problem is how do we classify the genres and whether or not it will become a general classification. Susan Sontag’s perspective brought light to the fact that science fiction and horror movies differentiate because in science fiction there isn't horror involved. Morality of science fiction is between two ideas, one being the use of science is good like curing a patient or it may be bad like the Iron Giant being a mass weapon of chaos and destruction. 

Dracula

I originally felt Dracula was about the first vampire in the world, the father of all vampires. I knew already he transforms into a bat at night to camouflage himself from society or to just move way faster. The Dracula that I knew only came out at night to feed on women he really found attractive. After sucking the blood of the women on the neck made a spiritual love  connection between him and the women he bit. Dracula is super strong and fast romantic and funny. In the old movie of Dracula it made him seem attractive in a creepy way. Dracula's teeth are super sharp like perfect miniaturized canine teeth. I use to see Dracula on Sesame Street when I was smaller but he didn't seem that creepy he seemed very nice. Dracula became a friend or teacher to help with counting. Dracula was always the topic everyone talked about being connected to the devil and very bad for kids to watch. Dracula in a way influenced how I found horror more appealing because down the line I watched many more movies like Dracula. I knew the way to kill Dracula was to grab a wooden steak and have garlic a cross light. The movie Little Vampire gave it a different approach that vampires may need human help to sustain their life and all vampires wouldn't kill you on the spot. Buffy the Vampire Slayer made it seem like vampires were evil entities that wanted to kill us so we had this superhero who would kill them to save humanity. Twilight made it seem like vampires were among us and we didn't even know it they can just look Normal but live for a long time. Dracula was like the father of all vampires as I said before.

Science Fiction and Disasters

In The Imagination of Disaster Susan Sontag puts out a very strong criticism on science fiction movies. The author claims that science fiction movies are more about disaster rather than science. The reason the author gives for why we like science fiction movies is because it’s an escape into exotic dangerous situations. From a psychological point of view, Sontag insists the one job fantasy can do is to help us escape our boring lives and to destruct from anything going on in a person’s life whether it be terror or a threat. When people watch the turmoil that goes on in these movies on the big screen, it helps them forget the turmoil in their life for a while. Sontag insists that the core of a good science fiction film lies on the “imagery of destruction”. Sontag continues the essay and notes that a “typical science fiction film is predictable”. Sontag then goes on to give scenarios of science fiction films to show the basic components that make a science fiction film saying one is for the wide screen, and the other scenario is for the low budget black and white films. What Sontag is trying to say by putting out these scenarios is that all science fiction movies are basically the same with the hero and disaster. Sontag also points out that no matter what happens at the end of the film, the hero and his family always seem to escape while the invaders have been destroyed. Sontag refers films over novels stating the film has a unique strengths, one of which is the representation of the extraordinary. She adds that films can provide something novels can’t: “sensuous elaboration”.
            After reading this article by Susan Sontag, it seems to me she isn’t a lover of science fiction movies. Sontag is very critical of science fiction films, claiming there is absolutely no social criticism and are very predictable. But let’s not forget when she wrote this essay and what type of science fiction films she is talking about. She wrote this in the 60’s and is therefore referring to science fiction films in those times. I feel if she would see the science fiction of today and its fascination, she will change her view on science fiction films.

            #4: Sontag states in her essay how science fiction films typically play out. She mentions that most science fiction films are more than just about science, they are about disaster and usually include a hero and his wife. The movie I want to analyze using Sontag’s critical approach is “The Last Women on Earth”. This film was a science fiction film that tells the story of 3 survivors of an apocalypse which left the world wiped of humans. The story was about Harold, his friend, Martin and his wife who are spending time in Puerto Rico on a boating trip. Later on they conclude that an interruption of oxygen has wiped out all human life, and fear that they are the only three survivors on the earth. The hero, in this case Harold takes matters in his own hand and takes charge of the situation. He goes out to fish to find some food. As the film goes on, the 2 men get into a fight as the tension and need for women begin to affect them. Later it is shown that Martin has died from his injuries and Harold and his wife are the only 2 left in the world. Sontag reminds us that science fiction films include heroes and are more about disaster than science, and this movie was a perfect example of this. This film was a science fiction film but had more disaster in it than science, in this case a mysterious apocalypse which wiped out the whole world, with the hero taking charge.

