There’s been a LOT of talk in the GVC of pining for the “old days”. Sadly, OLDER Vampires have forgotten what the “old days” were ACTUALLY like and the YOUNGER Vampires are attempting to succor themselves on a bazillion different stories of “past glories” created by a specific contingent of people without actually knowing or understanding what it is they are even asking to have happen.
Let me tell you something. Aside from the pageantry and the mildly outlandish need to drape everything in Edwardian/Victorian garb, the community WASN’T as glamorous and “glorious” as people want to remember it. It was dark, nefarious, and stained with attitudes and egos to the point that any normal person looking in would have turned from it as nothing more than a collection of nutters needing a much larger sanitarium for the clinically insane. From the outside view, it was nothing more than a wannabe gothic style rendition of club kids gone wrong. And the INSIDE look wasn’t much better.
Inside… Inside pompous ego driven drivel spewed as “the Gospel of So-N-So the Such-N-Such of the (now adding the word ‘modern’) Vampire Community”… Really? REALLY?? It has been established that there WERE Houses long before the dark nights at Mother’s from “back in the day”. Grinding music mixed with dark fantasy action, derelict souls, drugs, alcohol, and, on special occasions, violence to “offending parties” who may or may not have known what ‘offense’ they were accused of committing… We weren’t the “glorious beings” of unbridled wisdom, culture, and class that some would have you believe we were. No. We were decadent, dirty, and could get downright rude. Like I said, we were a gothic style of club kids gone wrong. And there is no glory or honor in that. PERIOD.
Yeah. Go ahead and long for the “Good Ol’ Days”, I’m gonna stick with watching the crop of new, up and coming community members and lend them whatever help that I am able, for as long as I am able, however, don’t think I will make it completely easy on them. It wasn’t easy on me, when I first entered the community, so why should I make it easy on the next generations?
“Respect my authority!!” seems to be a cry that both young and old alike tend to rally around, however, there’s one problem with that. Each area, each group, each House/Clan/Coven/Order, is more like its own city kingdom and ONLY the people IN these particular groupings hold any sway OVER those groupings. Your vaunted ‘authority’ extends to the limits of that which you THINK is your territory. And I do mean ‘THINK’. Unless you are a duly elected, voted for by the entirety of the public in YOUR city, county/parish, or state, you haven’t got a leg to stand on when claiming territory. Sorry to those who feel otherwise, however, this is why Feds tend to look at groupings of Vampires like gangs… We’re territorial over NOTHING… Especially with all the newfangled groups popping up in what was already established territories and undermining the established groups that were there before.
SPEAKING of (and to) the Younger members of the community… Since when, IN ANY COMMUNITY on the face of the planet, is it an AUTOMATIC action to grant respect to those newly entering the community? (There isn’t one) ESPECIALLY a community that has built itself up around a mythical creature KNOWN for being a bit of a bastard when it came to their own children and younger members of their species? A creature known for being the penultimate predator? When people come to me, who happen to be younger/new to the community and DEMAND the same respect that a person who has been in the community 10, 15, 20, even 25+ years in the community, the ONLY thing I can do is laugh at them and think to myself, “petulant child” and turn to the next person asking a legitimate question about what it is to be a Vampire. I’m an old fart from what seems to be worlds away. I grew up in TWO communities where Elders were treated with dignity and respect (whether or not they were currently doing things for those communities) and the thought of FORCING them out because they were too old did not cross anyone’s mind for long… And it DAMNED sure wasn’t sought after by people DEMANDING them to move over so THEY could take over. (Yes, there were exceptions to the rule, however, this WAS the rule) Elders were simply respected and sought out for council, wisdom, and understanding where we came from.
We, the older generation, are NOT morally obligated to just hand over everything we’ve learned through our years in the GVC dealing with our condition. You want respect, GIVE IT. I do TRY to be respectful, however, even I have my limits on how much attitude, stupidity, rudeness, and disrespect I will take before I blow a gasket at someone. When it happens, answers become snippy and sharp, filled with just as much attitude and disrespect as I felt I received. When one of my friends calls me out for being wrong, or I calm down and re-read my shit, I have been known to apologize. *shrug* I’m not perfect and have never pretended to be.
No. Instead, we have an ever increasing gap between disrespectful youth and active (and not so innocent) elders. So much so that the GVC, as a whole, has devolved into nothing more than an attention seeking shouting match over who deserves what and why they feel that way. This, to me, is the saddest part of being in the community. Such an impasse. Such a Great Rift. Such a fucking, drawn out, overly emotionalized drama fest that I can’t believe it is STILL going on with ALL of the people stating “let’s be adults about this”… JesusHChristOnACrutch…
How do we fix these issues? How do we, as an identity group, stop the madness that seems to be ever present in each and every topic posted in each and every group, blog, email chain, whathaveyou?
