Greetings to you all.. This month, I have asked Sangi to be my guest for the community leader interview..As always, I hope you, the reader, will find this interview informative and a great help towards seeking out the information you need towards pursuing your own personal vampirism..Sangi runs Sanguinarius, and the website can be found here: http://www.sanguinarius.org/
Silver: Greetings Sangi, I thank you for meeting with me today and agreeing to be interviewed for the zine….All right, first may I ask you to give an introduction so everyone reading this will know a bit about you?
Sangi: Hello Silver, I’m Sanguinarius and I’m 31, living in Kansas, USA. I founded and operate Sanguinarius.org for Real Vampires, which includes The Vampire Support Page, The Real Vampire Directory and the Vampiric Community Calendar. I founded Sanguinarius: The Vampire Support Page in the summer of 1997 and have been involved in offering support, resources and community to (for?) other real vampires, blood drinkers and those into the vampyre lifestyle.
Silver: Wonderful :o) That sounds like an awful lot to take on..Can you tell us a bit about how you started Sanguinarius, and what kinds of activities your organization provides for the vampire community?
Sangi: It started out originally as a personal home page which had some information on real vampires, some FAQs and some tips for others like me who stumbled across it. Also had a list of the links to other pages which I felt were about real vampires or at least trying to give accurate information. Back then, everybody was isolated and didn’t know about the others or their pages. I figured they were just as lonely for like company as I was, so I scoured the net incessantly, searching out new vamp pages (and boldly going where no vamp had gone before Sangi slaps herself) and letting them know when I added their page to my site. I also started to offer resources like message boards so that those who came to my site would have some place to congregate and communicate openly and freely about themselves and their vamp-ness (is that a word?).
Since then, the Home Page of Sanguinarius has grown into the Vampire Support Page; its Links Page has become the Real Vampire Directory; the Guidelines, Tips and Info has grown much larger, thanks to many user-contributed tips; I have a whole archive of articles to read; a calendar for posting vampire and community-related events, gatherings, chats, and other important dates (which people need to use if it’s going to be useful). It’s quite a large site. I also offer an IRC Chat room on Dal.net for additional support.. I’m sure I’m forgetting something…. Also, I just recently replaced the old frames calendar with a much better script, so anybody who was turned off by the frames should give the new one a try.
Silver: Ok that is a lot.. that must really keep you busy.. I wonder that you have anytime for yourself..
Sangi: I really don’t..I gave up a perfectly good and secure marriage for this..
Sangi: (and potentially a family) Sangi nods
Sangi: “Gomez” and I are still friends, though. It took a lot to keep that much.
Silver: I am sorry to hear that, but believe me when I say that what you have selflessly given to others so that they might be able to benefit from your work, will never go unnoticed, though that is more than likely not enough to compromise your loss..
Sangi: The community is very important to me. This is something bigger than me, or a marriage or relationship.
Silver: I know what you mean.. I give a lot of time too.. Truth be told, this is the one area of my life that keeps me sane..
Sangi: Any new relationships…They need to know up front so they won’t be in for a letdown or “betrayal”, that the community comes first.
Silver: That is important that those we are with know ahead of time.. I think that too.
Sangi: They say, “OK, I understand” but then as time goes by, then tend to forget that, and that causes trouble..
Silver: Would you say that during the time that you were first discovering your own vampirism, that there were very many others like you? And if there were, did you have the opportunity to interact with them in some way, or was it more of a solo venture?
Sangi: Back then, I was offline, and I had certain preconceived notions of the way I thought I was supposed to be. I had nobody to guide or inform me, so I was pretty blind and ignorant and tended to make a royal fool of myself. I was in contact with other people who claimed they were vampires, as well. How they described themselves to be ranged anywhere from those with a blood fetish to those who claimed to be several hundred years old (and atrociously misused “thee”, “thy”, “thou”, and other obsolete words to prove it). There were those among them who seemed to be something close to what I was. Sangi tries to figure out how to say something
Silver: I think it goes without saying < though its being mentioned now > that we have all run into those types.
Sangi: Eh, forget it…it’s too complicated…
Silver: Would you say there is a very large vampire community there in your area?
