Loading...

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

The Graveyard Press - Conflict within the Vampire Community - Amy Mah Vampire

graveyardpress2

Written by A.V.F
1/21/2015 © Graveyardpress ™
Verbatim From 
The Tensions between the so called Vampire Community (VC) and a totally separate Vampire Fiction Fans (VF) group have escalated recently as conflicts between them spread. There has always been a fairly healthy cross over between the two elements. Most of the time it has been fairly respectful. Recently I was able to talk to members on both sides of the debate. Deacon Gray and Anthony Hogg.

I find myself wondering what’s really behind all the hostility

DG: “It’s not that either side is filled with bad people, or overly arrogant people. They are just people with strong opinions that see no reason to compromise due to internet insulation. Also the people involved have different motivations behind their words. The way I see is is that any conversation has value until the first person goes away from the topic and turns toward insults, or uses words that could be considered insulting. Disrespecting the conversation or the people who are having it by playing silly games can be certainly lead to hostility.

More often than not, the breakdown of the thread and escalation of hostility has to do with bickering about semantics, and other pointless issues.

With both sides posturing over the last few days, it seemed like I would find it fairly easy to get someone from the other point of view to speak out, and it was. Anthony Hogg was asked his opinions about the issue and this is what he had to say

AH: “To me, it’s more than just semantics; there’s a genuine confusion within the VC over what a vampire’s supposed to be. Though some utilize the term for convenience’s sake, others utilize it more literally, thus displaying incredible historical ignorance, and using oxymorons like ‘real vampire,’ which should be clarified. The recent events Deacon Gray refers to offense taken at Amy Mah’s recent tongue-in-cheek comments, made in character, about ‘donors’ on my Facebook group. That means people in the community are trying to apply politically correct notions to imaginary beings most folk in the VC don’t even believe in, anyway! It’s crazy. This is why discussing things in context is important, not forming online lynch mobs.”

So all of this is a fairly new conflict, but hasn’t there always been a lot of ?

“It’s not new at all. In fact it is one the elements I find distasteful about the public vampire community. Every time there is a news article about some “Vampire Attack” or “Vampire Killer” someone from the Vampire Community feels the need to go out onto the news site and educate the reporters and readers about their perspective of a what a real vampire is. Of course even within the VC there isn’t a single quantitative answer to that question. We see someone go out there and make an ass of themselves pretty much every time the subject comes up in the media. The downside is that the Vampire Fans, well some of them, find the vampire community a great source for their own entertainment.

A lot of the time they want to use it for their own articles, stories, or self promotion. ‘These people are freaky vampires, but I bet they will love my story’, or ‘ I make jewelry that is gothic, I bet they would be interested in that.’ But I would say the worse of the lot are those who claim to be skeptics, but are really just antagonists.
Their claim to be simply studying or using healthy skepticism is fine, but they failed to see when those discussions have gone passed their logical conclusion. You also have to remember that some of those who are engaging in this behavior aren’t doing so at face value. In 2009 we had a young writer come in to cause issues basically for publicity. I believe we are seeing some of that developing as well ”
The Vampirologist, Anthony Hogg, had a different take on the subject.

“I don’t see much skepticism in the VC at all; at least, not balanced, overarching skepticism. There certainly is a lot of skepticism when it comes to who’s ‘real’ and who’s ‘fake’; banter not far removed from high school cliques.

The irony is, that neither ‘side’ as any proper verification: vampirism is not a recognized condition, outside of psychological papers on ‘clinical vampirism’ which doesn’t even have DSM-5 recognition. In essence, it’s like arguing over comic book character traits. Fan-fic territory; a purely subjective thing. This schoolyard bickering gets in the way of applying serious study to the field, as we’re essentially dealing with people who ‘don’t need’ any proof – but still argue over who’s real and isn’t among themselves anyway.

What makes it worse, is that skeptics are sometimes dismissed as ‘trolls.’ How is dismissing any form of criticism or discussion that steps outside of a circle jerk, ‘trolling’? That is an incredibly unhealthy view for a community to uphold. Not only does it inhibit critical thought, but it also encourages ‘groupthink’ and cult-like behavior. Skepticism should be encouraged, not vilified.”

Why does there have to be conflict at all? I realize strong opinions are going to happen, but are they so strong that we cannot allow each other different thoughts on a subject and move on with topics we can agree with, after all most of the VC members are serious fans as well. Why does there have to be animosity when there is so much to agree on?

