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Real Vampires Going Public -- Debate: Good or Bad Idea?
RKCoon and Anshar are the main participants in a debate about real vampires going public and talking to the media, and the results thereof; this debate took place in #Sanguinarius on December 8th, 2008.
<Anshar> My government professor got a kick out of my interview on FoxNews about vampirism. He used it as an example of bias in the media.
<Anshar> Priming and framing issues.
<Sanguinarius> hey, Anshar, you did a decent job.
<Anshar> aww. thanks
<surreal> I agree
<Anshar> Got some really sweet comments.
<surreal> can I ask a question, Anshar?
<Shaderra> You just did.
<Anshar> go for it
<surreal> why did you decide to go public? that question has been asked by many groups
<Anshar> Because if I don't, people like Jonathan Sharkey will. People in the community deserve to have a voice out there that doesn't make the whole world collapse in judgment on us.
<Anshar> That's a one step at a time process.
<surreal> good reason, and one I can agree with
<Anshar> The first step is the minor mention now, the second is appearing on creditable news sources without all the editing and extravagance.
<Anshar> Good Morning America or even O'Reilly would be good with me.
<Anshar> Sure, O'Reilly would try to rip us a new asshole
<Anshar> but if Marilyn Manson can stand up to him, so could I or someone like me
<Anshar> someone who is informed and intelligent
<Anshar> and not afraid of being on camera
<surreal> it might be helpful to have representatives of the different Houses and some of the non affiliated vamps come out too
<Anshar> Of course. I wasn't selected or anything, I was just one of the few people who's pissed off enough to go on camera
<surreal> well, either way I think you are a good choice
<Anshar> sweet of you to say. I'm just a guy.
<surreal> a smart, nice, articulate guy
<Anshar> In some ways it's contentious in the community. Some people think that we should just keep our mouths shut.
<Anshar> I disagree. If we don't come forward, someone else WILL.
<surreal> and some are afraid of themselves being exposed
<Anshar> And, if we remain apathetic, then members of our community will always have to fear "discovery" by others.
<surreal> I'm not afraid, if the heat gets too hot in my area, I will come out and direct the heat towards me until my group can find somewhere safe
<surreal> personally, I think it's time we come out
<Anshar> Members of our community don't want exposure because it means job discrimination, social discrimination.
<Anshar> Can you imagine what would happen if someone was applying to adopt a child
<Anshar> THAT'S why I'm doing this.
<OrbitalBeetle> there are no benefits involved
<surreal> and that I can understand as well, but it we stay hidden it will always be that way
<Anshar> Beetle: Clarify?
<OrbitalBeetle> what if everyone accepts that vampirism does exist, what difference does it make?
<Anshar> If nobody else was going to come forward and if we remained silent then it would stay silent.
<Anshar> But, that's NOT the case.
<Anshar> Don Henrie. Jonathan Sharkey.
<surreal> it's the same with the gay community and the Pagan communities, we can't get equality if no one knows about us
<Anshar> And droves like them are all going to "come out" and claim to represent you.
<Anshar> Being silent is one thing
<Anshar> but that's the problem, you don't have a choice.
<Anshar> wouldn't you rather pick the voice than have it pick you?
<surreal> and we have a choice about coming out as individuals
<Anshar> Personally I like Don. Most don't. I don't have a problem with his lifestyle, my problem is that he incorporates his lifestyle into his vampirism and when he's asked about it he answers with both.
<Anshar> Instead of separating the two.
<Anshar> That, in my eyes, is the issue.
<surreal> no one is coming out pointing fingers and saying, this one is a vampire, so-and-so is a vampire
<Anshar> surreal: exactly. same thing in the pagan community.
<Anshar> you don't have to tell you're boss you're a witch
<Anshar> but it's nice to know that if he finds out he's not going to always want to find a reason to fire you.
<Anshar> even pagans have to deal with ignorance, and they're far more recognized.
<surreal> my bosses know I am because I told them, but if I hadn't he wouldn't have known, even though he knows my area has a strong pagan community
<Anshar> this isn't a band-aid for people in general, it's just an assisted transition.
<surreal> I think what many of the members of the community are doing, coming out, is a good thing
<OrbitalBeetle> I think it's pointless
<surreal> it may be, but at least we have tried
<Anshar> A lot of people think helping the homeless is pointless, but when you share a meal with someone and see that smile, you know that even if it's transitory, it's worthwhile.
<Anshar> Apathy isn't a stance.
<Anshar> It's a lack of one.
<surreal> I'd offer my Pack up for this cause but my group wouldn't be good PR
<Anshar> Eh, let's not elevate it to a "cause" it's just an idea.
<Anshar> "Causes" tend to run away from themselves and lose focus and purpose.
<Anshar> I don't want to be part of a cause.
<surreal> ok, well then for this idea
<OrbitalBeetle> Imagine if more and more people come out, then it catches the eye of the public, is met with skepticism, ridicule, acceptance and whatever, it will just be viewed as another cult movement because there's no empirical evidence of vampires being different from anyone else. It will just cause the vampire community to act like a giant magnet for schizotypal disorders, only to fade into the background again
<OrbitalBeetle> there's nothing to gain
<OrbitalBeetle> it's pointless
<surreal> and Pagans haven't dealt with exactly that years ago?
<Anshar> Beetle: You could say the same about any organized religion. Social opinion isn't about scientific backing. Cultural acceptance is all I'm after.
<OrbitalBeetle> they're part of the background noise now
<surreal> but Pagans are accepted
<OrbitalBeetle> you already got cultural acceptance
<OrbitalBeetle> not everyone accepts pagans
<surreal> not everyone accepts anyone
<Anshar> getting juxtaposed with 2 minutes of halloween makeup and Hannity calling our beliefs "nonsense" is acceptance to you?
<Anshar> maybe our definitions are just different.
<Anshar> I'll agree to disagree.
<OrbitalBeetle> that is something that was self-inflicted
<OrbitalBeetle> when the word vampire was chosen in the first place
<Anshar> Beetle: Now THAT I agree with.
<Anshar> Makes it so we have to constantly disambiguate.
