Archive for January, 2015

Words of Prey

Posted: Saturday, 31 January, 2015 by deacongray in Articles of Interest, Community Articles, Uncategorized

verbal-abuse-teenagers11-31-2015 (c) graveyard press
by Deacon Gray

Recently, Gordon Smith, of the Facebook group CLAVIS (Current and Longitudinal Analyses of the Vampire-Identifying Subculture) started what he calls a Academic/scientific Inquiry into, “The online discussion boards of the vampire-identifying subculture have long been associated with irascibility, but possible constructive consequences of these impassioned public debates go largely overlooked”

It is a long standing, but reasonably under considered topic in the vampire community as a whole. Why is that we have so many impassioned debates? Is it really just the VC, or has it become and epidemic in our post internet developed society?

If it were just the information Mr. Smith presented to us, I don’t think I would have considered it all much, likewise if it were just the rare story on the news about a bullied kid committing suicide or for that matter I might not have thought about it much at all but with even the “This American Life” story called “If you don’t have anything nice to say, SAY IT IN ALL CAPS!’ budding to my attention.

Perhaps it is because I too like a good on line debate. I like to engage people and challenge myself. I like to play the better game, as it were, or at times educate the masses. Yet how is it that anything I do on line is so worth getting worked up about? How is it that the right challenge by someone can so easily set my predatory mind in motion? Is there something about the medium itself, this generation, or perhaps the safety of the format?

I counted five threads closed on the Vampire Community News since Dec 31 2014. In each one of those comments went from questioning, to reasonable, to explanatory, than all out name calling. Is this because we try to get through to people and when that fails, screaming at them is the next appropriate step? Is mocking them the right course of action? What about spreading the world to various other groups about what a horrid person/troll/asshat the person might be?

Is appropriate to stalk them on line and troll them? What about make threats, or make statements like “ I wish you would just killed yourself?” When is it too far? When do we as individuals write something like “You’re the dumbest person I have ever met!” or “I hope that gross slug of a fat girl in green chokes on her diet soda and dies!”

These are actual statements I read in posts today. Not posts in a forum, but in response to something as innocuous as a video posted on Facebook. How could someone in a video on Facebook make you so mad that you have to resort to attacking their appearance because you don’t like what they are saying? How did that become ok?

I don’t think there is ever and excuse. Oh sure I have fought fire with fire before, or even tried to shake someone up by taunting them in a rather ruthless manner among my favorites are “Did your mother hate you? Did she feed you lead paint chips?” I also liked “Did you have a English Nanny? Did she shake you?” was it right? I read back some things one debate had said a week after an argument. I asked how they felt about the terms, only I didn’t clue them into the fact that they had been the one to says these things. “I realize you were homeschooled so you most likely have a great education and about as much sense as a zombie sheep, but don’t bring your fat ass up here thinking that you know what you are talking about.”

His response was interesting “You should never attack some ones weight. I am over weight and I know how much that hurts. I mean sure I get called fat all the time, but using it as proof of a lack of intelligence or to bully someone is fucked up.” When I showed him the whole post that included  his name he said “That was different. That was a total moron who really needed to get it knocked into her thick skull that she was being stupid. Did she put you up to this? Are you her bitch now?” Why was it that with someone who could be so rational while In the dark about identify, could turn so angry so fast over the internet? Interestingly enough talking over the phone changed things. We agreed after the call on the wording of this, because I didn’t have a voice recorder at the time.

“it’s not that I am trying to be tough, or show how smart I really am. I just don’t understand why people can’t face reality when its right in front of their face. I feel like, like I have to get into their face as well and force them to see it. It just becomes important to me that they see why they are wrong and why I am right.

Maybe it is because the internet makes it less personal. I don’t have to speak to that person again if I don’t desire too.  I know that the worst thing that can happen is that some dude on the net will be pissed for a few days, and than move on. Well I did until you tracked me down. I didn’t really think that my words, hard as they were, would mean anything. You read about people committing suicide, sure, but those people really KNOW each other. In real time I mean. It’s not the same thing- is it?”

