…in old Chicago town

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Photo of Chicago at night (2012) by velgos.com

Written and presented by

Tim

Many of you who follow RVL will be well aware of the problems that the Vampire, Therian and Otherkin communities in and around Chicago have been dealing with most recently, problems that were highlighted in our reports “A flamin’ good flipper & A new dance in Chicago” and the subsequent VVC issued Global Community Warning which ultimately led to the issuing of a declaration of persona non grata .

In the wake of those developments a new initiative was born in the windy city, an organisation that aims to bring a hitherto unseen, and unrealised, joint communities effort to ensure that Chicago is a haven for nightkind from all paths.

The Greater Chicagoland Vampire Coalition is aimed at drawing together the independents, houses and groups that have long existed in the area but have, historically, eschewed formal organisation.

As a committed supporter of the initiative we thought we would get the lowdown on the new body which held its first, official, meeting on the evening of April 29th.

It gives us the greatest pleasure to welcome to RVL this evening GCVC Co-founder and CEO Derek Lestat

img. courtesy of: the Greater Chicagoland Vampire Coalition

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RVL: Good evening and thank you very much for joining us today.

DL: Thank you for this opportunity.

RVL: The first question, I guess, would have to be why? Why after so many years of small, secluded, underground groups and meetups, was it see as necessary to bring everyone together under the Coalition?

DL: Because small and secluded little groups appear to be going nowhere fast; it’s stagnation. Think of this from the point of view of someone Newly Awakened. You’re going to look for something or someone where you can learn more about yourself, find others like yourself. Sure, there may be something “out there”, but it’s so far underground that you can’t find it, if it’s even there at all. Or it could be not what you’re looking for at all, maybe even something potentially dangerous.
We are coming together as a resource for those Newly Awakeneds who can’t find what they’re searching for. We’re here for the Elders, the so-called Ronin Vampires. We’re here to unite Chicago’s Vampire Community, and to place Chicago where we belong on the map right alongside New Orleans, Houston, Georgia, and all of the rest.

RVL: …and how long have you, personally, been a part of the modern Vampire culture?

DL: About two decades, Awakened. Prior to that, I couldn’t even say.

RVL: What’s the main aim of the Coalition at this point?

DL: Bringing together the Vampires of Chicago, the stragglers, the Newbies, the Meet-Up groups, the Ronin, anyone who has already worked at establishing something, they can all find unity with us.

We aim to unify Chicago, and to cast us in a positive public image.

We want to bring everyone together under one banner of legitimacy, to be a mentoring resource to those who need it; in unity there is strength.

RVL: …and how many groups or organisations, aside from us at RVL, are represented in the coalition at this time?

DL: Chicago is representing ourselves. We are autonomous. We are, however, affiliating with a significant number of the major Houses and Clans, such as those from Houston, Georgia, New Orleans, New Jersey, upstate New York, Alberta CA, with more coming. Right now we’re building our own base for the City and suburbs, and from there we aim to expand to include neighbouring states in the Midwest and around Lake Michigan area.

img. source: https://shop.teacherheaven.com/

RVL: Operationally, how will the coalition work? Will it be, for instance, somewhat along the model of the renowned Dark Nations or do you see a different operational method?

DL: We are currently still forming our structure. We have our core assembled, our Council of Five. As we grow, we’ll be delegating more positions within our group.

In-person Meet-Ups will play an important part. The act of simply getting together in person, meeting up and talking, getting to know one another, that will go a long way in growing this group into something substantial.

RVL: Would it be fair to say then, that each group, House or Order represented will have a say, or a “voting” right in the organisation?

DL: Of course. We’re not a medieval feudal system or political body. Everyone has opinions and points of view, and all are valid and should be voiced.

RVL: Traditionally the Vampire communities of Chicago have been reticent to come out, do you think that this coalition will change that?

DL: Realistically speaking, I think it will for some. Others, well, some will likely wish to remain shadowed by their own choice. The invitation is out there regardless.

Dan Aykroyd, Ray Charles and John Belushi in the 1980 Universal Pictures hit, “The Blues Brothers”

RVL: …and if we might go all “crystal ball” for a moment, what do you envision, down the road, for the Coalition as far as activities and community involvement might go?

