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

 

Sweet Home Chicago

Written, edited and Presented by

Tim

Good evening,
I’m going to kick off the new month with something that’s close to our hearts over here…
Back in July this year we had the privilege of being able to spend a little time with one of the founders of the Greater Chicagoland Vampire Coalition, Derek Lestat.

Since then the GCVC has been organising itself, and establishing itself, as an important facet of the modern Vampire culture in Chicago. Accumulating a respectable following both on-line and at its live Meet-Up events that are being held, on a regular basis, in the windy city.

We decided to catch up with the GCVC again and see what has transpired since we last highlighted this important, hometown, initiative, accordingly, it gives us great pleasure to welcome back to RVL GCVC Director Derek Lestat and to welcome, for the first time, GCVC Assistant Director Lady Kimberly.

********************

RVL: Good evening Derek, welcome back and a warm welcome to you Lady Kimberly, it’s great to be able to catch up with The GCVC again… too long between drinks eh?

K: It’s always too long between drinks, right? Really, it is great to chat with you and get out what we have been up to.

D: Especially too long between if Tim’s buying…

RVL: *laughs* In speaking with Derek, back in July, confidence was high for the new Chicago based GCVC. Can you tell our readers a little about what’s been happening – internally – with the GCVC since then?

D: Quite a lot, actually, a lot more than meets the eye or that we’re letting on about. We’ve been spending the past few months just laying the groundwork for a number of big projects that, for the moment, we’re keeping close to the vest.

RVL: …and we’ve been seeing some encouraging growth in the live Meet-Up side of the venture… how has that been shaping up?

D: It’s been shaping up quite well, actually. Thus far every Meet-Up not only brings us new faces each month, but also many returning faces.

K: I definitely have to say this is this is one of my favorite parts about being with the GCVC: getting to know everyone who comes out, whether it’s a newly awakened Vampire or someone who has been in the community for a while now. We also have our fair share of Therian and otherkin brothers and sisters who like to join us from time to time.  Everyone has a great time sharing their experiences and getting to know one and other.

Lady Kimberly
Assistant Director GCVC

RVL: Apart from the live, regular, local Meet-up events what plans are afoot, without revealing any “State Secrets” of course, for future events?

D: Without revealing any secrets, eh? Well… For one, we’re looking to amp up the Meet-Ups in a few ways. One is to continue rotating the venues across the expanse of the Chicagoland area, to cover a wider area. Let’s say you’re up on the North Side, and can’t make a Meet-Up on the South Side or the Western Burbs. Don’t worry, we’ll be rotating around to you, too. And we’re always open to more suggestions for future venues.
Also, we’re looking to swap out a few of the “regular” Meet-Ups for some “upgraded” events. Like what? Well there are so many options for a city the size of Chicago. We can visit any of the cultural institutions, take tours or day-trips. One “secret” I’ll let out of the proverbial bag for you is: we’re looking to an unprecedented GCVC Meet-Up this summer at the Bristol Renaissance Fair, where we’ll plan on hooking up with and meeting our Wisconsin brethren. We’ll be announcing the details of that this coming summer.

K: On top of everything we have going on here at home there are those of us who like to mix it up a bit. We enjoy getting out there and attending some of the events put on by other members in the VC all over the country. A few of us will be heading out in February to visit some of the amazing events out west. I think seeing how different areas operate is very beneficial. We are always looking for ways to connect with people in the community.

RVL: As far as the online contact and interaction for followers what resources are available for people to be able to keep up with the GCVC?

K: Of course, there is our Facebook page and group, both Greater Chicagoland Vampire Coalition.

https://www.facebook.com/GreaterChicagolandVampireCoalition/?ref=bookmarks

https://www.facebook.com/groups/253495805195734/?ref=bookmarks

We also have our Chicago Vampire Meet Up page https://www.meetup.com/vampires-21/. You can email us directly at GCVC.Chicago@gmail.com.

Derek Lestat –
Director GCVC

D: We’re looking into other social media options, as well. If you’re fortunate enough to have friended us on Facebook, you can always message us either via the page, group, or individually.

