Crossroads 2018: Questions, Answers and Solutions

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“To state the facts frankly is not to despair the future nor indict the past.” ~ John F. Kennedy ~

Written and Presented
By
Tim

It is, and has been, said that, “If you’re not part of the solution then you’re part of the problem.” Seems to be a reasonable enough statement when taken at face value but if you think about it the statement presupposes that a) There is a problem, b) You are intimately involved in, or contributing to, the problem and c) that there is actually a solution to be found.

The modern real living Vampire culture is made up of, looking purely at the North American continental population, several thousand individuals of varying degrees of involvement, of opinions, of personalities and of aims. Several thousand DIFFERENT opinions, aims, perceptions and opinions and this, in itself, presents an enormous problem when seeking to develop a common détente among the population.

Historically speaking it can be said that this is the very reason that any previous attempts at total unification, total détente or popular and widespread organisation have foundered – too many different and opposing views and opinions.

So, what are the REAL barriers to universal agreement that are in play here?

“Hmmmm…” img. source: worldartsme
  1. Different philosophies.
    There are, within the modern Vampire culture, hundreds of different philosophies at play which define, to a small percentage, the definitions, the goals, the personal needs and the outward requirements of modern real living Vampires. These philosophies, while they may be, in some general principal,roughly similar do not agree with each other entirely and this is where the rub begins. Different philosophies require that there are a number of believers in said philosophy and that these “believers” are willing to come together, in large numbers, to actively promote said philosophy. The fact of the matter is that each philosophy will have its die-hard supporters, it’s generally interested supporters and it’s “hanger on” contingent, the “flavour of the month” crew, if you will.

    The substance of the different philosophies will, in true modern culture style,always be put to the acid test and any chink in the armour of the philosophy will be revealed, exploited and ridiculed by the armchair critics among the culture. In essence the philosophy needs be put together like a state of the art modern warship to survive. Even after the philosophy is “weighed, measured and found wanting”, if I may steal a movie quote, there will still be the “die-hard” contingent who will refuse any attempt to deny their philosophy.
  2. “Swinging Voters”
    In any situation, question, debate, discussion, flame-war or whatever there will be those who are on the side-lines with “popcorn and soda” enjoying the spectacle as if they had ring side seats in the Coliseum in ancient Rome. These are the “swinging voters” within the modern culture and the ones who will, most likely flip and change their position frequently depending on where personal loyalties lie and depending on their general mood from month to month.
  3. ‘Ronin’ modern Vampires.
    The term Ronin has been hotly… debated? Argued? Contested? (Cross out whichever you think inapplicable) for a long, long time. We must all, surely by now, be aware that the historical referent for the term was that of a feudal Samurai who had no master nor house to serve. Today, in the modern culture, in common parlance, it means a modern living Vampire who has eschewed belonging to any house or answering to any head of house. There are an increasing number of “Ronin” in the modern culture, indeed, many of the large public groups that are populated online these days will boast a sizeable proportion of “Independents”,or Ronin, modern living Vampires.
Img. source: Freepik

Why?

Because by and large modern living Vampires do not like being told what to do.They especially do NOT like being told what to do by self-styled leaders who, in their eyes, do not have the ability to lead, the “cultural credentials” to lead nor the first idea about people skills. There are very few enclaves of Vampires left that can command the loyalty of their members because they are of sound principals, sound philosophies and good character. There will come a time, in the not too distant future, when the Ronin population will outnumber the “House” population in the modern culture… perhaps it already does but it is difficult to assess with the constant forming, closing, re-forming and generally fluid nature of the modern culture especially when it comes to the on-line aspect of things.

So, we have, at the base of the situation, those three factors –
Differing philosophies, “Swinging Voters” and Independence. So what really is the problem?

The problem is that everybody has their own idea about how things SHOULD be run. These “Should be” ideas rarely encompass, or consider, how things “COULD” be operating for the best and in this aspect it’s the old “My way or the Highway” concept. Having that outlook will find you on a lonely walk down a pretty much deserted highway.

Putting together large meetings of “Leaders”, “Elders” and respected peers is a fine concept in a general way but the likelihood of garnering mass appeal from this sort of thing is low. Long-term, ongoing, co-operative efforts at drawing together numbers of different organisations may fair slightly better but only in so far as the member organisations are willing, and able, to cooperate and contribute. Either concept will only ever include those who are willing to commit to the proposition/s and concepts of the “body politic”. Without popular support no amount of “councils”, “enclaves” or “governing bodies” will be effective, much less efficient, at solving any perceived problems within the modern culture.