<Anshar> THAT is our own damn fault.
<surreal> well I don't like leech any better, I usually use the word sanguinarian
<Anshar> But, we're stuck with it.
* RKCoon has joined #Sanguinarius
<RKCoon> Oh, you are here, Anshar, I had heard you lurked here
<Anshar> I lurk? >.>
<RKCoon> for want of term. am I to assume your the same Anshar as in the recent Fox debacle?
<Anshar> I hang around for a few hours for conversation, been busy with college.
* Anshar nods
<RKCoon> I see. I left a comment for you at Zilchy's YouTube, though I doubt you've seen it yet.
<Anshar> I did, I responded.
<Anshar> I paid a LOT of attention to the community in the process of deciding to do this.
<Anshar> This wasn't just some impulse.
<RKCoon> if you did, Yahoo seems to have eaten it; I don't see any response - least in that topic.
<Anshar> I posted in the Voices of the Vampire Community site, had several questions here, talked with representatives of the AVA, Lady CG, and other countless community leaders before I committed to it.
<Anshar> I also made them agree to give me a list of the questions beforehand and to remove any takes while shooting that didn't come out right.
<RKCoon> I am not part of the VVC site.
<Anshar> That didn't stop the editing process, of course.
* Anshar nods
<Anshar> I did my best, I can't be everywhere.
<Anshar> Were you unhappy with it? We knew that editing was going to be rough going into it.
<Anshar> We chose our words very carefully.
* RKCoon snickers
<RKCoon> you... havent seen my response regarding the video, I take it.
<Anshar> Yes, I did, I'm just giving you an opportunity to speak for yourself.
<Anshar> I don't like presuming things.
<RKCoon> Well, I'll toss it back at you since you've read my comments then - you were or were not aware of Hannity's/Faux's "reputation"?
<Anshar> Absolutely. I watched all of the Beyond Belief video segments on his site and watched his normal news segments as well.
<Anshar> As I said, we knew that aspects of it were definitely going to hit spin.
<RKCoon> so why on earth would you agree to be on a known spinner?
<Anshar> Because the test of being able to be public about something contentious is how the worst response will be received. If you can stand up for yourself and try in earnest to promote accurate information all you'll do is proven the ignorance of the news outlet without bringing things down on yourself.
<Anshar> As a result of doing this I'm talking with people on NPR and I'm sure the more liberal media will want to jump on the opportunity to show the other side of the story.
<Sanguinarius> NPR is respectable, yes?
<Anshar> Being able to go on a conservative show not dressed in fishnet and leather and being able to articulately describe things is the first step we need to get a foot in the door, in my opinion.
<Sanguinarius> I agree
<Anshar> I declined the Maury Show, I declined the trash media. Everything is going to have spin, it's how we deal with that spin that defines our strength as a community.
<RKCoon> I doubt that. I have a hard time believing that actual respected media outlets/personalities, interested in truthful news stories (Keith Olbermann coming to mind, as he often slams the crap out of Faux/O'Really) will want to touch this one.
<Sanguinarius> I think Anshar did a good job desite the editor's attempts at ridiculousness
<RKCoon> I can't say as I agree, Sangi. As I made clear in my post/rant (yes I do rant) being on Faux for anything is not what one does if one wants to be respectably noticed.
<Anshar> I have the card of the local NPR affiliate on my desk... that might refute your theory, but I respect your opinion. Since we don't really have control over people "coming out" (Jonathan Sharkey and others will do it no matter what we want) what would YOU like to see as a different approach?
<Anshar> Give me your input?
<Sanguinarius> it's a first step towards respectability
<RKCoon> I've been clear in this in my past - staying out of the limelight - ANY limelight - is the best approach. Let people like Sharkey, et al, hang themselves on the media; being out - especially sangs - is not what we want or need right now, especially the precarious state of human rights in the US as it is.
<Irony> My two cents are not going to be popular ones, but I think that vampires are only ever going to be fiction at best in the media. It doesn't matter how many normal looking people go on the tv and say they are vampires, it will not take away from the fact that 99.9999% of the other vamps publicly seen are 15-year-olds clad in Hot Topic who hiss at people and wear fake fangs.
<Sanguinarius> if we do not claim our rights, they will get taken away from us
<Irony> How are your rights being affected, though?
<RKCoon> Irony has an interesting point. And what rights, Sangi?
<Anshar> I'm not sure I agree, but I want to hear you out, could you go into more depth? It was my impression that people like Don Henrie are going to continue to be in the News Media for a lot of the predictable future. Do you think we should be silent and let him speak for us?
<RKCoon> seriously. are you going to presume to a court that blood drinking is a right? we'd get hung out to dry.
<Sanguinarius> I don't know anything about CANADA, I'm in the USA
<Sanguinarius> maybe Canada's socialist and denies people their human rights? I dunno
<Sanguinarius> The USA's gonna be, especially if we let them
<Occam> O.o canada has a better human rights record than the US
<Occam> far better
<Irony> I think that people need to take themselves less seriously. It is not going to really matter one way or another what other people see on tv or what they think of the community in general. Most of the vamps I know are quiet and private and wouldn't make a public appearance if their life depended on it. I don't think they think their rights are being stomped on because they don't ask for any.
<Anshar> That's a good point, Irony.
<Irony> I would say the best thing to do is be silent, live your life as you want to and act like a normal person around other people.
<Irony> It is a private affair.
<Sanguinarius> the courts can't legislate someone's needs
<RKCoon> we SHOULD stay to the 'net as we have, personal meets and the like, and make it clear from the 'net that the actions of people like Henrie are not respected nor responsible. I've personally been accused of being one of the "old school" mentalities, but while I dont buy into that Black Veil garbage, I do think keeping to the shadows as a whole is a much safer and much wiser idea for us.
<Anshar> Won't there always be people in the community that have the desire to come forward?
<Irony> Yeah, and they can if they want. It is a freedom that people have in general.
<RKCoon> ya. there's always going to be people that want to commit suicide, too.
<Irony> I figure most of them that come out though are lured by the promise of attention.