Vampires, Walking on the Sun?

Posted: Monday, 26 January, 2015 by deacongray in Uncategorized

Fedora1/26/2015 © graveyardpress

And they folked out with guitars around a bonfire
Just singin’ and clappin’ man what the hell happened?
Some were spell bound some were hell bound Some they fell down and some got back up and Fought against the melt down
And their kids are hippie chicks all hypocrites
Because fashion is smashin’ the true meaning of it!”- Smash Mouth

 

In the summer of 1992 America and the world was in a economic, social and cultural state of confusion. New trends were erupting even as old trends were coming back into fashion. There was one style ‘mood’, one style ‘mainstream’, one a hidden underbelly that just won’t be put down no matter how hard the system tried to kill it. Things were happening but than I suppose things always do.

Music was twisted around as well. There were too many generations all screaming out their birth pangs or death rattles. And, while the “Red Hot Chili Peppers” took a whole years worth of kids ‘under the bridge’, and their little sisters, and oddly enough their parents, cried as they heard Eric Clapton leak tears on his guitar, our generation was so much as lost, as deliberately in hiding.

The wavers and skaters sunk themselves into their own cure, and in some unexpected cultural coup, the dead had arisen and once more traveled in their bus while hippie wannabes and deadheads chased them and the high to new places. we had a hundred hour war to protest, even though most of those flag burners didn’t even know what the hell was going on.

Somewhere in that dismal dark place between sunshine girls and the boys of summer, a ugly movement was raising its head, and spitting in the face of the new happy go lucky toon tones like the “achy breaky heart”. I know some of you people had that song and repeat, I know you did and I resent it. Anyway…

There is probably more misunderstanding and misinformation about the Goth Movement than any other movement in that contemporary culture. It wasn’t as naïve as the hippy chick liberals who seemed to think tie dye and dreadlocks would save the world, or as empty headed as a thug life culture of blue and red that seemed to swell up from the sewers no matter were you went.

No, the Goth culture started out more Victorian, older blander patterns for clothing, make up that was subdued but silk, and a sadness that spoke volumes about the state of our world that wasn’t just about drugs or music, and it wasn’t limited by some trend, or belief, even if that belief was vampiric.

You could be a pagan, or party boy, you could be there to dance, or to create. It was a new mix of people doing whatever the hell they wanted and not caring a damn bit if people thought they were just dorks in black. We were the future. We were Intellectual and curious, the crème of the crop, even if the rank and file of sheeple in the world couldn’t see it. We screamed with Depeche mode, and rocked with Sabbath,  against their blindness.

The Vampires didn’t show up on the scene, they simply emerged from it. Stepping out of the shadows for a time, they felt a comfort in the new dark movement. They mingled in the clubs because they could with out immediately coming under fire, or being misconstrued as Satanists, demon worshipers or pagans, because they could be any of those things and no one really cared much about the fang loving, or blood drinking. What was any movement without a little wickedness?

Recently someone told me the generation was dead. The last of those curious intellectuals were still hanging around, but they were bending their will more toward trolling and public debate over crap they don’t think about more than a few moments after the words are hammered out in their keyboards. Some of our best minds, more active and progressive have become silent in the shadows, as trolls and entertainment seekers tear down every new idea for the simple fun of doing so and perhaps feeling for a moment like the have proven their value to humanity by dragging down an idea that could perhaps of worked given a chance to develop.

I am not sure I agree with this concept. I look around and I don’t see the financial poor and internet famous. I see people, good people who are making progress in various ways. New groups are coming together, based not just on how many “likes” someone can get, but on an actual population that might want to get together for a drink and talk about things deeper than defining vampirism.

