Pic. Credit ~ http://artsfuse.org/ and http://www.gammtheatre.org/
“Vampires before they sparkled were humanities way of dealing with death, sex, and the idea of what price would you pay for immortality? They were and are that uncomfortable mirror we look into and wonder just what would happen if we learned that humans were not at the top of the food chain.”
Thanks to: Kat @ The Steampunk Empire
That statement, succinctly, epitomizes the concept of the vampire in fiction, folklore and history, and it is a statement with which it is almost impossible to argue with in its own context. Doubtless, it is a statement with which the majority of those not of the modern vampire community would agree. Which begs the question, how should the community present themselves to those who come looking for answers?
This morning, in the RVN email inbox, we received a message from a person from the Philippines. The query read:
“ i’d love to know more about vampires.. i wanted to see one of them to know if they really do exist.. few stated that they don’t hurt people..”
The message was addressed for Lady M’s attention and went on to say:
“are you a real vampyre ? i want to know about real vampires.. i’m *******, 21, ****** from philippines.. i don’t want lies..”
It would, in our opinion, be a safe bet that the hype surrounding vampyres in the entertainment industry would have brought thousands looking for vampyres, or looking for real vampyres and the question above reflects one of the first things they would want to know. Sure, the community can, in its own inimitable fashion, drop the proverbial boom on the newcomers as it has been wont to do so often but wouldn’t it make a lot more sense to answer the questions patiently, confidently and helpfully? The community must demonstrate a willingness to respect those who come looking for answers if they wish to be respected themselves and these serious “seekers”, as they are commonly called, don’t want lies, or fairy tales, they want facts.
Could it go one step further than that, what about providing “role models” for these newcomers to learn from? Role models from among the ranks of “real” vampires who are not going to claim to be centuries old and claim they can make a young person immortal with the “dark kiss”, or some such nonsense.
The term “role model” can be defined, strictly speaking, as: a person whose behavior, example, or success is or can be emulated by others, especially by younger people. 
More generally it is held to mean: “any person who serves as an example, whose behaviour is emulated by others”  In writing this I am given to wonder just who were the role models that the members of the Crimson Blood Wolf Pack  in Texas were influenced by?
The first question the community would have to ask itself is, “how do we know/recognize/create such role models?” Do we simply equate age with wisdom and say, “Oh, so-and-so has been around for absolutely ever… they must be experts and they know absolutely everybody, they should make good role models.” Perhaps it is a case of whoever gets their name in print the most is to be considered the “expert” or the “modern community ideal”. Perhaps it is destined to be an accolade reserved for those that can claim and trace their story back to the pre-Black Veil scene, whichever it’s to be we must be careful that we don’t end up represented by any who might tend to exaggerate, weave truth with fantasy or paint us all with the same brush, so to speak.
Aside from the personality factors involved in such a move there are certain members in the communities that would be in strong contention for the title of “role model”, for example ~ the members of the New Orleans Vampire Association for their work with the homeless in that city, the people at SBTV (Savage Blade Productions Internet TV Channel) and Vampire Banquet for their efforts, in this past Christmas season, on the Toys for Tots Program in the New York City area, or community member Cynthia Kent for her role in creating a facebook group called HELP STOP CYBER BULLIES  Actual, real-time, real-result activities that make the world; not just the vampyre world, a better place for others no matter whether it is one other, ten others or a hundred others.
It is also vitally important that these “role models” and their actions are displayed in public forums and news groups. A statement that appeared just recently read something along the lines of introducing a cultural tradition of good works that are conducted without expectations of thanks or recognition and while it went on to say the works of those in the community should be recognized by the community, presumably exclusively the vampire community, putting such news “out there” in the public arena to neutralize the negatives in the community defeats their actions, or purpose. I, for one, can’t fathom the reasoning behind this.
The vampire community has, if the reports appearing of late are accurate, a great number of individuals working for the greater good of those around them their example and their work should be used to inspire others to get involved and thus have the effect of increasing the benefits all round. What are the bigger benefits of doing good works? Feeling good within oneself, or feeling good within oneself AND encouraging others to do good works? These people are the role models we should have on display so that when people who are not in the community come looking they find a community of involved, compassionate and caring individuals rather than a community that has the appearance of a quasi-political, narcissistic, argumentative grade school playground.
1. Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2012.
2. “Role model”. Wiktionary.
© RVN & TB 2012 (except where noted.)
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