That Was Then . . . This Is Now

 

By: LadyM

I was born in 1951, born unto this world and born unto vampirism.

There was much racial tension in the US and the personal computer/internet was about 40 years away.

I was a teenager during the 60’s and knew all about demonstrating for something that I strongly believed in.

When I started in the working world, everything you needed to obtain a job were skills, education and a good work ethic.  Previous employer’s references were “gold” when attempting to move up the ladder …. If you were prompt, conscientious, motivated and on time … nobody cared what you did when you punched out and went home ….. that was then … this is now.

I have to chuckle when I read comments made on vampire forums by the young and/or newly awakened eager to wave their flag and shout to the world … I am a vampire!!  One such comment that was recently posted in part …

Unless a community stands up for who they really are the media will use them like a tool. Lets not forget the real hardships we endure as vampyres.

Let’s see …. Unless you are independently wealthy and have no need to earn a living or you are self-employed with clients that don’t care how you live your life … you are at the mercy of making the almighty buck in a world that pretty much believes vampires live only in the myths and pages of a Bram Stoker novel.

Before you start waiving your flag and shouting from the rooftops that vampires aren’t getting a fair shake because the media has it all wrong ….. consider this …

Most employers do a very rigid background check on new or potential employees, even as far as asking to see their social media page.  Are you willing to lose your current job, risk losing a potential new job, your means of being able to support yourself, your children … be ostracized by family, friends and deemed to be “living in fantasy land?

Yes, there have been groups that have won their bid to be recognized after long battles and constant media scrutiny.  Unfortunately it doesn’t matter how you roll the dice, there is just no scientific or medical proof that would convince anyone that we are anything more than mentally unsound individuals.

Now, should scientists at some point in time discover that there is indeed undeniable proof of clinical vampirism, then you will see just how the voices of many will change the way the vampire is viewed, not only in the media but in every walk of life.  Until then we must live in our sanctuaries and leak out bits and pieces of the vampire culture in the hopes of slowly convincing the masses we are sane and not the product of myth or legend.  We have the ability to network via the internet and social media.  We can be part of message boards and forums where we feel safe and can voice our opinions without being condemned … for now.

So I would suggest that before anyone comment strongly about how we SHOULD be fighting for our independence, you might want to think about who you are commenting to and whether or not you know their politics and motivations.

Chatting with Vampires ~ The OVC; State of the nation Part 1

 

Presented by:

Tim

There are an increasing number of questions being asked about why the OVC is the way it is, why it can’t, or hasn’t changed for the better, or worse, in years. Old arguments rear their heads anew every so often and the same discussions reappear from time to time. In a number of places the treatment of individuals can often reach appallingly low levels simply because they wish to make their opinions known.

It can be clearly seen, every day. The issues that affect the OVC seem to be unlimited and insurmountable but are they? A new survey has recently been established aimed at gathering information on how the members of the OVC view the community at this time, added to this the recent establishment of the House Rakoczy project Vampyres for Freedom of Expression to give OVC members a chance to share their philosophies without running the risk of suffering a backlash of harassment and vitriol.

 

Recently, up until May 31st, there was an important and timely survey conducted into perceptions and opinions about the community, the results of which promise to be very interesting when they are released. Real Vampire News were pleased to support this important initiative as we will support any positive initiative to better the community for its members.

In this two part presentation we have sought out the opinions of a range of community members with different lengths of tenure in the VC/OVC so we can get a picture of the overall observations and comments across a range of experiences. We are joined today by our guests, and colleagues, to discuss ways that might be employed to rationalise and improve things somewhat.

RVN is pleased to be able to welcome Dolphinmoon, Riley and Silver Black.

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RVN: Good evening and welcome to Real Vampire News

DM: Hello

R: It’s a pleasure to do this interview and meet you all!

SB: Hello, and thank you for having me.

 

RVN: To begin, would you tell us a little about yourself, how long you have been active in the VC/OVC and a bit about what have you been up to since you arrived?

