OCTOBERSPLOITATION! (or “I am not a fucking vampire.”)

Sure the media has its share of blame for the misrepresentation of medical sanguinarians. However, the most egregious exploiters are those who claim to be just like us but know nothing of our struggles.

It’s that time again: media across the world and in many different formats start looking for their next set of freaks who really believe they are some sort of Halloween creature. Undoubtedly, every single year there are always people who will gladly oblige to be gawked at. For example, all you have to do is search “barcroft vampire” on YouTube and find an awkward British couple who desperate need of an angle brush for their eyeliner more than they need each other’s blood, a momma who sucks a bald man’s blood “Twilight style,” San Antonio teenagers irresponsibly slicing each other with dirty blades, and a Houston “vampire king” who appears be giving his donor surprise buttsecks (WTF Texas?! But wait, theres more!)1 Just from daytime TV show appearances, articles in print newspapers and webzines, and obscure web radio broadcasts, it’s almost become a yearly ritual to take notice in the latest ways mainstream media assures its readers that their sense of reality is not at all threatened by these featured freaks and how “vampires” continually volunteer ammunition about why they should not be taken seriously as they try to argue why they should be taken seriously. 2008 was the banner year of fail between the Tyra Banks episode featuring a failed vampire and his trashy stripper girlfriend2 and the 20/20 episode featuring a “respected vampire” flashing fake fangs and the most awkward narcissist since Comic Book Guy from The Simpsons who feeds through air-hugging her husband3. For us unfortunate med sangs who get lumped in with the “vampires” because of the whole blood bit, these volunteers have made our efforts toward serious inquiry on our condition quite a steep climb.

screen-shot-2016-10-28-at-10-03-16-am
Texas is the reason “vampires” look braindead.

We here at the Red Cellar get quite a few requests for media. However, we have only accepted one so far: last year’s BBC Future article “The people who drink human blood.”4 Our goal is to pursue scientific inquiry about the reasons behind our condition and being featured in a science-oriented section of BBC news, even if it has a pop slant, is a good start. We researched David Robson’s previous articles and found them absolutely brilliant: especially his article about “The  Surprising Downsides of Being Clever.” Our experience working with him could have not been any better: he stuck with our experiences with our bodies and consuming blood. The experts he supplemented our testimony with ranged from social scientists about “vampire culture” to experts on iron digestion and psychiatry: the social elements seemed to be separate from the physical elements. Furthermore, there were no capes or fangs present in the photos used: it was simply blood and food (as well as some of our blood-drawing kits). I was not referred to as a “vampire” but rather correctly as a “blood drinker.” The Red Cellar’s very own Alexia was the victim of one minor slip up of the v-word in a caption. Nonetheless, this was a legitimate and serious real-world cursory investigation behind the whys of medical sanguinarianism.

However, five days later, Washington Post writer Yanan Wang, with the magic of her writing and poor reading comprehension, transported Alexia, Kinesia, and I from my comfy beds in my humble Berwyn bungalow (probably watching Alexia play Witcher 3) to cramped, tacky coffins in a flat in Marigny.5  We were now “real vampires of New Orleans.” Aside from calling us vampires, something we argue do not even exist, the biggest issue is that we have never been to New Orleans! Like an awful game of telephone, Wang conveniently yet mindlessly places mine and Kinesia’s testimony from the BBC article after John Edgar Browning’s lurid stories of middle aged women with fake fangs and houses with “vampire elders” complete with a picture of some monochromatic eccentrics of the New Orleans Vampire Association handing out food to the homeless in Easter. Nice gestures, but in no way do any of us here in the Red Cellar want to be associated with any of the lifestyling elements of the New Orleans contingent.

dsc04072
“Where the hell am I? Where the fuck did my wallet go? And why is this woman humping my leg?”

