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March 13, 2007

News for vampire slayers
Posted by Avram Grumer at 11:59 AM * 101 comments

‘Impaler’ pledges to impale Bush:

The American Secret Service have launched an investigation into one of the candidates for the presidency in 2008 — after he pledged that as President, one of his first acts would be to impale President George W. Bush.

The candidate in question is Jonathon ‘The Impaler’ Sharkey, and he is running as the only self-described satanic vampire candidate who has so far entered the 2008 race. […]

But a legal expert is unsure if a case could be made against The Impaler. ‘Under the First Amendment, what it boils down to here is whether or not he’s a vampire who wants to impale the president,’ law professor Neil Richards of Washington University in St. Louis told the Chronicle.

‘I guess the question is, if he’s a vampire, why is he the one staking people? Shouldn’t he want to bite the president and feed on him?’ added Richards[.]

Guards to protect Milosevic’s body from vampire hunters:

Slobodan Milosevic’s daughter Marija Milosevic has hired security guards to protect her father’s body from vampire hunters.

The self-styled vampire hunters have already made one attempt at driving a wooden stake through the former dictator’s heart to ‘stop him returning from the dead’.

Comments on News for vampire slayers:
#1 ::: ajay ::: (view all by) ::: March 13, 2007, 12:19 PM:

Professor Richards has clearly never heard of Vlad "The Impaler" Drakula. Impaling is quite OK for vampires. In addition, he's clearly never seen any Hammer horror films. Vampires prey on pale young ladies with underwired nighties, not disgraced coke-addled ex-presidents.

Sharkey makes a good point in the linked piece: who are the Secret Service to say that having his predecessor impaled is not within a president's executive powers? I'm sure there's precedent (Ottoman Turkey, for example).

#2 ::: Sarah S ::: (view all by) ::: March 13, 2007, 12:32 PM:

And let us call to Prof. Richards' attention the impaling practices of Spike who, according to Wikipedia, "adopted the nom de guerre "Spike" because of a habit of torturing people with railroad spikes, inspired by a detractor from his human days who had exclaimed that he would rather "have a railroad spike driven through [his] head" than listen to William's poetry."

#3 ::: Dave Weingart ::: (view all by) ::: March 13, 2007, 12:47 PM:

So if they're watching this guy to keep him from impaling Bush, is that a stake-out?

#4 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: March 13, 2007, 12:58 PM:

Speaking of Dubya as a vampire...

http://www.flickr.com/photos/pantufla/114081011/

#5 ::: JonathanMoeller ::: (view all by) ::: March 13, 2007, 12:59 PM:

But, really, staking Milosevic doesn't seem like such a bad idea. You know. Just in case.

#6 ::: Teresa Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: March 13, 2007, 01:02 PM:

I've always liked that painting.

#7 ::: Scott H ::: (view all by) ::: March 13, 2007, 01:02 PM:

I treasure this place.

#8 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: March 13, 2007, 01:02 PM:

Serge @ 4

It isn't Shrub who's the vampire. It's the *other* one. (Personal recommendation for when *he* dies: DNA sample, full autopsy, and a wooden chopstick, soaked in garlic juice and wrapped with silver wire, run through what's left of his heart. Maybe a couple of cloves of garlic stuck in his mouth too.)

#9 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: March 13, 2007, 01:06 PM:

PJ... Are you suggesting that Dubya really is Alucard (or Renfield?) while Dick is you-know-who? What about Rove?

#10 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: March 13, 2007, 01:16 PM:

Well, I don't know if Dick is you-know-who, but he has to be more evil than Shrub. Unless serious evil is supposed to sneak through under the guise of 'incompetent drug-addled fool'.

#11 ::: Heresiarch ::: (view all by) ::: March 13, 2007, 01:26 PM:

Putting the "body" back in bodyguard.

#12 ::: steve ::: (view all by) ::: March 13, 2007, 01:28 PM:

Talk about raising the stakes of the election ...

Let's hope this story doesn't get too much press, or Sharkey may gain a fringe following larger and more loyal than Nader's

#13 ::: albatross ::: (view all by) ::: March 13, 2007, 01:41 PM:

I'm waiting for the bumper stickers from this campaign.

"Undead for impeachment?"

"Vampires for better government?"

Or, to steal a joke that used to float around my campus (from the Campus Crusade for Cthulu)

"Why vote for a *lesser* evil?"

#14 ::: Jon Meltzer ::: (view all by) ::: March 13, 2007, 02:03 PM:

#13: I'd rather have Cthulhu as president now ...

#15 ::: Sarah S ::: (view all by) ::: March 13, 2007, 02:04 PM:

#13

I feed on the flesh of the living...and I vote!

#16 ::: ajay ::: (view all by) ::: March 13, 2007, 02:11 PM:

#13: "DON'T IMPEACH - IMPALE"

"Vote Dracula: he hasn't inhaled since 1532."

#17 ::: Chryss ::: (view all by) ::: March 13, 2007, 02:25 PM:

See what people get up to when Buffy goes off the air? OK granted it's been a couple of years, but...