R: My name is Riley and I’m a latent vampire. I’m about to be 19 years old. I’ve been active in the OVC for three years now.  Haven’t been active within the VC, as of yet but I plan to change that in the years to come.

SB: The most active I’ve been in the OVC is through GetFanged which opened last year, and our Facebook Group Vampires/Vampyres. Both were created in the hope of bringing vampyres together and stimulating constructive discussion.

DM: I have been part of the OVC for about 4 or 5 years now. I am still learning and happy to research. My ‘outside life’ keeps me busy.

 

RVN: In your time in the OVC what is/are the most positive thing/s you have encountered?

DM: I have always been welcome and other than a few trolls, the folks of the OVC have been very helpful and mostly kind and most have been very respectful.

SB: Right now there are a number of people within the community trying very hard to correct common misconceptions about vampyres by getting out there and doing something about it. Whether it’s feeding the homeless and raising monies for charity, or opening a blog dedicated to highlighting the positives, there seems to be a concerted effort going on right now to show the mainstream public a different side of vampirism. The scholarly articles that have been coming out lately from established researchers like Joseph Layock and Dr. DJ Williams have been encouraging too. Also the show “Vampires” and its down to earth portrayal of vampirism in New Orleans.

R: The diverse variety of people that are supportive and helpful.

RVN: and what would be the most negative?

R: How rude some people can be.

DM: Really some of the arguments have been very petty, mostly revolving around what is real and what is not real or rather what is perceived at such.

SB: I think anytime all of those great efforts are overshadowed by crimes, unnecessary drama, and bickering within the OVC itself. It works against what so many are trying to do. Unfortunately that’s where the media focuses its attention most of the time, on the negative “vampire killer” stories, even when most of them don’t have anything to do with real vampirism.

I’m always encouraged by those who meet those misperceptions head on – by doing something great and getting in the news that way, like Patrick Rodgers did on CNN.

 

RVN: What, do you believe, would be the ultimate best structure for the OVC?(e.g. Individual Houses at a “United Nations” style council, Individuals in a cooperative arena, separate “political” party style arrangement etc.)

DM: This is a difficult question for me to answer because I feel that I am too new to the community to really see the impact and really know nothing of the separate groups (houses, covens, etc.)

R: It should be individual houses with a UN style. Its difficult to decide but if we have it organized by Hemispheres (North, East, South and West) I think it’d be fine but isn’t as structured as it could or should be. It’s up to be discussed.

SB: At this point in time, I’m not sure there is an overall political system that would work. The subculture seems extremely divided and even confused right now and building any further on a weak foundation I have to think might cause those structures to collapse. I would advocate strengthening the basic understanding within the OVC first – find common threads and definitions – and use those to strengthen existing groups – before attempting to bring them all together under one set of guidelines.

 

RVN: Do you believe a general set of “guidelines” could be achieved by having as many houses/ groups/ covens etc. sign to accept the guidelines?

SB: It would be difficult to execute, in my opinion. How would you get every vampyre and house out there to agree? Who would enforce the rules? How do you even find them? The groups are so different.

DM: I do think this is possible, if everyone could agree on said “guidelines”. Sadly from what I have seen (and I try to stay out of the arguing as much as possible because I am so new) because each groups has a different set of beliefs this may not be possible.

R: Yes, but every house/group/coven shouldn’t have to sign. It should be their own choice if they want to or not. Since we all know the rules and some groups have their own set of guidelines. I believe that security is an issue within groups. There should be guidelines (not many). A few that make our groups safe from outsiders and that we should ID people before a meeting a gathering.

RVN: What would be the best basis for this set of “guidelines”?

DM: Mutual agreement and respect? LOL

R: I believe that security is an issue within groups. There should be guidelines (not many). A few that make our groups safe from outsiders and that we should ID people before a meeting a gathering.

