Crossroads ~ Pride, Prejudice, Intolerance and Ignorance

Date: 14 Sep 2011

Author: Tim

Pic. credit – socialnewswatch.com

Questions of origins, questions of paths, allegations of role-playing and the sometimes hardline approach and ostracism that often come with exercising the right of free speech. As a microcosm of humanity and the world the OVC is not so very different from the norm, it just happens to populated by a variety of vampires and otherkin.

Someone wrote a comment a little while back that, in a nutshell, said, “Show me a community of more than ten people that doesn’t have drama”, or words to that effect. I’d like someone to detail community concepts and practices that seek to address these problems. The main efforts that I am aware of exist in the form of the VVC (Voices of the Vampire Community) , Dark nations on the Ning network ~ although Dark nations leans more toward “inter-group” relations rather than community wide and the AVA with its collaboration with author Joseph Laycock.

As in so many other parts of RL, politics and religion for example, everybody seems to be, by their own admission, in possession of a “truth”, their own “truth” but there seems to be no basic truth that can be agreed on. Until the basics are agreed on then the matter of progress becomes problematic. Without a common ground there is no springboard from which to launch.

Much has been made over the last couple of years about gaining acceptance for the lifestyle in the broader community outside the VC/OVC but the problem with that is that if the vampire community cannot come to a cohesive and universal approach to the subject then the task of convincing outsiders, who read only what springs out of the newspapers at them, becomes infinitely complex and much more demanding. There has long been a strong undertow of support for the concept of staying “in the coffin”, so to speak and with each new media report of so called “vampire attacks” that comes out we must surely wonder if that is not the best course of action.

Despite valiant efforts by certain groups within the community the PR is being driven by the popular press and that is not doing the community any favours. So, what’s the best course of action? Where can a start be made in re-defining or re-representing the modern community as being no more a threat than say the Wiccan community or any other peaceful and, in general, law-abiding group in society?

It doesn’t matter in the slightest whether you’re a “solitary”, a “group member” or a “coven/ house participant”, we are all, in some way, painted with the same media brush and the only people that can do anything about it is us but only if a unified approach is designed and implemented. A favourite saying that you might have come across within the community is that it is, “Easier to herd cats than to get vampires to agree on anything”… I suggest that before we can hope to gain any sort of wider acceptance we need to learn how to herd cats.

One of the key elements in that learning process, in my mind, is breaking down the barriers that seem to exist, openly or not, between members of different paths in the community. It’s been going on since the beginning, it’s still going on now and will probably continue for a good long while but as in any societal group these intolerances in interactions need to be resolved before the more meaningful and productive steps can be taken.

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