<Irony> There will be men colonising the sun before you see the likes of Sphynx appear on national tv :P
<Anshar> RKCoon: That's a logical comparative fallacy. I don't mind listening to your point of view but swaying me with actual logic would be more productive.
<Irony> and I have more respect for her than anyone else I think.
<Occam> hey! :(
<Sanguinarius> let those who would come forward, come forward and let those who would stay in the shadows stay in the shadows
<Irony> You aren't a vampire :P
<RKCoon> my point is there are always going to be people with self-destructive tendancies, or tendancies to do things that would not only cause harm to themselves, but to the rest of us as well.
<Anshar> Right, but the actual point we're contending here is whether or not it IS destructive, so using it as the basis for your argument is equally fallacious.
<Anshar> How about telling me WHY it's destructive?
<RKCoon> classic example of harm done by trying to advertise us and suggest being out and proud - a young woman I know of, she was quite convinced of the thought of being out and about, trying to teach the masses of vampirism. she even went as far as telling her parents about herself. slight problem - her parents are fundamentalist Christian, and she was 15. Care to guess what happened?
<Sanguinarius> that is precisely why people's attitudes need to change
<Anshar> RKCoon: Someone ignorant and intolerant either threw her out or beat her?
<Sanguinarius> and education through the course of years will serve to aid in that
<Anshar> What you're saying is valid, but it could just as easily be used as an argument FOR the promotion of information, not against it.
<RKCoon> last anyone heard of her, she had been committed to a mental institution.
<Anshar> It was the ignorance that hurt her.
<Sanguinarius> the darkness of ignorance is fought with the light of education and reason
<Sanguinarius> and knowledge
<Occam> Yes. So scientifically prove your needs :P
<RKCoon> ignorance, yes, I won't deny that - flip side of the coin is this - because of the ignorance that IS out there, suggesting it's a good thng for anyone in any form of precarious state to admit themselves is a considerably bad influence
<Zamiel> What are we debating?
<Sanguinarius> people who are not flakey need to step forward
<Anshar> Well, let's posit a different course then, if you'd be kind enough to hear me out.
<Occam> People with various disorders that cause blood cravings are in the clear, but the pseudo-science-tastic community has attached to them.
<RKCoon> and, Occam's got a point. We can NOT prove ourselves, and if we did, I've said this before, we risk facing the same crap that the LGBT community and before that, the black community, faced
<Irony> I do know that I spend a LOT of time in here discouraging people from coming out to anyone. That is what anonymous irc channels are for. It is the kind of revelation that will ruin your life if others find out about it. Maybe there will be a time in the future where you could be in a subculture and not be judged for it, but for now, damn, they really do need to be careful.
<Occam> Much like a boat anchor.
<Sanguinarius> and look how they have progressed beyond where they used to be
<Anshar> Whether we like it or not, vampirism is a phenomenon that's going to present itself to the world at large in one capacity or another. People will continue to come forward and talk about it because whether or not it's a scientific truth, it's an anthropological truth.
<Irony> Fair play to Anshar for having the balls to be seen on tv, but for the teens in this world it should be a strict no-no.
<RKCoon> there's a big problem with those theories, Sangi and Anshar
* Anshar listens
<Sanguinarius> I'd rather see Anshar than Father Sebastiaan
<Sanguinarius> who can't even decide whether he's a vampire or not
<RKCoon> neither the black community nor the LGBT community have to do something on a daily/weekly basis that is harmful to another human being - ie, sang feeding. for all the fluff and noise people put out there regarding psionics, the masses are still going to equate vampire = blood drinkers, and in that, see the desire of one of us - especially those under legal age - to harm another deliberately.
<Anshar> alright, go on.
<Sanguinarius> what about people who eat meat?
<RKCoon> meat does not come from another human being, Sangi
<Shaderra> I think it's a much better idea for the logical, rational members of our community to represent the community to the media rather than types like Don Henrie who give the media the impression that we're all a certain way.
<RKCoon> WE need to get, well at least most sangs, their blood from another living human being.
<Sanguinarius> blood doesn't have to [come from a human being]
<Sanguinarius> does it?
<RKCoon> does for me, does for a number of others.
<Anshar> We might be getting tied up in semantics, but I do have a question, RK
<RKCoon> either way, as far as the masses are concerned, the equation of vampire = blood is going to exist, regardless of what we say.
<RKCoon> but ok, shoot
<Anshar> Do you believe that if your recommended plan involves silence and letting people "hang themselves" to an apathetic world that us coming out and trying to discuss the issues will have any different result?
<Anshar> Theoretically, if that's what you're saying will happen, then folks like me talking to them changes nothing.
<RKCoon> the world is not coming to us to find the truth about us - at most, they come to us for a drama story, something to grab headlines. they only add up their interest when people like Henrie do get in front of the tube.
<Shaderra> You could equate it to Cancer. Sure there are going to be people like Lance Armstrong who soak up the glory and play the card for all it's worth, but I'd MUCH rather see a normal non-celebritized person talking about overcoming cancer because they shed a different, more down-to-earth light on it.
<Anshar> Alright, but since admittedly the phenomena of people "coming out" is going to continue to happen either way, is any damage done by providing quality information alongside the garbage?
<RKCoon> what my stance would be is a clear and simple one - avoid being on tv, radio, etc, altogether, for you not only put yourself on display, you put what we ARE on display as well.
<Anshar> The quintessence of my question: Am I doing harm if it's already being done but I'm trying to promote better information?
<RKCoon> advertising and strongly recommending discretion is the best course, along with educating those that want to learn - from a safe medium
<RKCoon> I could challenge the information you presented, Anshar, so be careful with that comment.
<Shaderra> RK, but don't you want to be seen as regular and sane? As long as we have people like Sharkey speaking for us, we'll continue to be what the media comes to for headliners and spin segments.
<Anshar> The information was presented without context, RK. That's the downside of any pretaped media extravaganza. You know that.
<RKCoon> I personally am not seen as that anyway and I DON'T advertise what I am.
<Anshar> That seems like a valid personal choice. Why throw stones at the people who do?