Sangi: I think maybe there were more real vamps out there than what the mail showed. I would not be surprised if they felt they had to “pose” in order to gain acceptance as a real vampire… Even though they were..
Silver: Quite possibly, but they only end up making themselves look all the worse for going about it that way..
Sangi: In my area? I would not know. I think there is at least some in the KC-Lawrence-Topeka area.. And once they finally get accepted as real for the wrong reasons, it’s hard to “come clean” and say, “I’m not actually THAT way, but I am still real.”..
Silver: True enough
Sangi: So they end up getting labelled either posers (when they aren’t honest) or fakes (when they are). Of course, some are just posers and fakes… I think it all has to do with the word/title/label of “vampire”.
Silver: I noticed this is a real problem..Do you think, as a community leader, that there is ANY way we can find common ground in the other vampire communities where we can all network together for the good of all, instead of going head to head with each other and competing all the time?
Sangi: Different people have different ideas, goals and agendas, and are working toward their own different ideas, goals and agendas for different reasons. I do not know if what you say can be done. But if it is to be done, then the community leaders and elders need to realize that the community / the sanguinarium (lower-case “s” now), or whatever one wants to call it, is greater than the sum of its parts. thinking We must all be willing to put aside lesser differences in the name of working together. If there is personal disagreement between leaders, they must set it aside or work to resolve it in a mutually beneficial manner. Pain us though it might, we cannot afford to be selfish, thin-skinned, or carry grievances. (new paragraph Sangi slaps AIM)
Community leaders and elders also need to function as a planning committee to establish goals and work out how to get from where we are now to where we want to be. Also, developing a sense of unity in those in the vamp community..I hope all that came through and AOL didn’t cut any off..
Silver: Well I definitely agree with you on all that.. It must be very difficult being in that kind of role because there is such a lot on your shoulders, and I agree that differences and attitudes need to be put aside to better concentrate on the topic at hand..
Sangi: I think also that a lot of the differences stem from the “we are different than you / we are better than you / WE are the vampires, not YOU people” attitude (which in turn hinges on how one defines a “vampire” in the first place), but I do not see how to eliminate that and still keep any degree of “purity” (gee, that is such a loaded term) in the community. If we do drop that, then we’ll not be able to draw the line anywhere and of course, anybody who wants to be, is suddenly a part of it, even though they might not have anything whatsoever to do with vampires, nor think they are in any way. Heck, why not just expand it to include the whole world, and everyone in it? Oh, wait, that community already exists…Sangi realizes that she’s probably rambling and shuts up
Silver: Yeah, I know that part has to be really difficult.. there was a comment made on another list about this very thing and the one thing that stuck out is people who come off saying and even proving they are the genuine article and then maybe later when they have gotten to the place where they want to be within the community, they suddenly turn into like a cult leader type and begin mass corruption..you know what I mean?
Silver: Ok, shall I go on with the next question?
Sangi: Sangi thinks of Mel Brooks “It’s good to be the King.” quote
Silver: hehehe..< tosses forth the quip from Simba > Oh I just can’t wait to be King..
Sangi: If I ever get to that point, please tell me. 🙁
Silver: Not to worry.. you don’t seem to have that air about you at all.. I think you’d be told by many if you were going down that avenue..
Sangi: A lot of people look up to me, though. Others have problems with authority, and single me (and others for that matter) out because they, too, view that I am somehow “in authority” because I’m a leader / elder in the community. Bleh! brb, coffee refill..
Silver: Well, the kewl thing about that ok, and sometimes I get this though I am not a leader – but I have had a comment from one that basically said ” you are different to the rest because you have the same power, and you know this, but you have not allowed it to go to your head, and you still take other people and their feelings into consideration ”
Sangi: That is good..That’s the problem, I think. It’s very easy to let power go to your head.
Silver: That’s true it is.. Well, I wasn’t real sure how to take it, but I for one am glad that I am seen positively by some out there yanno? it makes things alot easier..Not only that, just because I may or may not have something, doesn’t mean that I have to stop caring about other people..I’m empathic, so I NEED other people..without them, I go down the drain fairly quickly..
Silver: Ok, moving on.. How do you feel about the problem of roleplaying vs. real vampirism? Most especially on those who cannot discern between their character and real life vampirism?
