Focus Pocus vs. Self-interest, which one’s better?

 

“Near Dark”, F/M & Near Dark Joint Venture, 1987.

Written and presented by

T. Bey-Sahjaza

Good afternoon ladies and gentlemen,

As is normal within the culture of the modern living Vampyre, and associated cultural blocs, “groups” come and go with amazing speed and regularity, just as rapidly many of those will fade and disappear, so what’s the key in starting, and maintaining, a “group” for your goals, aims, initiatives and – above all – personal reward?

The first thing to consider is what is going to be the key topic, or point of view (POV) of the group. Generally a group with a focus and goal will fare somewhat better than yet another “catch all” group designed to simply net as many members as possible. It seems, in this age, that meme sharing has replaced conversation and the quickest way to kill a “conversation” is to post the question on Facebook. In a “focus”, or “self-interest” group you can gather a number of “like-minded” contributors for the purpose of accumulating a store of knowledge and information for common use. A “library” and discussion group if you will.

What’s the difference between a “focus” group and a “self-interest” group?

A focus group is comprised of a number of DIFFERENT individuals with DIFFERENT points of view brought together to brainstorm and develop a response to a SPECIFIC problem or issue.

Tecnically speaking a “self interest group” is defined as, “Define self-interest: concern only for getting what you want or need and not about what happens to other people.” I would suggest that in the context of the modern Vampyre, and associated, cultures it could be held to reflect a slightly different process but one which still achieves the same end result as the rather narrow technical definition, i.e.  a “self-interest” group is one which aims to accumulate, store, disseminate and learn from a collected amount of information and COMMONLY HELD opinion.

img source: sylvielefrancois.com

Practical examples;
If you wanted to build a house you would bring together architects, carpenters, masons, electricians and plumbers – in the first instance – to create the building. This is an example of a “focus” group where each different point of view is represented as a part of the final solution.

If you wanted to create a group about British Military History you would bring together Military Historians, and perhaps ex-servicemen of the British Military, to contribute and share information to create a complete picture of the subject.

Which way is best?

It all depends on what you want to achieve.

Take, for example, a hypothetical “Group Project” – Top 5 set-up requirements.

1) Balanced and co-ordinated “founder team”. It has been proven, in psychological and workplace studies that a “Focus Group” consisting of individuals of different strengths and specialties makes for the best mix of creation. The one thing that is important above all, each member of the team should, ideally, be in the project for the ‘right’ reasons.

2) Advertise. From day one, a presentation for public consumption. This will thwart the “rumour mill” and the “haters”.

3) Communicate. Create a webpage, not a group, where you can feed regular updates on progress and growth to “followers” and have them see, thus spread the word, that you are NOT hiding anything.

4) Appoint a spokesperson, 1 ONLY. All communications for public consumption should be made by that person only. Extra people, throwing in extra words may seem to be uncoordinated and will, even if unintentionally, provide ammunition to the “haters and critics”.

5) Maintain the flow, growth and development. Appoint more staff if you need to, assign specific tasks and goals to each. DON’T try and go it alone. Any delays will come across to followers as, “Yeah, well, not really THAT interested, just doin’ it for shit’s an’ giggles really…”

img. source: wiseGEEK

The majority of modern Vampire Culture groups, in my opinion, fall firmly into the “Self-interest” group category and because of this the struggle to outdo other, similar, groups is always intense with each entity vying for the attention, and loyalty, of as many members as possible. As with anything of like nature there are problems inherent in each methodology that need be considered fully prior to any “group” coming into being.

“Focus Group” – The danger with a focus group is that it can get bogged down in minutiae and let the finicky details overcome the achievement of aims. For example, let’s say our ‘House Building’ focus group was looking over the Architect’s plans for the building. The Mason might say, “You can’t make brick and mortar do that, you’ll have to use another material, ten times more expensive.” The Architect says, “It’s my project, I say we do that.” Then the plumber pops up and says, to the electrician, “You’ll have to re-route the mains here and here because I need to hard-pipe to make the plumbing navigate this space effectively.” To which the Electrician replies, “Sorry, that’s not code, can’t do that.”

img. source: Applied Vision Works

So, instead of actually achieving the end result in a reasonable space of time and within a reasonable budget, protracted disagreements based on EACH CONTRIBUTOR’S agenda can dog the project.