 

That example is the most egregious of the distorted articles. To some writer’s credit, some articles did not come out in October. The Medical Daily article was not bad (and shows that the medical community acknowledges me, CJ!, as a real vampire despite me not even acknowledging myself as a real vampire).6 In contrast, notorious clickbait site The Richest featured “15 Shocking Facts About ‘Real Vampires’ That Are Just Nuts,”7 named to assure readers that there will be nothing to counter their pre-conceived notions. Among the pictures chosen were the aforementioned angle brush deficient Brits, the Twilight momma, and the “respected vampire” with fake fangs. Great start right! I show up at Number 11: “They Liken Vampirism To A Genetic Disorder” where they quote me from the BBC article merely stating my subjective experience when I consume blood. Just because I prefer to keep my inquiry in this world does not mean I believe it to be a genetic disorder. It could be a structural digestive issue, some virus or bacteria, psychosomatic, etc. However, the most appalling thing about this portion was the mention of “energy deficiency,” which completely erases our emphasis on real world inquiry.

Reality-based sanguinarians are making our own spaces to not only present a level-headed approach to our condition to possible researchers, but also my late and still loved colleague Syrf once stated “Had these pragmatic, non-theistic points of view been more prevalent seventeen years ago when I was exploring my identity or thirteen years ago when I was beginning to actively seek coping mechanisms and reasoning behind disturbing new feelings within myself, I may have found more support, access to safety advice, and possibly even the peace that can be found in the solidarity of a real community.”8 However, we continually have the task of dispelling misinformation and combating appropriation of our experiences, usually from a form of Octobersploitation not from the media, but from self-proclaimed vampires themselves.

The most recent example of this was my last article about Father Sebastiaan and his misinformation about sanguinarians. Notice how I am not calling him Pere Crapaud? This is because we had a chat after I posted my article. To my surprise (and I’m sure yours as well), the much-maligned Father Sebastiaan was quite reasonable and agreed to leave us med sangs alone. The mutual understanding was made possible because neither of us wanted anything to do with each other. He wants to lay claim to the term “vampire,” we didn’t care. He wants nothing to do with our high blood needs and illness and we wanted nothing to do with his hybrid of lifestyling and spiritualism. We simply are not competing for any of the same territory. Nonetheless, he has lived up to his word so far as his latest comments on blood drinkers as a whole was not derogatory by any means: stating that most blood consumption is done between two monogamous lovers is accurate.10 It says nothing about our experiences, just as we agreed. I still find some of his cultic control of information disturbing,11 however I do find his occasional honesty about the lifestyling elements, the vampire archetype as a tool for self-empowerment,  very refreshing.

Father Sebastiaan’s Endless Night event will be this weekend in New Orleans. I will not be attending as my blood-stained Cubs jersey would not meet the dress code and I still don’t live in New Orleans. If I were somehow magically transplanted to New Orleans this weekend, I would instead eat through the town (no, not people, things like beignets and po’ boys) and spend a quiet Sunday in my Marigny flat watching Drew Brees and Brandin Cooks rack up points for my undefeated fantasy football team from my tacky coffin (which I hope is a Svengoolie hand-me-down)12. Father Sebastiaan’s event has competition this year from the joint effort of the Vampire Court of Austin and some elements of the New Orleans Vampire Association called the Bloodlust Ball: an obsolete recreation of the 90s Gotham scene which obliviously appropriates the struggle of the sanguinarian.

stlouisramsvneworleanssaintskohrbtqdal1l
Star quarterback of my undefeated fantasy football team, Connor Barth’s Burgery!

A little bit of a history lesson: there was some purpose for self-identified vampires within the lifestyle oriented 90s Gotham scene. Prior to the mainstreaming of the internet, those who self-identified as vampires had few places to go where vampirism was an acceptable subject. The party scene was one of few outlets.13 Fast forward two decades and the entire state of Texas is undergoing an epidemic of self-proclaimed vampire kings with major metropolises such as Austin, Dallas, and Houston being infected. There already exists a two decade old infrastructure of places where self-identified vampires or reality-based sanguinarians can find no frills support. What is the point of these houses and courts other than self-aggrandization and unwarranted self-importance?

fc1667c83c49d9f5091a20c95274e9e3219ac00b_hq
The true Texan King of the Undead. All others merely vie for middle management.

