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Forgive and forget: who among us has not attempted to violently overthrow a democratically elected government?

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 Interesting Times Harold Editorial Page Exclusive  I would like to get something off my chest, and not just the bruise from the FBI agent who crashed through my door last night and threw me into jail for exercising my First Amendment right to kick in a window at the Capitol Building. I understand that, from a certain point of view, the Save America Rally last week may have appeared to have gotten out of hand, what with the death and destruction and the defilement of the cradle of American democracy. But to that I say, who among you is ready to cast the first stone? NOT SO FAST! It’s easy for you to point out the speck of violent insurrection in my eye, but are you ready to remove the beam of driving 10mph over the speed limit from your eye? I’ve got you, haven’t I? You see, we’re not so different, you and I. We each are imperfect citizens of this Republic. You round up your deductions when calculating your taxes, and I stole property from a US Congressman and sold it to a guy wit

The Problem With Vampires Part 3: When Vampires Started to Suck

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(This is the last of a three part history of popular culture vampires. It is not a good history, but it’s free. Feel free to read Part One here , and Part Two here ). At first, the change isn’t bad at all. In 1976, Anne Rice published Interview with the Vampire . This book was breathtaking. Rice    is such a powerful writer that she manages to create vampires that can be both empathized with and reviled at the same time. Louis is a tragic figure, and Lestat his murderous, black-hearted mentor/tormentor. We had no problems at all with this book. In 1985, The Vampire Lestat is published, and Anne Rice does the impossible: she transforms the maniac Lestat into an equally tragic character as Louis was in Interview. Yes, sex and sensuality are beginning to step out into the front, but Rice gets a pass since, while not the first to think of it, she successfully rolls it into a great story.   1987: The Lost Boys . Just the best. Horror and comedy combined to create a fun, but sti

The Problem with Vampires Part 2: The exhaustive history of real vampires

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  How to properly vampire If you read part one of this series, you may be asking “which sauce goes best with tortellini?” The answer, of course, is “you read the wrong article.” This is about vampires, not pasta.* Now, once you’ve read the correct article, Einstein, you’ll see that we’ve scientifically proven that today’s vampires are boring. You’re welcome. But you may now be asking, “Okay, smart guys, how did this all happen? What are the best and/or worst vampire stories? And have you ever kissed a girl, because I’m betting you haven’t?” Well, Mister or Miss Sarcastic, we present to you now a comprehensive, albeit poorly researched history of the evolution of the vampire from chilling demon to dull sex symbol. This history may be wildly inaccurate, but what it lacks in accuracy it makes up for in grammar issues. Before we get started, though, there is something we want to highlight. You’ll notice a Grand Canyon-sized omission in this list: Bella Lugosi isn’t on it. The reaso

The Problem With Vampires: Part 1

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  Today's overindulgence of vampires has given me an undead hangover I was once a big fan of vampires. As a child growing up in the 1970s and 80s, I often begged my parents to let me watch anything on TV that had a vampire in it. This included the well-known vampire movies, like those starring Christopher Lee (who would later be promoted to Sith Lord and be an ally of Sauron), and - of course - ‘Salem's Lot . But this also included the odd and oft-times campy appearances of vampires. I’m talking lesser known movies like Vampire Circus (1972), the classic series Dark Shadows …heck, there was even a vampire story in an episode of BJ and the Bear.   This last example notwithstanding, these creatures embodied everything that made horror so, well, horrifying: they were irredeemably sinister, and operated outside of human understanding. Images of shadowy creatures with bright eyes and blood stained teeth lurking in the darkness kept me up many nights, wishing desperately for th