The Imagination of Disaster

In the article, "The Imagination of Disaster", by Susan Sontag, we are told that science fiction is not all that it appears to be, rather then certain films being about disasters and certain mishaps being brought to us. Also, Susan goes in depth on science fiction and what they are based on. These certain science fiction  films and range from an alien arriving to planet earth to destroy it or a mad scientist working on a experiment that goes horribly wrong. Also, Susan goes in depth on a hero in the story that saves the day from mayhem. Throughout the article, Susan Sontag tells us that science fiction movies have a lot more to do then just science. 

Question #4 : In the movie, "Little Shop of Horrors", a young man named Seymour that works in a flower shop, finds a very weird plant that has a craving for blood. Once Seymour can't give the plant anymore, the plant starts to crave for human flesh. Seymour soon finds out that the mysterious plant came from outer space to spread it's seed, take over the world, and destroy the human race. This particular movie had two alternate endings. One was Seymour destroys the plant and lives happily ever after, and the other one is about the plant eating Seymour and starts taking over New York City.These science fiction movies always have a great story to them. Whether it is about saving people lives or destroying aliens that want to take over the world. Susan Sontag's article tells us that not all science fictions movies are necessarily about science itself, its more about the catastrophic disasters that we've come to know and can't get enough of. Like in the movie "Little Shop of Horrors", there was a big disaster that happened in New York that know one knew about except for one person, he took charge and destroyed the monster before it got loose. 


Disasters of science fiction "the imagination of disaster"

     In the reading "the imagination of disaster"  by Susan Sontag we are reminded that science fiction is not about science but in deed about disaster and the creation of many films that has spread through out the world. Sontag also gives us an over view of the common science fiction films, explaining and going in detail what they are about. It's either about and extraterrestrial from another planet, or a monster that was form by radiation and for many reasons a scientist is to participate and the only one to see this phenomenon. She gives us a brief explanation that the hero meaning the main character and his family and love ones always seem to escape the disasters the monster has to bring upon the human race.
     #4
      The movie Godzilla is a great movie to discuss about. Godzilla is a being that was made of radio active chemicals and for that exact reason other monsters have come to life and has challenges this heroic monster. Why is Godzilla a hero? Well because he is the type of monster that restores nature to it's natural habitat. I'm any of here creatures are to bring disaster and distroy humans, cities and nature, Godzilla is the one who solves this conflict. Godzilla helps the humans if ere are in a situation of disaster, but not all the time has this creature helped the humans out. Godzilla had also tried to kill and distroy the humans but it tried to distroy hem for a purpose because they took something that wasn't theirs, an egg from Godzilla and of course anybody would be frustrated or mad of this. Godzilla in all the movies I have watched has never died and has remained living for the past decade or so. It is amazing how this creature was formed and brought to life in these science fiction films. It must of took such imagination to creat this beautiful being which has brough the attention of many of us who has watched Godzilla films. There is no greater way to make Godzilla better because in fact it is already better 

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Adaptability

William Ma

In their article "Why Vampires Never Die", Guillermo Del Toro and Chuck Hogan suggests that although the concept of vampires are nothing new but just a "new twist of a very old idea", it's still favorably consumed because of its ability to adapt to today's society. In today's world with our technological means to deliver entertainment, people are used to contents being constantly replaced and this is where the vampires strong point becomes visible. With a little bit of an adjustment, the vampire figure can be modified to fit into a completely different story.

question 4

One cultural manifestation of our nightmares is artificial intelligence becoming self aware. Technology seems to be evolving at a rapid pace and perhaps eventually it will come to a point where it gains a consciousness. An example of this would be the Skynet artificial intelligence in the "Terminator" movies where the network becomes self aware and pushes humanity to the brink of extinction.




Homework for the Rest of the Week!

For Friday by midnight, read Susan Sontag's “The Imagination of Disaster” in RPC and blog a summary of the article and response to Question 4. Comment on another's post anytime over the weekend, to receive credit for your own post.

For class on Monday, post to the blog summarizing your knowledge of Dracula before beginning the novel for class. If you feel like you don’t have 300 words to say about that experience, explain what you already know about vampires from film, television, and literature.

Also for Monday, read Ch. I-VI from Dracula.

This is some serious reading and writing we're jumping into here, so try to give yourself plenty of time.

Finally, I will not be in class on Thursday! Instead, a sub will come to show a film. Watch it, take notes, and then complete and turn in to her the short writing assignment she gives you after. Please, show up on time, as the sub will start the film promptly at 1pm to give you enough time to respond!

