When it comes to titles, the factor that needs to be considered is knowing
when titles are appropriate, and when everyone is being subject to a pointless
exercise of "form over function." Going further, there is also the
consideration of what is the nature of the titles in question.
When we speak of the Prime Minster of Canada, more often than not we are
speaking of the office and the duties bound to the office, it is a title that
conveys a function and holds substance. While we also use use it as a means
of identifying the poor bastard in charge of that office, in which then we
are using it as a title of identity (albiet a temporary one), this is only
a secondary consideration.
When the President of the United States travels abroad, it is his function,
not his identity, that commands cooperation. It's no secret to us or anyone
else that GW is a despised man, who personal identity alone manages to taint
the honorary identity of the office he holds. Were the title "President"
to come without all the executive privilages of its current function, you
would have little more than a pompous declaration (i.e. see the current english
system of knights who are merely given a peice of paper and the right to preppend
"Sir" onto their names).
To continue with the current language, it is my personal view that vampirism
is defined by function, not form. Such that I said earlier, a vampire is that
which engages in vampirism. Vampirism loosely being considered a process of
taking something from outside the self to sustain/transcend the self, and
perhaps more rigidly being considered as much within the same type of selves
Based on this foundation, there are two types of persons who approach the
idea and the community: Those who come saying, "I am." (form) And
those who come saying, "I do." (function)
Of persons who say "I am," it is easy to see that they are approaching
the idea of "vampire" as a process of identity. They are in love
with the the cultural and entertainment ideals and image, and wish to be indentified
as them. They seek other persons to validate their claims and support their
identity, creating a social network in which contriving status becomes the
next step once they've achieved the first step of acknowledgement.
Of persons who say "I do," it is easy to see that they are approaching
the idea of "vampire" as a process of identification. They are
acknowledging alchemical similarities between their behaviour and the archetypical
concept of the vampire. They seek to discover their own motives and understand
their particular situation for personal reasons: whether to improve the methods,
dissolve unfavorable symptoms, escape the pattern entirely, etc. Other person's
play a role not as a source of validation, but as a source of comparison to
create a better understanding of the commonalities as a phenomenon, and the
differences as a personal manifestation.
Because of my idea on this, I find zero use in organizations that contrive
a group mentality. It creates social dogma and crushes the individual process
that I perceive as an essential aspect of the circumstances. Especially those
in which only seek to create guilded atmospheres for role-playing aesthetetes
(if you are dressing up for the part, you are playing a role).
The titles as a result of individuals seeking identity and status to me appears
to be a dreadful blight of persons who fancy themselves big fish in small
ponds. That so many desperately try to size themselves up with the cheap trappings
of email signatures and self-assignment, overall becoming a malignant form
of a condition of identity. You'll find that persons will more desperately
defend their titles the more they believe it defines them. "Form over
It seems necessary to remind everyone that each individual's reputation is
borne of their actions and accomplishments. Calling yourself one thing or
another doesn't hasten respect from those who can sincerely provide it. Semantics
will not earn you anything. I respect several persons throughout the communitity
for their accomplishments and/or their participations, who have been around
a long time.
Sanguinarius for taking my original efforts and running farther than I had
even conceived of, creating thee portal for any and all information on every
possible tangent of vampires and vampirism. Memory for creating one of the
largest forums for discussion on the topic, enabling a superior realm of community
and feedback sans contrived social construct. Even the relative newb on the
internet block, Michelle Belanger sticks her head out enough that I worry
about her neck sometimes, and is a bold woman who is dangerously prolific
at the keyboard, compiling information, and reaching out to people who would
otherwise had never seen it.
These people don't need titles. What they have done preceeds them, and builds
a reliable concept of who they are.