People are free to create an elaborate fantasy world, but not at the expense of the well-being of anyone else. Slapping a royal title on yourself and setting up your own court of worshippers may be the epitome of narcissism, but I don’t think all is lost with this group. Per his appearance in episode four of the web series “Vampires: New Orleans,” I found Mavenlore to be very endearing! Here is a great example of how one can be completely honest about embracing lifestyling and yet still be seen as authentic among other self-proclaimed vampires.14 I do not know if Maven’s self-awareness has penetrated the Louisiana-Texas border. My basis for impressions about the “Vampire King” of Dallas, Mike Burgess, is fairly scant other than his self-styling himself as an academic. He was polite and thoughtful in his response to my concerns toward a mutual friend performing their event, albeit resorting to the classic wild teen on Ricki Lake defense: “Shut up! You don’t know me!”15  Never mind that there is a wealth of media, much of it produced by the producers of this event, where I can make valid assessments. Furthermore, he may be an arch-conservative congressman, so that could be a big strike against him.16 

Unfortunately, the most visible of the “three kings,” Logan South, seems to be the least adept separating fantasy from reality. He and Daley are certainly upgrades from the aforementioned pair on the Tyra Banks show: on the surface he successfully makes a living as a professional vampire and she’s a stripper model who does some tasteful shoots. However, he (and perhaps by extension, they) seem to completely lack the self-awareness that Maven has: the entire Vampire Court of Austin is obviously an elaborate lifestyle/roleplay. If I were to make a word map of the concepts portrayed in their True Life appearance (and disregarding that hairball Logan seemed to be coughing up), two things would stand out: the stereotypical vampire aesthetic to demonstrate that they are as Daley put it “truly different creatures” and “PROMOTE THE BALL!”17 Logan cannot blame this on bad editing. He stated in his self-produced video, 10 Questions, that True Life was “fantastic exposure.”18 In that same video, he gave himself seven softballs and three questions that meant a damn. Two of which involved the tired dogma of blood=metaphysical energy. Promoting misinformation is a poor way to show that he is inclusive of all different types of vampire-identified people. The other question, about the fake contacts and fangs, was especially revealing. After beginning his answer with an irrelevant deflection, he admits the artifice accurately reflects the internal “vampire.” This is a prime example of his inability to recognize the difference between fantasy and substance. The lifestyling is dishonestly conflated with “all form of vampires,” including the appropriation of the term “sanguinarian” with no intentions to support those in need. A good friend of mine, merely looking for some support for physical struggles with blood had their concerns completely ignored: was basically told to psi feed, join the court, kiss the ring, or GTFO. The shame of it is that Logan is quite the charismatic dork, but his more recent portrayals as represented through my friend’s experience and his need to publish photo shoots on all the women he banged make it seem that narcissism is eclipsing his most endearing human quality: being a likable goofass.

screen-shot-2016-10-28-at-2-27-55-am
Not really megalomaniacs, they just play ones on the internet and a few nights each month.

This year’s round of Octobersploitation has begun. In a recent article, a quote from an honest to goodness med sang, Krystian, really resonated with me: “Vampire is a term invented by those who needed a word to name us. Sanguinarians is a far less tarnished term.” This brought me back to when I was young and first was open to the possibility that my incessant cravings and chronic illness was brought upon by not consuming blood. The word “vampire” was the initial reference point, but it was not until I found the word “sanguinarian” in the form of Sarasvati’s old site and the no frills symptoms and support approach when blood became a feasible explanation. I was fortunate to have early on what took years for Syrf to find. Otherwise I can still be in the depths of chronic illness. When I see people like Logan South carelessly appropriate the sanguinarian condition as a tool to sell his products and maintain the masquerade of being “real vampire,”  I see sanguinarian become a more tarnished term. In the spirit of my Chicago Cubs as they fight to prevent the indignity of racist caricature Chief Wahoo tarnishing World Series Champions merchandise, I felt a strong pronouncement against Octobersplotation and those who tarnish the word “sanguinarian” had to be made. For the media who want a freak of the month, I am not a fucking vampire. To Logan and others who appropriate our physical struggles for the desire to be special snowflakes  “truly different creatures” and accumulate profit, you are not a fucking sanguinarian.