<RKCoon> I realise that, but that is a third point ill touch shortly.
<Anshar> If you're not ever going to have to worry about being public, then why worry about the public opinion?
<RKCoon> with people like Sharkey and Henrie speaking "for us", their insanity and stupidity, to be blunt, shows through, so even the moderates and some of the fundies see they are lunatics fit for the bin.
<Anshar> If your personal stance is one of silence then you never have to worry about anything we do bothering you.
<RKCoon> because though what I do doesn't attract attention to me, what others do DOES attract attention to me.
<Anshar> Could you be more specific?
* Anshar listens
<Shaderra> But the people Sharkey and Henrie are speaking to are the mass population of uninformed people who take things as face value and don't bother to think past what they're presented with. That's why logical and rational information being presented by normal members of our community is imperative.
<RKCoon> for example, I dress a, shall we say, mild goth. Long dark hair, dark demeanor, etc. The masses see people like Hannity saying, "Oh well, while some are goth, some may dress like you and me" (to paraphrase), people are going to see that and go, "Oh, hey, RK sorta acts like that". Not what I need.
<Sanguinarius> you have a point
* Isealdor has joined #sanguinarius
<RKCoon> and, I'm an adult, I CAN take care of myself, AND I have legal rights
<Anshar> So you think that media attention compromises your privacy?
<Sanguinarius> Hey Isealdor
<RKCoon> down in the states, as I understand it, children under 18 have very limited rights, especially compared to up here.
<RKCoon> YES, exactly that.
<Isealdor> Greetings, Sangi
<Sanguinarius> we're discussing Anshar's appearance on Fox's show
<Isealdor> How does the media coverage compromise your privacy, RK?
<Anshar> <RKCoon> for example, I dress a, shall we say, mild goth. :ong dark hair, dark demeanor, etc. The masses see people like Hannity saying, "Oh well, while some are goth, some may dress like you and me" (to paraphrase), people are going to see that and go, "Oh, hey, RK sorta acts like that". Not what I need.
<RKCoon> so what happens then when a kid whos 15, 16, 17, or younger even, going through the pains of awakening, suddenly has their parents, who typically are less-than-open to start with, put two and two together?
<Isealdor> and this is different than all of the other publications and movies and such that are out there already how?
<RKCoon> Isealdor - because most of whats out there is fiction and clear about being fiction.
<RKCoon> at least until people start saying, oh no, it's real.
<Anshar> Alright, if we're going to continue the GLBT Community Metaphor, you're saying that people knowing that not all gays are flamboyant but some are that people are going to ask their flamboyant friends if they're gay; and in your view, this is harmful?
<Anshar> (asking here, not asserting, it IS a metaphor)
<Isealdor> besides, I'd say people are more likely to connect goth appearance with hollywood vampires than real ones, which is certainly not new, either
<Shaderra> But if people from our community start appearing to the media wearing normal clothing, even suits, that also becomes a reflection on who we are. So, just in the same breath we could have representatives mirroring who we *really* are. That doesn't seem to compromise our privacy any more than a lawyer speaking about attorneys.
<RKCoon> I mean, even witches, et al, can get away with being themselves, A) for freedom of religion, and B) more important, they don't cause harm to others in what they do
<Isealdor> and agreed about using the LGBT community as a metaphor, it's very similar in this regard
<RKCoon> have you lived in a heavily phobic area, Anshar?
<Anshar> I could challenge that statement, RKCoon, so be careful with that comment :p
<Anshar> Gulfport, Mississippi.
<RKCoon> redneck central?
<RKCoon> so you should be aware that things even mildly gay can get one's self killed, literally?
<Anshar> Absolutely, but justifying silence because of hate crime is pretty much against everything I stand for.
<RKCoon> just because some redneck got it into his mind from the tv that, oh, that's gay, and in his (or her) limited brainwaves, that's evil and should be killed
<Anshar> "Don't tell anyone who you are, you might disappear in the night" is at best fascist.
<Isealdor> RK, using that fear to hide under, you wouldn't dress as a goth, as you could be targeted and killed for that, too
<Anshar> That's like saying we shouldn't go out into public places in large numbers because terrorists might bomb us.
<Anshar> Living in fear.
<RKCoon> That's all fine and good for those people who HAVE legal rights already existing - my point is until we actually see legal rights - especially in the states, it's not quite as dire up here - smarten up, why even risk bringing trouble to those who are in no position to cope with it?
<Shaderra> That's touching on what I said previously, people often don't think past what they're presented with, so if we speak up about the truth and logical side of things, not the Sharkey/Henrie way, we'll start challenging those old stigmas and sterotypes.
<Isealdor> There /are/ legal rights
<Isealdor> We have the exact same right as anyone else against assault, etc
<RKCoon> NOT full equal legal rights, not for LGBT, not for underagers.
<RKCoon> especially not for underagers.
<Anshar> RKCoon: For the same reason the civil rights movement was needed. Yes, there were hangings, YES, there was and IS ignorance and hate, but that doesn't make it right, and that doesn't mean that lives haven't been saved in the end by pursuing those rights.
<Isealdor> underagers have more protection against violent crimes than adults, not less
<RKCoon> are you Canadian or American, Isealdor?
<Anshar> If your argument was the only truth there never would have been a Martin Luther King. There never would have been a Rosa Parks. You would have people living in silence not willing to fight for their rights and for the spreading of the truth.
<RKCoon> and yes it matters, as some states are more advanced than others
<Isealdor> currently, Missouri, but I split my time between MO, WY, and VA
<Anshar> I'm certainly no Rosa Parks, but you see where I'm going here.
* Isealdor pictures Anshar in a Rosa Parks body...and tweaks a little
<Anshar> The only way progressive ideas come forward is through the propagation of information.
<Anshar> You're trying to stifle that.
<Anshar> (my opinion)
<RKCoon> well, I know people in the medical profession that would clearly dissagree with you, Isealdor - until you're 18, or if you're female and have a kid, you are all but property to your parents, and if they decide to commit you to a funny farm, there isn't a thing in the world you can do to get around it.
