In the early years of the online vampire community, there were many terms in
use for describing non-vampiric people. Some of these terms included "mortal"
(which implied that we were immortal), "human" (which implied that
we were...well...something else), "nil" (which implies...braindead?
or something...) and "normal" (which implied that we were abnormal
or perhaps in need of psychiatric care). Because most of us do "mundane"
things like pay bills, have doctor visits, go to work, etc., something that
wouldn't generate such a wildly innacurate picture of us was needed.
I proposed the term "mundane" back in either 1998 or 1999 -
based upon it's already established usage in other communities - as a
less inaccurate term to describe anyone who is not a vampire. I based
my proposal on a similer usage within an organization called the Society
for Creative Anachronisms, which is linked below. It had the advantage
of already working, and working well, for general SCA usage, and I saw
no reason it couldn't work equally well for the vampire community. It
also has the advantage of not directly implying anything about one's vampiric
nature to anyone who may be "listening in".
It has absolutely NOTHING to do with Anne Rice novels. :P
Note: There are individuals
in the community who DO consider themselves inhuman. However, it is
not the place of this article (or me) to agree or disagree with a person's
sincerely held belief regarding their personal self. I am describing
only the general usage of this term within the community at large.
Unfortunately, with the rapid growth of the online community, many of the newer
people never saw, or have forgotten, the original messages detailing the original
reason the term was introduced. As a result, there are rumors or complaints
on various message boards that "mundane" actually means that we consider
ourselves "superior" to non-vampires, when that is not the real meaning.
So, let us take a look at what the term "mundane" really means, once
and for all. For sources, we have our choice of the following:
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth
Definition: 1. Of, relating to, or
typical of this world; secular. 2. Relating to, characteristic of, or concerned
with commonplaces; ordinary.
® 2.0, © 2003 Princeton University
Definition: adj 1: found in the ordinary
course of events; "a placid everyday scene"; "it was a routine
day"; "there's nothing quite like a real...train conductor to
add color to a quotidian commute"- Anita Diamant ... 2: concerned with
the world or worldly matters; "mundane affairs"; "he developed
an immense terrestrial practicality" ... 3: belonging to this earth
or world; not ideal or heavenly; "not a fairy palace; yet a mundane
wonder of unimagined kind"; "so terrene a being as himself"
Free On-line Dictionary of Computing, © 1993-2004 Denis Howe
Definition: <jargon> Someone
outside some group that is implicit from the context, such as the computer
industry or science fiction fandom. The implication is that those in the
group are special and those outside are just ordinary.
Definition: n. [from SF fandom] 1.
A person who is not in science fiction fandom. 2. A person who is not in
the computer industry. In this sense, most often an adjectival modifier
as in "in my mundane life...."
for Creative Anachronisms -- What
is the SCA?
Definition Notes: There is no (easily
findable) online dictionary for the SCA that I can point to, however
anyone who IS in the SCA will be able to confirm that "mundane"
is in common usage within the SCA to refer to one of two situations:
(1) a person who is not an SCA member, or (2) Referring to any aspect
of an SCA member's non-SCA life or identity.
Additional Note: Rennaissance
Festivals are not usually run by SCA groups - the SCA has their own
series of (usually not-for-profit) events, not normally publicized
to non-SCA members. (Not that non-SCA members aren't welcome, but
there is a moderate amount of medieval/period roleplay characterization
going on at SCA events - and wearing of period-appropriate clothing
styles - that a good deal of the public just doesn't get into.)
Rennaissance Festivals are usually a for-profit enterprise, run
as a business, without SCA involvement. There are SCA people who do
go to Rennaissance Festivals, and this may be where some of the confusion
As you can see, none of them imply "superiority" per se - only being
different (or "special" as per one definition, but don't most people
think they're special in some way?), and to set members of a specific group
apart from those who are NOT part of that group. General usage of the term "mundane"
is NOT meant to be insulting, and it's often easier to say or write than "non-vampire(s)".
This article is presented as part of an ongoing
effort to present other views outside of, as well as within, the online
vampire community. As such, the views and attitudes contained in this
article are entirely those of the author(s), and may not necessarily
be shared by SphynxCatVP. The webmaster is not under obligation to update
or otherwise keep current the contents of this article. Most
importantly, only you can decide for yourself whether this article or
any of the author(s) other views are useful or applicable to you - use
your own reasoning and judgment.