In defeating them, they defeat death itself. Fighting death itself provides a world of thematic possibilities. Dawn of the Dead shows us how human will can be deadened by consumerism; The Walking Dead asks us to examine what makes life worthwhile in the face of hardship; farces like Zombieland provide us with the catharsis of seeing death defeated in increasingly bizarre and sadistic ways.
The vampire is the other side of the coin.
It personifies our fear of death not by showing us a horrifying, walking corpse, but by fulfilling our death-denying fantasies. The vampire is eternal youth and beauty. And the vampire is always seductive.
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They tempt us because we too have a desire to cheat death. Yet vampires are horrific because their immortality and beauty is ultimately a lie. They have not escaped death, but in fact thrive on death. In order to live forever, the vampire mythos tells us, we must become death. There is still no escape from the reality of mortality, and to attempt escape is to become a monster. But I would argue that the genres also provide us with beautiful pictures of the inevitable. Harry Potter does not give us answers to what lies beyond the veil, but it shows us that the preoccupation with escaping death leads us to miss out on life.
The Lord of the Rings also provides beautiful imagery. In the film version of The Return of the King, Gandalf says:. Death is just another path, one that we all must take. The grey rain-curtain of this world rolls back, and all turns to silver glass, and then you see it…White shores, and beyond, a far green country under a swift sunrise.
In his graphic novels, Death is personified as a friendly goth girl. This unlikely picture of Death fits so perfectly because she is both older than the universe and as young as today, she simultaneously personifies the final End to all things and a mysterious beginning to what may or may not be Beyond. In volume 7 of the series, Brief Lives , Death encounters a man named Bernie, who has magically lived for thousands of years. You got a lifetime. All men — and women — must die.
But first, we get what everyone gets. We get a lifetime. Recently Harry Potter creator JK Rowling made big headlines in both the geek and mainstream press for this controversial statement:.
It was a choice I made for very personal reasons, not for reasons of credibility. Which raises the question: who is right? Another Rowling revelation some years back created greater media frenzy, but was for the most part accepted as canon by the Potter fandom: Dumbledore is gay.
So the authority to declare canonicity seems to rest not on the voice of the creator, but on the consensus of the fans. When the creation becomes bigger than the creator, the question of canonicity becomes complex.
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One fandom perfectly illustrates this complexity, and the push and pull between the authority of the creator and the authority of the fans can be succinctly summed up in three words:. The abominable quality of the Star Wars prequels aside, George Lucas created rage and frustration by altering the content of the original trilogy.
Like Rowling, he realized that if he had it to do again, there are things about his movies that he would change. Unlike Rowling, he did go back and make those changes, and he refuses to release the original theatrical versions of the films, making dusty VHS copies of the original trilogy the only way for fans to enjoy the unaltered movies that they love. In the original version, Han shoots Greedo under the table and coolly walks away, establishing his character as a charming but cutthroat rogue. In the altered version, Greedo shoots at Han first, missing at close range, and Han immediately fires back, killing Greedo.
If he is not first established as something of a selfish cad who will do anything to protect his own hide, his growth into a hero who will risk his life to save his friends has no meaning. What on the surface appears to be a minor CGI alteration is in fact a major change to the story. Fans claim that the true canon of Star Wars is made up of the three original, unaltered films. But they concede that they have little power to wrest creative control from Lucas, even if he is violating the canon.
Some stories in the nerdverse have long outlived their creators. The best examples are DC and Marvel superheroes. Since some of these characters have been around for close to a century, the people who now write their stories were once the fans who idolized the characters. The fans have literally taken over creative control of the canon. The need to cater to these fans, along with the unwieldy nature of storylines that span multiple decades, have resulted in the ability to completely erase canon with the universe retcon.
A controversial universe retcon recently took place outside of comics in the world of another character who has been entrusted to multiple creators, Doctor Who.
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In the 21st century, the character of the Doctor has largely been defined by the fact that he is a remorseful war criminal, having been forced to destroy his homeworld of Gallifrey in order to save the rest of the universe. This was undone in the 50th anniversary special of the show, when the Doctor, with the help of his previous regenerations, is able to save Gallifrey. While they are willing to go along with new developments that new creators bring to the story, fans feel that the canon is insulted by creators who undo things.
Perhaps the best way to understand the slippery nature of canonicity is to look to a book that has generated a more hardcore fandom than Star Wars and Doctor Who combined: the Bible.
The Bible has dealt with all the canonicity issues at play here. View 2 comments. Aug 18, Yasmin added it Shelves: poetry.
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There is a god walking among us on this earth. View all 18 comments. Jul 19, Casey rated it really liked it Shelves: poetry , borrowed-or-library , lgbt.
I've heard some of Gibson's slam poetry on YouTube so I was really excited to read this collection and it was absolutely amazing. Gibson writes about a lot of topics such as war, losing people, gender identity, being queer, love a lot of love poems , and not really fitting the expectations placed upon them. As someone who is queer and trans, I really related to a lot of the poems in this collection. I never really see myself represented at all in anything let alone literature. So for me reading I've heard some of Gibson's slam poetry on YouTube so I was really excited to read this collection and it was absolutely amazing.
So for me reading about a person who has gone through the struggles I have was so refreshing and comforting, as I feel less alone in this world.
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I don't really want to get too personal in this review, so I'll just say I'm really glad I've read it. As a reader you really understand why certain experience had such a massive impact on Gibson, and really how universal their emotions are. As someone who is trans people often tell me that they don't know what it's like to be trans which is obviously true. Maybe you don't know what it's like to be misgendered on a daily basis, or what it's like to transition etc. Being trans isn't some abstract idea that only trans people are allow to know what it's like. I am human , and I experience human emotions in the same way you do, maybe for different reasons but you could apply that to everyone.
So what I'm trying to say is I think Gibson really expresses questioning gender identity and gender expectations in a retable and understandable to everyone regardless on your own experience with gender. That's why this collection means so much to me. Mar 03, Saiber rated it it was amazing Shelves: owned , favorites , i-own-you-i-m-proud-of-that , , favourites , poetry. Andrea Gibson is one of my favourite poets.