DL: I’m envisioning quite a lot. If we go by the examples preceding us, we can have opportunities to give to the secular community. We can organize drives to feed and clothe the homeless. We can host events, including Halloween parties, fundraisers, perhaps even conventions and balls; there shouldn’t be any limits on what we can accomplish. Not to mention events already established within the City that we can participate in, make our presence known, and bolster our public image.
The possibilities are endless.

RVL: Was there an actual inspiration for the Coalition or is this something that you think there has been a need for here for a long time?

DL: There has long been a need for this. For decades, whatever “scene” there has been in Chicago has either been so far underground as to be virtually undetectable, or it’s been non-existent. This creates a vacuum. And as we all know, Nature abhors a vacuum.

As many are aware, someone else thought they could come in unwanted and dictate to us what’s what. Although mercifully short-lived, this so-called “court” was not organized, and apparently set up as an exercise in spite. This is not what Chicago and the Vampire Community needs. We aim to fill this vacuum, and prevent any such future occurrences.

There are also, of course, individuals and groups that represent themselves as “vampires”, and really have nothing to do with the Real Vampire Community. Sometimes this can present a danger to those seeking something different than what those groups/individuals are offering. This can be anything from simply being misleading to outright dangerous. Our aim to establish legitimacy for Chicago’s various vampire organizations should help to differentiate the honest-to-goodness real vampires and affiliates from those who could be potentially harmful, especially to the youth.

 

RVL: There has been a lot of growth around the concept of unity in the culture over the last couple of years, did this have any bearing on the developmental stages of the Coalition concept?

DL: Right now, our aim is to unify Chicago first, to take care of our own backyard, so to speak. After that then we can shift our focus to the greater Community. “Walk before you run”, so to speak.

RVL: …and of course, not too long ago we saw the arrival, suddenly, in Chicago of a Vampire court which is now defunct… what’s your feeling about the concept of unity in the modern culture?

DL: Myself, personally, I think total Unity for the VC is, of course, not a bad idea, but the logistics would be a nightmare. The main thing, I think, would be trying to work every diverse group under the same banner while maintaining their own individuality and belief systems; not every group in the VC holds to the same definitions or hierarchies, for example, or sometimes what even constitutes a “vampire”. And let’s not even touch on the easily-bruised egos within the Community. Plus, there will always be the “scoundrels” or the “trouble-makers” who pop up. That can cause division from within such a unified structure, as some will say to shun them, others will say they have no personal beef with them, while still others won’t give a damn either way.
Not that it isn’t a noble and worthwhile venture, but if it was so easily workable, would it not have been achieved by now?

RVL: …but are we going to see, in your opinion, a “court” or “king/queen” emerge from the coalition?

DL: In the GCVC, no. We’re not a Court, a Clan, a Coven, or a House. We’re not a monarchy, feudal or political system. We’re a gathering of like-minded individuals.
Yes, leadership is a necessity, but we’re not looking to be a “my way or the highway” organization. Everyone has a valid voice, opinion, and point of view, and all are of equal importance. Should something arise that’s in need of a decision or a vote, we’ve founded our Council of Five. This consists of an odd number so as to avoid any chance of a tie vote, and we’ve arrived at a count of five rather than three because five offers a greater range of viewpoints without being overwhelming.

img. source: https://warwickhotels.com/

RVL: So, what would you like to say to any folks in Chicagoland that may be reading this and are keeping themselves out of the “run-of-the-mill” communities?

DL: Without trying to sound overly cliché: “Come out, come out, wherever you are”.
No, seriously, do come out. Make yourselves known to us. Introduce yourselves to us. We can’t really go stalking around the City and Suburbs carrying membership pamphlets, looking for you. If you’re able to pick up Chicago-based radio stations in your car, contact us. We have a Facebook page and a Facebook group , and email contact can be sent to gcvc.chicago@gmail.com. We plan to have more presence on social media as we go along. In fact, we are interested in others within the Chicago Communities who would wish to join us in filling various positions within the Coalition. The more we grow, the better we’ll be able to serve the Community.