In a “Self-Interest Group”, at the heart of it is the group “owner’s”, or “convener/s” personal agenda in opening the group. This “personal self-interest” can sometimes preclude reasonable debate because opinions, as we all know, are like assholes and getting around that, especially among modern living Vampyres, is kinda like getting to Australia from the U.S. in a canoe. The more members that are attracted to the more open self-interest group increases the available “opinions” that each demands to be heard and thus, in a way much like the “Focus Group” example, an atmosphere of argumentative clash of opinions can be fostered and once prevailing is very difficult to remove unless you begin throwing members out which gets you marked as elitist, snobby and bitchy.

img: source: rensheng2.com (Chinese language site)

It can seem, with either case, as if it’s a “no win” scenario but, in each case, the thing that will save the day is even handed, fair, accommodating but consistently firm control.

Set the rules BEFORE you go into the launching of the group or project. Make anyone wishing to join the group REVIEW AND ACCEPT IN WRITTEN ACKNOWLEDGEMENT those rules thus no one can complain when they get dumped for breaking the rules.

Stick to your main theme, goal or aim. Make that the central item, or topic, of the group and don’t let the inevitable “side tracks” take control and muddy the water to the point where you lose sight of the initial concept.

Most of all, DON’T GO IT ALONE unless you only plan on having 6 to 10 friends in it with you. Find one or two trusted accomplices (friends) who share your point of view to help administer the thing, remember the old saying, “No man is an island unto himself.”

Of course, this is all just an opinion based on around twenty years “real life” experience, and professional qualifications, in procurement, warehouse management, engineering and mechanical workshop supervision, occupational health safety and welfare co-ordination and people management roles…

Copyright TB-S & RVL, 2017

Refs:

http://www.businessdictionary.com/

https://www.google.com/

https://www.merriam-webster.com/

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Why can’t I be a…

*Editor’s Note: Limited and non-exclusive permission is given for this article to be reproduced at personal websites and/or within online/offline groups, with full credit, in order to inform and alert people to the hazards inherent in the world of the modern living vampire and the subculture that surrounds the image*

Img source: https://deborahking.com/

Presented by

Tim

Good morning,

In the previous five year stretch that Lady M and I edited, produced and presented RVL we met an innumerable number of requests from people who wanted to be “real vampires”. Their reasons ranged through the whole spectrum of the imaginable, from having superhuman powers to being immortal, and everything in between.

Now, having re-opened the e-zine, we are expecting to meet more of the same. Indeed, one respected and very well informed contact we have recently been in contact with has told us that there is still a great deal of mis-, and dis-, information circulating about who, and what, modern living real vampyres are. Hence it is advisable, in the opinion of this writer, that we begin our new work by re-visiting a topic which has never been far below the surface of the contemporary sub-culture, namely, “I want to be a real vampire, please help…

In short, dear reader, the reason that not everybody can be a modern living vampire is the same reason that this writer can’t be a Long-billed dowitcher… I wasn’t born that way…!

It is generally accepted that modern living vampyres are just that because they were born with the traits, albeit possibly latent, that made them pre-disposed to becoming such later in life. Some, by genetic happenstance, may well be born with certain traits at the forefront from birth but the one thing that the majority agree upon is that if you’re not a modern living vampire you can’t be turned into one… you can’t be turned, you can’t be “embraced”, you can’t receive the “Dark Kiss” and you won’t contract the fabled V5 virus – if indeed such a thing exists.

What can happen, and does, however is that you can fall prey to charlatans, liars, cheats and predators. People who will offer to make you into a modern living vampire if you perform a spell, give them money for teachings, buy their books or bibles, give them sex or simply worship them in any number of strange and, mostly, unsavoury ways. These people hunt in cities, towns, clubs, bars, schools, playgrounds and, most importantly of all, on the internet.

Emily Meade as Pearl in ‘Mother, may I sleep with danger?’ – RabbitBandini Productions & Sony Pictures Television, 2016.