SB: A focus group would be a good start. Respected members of the communities coming together as representatives to create guidelines that represented everyone, which might be difficult. When similar ideas have been proposed in the past, it was controversial. A portion of the OVC didn’t want to be involved in any type of policing.

 

RVN: How do you think “leaders” of the community should be identified and elevated to the rank of leader in the eyes of the majority of the community?

SB: By segregating the groups by type and experience, at least until a clearer definition of each type can emerge, and THEN electing a leader. I’ve heard a lot of calls that groups need to start ‘cleaning house’. That individuals who define their vampirism religiously or spiritually aren’t really benefiting by being in the same community as sanguinarians or psis who have documented physical deficiencies and define their vampirism that way. When this happens, debates deteriorate into clashing opinions on the fundamental definition of vampyre. From what I’ve seen, I tend to agree with that. At the very least, an elevated leader of a community should personify the common ideas, goals, and needs of his/her own community.

R: Leaders of the community should have certain symbols/ abbreviations before their name. Other people won’t know what it means but we as a community would know. It should be based on age. For example, if you’ve been active within the community (OVC/VC) for some years now then that should give you a higher rank than others.

DM: Perhaps by vote? Obviously knowledge is a must.

 

RVN: What would be the best method of resolving major disputes within the community?

DM: Perhaps some sort of mediation where a neutral party over sees.

SB: I think that for the most part the individuals involved are all adults who should be capable of resolving the smaller differences on their own. They should be able to agree to disagree and recognize that smaller disagreements are sometimes best left alone, or taken somewhere private so not to corrupt the entire group with unnecessary and irrelevant drama. But if it’s something that can’t be resolved privately and spills out into the community, leaders should be prepared to enforce their personal community rules and guidelines. Right now, there is a gigantic push for more enforcement and less enabling when it comes to bullying and bigotry. Stopping that kind of abuse when it happens definitively and immediately sends a message to the rest of the group that it won’t be tolerated.

In my opinion major violations like breaking the law should be taken care of by the legal authorities, and left out of online affairs, whenever possible.

R: I believe that we need to come to sense of conclusion. Many people within the OVC/VC believe many different things. We need to get a grip on everything and somehow, someway sum it all up. How are we supposed to come out and claim ourselves as vampires if we can finally come together as whole and decide what a vampire IS and what a vampire ISN’T.

 

RVN: Do you believe that a system of “censure by vote” would work against OVC members that step “over the line” as determined by the “guidelines” if they were in place?

SB: Not really. We’re talking for the most part about an online, virtual, community. Other than removing members from individual groups, there isn’t much leeway to enforce any type of overall OVC expulsion. There’s nothing stopping the offending member from going to another website, or attempting to subvert his banishment with another profile and IP address. It’s all OVC, technically. How do you realistically remove someone from the OVC, without having the power to remove them from the internet? You can’t.

R: I think a vampire Census should take place. A general Census of what we believe is moral and true. If someone committed an immoral act upon the community,depending on what it is they they done should be based on a census of a vote. If they did it knowingly, then yes their should be repercussions for their actions. If its something less severe then why bother? Safety and privacy, are the two utmost factors within the community.

DM: Possibly.

 

RVN: What do you, personally, think of the current “state” of the OVC?

R: The diversity of opinions and facts. I like it the people within it are kind. Things could improve just a bit but overall the OVC is great. As I’ve said before, organization would be ideal and essential for a better outlook for the online vampire community.

SB: I think that there is a lot of work to be done but that strides are being made everyday to make it a more constructive/less hostile place.

DM: Hmm, as I said I have tried to stay out of the arguing though I feel there is much to be learned by viewing others opinions. I really have nothing tocompare the “current state” too.

 

RVN: What, in your opinion, needs to undergo major change in order to improve the OVC?

