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This is a post where I get annoyingly obsessive about Dracula.

1 Oct

October 1, 2014

Hey, you read the title. You’ve been warned.

I’m really annoyed by the marketing campaign for the upcoming movie Dracula Untold. It claims to be the true origin story of Dracula. Of course, it is all nonsense.

Dracula-Untold-lee von count

The character we know as Dracula is a fictional vampire created in 1897 by Bram Stoker. In the novel, which takes place in the 19th century, Dracula has been a vampire for a great many years, yet little is revealed about his past. Through the passage of time, the character has become linked to the real-life tyrant Vlad Tepes, also known as Vlad the Impaler, who took that name “Dracul” when he joined a satanic order in the 1400’s.

There is no basis for this link at all. None is provided in the book.

However, Bram Stoker became passingly familiar with the Tepes legend as he wrote his book and used a version of his name (“Dracul” became “Dracula,” and in fact a branch of the Tepes family uses a variation of that name) for his creation.

And that’s it.

In fact, the original name of the character was going to be the laughable “Count Wampyr.” (As you can guess, “wampyr” means “vampire” in German. So we were spared from Count Vampire.)

Now this movie comes along and I have nothing against it, other than it stars yet another pretty-boy, bare-chested, tormented vampire designed to appeal to the Twilight crowd. But this movie claims to provide the link between Vlad Tepes and the vampire Dracula.

I need to tell you right up front that this is fiction and they can do whatever they want. Dracula (character and book) are public domain and anyone can make any variation of the legend they so desire. I’m fine with that.

But Vlad Tepes is such an amazing historical personage (hey, he didn’t get the name The Impaler for nothing, he earned it) that any movie based on his life can skip anything having to do with vampires. This guy once invited his enemies to dinner to talk peace, then locked them in and set fire to the building. So he was a bad ass without having to wear fangs. He was as brutal and bloodthirsty as any fictional vampire, and he didn’t have to turn into a bat or sleep in a coffin.

I guess what it comes down to is that if the movie is a hit with the brain cell-challenged Twilight crowd, this is going to define the “origin” and “history” of Count Dracula for years to come. It is going to taint the legends of Vlad Tepes and muddy the Stoker tale. Dumb kids will think this shirtless angst-ridden dude is what Count Dracula was and is, when in fact, just for example, both the fictional Count and the real-life Impaler were much older men. And attractive? Read the section where Stoker described the Count’s hairy palms and unibrow.

I just don’t want this teenage fantasy to become Dracula. I want Dracula to stay Dracula.

If you stuck with me to the end, sorry for being so annoying.

 

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Marcel Marceau, R.I.P. We Still Don’t Miss You

27 Sep

September 27, 2014

Marcel Marceau died seven years ago this week. He was 83 years old.

Marceau was the world’s most famous mime. While his face may not have been familiar, everyone knew his trademark striped shirt, bowler hat, and large flower. Frankly, he has not been missed.

He was a mime. And mimes are totally annoying. First of all, they don’t talk. Punch them in the nuts, they won’t groan. They are like the guards at Buckingham Palace, but less funny. Mimes walk around on nice summer days and pretend that they are struggling in the wind. Mimes laugh and cry at little flowers. Mimes get in your face and don’t get out until you give them money. Only pretentious PBS people like mimes. Supposedly they are practitioners of an art that goes back to ancient Greece. Big deal. The ancient Greeks had some funny ideas about young boys too.

Marcel Marceau’s funeral was a sight to see. A line of a dozen mimes strode side by side, pretending to be carrying an invisible coffin. The last in line pantomimed dropping it on his foot and limped the rest of the way. One in front pretended to pull the coffin with an imaginary rope. The eulogy was equally moving. Marcel was remembered by many of the mime community with these touching words:  “               .”

Before he was laid to rest, the assembled mimes first struggled to get out of an invisible phone booth, then laid their oversized flowers on the grave.

So Rest In Peace, funny man, let’s hope the art of mime ends here.

MURDERCHIMP!

26 Sep

September 26, 2014

Sometimes when I’m writing I have no idea when inspiration will strike. Remember my awesome TV pitch, President Hobo? That would make ABC millions! If only they answer my phone calls. And my movie treatment for Hamsterus! would have made DreamWorks a fortune, if it wasn’t for that restraining order Spielberg put on me.

Well I’ve done it again. There I was, wasting time on some stupid Hollywood Russell story and I realized what an idiot I was. Some guy from the last century named Hollywood? C’mon, his big claim to fame is that he wears a trench coat. Big deal, so did Winston Churchill at the Yalta Conference. Big whoop. I’ve been wasting my time. The public doesn’t want some old mystery dude, they want something new, something modern.

They want MURDERCHIMP!

I haven’t really figured out what a Murderchimp is, but trust me, this is the next BIG THING! I’m so sure it’ll be big that I’ve already written the back cover blurbs to what I know is going to be my bestselling idea. And it may not even be a book! I have no idea, but this has to be good, I can feel it!

MURDERCHIMP!

WHO is MURDERCHIMP?
WHAT is MURDERCHIMP?
WHEN is MURDERCHIMP?
WHERE is MURDERCHIMP?
WHY is MURDERCHIMP?
HOW is MURDERCHIMP?

435lancelotlink

MURDERCHIMP is the international assassin for hire. He works only for the highest bidders of the highest bidders who can bid even higher!

MURDERCHIMP is the high-flying, tuxedo-wearing, blood-letting, roller-skate traveling, internationally known assassin loved by women the world over and feared by men the world over!

MURDERCHIMP can scale walls, climb trees, eat bananas, and make love in 347 different positions!

MURDERCHIMP! The only chimp/assassin/jet-setter/Blaxploitation hero you’ll ever need!

MURDERCHIMP! Is always capitalized and never marginalized!

CELEBRITY KUDOS FOR MURDERCHIMP!

“It was Murderchimp, Sam!” – Jack Klugman

“I’ll never forget Murderchimp.” – Mohammed Ali

“If only we had Murderchimp to stop ISIL.” – President Obama, before Congress

This is going to be awesome! So what if Jack Klugman is dead, he’d LOVE MURDERCHIMP! So whatever MURDERCHIMP turns out to be- a book, bedsheets, contraceptive, whatever- rush out and buy seven or eight! Trust me, you’ll love it, and I’ll love the cash!

 

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