Vampires At Occupy

Posted: Monday, 12 December, 2011 by deacongray in Community Articles

An outsider speaks from the inside
-Boise Idaho
We’re in a coffee shop just a little ways off from 5th and Jefferson, the site of the Boise Occupy campaign on a lazy Sunday evening. Outside Christmas lights are going up, or shining brightly and people are moving in the cold in a hurry to get home to a nice warm house and a good meal Gunnar, Matt and I are sitting down to a seasonal coffee drink with way too much sugar and enough calories to ensure lunch is overkill. He is wearing a thick black hooded pea coat with a bright pink scarf “It’s to support breast cancer awareness” he says by way of explanation. Gunnar ( fake name) is 48 years old, and looks more like a business man then a protestor, and he certainly doesn’t fit the mold I had in my mind when we agreed to talk.

“I am retired. I did 25 years in my industry, than got medically retired.”

Gunnar and Matt ( Also a fake name) are also a self proclaimed Psychic Vampires.
“I am an out of work bum.” Matt says, a twinkle in his eye at the inside joke between himself and Gunnar that I am not fully able to work out. Matt, unlike Gunnar, is 23 years old, with a wild tangle of curly hair and a devil may care attitude trussed up in a thick faux fur lined parka. “I like breasts too, but it’s too cold to worry about pink scarves.”

GYP: So for me the obvious question is, what does Vampirism have to do with Occupy?

Gunnar: For me it has very little to do with Occupy. I am down here doing this because I have been watching year to year my father’s retirement get slimmer and slimmer. The cost of living allowances are not being increased to follow the market, and the company he worked for is posting record profits while the people who made that happen, the people who worked their whole life to move them toward success are being not only left behind, but slowly cut off.

Matt: I think it matters because the vampire community is affect by this just as much as the rest of the country. We are a subculture to be sure, but that doesn’t make us any less a part of what’s going on in this country. It might seem weird, but our community and ones just like it are some of the creators of social media. So it makes sense to me that we come out and help organize, to blog, to tweet. After all if not for social media our community wouldn’t be where it is today and I think the same can hold true for Occupy.

Gunnar: We see a lot of it all over the world, Libya is a great example, Iran too. They are learning to use their social connections to accomplish great things, to spread the word and make things happen.

Matt: You know that’s true, look at the Endless Night event. I mean it went from being a pretty small thing to an internationally known venue. People got to New Orleans from all over the world just to see that event. If those guys is New Orleans can do it, then there is no reason why we can’t do the same thing with Occupy. We have even been considering bringing up the idea of a Flash Mob at the mall to bring attention to our cause.

GYP: It sounds like some pretty tenuous links to me. So you think that the lessons learned from the Vampire Community, specifically to the social media aspect of it, can help Occupy?

Gunnar: I do, I think that we can help them learn how to make the forums and message boards productive instead of battle grounds. We have seen for years on the vampire message boards where perfectly reasonable discussion can turn into pointless bickering. (He shoots your reporter a dirty look for some reason)
We can show them how to avoid those pitfalls, how to work more like a think tank, with each person’s views considered and the majority making the decisions.

Matt: I am not sure about that aspect. I mean sure it sounds great but there are a lot of different views and reasons for being here and each one wants their voice heard. There is a lot of conflict in Occupy inside and out. It has to be that way, it has to be less focused and more encompassing. This is the perfect place for Vampirism to be spoken of as an issue. This is a perfect place for “We” the “Subculture” to have our voices heard.

We can stand up and say out loud that we are part of the process, we are not just a subculture we are also a part of society and this community of Americans. We contribute to the tax base and we have a right to be heard and respected just like everyone else.

Gunnar: That is a point in which we will have to disagree.

GYP: Ok, so moving on. Are you out to the people at Occupy? If so why did you make that choice and if not will you explain your hesitation?

Gunnar: No. I think it takes away from the bigger message. We need to be aware of the real issues we are facing. Our community, the Vampire Community needs to be aware that it is not just about bums, selfish youth, and the “Every child gets a medal” culture we see today. The rewards for competition are great, that is what this country was founded on. However, the rewards of competition cannot forget those who laid the ground work. The rewards cannot always just go up to the top 1% sometimes the rest of us need our share of the pie too, the pie we help make.

Matt: yes, I am pretty vocal about it. I think people need to know that we are part of society and not all just nut cases biting teenage girls at “Twilight” movies. We are not all ritualistic killers, or wacked out drug addicts. We are your brothers and sisters, fathers and mothers. We are real people dealing with a real issue, and dealing with the same issues as everyone else in this country.

GYP: Thank you both, it has been a great to hear your points of view.

Both of them leave the coffee shop and go back out into the cold. They will travel down the ice cold gray cement walkways, cross the streets and rejoin their fellow “Occupy” protestors peacefully with widely different reasons for being there, but drawn together by a common cause. In the end I suppose it really doesn’t matter what purpose you have for being a part of any protest, as long as you follow your heart and stand up for what you believe in, even if it does require the use of a Flash Mob at the Mall.

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