1) Stop romanticizing the “Good Ol’ Days”. Those of us who lived through them and weren’t part of the “in crowd” (you know who they were) KNOW that they weren’t as glorious and grand as certain people are making them out to be. Ye Olden Days were filled with just as much horseshit, drama, infighting, anger, hatred, and jealousy that we see present in TODAY’S GVC. It is tragic to see the number of people trying to “relive their glory days” by assuming positions of power over OTHER communities… All in the name of “Ye Olden Days”…
2) Stop fantasizing that ONE certain group of people created the community, it was in existence before I entered it at the age of 13 in 1978 and some records, just from my initial ‘House’ dated back to the 1930s when we were nothing more than an “offshoot” of the pagan communities. I give them props for being one of the first to organize to the point of hosting out of the coffin events, however, they WERE NOT THE BEGINNING OF THE COMMUNITY and to play otherwise is asinine, at best.
3) Stop tuning out whenever any younger member of the community approaches you, if you are an older member of the community. Stop trying to intimidate and DEMAND respect from the older members who may or may not know (of) you. Stop assuming either way that respect is supposed to be mutual. Its not. Respect is an earned quality and only through action and dignity can you hope to earn it from people. In the GVC, most notably, respect is granted by some of us to everyone, until you prove your little more than shit and shinola, then, those like me, will show you courtesy, however, we will not respect you.
4) IF, someone has offended you, don’t pretend you didn’t do anything to earn that shit. Man/Woman up and admit that you may have done something to earn the ire and FUCKING APOLOGIZE! JesusFrigginChristOnACrutch!!! People saying “I’m sorry” (and meaning it) is about as rare as finding a virgin now-a-days to sacrifice to a volcano for good weather… (a joke fuckers, get over yourselves) Seriously, though, apologize and mean it. It goes a LONG way to smooth things over.
5) Remember that this is an ever growing, ever evolving community. As nuances are learned of our ‘condition’, each piece of information held needs to be re-evaluated as surely as the pieces of information coming INTO the community. No one member of the GVC… No one House/Clan/Coven/Order of the GVC… holds all of the answers to our condition. I’ve used the term “fully awakened” to describe myself, yet, even I know that I am still learning things about myself and refining the knowledge that I THOUGHT I held about my vampiric condition causing me to re-evaluate and refine how I approach my ‘condition’.
6) Remember that EVERYONE from the newest member of the GVC to the oldest of the old farts speaks from THEIR OWN UNDERSTANDING of their condition. If you do not understand something or need clarification to understand something better… OPEN YOUR FUCKING MOUTHS AND ASK IN A RESPECTFUL MANNER. It’s not that damned hard. Here. Let me give you an example… “Could you please explain to me a little more about what you meant when you wrote/said such-n-such thing in this group/discussion/email/interview/whathaveyou?” Some of you act like you haven’t been to preschool/kindergarten/first or second grade where they harped on subjects like manners…
7) STOP acting like you and yours are the end all be all of the GVC… You’re nothing but another cog in the wheel of progress that has led us from the shadows of reclusive ‘Houses’ to secretly communicating through BDSM mags and gathering at BDSM events to the open gatherings at places like Mother’s to the current incarnation of gatherings we see active in our community in recent years. You’re just another cog… And not even the most innovative one at that. ESPECIALLY with all of the “balls” looking, acting, and being virtually the same shit different location…
8) Start making MORE family friendly events. Yes. FAMILY FRIENDLY. We are seeing more and more members WITH children in the community. I’m not saying to indoctrinate the children, I’m saying plan a friggin day at the zoo, a water park, an amusement park, a family movie. Don’t you want to be able to say we are a WHOLE community? Our children ARE part of our lives and SHOULD be thought of in, at least, local events.
9) START adding LGBT friendly events. With as many of us that are, and have been, part of the GVC, you would think ONE of these money grubbing events would have pulled something in for them. Hell. Even the girl on girl action of the burlesque shows is ONLY to entice the heterosexual males NOT celebrate the Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transwomen of the community. Vanna turn a vowel for these fuckers so that MAYBE, just maybe, they will get a damned clue.
10) Remember, the next generation is watching, listening, and experiencing how the older generations treat them. Fucking act like damned adults and stop trying to speak ABOVE the younger generations as if you’re the most authoritative person on the face of the fucking planet. I’m hard on them, as I’ve mentioned before, however, I do it because I WANT to see them succeed where efforts tried by MY generation failed miserably… Get it. Got it. Good…
Well, this Grumpy Vampire is fucking tired as shit after working all day and typing this missive… Suck it up, buttercups. Only by working together, both generations, will we make this a better community for those following us… NOT by re-inventing the wheel and throwing the same sort of parties every fucking year, ad nauseum.
Sadly, I know this will not reach those it should. Those younger rising stars of the GVC who, though feeling the sting of my generation, are STILL attempting to better the community despite the upheaval of attitude at change that many members of the community bring to the table.
Remember, folks, stagnation equals death. Just like my very first ‘House’, if you stagnate, you die out.