Come to class on Monday prepared to discuss Sontag, Stoker, and the film!

Questions? Quibbles? Controversies?

The insanity of humanity

    The reading "Why vampires never die" by the writers del toro and hogan is about how different ages of time we change the most epic and more classic being of all times "Dracula". This reading also talks about how humans have a connection with the creation of such beings and wanting to be like monsters in a way.

      We acknowledge and see that vampires are created not for entertainment but for the reason we see our selfs as monsters and eternal beings that are outcast by humans in a way. Vampires are changed over time due to climate, and how society changes over time. The tales that were once told from our ancestress about Dracula and other far more scary beings become a symbol. A symbol that represents our nightmares and our fears. Vampires represent our fears of becoming cold or wanting to become like a vampire, in such a way that we want to be fast, have greater powers, be able to hunt. We can say that we want to be canibales because we desire the fact of  the Shed of blood. I mean I agree with this quot "whereas other monsters emphasizes what is mortal in us, the vampire emphasizes he eternal in us". This quot has brough me to the conclusion that we want to be mortal, powerful, we desire power, we don't want to be controlled, but have controlled by others. These fictional beings play a major role in our imagination as where we see life in a different prospective everybody does but if a sane mind can think of such evil to have these types of power scares me in a way.


    Question #4.
     As fascinating as it may sound to me, I enjoy the creation of the living dead as where the dead outrun the living, but how can they outrun the living if they are already dead, mind blown! Vampires play a role in my compelling desire to become as one, to be able to have a long way to live, not to worry about dying and other sorts of things nature throws at us. Imagination can lead to a world we would desire to live in, as we want, and who we want to be.

Visualization of fears

 There were always been monsters. They live as long as the living organisms.
Every living thing has feelings. The stronger feeling is fear. The instincts activate the fear. That's simply is the protection mechanism of your body. It detects the threat and let's you know about it by producing some sort of hormones. So, even less intelligent creatures are fearful. Their feelings are brighter, because they do not analyze. They just feel with no thoughts. Instincts lead their mood.
 Humans are visualizing their fears. They imagine vampires, demons, wild beasts, zombies etc. These monsters would as long as the life itself.
 Guillermo del Toro and Chuck Hogan in their article "Why Vampires Never Die" write about why vampires are so popular, what do they represent, the mutation of vampires over centuries and incarnation that people have.
 The most famous vampire, Dracula, was created by Bram Stoker. The describe the popularity of Dracula. Stoker's character became so famous because of the technological advantage of that time.
 Vampires are usually associated with attractiveness, immortality, bloodlust. There is something romantic in vampires that attracts people. However, vampires were described differently back then, as they are now. Before they were horrible creatures, often with wings, hunting men spreading terror. People were really afraid of them. Now people admire vampires and there are million of kids wanting to be vampires.






 Question # 4
Another cultural manifestation of my nightmares could be Nazgul from "Lord of the rings". Nazgul are servers of Sauron. Nazgul have no will of their own. They just obey their master. They ride black horses or dragons. They wear long robes with hood which covers all their faces. This is tougher than vampires, I guess. It is, almost, impossible to kill a Nazgul, either there's no way to fight them. They know no mercy, because they obey an order. They're not even humans. They're not even alive.
 Another horror monster that I find compelling is Gargouille. Gargouilles are often guards of hell or any other evil construction. They are literally made from stone. They're statues, so they're hard to detect. They usually attack from behind, when you don't expect it. Also, it's hard to fight them, because they turn into stone whenever they like. Gargouille are also chasing those who escape hell. You cannot run from Gargouille.






Monster

Question 4: What other cultural manifestation of our "nightmare" can you identity? What monsters or imaginative horrors do you find compelling, alluring, or fascinating?

I not sure if I understand the cultural manifestation of our nightmare part but I can only see peoples nightmares as being things that they personally fear such as a certain person or something they don't wish to lose. Nightmares in my opinion manifest and grow by the person creativity and what they can imagine. I remember when I was young, kids my age were taking about being scared of the boogie man or the monster underneath bed can be manifestations of nightmares for children.

There are a lot of monsters that catch my attention like werewolves, ghost, and vampires and many more. I guess one of my favorite monsters are werewolves . I find it interesting that they seem to suffer so much pain when they transform but they look so cool with the things can do like have run fast, have an enhanced sense of smell and animal instincts. Another thing that I like is that most werewolves can only transform during a full moon. Even though they are cool to me and also very dangerous because at most times they can never control what they do well they transform.

