It Still Helps to Have Money, or, Vampirism for the 21st Century

If you’re a vampire, it helps to be rich.  At least nowadays in the 21st century.  That is, a long, long time ago I had college level courses in theories of criticism and, while a Marxist approach may seem odd for a romantic reunion between two vampires, if you think about it vampirism itself represents a form of class struggle.  But ONLY LOVERS LEFT ALIVE is more than just that, it is first and foremost a love story — and, as we shall see, not just between two people, but love and appreciation of life itself.

This the beginning of my appreciation of the film, cf. June 26 2014.  I then add, [a]s for being rich, one has to get blood from underground sources — not only do “traditional methods” attract dangerous attention, so much blood on the hoof, as it were, is polluted these days — and that takes money.  As for class strugtumblr_n3oixtcJnH1tuim0go3_1280gle, well, the vampires in this film refer to ordinary folk as “zombies” because, with the rare exception of artists and scientists and very few others, most humans are “dead” to the wonders and beauty that’s all around them.  Worse, in their blind struggle to get by on their own human terms, they’re taking the Earth down the toilet with them.

But now back up a little.  Never mind the environment right now, what about just being able to get the “right kind” of blood?  And what about if one just starts out as a regular person (albeit with money)?

Well, it comes down to stem cells, according to the piece I ran across today, “Can Aging Be Reversed by Getting Blood Transfusions from Young People?” by Laurie Vazquez, on BIGTHINK.COM.  Experiments have been done on rats, for instance, sharing a younger rat’s blood with an older one ending with an alleged rejuvenating effect on the oldster.  Done repeatedly, could that bring one to eternal life — in other words an ageless rat powered by younger rats’ blood?  A ratty vampire (then put wings on the squeaker and. . . .)?

Well, back up again and forget the wings, but as for rejuvenating humans Vazquez explains:  Stem cells are important and powerful — but . . . they shut off at age 25.  That’s why researchers are now focusing on blood transfusions from people under that age.  One US company pursuing this research is Ambrosia, who hopes to inject 35-year-olds with the blood plasma of 25-year-olds.  They’re hoping to examine the effects of those stem cells in the older participants, and are currently hoping to recruit 600 volunteers.  Given that they’re charging participants $8,000 for each injection, their participant list may be skewed toward the Silicon Valley crowd.  Similar studies in China and Korea are pursuing this line of research, too, albeit without the steep cost.

The science may sound more like fiction than fact, but it’s not.  The FDA has approved blood for off-label prescription uses, provided its results are not guaranteed.  That clearance, combined with the fact that the majority of the funds for this research are being provided by Silicon Valley, means blood might become a premium anti-aging treatment solely for the uber-rich. . . .

For more, press here.

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  1. Thanks for this information, Jim!




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