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In October of 2012 I began writing a series of short papers under the working title “The Hardest Thing About Being Us”. The first part focused on questions of how we interact with the non-Vampire.
The second part, “Real Vampires – The hardest thing about being us” Part 2, turned attention to some of the dynamic of the sub-culture.
With Part 3, Real Vampires – The hardest thing about being us Pt: 3 We took a look into the topics of“Acceptance”, “Leaders and Followers”, “Protectionism” and “Welcoming and Helping Our Own”
This time it’s…
Real Vampires – One of the hardest things about being us 4
Integrating the “dayside”, the “nightside” and our culture
In part one of this particular series, written in October of 2012, I wrote about how we, the modern vampire culture, interacts with non-Vampires. The second part centred on the prevailing dynamic within the culture and part 3 explored the topics of acceptance, leaders and followers, protectionism and helping our own. One of the things that I haven’t yet addressed, I believe in any editorial or article I have written, is the subject of our innate knowledge, our belief in ourselves and how we deal with the integration of both “dayside” and “nightside” into our “every day”.
These are the things that drive everyday effort and activity, things such as paying the bills, keeping a job (no matter how soul destroying and psychologically damaging that job may be) keeping food on the table, keeping a roof over the head, keeping the car running, looking after growing children, dealing with health issues and social media.
Yep, that’s right, I said that at the end because social media, from reports, studies, observations and statistics has taken such a huge and all pervasive place in modern life that it now almost parallels any of the other “priorities”. Is this a real addition, an imagined addition or a forced addition to life?
Let’s see if we can “prioritise” the list, and please bear in mind this is my opinion of how this list should look…
1) Keeping a job. Unfortunately the majority of employers (certainly in the state I live in, have realised this and play on it. Ruling the workplace by fear and paying low wages because they are fully aware that they have people at their mercy.
2) Keeping roof over the head. Without the roof you can’t maintain your food supply, you can’t maintain your health, you can’t get proper rest.
3) Keeping food on the table. If you don’t eat you die… simple enough.
4) Looking after the children/family. Having a family ensures that you MUST assume responsibility as a protector and provider. It’s a duty that comes with having a family.
5) Paying the bills. Heat, Light, Water, the Roof… If you don’t pay you don’t play.
6) Dealing with health issues. If you die you’re no good to anyone, yes?
7) Keeping the car running. It’s good not to have to use public transport, or rely on friends or taxi cabs.
8) Social Media. Following are several analytical tables that demonstrate the current impact (from 2017) of social media on personal communications trends.
But how does this relate to the modern Vampire culture you ask?
In a single group membership that we recently observed we found that of the total membership 42.857% actually participated in the group, on a particular issue, they had chosen to be in. It was also observed that, amongst the participation rate of six randomly selected “unsubs”, the ratio of personal use of social media to group representation using social media ran as follows;
Unsub 1, timeline posts 20, group posts 33
Unsub 2, timeline posts 1, group posts 2
Unsub 3, timeline posts 3, group posts 0
Unsub 4, timeline posts 25, group posts 4
Unsub 5, timeline posts 144, group posts 0
These figures were taken over a five week period from 1 June this year.
Oh, yes, I said SIX didn’t I,
Unsub 6, timeline posts 696 ( +/- 6) group posts 0 (unsub 6 was treated as a special case due to the fact they made a number of posts, 15 to be exact, within the nominated date range at an associated page and only 1 at the Group homepage.)
I would suggest that if something is important to a person they will commit, they will make specific time available to follow up on that commitment, they will actively contribute fresh material, new ideas and propose discussions or other “projects” that could potentially benefit the group… basically it’s that old chestnut that I’m sure we’ve all heard until our ears were bleeding from it, “Are you a team player?”
My question would be, “If you’re not a team player, why be on a team?”
In a great number of groups around the online culture you can find, as part of the mission statement, the words, “for the betterment of the community”, in some form or another. This statement must be regarded in its true context, “for the betterment of the community in my/our opinion”… it is one of the indisputable truisms of the modern culture that no one has yet found “the way” to improve, overall, the culture even though they may find a way to better things for their immediate followers, or group members but even this will only last for a time.
I would suggest that the only person that can better things for themselves is them.
A number of discussions that have taken place lately have revolved around either the latest idea for improving things or for the improvement, in some manner, for small segments of self-interest collectives and, as such, these concepts hold very little for general, wide-spread and overall improvement.
At the heart of every thought, of every imagining and every decision taken by an individual is a knowledge of themselves and what is necessary and the best for them. This also is an indisputable fact and one that can’t be avoided in any group or cultural setting, agendas of one type or another will define in what direction the group leads, what flavour the group is and how deeply personal bias on the part of the Owner/s of the group will go in the running of the group.
So, what is truly “for the betterment…” and what is for “self-betterment”?
The sum of the parts…
How do we, as individuals in the “real” world accommodate the dual nature of our existence? How do we integrate and maintain the Vampiric need along with the “paying bills”, “keeping a job” and “managing a family”?