#18 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: March 13, 2007, 02:28 PM:

Of course, he could be a right-wing vampire running on a right to undeath ticket.

#19 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: March 13, 2007, 02:45 PM:

A right-wing vampire, Fragano? I guess a one-winged bat would fly in circles.

#20 ::: nerdycellist ::: (view all by) ::: March 13, 2007, 02:52 PM:

PJ @ #10

I don't know - "spider eating man-bitch" sounds about right for the pres....

(man, am I going to get my e-mail watched or what!)

#21 ::: Chris ::: (view all by) ::: March 13, 2007, 02:56 PM:

‘I guess the question is, if he’s a vampire, why is he the one staking people? Shouldn’t he want to bite the president and feed on him?’ added Richards[.]

And absorb that life-essence into your own eternal existence? Do you think he's insane as well as undead? Give the guy some credit for taste...

I have to admit, the thought has crossed my mind that impaling... certain people... in the fine old Turkish style, pour descourager les autres, would have certain benefits for this country. (Assuming that all the other crooks wouldn't just think *they're* too smart to get caught, which is always one problem with deterrence.) But I always end up concluding that the costs would outweigh the benefits and we'll have to settle for life without parole. Justly it should be in some place with *exactly* the amenities of Guantanamo, but that seems unlikely.

#22 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: March 13, 2007, 03:18 PM:

Serge #19: That's possible. Of course, no one has actually seen Purarl'f wings...

#23 ::: Bruce Cohen, SpeakerToManagers ::: (view all by) ::: March 13, 2007, 04:11 PM:

Fragano @ 22

What, you think NSA hasn't heard of rot13? Send me a postcard from Gitmo.

#24 ::: Bruce Cohen, SpeakerToManagers ::: (view all by) ::: March 13, 2007, 04:15 PM:

Jon Meltzer @ 14

I've got 2 bumperstickers on my car: "Cthulhu: Why vote for a lesser evil?" with a great pastiche of the red white & blue Republican elephant morphed into something with a lot of tentacles, and "Nyarlathotep / Cheney in '08"

#25 ::: Bruce Cohen, SpeakerToManagers ::: (view all by) ::: March 13, 2007, 04:21 PM:

Sarah S @ 15

That slogan explains one hell of a lot about St. Louis politics. Probably Chicago too. And I always thought the motto was "See Paris and die."

#26 ::: Jon Meltzer ::: (view all by) ::: March 13, 2007, 05:32 PM:

#24: You need to remove the "why". It's been clear since 2000 who the lesser evil really is.

#27 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: March 13, 2007, 05:42 PM:

I think I should have a t-shirt made showing a donkey with the caption "Lesser of two evils, and proud of it."

#28 ::: Karen B. ::: (view all by) ::: March 13, 2007, 07:14 PM:

Actually, I first encountered the Milosevic story over on LJ. I believe the heading for the post said it all: "Is anyone watching Reagan's tomb? No? No reason..."

#29 ::: Stefan Jones ::: (view all by) ::: March 13, 2007, 07:25 PM:

Reagan a vampire?

Zombie, maybe.

#30 ::: Karen B. ::: (view all by) ::: March 13, 2007, 08:01 PM:

Sorry, forgot to include my complete thought: add decapitation to the funeral rituals for (er,) heads of state. An ounce of prevention, etc. etc.

#31 ::: Julie L. ::: (view all by) ::: March 13, 2007, 08:26 PM:

Fragano @22: Of course, no one has actually seen Purarl'f wings...

*frothfroth* That's because they're metaphorical wings!!! Why doesn't anyone understand this obvious truth??!?

...mind you, occasionally my brain does weird mixups between the Mines of Moria and the Lady of Shalott:

Dark in the depths of Khazad-Dum
The orcs swarmed up to Balin's tomb
Beneath cold Caradhras.
The Balrog's shadow spread out wide
Like wings unfurled from side to side;
Cried he, "You shall not pass!"

#32 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: March 13, 2007, 09:21 PM:

Julie L @ 31

That's an interesting fragment of verse. Kind of makes me wonder about the before and after that goes with it.

#33 ::: Naomi ::: (view all by) ::: March 13, 2007, 09:41 PM:

My first thought on reading the Milosevic story was the same as #5 -- "huh, maybe that's not such a bad idea. You know. Just in case."

My second thought was, "And given that I've heard no grave-desecration stories from Romania, we can probably safely conclude that Nicolai and Elena Ceauşescu were staked through the heart shortly after being mown down by machine gun bullets, and before being interred. You know. Just in case."

#34 ::: Julie L. ::: (view all by) ::: March 13, 2007, 09:44 PM:

Oh dear. Esp. since now I'm noticing that I didn't get the rhyme scheme quite right, which invites revision.

#35 ::: Heresiarch ::: (view all by) ::: March 14, 2007, 01:39 AM:

Reagan a vampire?

Zombie, maybe.

I'm sorry, but no. He'd clearly be a lich.

...or--possibly--a revenant.