The problems inherent in winning over the “swinging voters” depend very much on what sort of general policy can be wrought out of any organised attempt. The“swinging voters” are not stupid (for the most part) they look at substance and content, sensible and smart, common sense and reliable in the main – or they just go with whoever looks flashy enough to hang onto the coat tails of for awhile. Either way any attempt at corralling and garnering support here is very much a case of “winning the hearts and minds of the people” in which case it’s almost pseudo-political campaigning and we all know that pretty much EVERYONE is sick and tired of the popularly named “Political bullshit” – making something out of this is a tough call and is likely to present too many problems for anyone, individually, not to get swamped by.

The concept of “Independence” –
Since I have been in this country (March 2013) I have come to see how fiercely people like to protect, or perceive to protect, their independence,their right to choose, their concept of free will and freedom of expression. In this respect there is no real difference to people in any country in the world with, perhaps, the exception of third world countries that are ruled by iron-fisted dictators. In the modern Vampire culture “iron-fisted dictators” will be ignored ad laughed at so it’s no good going down that road.

Img. source: UC Santa Cruz Police Department

Modern Vampires will, and do, like everybody else, Vampire or not, cling to, and fight for, their right to choose their associations and their right to freedoms within that choice. No different to modern humanity. Winning over the “choice”to an individual philosophy, or group philosophy, takes a big net, lots of charm and political expedience, not to mention a huge amount of naturally earned, not self-assumed, respect – That’s a  BIG ask in anyone’s language.

Self-appointed “Leaders”, “Elders”, “Kings” and “Queens” are not there by popular vote, they are there because a minority of adherents or followers have decided, “Yeah, I like you…”. Within their own small circle “Leaders”, “Elders”and the like have the respect of their followers and members, they have the right to lead because it has been AGREED to be so by their immediate circle.Extending that position beyond one’s own localised borders is a battle and it’s a battle that will be a constant and ongoing feature of any attempt at organisation on a large scale. The smart “Leader”, “Elder” or “Grand PooBah”starts small, gets firm foundation, solid and respectable core of support and grows from there… won’t happen overnight but as the old saying goes, “Rome wasn’t built in a day”.

Ancient Rome – scale model by Italo Gismondo


Indeed, I remember back to 2010 when I first came on board at RVLI, RVN back then, and we had North American continental circulation with some small interest from the U.K and perhaps five or six other countries. We boasted a readership of perhaps a couple of hundred visits a month, look at our stats and circulation now – it’s been a journey, a long haul but one which, to my mind, has been well worth it.

This, I would argue, is the perception that anyone needs to go into large scale attempts with. Trying the old “Bull at a gate” approach is just too difficult to initiate, organise, control and keep control of. People burn out that way but hey, “It’s your life”. You want to put yourself under those kind of stresses, along with everything else that’s going on in your life right now, go ahead… no one’s gonna stop you.


That brings us to the proverbial $64,000 question –  

“Okay smartass, what’s the solution?”

The solution, to my mind – and remember this is only one person’s thoughts and opinion – is cooperation. Neat little word huh? Easy to spell, rolls off the tongue nicely and fits in a myriad of situations really well. 

“How do we achieve cooperation?”
By developing a mutually beneficial system. 

“What do you mean, mutually beneficial?”
Equal representation of ALL parties.

“Who’s gonna run it?”
Facilitators and Administrators. No Kings, Queens, Elders, Grand PooBahs orLord/Lady High Priesty WallahBollahDingDangs.

“What’s it for?”
Share information, coordinate efforts toward community works, and engender civil communications – anything that makes life better for everyone generally.

“Why do we need it?”
To remove the drama, bullshit and crap that we are wading nostril deep in.

Sounds reasonable doesn’t it? Unless of course you happen to be a self-important, narcissistic, ego-maniac with self-esteem issues then it really ain’t gonna work for you is it?

Something to think about, no?


Copyright T & RVLI (except where otherwise noted) 2018

NB: Where used, quoted portions of other works are reproduced by permission, or under Section 107 of the Copyright Act 1976,wherein allowance is made for “fair use” for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, scholarship, and research.

This article may be linked to but may not be copied or reproduced, nor redistributed in any manner, including electronic without the express permission of the copyright owners.

The views and opinions presented in this article are the opinions of the author and/or contributors and do not necessarily represent the views and opinions of The Owner/s of RVL International, their officers, assigns or agents. RVL International and its officers do not personally, individually,or jointly necessarily recommend or condone any of the activities or practices represented.For further information please see the

RVL International Website Disclaimer



So, you want your own empire? Part IV

Img. source: Reddit

By
Tim

Good evening,
Well, if you read parts One, Two and Three you’re probably all set up with the beginnings of your very own “world beating” premiere VC group now. If so, congratulations… welcome… that’s awesome – now, whatcha gonna do with it?