Vampires, Monsters, It's Just Ours Fears


                Tales of monsters and mythical creatures have been around as long as humanity was around.  They are drawn on cave walls, etched in stone, and written on hide or paper.  The column, “Why Vampire Never Die” by Guillermo Del Toro and Chuck Hogan, discusses the reason for the vampire to endure the passage of time, adapting and mutating with the changing cultures throughout history.  Del Toro and Hogan also discuss the meaning of the vampire creature and what it represents.   Vampires according to the authors, mainly represents lust and our pursuit of being eternal or to live forever.  Unlike other creatures and monsters that remind us of our mortality.  Over time the idea of what makes a vampire, has adapted to the changing culture taking on different roles with the technology of their day.  Yet, we still think about creatures like the vampire to escape from our reality with all the knowledge that we have in our hands.

                I think that Del Toro and Hogan got their point across on why vampires never die.  Monsters and fantasy creatures are a way for us to create alternate worlds from the world we live in.  With our world changing all the time with advances in technology so would our tales of monster in our nightmares.  The authors write in their column, “Despite our obsessive harnessing of information, we are still ultimately vulnerable to our fates and our nightmares” (381), is probably saying with all our knowledge we still fall victim to our mortality and fears.

                One of the more infamous manifestations of our nightmares is the zombie, and like the vampires they are undead or living dead, which in a way it’s a reference being eternal.  Shows like, The Walking Dead, tells of a world of the living fighting to survive the hordes of flesh eating zombies.  There are also countless games and movies based off of these creatures and humanities struggles to fight them off.  I find the idea of a zombie survival situation quite interesting.  It would definitely be a challenge to live in a zombie infested world using only your knowledge and the fear of being eaten alive.

Why Vampires Never Die In Our Imagination

    In the article, Why Vampires Never Die, Guillermo Del Torro and Chuck Hogan theorize why vampires appeal to us, " For as his contagion bestows it's nocturnal  gift, the vampire transforms our vile, mortal selves into the gold of eternal youth"(379). The writers also mention the possible birth of vampires by Polidori, who might have created this creature out of lust, envy, and want for power and yet most memorable Dracula was created by Bram Stoker. The main reason of  Stoker's Dracula success was the technological advancements of the time. As mentioned in the article because the advanced technology especially visual entertainment, contributed to  the growth of many forms and thoughts of vampires.
    I was confused by this article. It could have been in conjunction of the title with the contents. One paragraph the writers are telling the origins of Dracula then the next they're discussing the allure, the most successful Dracula, Dracula from different cultures, technology, than onto the comparison to reality shows and vampires embodying the idea of Ethos and Thanathos which threw me for a loop. It could have been because the writing was put together by two people but their were too many thoughts that didn't transition smoothly into one another or didn't correlate at all.

Question 1 Chapter 5

   The article uses a pathos method to get their point across, this can be supported when they mention, " In a society as fast as ours," to bring us in and relate to us. Majority of the article is opinionated besides the brief history  the authors give on the origin of the vampire "It was the "Year without a Summer" of 1816, when ash from volcanic eruption lowered temperatures around the globe"(378) and the next three paragraphs following until " The creatures seems to be as old as Babylonia and Sumer. or Even older".(379)
Q# 4
  I find angels fascinating because they're are supposedly "everything that is good". We don't know the real origins of angels, were they originally people or were they made from a superior being? And can any being be all good. Angels are often seen as humanoids with wings and can talk and think like everyday human beings but have unknown powers. They may not be considered humanities nightmares but the night mare angels can create  is what if they are not as good as we think they are. If they are not good who will protect us from the things we can see or go bump in the night? This can be supported by a television series called Supernatural on CW television station. This supernatural episodic delves into the idea of angels going AWOL because God went MIA and they have no one to take order from and this is the first time they are experiencing free will. Most of them start taking humans bodies as host. In this series the protectors of humanity are "Hunters" , they study and hunt down any supernatural events that are obstructing humans way of life in a negative fashion.  If there is anyone who can protect us it would be humanity and our rate of adaptability.