DM: Respect for all

R: The OVC/VC is great, it’s just needs to change a bit, I believe. There’s so much information out there that we tend to question the beliefs of others. If we had just one main site with several mods/admin working the site, that would make it a bit easier. All of the information is helpful but we need to come together as a whole. From site to site trying to find people (locally) is a hassle. It would also help those in need of a donor, meetings/ gatherings, etc. Once we get the OVC in order the VC will follow right along with it.

SB: I don’t think it can be confined to any singular place or thing. But I think that every group within the greater community would benefit by making sure their communities have definitive guidelines and ensuring that members meet them. It’s difficult, for any leader, to turn away aspiring members. But if the OVC is to become a more constructive place and actually succeed in what I believe it sets out to do (educating and assisting and providing a safe haven for vampyres) it can’t be “anything goes”. It does no one any favors when members are perpetually fighting over even the most basic definitions.

 

RVN: What “changes” can the individual make to assist this process?

R: To work together as a unit and make these changes happen. It’s hard if one person wants it and not everyone else does. It’d be more organized. Working together is the main key.

DM: Open their minds a bit and rather than lash out try to have intelligent conversations.

SB: Most of the criticism/responsibility usually falls on the leaders, so that’s a great question. Individuals can assist by ensuring that they belong in the group they’re currently in, and if they find themselves in the wrong one, being able to admit to it and move on to a branch that is a better fit for them. Leaders can help with this by being vigilant about who they admit and by asking the right questions and clearly defining what the group is about and who it applies to. Other than that, members can exercise common sense, and respect fellow members, and their right to disagree.

 

RVN: What stands in the way of positive changes, in your opinion?

SB: The culture of the internet. It’s become a hostile place where it’s not only acceptable but common to bully and insult. Individuals would benefit by sitting back and asking themselves before they post “Is this something I would say to x if x was sitting right next to me?” and “Is what I’m about to write going to further this discussion or end it?”

DM: Mostly the individual’s themselves.

R: We’re all so singled out and don’t do much as a whole community should.

 

RVN: What, in your opinion are the TWO biggest problems the on-line vampire community faces today?

R: People asking to be changed/turned and how rude some vampires can be.

SB: It’s very chaotic. A lot of communities are a mishmash of individuals with opposing and loose definitions of vampirism, which often leads to emotionally-reactive arguments that are circular with no real resolution, which makes people angry, frustrated and likely to leave. Many have left. Which leads to the second: The departure (and absence) of people who have a lot of experience and could potentially make a positive difference for the new people coming in.

DM: Not enough filters perhaps, meaning keeping the real vampires that want to share information or learn more and those that are starry eyed separated.

 

RVN: In summary, have you anything else you would like to add?

SB: Just another shout out of appreciation to the people who are out there working in their communities, online and off, to make things better. And everyone working to educate and show that vampirism is not all about serial killers and sparkling teenagers. And of course to everyone who has supported and continues to support GetFanged.Com

R: These are just my opinions about the OVC/VC. I hope and plan to become more involved in the VC. I still have much to learn and to discover. I am a person but I’m not human. I choose this life and it has become me.

DM: I wish that I could offer more, perhaps in another year or so I can 😉

 

RVN: Thank you very much for sharing your insights and opinions with us this evening.

DM: Blessings

SB: Thank you for the opportunity to be part of this discussion, and for RVN.

R: Hope none of this has offended anyone but I believe that WE need to come together. Feel free to email me at Riley_is_amazing@yahoo.com for any comments, questions, complaints, etc. I would like to hear your feedback.

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It has been said, many times over, that getting vampires to agree on anything is like herding cats; one noted commentator came up with a unique name for a group of vampires, he called it a “bicker”, is there ever going to be a chance to change these perceptions? Is there ever going to be a time of relatively “productive peace” in the OVC? Is the best we can hope for to have the “community” continue exactly as it is ad infinitum and if not who is it up to to change things?

Regardless of your personal views, dear reader, if we are ever going to be able to enjoy a relatively peaceful and desirable OVC something, or things, do need to change. How they change and what effect those changes will have are, in reality, up to the community and its members… not just a few but certainly the majority.