I think our next great generation is on its way. One made up of the fuck it attitude of Gen x, the tech savvy of Gen Y and the exuberance of the generation that doesn’t know what a dial up modem sounds like. They are opening Ezines, and fashion blogs, they are asking the questions, and seeking others who seek, and perhaps in the end they will make a connection in this world. A connection not just with other people, but with a movement that like the beat movement, could cause waves for generations to come.

Two generations from now we will see Gen Z complaining about the fakers copying the X Gen, and us old folks will kick back and smile, because it was never about the black cloths, it was never about the tie dye, or even the music. It was about a voice of a generation that pushed its way into several more as it went. We live though attacks, wars, false flags and propaganda from idiots on both sides of the isle and the idealists who can’t see why both sides are needed. We are survivors and our kids will be after us thanks to the lessons they learned.

The VC will not die out, it will not fade back into the shadows, it will just become brighter and dimmer as time passes and, we will have to fight for our legacy with actions that people can remember. My friends I wouldn’t have it any other way.

 

 

 

BatGirl

 

 

1/25/2015 © graveyardpress

Bad people are everywhere.  You can find them in every community whether the focus is surfing, or videos games, there are always bad people around. In our community it is more than just a problem, it’s a stigma, one that is very hard to break away from. It’s harder if we try to  ignore those issues.

I suppose that’s why I wanted to talk to someone who is affected by those issues. Sadly it didn’t take long to find someone to talk to. Sandy is a mother whose teenage daughter has been digging into this community for some time.  She agreed to speak to me because she has an issue with her teenage daughter and the countless attempts by various people who claim to be community members to seduce her daughter.

“Hi my name is Sandy. If you were expecting some kind of exotic “Nightside” name you are barking up the wrong tree. I’m not a member of the Vampire Community. Rather I wouldn’t be if I didn’t have to deal with a teen age girl who has decided she is a vampire. I won’t debate that aspect, people believe what they believe. I didn’t agree to talk because of belief one way or another.

Ok, ok, let me get my head straight. Let me start by saying that I am 40 (something) years old. My daughter is a staggering fifteen years old. I say staggering because I can still remember her pouting about her princess pony and glitter. The whole vampire, fitness model, pagan witchy stuff is a little new for me. Seeing pervy middle aged men hitting on my daughter because they are “Vampire Sires” took things in a whole weird direction. (This is where I roll my eyes)

How do you deal with having a teenage daughter who, and it isn’t just a mothers love that says so, is beautiful and intelligent? How do you deal with a girl who thinks about things like the concepts and philosophies of Jung, while not sure if she should have the dramatic red nails, or the dark green ones with musical notes? And IQ of 156, and three separate modeling companies trying to draw your kid into an industry of evil? (I know what they do at fashion shows, and NO)

You just, deal with it. The Vampires, that is a whole new angle. Five times now my little angel of a daughter has drawn so called vampires who are willing to teach her, four of those times there have been requests for pictures, and even after informed that she is under age, they still ask for images that aren’t something any mother would be pleased with.

Honestly  I know my kid needs to learn. This is a path she is exploring, and perhaps something she will grab onto in her life. I want her to learn  what she is actually getting involved with. What she keeps finding instead is people who want to see if she looks as good in a g-string as she does in tight jeans.(insert annoyed seriously protective mom look here)

I guess I asked to be able to speak in this forum to ask a question. Is there a safe place for a kid in the community? How can a Mother feel secure in allowing her child to interact, when over and over again it comes down to people trying to exploit her?( She isn’t stupid either, she conned one older guy into sending her 250$ for a prom dress)

Deacon has said I shouldn’t allow my daughter to be involved in anything without me being present. My daughter is less than thrilled with that concept. What does a parent do?

Are we supposed to ignore the twilight dumb vampirette crap so many are putting out there? Should we shrug when our kid wants to wear a corsett, show a lot of leg and sport fake teeth as they act out hyper sexual cleches?

I don’t think some of you realize how much you affect kids who read the stuff you write. I don’t think many of you really see that the things you are saying and doing and pushing can have a negative affect.

