Social Vampires

Social Vampires

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We all have that one friend, who sucks the energy out of our souls… They are most probably not your best friend as they are nobody’s best friend but still you may come accross them quite often. Whenever you meet them, they start telling you these terrible jokes, raving about uneventful events or asking for your opinion without giving you time or even a chance to interact. You listen and as it goes on, your liveliness withers and all the energy you had moments ago, abandons you without a forwarding address. They are better known as “energy vampires”, but I like to call them “social vampires” as I am doubtful that they could feed on the pure energy output of a simple generator. You should definitely avoid them but how do you know if someone is indeed a social vampire. Luckily, they are quite similar to ancient vampires in the lore and can be identified easily by using one or more of the methods below:

  1. Just like real vamps, social vampires have the ability to hypnotize their prey. You listen to their nonsense and somehow have little desire to leave. As they are highly selfish and really don’t care about others, watch out for those who jabber about themselves all the time…

  2. Real vamps don’t have reflections in mirrors. Social vamps are quite the opposite. (They like mirrors and do have reflections, but luckily, they are easily identifiable, as they are the blurry ones in the picture). If you are in a group, take a couple of selfies and be on the lookout for the one with the biggest grin and a blurry body. Freshly fed with energy, they would be the fidgety ones, as their bodies try to break down the excess energy and have a hard time keeping their body still.

  3. Another similarity between the real deal and the social vampires, is the ability to alter memories. You never realize why you gradually felt exhausted and depressed after a couple of hours spent with a social vamp, and at the end of the day, you never blame that friend for the physical or the emotional drain. If you can’t find any reason for your sudden mood change at the end of the day, look nowhere else other than the soul sucker for the answer.

  4. Still in doubt? Stalk their social media accounts for a bit. If their feeds are full of long depressing stories about themselves or if they had made hundreds of gibberish comments for every single photo posted by their “friends”, you have found your social vamp. The similarity? Well, real vampires, too, tend to moan about themselves a lot if you befriend them; talking about how immortality is boredom for life or that how, being not able to stroll under the sun is depressing and so on.

 

Now that we can identify social vamps, how do we defeat them?

 

Remember, they are just like real vampires. Although neither a braid of garlic nor a cross  will help you defeat them, a wooden stake through the heart will work just as well. 🙂

Vampires: Why they are depicted as they are…

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In modern times, vampires are often portrayed as gorgeously attractive, blood-sucking, immortal creatures who have supernatural powers such as turning into bats, hypnosis and having super senses and ultra speed, to name just a few. Funny enough, as gorgeous creatures as they are, they do not have reflections in mirrors. And somehow, they can easily turn into dust under daylight and can be killed by a wooden stake, when stabbed right through their hearts. Let’s speculate a bit about these elements which have made the modern vampire:

1. Blood-sucking: Blood is what gives life to the living. Since vampires are undead, it’s perfectly normal for them to suck life from us, transferring it from their victim to their bodies. And since they cannot get their daily vitamin D intake from the sun, they drink blood which has at least trace amounts of the necessary vitamins.

2. Fetish for the neck: Picture a scene where a vampire is draining the blood of an attractive victim, which part of the body would the vampire go for? What makes a great scene even when feeding? Fangs penetrating the skin over the abdomen? Knee caps? Arm pits? Or the neck itself?
In Armenian mythology,  there is one queer vampire named Dakhanavar, who sucks the soles (Yes, “soles” of the feet, not “souls”) of its victims while they are sleeping. It surely does not look so cool visually, except for people with foot fetish. And maybe not even for them if the victim is a peasent grandma housing an ecosystem of blisters and bunions on her feet.
Another good reason for vampires choosing the neck is carotid arteries that can be found in each side of the neck. Why drink from an infrequently dripping tap when you can get access to a fountain. Right?

