Monday, October 25, 2010

Team Edward or Team Wharblgarblbrains?

I had this stray thought while I was eating lunch and figured I might as well post it. We've read two stories that feature zombies or vampires as an important setting characteristic. It hit me that there isn't a huge distinction that can be made between these two groups. Zombies are walking dead things that have a hunger for flesh while vampires are walking dead things that have a thirst for blood. So, why is there a distinction? It seems to me that vampires are just zombies with brilliant PR. I can't find a separable trait that makes a vampire not a zombie...except, maybe, that I've never seen a traditional zombie sparkle*. Long story short: Vampires and zombies-do you see them as being different enough to warrant a distinction?

*Ke$ha doesn't count because, while she sometimes looks like a zombie and wharblgarbl's like a zombie and has the stage presence of a corpse, I cannot prove that she eats the flesh of the living.


John Harris said...

If this was facebook, I would make a fake account and like this twice. But its not, so I'll just comment on it.

And I think its not the ends for zombies and vampires that makes them different (you said it yourself, they're pretty much the same), but its the means. Good PR goes a pretty long way, and vampires get to keep a bit of their sanity and identity in their undeath. Undying and thinking is a step above undying and clueless.

Tristram said...

Agreed, vampires do keep much of their intelligence and sanity, but some zombie stories attempt to overcome this handicap. Both George Romero's "Land" and "Day of the Dead" feature zombies with increasing intelligence as they learn to fire guns, communicate, and attack in packs. Dan Simmons' "This Year's Class Photo" also attempts to give zombies a bit more credit than normal (if I said how it would give away the ending in case anyone wants to ever read it).
Ke$ha doesn't deserve to be considered a zombie only because she is still living...maybe. I would argue that she has a brain slug, and that is why she is so zombielike. Zombies would not accept her as one of their own.

Drew said...

I've never really thought of them as being that similar... Just that they are both undead and eat flesh/drink blood. Humans and otters are pretty different but they both eat meat and they are both living. I agree that it's an intelligence thing mainly... And vampires tend to rot less.
Oh.. And lol at Ke$ha being a zombie. I knew she looked familiar!

Elizabeth said...

I asked my little sister, who is completely in love with Edward Cullen, about this, and she said: "Edward, just like, can't be a zombie, because, like, well, umm... he's a vampire. And they're just like totally different."

I kid you not. The future generation and their wonderful powers of speech.

Anyway... her somewhat inarticulate response, god bless her, still raises an interesting point about society today. They're just considered to be two different entities and species.

I mean.. come on.. Edward is obviously better looking than the zombies. I mean... he sparkles. It's almost dazzlingly.

salsa said...

Here, I've been wanting an excuse to post this one when I saw it early today. I recommend reading the rest of the comic. Has a lot of interesting things about AI's and neurology.

As for the topic. Vampires are more akin to demons than corpses. Zombies have always been rotting shambling corpses, at least in modern interpretations. I think the more traditional ones, the victim had just died. As mentioned, vampires seem more intelligent. Zombies are very honest, they just want to noms your brains, and make every attempt to do so at any opportunity. Vampires are more suave, They'll take you dinner, woo you, take you home, and depending on how thirsty they are, suck your blood when you expect the kiss, or wait until they're behind closed doors and then suck you dry

Vampirates on the other hand... (another recommended read if you got the time, especially for cheessy horror movie fans and those who like vampires)