Vampires, Superheroes of Today


        In an excerpt of the story of "Why Vampires Never Die", Guillermo Del Toro and Chuck hogan 
describe the vampire as an hero who creates to live forever. In the same current idea, they present vampire 
as an undead  monster. The immortality of the vampire that is elaborated by them  is later connected to the 
Polidori's study. Entertainment was one of the significant causes the authors' provided to support their 
argument. In order to make their points, they provided many examples where the vampires are contributing
in TV Shows, movies, and books. They refer to the dragon as timeless creatures in order to present the 
everlasting life of the vampires. They ended up to many good point from the study of the vampires. As a 
result the definition of "Why Vampires Never Die". 

      From our nightmares we sometimes develop certain kind of fears and become scare something that does not even exist. I believe that the fact of afraid of something may consider a big issue to our lives. For 
example, a nightmare that we experienced with water may have certain impact to us even after waking up. The best way to be free from that situation is to wake up.  
      As imaginative horrors we may see as something pleasant and seductive to us, for example a movie that we were waiting for is available at the movie's theater.  


Our Fascination with The Supernatural

          In the article “Why Vampires Never Die” by Guillermo Del Toro and Chuck Hogan they argue why vampires, to this day are such a big part of our pop culture. In the article they explain how today’s vampires came to be, out of John William Polidori twist to an already very old idea. They believe that the vampire may have come to be out of a suppressed primitive memory of a time in which out of necessity humans might have been cannibals. They suggest that the way the vampire myth is so adaptable to all aspects of life, and today’s technology contribute to its spread and immortality.  Del Toro and Hogan claim “monsters will always provide the possibility of mystery in our mundane ‘reality show’ lives, hinting at a larger spiritual world; for if there are demons in our midst, there surely must be angels lurking nearby as well” (382) they’re basically saying that people believe in monster to believe that there is something good and divine like angels.

        I really enjoyed this article as someone who enjoys mythology; it was an interesting look as to why people like vampires and or things that go bump in the night, in the words of Stephan King why they crave it. I agree with a point they make that “unlike other monsters vampires emphasize what is eternal in us” (Del Toro and Hogan 379) I think this might be a reason why vampires are so popular in our culture because unlike dragons like Del Toro and Hogan explain they are not out to get us.
Q#4 

       A cultural manifestation of our “nightmares” that I identify is witches. There can be good or bad witches, in the T.V.  Shows, movies I've seen and the books I've read their abilities are usually hereditary, and they seem to always “discover” their powers in a tragic way like the loss of a parent. Their powers in some cases are fueled by their emotions i.e. Bonny a character from the T.V. series The Vampire Dairies gets her magic through her emotions, but when her emotions are dark like anger using her powers become a dangerous thing that can lead to death. I think it’d be interesting to be a witch and have awesome powers, but it has too high of a price to pay. 


Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Are There Vampires in All of Us?

     In "Why Vampires Never Die", Guillermo Del Toro and Chuck Hogan discuss the impact Vampires have had on our culture and analyze why exactly we have such a fascination with these mythical creatures.The authors first point out that the modern day vampire idea came about in a competition to see who could tell a scarier story (a competition that also spawned Mary Shelley's "Frankenstein"). However, they also point out that this was not an entirely original idea, but instead one that had been around for centuries with different cultural variation. They theorize that the idea may be a distant memory of when humans had to become cannibalistic for survival (an idea that may be too much of a stretch). Furthermore, they state that our fascination comes from the fact that the vampire, unlike other monsters, embodies the most of what we value as humans. The vampire represents lust, eternal youth, sexuality, and the need to change others into how we want them to be. The authors conclude with saying how vampires in pop-culture is as popular today as ever, having cemented it's place in modern fiction.

     In the article, it is stated that the vampire represents both a human need for lust and the need for eternal life. It is interesting to note that this is not only the case with vampires. For example, over the last hundred years, zombie movies have become a very popular sub-genre of horror. Similar to the vampire myth, zombies are a cultural manifestation of our nightmares. As mindless bodies who have lost all sense of their humanity, they have become empty shelves who either seek to change people into other zombies, or kill them so that ultimately, the zombie race will be the only race left. It is important to see that zombies and vampires are just dramatized versions of the monster's in all of us. Although we may behave in ways that are socially acceptable, as the text points out, there are angels and monsters in all of us. However, the difference in real life is that we get to decide which side we let control us.


Can Vampires Affect your Daily Life?


