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“But When Worlds Collide
Said George Pal to his bride
I’m gonna give you some terrible thrills”(1)
When worlds collide, it’s a euphemism that has been, and is, used to cover a huge range of situations, social situations, personal situations, racial situations, intellectual and, of course, cultural situations.
There is no doubt that the modern Vampire culture has many things about it that don’t necessarily gel with the usually expected, dare we say “normal” (insert mundane if you wish) course of society so what happens when these two worlds collide.
The most common result is the “Tele-Vamp”, the person whom appears on daytime television and either attempts to explain “us” or those who appear to “make a name” with whatever actions/ statements they feel best fit the Vampire stereotype. Either way there is generally little harm or damage done in these instances. The general public may watch, shake their heads and smile. We may watch, shake our heads and groan.
There have been a number of documentaries produced with the assistance of highly credible and well-spoken members of the modern culture, they generate interest for a time, people come with serious questions, for a time but eventually these works become consigned to a teaching resource for our niche.
Within that scope so-far so-good but what happens when we, as a culture, come to the point of seriously engaging with people, bodies and organisations either on the fringe of, or completely outside our cultural identity?
Negotiating such involvements can be tricky and are fraught with danger because of the very way our “niche” operates within itself. An example, that embroils us at present, is one that all too frequently raises its head and that is making our endeavours into business arrangements.
“A friendship built on business can be glorious, while a business built on friendship can be murder.”
– John D. Rockefeller
…and no more so than when the matter is conducted in the “online” sphere. Comments are exchanged, comments are made, agreement over specific points are easily typed but NONE of these are ever subjected to the standard business activities of meetings, documentation and signatures. In the old days, even in my old days in small towns where I grew up in, “handshakes” sealed deals, it was clearly understood who was obligated to whom, for what reason and it was clearly expected that the “debt” would be repaid in good time and good order. If you, as the recipient of services, did not attend to it promptly and properly the whole town would be behind the person wronged. That was the entire power of the “handshake”.
These days, and most especially via social media it’s more a case of, “Yeah, whatcha gonna do about it?” or, “I never said that – that’s a faked message”.
Where have you got to go with that? Absolutely nowhere and so the whole matter goes to the “Court of Public Opinion”, a “Trial by (social)Media” if you will.
An uproar currently raging involves alleged business dealings between an East Coast event organisation and a West Coast promotional agency, and in particularly, the involvement of one individual with that and with another planned event over the winter just passed. The details, unfortunately, can’t be spelled out herein because there is the possibility of legal action still to take place and thus we can’t name name’s or places due to that but in broad brush strokes there were two events planned and scheduled, one which actually happened and one did not. One person was involved in both of the event planning stages.
In a nutshell, and depending on whose offered “evidentiary” material you care to give more credence to, there were issues that occurred which brought into question the “promise” versus “delivery” and, over a short period of time, became a question of, “was this a pre-meditated action, or set of actions, designed to make improperly obtained profit”.
On the other hand, could it have been a huge case of “taken for granted based on snippets of previous contacts and conversations”?
Without signed contracts the legalities of the situation become complicated and the resolution becomes extremely difficult to achieve even if you can get the involved parties to the negotiating table together.
The most obvious fallout from any situation like this is, naturally, the personal attacks that ensue when there is little concrete evidence available as to who did/said what and what time about what. No doubt about it, our culture is rife with this, it happens all the time on different scales and, the most damaging thing about that, the actions of a few can reflect badly on the work of many, many good people.
Next, of course, will almost certainly find some form of “scapegoating” occur when the fingers are pointed in one, or two, directions it seems that every ill-conceived, ill-advised and plain wrong thing that the target has ever made or done becomes a hot topic for discussion/ horror/ condemnation.
In this particular instance, much to the mystification of pretty much everyone, we have seen a person accused of starving pet animals to death, on purpose.
STEP BACK… Oh-kayyyyy, really? Is that right?