© RVN, Dolphinmoon, Silver Black and Riley, 2012

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 RVN, their officers, assigns or agents. RVN and its officers do not personally, individually, or jointly necessarily recommend or condone any of the activities or practices represented, and accept no liability, nor responsibility, for the use or misuse thereof. Anything that the reader takes from this article is taken at their own discretion. 

For further details please see our Website Disclaimer

Crossroads – On being a real vampire

Date: 29 Jan 2012

Author: Tim

Pic. Credit: http://abqarts.com/ Photo by: Pat Berrett

At a website that Lady M is a member of a post came up, it was a post that I am certain we have all seen and read the like of before and it pointed to an old but nevertheless still somewhat disturbing concept.

The post was from someone asking to be “turned into a vampire”. Not unusual you say, seen it all before you say… very true, anyone that has been in the OVC for even a relatively short time will have read such things but the thing that caught my attention was that this post was not five years, three years or even three months old… it was three days old.

It points to the fact that there are still people, presumably young and impressionable, coming into the community who are in position of risk of exploitation, and abuse.

For many years I have watched as such requests were met with a variety of derision, scorn and insulting and sarcastic rhetoric. This does not negate the fact that if a person wants something so very badly then they will actively pursue it, often at great personal risk.

Either the message has not been getting out properly or it has been lost amidst the massed information and bewildering array of opinion and ideas along the way. It is a message that requires updating and refreshing periodically so that young people can be protected from the unscrupulous and ill-meaning so-called “real vampires” among us.

I am going to attempt, therefore, to present a synopsis of the real life of real vampires. I realise that I can not speak about the intricacies and intimacies of the nature of personal vampirism for everyone; it is a well known and widely accepted fact that everyone’s experiences are as different and as unique as the individual in a great many respects. What I want to do is put down, as clearly and plainly as I can a broad overview of the reality of modern vampires. It is a timely reminder that will only scratch the surface but it may well answer a few of the basic survival questions that newcomers will have. If it helps just one person then it will have achieved its purpose.

Early years…

There are many in the community who believe that a person “knows” from a very early age that they are “different”. That they feel differently about the world than others their age. They “see” things differently and engage in different activities than their peers. This in itself does not necessarily mean they are latent modern vampires but it does seem to be a recurrent theme that comes up repeatedly when people speak of their experiences. Feeling and thinking differently may simply be a by-product of social environment and interactions with people that profess fringe beliefs about life and the world. It may come from immersion in a deeply religious community and environment, in fact strong beliefs of any nature may well colour a person’s thinking when they are constantly exposed to such things.

As an example, if you are brought up in a household; and extended family, that is of a staunch and irreplaceable political persuasion then chances are, dependant on education and exposure to other views, that you will be a lifelong supporter of that same political party without ever considering any other way.

A great number of modern real vampires have a certain knowledge, faith, belief, call it what you will, that means they simply “know” they are real vampires. It is as natural a state to them as breathing is to any other human being. This certainty of knowledge can help in avoiding a number of the stresses and strains that accompany vampiric development in those who are unaware of this “knowledge”.

Commonly, in early years to pre-teens, the psychological elements of fantasy are indelibly mixed with reality and the hardness of the real world. Childhood and youth are generally a time of games, stories, exploring the world around them, becoming socially aware and learning to interact with their environment. This melding of a number of perceptions can lead to “fairytale” beliefs such as the belief that someone can be turned into a vampire by being bitten by one, or, in the case of modern real vampires, one who “claims” to be one. It is a risky time for the youngster and a time where they deserve the protection of the community without question. I would even go so far as to suggest that the VC/OVC has a “duty” to protect the children that can’t be ignored.

The “Awakening”…

The Awakening is a common reference to and popular term for, a person coming to the realization that they are a real living vampire. It is generally held to occur somewhere around the mid-teens though I, and others, know people who have claimed to have awakened as late as their thirties and as early as ten or twelve years of age. The truth of the matter is, again, is that it is a subjective thing and as unique to the individual as any other aspect of their growth and development.