“That would be amazing. There are a lot of things that our communities are in sync about. We both have a love for vampire fiction in its many different forms. The truth is that there will always be people out there who see the VC members and suspect the local mental hospital ran out of beds. Being well skilled in the psychology field, I am sure, they will drop in, not to stroke their own ego’s, but to help the poor deluded people find their way back to reason. They will say they are “just curious” or that they really “find the community fascinating” at first, then move toward the idea of “helping those who are being lead into believing the vampire non-sense” Of course the VC members will be more than happy to join in the conflict, and it doesn’t take long before they are both arguing the definition and spelling of vampire all over again. Both sides of the conflict have their trolls, and both sides will see those trolls come out in force the moment they smell a good debate that they can turn into mudslinging.”

Deacon, I read your last article, are you trying to say that you are immune or above mudslinging?”

“Not at all, respect is earned and I tend to conduct my own discourse based on the level of respect I have for the individual. Everyone starts out with basic human respect from me, though not everyone shares that mentality . Recently a pundit who didn’t like my article decided to jump into the debate. That would not have been an issue, but he lost my respect by immediately being condescending. I just blocked him and moved on, I don’t recall his name.


The subject of that article “Bubble Gum Vampires Speak” might say the same thing about me, but if she looked back over the various posts she would see I wasn’t condescending with her at all initially. It took some time to lose my respect to that level, not that it is OK to be mean.

“I’m not even sure who Gray is referring to; and that’s something else that should be addressed: if you can’t ‘name names,’ don’t imply things about people. This passive-aggressive bullshit must stop.

On my own groups I encourage debate; too many groups and forums shy from it, because it escalates into mudslinging. I understand that. However, I take a different approach: we all let off some steam sometimes. Things get heated, but deep down, everyone is ‘decent’, especially if you give them a chance to cool off and apologize. Those that don’t? Well, that’s on their heads. All should strive for clarity: question what someone says, what they’re saying; resist the urge to jump down their throat. Try to understand them.

Amy Mah is a classic case: few seem to ‘get’ that she is a satirist, but through satire, she opens the door to self-reflection. Like many, I was at first a little hostile toward her, but then I started talking to her and finally ‘got’ her. Her discussions on ‘spheres’ of reality are particularly intriguing and I would encourage others to open dialogue with her, too. At the end of the day, many disagreements come from two parties being unable to understand each other, as it does from outright malice. Give people the benefit of the doubt.”

” The ‘Amy Mah’ debate is an interesting point. She uses her fictional persona as a means to slip out of accountability for the things she says. It’s too easy to be insulting, or flippant toward the vampire community, than back peddle blaming it on a fictional character, or claiming it’s satire. You have to remember she is interacting with people having a real conversation, and role playing a character…sometimes. I understand Anthony’s defensiveness about her though, they are partners on several ventures.


I’m not positive that the conflict between the two elements will ever be fully resolved, but I am positive that if they stopped posturing and simply had conversations, that they would find more they agree on than disagree about. So in closing I would like to ask a fairly simple question. “Dracula Untold” do you think it was a new high for the vampire fiction Genre? I loved the film, but what did you think of it? Deacon I will start with you

“It touches a little more on some of the traditional elements of the Dracula story based on Hungarian historical setting, but it has nothing on the old classics novels. For me Bram’s Dracula is unparalleled as a novel, though far from historically accurate in the time period, but it’s a lot better than Twilight.
At the same time the projected villainy of the Ottoman Turks is over played, it was such an demonification of the culture as to be amusing. If you were actually looking at historical context the Ottoman were entering into an enlightened period in their history, while the Eastern Eurpoens were so busy fighting over every scrap of nobility that they ultimately lost the region.

Anthony, your thoughts? I think it was passable popcorn entertainment. It was like 300 (2006) meets The Mummy (1999). Nothing spectacular, but it shows how far we’ve come from Universal’s first Draculaoffering in 1931: the bad guy’s now the good guy. Well, not quite: to make him the ‘good’ guy, you have to strip him, or dilute all his unsavory habits: like his sick sense of humour!

Let’s face it: the guy was a fuckin’ psychopath, but in the movie, he’s a tragic antihero. The other thing that interests me, is how much it blends the vampire/Dracula mythos with the myth McNally and Florescu created by shoehorning as much of Stoker’s story into Vlad’s. Movies like this, help undo all the hard work of scholars like Elizabeth Miller, who’ve spent decades unraveling that Gordian knot. But eh, at the end of the day, it’s just a movie.

*****************************************************
For details on Amy Mah Vampire please visit 
www.amymahvampire.com



No comments:

Post a Comment