Hypothetically speaking, if a person is forced to move from a place and is unable to immediately take their pets with them (how many of you reading this have been in that situation? I know I have) and the next thing we know we are being treated to pictures of videos of pet cadavers, allegedly victims of starvation… colour me cynical if you will but I have to ask, where’s the vets certificate detailing the cause of death? And, if the cause was starvation, where were the people who so kindly provided the material? What were they doing while this allegedly happened? Standing by and watching just waiting for their chance to take corpse pictures??? Those would be my questions…
When we arrive here we have to be very wary of things like Slander, a false spoken statement about someone that damages their reputation, or the making of such a statement. Libel, a piece of writing that contains bad and false things about a person and, of course, Defamation, to damage the reputation of a person or group by saying or writing bad things about them that are not true, any one of which can land the perpetrator in legal trouble and, quite possibly, court. I’m afraid you will find that Freedom of Speech does NOT cover Slander, Libel and Defamation.
In the course of trying to assist in resolving certain situations and in the course of researching, editing and preparing this presentation, I have been in close contact, either conducting interviews or discussions, or procuring written permission to present written materials corresponding to these matters, from all the main people intimately involved with both initial and ongoing situations. I have, as a result, material that supports complaint from pretty much all sides and in considering whether to place it all here in a special file for everyone to review I have had to, unfortunately, be mindful of the fact that since we have been advised that there may be legal proceedings in the offing, I can’t display that material at this time (so our advice has been received) but, I ask in all seriousness, what’s the point here? What questions arise from such a sequence of events?
Depending on the “friendships” and connections involved there are a number who will claim vindication regardless of the “evidence”, there will be those who will say, “Yes, but I LOST MONEY”, others will say “I lost reputation and business contacts”, maybe, “I lost credibility when it wasn’t really me that did…” and, unfortunately, there are those that will jump up and down about how so-and-so killed bunnies… and so it will go.
The main concern is that these incidents not be held as being representative of the entire Vampire Culture, there are a number of organisations out there, I have interviewed several both nationally and internationally, who are performing excellent and beneficial work in charity, social assistance and other projects who have, and are, conducting themselves in a most proprietary and creditable way – THEY do not deserve to be coloured with a tarry brush.
At some time or another everybody gets hurt, gets conned in one way or another, gets taken advantage of and gets used especially when you are talking about social media… all we can do is protect ourselves the best way we are able, where I come from we have an eleventh commandment (no offence nor slight intended to any of our Christian readers) and that is, “Cover thine arse“. Don’t promise to do things unless you have the means, the influence or the ability to make them happen, don’t make agreements for goods or services without getting properly generated governing documents drawn up and signed by all involved parties. If you’re going to have a dispute don’t go running to your friends to pour horror stories out about so-and-so, that’s cheap and nasty shot conduct and, while it may make you feel better and make someone feel a bit embarrassed until they get their supporters involved and escalate the situation in the end analysis it will only serve lower people’s opinions of you as well.
As the famous songstress Lulu said,
“Friendship is Friendship. Business is Business”
Perhaps there is some credence to the notion that has been floated a number of times that such disputes do need to be dealt with by an impartial body of adjudication, that of course is entirely dependent upon whether the “independent arbitrators” are trained and have the skillset to adjudicate such matters. In the main that is why we have civil courts.
Another thing we might also consider, think about a global situation that has existed for decades, the Israel/ Palestine issue… peace talks are carried out between Israel and Palestine with an officiating Facilitator approved by both. Another model that can be employed and which ends in a written and signed agreement to achieve a resolution.
The models are all around us in the world and yet we, as a culture, seem hell bent on embracing “drama” and “feud”, drama and feuds that we create, as a norm and, once created, are greeted with a majority of hands being thrown up to a bitter chorus of “Oh the drama, Oh the drama…!”, and not much in the way of solutions.
What does that say about our culture?
Copyright TB 2018
1) ‘Science Fiction Double Feature’ – The Rocky Horror Picture Show,
Twentieth Century Fox and Michael White Productions, 1975
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