Some of the causes, or triggers of “awakening” have been attributed to traumatic events involving some sort of threat or danger to the self, others have attributed it to a pre-programmed developmental stage in the vampire life, somewhat akin to puberty.

Others see it as a psychological shift in thinking and perceptions while still others see it as the psycho-physiological realization of the need for some external supplement, such as blood or energy, in order to remain fit and healthy.

Again, it is a time of risk. It is the time of “first indulgence” in a newfound part of the personality and the inevitable experimentation which goes along with having to cater to a hitherto unknown “need”. The effect on the life of the young vampire can be quite dramatic and have far reaching psychological effects as well as more immediate, and possibly dangerous, physical ones.

There are the obvious risks associated with the consumption of blood, especially the blood of another person, or donor. Blood borne diseases can be a terrible and fatal consequence of improper experimentation in explorations by the newly awakened. The psychological stresses of uncontrolled Psi-feeding can have far reaching consequences for the newly awakened Psi-vamp. The long and short of it is, if you have just awakened, believe it or not, you need help and guidance and if you fail to seek that out then you are placing yourself at great risk.

Turning…

Ahhh… “turning”, “the dark kiss”, “embracing”… how many more synonyms can you think of?

Generally the wider community does not support, nor endorse the concept of turning, that is, the creation of a vampire by another vampire. I have taken part in discussions that have covered the topic and there is some knowledgeable comment on the matter to be read in some places. For example, in one discussion, not so long ago, the comment was made that after a time in a “vampire/donor” relationship the donor often begins to display vampiric characteristics. I am not aware if any donors have ever actually become self-identified vampires but it is entirely possible that in such a close and intimate relationship as this there will be some psychological melding that will affect one or both parties. The extent to which the vampiric characteristics affected the donor were reported, in that particular discussion, to have “worn off” after a period of not being in the relationship any longer.

It is a sad but true fact that, like any community or society, the vampire community has its share of unscrupulous, unprincipled and ill-intentioned participants. The best advice that can be offered here is that if someone tells you they will make you, “their one eternal love in life everlasting”, or some such thing, give them a very wide berth… they are either dangerous or dangerously delusional.

There are those who might argue the point on some pedantic level with me, some who may proclaim me a skeptic with no proof. That may be true but I will maintain, always, or at least until I see it happen and verify it with my own observations, that another vampire can not truly turn a non-vampire into a vampire except by some psychological trickery or brainwashing like pseudo-hypnotism.

I would also ask you to consider this; a great friend, and iconic community figure, Lady CG once wrote:

Being a vampyre has never solved anyone’s problems. Learning to cope as a vampyre is JUST as hard as being a normal person… with the added complication that being a vampyre is not exactly accepted, morally in many places.

Being a Vampyre will NOT make you happier.
Being a Vampyre will not make you healthier (on the contrary)
Being a Vampyre will not give you more friends, or lovers
Being a Vampyre will not make you more attractive
Being a Vampyre will never solve a single problem in your life…

IF you want to be a Vampyre for ANY of the above reasons there are FAR better solutions.. REAL solutions for you!”

Real vampires know who and what they are, it is a natural evolution or development not the result of some movie-like tryst with a fanged ‘prince/princess of the night’. I am sorry if that disappoints you but the one thing about being a real modern vampire is you have to be realistic and pragmatic about it.

Post-awakening…

In all probability you will have started looking for answers, why do I feel this way? What do I do to control these feelings?, How do I get what I need to be well? And so forth. You will probably come to the conclusion, before long, that you have more questions than there are answers and that’s because many of the answers lie with you already, the trick is learning to recognize them and learning to integrate them into your new life.