RVL: …and are there any planned developments in this area? New website perhaps? A blog edition?

K: We are currently in the process of developing a website. So be on the lookout for that.

RVL: Anything big planned for the Yule season or is it better a case of steady as she goes and look ahead to spring 2019?

D: Aside from our Meet-Up in early December, we’re taking a little time for ourselves and everyone else to just enjoy the holidays. Everyone will have their get-togethers and obligations, and in addition to that our Council will have a big and busy 2019 to prepare for.


RVL: Is the GCVC planning a group set-up specifically for ‘Greater Chicago Area’ vamps to join or is the focus going to be on getting Chicagoland followers to the live Meet-Ups a preference?

D: First things first. With what we have in mind, we’re not taking things too fast. First, we want to get our name out there, get people (vampires, therians, Otherkin, any “Night-kind”, even Mundanes; we’re not about excluding) together, start making new friendships. We want to show everyone what we have to offer, give them a taste of what’s to come, and work on growing from there.

K: I agree with Derek. I think we have a pretty good idea of what we want to be. However, as we grow there is always a possibility that things may shift to fit the needs of whoever comes our way. I think our number one goal is to make sure that everyone who reaches out gets what they need out of their time with us (within reason). There are many possibilities that fall in line with that kind of thinking. Any organization that wants to succeed needs to be flexible. It needs to be able to configure itself to fit the needs of those they are serving to move forward. It’s a big undertaking in a big city but we are willing to take a shot at it.

D: What she said.

RVL: …again, without ‘spilling the beans’, what other little projects do the GCVC have in the offing?

D: It’s probably safest to say that we’re looking to turn up our volume in 2019, start making some more noticeable noise. We aim to start going beyond only Meet-Ups.

RVL: …maybe a national invitational event in the not too distant future?

D: Well, there is the big Elders Summit and Leadership Conference coming up next spring. It’s open to anyone, well, except for the part that’s for VC Elders and Leaders only. This is bound to be an historic gathering in the VC, and the GCVC is honoured to be one of the first groups to be included and sponsoring the event.

K: I am really looking forward to the conference. I always welcome an opportunity to learn. It sounds like there are going to be some really great things happening there.

Copyright GCVC 2018

RVL: Sounds like the GCVC has carved out a solid little place for itself in the Windy City, we would think this bodes well for the future of Chicago nightkind yes?

D: I think it bodes quite well for the Nightkind of our beloved City. For far, far too long, there has really been no representative presence, nothing and no one for the Newly Awakened to find, nobody to help them understand what they’re going through, that they’re not alone or freaks.
In all honesty, at every Meet-Up to-date, there is always somebody who tells me they’re glad they’ve found us, that they’re happy we’re here for them, that we are operating the way we are. I’m always happy to hear feedback like that, y’know? It tells me we’re doing something right.

K: Absolutely, its amazing how fast people are finding us and just how excited they are to be around others like themselves. Bonds are being forged and people are really wanting to come and see what Chicago has to offer.

RVL: Thank you for your time today, and for the update on the GCVC, we’ll keep in touch and let’s look for bigger and better things heading into 2019, yes?

D: It’s always a pleasure. And thanks to RVL for giving us this opportunity to let the Community know more about the GCVC.

K: Thank you so much for taking the time to talk with us. We are excited to let you know where things go in the future.

*********

Pretty much everyone active in the modern culture in this country will be aware that, historically, Chicago has been rather “quiet” when it comes to an active enclave of modern living Vampires… not anymore.

This dynamic duo, full of energy, enthusiasm and ideas are drawing Chicagoland’s Nightkind together in an unprecedented way, they’ve started small, at grass roots, at “street” level if you will and it’s coming together. Interest has been high in this venture and now, with the live meet ups happening on a regular basis the nights, in Chicagoland, are seeing the ripples and shimmers in the darkness and shadows.

Chicagoland should be proud of these two pioneers, and Chicago Nightkind should get behind their new champions.

It’s going to be very exciting watching this initiative grow.

Copyright Greater Chicagoland Vampire Coalition & RVL (unless 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