Originally posted as part of a thread in the “Vampiric/Vampyric Culture and Lifestyle” forum on Sanguinarius’s old ezBoard (12/22/2000).
I think what this corner of the board was originally intended for were the typical posers to the lifestyle. i.e. those who have no need for blood whatsoever, but perpetually lose themselves in the supposed romanticism of being a vampire.
Actually, a little of both. There are a number of those who are both real vampires and into the lifestyle and culture. Granted, many “Vampyres” or “Vampyre lifestylers” are not real vampires, and many real vampires are not “Vampyres/Vampyre lifestylers”.
But, the way I see it, to some extent, all real vampires do live a vampiric lifestyle to some extent or other.
Also, since we have no culture of our own, historically speaking, we are inventing it for ourselves. What we are doing is similar, in a way, to what the African Americans, whose ancestors were ripped from their cultures/homelands, and displaced in this country as slaves, and who have no real cultural heritage in this country, are doing. This consists of drawing what they can from the existing knowledgebase of African Cultures, etc., and developing their own culture, lifestyle and community based on what they have, as they go along.
In our case, the only “existing cultural heritage” or knowledgebase that could be said to exist is the social/cultural/interactivity (oh, dammit, what IS the word I’m looking for?!) aspects of vampiric fiction, which are adaptable to real-life situations. Did that make any sense?
But, just as cultures evolve and grow, and just as the African Americans are not limited to the traditional things of their past, we are free to evolve and grow, and adapt our culture to meet our needs.
The way I look at it, rightly or wrongly, is that we vampires, having no actual common cultural past, traditions, or social structure, — and therefore, no identity as a people, — are creating our own identity out of group/cultural/social necessity. Many non-vampires are going to be attracted to this. Many non-vampires have initiated this cultural evolution, but we can continue it with or without them.
They drew on such things as fiction to form the basis of the “lifestyle”. But the baby has been born, and it is now growing, finding out about itself, and becoming its own person. Eventually, it will no longer need to be reliant upon the “mommy”, which is the fictional aspects it was born from.
We, in turn can adapt with them and influence the culture which is ours as well. That is only as it should be, in my belief.
Unity. Cultural identity. Social conventions and structures. Traditions. Think of this as a social goldmine. Everybody else has their culture/lifestyle/social system. Why can’t we?
Furthermore, existing within the boundaries of a certain culture is not mandatory or required to be considered of that … “ethnic” (if that is the proper term) persuasion. Example: An old boss of mine was by race and family traditions, Jewish. But he, himself, was Episcopalian, and did not adhere to traditional Jewish Culture. Yet, he was still Jewish.
Another example: One is a solitary practitioner of Wicca, and is not connected to others who practice it. S/He makes up a lot of the rituals themself (“hirself”?); s/he is not connected to a Coven, and has no traditions, though Wiccans still do, yet s/he is still a Wiccan.
Do you see?
I don’t consider myself a Vampyre or Vampyre lifestyler, but I am a part of the vampire culture. I live a vampiric lifestyle, but not necessarily a Vampyre lifestyle, unless you consider the term very blandly and very loosely. Or if you make no distinction between the terms “vampire” and “vampyre”.
“Culture” is so much bigger and expansive than mere lifestyle. Lifestyle is a stepping-stone toward culture. I am for the development of vampiric culture. We have a right to our own cultural identity.