Are you just gonna hang with ya homies there and natter? Share the good gossip? Watch everything that’s going down outside your group and have a laugh about it? Yeah, ‘scool – unless you wanna take over the VC world.

Are you going to get involved in some serious philosophical and academic discussions about the modern living Vampyre culture? Try and solve some of the riddles of our Nightkind universe? Write and share meaningful editorials or articles about the culture? Awesome, discussion is a welcome and evolutionary process, even debate – carried out properly – is healthy and valuable.

Are you going to go one step further and get actively, and regularly, involved in the interactions between our culture and the, forgive my use of the term, mundane world population? Maybe charity work? Regular balls, banquets and/or Salons? Magnificent – keep it real, keep it on an even keel and project a good image of the culture.

Are you going to open up your group to “public” from within the culture, turn it into a cesspit of “slamming”, “abuse”, “endless repetitive arguments”, “circular bullshit griping and whining”, “armchair critics” and the like?

You see, as with EVERY single group there is a direction, it may be one planned, it may be one that develops as the group grows, it may be a controlled path, it may be complete fucking chaos… as the owner and Grand PooBah of the Group it’s up to you. It’s your call.

So, how do you know what to do? What path should you/ will you set your group on? Nobody can tell you that, that’s between you and your admins/members but there are a couple of things, above all else, that you need to consider.

Reputation and Credibility

I am going to imagine that everyone, regardless of whether they have their own group, or not, is looking to be considered as a credible commentator in the culture and/or they want to build a solid reputation as a good leader and a contributor to the modern culture. If you don’t, stop reading now because nothing I say after this point is going to mean shit to you.

If you let “Loonies” into your group your place will become an asylum and you will be laughed at.

img. source: domica.info

If you let ego-maniacs loose your place will become one great cesspool of self-masturbatory back slappers and no one, except yourselves, will even spare you a second thought.
If you let the rules get huge and overwhelming… well, modern Vamps don’t like being TOLD what to do…

img. source: Magickal Graphics

The balance of membership in your group should not only be somewhat articulate but able to think at the sort of level that you do. If you are all about setting yourself up as the monarch of a slave race who can’t muster a reasonable thought between them then you are just a, pardon the unimaginable metaphor, “a slave trader” and your members won’t hang around for long because they ain’t getting their jollies from you.

If you want to interact, frequently and meaningfully, with other groups you need to be able to present a credible and respectable face. Long gone are the days when “fangbangers” could gallop through the culture yelling about “juice boxes”, “Chew toys” and the like… that’s so old and so stupid that nobody pays attention anymore.

You have to remember, what your group members do, both within and outside of the group, reflects DIRECTLY on you as their leader. Either build a good group or get to be a nasty, grumpy, snotty overbearing S.O.B. – Your call.

The other thing you need to be attentive to…

Inconsistency

Your group’s path, purpose for existing and methodology should have been solidly worked out before you floated the group to any audience, be it members or public. You should know what it is you want to achieve with your Empire, know what path you are going to take to get there and know what you’re going to do once you arrive. That’s smart planning and will mean the difference between success and failure.

Img. source: Bon Vita

If your group path, focus and aims keep varying wildly, if you dart off in a million different unconnected directions at the same time, if you keep dropping, making, dropping and remaking yourself and your group people will get seriously bored with trying to keep up with your antics.

Seriously, think about it… Mom and Pop Jones open a bakery, they start baking the most delectable donuts any has ever tasted and they get very popular for their donuts then all of a sudden they decide they’re going to focus on lunch sandwiches… well, there goes their faithful donut customers and they have to do ALL that work, all over again, to try and develop a following for their sandwiches, the best damn sandwiches either side of the Rockies of course… at which point they decide fried chicken is the way of the future… booom…!!! There goes the clientele again….

Same story with modern Vampire culture groups.

Focus, Path, Aims, Goals – All need to be realistic, pragmatic, achievable and, when you have got it in the palm of your hand don’t play the “Oh, I’m so bored…!” card and drop it to start something new all of a sudden… that gets you a name as being vacuous, non-committal and flaky… there goes your personal credibility and respect again.

What on earth to do?

Every successful organisation on earth has what is known as a business plan. It is a forward projection of where they’re headed for, how they’re going to get there and what they’re going to do when they get there. I’m not saying turn your group into a business… unless you want to of course but have a plan, even if it’s only notes you jotted on a breakfast napkin, doesn’t matter a toss, it’s your “plan”.