The answers will come from ourselves, they will come from how deeply we are willing to allow the two to integrate, they will come from how deeply we feel “the hunger” and, ultimately, they will come from just how much we are willing to commit to allowing integration to take place.
There has been much said, and written, about the modern Vampire culture. Unfortunately a great deal of it, constantly, negative. Everyone seems to be fully aware of the problems facing the culture but even after more than 30 years there have been no real, lasting and progressive solutions that have stood the test of time. Given the vast array of intelligence, experience and expertise that exists within the culture you would think that something would have come into being but still, even as late as four days ago, descriptions of the situation still read somewhat like this;
“The same old tired “discussions” over and over again, that we’ve all been having, carried over from the message boards 15 years ago?
Same old topics with newer younger faces?
There’s that, and also drama. More drama. Same fucking drama that always constantly circulates and permeates. Same juvenile bullshit about This One calling That One names, or over-reaching their “territory”, or some self-styled “royalty” of some kind issuing “proclamations” which essentially boils down to more name-calling…
We even have, to this day, self-appointed “leaders” telling the “flocks” not to listen to This One, or to not be friends with That One, and all of the “Oh look what they’re saying now” shit, and the “We won’t stand for this” crap.
It’s all fucking garbage.”
Following on from such a conclusion then might we not consider “taking out the garbage”?
Now hold on a minute pardners… I can hear you all saying, “Here it comes…”
I would ask, “Here what comes?”
Are we going to keep telling ourselves there is NO solution? If that’s true then we might as well all give up, go home and become solitaries.
Are we going to tell ourselves, “We welcome anyone within, associated with, or simply interested in…” and thereby promulgate the problems in separating the real modern living Vampires from wanton troublemakers, RPGers and Wannabe/Pretenders that we pretty much all profess to loathe so much?
So, where do we go?
Back to a corner and sit on our hands? Into deep conference between all interested parties? Into a “Corporate Team Building Retreat”, or perhaps a “Tactical Withdrawal and Regroup” pattern? Into some sort of separationist tribal model?
Many times over the definitions of modern living Vampire have been written, re-written, discussed, re-hashed, deliberated on and then discussed some more and, for all of this over thirty plus years, we still have nothing universal to rely on. Indeed, as one person once remarked to me in a message board I frequented, “Words don’t actually just mean what the dictionary says, they also mean what people understand them to mean.”
Faced with something like that, we are indeed sunk.
A presentation of the best available definitions comes to us from the “Terminology and Lingo” section of Sanguinarius.org  where the definitions of “sanguinarian”, “blood-drinker”, “blood fetishist”, “psychic vampire” and “Vampyre Lifestyler” are to be found, among others. Each are directly concerned with defining the term under certain conditions of activity they do not, however, concern themselves with defining motivation.
In considering the motivation behind the integration of “dayside” and “nightside” I would suggest that we could further break down the definitions, regardless of activity or practises. If I was asked to write up a table of Vampire types in the Culture I would create a dual list, one would contain the standard recognised “types by feeding method” i.e. Sang, Psi etc. The second part, or sub-division, of the list would be by “activity type”.
ILVamp – Integrated life Vamp – A modern living Vampire to whom their Vampirism is as much a part of them as their ethnicity, their biological condition and their natural psychological processes. A Vampire who does not, and cannot, separate their Vampirism out and in which it is as important a part of life as working, sleeping, eating, paying bills and creates, within them, a strong commitment to incorporating their Vampiric nature into their existence.
TPVamp – Time Permitting Vamp – A modern living Vampire who does not recognise that part of themselves as a priority in their daily existence and activities and will treat the matter as a lower priority than everything else in life even though it may compromise their health and wellbeing.
FVamp – Fetish Vamp, a human living Vampire who actively practices their feeding while regarding said act as an object regarded with awe as being the embodiment or habitation of a potent spirit or as having magical potency or any object, idea, etc., eliciting unquestioning reverence, respect, or devotion.
WSVamp – “When it suits” Vamp – A modern living Vampire, or perhaps not, who will only visit the issue in so far as it suits their personal need for attention, entertainment or gratification.
PVamp – “Pretend” Vamp – One who will pop up, regularly to spread dis-, or mis-, information, dress up and play vamp, join every single Vampire oriented group on social media and “farm” friends lists for contacts to make themselves appear to be a “mover and shaker” but at the end of the day are about as Vampire as my blessed Grandmother was a deep sea exploration diver; Gods rest her beautiful soul.
The situation, unfortunately, is not improving in any wide measure and because of that people actually begin to question not only their own commitment but the trust they may have placed in others along the way. People may begin to question whether there is actually a place for them in the modern culture, people may begin to question why they even stay in touch so not having solutions to offer may well be just as damaging to the culture as having solutions that cause arguments and dissent – it’s Devil and the Deep Blue Sea time.
Ultimately, dear reader, at days end the only person that knows who you are for sure is you, you do not know, for sure, who a great majority of the others in the culture are, and ultimately, whether you choose to integrate, or not, be a “team player” or not, is a decision that rests squarely with you.
Copyright T & RVL 2017
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