Sandy, Mother of a Vampire

A Bubble Gum Vampires Speak

Posted: Sunday, 18 January, 2015 by deacongray in Community Announcements, Uncategorized

” But should we bother listening?”

amy14

 

1/18/2015 © Graveyard press

In 2009 voices from the east proclaimed the possession of donors and restrictions on their participation with in their segment of the VC. A few thousand facebook posts, bitter words, and open threats later, the dead horse had been turned into glue, and the left over hide used for alter pieces to the damned.

By 2011 the subject was in full swing again, news organizations lambasted the damn gall of those who again went on their anti-donor rights rampage, but the donors were not long in the shadows of that fight. From that debate we saw groups emerge, great documents presented, the time tested Donors Bill of Rights, by Zaar, and the Donor and Vampires guide to negotiations that I wrote. Still…this particular horse is pale, and even though the rider is death, the subject comes alive once more.

The bubble gum vampire wasn’t put off by the admonitions of people within the group in which she posted her article either.  To one who stated “You’re everywhere and you’re not at all nice”

Bubble Gum vampire ‘Amy Mah’ is quoted as saying “ Yes I am everywhere…’Walking packed Lunch’ was me being nice as I normally say  ‘walking Bags of Blood”

 

Of course this is coming from a fictional character of a girl that must be in her mid teens, whose articles focus on things such as “Base: When dating it is handy to know the code words of what you are doing with each other…believe it or not others have done it before, they even numbered it!”

Where she goes on to explain what getting from first base to fifth base ,means (I Know…I know.. Babe Ruth just died again), and ponders about the mystery of why boys like boobs. While at it she offers some amazing advice for young girl vampires like “Unlike Human Girls this is Doing all of the above when on heat, as this only happens every 20 years or so and starts with biting of furnature giving your perants time to lock you in yuour room.

it is also called getting pregnant and discovering that you have not just raised your tail and instantly got pregnant! as I said you are on heat But, due to a bonding contract signed years ago by your parents, you now have a lifetime mate!”

Suffice it to say, this is hardly the depth of knowledge, or the intellectual debates we saw before, but it is a long way from being really dangerous.  Regardless of the intention, either tongue in cheek, a game of meta-fiction, or the  playful intentions of a graphic novel writer, there are some misconceptions that sneak passed, and some that will fire people up. The idea that valued donors of the community are reasonably objectified as food, is likely to get many gnashing their teeth.

“It’s not that she is just some kid flapping her lips that’s a problem. At issue is that she is spreading a stereotype of a the dumb vampire woman. This kid is so busy trying to feel smart, sexy and powerful, that she misses the point. Your power is diminished when you act like a bubble headed ding bat. Using what you think are clever words to gain attention don’t just make her look dimwitted, but spread that stereotype that all goths and vampires are just wonton sluts who will jump the bones of any “boy” that will give them a little blood.”

Clearly there are some heated opinions about this subject. One of the issues though is that what was said, was said in a mundane vampire fandom site. If left there, I doubt it would have mattered, but as they things do, the conversation slips into other forums, and it doesn’t take long for people to get riled up.  Over time I have heard both sides use some pretty strong language when dealing with it, but is that really the answer?

Is it really for the best  overall to allow these confused individuals to provoke such an angry response that we lose our own cool? Often they are doing it just to get us to become upset.  When celebrity is the goal, attention either negative or positive is the means of achieving it. In this case the community’s outrage is being used as stepping stone.

My suggestion is this. Take what was said to provoke an intelligent intellectual discussion with everyone except the person who made the crappy comment. Don’t allow them to become the center of their own shit storm, instead objectify them as the provocateurs they are, and turn it into a reasonable discussion.

In the end there will always be  people who say stupid things to get a rise from you. There will always be bullies, brutes and bubble headed ding bats, but they can only affect you as much as you allow them too. After all, do you really want to be in a word battle with someone who says things like

 

“FIRST BASE

OK, this is the one we normally call making out, and unless you are on heat it stops at kissing, hugging and generally grabbing at each other. At this stage you can bite a boy but he is not allowed to bite you back.”