Img. source: seewaldhanfling.com

Follow it and as you develop, and mature, your group strengths in certain areas use that as a solid base for outgrowth. Sure, you can “add strings” to your fiddle as you go, you can start off-shoot projects as you go, small developments and improvements that, ultimately, enhance the serviceability of your organisation but ALWAYS keep your eye fixed firmly on the goal you set for your group at the beginning of the ideas/planning.

The modern Vampire culture has far, far too many little splinter groups and offshoot groups that come and go and come and go and come and go and so on ad nauseum. DON’T BE AN AD NAUSEUM.

Start out being respectable, start out with a plan, grow as your plan proceeds and succeeds. DON’T come blazing out with proclamations, treatises, manifests and the like, DON’T be charging out telling us all how we’re all fucked up and how you have the answer and we all have to toe your line – You’ll get crucified every time.

PROVE to us you’ve got a plan, an idea and a sound concept… the smart ones out here will recognise it and will get behind you, the others? Well, they don’t REALLY matter do they? – Like I said, your call.

Copyright T & RVL (except where otherwise noted) 2018

NB: Where used, quoted portions of other works are reproduced by permission, or under Section 107 of the Copyright Act 1976, wherein allowance is made for “fair use” for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, scholarship, and research.

This article may be linked to but may not be copied or reproduced, nor redistributed in any manner, including electronic without the express permission of the copyright owners.

The views and opinions presented in this article are the opinions of the author and/or contributors and do not necessarily represent the views and opinions of The Owner/s of RVL International, their officers, assigns or agents. RVL International and its officers do not personally, individually, or jointly necessarily recommend or condone any of the activities or practices represented.

For further information please see the RVL International Website Disclaimer

 

 

Behold the TechnoVamp

ARTS “Cyborg”
via Wallpaperup.com

 

Researched, Written and Edited

By

Tim

Two-thirds of the world’s population are now connected by mobile devices.

This milestone of 5 billion unique mobile subscribers globally was achieved in Q2 2017. By 2020, almost 75% of the global population will be connected by mobile.” [1]

This statistic presents the digital population worldwide as of October 2018. As of the measured period, almost 4.2 billion people were active internet users and 3.4 billion were social media users.” [2]

Let’s have a show of… hands…
How many of you rely on your cell phones every day? Get your wages or salaries by electronic payroll? Have stood in a supermarket completely paralysed because “the computers went down”? Do your shopping online and organise to get it home delivered? How many hours a week do you spend at computers, either at work or at home? How many hours on Facebook?

It’s been a well known adage for many years that we are “slaves to the system” and, given that “the system” is a technological marvel to rival the building of the great pyramids, by extension we are slaves to the technology. I don’t think that there’s anyone who can deny that one, single, simple, incontrovertible truth about modern life.

We’ve probably all read editorials dealing with both the ills, and the benefits, of modern technology. If not I would imagine that most everybody has seen movie offerings about technology, either saving or destroying, the human race. We’ve probably seen news reports on the television about “miracle machines” performing life-saving operations and that EMS people successfully employed the “Jaws of Life” to free a trapped car crash victim. No doubt, technology in the right hands, directed toward the right purpose can be a phenomenal thing.

Hazel O’Connor as Kate in “Breaking Glass”
Allied Stars Ltd., Film and General Productions &
Sprint N.V. 1980

“On the eighth day machine just got upset

A problem man had never seen as yet

No time for flight, a blinding light

And nothing but a void, forever night

He said: Behold what man has done

There’s not a world for anyone

Nobody laughed, nobody cried

World’s at an end, everyone has died

Forever amen (amen), amen (amen), amen (amen)”

Hazel O’connor
Eighth Day lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group

So, based on the concept that the advent of the internet afforded the modern Vampire culture an unparalleled way to communicate and interact, on a global scale, has it helped or harmed? What’s the balance of accounts between the two?

As far as the modern Vampyre culture online goes the earliest reference point we have goes back to 1994 with the establishment of “Vampyres Only” (http://www.vampyres.ca – warning no security certificate for this site proceed at own risk) and the first web page devoted to the “Modern Real Living Vampire Culture”, the late Sanguinarius E. Sanguinarius’ web resource Sanguinarius.org, appeared in the (Northern) spring of 1997.

Thus the mid to late nineties saw the advent of the “electronic age of Vampires”. What began as an idea to provide information, educational and support resources for, and about, modern Vampires has grown to become the “online VC” we know today and, as can be seen from our own records at RVL International, has become a global network.

