Friday, 25 June 2010
An Anti-Vamp Rant
I used to like watching Buffy – I own it on… actually on VHS… and I’ve watched it to absolute Undeath.
But by every Mother of God am I sick of fucking vampires!
It was with a huge cheer, then, that I read Neil Gaiman’s comments in the Independent this morning – kicking back against genre and marketing saturation, and against the de-fanged and de-balled castrato-vamp that we’ve all learned to loathe. He’s right, they’re like cockroaches, they’re everywhere – and we’ve had enough.
And not only Gaiman, bless him. He’s backed up by Sam Stone and Graham Marks… and even Ms. Meyer herself has had enough. Could it be – finally – that the public backlash is finding its teeth?
I get marketing trends – hell, I’m supposed to, I have to follow and ride them for a living. But when does a trend become a dictation? When does it stop being something the audience want – and become something they’re told they must like? Working where I do, I’ve been on ground level with marketing a motherlode of Vampire merchandise… and you can guarantee that, for every Twilight-Sparkly-Box-Souvenir that we’ve promoted through our Social Media net, we’ll get a kick-back of customers who’ve all reached their own saturation limit.
And so I ask: have we now reached the point where our media consumption is being utterly dictated by its buying trends – and where those very trends are set by a nation of proto-teen consumers? Just who is in fucking charge here anyway?!
Please – enough with the ‘safe sales’, already, and enough with the sheep-herding; enough with the force-feeding of pulp and enough with having our consumption controlled.
Let’s give the Vampire back his teeth... while we open out, and embrace the full scope of our genre.