In the end, even if you win the debate, you have only won against a fictional character, or a writer who uses that character to slip out of accountability for her own words.

1/18/2015 (c) Graveyard Press 

Occupy

Of all the subcultures I have ran into, the goths and vampires put on the best show; if they stayed home, so would the rest of us. On an ideological level, a vampire and goth spend hours spent on personal style make the most sense: many vampires ideas are rooted in a kind of undead aristocratism; the style is meant to be out of time and place.

Goths, like a character in a supernatural weepy who has unknowingly passed to the afterlife, a vampire is the last person to know it’s dead. Goth, more intelligently, keeps telling us it is dead and it very much wants to stay that way.

The first time I visited an event, I was reminded that uniformity is a gamble for timelessness. Subcultures not only construct a fictitious past (for example, a warped Gothic Romanticism), but also freeze that fiction into a changeless armature of attitudes and beliefs.

Subcultures are usually understood as a response to current events, but after their novelty fades, they need to find new hosts in younger generations. This isn’t really true with such dandified rebellions as the vampire culture or the goths, they merely adapt and carry on.

Five years ago it was top hats and silk, today you keep the black and red Victorian splendor, but cog it up and increase the steam. Even as the steam clears a new genre develops and drives forward, but the culture itself doesn’t really die.

When a new movement starts in the political world, the vampires and goths can be found hip deep in their ranks. Occupy saw more than one fang fitted protestor, Guy Fawkes masks are no stranger at the so called Vampiric Courts, or goth dance clubs.

 

“The community”, as it is called might be totally human, and indeed fairly mundane, but it is a long way from mortal. The community itself is immortal, it will grow and adapt, it will breath and sigh, but when the fog clears, no matter how they look, the rebellion will there still.

Henry Ford

1/18/2015 (c) GYP

by Deacon Gray

It’s foggy this morning. Outside it’s a wonderful 23 degrees outside, and inside my dog, a Staffordshire terrier mutt named Sarah, is lounging by the heater waiting for it to come on.

I am watching Helix, still bundled up in my sweater and trying to focus on making breakfast, and reading various articles from the community. In many cases it’s like reading the same radical opinions from the 90’s only now they are nearly codified by conventional population.

Back than the main topics of conversation were things like “How to develop your Vampiric power of presences” and “Who were you in your past life?” For days people discussed things like the struggles of being an empath, or how to deal with vampiric children, and yet there were radicals out there.

There are some basic concepts we look at today, that people would have come to fisticuffs over back then, and back then isn’t so far away.  Concepts like, we are just humans, not magical creatures, and we don’t have special powers.

Whether you believe that or not, those concepts are accepted today as a valid opinion. They are because some people were willing to be radical enough, and willing to take the heat, for sharing their beliefs despite the fall out to their personal reputation. Radicals.

In this community we need radicals in order to progress. We need people who are willing to step up and look at new thoughts and ideas, and present them without fear of the community going ape shit. Sadly we don’t have that luxury.

We deal with too many people who come into the community thinking they are radicals, when they are in fact simply ass holes. It can be hard to tell the difference, but if you are actually looking you can see it.

The community needs people who will inject new ideas, these are not the people who are simply defending their opinion of old concepts, but those looking forward. There will always be assholes out there. There will always be those who dig their feet in, but there will also be those who refuse to be silenced to pushed back into a corner.

People are doing it all over the world. Despite the arrogance of our US VC, and their belief that they are in some way superior because they have been around longer, places like South African, Manchester England, and Italy  we are seeing communities spring. They are radicals because they are doing it, even as so many are telling them that they are too new, too young, not well enough known to make such things happen, and yet they are happening.

It is only with Radicals from all walks of life and places in the world step up, and do those things that they see as needing done. People like those building new Houses and Courts, News organizations, and events, those who are DOING and not just complaining are the new radicals of our time, and while we complain and bitch, they are going to pass us by.

