The sliding scale of evil: television vampires in a post-Bush world



Publication Details

McMahon-Coleman, K. (2014). The sliding scale of evil: television vampires in a post-Bush world. In S. Packer & J. Pennington (Eds.), A History of Evil in Popular Culture: What Hannibal Lecter, Stephen King and Vampires Reveal about America. Volume 1. (pp. 185-197). Santa Barbara: Praeger.

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It is now commonly understood that vampire stories rise to prominence in times of political or financial crisis. It is interesting, then, to consider the current popularity of vampire narratives in American culture through the lens of 9/11, the subsequent "War on Terror," and perceptions of evil which were generated by these events. A range of other terms were used by American political figures post-9/11 to identify evil within the global context. In January 2002, then-president George W. Bush infamously referred to an "Axis of Evil" (Iraq, North Korea, and Iran) in his State of the Union address, in order to justify the need for military and diplomatic interventions. Later that year, the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, John R. Bolton, noted that Libya, Syria, and Cuba had moved "Beyond the Axis of Evil," and in January 2005, incoming U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice included a further four nations (Cuba, Belarus, Zimbabwe, and Myanmar) as "Outposts ofTyranny."

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