“…And Since You Brought Up The Elders…”–A Copy and Paste Response Article

“In the Olden Days there was an unspoken understanding between the old and the new: the old retires gracefully into the shadows and the new takes over. Such is the cycle of life. It was understood that – barring some great fall of grace – the Elder would resign and be looked after by the new generation – until they shuffled off the old mortal coil.“–from The Messenger.

***This is lovely poetry. But, is this literal? I’m going to go out on a limb here and use my version of logic–before the modern social scene and fangsmiths and Robert Pattinson…I’m assuming that the people who thought of themselves as “real Vampires” were those people who actually drank blood (Sanguivores) or those whose psychic reality included consuming energy from others (Energy Vampires) or both.  We wouldn’t have had Role Players or Life Stylers as a thing, yet.  If any were organized into anything resembling Houses or Covens, it was probably more of an underground organization with much less members in number.

The problem with referring to “the Olden Days” is that it is not clear when that actually was, how long of a timespan that covers and therefore, not immediately verifiable through any research.

Again, this sounds pretty…but, are we trying to use fairy tales to create an ideal for the modern Community?  How fair is that to hold up the current framework against a model that never existed?  Which insinuations are we going to draw from that–that everyone today is flawed for not being able to uphold that standard?

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“When they’re not embarrassing us with their grumpy rants, they’re exploiting vampirism all over the place, selling out to MTV, or burying their heads in the sand. Or they’ve shrugged off “vampire socialism” altogether and wandered off to create baby kingdoms to lord over.

Yet they still want to be acknowledged today as “Elders of the VC”.

Terrible right? The entitlement! What have they done for us lately anyway? And how dare they ask for our respect after they abandoned us.”–from The Messenger.

***Are you absolutely sure that “they” want to be acknowledged as the “Elders of the VC?”  And who are you referring to–are you thinking about one or two specific people and lumping everyone together into a group, because that’s safer?

***How are they “embarrassing” you?  Are your werewolf friends making fun of us because we have a lot of vocal and demonstrative members that share their perspective…and it’s a human flaw to try to make one person the entire representation of whichever label or category that you can place on them, because that’s lazy thinking?

***Define “exploitation” in this case.  From the outside, without knowing anyone personally–their motivations, their ideals, their flaws and misunderstandings–we could accuse everyone who misuses the images of the Fictional Vampire as exploiting the historical symbolism that we’ve generally adopted as a modern social group.  Who gets the rights to decide who’s interpretation is absolutely correct and how to express that interpretation?  Do we decide based on who drinks more blood, who has more time in the Community, which contributions they’ve given, who is out of the coffin or who has more followers on Instagram?

***On the note of the Grumpy Rants, here’s the way that I view it through my experience as a sometimes-student, occasional workshop leader, former coven leader and mostly-Pagan–I thought that the articles from The Grumpy Vamp were generous notes on how to get the most out of your experience, when dealing with a seasoned veteran of the VC.  When I think of an Elder in the Community, I think of a person who has spent a lot of time interacting and teaching the variety of newbies–actual obligate feeders, deluded people who think that they are vampires because of the strangest/smallest criteria and PLENTY of people who want to be turned into the vampires from movies.

Depending on personality type and ability to deal with stress, it can become years of dealing with the same questions and aggressive/annoying/uncooperative/demanding students.  Serious students, students who are intelligent enough to follow directions and research resources are very far and few between the masses of people demanding instant gratification…regardless of whether these students are actual obligate feeders or not.  The Grumpy Vamp notes are fair warning on how to approach Information Resources (seasoned veterans or Elders) who are possibly experiencing burnout, while they strive to continue to be available to those FEW, SINCERE seekers in the sea of drama queens and crazies.

All members have the option of not seeking out particular teachers or not speaking to them at all, at any point.

***On the note of “selling out to MTV” (and camera whores, as long as we’re on the subject)–from my perspective, anything can be a starting point for further conversation.  The cat’s out of the bag.  Pandora’s box has been opened.  There are no more shadows.  We have cameras everywhere and a plethora of bad information and misinformation is too readily available–to everyone.  Instead of complaining that the veils have been breached, we could work on cultivating well-spoken and informative representations of all types of Vampires to counteract the undesirable images out there, in the public eye.

We’re not going to get rid of what’s already out there in the world.  The newly awakened Kin are going to find what’s right in front of them first, while some of us insist on role playing as mysterious fictional creatures of the night, who can melt into the shadows on the wall.

***”What have they done for us, lately?”  What does anyone owe anyone else?  Everything that Belfazaar, Sylvere, Julia, Barbara, Michelle or Merticus gives to me is out of the kindness and generosity of their hearts.  I’m not paying them a dime.  I’m grateful for what they do and I’m not entitled to think that any of them owe me anything.

“Abandoned us?”  Again, who are you talking about?

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“Those golden days when we were a small close-knit tribe of families with established laws that tied us together (AKA a “Community”) are gone. That community started fraying at the edges the more mainstream and commercialized it became. And the internet took care of the rest. With the advent of the World Wide Web the “VC” became too big and too diverse. And then armchair-vampirism exploded onto the scene and burned what was left to the ground.”–from The Messenger.

****When did those days exist?  If they ever did, then your Community is gone.  Bury it and let us do the best with ours.  My version is because of the Internet.  If I didn’t have the OVC, I wouldn’t have come as far as I am, now.  Sorry your version is gone, but I’m blossoming in the fertile ground of the one that I’m in.  Fertilizer, included.

If your VC is dead, go off and mourn for it.  Or go create a House in memoriam of its ideals.  For whatever flaws my VC has, it is a place that like-minded individuals eventually find me.  It’s a kind of search and rescue mission…and for better or worse, it gets my people to me.

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One comment

  1. Julia DarkRose · April 5

    Ah, Juanie, very well “said.!” I love your ability to view, weigh, and measure all perspectives of an issue. I applaud your strength and determination.I know that society is lucky to have you. Excellently executed article. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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