<Occam> So you're saying that people look at you on the street, realize you're a vampire, and make you go to the back of the bus? That you have to go to separate schools, separate bathrooms, separate grocery stores?
<Anshar> RKCoon: And women were viewed as property for thousands of years until just these past two centuries.
<Anshar> Would you have THEM be silent too?
<Anshar> Your argument seems based more out of fear than reason.
<Isealdor> Children are not the property of their parents, nor can parents do whatever they want to their kids. And, for the record, adults can be committed involuntarily to psych wards, as well
-Anshar:@#sanguinarius- am I right here or am I wrong?
<RKCoon> I'm saying until the rights get there, because it IS something we can deal with in silence, yes, we SHOULD stay back. let's face it - the world isn't ready for itself, let alone us.
<Shaderra> If we don't speak up, they'll never be ready for us.
<RKCoon> and more to the point, being a vampire is not something that needs to be worn on our sleeves
<Anshar> RKCoon: But can't you take a step back and realize the logical flaw in that? If promoting information is the ONLY way to get those rights, then how is hiding until they "just happen" going to solve anything?
<Anshar> You're trapping yourself in a loop.
<Anshar> Be silent > nothing changes > need silence.
<Isealdor> RK, how would you suggest those rights be gained if not by people stepping out to force them?
<Anshar> There is no end there.
<OrbitalBeetle> you can prove the existance of women, you can't prove the existance of vampires
* Isealdor agrees completely with Anshar
<Shaderra> If we don't speak up, the world will never be ready for us.
<Anshar> Beetle: Scientifically, no, anthropologically, yes.
* Shaderra agrees with Anshar as well.
<RKCoon> am I? for one, we haven't been proven. so, even if we class vampirism as a "religion" we STILL are inflicting harm on others to get what we need - which puts us out of the same league as the LGBT, black, etc.
<Sanguinarius> the rights won't get there unless we fight for them to get there
<Anshar> You can't "prove" Christianity and it has harmed MILLIONS of people, but there is no problem in our society with identifying as Christian.
<Isealdor> RK, define "harm" as you're using it?
<Anshar> I don't see the basis of all these "metaphors".
<OrbitalBeetle> comparing one scenario to another to prove a point is simplistic, and not necessarily realistic or practical
<RKCoon> causing physical injury and bleeding of another's body to consume ourselves. Even setting aside all the risks of STDs, etc, there still the damage done to a body.
<Anshar> If harm is defined as taking blood from one another then a LOT of things in our society are harmful.
<Sanguinarius> is it harm if it's a small wound that will heal without a scar and given willingly?
<Anshar> I would say it doesn't qualify as real harm.
<Sanguinarius> is it really truly harm?
<RKCoon> and interesting you bring up religion - since one CAN be Christian and never harm anyone.
<Isealdor> Psi automatically is disqualified by that definition, then
<Sanguinarius> harm is if you chopped the guy's finger off
<Isealdor> and what of justified harm? Is a doctor persecuted heavily because he must cut to perform a surgery or poke a hole to draw blood?
<Anshar> RKCoon: If that was the basis of your argument then Pranic Vampires talking to the media isn't a problem then, right?
<RKCoon> I don't count psi whatsoever since anyone can do the action of psi, IMO, regardless of need. I'm dealing with actual physical actions that can be seen, witnessed, etc.
<Sanguinarius> yeah, my surgeon did me grievous bodily harm!
<RKCoon> it is by what I said earlier - the masses will hear the word vampire, ignore the pranic/psychic/insert catch-term here, and equate it with blood.
<Shaderra> You don't count Psi?
<RKCoon> not in this context
<Shaderra> That's like not counting Mormons.
<Sanguinarius> RK, I think things have been different nowadays than they were 10 years ago or 20
* Anshar chuckles
* Anshar agrees with Sangi here
<Sanguinarius> people's ideas of us have improved
* Malevolence looks at the calendar
<Malevolence> You can too prove Christianity. Christ is certainly recognized as an historical persone. Heck.. the calendar is divided by His birth.
[Sangi comment: I think he meant proving the claims of Christianity, not proving that the religion is real...]
<RKCoon> I dunno, the last 8 years more rights have disappeared than have been gained in the last 20.
<Sanguinarius> even the fictional vampires image has improved because of us
<Anshar> Malevolence: By edict of Pope Gregory...
* Anshar agrees with Sangi again
<Isealdor> Well...the date for Christmas was chosen for other reasons, Mal, and the calendar was already mostly in place
<Sanguinarius> and I should not say anything because my sleeping pill is kicking in and I'm very spacy
<Isealdor> but yes, he is a recognized historical figure, regardless
<Anshar> RKCoon: I will concede that civil rights have been compromised by the Bush Administration.
<Anshar> But how that has individual bearing on this topic, I'm uncertain.
<Anshar> Malevolence: grossly violated (in polite terms)
<Malevolence> that's more like it
<RKCoon> the conservative, religious, non-enlightened type of person who listens to the mass media is going to hear vampire, they are going to equate it to what they see on movies, they are not going to consider the distinctions we put into the term, all they will think is "vampires = blood". even if you try to explain to them otherwise, (and leave the sangs out cold) it won't sink in
<Shaderra> It will if people speak up.
<Anshar> That sounds more like cynicism than an argument, RK.
<RKCoon> cynicism based on experience, firsthand and watching others.
<RKCoon> Anshar, I'm assuming your parents know about you
<Anshar> Well, then I can chalk this up to your cynicism then.
<Anshar> Absolutely. My mother is proud of me.
<Malevolence> I know for a reasonable certainty that some people see Black & think uncivilized ape.. even though the person they are seeing has a doctorate.
<Anshar> She teaches children's music lessons and hasn't lost an iota of business from talking about how proud of me she is.
<RKCoon> I'm going to further assume then that your family, extended or not, is more open than average?
<Anshar> Conservative Lutheran background on my mother's side, VERY conservative Latin background on my father's side.
<RKCoon> and how loving are they when you tell them you're a vampire?
<Sanguinarius> don't tell them you are
<Anshar> They are willing to listen to what I have to say and let me explain myself before jumping to judgement without thought.
