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Let me ask you a few questions. Do you wish you were fighting through hordes of zombies instead of shopping at the mall, even at the expense of your friends? Do you dream about banging a seductive vampire or "taming" that crazed werewolf rather than your significant other? While you're at work, do you stare off into the distance while thinking about fighting dragons and the undead? If you answered yes to any of these questions, you're part of the monster phenomenon taking place in today's society. I'm going to be comparing monsters, giving the pros and cons of the who's who (or what's what) in "monsterdom", figuring out why they have become so popular, and in the end give you the number one monster of all time. Vampires Nothing compares to walking into a Borders bookstore on the eve of the "Breaking Dawn" release and hearing 1,000 preteen girls screaming at the top of their lungs. Once they got their evil little hands on a copy, all hell broke loose... and by hell, I mean weeping, fainting and fighting for position in line. What exactly drives, not only these teeny boppers insane, but also half of the country to be attracted to these monsters? Back in the day, vampires were villains, not someone's dream date. Eastern Europeans were terrified of being stolen from their homes and having the blood slowly sucked out of them. Now, in modern times, a vampire is a glorified Goth kid that has a taste for iron (Understandably so... they always look anemic). Alas, our misguided society has it in our heads that vampires are sexy, cool and badass, thanks to the likes of people such as Stephanie Meyer and Charlaine Harris. In that world, they even glitter. Truthfully, vampires are still one of the weaker monsters and to top it off, they aren't even scary any more. Werewolves Although werewolves have been around for centuries, they have just begun clawing their way back into popular culture. Recently, a remake of "The Wolfman", starring Anthony Hopkins, has hit theatres. Although they have marketed this movie out the ass, the movie has not been a huge success. However, other appearances by werewolves in pop culture have helped out this monster. The "Underworld" movies, which are about a centuries-old battle between werewolves (Lycans) and vampires, have created a cult following. As a result, werewolf hype has gotten a recharge. Again, people seem to be attracted to these beasts and my guess as to why is due to the animal ferocity that men and women fantasize about (Don't lie. I know how you people think). In my personal opinion, other than the obvious Freudian connections, werewolves are making a comeback because they are badass. The surprising thing is that as tough as they are, they are still struggling to stay in the pop culture spotlight. Maybe people want something that they can relate to... like your fat uncle who forgot to shave his back? Zombies This monster is my personal favorite. I'm the guy who would rather be fighting zombies than


shopping in the mall. The greatest thing about zombies is that they can bring out the best and worst in society. They aren't the smartest or quickest or strongest of all the monsters, but through teamwork (Ok... a mindless mass of rotten bodies wanting the same thing), they rip their prey to shreds. Society enjoys zombies, not because of a physical attraction (At least that's what I choose to believe), but because we relate to them as they represent us. Also... there's a hell o' lot of blood thirsty people who want to see the gore and bash some heads in themselves. The king, George Romero, has made zombies immensely popular along with many remakes and wannabes in his wake. Recently, zombies have been on the rise in literature, new movies, and especially video games. A word of advice: don't get into an argument with a zombie fanatic about what classifies a zombie...(It's the Romero version. That's what a zombie is, so shut up). Other Notable Monsters Some other somewhat popular monsters are out there, but they're going to have to work their way up in order to get their own paragraph. - Dragons were very popular back in the 60's all the way through the mid 90's. "Dungeons and Dragons" and Anne McCaffrey were largely responsible for this. Today, dragons have diminished to the point of only being popular in the tattoo industry. - Ghosts and Demons are also in the mix. I put them together because they often are one and the same. Many people believe that both are real which is why people are compelled to watch movies and read about them. Also, they can just flat out scare the crap out of you sometimes. The most recent media to hit big about these monsters was "Paranormal Activities". - Fairies... Yes I said fairies. I know that when you think fairy, you think shiny, sparkly, fruity little bug people, but in these depressing dark times, the emo culture has taken a strangle hold on these little freaks. Holly Black's books, the movie "Pan's Labyrinth", and some other dark fairy tales are shooting these queer dragonfly wannabes, into the spotlight. - Aliens. No, not Mexicans... although I'm sure we would still require them to pass the "Do you love America?" test that we make everyone else take. Another monster that has had its time. The 90's were very alien friendly with movies such as "Species", "Alien", "Independence Day", etc... and recently tried to resurge via video games. Unless you wear a tinfoil hat to bed, these monsters are not in the top echelon. And the Number One Monster is... Out of the three top monsters (Vampires, werewolves, and zombies), there is one I believe is the toughest physically and one that will stand the test of time. At first thought, one would say that the werewolf would beat the hell out of anything else. Au contraire I say. In a one on one battle, this would be true; however, zombies come in mobs and hordes. A werewolf would be taken down in a matter of seconds which would create an even scarier monster: zombie-werewolf. Same goes with a vampire. As far as cementing a place in our culture's heart forever, vampires and zombies both make a great argument for that. Vampires are seductive and scary, but zombies hold our hearts because they represent humanity. I know they say sex sells, but I have to believe in the end, zombies will stay strong as we can all relate to them; especially in these troubled times... plus it's just fun to take head-shots on walking corpses. Hell yeah!

Read your favorite stories by Josh Musser at http://joshmusser.wordpress.com/


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A Monstrous Culture.badass tattoos