Here’s the problem–I can be a very sarcastic person.
(No matter which community I’m participating in.)
And here’s the good thing–my sarcasm is part of my humor and creativity.
I’ll admit that I’m not the most consistent person. I might fluctuate on my behavior, depending on circumstance, personal mood, what I’ve had to eat physically and otherwise. And I’ll also admit that I will let friends and closer associates get away with more bad behavior than people that I might know more casually or not at all.
Here’s the situation–I have many moments when I care about being helpful to others. As a self-identified Psychic Vampire, I care about my fellow Energy Feeders and Blood Feeders. As a metaphysician and energy healer, I care in general about all people being healthy, happy and growing into their spiritual awareness.
AND…because I am not completely enlightened (yet), have a human personality and a dry sense of humor…I am not always completely altruistic. I have a wicked sense of humor. I believe that I can be helpful and caring, when it seems the most appropriate. But, some of my more sarcastic reactions are saved for my private walls–sometimes out of context, without revealing the prompting scenario.
Speaking for my own experience, it seems that even though I do want to be helpful and give useful information to fellow Modern Vampires and help spread factual/relevant information about modern understanding of blood/energy vampirism–receptive and intelligent audiences are not always uniform throughout the internet and in-person worlds. Even with the best of my intentions, sometimes the simple truth is that people DO NOT WANT my information, as I understand and offer it.
In the Vampire Community–“aspirants” ask to be “turned,” others want validation that they are born special, and still others simply want confirmation that they are Vampire–even if their working definition is different than mine. Others just want to be accepted as part of a Community. My general intention is to provide the actual blood/energy feeders with appropriate and practical feeding information, to offer alternatives to non-vampires (when they “want to be” vampires) and educate the public with my particular interpretation and understanding of modern vampirism. Those are my working ideals.
However–I’ve noticed that not everyone wants to be told that they are wrong with their self-identification. Sometimes, members want to argue when I don’t give them a “quick solution” by turning them. Upon disagreeing with my interpretation, I’ve had people drop the conversation, repeatedly insist that they are vampires, insist that I turn them or just not follow through on the alternative suggestions I give them. At some point, it started to feel like a timed game for me–how can I give this person the most useful information in the smallest amount of time, with the expectation that this is the only time that they will ever talk to me?
I eventually got burned out on that idea. My observation of people in-person (offline) and online is that people can be way more complicated than what their surface actions and conversation shows. They can have heavy emotional investments in their ideas–what they WANT to be true. They might not have the conscious recognition of what the motivating factors are in their convictions, only the surface NEED to have their beliefs be true. Not everyone is reasonable or completely conscious in their interactions with those of us in the Community.
So….let’s bring this all back to the SARCASM in our online Vampire Community. There is no rule that everyone has to be welcoming, warm and kind to everyone that wanders into the Community. We have our individual rules in our individual online groups and houses–so, we have our range of responses to the comments and statements that come up in our online forums. There are some members that I tend to avoid in the OVC–I’ve blocked a few. There are other members who I tend to avoid responding to, because they just seem so abrasive. Then, there are some of my friends who can be a little abrasive, when presented with apparent trolling–but, will respond kindly to more believable newcomer questions and remarks. Personal interactions on our Facebook walls aside, I’ve noticed that the sarcasm tends to come out in two types of threads, in general.
The first type of discussion that comes up is that within a heated debate–sarcasm usually comes up in the form of “how can you possible think that?”-spirit of response. During a heated discussion, we are usually arguing among intellectual equals or, at least, between those of us who have strong backbones and thick skins. In this context, the fighting ground is relatively fair–the bigger boys and girls who can serve it, as well as take it. Sarcasm can be served both ways by people who can hold their own.
The second kind of scenario where sarcasm is used in our groups is in response to a single poster’s comment or question–in which the poster says something which is considered outlandish…or seemingly a statement that a troll or role player would say. A popular activity that I’ve seen is when a post will be answered by a lot of eye-rolling and “oh, this again”-kind of responses. The first problem I tend to notice with this is that there is an almost instant camaraderie that people try to form by ganging up on the original poster. Given, some of these claims, questions and comments might seem outlandish–but, I tend to be cautious of those that jump on the sarcasm thread to gain instant credit in a sort of “mob mentality.”
The system is not a perfect one–there are trolls, people who know perfectly well how self-identified Modern Vampires define terms and understand ourselves. Trolls provoke by asking ridiculous questions, even though they might know perfectly well how we use definitions and how we understand concepts. Then we have the people who genuinely do not know how we define terms and concepts, have a fantastical (fictional) view of vampires and vampirism….and are mistaken in their self-identification or want to be transformed into a Fictional Vampire. Those two groups alone make legitimate members of the GVC defensive and sometimes combative, when we perceive someone who is trying to deceive our community.
The problem with this is that we sometimes make assumptions about how real Obligate Sanguivores and Obligate Psychic Feeders are supposed to behave and respond.
Although this is not a universal understanding, my personal interpretation is that obligation to feed does not guarantee any other personality or intuitive traits. In my experience, I am an obligate energy feeder, so I am using my personal history as a gauge for what is possible (though, not an absolute) in the psychic vampire personality. I perceive that I have always had a need to feed on energy. I personally have not always had the same degrees of the same knowledge and information that can be found in a seasoned member of the Community. However, I wouldn’t ask such outlandish questions in public forums, like some members do.
As part of the Magickal/Pagan Community, we would explore the limits of possibility in a methodical manner. Claims of the paranormal and metaphysical were put to the test through reasonable amounts of time preparing and executing magickal technique. Part of this framework for discernment translates fairly neatly over to the topics, claims and beliefs of the Vampire World.
While I tend to lean over towards giving people the benefit of the doubt, I actually rely on my harsher and less forgiving counterparts in the Community. In the bigger picture, it seems that we very much perform the good cop/bad cop scenario. The aggressive and abrasive of us call out those of us who might not be the most sincere. And then there are those of us who are more gentle in our approach–we are the ones that will take in those that want the important teachings of the Modern Vampire. Hopefully, those who really are obligate feeders have the instinct to find like-minded kindred and continue searching in the Community. Maybe the push and pull of interaction in the Community is like the push and pull of washing the soil out of a dirty cloth–eventually, in all the motion, something will come out clean.