      
In the short excerpt Vampires never die, it shows how people react to vampires before and now. In the novel it talks about the idea of a vampire always being relevant and having the same historical background. It also tells us about the vampire becoming more and more to fit our fantasies of a perfect being like in Twilight. The novel makes us think of why this is significant to us because if people actually believe in these mythical creatures some people may also have this slight satisfaction of knowing there are other beings as well. 
We have nightmares about whether or not angels are real and if they are watching over us. We start to wonder maybe these creatures are real but hidden from us because of how our society is formed we can't learn the real truth. Guillermo Del Toro and Chuck Hogan theory of "Vampires are the niche  and mutate at an accelerated rate now in the past one would see for decades, at the same variety of fiend repeated in multiple story-lines"(381), is extremely useful because it sheds light on the fact that our pop culture of Vampires stay the same although may vary in psychical features. Although I agree with Guillermo Del Toro and Chuck Hogan up to a point, I cannot accept his overriding assumption that "Dracula allowed the British public to believe in monsters"(381). This isn't true because no one is gullible enough to believe monsters in 1897 would come bite people at night. Many people would only believe the hard facts of a scientific research or in front of  their eyes.
 Humans crave emotional attention and without it we may seek it out in novels, movies, video games. I am of two minds about Guillermo Del Toro and Chuck Hogan's claim that "Despite our obsessive harnessing of information, we are still ultimately vulnerable to our fates and our nightmares"(381). On the other hand, I agree that based on the information we receive it can affect our fates in the way of possibly choosing a career based on what we think we want in society. On the other hand i'm not sure if Guillermo Del Toro and Chuck Hogan realizes we aren't as vulnerable because educated people are capable of deciding what is reality and what is fiction. Fiction will always be fiction no matter what, and it's up to the consumer to decide how they assimilate the medium.  
Things like hallucinations, fear of death, fear of not being accepted in society, public speak speaking, phobias in general are nightmares we may fear when we're awake or asleep. I find the bogeyman alluring because watching it as a kid my mind began to hallucinate this mythical creature coming. Although I don't agree with the experiment they conducted in the movie boogeyman 2 which was exposing corrupt teens to their phobias so they wouldn't fear them, it can cause trauma in the long run. I agree that twilight is a fascinating movie, but disagree twilight would make me fear beautiful people or all mythological creatures. Although some people in different societies already know fiction is not real others who aren't as educated may live in the fantasy world and that can be dangerous for them, only the strong survive both mentally and psychically.

What's so special about vampires anyway?

In the article "Why Vampires Never Die" Guillermo Del Toro and Chuck Hogan basically talk about where vampires started and why are they so popular today. In the very beginning of the article, the authors point out how vampires came about. One monster was created by Mary Goodwin. They identify John William Polidori as the inventor of the "vampire", and if it wasn't for him "vampires" would not exist in today's world. Del Toro and Hogan assert that "the most widely known vampire was birthed by Bram Stoker. The vampire handed over by Stoker was "Dracula". The appearance of Dracula in a time of great technological revolution is a part of the reason why Dracula is such a success. When Dracula became popular new gadgets were becoming popular as well, for example various forms of communication and blood transfusions. The authors also touched on the ambition for a human to have boundless life. This draws people in because it connects that desire to the public because that is what vampires have. Vampires are also portrayed as a romantic hero or an undead monster. Vampires are everywhere from TV, film, books and also to video games. The vampire is continually transforming as technology develops.


Although i do believe that Del Toro and Hogan, in my opinion, gave evidence that supported the acceptance that "Vampires never die", they could have provided more evidence. What I mean by this is, when the authors asserted that vampires are either undead monsters or romantic heroes, they could have provided detailed evidence where vampires play these roles, because its hard to believe that vampires can be romantic heroes they could have incorporated the movie Twilight for instance, where the vampire plays a romantic hero. Another idea I found interesting was when they said "perhaps at some point we were cannibalistic". The authors say that the creature seems to be as old as Babylonia, how long was the vampire around!?. I also agree when the authors brought up the reason we love vampires so much was because of their immortality. I would love to live forever. Overall, I believe the evidence they provided supports the idea of vampires never dying.


Q #4: A monster I find most fascinating to be are vampires. The common image of a vampire is strong, good looking, and immortal, all the traits anybody would wish to have. They are supernatural. Vampires are often handsome. Vampires are fascinating because they have what we all want: eternal youth, and attractiveness. Vampires are powerful without being extremely muscular, they are quick, fearless, and have cool fangs. To sum it up, vampires are just fascinating figures because they have traits that everyone wishes they had.