#36 ::: David Goldfarb ::: (view all by) ::: March 14, 2007, 05:25 AM:

I lack the chops on several levels to write it myself, but I've imagined for a while now a humorous article about contract bridge entitled "The Bridge of Khazad-dûm". There would be a tournament with Gandalf as the director; the punchline would come when the Balrog takes advantage of his partner's hesitation and leaves in a takeout double. Summoned to deal with the situation, Gandalf would exclaim, "YOU CANNOT PASS!"

#37 ::: Dave Hutchinson ::: (view all by) ::: March 14, 2007, 07:28 AM:

I don't know why everybody's imagining these guys as vampires and zombies; they're quite scary enough as they are, thanks. Although now I think about it, Bush as Dracula, Blair as Renfield..?

#38 ::: Steve Buchheit ::: (view all by) ::: March 14, 2007, 08:04 AM:

Cthulhu can't run for President. He's an alien, not a natural born citizen. Just like Schwarzenegger.

#39 ::: Niall McAuley ::: (view all by) ::: March 14, 2007, 08:33 AM:

Steve, Cthulhu was around before there was a USA, so he must qualify under the citizen of the United States, at the time of the adoption of this Constitution clause.

#40 ::: Stephan Brun ::: (view all by) ::: March 14, 2007, 08:48 AM:

Niall, unless R'Lyeh qualifies as part of the US, I think there's a case for identifying Cthulhu as an alien.

I am, however, not a lawyer.

#41 ::: N ::: (view all by) ::: March 14, 2007, 08:59 AM:

So who's Cthulhu's Dad?

And the children of citizens of the United States that may be born beyond the sea, or out of the limits of the United States, shall be considered as natural born citizens: Provided, That the right of citizenship shall not descend to persons whose fathers have never been resident in the United States.

#42 ::: Paul A. ::: (view all by) ::: March 14, 2007, 11:17 AM:

In Khazad-dûm did Durin's folk
A massive fastness engineer:
And from the caves where they began
A well-maintainéd pathway ran
Down to the Mirrormere.

#43 ::: Steve Buchheit ::: (view all by) ::: March 14, 2007, 11:38 AM:

#39 Niall McAuley, I think that only applies if he was on the soil at the time. Since he is still in dreamland in R'Lyeh, somehwere in the Southern Pacific, I don't think that would qualify him. Just like Schwarzenegger. ;)

#44 ::: Julie L. ::: (view all by) ::: March 14, 2007, 01:31 PM:

Dave Hutchinson @37: Although now I think about it, Bush as Dracula, Blair as Renfield..?

Because I need coffee and new contact lenses, I initially read the middle clause there as "Bush as Drusilla". Speaking of whom, I bet she'd love knitting (or crocheting or tatting or bobbining or whatever) little lace things for her dollies, though again, probably not with... yarn.

#45 ::: ethan ::: (view all by) ::: March 14, 2007, 02:33 PM:

Bush as Drusilla...if I had any ability with Photoshop, that would be an image right now.

#46 ::: Sandy B. ::: (view all by) ::: March 14, 2007, 03:37 PM:

Half a league, Half a league, Half a league yonder
Out of the valley of death
Rode the nine Nazgul...

I got nothin'.

#47 ::: abi ::: (view all by) ::: March 14, 2007, 04:26 PM:

Curse you, Julie L, and your metrical earworm.

Beneath the mountains, white with snow
The orcs about their business go
Their orders to maintain below,
In the depths of Khazad-dûm,
A sleeping evil, left to lie
Until required by the Eye.
They care for it and ask not why
They toil in the gloom.

But one who labours in its lair
Has found the Balrog in his care
To be - to orcish senses - fair.
Fires burn in Khazad-dûm
And warm the darkness of the deeps
While he his tender vigil keeps.
His charge, protected, deeply sleeps
Inside its rocky tomb.

The other orcs, freed from its side,
Have different tasks, their might applied
To warlike training, side on side.
Underneath deep Khazad-dûm
The caverns echo with their song
While artificers labour long
To forge them armour, thick and strong,
For when the wars resume.

The flames beneath Caradhras burn
While up above, the seasons turn
Until, in time, the dwarves return.
Plundering rich Khazad-dûm.
At first they linger at the top
Above the yawning chasm's drop
But then they dig, and do not stop
And thereby seal their doom.

They fill their halls with men and elves
And carve great rooms to please themselves
While underneath, a miner delves
Far too deep in Khazad-dûm.
The orc at practice stops his blow
As pickaxe noises grow and grow.
And then to muster-points they go
Lest dwarves their charge exhume.

The beaters start to pound their drums
So from the deeps the great sound comes
And in each chest, the breastbone thrums
Roaring out "O Khazad-dûm".
They rush into the glaring light
And, overwhelming with their might
The feasting dwarves, restore the night,
And then their work resume.

The battle in the past belongs:
Another chapter in their songs
Of dwarven deaths and ancient wrongs.
Deep in shadowed Khazad-dûm
The Balrog shifts its mighty frame
At dreams of swords, and fear, and flame.
Its keeper strokes it, rasps its name,
And turns to leave its room.