RVL: Thank you very much, Derek, for the insight into this important move today, we are sure that it is both a much needed and very welcome infusion for Chicagoland Nightkind, and thank you for giving us a little of your time to introduce The Coalition.

DL: Thank you for this opportunity, and I hope as the GCVC grows, that this won’t be our last interview together.

 

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Chicago, indeed Illinois, it must be said, has never really been a renowned centre of modern Vampire activity or presence even though it is (as of 2017) the 3rd largest city by population in the United States [1] we may wonder why? We may have our own theories as to why but the fact is that now there is a hub, a growing hub, which has received a great response from across the board.

The focus of the Coalition is, naturally, to work within the greater Chicagoland area but in doing so, as our guest said, to forge links with bodies across the country. Naturally this will bring Chicago “online” in the modern real Vampire culture in a way that it has never been before. It’s a very exciting time in The Windy City and it’s only going to get better as the GCVC grows.

 

Copyright RVL & The GCVC 2018

NB: Where used, quoted portions of other works are reproduced by permission, or under Section 107 of the Copyright Act 1976, wherein allowance is made for “fair use” for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, scholarship, and research.

This article may be linked to but may not be copied or reproduced, nor redistributed in any manner, including electronic without the express permission of the copyright owners.

The views and opinions presented in this article are the opinions of the author and/or contributors and do not necessarily represent the views and opinions of The Owner/s of RVL, their officers, assigns or agents. RVL and its officers do not personally, individually, or jointly necessarily recommend or condone any of the activities or practices represented.

For further information please see the RVL Website Disclaimer

 

Over the hump…

img. source: Wallpaper Abyss/ Alpha Coders

Created, Written, Edited, Trashed & Presented by

Tim

HEY…!!! Whoa…!!! Can you believe it’s gone past “Hump Day” again… seems like we’ll be getting ready for Christmas 2018 if we don’t watch out. Speaking of which, our neck of the woods, over the last few days, we’ve gone from somewhere around 48 to 88 on the OMG… is that heat? index…and now we’ve got thundery showers and 80% humidity… HELL-OHHHH, what happened to “time to acclimatise?”

But hey, “–it happens yeah?”, like th’ man said…

Samuel L. Jackson as Mitch Henessey in “The Long Kiss Goodnight”, 1996.
Forge & New Line Cinema
in assoc. with The Steve Tisch Company.

Yeah, so, I was thinking the other week, while I was writing up a l’il something for Lady Sylvere’s Grumpy Vamp’s Guide to the GVC, wouldn’t it be a hoot if we painted a target on our back and invited people to throw questions at us? Yep, probably the craziest idea in a long line of crazy ideas by Moi…

I figured that with around 4,000 site visits last month, over 1200 Twitterers following us and visits to our Facebook portal there must be some folks out there who have questions about what we do, how we do it and, more importantly, why. So, I’m going to preempt the first, most obvious question that people would probably throw at me, as the Editor-in-Chief, and it comes from Seymour Butz in Soggy Bottom Holler, Seymour would like to know…

img. source: Redneck Romance Writer on WordPress

Welllll… for the answer to that we’d have to go back to the early sixties in working class England…

So, with that one out of the way I would like to invite 10 people, first come first served, to send us answers to these…

  • If you could ask the Editor-in-Chief 1 question what would it be? (Be as forthcoming, straight shooting, intelligent, mildly obstreperous even lightly (intelligently) confrontational if you like)

and, tell us, if you would be so kind, What do you think of RVL E-Zine overall?

Send your entries to our email at giltine51@gmail.com,
send me a Facebook PM (it’ll go to my ‘Other’ folder) at https://www.facebook.com/CaptainNorthstar or,
alternatively, send a message through our Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/RealVampireLife/

img. source: pnd.typepad.com

 

So, apart from crazy, where are we going today? Been thinking just lately, about history and about origins and about where things come from and I’ve decided we’re gonna have a bit of a time warp… NO, not more of the sublime “Rocky Horror Picture Show”, go to your movie channel or rent the DVD… but, ummm, a bit of this…

Yup, going to throw a bit of Australiana at you today…

What’s news this last week… or so…

Well, one thing we have to report is that technical difficulties will prevent us from bringing you the second part of an interview we ran at the end of March, “Interview with The Goddess” – things change and “–it happens” yah?

