Atlanta Vampire Alliance [AVA]

Vampires & Vampirism => Vampire Community & Subcultural Discussion => Topic started by: Merticus on January 02, 2016, 11:35:51 AM

Title: 2015 Retrospective: A Year Of Movement Within The Real Vampire Community
Post by: Merticus on January 02, 2016, 11:35:51 AM
2015 Retrospective: A Year Of Movement Within The Real Vampire Community
A New Year's Message From Merticus To The VC - December 31, 2015

During the course of this past year we witnessed many changes within the Vampire Community — a proportional mix of optimistically progressive, familiarly regressive, outwardly prolific, and sadly tragic events.  We lost Sanguinarius of; a pioneer and advocate for vampires the world over.  Newly formed organizations such as CLAVIS (Current and Longitudinal Analyses of the Vampire-Identifying Subculture) and launched unique research projects and surveys.  The New Orleans Vampire Association (NOVA) continued to host fundraising and local community projects to feed the homeless and less fortunate.  The Iron Garden, Court of Lazarus, Bad Things, Vampire Court of Austin, and numerous other social organizations hosted vampire and nightside-themed events.  Vampire Community researchers; Drs. DJ Williams, John Edgar Browning, Joseph Laycock, and Emyr Williams, published peer-reviewed papers, began new research projects, and participated in vampire conferences in Atlanta, Georgia and symposiums in Corinth, Texas.  Dr. DJ Williams and his colleague published a seminal paper; “Do We Always Practice What We Preach? Real Vampires’ Fears Of Coming Out Of The Coffin To Social Workers And Helping Professionals” while Dr. Joseph Pierre of UCLA penned a groundbreaking article; “Dracula On The Couch: The Psychiatry Of Vampires”.  Reporters from The Guardian, BBC, The Washington Post, VICE, El Mundo (Spain), The Daily Beast, Men’s Health Magazine, and many others wrote responsibly balanced pieces on real vampirism and television shows like the Doctors featured a vampire and their donor.  Books were published including Corvis Nocturnum and L.E. Carruba’s; ‘Vampire Evolution: From Myth To Modern Day’, Kate Gallwey’s; ‘Being A Psychic Vampire’, and Michelle Belanger’s fictional work; “Conspiracy Of Angels”.  Facebook groups continued to grow despite privacy concerns stemming from a now failed policy attempt, blogs such as The GraveYard Press, The Shadow Sage, The Amador Vampire, Real Vampire Life, Vamped, and others published numerous articles, and spirited and sometimes heated discussion was shared by many.

Others often measure the success of a venture by how much attention is garnered and how many supporters gained.  During a given period of time, I choose to measure success by examining what positive influences permeate within a culture and what propensity exists for movement rather than stagnation.  For the first time in several years we are witnessing a resurgence of interest in professional community building, medical and psychological research, broader societal discussion of what it means to ‘identify as a real vampire’, the greatest concentration of media interest in recent memory, and a renewed focus on the value of cultivating individual relationships within the subculture.  The Vampire Community is actively engaging with itself and with those who possess a sincere interest in understanding our beliefs and customs.  I can’t underscore enough the importance of continuous innovation, inspiring and supporting those willing to advance information sharing, partnering with professionals to develop thought-provoking research, and to keep looking ahead.  Granted, the methods we employ to express our disagreements may sometimes be labeled as ‘drama’ and ‘trollish behavior’, but we should never forget that this is also what makes us unique.  It’s my fervent hope that our discourse will continue to mature and we will all personally strive to seek common ground or a respectful tone with those who share differing views.

We have come a long way from where we were just a decade ago and all of us should be proud of what has been accomplished.  Continue to set practical goals for yourself and your projects by outlining where you are now and where you want to be this time next year.  Pick up the phone and call someone you haven’t spoken with in several years, invite someone to dinner the next time you’re in their area, patronize vampire-related events and endeavor to be more than just words on a screen.  I look forward to what changes and growth will come our way in 2016!

Happy New Year!


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