3. Turning into bats: Bats are nocturnal creatures just like vampires. Besides, vampires would not look so cool if they turned into hamsters or ponies, would they? (They would look cuter though). By turning into “vampire” bats, they also gain the ability to fly, which takes the problem of geography off the table: A vampire story would have no limits on the diversity of the locations that it took place at. Do not forget that we, humans have started as explorers as well, not settlers…
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4. Hypnosis, Altering or Erasing Memories: If you are still reading this, it means that you haven’t been killed by a vampire until now. Do not consider yourself lucky as it might be because most vampires would rather feed on their prey multiple times than kill it off instantly. There’s no need to annihilate the food supply at one go. It’s like eating out at your favorite place most nights, again and again. They know that, we, humans can compensate blood loss by generating more blood when needed. Here’s how the hunting process goes for a typical vampire:
Find a lively victim, lure it into a dark alleyway by hypnosis, prevent the prey from resisting (again by hypnosis), fang its neck, drink just the right amount of blood so the victim can survive, alter or erase the memories of the incident and let the victim blame the fang marks on the neck, on a twisted tree branch run into the previous night. Visit the victim again and repeat the process when the victim recuperates.
Now, let’s shed light on why vampires seem to have this ability, which is far less cooler than most other super powers (like being totally immortal or time travelling):
Hypnosis, altering or erasing memories add to the intellectual qualities of a vampire, meaning that they do not only have brawns, but also brains. Plus, it provides them with mysterious characteristics as nobody can know anything about them for sure. The victims’ memories could have easily been altered.

5. The Destructive Sun: Nobody has ever seen a tanned lord of the night. Right?  Vampires are all pale and turn into dust when exposed to direct sunlight. But, why? Well, first of all, the sun provides life to all living things on our planet. The sun and life are as closely related to each other as night and death. And vampires are dead…err…. undead, but I think you get my point.
But, what about the impact of this in modern culture?
Let’s go back about 60-70 years in history, when having a pale, white skin, unspoilt by a suntan used to be a sign of nobility. It was those times when peasents, workers and the poor had to work in fields under direct sunlight to earn a living while the noblemen stayed indoors, in their luxurious castles or dwellings and rarely put afoot outside. So, we can easily link pale skin to nobility and that may be why the vampires are susceptible to sunlight. When stripped out of their nobility (having a suntan), vampires become more ordinary, similar to the vast majority of people living in those times. Ordinary is far from being cool. Turning into dust under direct sunlight may also have reference to our origins: Earth to earth, ashes to ashes, dust to dust…

6. Being irresistibly gorgeous and immortal: No matter how good-looking we are, we, humans tend to find flaws with our physical appearance (All the women and most men). We are programmed that way. The physical qualities of a vampire, on the other hand, is exactly what we have been looking for since the beginning of time. It’s a spot-on representation of what we have been longing for, just like immortality. Perhaps, vampires are a mere representation of all our dreams: Being extremely good-looking, immortal and noble beings with super powers… And perhaps, that’s why they do not have reflections as they are perfect in every way and we are not. At least not in those countless selfies we take on a daily basis.

7. Death by wooden stakes: Mythologically speaking, vampires go way back in time, when adamantium rods, lightsabers or steel swords were pretty much non-existant and iron weapons scarce. However, wood was everywhere. Although it is still not clear why stabbing vampires through the heart kills them (a heart which does not beat or pump blood), it is good to know that wooden stakes do the job. Especially ones that are shapened from ash trees (Another reference to “Ashes to ashes”?). Ash trees were also referred to “Tree of Life” in Norse mythology. There!

8. Vampire Repellents: A blood-sucker shows up in your doorstep. What do you do? No worries! Just use one of the repellents below that are commonly found in nearly every household:
a) Garlic: It’s the vampire kryptonite! As humans we are, we can barely stand the stench of someone who has recently consumed garlic, how could a vampire with super senses endure it? These creatures of the night can allegedly smell the scent of blood from miles away just as they could be effectively disgusted by the sight and smell of garlic in face-to-face encounters. Besides, garlic is known to eradicate bacteria if we assume vampirism to be a contagious illness spread by bacteria.
b) The Cross or the Crucifix: Although overrated, religion seems to have some power after all. A newly turned vampire can remember his/her sins after turning and run away when confronted by such symbols, possibly succumbing into a temporary depression. When in depression, hunger just fades away… for a while…
It would surely be different symbols (repellents) for bloodsuckers following other religions: A crescent for Muslim vampires or the Star of David for Jewish vampires would work just the same. Just pray that you never meet a heretic vampire!
c) Bag of rice: While not a repellent, common rice has its own tricks up to its sleeves. Most vampires in mythology seems to have a weird case of OCD and they tend to count every grain of rice when they come accross them, thus losing valuable night time when counting every bit.
This OCD may have developed in vampires some time after immortality as when immortal for centuries, anyone tends to get bored of life and look for new… activities to kill time…
This is just a brief summary and speculation of why vampires are imagined as they are.
I hope you enjoyed it 🙂