1https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=barcroft+vampire

2https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qKjSnmJd2Q8

3 https://youtu.be/uwo-Mz9DA7c

4http://www.bbc.com/future/story/20151021-the-people-who-drink-human-blood

5https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/morning-mix/wp/2015/10/26/inside-the-human-blood-drinking-real-vampire-community-of-new-orleans/

6http://www.medicaldaily.com/real-life-vampires-drink-blood-383126

7http://www.therichest.com/rich-list/most-shocking/15-shocking-facts-about-real-vampires-that-are-just-nuts/

8https://theredcellar.com/2016/03/04/consider-the-med-sang-point-of-view/

9https://theredcellar.com/2016/07/07/the-sanguinarian-misinformation-file-1-pere-crapaud-this-translates-into-father-toad-but-he-probably-wouldnt-know-this-since-he-had-the-hubris-to-move-to-france-without-bothering-to-learn-fre/

10http://www.loyolamaroon.com/10010430/features/interview-with-a-vampire/

11https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3XmdsiyjbT0&feature=youtu.be&t=15m

12http://www.museum.tv/svengoolie.htm

13https://youtu.be/f0pqpemq4jE?t=12m (I wouldn’t ask Mickey anything about Egypt, but she knows her history when it comes to self-identified vampires.)

14https://youtu.be/TV1QwCMIqv8

15 screen-shot-2016-10-26-at-11-03-57-am

16https://burgess.house.gov (This is deadpan folks, of course it’s not the same guy…is it?)

17http://merticus.com/vampirenews/2014/03/15/mtv-true-life-real-vampires-i-want-respect-for-my-sect/

18https://broadly.vice.com/en_us/article/blood-bond-real-life-vampires-and-the-black-swan-donors-who-feed-them

4 thoughts on “OCTOBERSPLOITATION! (or “I am not a fucking vampire.”)

  1. Hello!

    This is Blut Katzchen Michael Vachmiel’s swan. How the hell do you come up with surprise buttsex? And wow you have a lot of venom towards us for some reason….

    Like

    • Thanks for taking the time to respond. Where I saw “surprise buttsecks” is in the awkward still presented in your Barcroft video where Michael has his mouth open and his pelvis behind your behind as if he was thrusting. Also, do not take it as venom: I pointed out spectacles where “vampires” embarrass themselves year after year and how the blowback can be felt by med sangs. Considering the self-importance of annointing oneself as king and the frequency you two volunteer as freaks to be gawked at, y’all just served as one of many fitting examples.

      CJ!

      Like

      • I do so because I want people who are drawn towards this kind of thing to know they are not alone. That there are safe ways of exploring your desires and needs. I know when I was 16 it would have done a lot towards making me feel less of a freak. I have several peope that have reached out for help, knowledge or guidance. I do this for those like me who feel they are the only ones like this. I stay mostly out of the public eye though, and do not seek publicity, only knowledge.

        Like

  2. Fair point Blut and I admire your inspiration. I think very highly of donors as they are basically the purveyors of medicine which allows us to live day to day. Of course, there are many motivations for donating as there are donors and perhaps sensationalism does not bother you (or may be part of the motivator of donation). I am glad to hear that your appearance had made you feel like less of a freak. The objection in this article has nothing to do with you, it is more about your “vampire king” and others like him (who seem to congregate in Texas for some reason) who seems to revel in sensationalism and misinformation. As long as he appropriates the term “sanguinarian” and makes an embarrassing spectacle of himself, I will have to continually have to refer to this article to delineate those who lifestyle and those who are trying to find answers behind a serious condition.

    CJ!

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s