But then, a sound. A single stone
Comes clattering from where it's thrown
Into a well, and this alone
Rouses all of Khazad-dûm.
And as the drummers beat and pound
The battle-rhythm shakes the ground.
The orcs come swarming all around
To Balin's stony tomb.

Then, in its room, the sleeper wakes
And with one blow, its prison breaks.
So from the depths, its coming shakes
All the stones of Khazad-dûm.
It sees the fleeing figures hide
And casts its shadows far and wide
Like wings unfurled from either side
To smother them in gloom.

And then he comes, as from its dreams:
A bearded figure whose sword gleams
With silver light. Its lancing beams
Bringing day to Khazad-dûm.
The Balrog roars with blinded eyes.
The grey-robed form its way denies:
"You shall not pass," the wizard cries.
And still the drumbeats boom.

They struggle then, the swordsman small
Against his foe, but brave withal.
He strikes the Balrog, and they fall
Into deepest Khazad-dûm.
The fighters plunging, dark and bright,
Leave eight companions, put to flight,
To scramble upward, to the light
And, grieved, their quest resume.

Behind them, howling hordes surround
The broken bridge, while all around
From depths to heights the battles sound
Echoing through Khazad-dûm.
They clash their blades and stamp their feet
And roar defiance and defeat
At enemies they cannot meet,
Then silence fills the gloom.

But one orc gives a keening call:
He somehow sees the Balrog's fall.
And terror comes upon them all
Standing massed in Khazad-dûm.
The wizard is of no concern,
But should the Dark Lord come to learn
Their charge is dead, then they will burn.
The Eye will be their doom.

And so the orcs depart the mines.
At night, when only moonlight shines
They march away in scattered lines
Fleeing from black Khazad-dûm.
While in the lonely, lightless deeps
The Balrog-keeper howls and weeps
Then in the depthless chasm leaps
In empty Khazad-dûm.

#48 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: March 14, 2007, 05:07 PM:

abi @ 47

Wow.

#49 ::: Julie L. ::: (view all by) ::: March 14, 2007, 05:38 PM:

It was many and many an Age ago
After Gil-galad fell
That an Elf-maid lived in Lothlorien
By the name of Nimrodel.
She was fair of face and fleet of foot, and
Her voice like a silver bell.
But lost she was in the White Mountains;
Where she is now, none can tell.

At Edhellond, Amroth's grey ship stayed,
Waiting for Nimrodel;
A wind blew out of the North by night
As if some evil spell
Would drive his ship far out to sea
Without his Nimrodel.
He cursed the faithless ship that bore
Him far across the swell,
Away from his Nimrodel.

But his love was stronger by far than the love
Of those who lived to tell:
From helm to sea they saw Amroth leap
To return to Nimrodel.

[At this point, out of caffeine I ran; quoth the Raven, "Bloody hell."]

#50 ::: gurnemanz ::: (view all by) ::: March 14, 2007, 06:06 PM:

abi @ 47, Julie L. et al -

Holy smokin' Toledo!

Do you take requests?

g.

#51 ::: abi ::: (view all by) ::: March 14, 2007, 06:14 PM:

gurnemanz @50
Sometimes, depending on whether the request starts the inner tickle of a poem trying to come out.

It was Julie's comment at 31 that set me off, though I couldn't keep the continuity between Khazad-dûm and anywhere else (Balin's tomb?), so it strays from the original more than I like.

But I think it's kinda sweet, in a maudlin, tragic way. Which is what I've always felt about the Lady of Shallott.

#52 ::: Bruce Cohen, SpeakerToManagers ::: (view all by) ::: March 14, 2007, 06:56 PM:

abi

Very nice. Sweet, umm, not sure about that, maudlin, maybe so, but come on now, this is epic verse, the kind of stuff a bard would sing to praise and recount the quest of the Ring-bearer. So that makes you a bard. Good work, keep singing.

Julie

The same, really, though yours is more romantic than martial. Get some more coffee in you and finish it, woman!

#53 ::: abi ::: (view all by) ::: March 14, 2007, 06:58 PM:

I second the request for Julie to get some coffee and finish the poem.

#54 ::: Dave Hutchinson ::: (view all by) ::: March 14, 2007, 08:08 PM:

Julie L @44

I may take to my grave the image of Bush crocheting in various inappropriate situations. Meetings of the Joint Chiefs, intelligence briefings, stuff like that... `Dammit, General, you made me drop a stitch!'

#55 ::: Dave Hutchinson ::: (view all by) ::: March 14, 2007, 08:09 PM:

...swapping knitting patterns with Blair...oh where will it end...?

#56 ::: paula Helm Murray ::: (view all by) ::: March 14, 2007, 08:16 PM:

(unsnap-hinge creak)(splorp)(squicka-squicka-squicka)(splorp)(hinge creak-snap)

There, i just washed off my brain in an effort to remove the image. Didn't work. Damnit.