There is a vast amount of information and resources available on the internet, in the Online Vampire Community, for you to look to for answers but you will also find a bewildering array of different answers to the same question. This is because no one has the truth figured out yet and anyone who claims to have “the truth” is simply grandstanding or deluding themselves. The cold hard facts are no one knows where vampires come from, no one knows why certain individuals become real living vampires and no one knows what the exact method of maintaining the vampiric self is. The very best thing that you can do is take in theories and ideas from several reputable sources and then see if they fit YOU. If not, keep looking. This is very much a case where knowledge is power and the more knowledge you have the easier your vampiric life will be to incorporate into your “dayside” or real world life.

Dayside vs. Nightside…

One of the most critical decisions you will face is just how integrated your vampiric life and your human life will become. Let’s make no mistake, let us be quite clear, real living vampires ARE real humans also.

Early on, in the teenage years, the “vampiric” side can be quite easily accommodated in the swirl of commonly encountered peer groups that abound. Appearing in public dressed in black pseudo-Victorian clothing with black finger polish and a shocking white complexion is a sign that you belong to a specific peer group, it will assist greatly in masking the vampiric side of your personality, the nightside.

The matter of vampiric “feeding” to maintain your health and wellbeing is another main focus during your life. Reports on the effects of non-feeding vary from individual to individual but all appear to be uniformly negative and the effects of non-feeding are almost universally held to be detrimental to the real vampire. There is, and has always been, great and seemingly endless debate on the reasons for and nature of, feeding as opposed to the consequences of not feeding but again, other than the fact that there is an almost universal agreement on the effects of not feeding the whole thing varies widely from individual to individual. What you will need to do is experiment SAFELY until you find your own balance.

As you grow older it becomes more difficult to reconcile the two sides and there needs to be a balance struck between the two. You are going to be looking to move into professional circles, get a job, get a loan, become influential and successful and simply remain safe from harassment and ridicule. This is when the decision whether to “come out of the coffin”, as it is termed, or not becomes extremely important. Coming out of the coffin can be a liberating experience and truly a courageous form of self-expression but it can also get you fired, harassed on the street, lead to problems for your family and generally make life very unpleasant. On the other hand, if you are in a certain profession, say for example music and the arts, it can be a handy boost to your publicity. It is a choice that only you can make but it is vitally necessary that you weigh up the benefits versus the consequences for both yourself and your family and friends before you make your decision.

The VC/OVC…

In all probability, unless you are completely removed from all forms of computers, you will have become familiar with the VC (Vampire Community) and the OVC (Online Vampire Community). The VC is the reality version of the community wherein “vampire balls”, vampire meet-ups and House functions are held in real time and attended by members of the VC. Not all of these people are necessarily involved in the OVC and it is probably a good idea, if you are going to attend “vampire friendly” bars and clubs that you take sensible security precautions, just as you would going any place at night these days ~ yes, it’s true, vampire functions don’t generally take place during the day.

In an article I presented entitled “Crossroads – The VC/OVC; a positive power”  I commented:

The OVC can, and in many cases does, contribute positively to the development of the “vampyric” self for those who are undergoing the processes of self-awareness, or “awakening” and it is at this somewhat critical stage that many newcomers need our help, as a community, to come to terms with the changes in their lives.

Apart from the obvious “online” interactions, which are comparatively easy to maintain, there are also local events that allow members of the OVC to mingle in a social fashion. “Meetups”, a popular term, that allows real vampyres to associate freely with others of their kind, are held in many places. This can also help in preventing “isolationist” feelings in people and engenders cooperative approaches and free sharing of ideas. Unfortunately there are a great many in the community who do not have, or cannot afford, the luxury of attending such events and may be in a geographical situation that does not allow for them actually meeting with others of their kind. In this respect the OVC provides a vital link to the world that these isolated members could not otherwise experience ~ another positive approach to the problem of isolation.

These “meet-ups” also engender the establishment of community cooperation and projects. Combined efforts not only aimed at improvements within the OVC but also outside of it. Combined efforts at positive media release, representation and the like will undoubtedly benefit any community.”

