Crossroads – Plain Speaking ~ Part 2

night_crossroads_RVLPresented by
Tim

I can absolutely guarantee you, the reader, of one thing at the very outset of this commentary, there will be many who will begin to read this and who will choke on the first thing they come to that they don’t agree with. They will NOT bother to read any further, they will not bother to attempt to understand, much less comprehend, what the message of this writing is all about because such a thing will, at that point, be entirely beyond their scope of consideration. No, instead they will take to their keyboards and they will post their “expert” opinion of this message as if they were coming down THE mountain with THE stone tablets. They will, therefore, embarrass themselves and the rest of us. They will reveal the true depth of their arrogance and will not practice a “Suspension of disbelief”, instead they will judge, by their own prejudices and demonstrate their own narrow minded, and simple minded, view and suffer the rest of those reading the whole thing to be swayed by their incompetence.

On the other hand there will be those who will be mindful that EVERYONE is entitled to make their observances and their opinions available for consideration. These are the people who hold the real power, the people who avoid being judgmental.

Guess who I dedicate this piece to?
To the others, read it… I dare you… but remember one thing,

“By judging others we blind ourselves to our own evil and to the grace which others are just as entitled to as we are.”
― Dietrich Bonhoeffer, “The Cost of Discipleship”

———————————————————————————-

img. source: www.irishtimes.com

img. source: www.irishtimes.com

Our society, the society of modern living vampires that is, has become extensively diluted since its earliest forms, there is no longer any shadow of doubt remaining about that fact. The wide array of beliefs and interpretations of the “modern living vampire” cause the most trouble because there are, now, so many different interpretations of the theme. Modern living vampires, in numbers, are unable to agree upon what exactly a modern living vampire is, in any succinct and meaningful way, and so we continue to watch, we continue; hopefully, to pursue the meaning of our life as living vampires and we continue to struggle to make some sense out of the tangled and confused mess we have gotten ourselves into.

Estimates as to the number of Real Living Vampires involved in the sub-culture today range quite dramatically, depending on the source. I have read estimates of 1800 to 2000; I prefer the estimated figure of 2000 to 5000 worldwide while there are still others who insist we are talking about somewhere in the vicinity of 10,000 to 20,000 globally. The fact remains that there is insufficient data to support either one of these estimates that are based upon the observers preferred definition of “vampire”. There is still no scientific evidence to prove, or disprove, the actual reality of the situation and thus each person involved in the sub-culture must make his or her own determination, based on their personal belief. As far as it goes that is not a problem, just as each person is free to believe in a particular God, free to believe in the existence of extra-terrestrial intelligent life, free to believe in the constitution of whatever country they live in, or not. The problem becomes that when we seek to pass judgement on others based on our beliefs we become guilty of irrational prejudice.
Looking at the overall picture of the modern real living vampire sub-culture we are constantly hearing terms such as “poser”, “lifestyler”, “wannabe”, “role-player” and “Neovampire”[1] which are adopted in order that we can, in a “easy-out” fashion, label things that we don’t want to have to be bothered thinking about. Aren’t we, in fact, being guilty of the very same prejudices that we decry when people call “modern living vampires” crazy, unstable, lunatics and sicko’s?

img: source: kian02.deviantart.com

img: source: kian02.deviantart.com

One of my personal favourites is “Demonkin”… let’s look, through sensible eyes, at the validity of that claim. “Demon” and “Kin” ~

Demon, Noun
1. An evil spirit or devil, especially one thought to possess a person or act as a tormentor in hell.
2. A cruel, evil, or unmanageable person.
3. Something very insidious and harmful. (used as a modifier). [2]

And,
Kin, Noun
1. One’s family and relations.
2. Animals or plants that are related to a particular species or kind.
3. (adj. pred.) (Of a person) related. [3]
Thus, co-joining the terms as understood in the English language, we have to examine the source of the belief that gives rise to the term. In order to believe in demons we have to believe in some version of the whole good versus evil concept as related by organized religious doctrine or as presented in ancient theology. If we don’t believe in, say, God and Heaven, and The Christian Devil and Hell then how can we acknowledge the existence of “Demons” in the orthodox religious sense? If we can’t, by our own belief, acknowledge those things then how can we be expected to accept any claim of being “related”, psychologically or physiologically, to something that by our own standards of belief doesn’t exist? Therefore the so-called “Demon-kin” becomes a “role-player”, someone who reads too many Hell Boy comics** or, worse, someone who is suffering a psychological malady that requires treatment, perhaps an attention deficit disorder, a borderline personality disorder or, worse, a schizo-affective disorder.

My point is that if we, as an observer, don’t accept the existence of what is being claimed then that claim, to us, must be – logically speaking – a bogus claim and the person making such claim must therefore be a “poser” as defined by the generally accepted definition in the late Sanguinarius’ presentation of “Terminology and Lingo”.

img. source: www.adventuresinpoortaste.com

img. source: www.adventuresinpoortaste.com

In the very same fashion people who are not part of what we regard as our sub-culture may well look at Psi-Vampires and say, “Ooh, lookee, a bunch of weirdo new-age stoners ohm-ing their way through their own personal fantasy…!

These same observers may well look at the Sanguinarian and say, “Ooh, yuk, look at those fetishist sicko’s drinking blood and pretending to be Dracula..!

The worst case scenario of all,

Vampire, Noun.
1. (In European folklore) a corpse supposed to leave its grave at night to drink the blood of the living by biting their necks with long pointed canine teeth.
2. A person who preys ruthlessly on others. [4]

To which our audience may well think, “WTF..!!?? These creepo’s think they’re some kind of supernatural monster that crawls out of their graves at night and chews on people? Let’s get ’em before they get us…!