#57 ::: ajay ::: (view all by) ::: March 14, 2007, 08:23 PM:

#54:
intelligence briefing
plus
knitting
equals
purls of wisdom

#58 ::: vian ::: (view all by) ::: March 14, 2007, 08:37 PM:

Julie L, you know Melbourne has the best coffee in the world.

Isn't it time you had a holiday? :)

#59 ::: Tim Walters ::: (view all by) ::: March 14, 2007, 11:41 PM:

In Xanadu did Newton-John
A discothéque decree:
While ALF, the puppet alien, ran
His sitcom pleasureless to man
Weekly on NBC.

#60 ::: Julie L. ::: (view all by) ::: March 15, 2007, 01:52 AM:

*meeps in panic at the encouragement, esp. from OMG ABI*

Okay okay, here's what caffeine hath wrought for the last stanza:

But his love was stronger by far than the love
Of those who lived to tell:
From helm to sea they saw Amroth leap
To return to Nimrodel.
His strong limbs flashed forth through the sea
As deep as a funeral knell.
Those havens are called now for that Elf-king,
And still the waters of Lorien sing
The songs of Nimrodel;
But nothing is known of Amroth's fate
Nor that of Nimrodel,
The beautiful Nimrodel.

Tangentially, I was delighted to find a version of the original Song of Nimrodel in French.

And also, paging through FOTR has reminded me of the hobbits' jaunty travel song from which some lines were adapted into Pippin's dirge in ROTK, but which mostly still sounds in my head like the "Habanera" from Carmen

However, back to my own Shalott re-reboot, which I'm probably trying too hard to keep to the original AAABCCCB scheme; then again, it isn't retaining much else from Tennyson. I think abi's version has a much better thematic fit in making the Balrog the direct parallel to the Lady.

The world was green, the Trees yet shone,
When Durin woke and walked alone.
In many-pillared halls of stone
A king he was on carven throne
Beneath cold Caradhras.
Fanuidhol and Celebdil
Dwarves also delved for pale mithril
Down through the mountains' roots until
They dug too deep, alas.

They roused from sleep in brimstone bed
A nameless terror, wroth and red;
They wakened Durin's Bane and fled
From Silvertine and Cloudyhead,
From Redhorn's snowy pass.
Yet in far lands, the dwarves still sang
Of Khazad-Dum, Kheled-Zaram,
Of great halls where their hammers rang
Beneath cold Caradhras.

So Balin, Fundin's son, came forth
With friends and kinsmen from the North
Rekindling as by right of birth
That ancient realm beneath the earth
With lamps of crystal glass.
A few years prospered, but the cold
And silent dark returned of old;
No further word came from the bold
Of what had come to pass.

Through hidden doors in Hollin land
The wizard Tharkun came unplanned,
Gondolin's sword swift in his hand
And Anor's fire at his command;
Cried he, "You shall not pass!"
The Balrog's shadow spread out wide
Like wings unfurled from side to side
Upon the narrow bridge astride
The depths of Caradhras.

The wizard smote the bridge; they fell
Long time through darkness, deep as hell,
And still by sword and flame and spell
They fought. High on Zirak-zigil
As white as silver glass,
Ascending through the Endless Stair
To Durin's Tower, still the pair
Fought fiercely in the icy air
Beside cold Caradhras.

The Balrog fell, the Tower crashed
Upon the mountainside in ash;
At last was quenched his fiery lash.
But Gandalf's body too was smashed
Like shards of silver glass.
And yet by Valar's grace reborn
he rose again like silver morn;
Away by eagles he was borne
From cruel Caradhras.

When at last Isildur's Bane
Fell too into its mountain's flame,
Barad-Dur crumbled. The end came
To Sauron and to Mordor's reign.
Away from Caradhras,
Away from Middle-Earth the sail
Of the last elf-ship glimmered pale.
And so too ends the wizard's tale:
Namarie at last.

#61 ::: Bruce Cohen (SpeakerToManagers) ::: (view all by) ::: March 15, 2007, 02:35 AM:

Thank you, Julie, that was, well maybe delightful sounds inappropriate, but I took great delight in it. It was well worth the coffee break.

Clearly time for me to go downstairs where the books dwell and try to find my Tennyson. It's been long and long since I read anything but Ullyses. Heinlein seemed to think it made a good epitaph, but I'm not ready for that yet.

#62 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: March 15, 2007, 06:01 AM:

So, abi gets poetrying thru an inner tickling, and Julie L thru coffee, eh? Keep at it, both of you.

#63 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: March 15, 2007, 08:27 AM:

They'd rid Middle-Earth of the Ring
At Mount Doom.
They did, wih an Earth-shattering
Big Kaboom.

#64 ::: Gwen ::: (view all by) ::: March 15, 2007, 10:22 AM:

Eh, haiku and limericks are all I'll ever aspire to. Shorter.

Does anyone else think it odd that this thread started out with Bush Co. as vampires and zombies and gradually they became knitters? I'm pretty sure that's not exactly how the Spectrum of Evil goes. ("Zombies-->Vampires-->People who talk at the theater", not "people who knit".)