However, in some sparkly good news we have become entangled with a new organisation in our very own, beloved, “Windy” City – now, I gotta explain something here… it’s a question that comes up frequently… The “Windy” City, Chicago, has nothing to do with those howling Canadian Nor-Westers that we get, it’s the politics, the politics in Illinois are definitely blow-hard… in fact, I was watching the last Governor Election debate on television, for about 1.5 minutes and the three candidates were yelling over each other simultaneously while the debate master was yelling for order and “one at a time please”… couldn’t make out a darn word…!!! Sooooo glad I don’t have to vote for one of the apes…

Hmmmm… reminds me of some other folks I know…

Alright, I digress, sorry…

img. courtesy of: The Greater Chicagoland Vampire Coalition

The Greater Chicagoland Vampire Coalition has opened it’s doors. Yes – RVL is fully and wholeheartedly supporting the Coalition, yes – the inaugural meeting of the founding members (charter members) was held remotely this past weekend. Yes, they have a website/group which is growing rapidly, even as we speak. I’m not going to let any cats out of bags except to say that we have put forward an invitation to the organisation to give us the lowdown on what’s goin’ down in Windy Town…

…anybody from Australia can tell you about this fella, and the band Cold Chisel… iconic in Australia, always find a song or two played at weddings, it’s mandatory at parties and pretty much mandatory that every red-blooded Aussie knows ALL the lyrics – and if you ever saw him live (raises hand – multiple times) you would really know what ‘goose bumps’ are… seriously…!!!

Incidentally, the guitarist in the blue shirt is Jimmy’s brother in law who goes by the stage name “Diesel”… so, if ya go see Jimmy you actually get two for the price of one…

img. source: Map Collection – WordPress.com

Back in the day… what a curious phrase, don’t you think? Well, back in someday past we used to hang out at the Uni Bars, and in the early part of their career these guys were regularly on the rounds…

Now, I got an invite and picked up on a developing trend this last week… anybody heard about Discord?

I got invited to a “channel” and I thought I’d take a peek. In essence the ‘Discord’ is similar to the older IRC Channels, it provides real-time online chat and from what I can see was primarily designed for gamers to natter back and forth while playing computer games… a social hub, so to speak. Like all things these days, however, it is readily adaptable to all sorts of fun shenanigans.

Privacy looks good, you have the capability of choosing who you want to be connected to, you can make a “friend list” if you want, you can upload links to favourite stuff and all the usual. The only drawback that I can see at this present time is “time zones” and schedules… trying to get to be there when your peeps are is somewhat problematic but no more so than any other place and you can leave messages for folks anyway.

Like I said, it looks fun and can be adapted to be useful in a variety of ways and its biggest hook? It’s free.

img. source: adapted from Stanley Kubrick’s “Full Metal Jacket”
R.I.P. R. Lee Ermey

Here’s another song that you may have heard from the “old country”…

Some of you might even empathise with the lyrical content…!!!

…and with that I’m going to wander off and think up some more crazy stuff… coz that’s one of the things I do ’round here… much to Lady M’s frustration sometimes I think…

img. source: domica.info

 

Leaving ya with this one… when folks think of Australia they think of Koala’s (They’re not bears btw, they’re marsupials) Possums and Kangaroos… oh, and Great White Sharks… but they also think of beaches and surfing an’ stuff…

Back from 1978… it’s Radio Birdman…

img. source: Radio Birdman/ YouTube

Aloha Steve and Danno

 

ALOHA dudes and dudettes…!!!

Copyright T & RVL (unless otherwise noted) 2018

NB: Where used, quoted portions of other works are reproduced by permission, or under Section 107 of the Copyright Act 1976, wherein allowance is made for “fair use” for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, scholarship, and research.

This article may be linked to but may not be copied or reproduced, nor redistributed in any manner, including electronic without the express permission of the copyright owners.

The views and opinions presented in this article are the opinions of the author and/or contributors and do not necessarily represent the views and opinions of The Owner/s of RVL, their officers, assigns or agents. RVL and its officers do not personally, individually, or jointly necessarily recommend or condone any of the activities or practices represented.

For further information please see the RVL Website Disclaimer