                                         

I Say "Why Vampires Never Die"

"Why Vampires Never Die", by Guillermo Del Toro and Chuck Hogan, is an article based on the origin of monsters, why people love vampires, and what makes them so popular today. John William Polidori created Dracula, the worlds most famous vampire. As people know, Dracula is an immortal, nocturnal, blood lustful phenomenon that always makes the observer come back for more. Dracula brings out our most intense needs of wanting to be "superhuman" and have these powers of immortality or never growing old. As the article continues, it goes on how we, the people, crave for such entertainment as we read on and wanting to become immortal and having these freaky powers.

I enjoyed this article because whenever I read a certain fiction book, I always imagine myself in their shoes. As I was reading the article, I've gotten a better understanding of why and how people enjoy being in another world when they are reading. It's because they imagine themselves in the book itself, whether the book is about a romantic vampire, like Edward Cullens in Twilight, where he is very protective with his lady friend, and shows her love and affection, or a villain vampire who sucks mortal's blood for sustenance. As we read on or watch on, we imagine how it would be to be in their shoes. I agree with this statement because a lot of people wish that they can live until the end of time or never age. Since people can't really do that, they look to books and television to live their fairytale lives.

Question # 4 : A cultural manifestation that comes to mind would be zombies. How would life be if the world were taken over by zombies or how can one survive during a zombie apocalypse. I'm interested in zombies and how walking in their shoes would be. Another example would be a werewolf . Reading books like Twilight can give you taste of  what it would be like to be a werewolf. 


        

I say

The article "Why Vampires Never Die" by Guillermo Del Toro and Chuck Hogan is a lot similar to Stephen King's "Why We Crave Horror Movies." The article is about exactly what the title states. The beginning of the article talks about how vampires came about. Two people, Mary Godwin and John William, created two monsters. The monster created by William, along with a folklore, is what we know as the modern day vampire. The article also mentions that the most popular vampire to date is Dracula. The article explains how the vampire comes from our personal desires (immortality, for example). The article goes on to explain how, with technology and time, the vampire evolved.


  I enjoyed the article but I felt it was extremely short. I liked that it was straight to the point but I thought it was "too straight to the point," actually. As I was reading the article, I felt like there was something missing. And that something is length because had it been longer, the authors could have put more details in the article. I think a reason I enjoyed it so much is because it reminded me so much of Stephen King's article we previously read. In Stephen King's article, he basically says we crave horror movies because it exploits our innermost, nastiest, disgusting pleasures and fantasies. That, I believe, is true. Just as how Toro and Hogan explain why vampires never die. Vampires never die in society because they are what people secretly wish to be. A lot of people wish to live forever so they can travel or remain young forever. Since that is impossible, we live out this fantasy through movies and books that involve vampires.


#4 response: A cultural manifestation of our "nightmares" that I can identify is werewolves. I thought of this while reading "Why Vampires Never Die" because in pop culture today, vampire versus werewolves is prominent. From the Twilight Saga to the television series Vampire Diaries, werewolves is also something that we live through. Werewolves are like our inner beast; our anger. We can relate to werewolves where they initially have no control over turning from human to beast on the full moon, they eventually have control over it. In the real world, we try to be in charge of things beyond our control. But in any werewolf movie, or even The Hulk, the beast ultimately has control of their own fate. I find both vampires and werewolves very compelling. From watching the Twilight Saga, Vampire Diaries and Teen Wolf, I find myself saying "I wish I was a vampire because I could live forever and run super fast. But then again being a werewolf is cool, too." I think that people find monsters or imaginative horrors compelling because like Stephen King said, it's our fantasy.

Monday, June 23, 2014

"Fear of Fiction" and Vampires Who Never Die

For Tuesday's class, please read Frank Rose' "The Art of Immersion" on page 366 and for Wednesday Guillermo del Toro and Chuck Hogan's "Why Vampires Never Die" on page 378 in Reading Pop Culture.

For Wednesday's blog post, summarize the article and answer Question 4 at the end of the reading. Also remember to read whichever chapter from They Say / I Say I assigned you in class on Tuesday and to complete Ex. 1 at the end of the chapter using "Why Vampires Never Die." Also, for the image you need to include in your post, include a picture of one page of your Ex. 1 annotations. Lastly, don't forget to comment on at least one other person's post before Thursday to receive credit for your own blog; comments should constructively move the conversation forward!

Questions? Quibbles? Controversies?

Updated 6-24-14, 12:09am