#65 ::: Julie L. ::: (view all by) ::: March 15, 2007, 11:39 AM:

Bamboo knitting needles = thin pointy stakes.

(I can't remember at the mo; does the Buffyverse care what the stake is made of?)

#66 ::: Avram ::: (view all by) ::: March 15, 2007, 11:47 AM:

Actually, Gwen, it started out with Milosevic. I saw that in my morning news-crawl, ran a search for "vampire" in Google News, and the "Impaler" story turned up.

#67 ::: Nancy C ::: (view all by) ::: March 15, 2007, 12:03 PM:

I've often thought that Buffy should've taken up knitting. Chunky knits can require 1 cm thick needles, and they are available in birch or rosewood. Of course, in a high school like Sunnydale, having your knitting fall out of your bag may be as embarassing as having your stake fall out of your bag.

#68 ::: Madison Guy ::: (view all by) ::: March 15, 2007, 12:44 PM:

There's another (v)empire that needs to be impaled: the American empire project.

Hillary's new Iraq plan has all the clarity, simplicity and political appeal of her old health insurance plan.Her New York Times Interview: Questioning Bush's tactics but not the premises of his policy, the plan triangulates by half steps and half measures to perpetuate the morass we find ourselves in. It seems destined to fail. Like her ill-fated health insurance proposal of 1993, it offers bewildering complexity when bold initiatives are called for. If, by some miracle, the plan survives the Democratic primaries, it would most likely destroy any administration that tried to implement it. The American people want out of Iraq, and this doesn't do it.

Before Hillary and the other Democrats totally take over ownership of this war, they need to realize that the real issue facing the American public is no longer just Iraq. The real issue is whether we should get out of the business of empire before we expend even more treasure, both human and financial, destroy our democracy, and bankrupt our nation.

#69 ::: Joel Polowin ::: (view all by) ::: March 15, 2007, 01:03 PM:

Back a few years, there was a pair of stories, "Visit to a Weird Planet" and "Visit to a Weird Planet Revisited", in which a spatio-temporal anomaly caused a transporter glitch that swapped Kirk, Spock and McCoy for Shatner, Nimoy, and Kelley. Has anyone done a story which swapped the Buffy gang and the original Scooby gang? (I don't know enough about the Buffyverse to try to write such a thing myself.)

#70 ::: Bruce Cohen, SpeakerToManagers ::: (view all by) ::: March 15, 2007, 01:40 PM:

Madison Guy @ 68
The real issue is whether we should get out of the business of empire before we expend even more treasure, both human and financial, destroy our democracy, and bankrupt our nation.

In order to do this we would first have to admit that we are in the business of empire. As has been pointed out by many people before me, the general US culture is in total denial of this fact, even though it's been an implicit government policy for a very long time, and was explicit for many years after the founding of the country (Manifest Destiny, anyone?).

Putting on my cynical hat (oh ... I never took it off), I have to say I expect the US to become a failed empire before it ever rejects imperial aspirations; it will take us that long to admit what we are. Which is a shame, because most of us aren't interested in empire at all.

#71 ::: Carrie S. ::: (view all by) ::: March 15, 2007, 02:15 PM:

Has anyone done a story which swapped the Buffy gang and the original Scooby gang?

No, but it would be cool. And easier to manage with magic and the fact that we've already seen multiple timelines in canon.

OK, odd personal anecdote time: Six years ago, I was living in LA. I had to go to LAX (which is some circle of Hell, I'm pretty sure) to pick up the man I was living with. I had forgotten to write down his flight number, and when I checked the arrivals board failed to note that there was more than one flight coming in from his city of origin. As a result, I ended up in the wrong part of the airport.

While I was there, I saw three people walking along. They looked like Cordelia, Angel and Wesley. Not to say that they bore much resemblance to Charisma Carpenter, David Boreanaz, or Alexis Denisov, because they didn't*, but they really looked like Cordelia, Angel and Wesley. When the woman went into the ladies' room, I was tempted to follow her but didn't because I was afraid that talking to her or getting too close to any of them might cause me to end up in a universe with vampires and whatnot, where I would be spectacularly unsuited to live.

And then, because I was in the wrong concourse, I waited while the wrong plane emptied completely and the man I was living with did not disembark. That was entertaining. Evnetually I figured out what I'd done and got to his gate just in time to see his plane come in, but there was some freaking out in the interval, lemme tell you.

*Except in the sense that, say, "Tall, dark hair and pale skin, reasonably handsome if you like rugged" could have described both Boreanaz and "Angel".

#72 ::: Howard Peirce ::: (view all by) ::: March 15, 2007, 02:24 PM:

I can't remember at the mo; does the Buffyverse care what the stake is made of?

I don't know about the Buffyverse, but in the many parts of eastern Europe where traditional (unmediated) vampire lore survives, iron is preferred. In Stoker, isn't Lucy (aka The Bloofer Lady) staked with iron?