We need our radicals, but make no mistake. Simply being an ass isn’t enough. Being the smartest person in the room ( in your own opinion) isn’t enough to do that. What will do it? Challenge yourself, think about what project you could do, what part you can play, and never forget those radicals who came before you.

No Good Event, goes off without bitching

Posted: Saturday, 17 January, 2015 by deacongray in Community Events, Uncategorized

Editorial by Deacon Gray

1/17/2015 (c) GYPPromotor

Over the last several years there has been a trend toward demonizing those individuals that promote and develop many of the events we like to attend. The Court of Lazarus puts of consistent events for their area and have been for years, but if you ask the OVC about the Court of Lazarus, you hear nothing but mindless bitching. (Mindless because nearly none of them have actually attended the events.)

The same thing can be said about pretty much any event organizer or promotor out there though. Look at Austin, their court has been going strong for a year or so, few have actually attended those events, but the voices we do hear pretty much just complain about there being a court King and Queen. ( Not they never said they were the King and Queen of vampires in Austin.)

Courts
More recently we see places like the Iron Garden Court coming together after years as sleep. Before their first event has even kicked off, there have been several people bitching and complaining. Why? Why is there always so much vitriol about these events? I mean a basic scan of google shows so many events its insane, so what is it that people are complaining about?

“Have you seen how self-aggrandizing they are? They think their shit doesn’t stink! How dare they think they are better than other people!”

My favorite lately was in response to the interview I wrote about the Iron Garden Court. Someone who made a fast profile and listed themselves as IGREGENT stuck around just long enough to bitch about the events, but not so long as to actually step up and identify who they were.  For all I know they were the original IG Regent, but if so the cowardly pot shot didn’t really serve much of a purpose.

There are some self-aggrandizing people in the community, and they have nearly always become a real hindrance to the community as a whole in my opinion.

 

The thing is this, the people who promote events and gatherings can’t be “In the shadows” they have to be out there building up the event, and they have to build themselves up as well if they want the event to be successful. Sure, in the end they would love for the event to have a life of its own, like Sturgis, but in the short term you have to have those people out there who can help draw others out.

 

Let me give you an example. Here in my area we have a awesome promotor named Ginger. Ginger promotes events in Boise and in Seattle. She does a pretty damn good job of it, but everyone knows that if Ginger isn’t there personally, the event isn’t going to be as good.  People also know that Ginger isn’t the leader of the pagan community. She is a promotor, some of the leadership of the pagan community attend her events, but they are not threatened by the promotor.
There is nothing wrong with being a good promotor, of self-aggrandizing to an extent. It becomes an issue when people start thinking that they are the event, that they are the important aspect that is the community.  When promotors start to use their own credibility as “power”, it becomes an issue for the community as a whole. When people confuse promotors with community leaders, it becomes a disaster.

 

You see there is nothing wrong with someone being a good promotor, and nothing wrong with being a strong community leader, but they don’t have to be the same thing, and normally aren’t. If they work together a lot of great things can happen, but if they struggle for control, you can be certain only destructive waves will build.

 

Our community is no different. Sure we have our big time promotors. People like Todd, Like Maven  Lore, or the people in the Austin Court. That’s great, are they highly respected as knowledgeable in the community? Do you look to them for education? Perhaps you do, but even the one who tries to be a teacher that I mentioned, gets most of his stuff from other people who actually DO know what they are talking about.

 

Great events are created by great team work amongst promotors, artists and attendees, and unless you want to be the one who is OUT THERE, don’t bitch about people self-aggrandizing.  Think about the time, energy and effort that goes into these things. Think about the people constantly complaining, the venue owners making demands, the band or entertainment that you have to gather, and hope they do a good job.

I am not a promotor…don’t want to be one either, but just think about it for a moment and give credit where credit is do. If you aren’t willing to do the work yourself, perhaps silencing your criticism would be of more use than the constant bitching.