There are, still, many benefits from interaction within the VC/OVC and the fact that there are also pitfalls is, in the main, overshadowed by the good people you will find that are willing and able, to give you the help and guidance you are seeking. However, be aware, like any other community or society there are also a great number of untrustworthy, snide, arrogant, self-promoting and downright miserable people to be found. People who will take any facet of your involvement and interaction and turn it into a bitter, cynical and downright offensive “insult party” for them and their associates to enjoy a laugh at your expense. Generally speaking, as in the real world, they will not bring their issues up with you so laugh it off, ignore them but know who they are and avoid them. It’s that simple.

The online community is an entity in and of itself… I’m going to admit something to you now, dear reader… I could take someone off the street and in four hours I could teach them enough so that they would be accepted as a real living vampire in the OVC.

You need to stay aware that you are looking at words on a screen, being typed by someone who is probably tens of thousands of miles away, and you have NO way of knowing whether it is the truth or not. You can check around with others and ask, “Hey, what’s with so-and-so, are they legit?” and you may get a typed chorus of “Yes”… but, is that the truth? Over time you will learn who to trust and who not to trust by watching what they do and how they do it. The best piece of advice I can offer you is trust your instincts, if it looks “dodgy” then in all likelihood it is.

The other thing you will rapidly come to notice is that there is very little decorum, manners or real civility in the OVC. That’s something you are going to need to get past, or ignore the people you don’t like from the tone of their typed material and responses, it’s a choice you’ll have to make for yourself. The OVC is highly “clique oriented” and “political” with a great penchant for dramatic, and overly dramatic, furors. The new arrival, looking for their path, would be well advised to keep their own counsel and stay well out of such matters since the only thing that ensues from them is ill-will and further fragmentation between the parts of the OVC community. By reading and watching discussions you will soon come to form your own ideas on who is, and who is not, sensible, trustworthy, intelligent and honest.

Beyond the OVC…

I once posed the question, “Where do old vampyres go?” Some people gave me comic answers, some people gave me honest answers and still others gave me deeply thoughtful replies. My conclusion was that there comes a point where the “senior”, as in long serving, members of the VC/OVC move on to other projects and other aims. Some former members of the community have found their true path through religion, others claim to have “cured” themselves of their vampirism while still others, such as myself, have, through a prolonged process of critical self-evaluation and study, come to realise that while modern vampirism may well have been a handy explanation for a long time it is not the true and full explanation of who and what they are. Many will discover they have richer lives as families come along, careers change and so forth. Some become disillusioned and tired of fighting to improve things to no avail and retire gracefully; some get thrown out on their ear for bringing the community into disrepute. Whatever the reason and result the old saying, “Nothing lasts forever” is probably one of the truest of statements that can be applied to the VC/OVC.

People come and go, as in any other part of life. Friendships are formed then drift apart, as in any other facet of life. There are undoubtedly those who were never real vampires at all but made their way through the OVC under the guise. There really is no way of telling at the end of the day and the best that any of us can do is to be true to ourselves and the knowledge of what we are, or are not.

As for where old vampyres go when they die, well, one thing is for sure they don’t lie in their tombs waiting for the moon to rise so they can creep out in the night and drink the blood of their hapless victims. Real living vampires are not immortals so it won’t be until your time comes that you’ll discover the final answer.

Further references:

The importance of community, J. Reason, January 2011

Crossroads – Into the OVC, which way now? Tim B., March 2011

Crossroads – Safety first, Tim B., March 2011

Surviving an awakening, J. Reason, March 2011

Crossroads – The VC/OVC, a positive power, Tim B. April 2011

Real vampire community personal safety and privacy awareness, SphynxcatVP, July 2011

Do you think you might be a vampire? Tim B. September 2011

Differences Between “Twilight: Breaking Dawn Part 1″ and Real Vampires, J. Reason, Nov 2011

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