(Did I ever tell you guys about my conversation with an eyewitness to an actual vampire slaying? I tell that story all the time; so, probably I did.)

#73 ::: Howard Peirce ::: (view all by) ::: March 15, 2007, 02:30 PM:

Nerts. S/b "in many parts of," not "in the many parts of."

#74 ::: Carrie S. ::: (view all by) ::: March 15, 2007, 03:11 PM:

Did I ever tell you guys about my conversation with an eyewitness to an actual vampire slaying?

Maybe you did, but I haven't read it. So...tell! :)

#75 ::: Howard Peirce ::: (view all by) ::: March 15, 2007, 04:34 PM:

#74: I was in college in Indiana, I believe it was around 1984-85. I had a classmate who was here on a student visa, from Romania. At this time, Romania was still run by Ceauşescu, and was a fairly isolated from the west. Eugene was your basic international nerd, and he had learned conversational English from old pre-WWII textbooks that used 1920's British public school slang as their standard, so he was always saying things like "chap," "old bean," and "rum cove." Plus, he had an accent like Bela Lugosi. So it was easy not to take him too seriously.

One day we got to talking, and I asked, "So where in Romania are you from?"

"I am from a small village in Transylvania. You have not heard of it."

"Transylvania, eh? You're a long way from home, then."

"Yes, there are many diffences between America and Transylvania."

"For one thing," I said, "There's not as many vampires in America."

"Excuse me?" He looked suddenly surprised and angry.

"I'm sorry. It was a dumb joke. You know, Transylvania, Dracula, vampires -- like in the movies."

"Ah, I see," he said. "I have heard of such movies. But let me tell you something." And here he walked right up to my face and locked on my eyes. "In my village in Transylvania, my family are the only Jews, so of course we do not believe in such things. But I have seen, with my own eyes, the corpse dug out of the ground, the head cut off, the mouth filled with salt and garlic, and the lips sewn shut. The head was then tossed in a pit on unhallowed ground. Do not speak to me," he finished, "of wampyr."

And I never mentioned it again. But ever since then, I've understood that "vampire-slaying" is a fancy term for "the desecration of corpses in the name of superstition."

#76 ::: Stephan Brun ::: (view all by) ::: March 21, 2007, 05:05 AM:

Howard, I checked, and Stoker had Lucy staked with a wooden stake, at least in PG's electronic version.

I can, however, confirm that in Norwegian folk lore iron, steel, and silver are used to magical ends, most notably to dispel glamours. (This is the way they are used in folk tales, anyway.)

#77 ::: Barbara Gordon ::: (view all by) ::: March 21, 2007, 07:01 PM:

Once again I must leap in to plug the Best Book On Vampires EVER, which is Paul Barber's Vampires, Burial and Death: Folklore and Reality, published Yale UP 1990.
He examines the original folklore of vampires, starting with Arnold Paul (sp?) and tying much of it in to the natural processes of decomposition. It's fascinating, but don't read it while eating.
Something he points out is that there are more substantiated reports of the living consuming vampires (grave-dirt, ashes of burnt corpses) than there are of vampires consuming the living.

By the way, I have a vague memory of reading, many years ago (mid-70s) a legend that explained why silver was an apotropaic. After the betrayal and crucifixion of Christ, the metal silver made complaint to God because it had been used in the betrayal. As recompense, God gave it power over evil things. (This also explains why vampires don't reflect - in silvered mirrors.)
If anyone else has ever come across this legend, please advise, because I've never found it since, and I'd love to know which culture it comes from.
I've got a theory that the apotropaic qualities of the thorn woods come from the crown of thorns, too, but I can't make it work for the rest of the instruments of the Passion.

#78 ::: ajay ::: (view all by) ::: March 21, 2007, 07:14 PM:

Elements of the Passion? Well, of course, Dracula notoriously does not drink... wine.
Vampires (as noted above) have their mouths stuffed with salt and garlic - maybe the equivalent of the sour wine flavoured with "bitter herbs". Crossing running water - perhaps the "blood and water mixed" that flowed from Christ's side?

But I suspect I am stretching a bit here...

#79 ::: Barbara Gordon ::: (view all by) ::: March 24, 2007, 06:31 PM:

Joel @ 69, I do recall reading, in the early days of online fanfic, a Buffy Scooby-Doo crossover fic. The only part I have fixed in my mind was Buffy saying "Wait, what's with this running _away_ from the monsters?"
It may have been in the Slayer's Fanfic Archives, but I can't remember the title or author.
-Barbara

#80 ::: Juikki ::: (view all by) ::: February 07, 2008, 08:58 AM:

Are ya shitting me? Vampires? Only braindead ppl is you.

#81 ::: James D. Macdonald ::: (view all by) ::: February 07, 2008, 09:28 AM:

Welcome to Making Light, Juikki.

Want to try again?

#82 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: February 07, 2008, 09:34 AM:

James... What does 'ppl' stand for again?

#83 ::: ethan ::: (view all by) ::: February 07, 2008, 10:39 AM:

Serge #82: "Providence Public Library". And the people in charge are braindead.