<Sanguinarius> say I'm just gothic, not vampire, gothic
<RKCoon> which I might note is fine for you, since you state you're not sang.
<Anshar> How my PARENTS respond to something, however, doesn't seem to bear relevance on what we're talking about, unless I'm going somewhere.
<RKCoon> it is relevant, let me build to my point.
<Anshar> RK: I went on national tv and was quoted saying that I've drank human blood before.
<Isealdor> While not all parents are as willing to listen as Anshar's, lack of acceptance does not mean people should have to hide what they are. That acceptance is never going to grow and develop unless people quit hiding
<Anshar> So I might as well be sang, the reception will be the same.
<RKCoon> you've drank it, you don't say you NEED to drink it. again, as an adult, one can have drinking blood dissmissed as a fetish.
* Shaderra agrees with Isealdor.
<Anshar> Alright, fair enough.
<Anshar> Go on, RK.
<RKCoon> you may be so fortunate as to have family that, if not accepting, will tolerate you being a vamp. My entire point is not everyone - especially not children - is near so fortunate on this point.
<Violenta> That's often the nature of parent/child relationships on many fronts
<Anshar> Alright, you've established that some people are going to be just as unreceptive to hearing their child identify as gay as they will to being a vampire.
<Isealdor> Agreed, RK...but the point beyond that is...?
<Sanguinarius> most people might not be reasonable, but they want to be
<Anshar> Does that mean that the GLBT community needs to hide in a closet? That we need to hide in a closet?
<RKCoon> this idea of encouraging people to be forward, on an individual basis, without strongly advising them to consider whether or not those they are close to will handle it, is a very irresponsible thing to do. You said it yourself - some people, should they advertise drinking blood, would have their lives fall completely apart.
<Anshar> RK: In all fairness I actually addressed that in the interview, it was just cut out.
<RKCoon> again, there is a huge difference between the GLBT community and us.
<Anshar> RK: And, if a different media outlet picks it up, I'll have the opportunity to REPEAT that statement.
<Sanguinarius> and many similarities, too
<RKCoon> that may be so, I'm going off of what was shown, in part to illustrate what you'll be opening.
* Anshar nods
<Anshar> That's fair.
<Anshar> Okay, so let's do a fair and equal exchange here.
<RKCoon> and thats a big if - if you get a respectable outlet, if you get to say what you want, if it isn't spun, etc
<RKCoon> and, again, we do have a stark difference between us and any other community out there
<Anshar> I'll state your side of the argument and you state mine, and we'll see if we understand one another.
<Malevolence> the unfortunate thing is that you can admonish everything as stringently as possible. But if it ends up on the cutting floor...
<RKCoon> exactly Mal
<Sanguinarius> we need to infiltrate into those kinds of outlets and call the shots
[Sangi comment: Damned sleeping pill, making me loopy here...]
<Malevolence> and you have no control over that.
-Sphynx-NotHere:@#sanguinarius- (opnotice/#sanguinarius/8@) yea, ok, sangi? You need to go to BED lest you get completely loopy at the keys :P
<RKCoon> That is why I strongly state use the internet, as we have been - that way WE control what is and is not said.
<RKCoon> (some more than others)
<Anshar> RK: You believe that silence is the best method given the current situation because immediate harm will befall the community regardless of any long-term good that arises from the promotion of positive information. You think we will be poorly received because of social stigma and that the cultural view of the vampire will supercede any of our efforts. That about right?
<RKCoon> correct, aside of your missing one key point
<Anshar> go for it, fill in the blank.
<Isealdor> I have to interject for a moment...how do you think we have control over what is said or not said online? No one has any control over what is said or not said online by anyone else, probably more so than anywhere else. Freedom of speech rules the web
<RKCoon> it is not just stigma - it is the fact that we do what is legally, technically, religiously, morally, etc, conciderred to be causing physical harm to another human being. Regardless of how much we beat the drum stating it's always consensual, safely done and so forth, we always get those idiots who go on murdering sprees, claming to be vamps as well
<Anshar> Isealdor: you're looking at the difference between being PRESENTED information, and what information people can find if they LOOK for it.
<Anshar> RK's Point stands strong there.
<RKCoon> that is EXACTLY it, Isealdor. we can say EVERYthing, not leave anything out.
<RKCoon> and not spin it, or DO spin it as we need.
<Isealdor> No, it doesn't, Anshar. If you don't think that we're quoted out of context online, take a wander through SomethingAwful or the Encylopedia Dramatica sometime
<Isealdor> Bits and pieces of things from online are pulled out of context just as easily
<Anshar> Alright, so, I'll give refuting your argument a shot and then you do the same to mine, fair enough RK?
<Anshar> Then we'll take a look and see where we stand.
<RKCoon> (ten pages later... :p)
<Anshar> I feel that silence is destructive where social stigma is concerned. The promotion of information HAS resulted in violence and apathy just as you have described in almost every "civil rights" situation, but the end result is almost always tolerance. A society bends and flexes like a reed as new things develop and are considered. You want to wait in silence for a more progressive time, but I don't believe that time will come with silence.
<RKCoon> Overadvertisement brings the opponent down our throats, literally and figuratively. From a strategic standpoint, we gain more by telling those of us in precarious positions to stay out of the limelight, and if we must, ABSOLUTELY MUST, we have those who can safely do say state only that the, well, idiots out there don't represent us. We make our stand and stance clear online, where our words aren't spun and screwed with.
<Anshar> RKCoon: I present a compromise:
<Anshar> How about we try to focus on written print, live tv, and webcasts as opposed to the kind of piece that I did. We'll have the opportunity to be spin-free, as you described, and still promote information.
<Anshar> Would that be a reasonable half-way point for us to meet?
<Anshar> That means no "exposés", no talk show trash, and no edited segments with us next to makeup.
<Malevolence> Live tv can be treacherous territory.
<Anshar> Agreed, but it does fall into the realm of no-spin he described.
<Anshar> Trying to give a little here.
