The Rebirth of Vampires in Contemporary Media and Their Cultural Implications

Vampires have made a media revival in recent years with popular television shows, films and novels including True blood, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, The Vampire Diaries and Twilight and heap more. Additionally, the dominant fan-base for the modern vampire genre has shifted to teenagers. They can’t get enough of the stuff. However, the resurgence of the well-liked vampire genre raises questions about the cultural implications on their primary audience.

Dracula meme


So what is it about teenagers and vampires?


The positioning of vampires in modern media shows them trying to integrate themselves into society – resisting their blood thirst to kill and generally just trying to fit in at Forks High or Merlotte’s Bar and Grill. Within these fictitious yet relatable settings, the vampire’s hunger for true love prevails along with their desire as a minority to be accepted in their community. In this light, it is notable that the primary motivations for the vampire antagonists form parallels with teenager’s desires for romance and to be accepted for themselves.


The highly sexually charged narratives also focus on vampires enforcing self-control in order to resist their intense and instinctive blood lust to kill (which would ultimately end in devastation). Could this not be a metaphor for teenagers to resist their firsthand sexual desires in order to avoid catastrophe? Or in Twilight’s case, until after your Mormon wedding…

Twiilight wedding Image sourced from:

 A research paper titled, ‘The Resurgence of Vampires and Vampires in Fan Discourse in Contemporary Popular Culture’ tells, “Despite the characters’ love and desire for their mortal beloved, their protracted struggle to suppress the desire and resist the temptation of bloodlust to protect their partners from harm is implicitly encouraging teenagers who are experiencing their first stirrings of desires, to employ self-control on dangerous sexual and aggressive impulses”.


Another present similarity between vampires and their teenage fans is the longing to break away from their disguise or protective shell to be accepted, fit in amoungst their peers whilst maintaining their own identity within society.


It is all just a self recognising, coming of age, sexy blood bath really.


Anyway, here is Buffy kicking Edward’s stone cold but.

Buffy vs Edward: Twiilight Remix (original version)

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Loose Hay – Meredith Music Festival, More Than Just a Festival

RMIT’s summer school has commenced and the season’s festivities are done with for the time being, however, the memories are still fresh. In fact, last night I found a cluster of hay in a pair of tights I brought back from Meredith Music festival.

Being an employee of Meredith, I arrived  early at the festival a Thursday last December. I stood in front of the stage that looks out across the natural amphitheater and anticipated the 12,000 enthused festivalgoers that would arrive the following morning.

The Nolan family farm, located between Geelong and Ballarat, was soon to be filled with punters drinking avidly from their eskies that rest against the tall Cypress trees that grandfather Nolan planted 60 odd years ago.

I anticipated the patrons (and myself) relishing in the sounds of internationally acclaimed bands and local, independent acts from the likes of Brian Jones Town Massacre  (who were phenomenal BTW) to The City of Ballarat Brass Band.



From Meredith’s nudist race, known as The Meredith Gift, to the ecliptic range of music, there is a lot to observe in the happenings of the festival.

Meredith Gift

Photo sourced from

However, many wouldn’t notice one of the primary founders, Chris Nolan, listening contently and smiling from ear to ear from his wheelchair.

Chris along with Marcus Downie and Greg Peele founded Meredith Music Festival in 90’ – putting on the first Meredith in 91’.

Chris’ parents, Jack and Mary, allowed Chris and his mates to put what was originally an end of year celebration on at their farm by their family home in Meredith.

Five years into the festival running, Chris encountered an oppressing life changing illness while working as a lawyer in Hanoi, Vietnam. Chris was severely affected by a vicious bug that had not yet been recognized in Australia and had a multi-organ collapse.

The bug that forced Chris into a coma for six months also starved his brain of oxygen – leaving Chris with a crippling Acquired Brain Injury and a profoundly damaged communication system.

Chris awoke from the coma laughing at his cousin’s made up tale of a photograph about Chris and his father at the previous Meredith.

Despite Chris facing life as a quadriplegic and no longer having the ability to speak along with only being able to move his thumb, Chris’ family and friends continued what Chris started, the now internationally acclaimed festival.

“There was a passion for music for that independent, voice if you like, that was coming through and a passion for the land. But he had this vision of bringing people together and it worked and I think it still continues”, tells Mary in the documentary, ‘A weekend in the Country – A History of Meredith Music Festival.

Although Chris never recovered and resides in 24-hour care in a nursing home in Melbourne, Chris can now hear well and communicates through facial expressions. Chris still attends Meredith with his family and friends and shows signs of enjoying the music and the environment.

Chris, Jack and Mary Nolan _ MMF

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One early morning once the festival kicked off, myself and a small handful of patrons were enjoying The City of Ballarat Brass Band. It was then I saw just that. What would appear to be a content Chris Nolan by his father, Jack’s side. Watching Chris and his father in that moment warmed my heart and froze my body at the same time. It made me appreciate why I am a part of such a great “get-together”.