#84 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: February 07, 2008, 10:44 AM:

ethan @ 83... And when people are late returning their copy of the Necronomicon, what do Providence's Public Libraries do to rectify the situation? I shudder to think.

#85 ::: Michael I ::: (view all by) ::: February 07, 2008, 11:03 AM:

Serge@84

Not a problem, because when people are late returning their copy of the Necronomicon, that generally means that they're LATE returning their copy.

#86 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: February 07, 2008, 11:07 AM:

Michael, I assume you mean "Late, as in the late Dentarthurdent." But of course that doesn't mean they can't be punished, does it?

Serge, I believe they rebind it in the nearest convenient source of skin: the borrower.

And PPL actually stands for Paranoid Programming Language, where variable and routine names cannot resemble words in any known language, and the compiler automatically deletes the source code.

#87 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: February 07, 2008, 11:14 AM:

Providence librarian(*): "You're late."
Customer: "So what? It's no skin off my nose."
Providence librarian: "Actually it is."

(*)played by Jane Curtin, of course.

#88 ::: despair09 ::: (view all by) ::: September 01, 2008, 07:37 PM:

very instresting and he has never heard of vlad
giggles
evil laugh for vampire hunter bewere

#89 ::: Chris W. ::: (view all by) ::: September 01, 2008, 07:42 PM:

Am I the only one inordinately amused at the thought of the dark arts of thread necromancy being performed on this post?

#90 ::: Stefan Jones ::: (view all by) ::: September 02, 2008, 01:03 AM:

How opportune that this thread has come back from the dead.

There is a new Jack Chick tract out: "First Kiss," in which we learn that Jesus can cure vampirism!

First Kiss

#91 ::: Rob Rusick ::: (view all by) ::: September 02, 2008, 07:09 AM:

It depends what you mean by 'cure' (or, as this film put it, "The power of Christ impales you").

#92 ::: jenna. ::: (view all by) ::: February 24, 2009, 06:24 PM:

are you all saying that vampires are REAL? that there not just a fairytail made by some creep who wanted to scare kids?

#94 ::: announimous ::: (view all by) ::: June 08, 2009, 10:56 PM:

Well it would seem to be a coven of vampire hunters, and i thought they had all gone into hinding. It didnt seem to pass through my mind that one would make a wed site. Not very smart.It would be rather easy for a vampire to track you all down dont you agree? Well i believe i have said enough though i would recommend not useing this site if you are truly a slayer of the night, fore we will find you and we will make sure your kind is wiped out. Have a Good Evening.

#95 ::: John Houghton ::: (view all by) ::: June 08, 2009, 11:22 PM:

Ah, you arrive too late. We just delinked the only clue you could use to find us. We are far cleverer (and better spellers) than you!

#96 ::: James D. Macdonald ::: (view all by) ::: June 08, 2009, 11:30 PM:

It would be rather easy for a vampire to track you all down dont you agree?

Easy? Perhaps.

Smart? No.

#97 ::: Erik Nelson ::: (view all by) ::: June 08, 2009, 11:33 PM:

This thread has risen from the dead, in response to a batty fly-by-night commenter.

#98 ::: James D. Macdonald ::: (view all by) ::: June 08, 2009, 11:53 PM:

Q. Why couldn't the Dracula's wife get any sleep?

A. Because of his coffin.


But seriously, tying the desecration of the dead (#75) and Providence (#87) threads together, Lovecraft reported that in his own memory, corpses of suspected vampires had been dug up in New England. And Buried Alive (by Jan Bondeson), a book I have recommended before, talks of those very things.

Buried Alive is a history of the search for tests of death, and the customs surrounding death and burial, primarily in the 19th century, with many anecdotes about the sometimes weird things that the doctors who were otherwise engaged in inventing modern medicine were up to.

Back to the subject: vampires in New England were often destroyed by cutting off the legs and laying them cross-wise on the chest. (Whatever else that may or may not have done, that would have made sure that the person was dead.)

#99 ::: Stephan Brun ::: (view all by) ::: June 14, 2009, 06:12 PM:

Ah, an opportunity to correct an earlier omission. While Lucy is staked with wood, Dracula is indeed staked (stabbed?) with a steel weapon. Sorry for being misleading.

#100 ::: Benjamin Wolfe sees spam ::: (view all by) ::: September 22, 2014, 06:24 PM:

Auto repair spam.

#101 ::: David Harmon ::: (view all by) ::: September 22, 2014, 08:04 PM:

Since the thread has risen again:

Barbara Gordon #77: I'd be pretty confident that story is yet another Christian retcon. Silver has an ancient association with the moon, not to mention an aura of magic (it's still used in Indian [Asian] folk medicine). It seems natural to turn it against a monster of the night. See also: Werewolves, which IIUC emerged from the same folk legends as the modern vampire concept.

The original legend supposedly combined those "processes of decomposition", with certain living people bearing a genetic condition called porphyria. This condition causes, among other things, anomalous hair growth... and necrosis of the skin, which is triggered by exposure to sunlight.

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