Vampire as Metaphoric Bloodsucker
The metaphor of the vampire is almost overused these days, especially in economic circles. But let's look at the basics before moving on to that usage.
Vampires suck blood from innocent victims and they exist as parasites upon society, at least, in classic literature they do. They produce nothing concrete themselves (hard to do when you can't go out in daylight), yet still have rent to pay on the place to leave the coffin. And boy do they take to the whole parasitic blood thing; it is, after all, their "meat" and drink. Perhaps that is why it is so easy to make the comparison of the vampire to my landlord, my boss, and most especially,to the IRS.
Remember that the essence of a metaphor is to take one thing and demonstrate its likeness to another, then go one step further and use the one as a direct link to the other. Take the metaphor, your eyes are like limpid pools. On the one side I have eyes, on the other I have limpid pools. Taken literally, my eyes are demonstrating the characteristics of motionless depth. So, how is my landlord like a vampire? Well, (as my kid would say, "duh") he takes my hard earned cash and "allows" me to pay him for the roof over my head, providing as little as is humanly possible in exchange. (The fish-pond is listed as an amenity!)
Thus it is wonderfully serendipitous for us all that the financial industry has begun linking the current downturn and rending of our world-wide economic fabric to the vampires who battened themselves with our monetary life-blood, leaving us weakened and dying. Is this a fair metaphor? What are the characteristics of the vampire?
Let's take a look:
- Vampires produce nothing themselves, while taking from someone else something utterly necessary to their survival.
- They exist in small enclaves, outsiders to the general populace -- usually by choice.
- They want the general population to know as little about their "business" as possible (the better for their bottom line).
- They buy preferential treatment from the powers-that-be because they have the financial where-withal to make them appear "respectable."
Well, this is indeed starting to sound like the wall-street blokes and the banker folks, isn't it?
Let's see, what did they produce?
A Good Vamp is Hard ...
But what about another type of vampire. The gold-digger type? This is the one that Kipling and Fitzgerald both reference. Actually the Gold-digger variety vamp came into our language based on Theda Bara's portrayal of the female _____ in the _____ film. She was the utterly seductive female, the sort who, when they enter the room, have all eyes focus on them -- lustfully. Imagine being this sort of personality for all time? Ageless... How long until they begin to not even notice the accolades they accumulate?
What are the characteristics of this Vamp(ire)?
- Great beauty
- A palpable aura of sexuality
- Usually slim
- the sort of air of disdain that makes the recipient of their affections feel privileged.
- sexually promiscuous
- total and complete self-centeredness
The "Vamp" as she appears in Songs