<Sanguinarius> and here is my point, if you do that, and stay away from the media, there will be others, attention getters, who will flow in to the space vacated by you and start talking to the media
* Sanguinarius hopes that made sense
<RKCoon> It still is risky I think, tho a bit less so than being on what you had. with the web, again, we can control what is said, and more importantly, make sure ALL is said.
<Anshar> Agreed, Sangi, but if the credible sources always flock to those other sources, we will outweigh them.
<Anshar> RK: Alright, that seems like a good compromise to me.
* Anshar extends hand for a shake
<RKCoon> and Sangi, as I've said before - it is a free country, so let them hang themselves. All we need to do - something I've really yet to see as a whole - is be clear they are not representative of us.
<Anshar> I'll present it to the VVC and see what they have to say.
* Isealdor strongly disagrees with it, for a number of reasons
<RKCoon> with which, Isealdor?
<Anshar> Isealdor: Live TV is dangerous, but it can't possibly be any worse than editing. Editing is the WORST context destroyer.
<Sanguinarius> true true
<Isealdor> The "compromise" of wanting people to only do live shows, web things, etc.
<RKCoon> I would have to agree, but that said, if someone goes on live, they'd better be ready for ANYthing.
* Anshar nods
<Anshar> Isealdor: part of our responsibility of being in the VVC is being aware of the varying opinions in the community and how they want to be portrayed.
<Isealdor> and I very strongly disagree with the idea that we control much of anything besides what shows up on our own pages online
<Anshar> I want to give RK a voice, even if I disagree with him.
<Anshar> Having a half-way point is the very definition of what we do.
<Anshar> I can't claim to have the interests of the community in mind and ignore people I disagree with.
<Isealdor> Oh, I'm not saying he shouldn't be given a voice, Anshar
<Anshar> I won't do it.
* Anshar nod
<Isealdor> I'm just saying I disagree with him, and the basis for some of his reasoning
<Anshar> I just want our community to have a voice. What that voice speaks is up to the community.
<Anshar> RK is right on several points, I don't disagree with everything he's saying, just some of it.
<Anshar> I won't defenestrate the baby with the bathwater.
<Sanguinarius> you won't what?
<Anshar> throw it out.
<Malevolence> throw the baby out with the bathwater
<Anshar> (the window)
<RKCoon> I do have to say, I'm still concerned. You do have members of the VVC who, to be frank, are going to ignore anything we here might say and continue their quest to put themselves on national tv. By having those in a group such as the VVC, you're making a rather direct connection to us.
<Isealdor> I agree with parts, too. I've already commented a few times that the added media attention is going to make some people have the fear of being "outted" for being part of the community
<Anshar> RK: The people in the VVC can't ignore what you're saying because it's a valid concern, even if I disagree with some of the sentiments.
<RKCoon> that is why many have left, that is why I've thought about dumping it as well
<Isealdor> RK: there are going to be members of the community in general who are going to ignore whatever anyone else says and go about their own agendas
<Anshar> It's important we open our eyes to all possible effects of publicity.
<Anshar> True of any group.
<RKCoon> is the "community in general" the VVC, Isealdor?
<Isealdor> No, the greater vampire community in general
<RKCoon> I think those of the VVC here can admit that while I've been a perpectual pain in the ass to them, I do have my points, and I'm not alone in what I say - I'm just one of the louder solitary voices.
<Anshar> RK: I'm simply saying that while we're certainly not a "legislative" or ruling body (far far from it) the VVC is kind of like your local congressman. You're not always going to get what you want, but your voice is important and I want you to know it's going to be considered.
<Anshar> I can't promise you anything, but I am not the VVC.
<Anshar> I'm just one voice.
<Isealdor> Anshar: exactly
* Sanguinarius nods
<Anshar> It was nice having our little debate, RK. I think it might have given us both some insight.
<Isealdor> RK: perhaps think of it this way...not all of the VVC members go out into the media, but a few do. Not all of the vampire community want to see vampires out in the media, but a certain percentage does
<RKCoon> indeed. time will tell I imagine.
* Anshar nods
<Doc> The VVC is from what I've seen, and I've read the transcripts, a group of people who are either A. actually working for the community, or B. attention seekers who are after their 15 minutes and have stopped the discussion from progressing at the rate it could be.
<Doc> I think until you separate the Bs out, you aren't going to get much done.
<Anshar> Doc: Time separates them out. After the attention dries up, they leave or become uninvolved.
<Anshar> Social Darwinism.
<Isealdor> Doc: easier said than done at times
<RKCoon> pity it's not literal Darwinism, eh, Anshar?
<Anshar> Sometimes I wish :p
* Anshar evolves a big club for an arm
<Doc> I would hope so Anshar. And yes Isealdor, I realize it isn't easy. In fact some cases, I know names who will stay, because of the size of their community or their previous public success, even if they aren't what's best for the VVC.
<Isealdor> I think the most important part to me is that there are people at least trying. Admittedly, it's not the "perfect system", but at least it's something
<Anshar> A stark metaphor for the political systems of today :p
<Doc> Agreed Isealdor. I'm glad to see something coming up, though it's not quite as....conservative as I had hoped for. But that seems again to be a case here, some of us are more liberal on the subject, some more conservative.
<Anshar> A consensus is always hard to reach. That's life.
<Anshar> That's why compromise is so important.
<RKCoon> I wouldn't call myself conservative - I prefer, Cautious.
<Anshar> RK: Conservation of your way of life. Disinvolvement.
<Anshar> That's almost the definition verbatim.
<Doc> I enjoyed very much watching you and RK, Anshar. Aside from being entertaining, it was logical and reasonable. I admit before this, I had an opinion attached to your name that wasn't so pleasant.
<Anshar> Me or RK? (or both?)
<Isealdor> I think another key point is that the media isn't about the VVC. Yes, a number of VVC members have been involved, but that's due in a large part to the membership of the VVC and the willingness and availability of the members to go on the show. When VVC members are not involved, other people will be recruited, as shown by things like the Tyra Banks show
<Doc> You. RK and I know each other.
* Anshar nod
<Anshar> Well in my mind, if we're trying to use a political metaphor in the VVC that means that we need debate.