The Alien Society

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No more wars… Eternal peace on Earth… Is it even remotely possible? Not every human is fond of wars, as nothing good ever comes out of them. But, most are… Perhaps, not directly vouching for wars, but admiring violence in forms of entertainment. In ancient Rome, it was the gladiators and in modern times, through films, video games and paintball (The last one was a joke). Perhaps, that’s because we humans are ultimately divergent amongst each other; just like different species trying to live with each other. Imagine two armies of hedgehogs on a battlefield, with both sworn to crush the other or a huge field of sun flowers staring at each other with intentions of gutting (perhaps, this is not the right word to use for sun flowers) its opponent. It will never happen as they are the same species. But, humans? Have we evolved backwards on the way or are we different species amongst us indeed? I believe some of us don’t belong here and never have… Don’t the stars on a pitch black night amaze you? If yes, is it because you are into astronomy or simply… Do you feel homesick?

Some people always feel alone although they are surrounded by people (but of different species) all the time. We are constantly searching for fellow-minded people, but we are stuck on an alien world and bound by gibberish rules invented by the natives called “society”. The anagram of “society” is “yeticos”; a word that does not mean anything… just like the concept of society.

Reach out…

Or…

We are doomed…

The Evolution of Fear

The Evolution of Fear

As we have been living in the age of social media for a while now, most aspects or concepts of the past has become a thing of the past. Just like our fears!!!

Lethal diseases that we feared greatly, have become minor health problems… Monsters have evolved into children’s entertainment in the form of toys and cartoons… and werewolves have found their literal and lexical meaning as in “were feared”…but not anymore. These days, we use vampires and werewolves merely for entertainment as seen in movies and novels. Even romance has been a popular subject amongst the supernatural beings. We do not really fear them, we love them.

But, what do we fear nowadays?

Of course; the dangers of social media and insensible posting…and the consequences.

After a little thinking, I have made a list of modern fears related to the internet and some popular social media apps and number 3  and 7 really give me the creeps!

Here goes:

1. You’re lost in the middle of nowhere and you have no wifi…

2. Finding out that a stranger has dethroned you at your own house (private address) on swarm.

3. Booking a place on AirBnB and once there discovering that it’s a freshly dug empty grave with your name on the tombstone.

4. A stranger posts photos of your most intimate moments, tagging you on Instagram.

5. Your Facebook page is suddenly liked by over a thousand users who have recently passed away and they say they can’t wait to meet you in the comments section.

6. Your match on Tinder turns out to be your sibling…after your chat with each other for hours about each other’s sexual fantasies.

7. Posting a short video clip onto YouTube titled “the best way to kill your neighbour”, then waking up the next morning with the police knocking on the door as your neighbour had been murdered the same way as shown on your video clip. The video watch count shows 0 visitors…

8. Trying out a diner’s burger, licking your fingertips due to its delicacy and then discovering thousands of negative comments on Four Square mentioning the restaurant’s use of rat meat in their burgers.

9. Getting lost and needing rescue in New Zealand’s Porangahau region: “Tetaumatawhakatangihangakoauaotamateaurehaeaturipukapihimaungahoronukupokaiwhenuaakitanarahu” after a hiking accident and discovering that the only means of communication with the authorities seem to be by Twitter, limiting your report of what has happened to you and your whereabouts in only 140 characters. To make things worse, your phone has juice left only for one tweet!

What do you say?


Ain’t modern life scary?

The Landlord’s Fury for Art

I once read about an ancient nomad tribe vagabonding the Earth, hunting and gathering and having no concept or even a simple word for a domestic residence we call home. Every piece of land was temporary and arose no feeling of belonging. The tribesmen were literally homeless yet they owned the whole land. Then, there were the cavemen: primitive people; the first settlers in dark and damp corners of the world. The first settlements were nature’s present and sheltered many. But, there was something missing in those caves; something that would transform simple dwellings to places with a soul… 

Nope… it was not furniture or a huge, flat screen TV. 

