Myth of the Immortal Court — Vampire Verisimilitude

I came across this art for a Vampire MMO (read: video game) called Shadow’s Kiss, which admittedly sounds interesting. Believe me when I say Vampires should only meet on social media… because “reasons.” But this image makes me cringe — hear me out on this.

The crowned and corseted brunette with the opera gloves and thigh-highs; the blonde and blue-eyed blood doll worshiping at her feet desperate to be “kissed”; the goateed and coiffed confidant standing close — and all of them noticing you noticing them. Hell, event the gold and gem-encrusted skull throne is ridiculous. Image, image, image — no reasonably intelligent creature buys any of this, right? This is such a cliché and overdone idea that the subjects might as well be sparkling and swaying to looped trance music.

Why would anyone want to become any of these characters? How much court intrigue could justify it? Even “True Blood” character Eric Northman (read: still yummy) hated doing the whole bit at Fangtasia precisely because it’s ridiculous. And if you needed any fictional proof of vampire-court pointlessness, look no further than the ineffectiveness of Underworld. There’s no Italian Inquisitor Council and no secret cabal of hibernating immortals awakened whenever “Chuck the Vamp” steps out of line to deal with his Chuckiness.

I hope the game turns out to be cool, but let’s step into modern times and away from the Mushroom Ring Fairy Tale Demonic Vampire Court thing, okay?

Addendum: I should probably clarify my viewpoints. My father is a self-made man; he didn’t give me everything I wanted growing up and he worked hard so he could send me to college. He kept bettering himself even with setbacks, but while he was tough on me, he also had a few thoughts on “royalty.” I was three and had no memory of when Queen Elizabeth II visited America, but I do remember Princess Diana (no, not Wonder Woman) and her passing when I was almost nine.

Elizabeth served in the armed forces as a truck mechanic, and Diana wanted to be as far away from thrones and courts as she could get. I knew girls my age who wanted to be Disney princesses — and that’s okay — but I preferred a princess with quotes like, “Carry out a random act of kindness, with no expectation of reward, safe in the knowledge that one day someone might do the same for you.” Selfless and in service of others, not ruling over them and have them do for you.

While this Vampire Court image is a very pretty fantasy picture, nothing about it feels selfless or serving: it’s threatening. It looks like a gathering of wolves waiting for sheep to be served to them, and I cannot articulate just how much that pisses me off. How do I know? Look at the blue-eyed blood doll. If the courtesans were in any way benevolent, she wouldn’t be tethered to her mistress for snacking while looking wronged for it. They’re flaunting themselves and will likely be destroyed for it — not exactly the best way to plan for your immortality.

Trust me — I’m a Vampire.

Take your power seriously. Keep each other safe. Be indomitable.
~ Janiss

Email janiss.connelly@cedarcrestsanctum.com
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The Answer is Still No – Vampire Verisimilitude

If there was an organized Vampire Nation, a Council of Bloodsuckers, or an Undead Italian Governing Body, the answer still has to be no.

Vampires won’t fix things for you.

As a reminder: the Vampire population is much lower than mortals who believe think they are; a good rule is one bloodsucker for every three-quarters of a million people. The United States, for example, is home to a little over four hundred immortals; New York City only has about twelve… not exactly enough to fill up a night club.

Most of us stay far away from politics and even further from religion.

Yes, I’ve watched the news: what’s the new guy done now? Well, he hasn’t repealed the Vampire Tolerance Act (there isn’t one) or declared all immortals enemy of the state (because we don’t call that kind of attention to ourselves). The most influence we’ll exert is to keep our little corner of the planet safe for those we care about — which for most immortals is only themselves. Besides only being influential at night, we can’t go on television and mass-hypnotize everyone into getting along; the most we could do is prove we exist to the world, are a credible threat, and give you a specific enemy to fight against together.

HBO’s “True Blood” covered much of that… poorly — not to mention those season finales were always so bad.

beetlejuicejunocasworkerWhether you believe in your elected leaders or not, whether your candidate got in or not, the Vampire Vote just doesn’t carry any weight unless you’re bringing ire and grief to our doorstep — in which case, there won’t be any emergency actions or filed appeals, but it also won’t go any further than the foolish individuals who knock on the crypt door.

What I’m saying is, stop wishing for a knight in shining armor, a superhero with a cape, or a vengeful spirit seeking retribution to fix all of your problems.

To quote Juno the Caseworker from Beetlejuice: “Get them out yourselves — it’s your house.”

Take your power seriously. Keep each other safe. Be indomitable.
~ Janiss

Email janiss.connelly@cedarcrestsanctum.com
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Bloodsucking Lawyers and Washington Undead – Vampire Verisimilitude

VotedSticker2016 is an election year. This is the first you’ve probably heard about all this, right?

“…the only one I’ve got on my side is the bloodsucking lawyer!”

My dad used to say lawyers are the larval stage of politicians. Have you ever wondered if there are any Vampires who moonlight as professional lawyers or politicians?

Short answer: nope.

No Vampire right in the head wants a job that puts them in the public spotlight (restricting their movements) or requires daylight hours (a tricky prospect under the best of conditions). Does that mean the interests of Vampires aren’t represented? Who speaks for the Undead?

To put representation into perspective, a quick refresher. There are less than 500 Vampires within the continental United States; even if you lumped them all into one small town, that would be one-third of the population of Glenville, WV — and if such a thing ever came to pass, there would be only about half a dozen left before sunrise (we infamously don’t get along in close quarters).

TrueBloodAVLIn terms of representation, it isn’t necessary for Vampires. In the HBO “True Blood” series, Vampires campaigned for the rights of the Undead with opponents making claims that wills and property legally didn’t apply to creatures that rose from the grave. The AVL — the American Vampire League — fought to get changes made so that known Vampires could enjoy the same rights and benefits they had in life. Crazy, right? It was a footnote in the TV show, but it also makes a lot of sense; there’s plenty of history in the US and around the world where significant portions of the population have been told they have no rights — that they aren’t really people — no more significant to be represented than would animals.

We want what you want: safety, prosperity, and peace — what ANYBODY wants, free to do as we like and rights that end at the next person’s nose. It shouldn’t matter what you eat (unless you’re a murderer), how you live your life (unless you impose upon others against their will), or who you spend time with and how (consenting adult being consenting adults). Fortunately, there are few enough of us that we can help ourselves within the system, appointed positions that remain in-office year after year while elected officials all have to keep being re-elected. If we’re not represented fairly, that individual will be forcibly removed from office if they refuse to step down…or so I’m told. It works for us.

The living, however, can’t take those kinds of chances and don’t have forever.

In other words: VOTE if you are eligible.

Dracula2016VoteDon’t assume everyone else will do it for you. Voter turn-out is a problem; in 2012, only 129 million people voted for the US President, less than half of those eligible among the 314 million population of the country. That means if everyone who didn’t vote all decided to vote for someone else, none of the front-runners on that election would have stood a chance.

500 Vampires can’t make a difference in US politics…nor do we have to.

But if YOU can, then you should. After all, you’re the ones who have to live with it.

Keep each other safe.

~ Janiss

Email janiss.connelly@cedarcrestsanctum.com
Twitter @JanissConnelly
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