It’s not all rotten Apples for Generation Z

While there has been a lot of concern aroused about Generations Z’s dependency on digital technology and their lack of quality mediums, it’s not all rotten apples.


Although this is pretty horrifying….


 ‘A magazine is an iPad that does not work’

It may be rare these days to spot a book by a child’s side. At first sight, this seems seriously alarming. However, some odd 20 years ago, new literacy was coined around the emergence of the World Wide Web. Along with it came a new delivery of information and new learning means, of which are now in full force and are prevailing traditional methods.


Children and toddlers of today are riddled with technical gadgets and when children are using these devices, they are learning and at a hyper rate. What is presented on these online devices is often ‘hyperimmediated’ – containing literature, sounds, graphics, symbols and the list goes on. Essentially online devises contain a heap of frenzied media – giving users the opportunity to absorb an assortment of information at once.


And you know what? World wide literacy is at an all time high. When kids are Facebook-ing, instant messaging, sending SMS’ and Googling they are writing and reading, relentlessly.


Although it is expected that the following generation will experience social difficulties due to their lack of first hand communication along with the saturation of technology they’ll encounter throughout their whole lives, these kids will grow-up amidst extreme amounts of information and literature that they are actively engaged with… all the time.


It mightn’t be so bad yet.


Online Self-sabotage – the Powers and Repercussions of Social Media

It was only recently that Communication Director, Justine Sacco was an exemplar of the powers of social media and self-defamation. The (then) successful PR profession for New York based communication empire, InterActive Corp made a tweet that connected race with AIDS before boarding a flight from the US to South Africa.

Justine Sacco - Tweet

Whilst in the air, Sacco caused a Twitter and media revolt – having being retweeted over 3,000 times as well as media outlets picking up her tweet. By the time Sacco reached her destination, her life and reputation had taken a hit, in a big way. Sacco was fired from her high-end position the following day and has recently reissued a statement of apology to a US print media outlet (after deactivating her social media accounts).


Perhaps keeping racist slurs offline is best… or just don’t be a racist.


Online reputation management is not an unheard of thing. The Internet is saturated with social media reputation ‘how to’s’ for businesses. However, reputation management for individuals is not at the forefront of user’s minds (or at least on the first page of a Google search). With your Facebook ‘friends’ list being a dog’s breakfast of people you know too well or perhaps very little, who is your audience? It’s all a bit grey really, but worth considering.


A new self-exploitative social media trend tagged, #Neknominate, has recently flooded online networks. #Neknominate involves a Facebook user sculling a beer in one minute, nominating a friend to do the same and uploading the video to the user’s page. The following #Neknominate contributor, (usually a male in their early 20’s) generally attempts to outdo their nominator with a more grotesque or peculiar way to ‘nek’ a beer in 60 seconds.


Neknominate Image

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Whilst concerns amongst the public, media and police have arisen – predominantly surrounding the type of drinking culture the trend entices, it is questionable what partaking in the trend could do to an individual’s reputation. Not to be a wet blanket, heck, I like beer a lot. However, it seems that the pack-like movement that is sweeping social media, perhaps clouds the #neknominater’s vision on what could be perceived from the video and who the viewers might be.


But hey, what’s a drink between friends, right?



The Verbal, Viral and Download Domination of Television

It was only recently that Australia outshone itself… Again, by having the most downloads internationally for television series, Breaking Bad. This brings about an interesting trend for the mainstream method of obtaining media as well as an evident popularity for television series. Without conducting further research, it seems apparent that television series have a viral, cult-like, mass following. I would even go as far to suggest that television series in present-day are dominating films.


But why are series killing it all of a sudden? It is notable that public’s attitudes and behaviors on their media consumption have altered since the proliferation of the Wonderful World Wide Web. A mere hour after the finally of Breaking Bad was released on America television, thousands of copies were available online – two clicks away from viewing. It is the Internet’s glorious, yet sometimes exploitative accessibility that makes going to your local Video Easy now seem like an expedition. In fact, I got nostalgia for the fluorescent lights and the sweet smell of plastic packaging last time I visited one.


However, the accessibility and shift in media consumption has little to do with the increase in viewership for television series. Without undermining series’ predecessors, the high quality of series that have been released in the last few years is unmistakable. Additionally, the narrative development throughout the series is widely talked about. Recently I heard a couple discussing Ian McShane’s lauded role as Al Swearengen in Deadwood and how the brothel owner, originally portrayed as the main antagonist, is actually a great guy. That’s nice.


Deadwood Best Of Al Swearengen – Al The Badass


If the character development alongside the evolving narrative doesn’t get your mouse moving, the cast might. With television series’ becoming more of a writer’s medium than ever, actors are executing some of their best work, weekly, in thirty to sixty minute slots. So let’s all chat about it, on Facebook, Twitter, create some memes and Breaking Bad can do to smack dealing what Johnny Cash did for Capital Punishment (Brendan McGinley