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Vampires vs. Werewolves? Really?
Peter Tatara - November 20, 2009

From Anne Rice, to Buffy and Angel, to Twilight and True Blood, the ooky spooky of the supernatural has been bubbling over into the mainstream of popular culture, and with the most recent crop of paranormal sagas, the limelight's been cast on the perpetual preternatural poster boy -- vampires -- along with their underdog associates -- werewolves. And as fans of genre entertainment are predisposed to gossip, there's been a lot of chatter of the Vampires vs. Werewolves sort. Even more so, just as the supernatural is spilling out into the greater swath of pop culture, Team Edward and Team Jacob along with Bill Compton and Sam Merlotte are educing regular folk to take sides. This very day, walking through the office, I found two co-workers debating who would win in a vampire vs. werewolf smack down.

Not to sound a stew of condescending and paltry, but... Come -- the fuck -- on! Vampires vs. werewolves? What the hell is wrong with you? On one side, you've got the immortal, undead kings of the night and on the other you've got some dudes who get hairy whenever the moon is full? How is this even a debate? Who'd win in a vampire vs. werewolf cage match? It should be a forgone, universally-known conclusion that the vampire would always, always kick the werewolf's ass.

Your classical vampire is an ever-living demon with a host of otherworldly abilities including superhuman strength and speed, telepathy, telekinesis, pyrokinesis, flight, a hypnotic gaze, and the talent to transform into bats, mist, and even wolves, while the werewolf's got one trick. Fur.

Brute strength? Strength in numbers? Screw that. Even an army of werewolves wouldn't be a match for either ancient or modern vampire incarnations. It's just not a fair fight, with the werewolves ending up enchanted or slaughtered in but a few instants. I don't get even the basis of any argument to the contrary. Could the werewolves outsmart the vampire? Outflank him? Overwhelm him? Overpower him? No, no, no, and no. So, I've got to ponder, what makes someone presume a wolfman could claim victory over a dark angel composed of coalesced midnight?

Could it have something to do with personality? Werewolves are overgrown dogs, and dogs conjure up images of warmth, friendship, and fealty. The reticent, cold, demeaning glare of a vampire, meanwhile, seems to have a lot in come with the typical look you get from a house cat. So, is this a dog people vs. cat people debate? Maybe. Or maybe I'm stretching.

Similarly, it could have to do with a person's fantasies. A werewolf is a feral creation at home in the woods, a savage monster that's been consumed by its animal side. That's appealing, right? Living free from the constraints of technology and society? People would want that, right? Shitting in the woods? Having all your shirts and pants shredded every time there's a full moon? Hmmm. And what's the alternative? To live forever, wear stylish clothes, and swan about gothic castles and penthouses, all the while throwing about money that have been accruing in bank accounts for centuries? I certainly know which of the two I'm more partial to.

You know what it probably is, though? It's nurture. It's bad parenting. Part of what a mother and father instill in their newborn babe is the idea of right and wrong, and Vampire vs. Werewolf is a pretty clear cut case of this. What would you rather do? Wake up naked in the woods or send sleepless nights with a court of ageless philosophers and concubines? Who would win in a fight? A big dog or a nocturnal ubermensch? If a parent doesn't teach their child good and evil, right and wrong, what's the world coming to? The answers to questions like vampires vs. werewolves should be ingrained in us from birth, and I'm certainly going to teach all my children to "just say no to werewolves".

Yet, my parents never lulled me to sleep by reading Bram Stoker, so it might not be entirely nurture's fault. Perhaps it does come back to nature. Perhaps werewolf lovers are just bad people.

That's an elegant answer, and vampire's like elegant. I don't know, though. I don't like simply blaming something intrinsic about a person. People aren't born bad, but they can be born stupid. So, maybe the answer isn't that people who think a werewolf could take a vampire in a fight are bad people. No, may the answer is that people who think a werewolf could take a vampire in a fight are stupid people.

Whatever it may be, and until Congress passes a resolution on this matter, the debate will continue. Vampires and werewolves will continue to haunt our subconscious, and every so often they'll percolate up into pop culture. And when they do, there'll be schoolyard and water cooler conversations about who would win in a fight -- a vampire or a werewolf. The next time you hear it, though, smack anyone who votes for the latter as -- whether they're dog people, their fantasies are fucked up, they had bad parents, or they're just plain stupid -- they're wrong.

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