Sangi: Those people need help dealing with their lives and identities. That is the main reason I have a problem with RPG games. And why V:TM in particular? Just because it is in the area that I have to deal with: Vampires. Other than that, I think that V:TM does have some very good IDEAS on vampiric culture. I feel that, on one level, some of the materials they have created could be useful as inspiration and ideas (Sangi says carefully) for developing and shaping the vamp community into an actual culture for ourselves and our future generations. Yes, I am thinking of the long-term. No, I have not completely lost it.. I hear everybody suddenly writing me off as a crank, now…Dang it.
Silver: Ok well, for myself, I have never roleplayed before, so I guess some would tell me I have no idea what I’m missing, but it simply was never an area of interest for me..
Sangi: Oh well..I don’t role play either. I have less than a handful of times. It just doesn’t do anything for me except dissatisfy me.
Silver: Do you think roleplaying has in any way ruined things for real vampires, or added to it all in some way, and why?
Sangi: Its done a little of both. Its given mundane people the ability to think that we’re all just delusional RPG’ers who couldn’t handle reality. But, since vampire rolepaying games exist, why not get what we can from them and turn them to our benefit rather than our detriment? One thing I have seen, — and I think this is unfortunate, — is that anybody who happens to be a real vampire who DOES play the vampire RPG games is summarily blacklisted. This problem needs to be dealt with intelligently, not just by blacklisting anybody who is an RPG’er. Heck, RP stands for roleplayer, and in this community, that has come to stand to mean a poser or fake. The meaning of “RP”, then, has two different meanings, with various people using one definition or the other, and no way to know which meaning they actually intend.
Silver: Ok I understand what you are saying, but this is because I have a good grip on reality – most days anyway :o) but I think the reason most people get upset is due to the crazy claims of being thousands of years old and leader of this clan or that one etc etc and making claims of being related to Vlad or Elizbeth who neither of which were vampires..
Sangi: I’m neither advocating nor discouraging roleplaying (as in playing the RPGs), but when people roleplay (as in, take on a role that is not their real self) as a real vampire when they are not, then that is just not being honest. I advocate honesty..(that goes with the previous response)..
Silver: Honesty really is the best thing, in any case, its true..
Sangi: nods Yes. Quite frankly, that sort of thing comes from the attention-getters and people looking for validation (“If many, many people think of me as a vampire, then I am one”), who always seem to be the ones that get seen by the media, simply because they squeak the loudest. And the media parades these squeakers around, and that is what general society sees and associates with so-called “real vampires”. Generally, this sort of thing makes us all look bad.
Silver: This is EXACTLY the very little word : Those who yell the loudest are the ones getting heard.. And its those who are speaking out for us all..
Sangi: Plus, it confuses those of us who are looking for other people like ourselves..
Silver: Yes it totally does..
Sangi: The silent majority (the ones who are not in this for attention or thrills or personal validation as a vampire) never get heard.
Silver: This is true, but I think those are the ones who stay silent for a reason.. i.e. business or what have you..
Sangi: Hell, even if we spoke up, we’d never get heard, because we are not sensational or whacked out or interesting… Else they’d mince up what we had to say, take it out of context to make it whacked out and interesting.
Silver: Well this is true.. Real vampirism is fairly dull when you consider the likes of the movie vampires out there..There is almost none of the romance and all the other good stuff involved.. And moving on a wee bit, can you tell us what is the nature of your vampirism?
Sangi: nods Job security, social position, respectability, etc. One would be surprised. We’re not all disenfranchised Gen-Xers.
Sangi: Ok..dumb look the nature of it? What do you mean? I’m a blood drinker / sanguinarian.
Sangi: or something deeper?
Silver: Well yes..for example, my main method ok, is I am empathic, but I can utilize other ways..That one is just my preferred choice :o) Why does this particular method of feeding appeal to you as opposed to other ways? And if you have tried other methods, what were the results? Do you personally feel sanguine feeds are stronger or longer lasting?
