Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Friendly Woods Vampire 

My biggest problem with Louis is the same problem I have with all Vampires who fail at ethical vampirism: why don’t you just live in the woods? You can’t resist human blood long enough to be in the same room with someone? You have no business living among humans, then, and you are putting countless lives at risk just to try to test your own goddamn willpower.

The woods are full of game, guy, and you can live off animal blood. This was the 1790s in New Orleans; you didn’t even have the problems with hunting regulations we do today, and the fur traders hadn’t yet run animal populations into the ground. You – woods, now! Or the mountains, or some other uninhabited region – it’s 1791, and there’s lots of it.

Yeah, sunlight problem: get some of your slaves to build you a woods hut, within a one-night’s journey. Yeah, yeah, the killing is symptomatic of the loss of humanity inherent in the Vampirism and all that. How do you know which direction the correlation or causation runs (do you even know which it is)? Has anybody ever even tried ‘separation as redemption’? Test it: if I’m wrong, the test results would reflect it, and at least you know that you tried.

Louis still had enough ‘humanity’ (whatever the fuck hell that means) to try the animal blood route for a little while, and avoid some murder – he could have made the escape then. Maybe ‘loss of humanity’ (there’s that word again) is a gradual process. Maybe it’s like a progressive illness: stop it at the right time, and you avoid the worst of the symptoms, or even make a full recovery. Just test the damn thing: this was after the Scientific Revolution, and they had the scientific method.

If you’re in the woods sucking down animals, you might be able to retrain your body to rely on them. Then you could return to civilization. Say you end up killing an explorer or a traveler – that’s terrible, yes, but compare that death against all the people you would have killed had you stayed in the city for some damned reason. 
Yes, the woods suck. I’m a former frontier girl; you don’t have to tell me that. Bring books. And candles. Yes, Lestat would harass you because he has nothing better to do. And he would continue slaughtering innocent people also, apparently, because he has nothing better to do. How about getting a nice cage for him in your woods hut, so you’ll have company?

Really, he’ll have to talk to you eventually, no matter how much he hates you for imprisoning him and ruining his life and stopping his serial genocide. People go crazy in solitary confinement, so I’ll bet you’ll have a better relationship than ever as you both try to stave off desperate, crushing loneliness. And you guys don’t seem to really talk to or interact with anyone else anyway (killing doesn’t count), so would this even be that much of a break from your routine?
So, you’ll be able to test whether isolation from humans improves your self-control. With favorable results, maybe eventually you could find someone new to sire yourself, someone you can train in the whole non-murder way of life. Or maybe you can turn Lestat around.

It’s the Enlightenment: sentence him to hours of reading philosopher tracts. It’s a start. Jeremy Bentham would be best, but you could always go with Rousseau. If you can get your hands on them. Not Hobbes, though. Never Hobbes. If Lestat can’t read them, which I suspect, then read them at him – long-term prisoners will eventually listen to anything to stave off another few hours of staring at blank walls. If nothing else, at least you’ll benignly torture him.

 Hey, compare that plan to the one that failed, which as far as I could see was: eat up your finite supply of livestock and then, um – eat Lestat?
You’re a slave master: you couldn’t get a few slaves to bleed into a bucket for you? Lestat’s method of murdering them really isn’t very sustainable: slaves were expensive, and he was draining your fortune literally and figuratively (which makes his ‘gold digger sire’ thing even stupider). How were you going to even keep your plantation up and running if he keeps killing the slaves?

Why not just try getting them all to bleed for you, in another room, and then drink it after they leave? They’re slaves – asking them to bleed for you is probably the least awful thing you’ve ever done to them. Maybe they’d be less likely to revolt that way, you know, compared to when Lestat was killing them.

Honestly, the mass consumption method of vampirism works just as well as economically: getting large numbers of people to give small amounts of blood/money is a much better recipe for wealth and health than getting small numbers of people to give large amounts of blood/money. Ask Bill Gates!

Yeah, some businesses can get by on tiny niche markets or a few wealthy and devoted customers (Business jargon: whales. Hey, blue whales have 15,000 pints of blood), but in your case, your customers are really frigging cash-strapped. Yeah, Lestat will never see your point, but he’s never run a business before. You could always try locking him in the attic.

Or, if you must, just kill him. That’s a tough threshold to establish, but given that his successful escape means more deaths, if you can’t efficiently contain him it’s not worth the risk.

I’m against the death penalty, and even in vampire society - which is more or less built on crime - we don’t execute our criminals. We do everything we can to rehabilitate them. But I don’t deny that these are special circumstances. Louis really should at least test the containment strategy first, while preparing himself to do what might be necessary. That’s some fan-fiction I want to see.

Lestat is a telephone telepath, or as I like to say, a ‘telephony’ – but they never really established whether he could read other Vampires. Even though we meet another telephony that can. I’m assuming he can’t, otherwise, you’d think Claudia wouldn’t have been able to kill him the way she did.  You know, right there in the room next to him, while smirking about him going along with her evil plan, immediately after making up with him, thus giving him the perfect opportunity to be suspicious of her intentions.  I hope Claudia knew about Lestat’s hypothetical mind reading limitations, for the sake of her reputation as a villain. She already didn't know how good a regenerator he is.

You’d think that if his mind-reading was voluntary – which it seemed to be with the planter’s wife – he would have read her mind at some point during that scene to, you know, confirm she wasn’t doing exactly what she was doing. Or, I don’t know, maybe read her mind at some point while she was pissed off at him for the same reasons. Okay, we’ll give Lestat and Claudia the benefit of the doubt, and say he can’t read Vampires’ minds.

I don’t about you, but if feeding off of dead people could kill me, I probably wouldn’t bite into a stiff, motionless body without at least checking the pulse, no matter how warm it was. Especially not after someone who I had threatened moments earlier, who had every reason to take revenge, gave it to me as a ‘peace offering.' Goddammit, Lestat.