Source: Quote Master

So, the exercise is meant to focus on whether this “growth”, whether this “online VC” has actually done more harm than good. At RVL International we do try to promote positive events and chat with real Vampires from all walks in the global culture but there are many, many other places out there that offer all sorts of… interesting things and times, that depict both the best, and the worst, that the online Vampire world has to offer. Probably the biggest single problem facing the modern culture in this arena is the sheer volume of “lies”, of “hate”, of “arguments” of “threats, counter-threats and bullying” that goes on… the latter of which, in electronic mediums, are against the law in most countries now. We know it’s not going to stop but does that mean we have to buy into it and swallow, “hook, line and sinker” anything that appears on our phones or monitors?

There is absolutely no doubt that the internet has given us the ability to have “a voice” and to exercise our right to speak that opinion but, arguably, exercising a guaranteed right, without exercising RESPONSIBILITY to go with it… wellll… doesn’t usually work out too well for anyone does it? Indeed, lies, libel, defamation, harassment, cyber-stalking, cyber-bullying, psychological manipulation and so on have all seen a dramatic, and in some cases fatal, rise over the years. Today more and more are going “Ronin” (no apologies for the use of the term) and becoming, or returning to, solitary in their practices. Web resources, such as “VampireFreaks” for example, have been connected to criminal stalking, assaults and the like but when you actually go and spend some time there, as I did a little while back, you find there are no “real Vampires” there, or if there are they are keeping such a low profile they may as well be six feet under. So the name, in the example, is simply a clever marketing strategy to attract audience numbers and, hopefully from that, members.

Ummmm, make that chocolate yeah?

There are, of course, specific, usually small, segments of the culture that involve themselves in good works that benefit not only themselves but also the society around them and these are the organisations that bring the deepest meaning, and value, to the entire culture. For the most part these organisations can be found keeping their own counsel, operating in specific local geographical areas and who decline to involve themselves in the “day-to-day” going on of the wider culture – especially the online culture. The biggest benefit of the technology here is that such organisations have access to a much, much bigger audience, and thereby potential attendees and supporters, than they would have without the technology. Indeed, we at RVL International take pride in helping highlight, support and spread the word about modern culture events and initiatives – the ones we do have, by and large, proven themselves to be most elegantly and professionally conducted but imagine, you are invited to an event, a social event say, the event details give a location and a day and time when the event will be on, you may get directions as to how to get there (one would hope so) and that’s it… you pay your money, your entrance fee, turn up. Questions, is it a dive bar for thugs, thieves and other low-life’s? Is it in one of those “bad” neighbourhoods we’re always hearing, or reading, about? Is there event security? If so, who… thugs? A gang? Professional security? Perhaps it’s out in the “boonies” someplace, an “idyllic holiday getaway” location… facilities? Local medical services? Where are you sleeping? Communally? Tents? Around a camp fire?

It is, for wont of information, a gamble if it’s something that has come to you across your monitor – best thing you can possibly do is speak to someone who lives/works there and ask them. Ask the event organisers the hard questions, if they can’t answer might I suggest that keeping your money in your pocket is not a bad bet. Good, reliable, organised hosts and promoters won’t hesitate to give you all the answers.

It’s like the old saying, “If it’s on your monitor it’s 0.1% true 99.9% horse puckey” and that in itself is an indictment of, not so much the technology but, the use to which technology is put. You could say, at this point, “It’s not the hammer that’s evil, it’s the person holding the hammer,” and you wouldn’t be far from wrong but if you know the “person” is evil why would you let them get hold of a hammer in the first place?

Technology, the best that can be said of it is that it is a double edged sword, you want the benefits? Well, ya gotta run the risks… just like them poor 5 million folks whose personal information “may” have been compromised in that hotel chain hack over the last couple of days. I suppose, if you don’t mind taking rash, ill-informed and unusual risks then go ahead, entrust your sanity, well-being and life to your technology, it’s your choice.

Somebody once asked, “Is there a safe, quiet, peaceful place in the VC anywhere?”
The answer is “Yes but it ain’t anywhere near any technology.”

Copyright T & RVL (Except where otherwise noted) 2018

  1. https://www.businessinsider.com/world-population-mobile-devices-2017-9
  2. https://www.statista.com/statistics/617136/digital-population-worldwide/

NB: Where used, quoted portions of other works are reproduced by permission, or under Section 107 of the Copyright Act 1976, wherein allowance is made for “fair use” for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, scholarship, and research.

This article may be linked to but may not be copied or reproduced, nor redistributed in any manner, including electronic without the express permission of the copyright owners.

The views and opinions presented in this article are the opinions of the author and/or contributors and do not necessarily represent the views and opinions of The Owner/s of RVL International, their officers, assigns or agents. RVL International and its officers do not personally, individually, or jointly necessarily recommend or condone any of the activities or practices represented.

For further information please see the RVL International Website Disclaimer