Sangi: I am beginning to think, however, that there is something more than just blood that I need. I’m not talking about auras or emotional energy, or excess energy. I’m talking about something along the lines of the life-force itself. And it’s not something to be trained to do, or learn to do, or not do, or control even; whatever it is, I feel that it is just part and parcel of being a vampire. (This is very awkward for me to talk about, because it is nothing tangible. I like tangible. I can deal with tangible.) If I try to feed psychically, I can’t. I do not consider myself a psi-vamp or a psychic vampire. Just a vampire. If anything, I am a blood vampire or sanguinarian. There is nothing else quite like feeding on blood. But when I feel the need to feed very strongly, compellingly, it is for the blood which includes whatever is in it. I’m getting very frustrated because I don’t know how to say what it is that I am trying to say! :o( I don’t even know what it is..
Silver: Ok I know what you are saying..and you want to know something funny?
Silver: There has been the same feeling lately in many other people.. I have been watching this come out in the list.. They aren’t quite sure either, but for sure things are really changing along these lines..
Sangi: It’s a very compelling lust, but it’s not a “lust”. It’s not like I’m out of control, like vamping out, but it is overpowering..
Silver: I know what you mean..
Sangi: Oh, well, at least I’m not curled up in a ball, drooling and envisioning blood-soaked scenes in my mind 🙂
Silver: I think the Universe is doing some sort of house cleaning so to speak, and there is a very big change happening all over, and I have noticed that in the lists and in personal conversations.. I just don’t know really what to call it..
Sangi: Although I don’t get the feeling that it wouldn’t go that way too, if I let it, but I don’t know what is keeping it from doing that on its own. it certainly intense enough..house cleaning? Sangi hopes that she’s not about to get tossed out with the cosmic garbage..
Silver: Well, for lack of better words, yes..I just feel like major change is coming about..
Sangi: I know how to say it, kind of..I am driven to consume.. But (not to be dramatic or anything) fresh blood would be the only thing to satisfy..
Silver: Hmm.. I am not sure what to think of that really.. because I know what it is you are saying.. just that it really has no description so to speak.. Well I can see why you are saying this anyway.. The one thing that I have a problem with are those who think animal blood is ok, or blood from meat in the supermarkets.. I have a real thing about both of those things, and I realize not everyone agrees with me or whatever, but just how I feel about it..
Sangi: OK, smoking, eating, drinking stuff (pop, coffee, alcohol, whatever), everything is a lust now, to consume it..
Silver: Number one, animals aren’t compatible with human genetics..
Sangi: Hell, it’s got to be right from the vein. I’ve got to suck it out myself..
Silver: Number two, meat from the store is dead, therefore NO life force left in it..
Sangi: Yeah. The blood from a rare steak is a nice snack (so is the steak, hehe) but about the only thing that does is to maybe quell the hunger a little bit to get me by. I get kind of a warm, fuzzy feeling is all, but there have been times when it’s been enough to keep me from vamping out / loosing really bad, but, it’s no substitute..Sangi drools on the keyboard..
Silver: I understand that also.. Maybe its one of those psychological things where you think if you do this or have that, it will make you feel better, and so it does for a little while..
Sangi: I would not recommend trying the blood from the meat before it is prepared. I have not tried that, but it just seems thoroughly unappealing.. Not to mention, possibly unsanitary, being uncooked. E. coli and all that..Possibly. It might also be because there is something for my stomach to play with that is something to do with blood..
Silver: Very likely.. Well for starters, with all the nice things like e-coli and mad cows disease, and all the 50 kinds of antibiotics they shoot in these animals, I do believe I will give that a miss.. Ok moving forward and I see we are in the same frame of mind here :o) Apparently, there has been some scientific testing done concerning cells..There is something within them that tells other cells when to die..If scientists are able to isolate that and somehow cause immortality, would you wish to be an immortal being?
Silver: Ok :o) You might want to think about Vanilla Sky when answering this :o)
Sangi: I would not want to be truly immortal, incapable of dying, but I wouldn’t mind being able to live longer and not have to worry about disease..
Silver: That would be a good thing..
Sangi: What or who is Vanilla Sky?
Silver: And neither would I for that matter..Vanilla Sky is a new movie out that deals with that subject a bit..
Sangi: Ever see “Death Becomes Her”? I would not want it at all if I could not die.
Silver: Yes I have seen it, hehehe ..
Sangi: They fell down the stairs at the end and broke apart, and they were still alive…well, talking and moving etc. at any rate..
