Thirsty for a Fresh Take on All Things True Blood?

WELCOME! Thirsty for a fresh take on all things True Blood? Pull up a virtual barstool at the Pierced Pomegranate Tavern where sisters Rachel and Rebecca are serving up juicy feminist analysis with a twist and opening a vein of thoughtful sociocultural dialogue on HBO's hit series.

Like the epic literary salons of eras past - theaters for conversation and debate which were, incidentally, started and run by women; where the spirited debate about the issues of the day ran as copiously as the actual spirits did - but updated for the digital age, the Pierced Pomegranate Tavern is a fun forum for exploring questions ripe for discourse about the human condition & today's most crucial social issues through the medium of True Blood.

Your salonnières are not peddling liquor per se, but they are offering up new and alternative ideas informed by such diverse influences as pop culture, art, music, cultural history, Goddess studies, transformative theory, literature and poetry, and archaeomythology, filtered through the sieve of their own lived experiences as feminist women of a particular age, background, and culture.

This is a space where you - patrons and passersby alike - can view and engage with these perspectives through the lens of True Blood and contribute your own thoughts. So, no matter if you're a Truebie or a more casual viewer of True Blood, or your drink of choice is a pomegranate martini - one of Rachel's favorite cocktails to drink and Rebecca's to mix - an herbal tea, a frothy double mocha latte, or a can of Fresca (wink, wink) you're invited to join the conversation on the show's complexities in a way that can spark transformation.

Hopefully you'll find something to sink your teeth...err...straw, into! PLEASE ENJOY RESPONSIBLY ;-)


The Pierced Pomegranate Tavern is dedicated to exploring social issues and more through the lens of True Blood. As such, you may encounter:

related to the often provocative and adult themes presented by the show

If you choose to enter and participate in this virtual salon, please be prepared to do so in a thoughtful, respectful, and mature fashion with the above in mind. Click here to check out our comment policy. Thanks!


No copyright infringement is intended, all rights to True Blood belong to HBO, credit is ascribed to sites where images appearing here were originally found.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

From Legendary Monsters to Fellow Citizens


I recently discovered a curious statement about the show on
"In True Blood, vampires have gone from legendary monsters to fellow citizens overnight".
I, personally, would amend this to read sexy, desirable (and sometimes sparkly) fellow citizens...

...quite a change from the way vampires used to be envisioned, huh?

Nothin' sexy about that, no siree!

Contemplating the shifting image of the vampire and the growing social acceptance (and lust!) for what used to be considered a vile fiend, I began thinking about the monstrous images dominant society spins to create hate and fear of those it demonizes.

A five minute Internet search turned up a horrendous cache of offensive visuals, here's a few:

WWII anti-Jewish propaganda

Can you see the common threads tying these Nazi anti-Semitic propaganda posters to the Nosferatu images above?

The ugly, distorted facial features?

The cannibalistic, devouring mouth?

Nazi Cross killing the Jewish rat

The Nosferatu's gnawing, rat-like incisors as corollary to the image of the Jewish vermin that must be exterminated?

And then, there's the image of Other as dim-witted, primal beast:

The Negro a Beast or In the Image of God by C. Carroll
published in 1900

Described on the Cowan's Auctions website as, "382pp of racist propaganda", this deplorable book deems, "The Negro a beast, but created with articulate speech, and hands, that he may be of service to his master-White man."
anti-Muslim propaganda

These dehumanizing tactics have been employed by obvious bigots and hate-mongers like Nazis and white supremacists, colonial occupiers, and racially motivated crackpots like the Oslo shooter linked to a British anti-Muslim organization.

Less expected (but still morally challenged) are the benign-by-comparison entities like the WWII allied forces that stooped to using such propaganda.

Did you happen to notice how great a threat these inhuman brutes appear to pose to white womanhood?

Much has been written on how vampires - starting most famously with Dracula - have been stand ins for the threat of the invading foreign Other.

For instance, in his essay "Pure Blood", Joseph McCabe writes that Dracula belonged to a difficult historical moment when unease permeated the nation; there was a mounting concern in England that the British Empire had passed its peak. Decline was signalled politically by a series of failed military adventures.

McCabe quotes Stephen D. Arata's "The Occidental Tourist: Dracula and the Anxiety of Reverse Colonization" (2010, p. 103):
Dracula enacts the period's most important and pervasive narrative of decline, a narrative of reverse colonization...This narrative expresses both fear and guilt. The fear is that what has been presented as the "civilized world" is on the point of being colonized by "primitive forces". Such fantasies were all the rage in Victorian England (as evidenced in everything from H. Rider Haggard's She to H.G. Wells' War of the Worlds). 
In this context, the undead Romanian Count presented the Victorian male's worst nightmare - one in which the Eastern European invader, from a supposedly less civilized land, would assail his country and take his women.

Yet, this most menacing of monsters from a century ago has nearly been welcomed into the fold of humanity. It seems mainstreaming can pay off, after all! Much has also been written about the evolution of the vampire from inhuman, monstrous outcast to sensual, darkly seductive - and very human - object of desire.

What about those who the propagandists have tried to sell as monsters? Are they yet our fellow citizens, fully? What will it take for them to be?

We'd love to hear from you on this!

~ Rachel

McCabe, J. (2010). "Pure Blood". In Wilson, L. (Ed.), A taste of true blood: The fangbanger’s guide. (pp.  101-110). Dallas: Smart Pop.

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