So, in order to avoid embarrassment before the human race we devise our own set of definitions and word usage to “label” ourselves in a way that we of the sub-culture can understand and, what’s worse, we give “interviews” to media outlets outside of the sub-culture and try and justify who and what we are which serves to make us nothing but a laughing stock in the eyes of humanity. We help give rise to “academic” presentations that do nothing short of giving people something to laugh at as they nibble at their after dinner sweets. In short, we put ourselves on display as though we are some sort of real live freak show travelling the old west.

img. source: www.buzzfeed.com

img. source: www.buzzfeed.com

Even within our own so-called “community” there are terms that we employ, the terms that I have already mentioned, to denigrate certain people according to our prejudices.

Poser:
Someone pretending or claiming to be a vampire who is not, with the intent of deceiving others, by making false claims as to their powers, abilities, lifespan, etc.

Vampyre lifestyler / Vampyre (spelled with a “y”):
Someone who incorporates fictional vampire imagery and trappings into his or her personal life, often cultivating a “Vampyric” physical appearance

Wannabe:
A slang term, a contraction of the words “wants to be”. Derogatory term for someone who wants to become a vampire, usually with unrealistic expectations of what it would be like.

Role-player:
1.) Someone who engages in role playing games (RPGs).
2.) This is often used as a derogatory term for those who play Vampire: The Masquerade or similar vampire RPGs and/or who pretend to be a vampire in their free time when they are not. RPGers are also associated with posers and other fakes who dress the part and pretend to be something they are not. (See also “poser” and “wannabe”.)

Neovampyre / Neovampire:
A person who is not a natural vampire, but who is a student of vampyric/vampiric skills, philosophies and/or magicks; i.e., a person who (for lack of a better word) “converted” to vampyrism.
(Ref: http://www.sanguinarius.org/terminology/ )

img. source: www.nightmarefactory.com

img. source: www.nightmarefactory.com

How can we decry “Posers”? After all, as Charles Caleb Colton observed, “Imitation is the sincerest of flattery.” Are we NOT flattered?
How can we decry Lifestyler’s? Aren’t they simply expressing the very thing we paint ourselves to be by using the term “Vampire” as a descriptor?
Equally, how can we decry the “Wannabe”? Again, imitation being the sincerest of flattery, should we not puff up with pride that there are people who desperately want to become like us?

Shouldn’t we help them become ‘posers’ or ‘lifestylers’ so we can feel even more flattered and so our egos can get a good old-fashioned stroking?

There are those out there, amongst our very number, who like to lay claim to whole cities as being, “My city”, even to the point of warning others of impending dire consequences should they show up in, “My city”. This is something that is firmly, and irrevocably entrenched, in Role-playing, it smacks of the “Princes of the cities” represented in the “Camarilla” of the famous White-Wolf Gaming Studio’s “Vampire: The Masquerade” – don’t want to burst any bubbles or rain on anyone’s parade but cities belong to the people of the city and the power of dominion over them is vested, by federal government statutes, in the civic authorities that are elected and appointed to manage said cities not to some mealy-mouthed ego-maniac who thinks they are some sort of earthly incarnation of Gilgamesh.[5]

img. source: geek-news.mtv.com

img. source: geek-news.mtv.com

In Conclusion:
We can’t lay claim to being “Vampires” in the world-wide accepted definition of the term so where does that leave us? It leaves us labelling ourselves. We can’t lay claim to deriving physiological benefits from ingesting blood or absorbing energy because we have NO PROOF.

We can’t lay claim to being more than human, extra-human or superhuman because, again, we have NO PROOF.

In point of fact we can’t lay claim to anything at all except the fact that we like to call ourselves after a mythological and folkloric entity that may, or may not, have existed in any form other than the imagination of superstitious and uneducated peasants, so, my question is why do we?

There is not a single one of us who can claim to speak for any other of us, who can claim to be in a position of authority over anyone except themselves and who can hold themselves up as being representative of the whole. There is not a single one of us who can even lay claim to being able to show ANYTHING except our own personal beliefs, or our own personal delusions as the case may be. It is this very lack of substance that makes our perceived “community” nothing more than a castle of cards teetering on a one legged table in a hurricane and THAT, dear reader, is THE TRUTH of the matter.

Every single one of you out there that is involved in the sub-culture of the modern vampire in ANY way whatsoever has a right to their beliefs, has a right to their perceptions and has a right to express themselves in any fashion they see fit in the observance of those beliefs…I’m pretty sure that’s along the same lines as the guarantee of religious exercise free of persecution that is enshrined in the constitutions of EVERY single free country in the world, no?
So, if you’re a poser, a lifestyler, a vampire, a wannabe, a neo-vamp or something else have the guts to be honest about it…

Ooh, Do what you wanna do, be what you wanna be yeah
It’s because I love you” ~ The Masters Apprentices 1971

It doesn’t matter because if you lie to US we’ll see through you and we’ll know YOU, however, if you lie to yourself then you are an honest to goodness loser and you’ll never be anything but that.

Copyright RVL 2015

1. http://www.sanguinarius.org/terminology/
2. http://www.oxforddictionaries.com/us/definition/english/demon?q=Demon
3. http://www.oxforddictionaries.com/us/definition/english/kin?q=Kin
4. http://www.oxforddictionaries.com/us/definition/english/vampire?q=Vampire
5. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gilgamesh

** Hell Boy comic character, Mike Mignola, San Diego Comic-Con Comics #2 (Aug. 1993)

Further references:
Bigotry in a Marginalized Minority Community – Vampires and Human Rights
By Elzie Roze http://realvampirenews.com/bigotry-in-a-marginalized-minority-community-vampires-and-human-rights/

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