Silver: oooo I know they were ghastly !! :o) Where do you see your organizations in 5 years from now?
Sangi: Ooh, that’s a toughie.. grimace Realistically speaking? Unfortunately, probably the same place I am now, but with more info and articles on the site, due to the fact that I have no money to sink into improvements, expansion or a paid staff. I have an extremely limited income, and most of it goes for survival (food, rent), then phone line and connection/domain expenses. Right now, I can’t even afford a printer cartridge! Oh, and I’ll be about 6 years behind on my email, by then. Where I’d LIKE it to be five years from now (and if wishes were horses, then beggars would ride) is so much of a pipe dream that I don’t even have the courage to utter the words… Sorry if I sound bitter.
Silver: :o) Not to change the subject or anything, but what I said back there about all of the organizations working together as one?
Sangi: That would be nice..
Silver: I think this is why I dig doing the community leader interviews, because this way I get to see what many of you are like as real people and same for you with me, and this is bridging the gap maybe..
Sangi: But things take money to get accomplished..
Silver: Well, sometimes they don’t have to..
Sangi: The social development things maybe not..
Silver: For example, everything I do for the VC which in my opinion, isn’t a lot, I do for free because this is something I believe in, and I am fully passionate about.. Money never even enters the equation here, but I know it would have to for things like domains but then, I’m not running one..
Sangi: Societal development maybe better word?
Silver: Sure, great words.. I think that is the key to it all really..
Sangi: Well, I do everything for free, but some of the ideas I have in my head … They would take money to implement and maintain..Even if I did not charge for them..
Silver: I guess they would, but maybe if there were people that some of us could speak to about bettering things, maybe some wouldn’t mind donating? I dunno, its a thought..
Sangi: An example is my domain itself… I’m not running it on a free server thing..
Silver: I mean I wouldn’t want anyone to think we are after money when we aren’t, although some might well be.. but as you say, it might make things go a whole lot better for everyone involved..
Sangi: But then, I’m not even talking about that sort of thing.. Social improvements Sangi says vaguely maybe this is the challenge, though?
Silver: Anyway, just a thought, not a definite :o) And it may well be..Ok, time for one last question?
Sangi: To get what needs to be done, accomplished, but do it all totally grassroots?: Ok..
Silver: This question isn’t really a toughie.. It’s more of a mood breaker.. It’s just kind of a fun addition to the interviews I do on here and sometimes the responses are pretty kewl :o) but here ya go.. What would your life motto be if you had it displayed on a T-shirt?
Sangi: Sangi thinks “Oh, no! Mr, Bill!”? J/k still thinking
Sangi: Ooo, oh, I know. “I will prevail”.. I’m always screaming that at the computer and fate in general…: 😉 when things get tough..
Silver: hehehe that’s a great one :o) Well Sangi, I have really enjoyed talking with you this eve.. It’s been a lot of fun :o) I appreciate you meeting up with me and expressing your thoughts :o)
Sangi: It’s like, I’m GOING to do it (whatever the particular “it” is at the time), so the Universe might as well, just stop throwing adversity at me and LET me just do it.. 😉
Silver: And you know that it WILL do that time and time again.. :o)
Sangi: Well, thank you for spending the time to interview me and all.. It’s been a pleasure.. yeah, it will..
Silver: I was glad to do it :o) I always like doing them because I get so much out of them and the public gets more info as well :o)
Sangi: (And I think secretly that Rod Serling has a hand in it, but — SHHH! — don’t tell anybody… 😉 you can put that in if you want hehe..
Silver: hehehehehe, I will :o)
A Final Thought: I want to thank Sangi for her time and efforts and numerous jokes, laughs and other fun things shared in this interview.. Her energies are pretty fantastic :o) I hope you all have as much fun reading it as I had being the hostess..Life as a vampire is sometimes difficult, but it doesn’t always have to be..This is one main effort the VC tries to make possible for people – to bridge the gap.. If consequences become dire, reach out to us here, and we will guide you the very best we can..This is not merely an organization, but a family, and one worth having..To borrow a quote here – “For those who are on the downside of advantage, and relying solely on courage there is hope”..Russell Crowe
To those I love, know that I love you, and you NEVER leave my thoughts.. Dark Blessings..