There are a number of articles already available in our “IMPORTANT INFORMATION for New Arrivals” section and perhaps the most notable of these are the 2012 article, “Safety First” and the 2015 article, “Warning signs and ‘Red Flags’”.

 

Now, you might be thinking to yourself, “Yeah, I’m too smart to be taken advantage of…” and I sincerely hope you are right, however, there are numerous accounts, sometimes tragic, about people – mostly young people, who have fallen victim to the unscrupulous predators that often frequent the subculture. People who don’t give a damn about your health and welfare or even, in extreme cases, your survival.

I recall, well, several people who wrote to us in the past offering anything they could give if we would help them become vampires, real vampires. Some even went so far as to say they would be willing to die to achieve this goal… unbelievable? True. It would have been so easy to take advantage of these people, ridiculously so and that is because there were, and are, people who believe that what the modern living vampire has is achievable to anyone. Unfortunately, dear reader, this is simply not the case.

We were also, I recall, called upon, on occasion, to help someone who was caught up in the webs of lies that were spun around them by these predators.

It has always been an opinion held by many in the subculture that it is a natural predilection of “the Vampire” to hunt and while this may be the case when considering the historical, mythological and archetypal vampire figure it is most certainly NOT the case in the modern subculture. Certain segments of the modern movement may incorporate elements of “role play” into their ritualised “hunt”, they may indulge in BDSM style practices to enhance or represent “the hunt” but these are acts between consenting persons of, hopefully, legal age.


The main things that everyone who comes to the subculture looking for something needs to know are;

Not everyone you come into contact with has your best interests at heart.

There are those who will take what they want from you, whatever it may be, under the guise of “turning” you into a vampire.

No amount of “Embracing”, “Dark Kissing” and/or spells/potions/pills/blood drinking will give you super powers or make you immortal.

In essence we hope that anyone reading this will take note of the warnings, we hope that you will realise that everything must be questioned, taken with a pinch of salt or, at the very least, researched. Unlike a great many out there John Reason’s Real Vampire Life is dedicated, and always has been, to presenting facts as they are currently understood and supported. We can’t guarantee to tell you what you want to hear, we can guarantee to answer your questions to the very best of our ability and if we can’t we can always find out for you or put you in contact with good, reputable and reliable people who can answer you.

Vampires exist in the world today, they are all around you, in the modern world but they are NOT vampires as Lord Byron, Bram Stoker, Anne Rice or Stephanie Meyer envisaged – learn to separate fact from fiction and, if you are having difficulty with that, please, ask someone BEFORE you get hurt.
© RVL 2017 – limited, non-exclusive reproduction rights apply.

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Welcome to 2016 – Indicative sub-culture survey results

1 teamwork_0

Good evening,
Welcome to Real Vampire Life E-Zine for 2016.

It is with a sense of renewed purpose, with anticipation and with an approach, as always, of a neutral stance that we come to you, dear reader, to provide once again the widest and hopefully best representation of informative editorials, interview pieces and general social news from around the living vampire sub-culture.

In opening 2016 we have the results of the poll that was run between November 1 last year and January 15th this year as compared to the results of the year long survey we conducted between October 1, 2012 and September 30, 2013.

The results, we must stress, are NOT empirical… indeed, the studies were never designed to be empirical; rather they are indicative of social attitudes within the sub-culture and designed to show a general shift, if any, in attitudes over the span between the two events.

dark-beauty-beauty-black-dark-girl-goth-gothic-mysterious-white-960x640

Comparison indicators: Living Vampire Survey, October 1st, 2012 to September 30, 2013 as shown against 3 month survey conducted November 1, 2015 through January 15, 2016.

NOTE: Studies are NOT empirical in results, simply indicative of social norms over the scope of the period of the two surveys.

The results, shared with our colleagues at CLAVIS, are sociological indicators that simply indicate the shifts, or not, of general attitudes toward certain concepts and questions that are commonly posed in sub-cultural context polls. We hope the indicators can be used in the research, planning and development of beneficial programs for the modern subculture.

Welcome back to all our readers and we hope that this new year has started well for all.
Deepest respects,
RVL Staff