When people feel safe and hunger is not an issue anymore, they tend to create… from rumors to music and art.

Art in the form of cave paintings, like hunting scenes was perfect as it not only brought a soul to their living quarters, it also gave people a chance to brag about and immortalize their favorite memories for ages to come. In a way, art made us who we are today. Since we are safe and not starving anymore, why don’t we keep doing what our ancestors did. Hanging landscape paintings with frames is never the same as it has limitations. Plus banging nails into your walls ruins your house. Just let your imagination run wild and free. Use the wall and paint freely…it is your house as long as you live in it.

But, today’s society led by the kinds of my landlord have ridiculous objections as why we can’t live the way we like. “The society does not approve that” they say. I highly doubt the society approves anything that is creative, fun and free…

“Did you know freedom exists in a school book?” J.Morrison…

Archaeology of the Present

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Imagine our current civilization ended up in flames; totally wiped out… a few remaining survivors of the human kind (possibly stripped of all advanced technological knowledge and know-how) started all over from scratch.
In a millennium, every advancement is already long forgotten and our civilization at present is regarded as an ancient one, pretty much like ancient Egypt in our era.
The new civilization follows more or less a similar path as ours to flourish. However, some things have never been invented or some ideas have never been thought of. At least, they invent the notion of archaeology; digging up the past (and trying to uncover our secrets).
Let’s do a thought experiment…
It’s the year 2116; a thousand years from now and the future archaeologists uncover the following:
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1. The personal library of a sci-fi enthusiast, which survived a millennium in a nuclear shelter/bunker. All the books that survived are works of fiction…about intergalactic wars, time travel, aliens, etc… and after decades of hard work, they are able to crack the code of our language. What would they think? Would they regard them as works of fiction or consider them as ancient history? We seem to regard every written record of ancient civilizations as real…
2. An email message printed on a browned out paper (actually the paper browned out much later :), containing letters of the alphabet as well as characters like @,#,_,&,* and :). (From the same library mentioned above) Would they combine these symbols into our ancient language and overthink about their function?
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3. A dozen autographed baseball bats by some of the baseball idols of our era dug out from the ruins of a sports shop. Luckily, the UV coating on the bats preserved the signatures from smearing out through ages. What would a baseball bat suggest to a culture who has not invented the concept of sports (for entertainment)? Perhaps, a primitive weapon of war; inscribed with an ancient god’s name to channel divine power to the wielder? How about the sports shop? Would the future archaeologists be happy that they unearthed an ancient armory?
4. A huge, curvy water slide in an abandoned amusement park: An aqueduct?
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5  A bowling ball… Let me be more specific: A size 14, shiny, purple bowling ball. Hmmm… What are the three holes for? For fingers? But why three? Would they think that ancient humans had two less fingers? Oh wait! That’s how we depict some aliens!!!
The moral of this article?
No matter what your intentions are (when you invent or create something), you will most likely to be misunderstood …

The colors of colors

What color is the sky?

It’s light blue when clear and cloudless…

Bright red at sun dawn…

A different shade of orange at sunset…

Pitch black with tiny bright white dots at night…

White when it snows…

And even green when northern lights make an appearence in the Arctic night…

How about trees? Do they have green leaves and a brown body? Or is it something we were taught in our infancy?

Nature doesn’t have one color per each creation. There are endless color combinations there but do we lack the vocabulary to describe each hue?

Homer described honey as green, and sea as the color of champagne. The words for color he used in his works never got more various than a simple black and white mentioned hundreds of times, with a tad of green and red appearing once or twice. Was he colorblind? Can honey be green? Can seas be the color of champagne? The color blue was not mentioned even once in his works. Since it was never mentioned that he was criticized about how he perceived colors in his time, should we assume that the whole ancient Greek population was incapable of distinguishing between colors?

Or are we still colorblind in the modern era in such a way that we have compound nouns that do not represent the colors of that we have in mind; is white wine, white? Are blackberries, black? Even a blackeye isn’t black.

Is it the evolution of the human eye or the creation of synthetic colors that created this confusion?

For more detailed insight, I recommend you read the first chapter of “Through the Language Glass” by Guy Deutscher…

It changed my perception of perception.