(a.k.a. T.H. Hawkmoor)
“In glossy brochures advertising colleges and companies, we’ve all probably seen some version of a photograph of a smiling group of people of conspicuously different skin color hanging out together. The value-laden vocabulary associated with such an image often includes words such as respect, diversity, internationalism, multiculturalism, and perhaps most prominently, tolerance. Of course, tolerance in today’s popular discourse is not limited to the tolerance of racial difference but extends ambitiously toward differences of all kinds: cultural, sexual, economic, national, political, ethnic, religious, and so on. For those who tout the value of tolerance, it is tolerance that will pave the way to a pluralistic, inclusive society that resembles a heterogeneous yet happily united family”.
From Tolerance and Forbearance by Jon Lin · Wednesday, 01 January 2014
The news came to us all, last week, that a former head of the Westboro Baptist Church, Fred Phelps, is near death and that gave me a moment for pause and for reflection. One of the first thoughts that appeared following this news, in my mind was, “I’ll bet many of the epithets wouldn’t be suitable to put on the headstone..!” and at that I called myself to account for an uncharitable thought toward someone I didn’t even know, let alone know much about except what the media has presented. Strange how the mind works isn’t it? We tend to roll with the news services most of the time don’t we?
I thought on that for a little more and associated it with the popular media treatment of the subject of vampires, modern vampires, from the uncomprehending and lightweight to the fearful sensationalism and I wondered to myself, for perhaps the thousand millionth time in my life, of the world in general, why? Why so little tolerance anywhere, why so little acceptance of others anywhere and why so much energy has to be spent on hate, vitriol and conflict, myself notwithstanding.
During my life I have been in contact with many diverse interest groups and influences, not the least of which was the Goth sub-culture of my post-punk life period. It is interesting for me, now, to look back and be able to see that the transition from “anarchy, boredom with, and hatred of everything” to “get lost and let me do my own thing” was a rather natural and unavoidable consequence of the punk identity deflation. In my time I have been involved with a number of such social elements, I have come into unhappy contact with Neo-fascist Skinheads, Mods, Rockers, and supremacists of different ethnic origins, different factions of the LGBT movement and so forth BUT I have also come into HAPPY contact with some members of above listed organisations as well, come into contact with people who have enriched my life through their willingness to share, peacefully, their cultural and personal identities.
It was from this determined policy of “acceptance of others”, that I have always been driven to attain, that the “Respect Matrix” I developed, and use, was born. In a nut shell, the first time you come into contact with someone, in any way, give them an account with one hundred points of respect in it. As they conduct themselves with you, within your sphere and within your life, deduct or add points depending on how they “actually” treat you, your friends, family and so forth. Set your own levels for minimum standard and, if they should reach that, then they are detrimental to you and your life and need to shed. It’s a simple concept and easily employed, trust me on that.
Respect and tolerance, it goes both ways but it is always under YOUR fingertip control.
It has allowed me to continue working at RVN, first, then at RVL, as now, and I will continue to do so for the next 10, 15, 20 or 30 years allotted to me. I have come to that place within me and the exercise of Respect and Tolerance; toward those who show it in kind, has brought me into contact with some wonderful, vibrant, exciting and fascinating people during the course of this work.
I also wanted to put forward, on behalf of RVL founder and owner, Mr. John Reason, and I am sure for many people we are acquainted with and work with, that we, as a neutral and independent body will actively seek to improve, practice, and endeavour to portray, at all times, a proper level of respect, acceptance and tolerance in our work throughout the sub-culture of the modern living vampire and beyond.
We, at RVL, recognize, value and respect the right of everyone to hold their own opinions, live their own lives, be their own person, dream their own dreams and enjoy their freedoms responsibly. I suppose, in short, we could sum it up as…“An Ye Harm None, Do What Ye Will”
Copyright RVL 2014
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