<Anshar> That means that debate needs to be objective and have boundaries, and remain productive.
<Anshar> That's all I did here.
<Sanguinarius> I think it went well
<Anshar> A chance for both sides to hear one another out and learn about one another's positions.
<RKCoon> That is also why I was careful in my rant - I KNOW Faux's game very well, I didn't want to stomp on Anshar too hard as I didn't hear all of what he DID say.
<Anshar> RK: Some examples can be found here: http://blog.myspace.com/ansharseraphim
<Anshar> (hopefully nothing you find TOO much trouble with)
<RKCoon> I will peruse those tomorrow.
* Anshar nods
<Anshar> Appreciate your time.
<RKCoon> I try to be more fair these days. despite the... controversial things I see go on.
<Anshar> Hey, if you get pissed, cuss me out. Just do it for things "I" do, not Fox :p
<Anshar> If I deserve it, lay into me. I'm far from perfect.
<RKCoon> I hadn't seen enough to do so - unlike Belanger.
<Anshar> Michelle's her own interesting creature :D
<RKCoon> I doubt Belanger knows of me, but a few people here have seen me rant about her on more than one occasion.
<Doc> Ugh. Don't get me started on her.
<Anshar> I like her media presence and her mind. Some of her lifestyle choices and other bits are just plain odd, as are the details of her vampirism, but that's just my opinion.
<Anshar> In some ways I think she has more in common with RK, to be honest.
<Anshar> She puts some of vampirism "out there" but other aspects of Kheprian beliefs and whatnot she stays mum on.
<Doc> My thoughts exactly RK.
<Anshar> Silence about being reincarnated vampires from Egypt, etc etc etc.
<Anshar> So I can't argue that silence doesn't serve its own purpose too.
<Anshar> Maybe we're just too polarized on the issue.
<Anshar> Maybe some things should be said and others refrained.
<RKCoon> I've heard a few stories about her own ...questionable past.
<Isealdor> Anshar: in my experience and from what I've seen, she will discuss it if asked, though
<Isealdor> RK, have you tried to confirm any of them?
<Anshar> RK: I won't speculate. Not fair, she's not here to defend herself.
<Isealdor> Stories are a dime a dozen
<RKCoon> nothing I could prove in a court of law at any rate.
<Anshar> Admittedly the things I hear about Kheprians are hearsay anyway, so I'm far from a reliable source.
<Anshar> I'd have to ask her and form a new opinion.
<Isealdor> Anshar: it's actually quite interesting, worth researching some ;)
<RKCoon> problem I find with her kind is they tell you what they want you to hear.
<Anshar> From what I read/heard it seemed so.
<Anshar> RK: True of many groups.
<Isealdor> not saying I agree with all of it, but alternative views and beliefs fascinate me
<Anshar> Some knock on my door every Sunday. :p
<RKCoon> where as me, I say what I think. I rarely bite my tongue, usually at most I'll simply avoid flat out swearing.
<Anshar> I'm taking a "Magic, Witchcraft, and Religion" course in college next semester.
<Anshar> Should prove to be enlightening.
<Anshar> I'll be sure to drag interesting topics here as I always do.
<Isealdor> except when it comes to talking to the media, RK? ;)
<RKCoon> that would be interesting yes.
<Anshar> It'll at least break the monotony of Differential Equations.
<RKCoon> someone shoves a camera in my face they are liable to find it taking very close pictures of their rectum.
<Anshar> I said:
<Anshar> "Lots of people in the community debate about the subject of blood. Some people express it as a physical need and others say that it simply carries the energy we feed on. It's likely that the word "vampire" is an umbrella for a large diversity of related conditions and we may all be right. It's a good possibility that pranic or energy vampires need something different from sanguine vampires just as it's a possibility we're all getting the same things in different ways.
<Anshar> Personally I've tried blood five or six times and gotten a positive experience out of it, but I certainly don't need to drink blood to survive. We place a large emphasis on feeding safety, blood testing with prospective donors, and donor rights in our community. We're not malicious predators in alleyways, we meet our needs with people in our circle of trust."
<Anshar> and they quoted: "Personally I've tried blood five or six times and gotten a positive experience out of it."
<Anshar> Editing really is shitty.
<RKCoon> I've made a point of watching Olbermann a lot recently via YouTube. ive gotten an education as to what Faux/ Federally Operated Xenophobia is all about.
<Anshar> RK: They interviewed Ramsland in this, but it didn't go too far off track. Have you seen the ABCNews.com Article I did?
<RKCoon> I do have to say, overall I am both surprised and impressed with you, Anshar - I knew damn well your comments had been edited heavily, so I only felt it fair to see and give you a clear chance.
<Anshar> I appreciate your open-mindedness, RK.
<RKCoon> after spending the last 3 years in the LGBT community, I've learned to open the rusted shut thing.
* Anshar nods
<Anshar> RK: I hope you take a look at the ABC article, it gives an idea of what a text-based impression is capable of.
<Anshar> It has its failings just like any other format, but I felt like much less of my voice was silenced.
<RKCoon> I've seen it briefly, haven't dissected it, however
<Anshar> You should. Might solidify your opinion on the written format and give you some specific examples to draw on for your arguments.
<RKCoon> when I get a chance I'll have to take a look. btw, my contact info is in my Xanga if you'd care to catch me sometime off here.
<RKCoon> ...and that, ladies, gents and transgendered species, ends the debate section of our show.
Eerie America TV Series
Eerie America could very well be called The Fodors Travel Guidebook for The Addams Family. I read some in-depth information about the show and saw the promo, and from what I can tell, this will be an absolutely AWESOME series if they can get it off the ground. (I'm actually praying they will.) Let others know and see who can help. This is something that should happen! Let's pull together and make it so!
New Orleans Vampire Association
NOVA is a State Recognized Non-Profit Organization geared toward helping the homeless in the New Orleans area and working towards its greater goals, including a homeless shelter in the Greater New Orleans area.
If you would like to donate money, food, or supplies toward the cause, please click here for more info or to donate.
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