A Possible Origin Of The Vampire Myth

Vampire mythology goes back to at least the 12th century (Serbia), according to what written records have survived. It’s likely that verbal versions of the legend extend much farther back. What could the origin be?
In the middle ages, vampirism, witchcraft, and other tales were believed to be the explanation for plagues. One person would get sick and die, and their “curse” would kill their families and friends. However, this was not the origin of the vampire myth.
Before that, there were legends of people who would feed on the flesh and blood of others. These were referred to as vampires (by various names), and many myths were created around them. I wonder if this is the true origin of the vampire myth.
In more primitive times, when food was scarce, one survival strategy would have been to find people who were surviving and use them as a supplemental (or sole) source of nourishment. Agronomistic societies–those who farm and organize into settlements/towns/cities–would have been likely targets. A human predator would have used the blackness of night to stumble into town, find a victim, kill them, and–wasting nothing, including blood–get what nourishment they could. Sometimes, another person would have interrupted the act and found the predator first drinking blood from the dying victim, either as a meal in itself, or as a precursor for further predation.
In ancient legends, vampires were commonly female. A woman who was alone and not part of a settlement, at a time when physical strength was paramount to individual survival would have been at particular risk of starvation, and more likely to attempt such a desperate act. Since such a person would likely not be able to overpower a healthier, better-fed man in a fight, seduction would have been a primary means of initially pacifying a potential victim.
A person who fed in such a fashion would be sickly, as there are not only pathogens to be contracted via the consumption of human flesh; but someone who subsists largely on a diet of probably-skinny humans will become severely malnourished, in time, as a result of protein poisoning. A sickly pallor, a slow heart rate, and other symptoms would have given rise to the classical appearance of vampires.
I submit that the origin of the vampire myth is cannibalism, primarily as a result of food scarcity.

Proverbs That Last Forever

“However, a much older Near Eastern origin is suggested by a near equivalent in the 6th century BC Proverbs of Ahiqar: ‘a sparrow in thy hand is better than a thousand sparrows flying’.”

I love finding proverbs that have somehow survived 25 centuries of linguistic translations and societal changes. Such proverbs are almost certainly somewhat accurate (in the right context), because the only way people would keep saying them for 2,500 years is if they feel like they have a decent reason to do so, themselves, and to teach their children to say them, too.

Interestingly, it’s possible that personal adherence to old texts of philosophy, poetry, mythology, scripture, and fable–stems from the same phenomena; and that, therefore, religion, philosophy, ethics, and more are a result of old thoughts being consistently seen as worthwhile enough to repeat and teach future generations to repeat.
The historic use of force to enforce adherence to ideas skews this effect, somewhat. This includes classic examples of European churches imposing laws and punishments, as well as popular non-religious philosophies making law with legislation and court cases (incl. case law), and punishing those who violate those laws. It can’t really be argued that the modern law and punishment is as brutal or authoritarian as ancient law and punishment; but when an armed person can come to your home and put you in shackles (handcuffs) for not obeying, one can neither argue that this isn’t the use of force. Sure, the methods are different, but disobeying gets you punished.
How do we decide whether and when old ideas are more/less valuable to us than new ideas? How effective have those uses of force been in making a given idea persist? Does an idea that has been appreciated (even/especially out of pure expediency) for 2.5 millennia have more (objective) believability than an idea that’s been around for 50 years? Each person chooses how to weigh these and other factors to create a personal philosophy. Then, they explain their philosophies to their children using proverbs.

Slam Poem: A Lesson in History

February 17th, 2015

Today, I received an email from a friend urging me to repeat history by petitioning for non-involvement in Ukraine. This is my response.

France stole the iron out of Germany while is men stood with their swords nailed to the ground.
Germany’s lenders and industrialists made pacts with the invaders, and grew rich from the spoils of their people.
A man was raised up, out of the perils of a beer hall, who promised that the invaders could be quashed.
“A new empire, a Third Reich”, he proclaimed, as his battered, starving people stretched forth their hands, to receive bread.
And he gave it to them.

Bread from the depths of the earth, from iron mines and oil wells; a war machine that would dance like black lightning across a sea of broken bodies.
This bread could be made and exported without limit, because more life-giving sustenance could be found upon the corpse of every Frenchman who convulsed under its piercing influence.
The traitors—those foul lenders and industrialists—were quickly made to bend the knee, and then bend their backs under the strain of the baker’s flour.

Poland ate the bread of steel while the world watched from their places of non-involvement.
The seed of the money-lenders became the new laborers in the baker’s furnace.

Those who once put their boots upon the necks of their countrymen, for a mere dottle of favor from their conquerors soon found themselves penniless, their eyes dark and their fingers jointed with knots.
To those who feared the foreign oppressors, this was justice; and to those who suffered at their hands, it was fate, because this, too, had happened before.
But whose fault was it, when the sky turned white with human ash, and the air grew hot with putrescine?

It was the fault of those who could not stand the thought of another Great War; their cowardice brought a second one into being.

In 1919, the Allied Powers said that oppressing Germany was the only way to bring peace.

When France continued to invade Germany after the end of World War One, it was said to be Germany’s “just desserts”.

When Germany expanded east and west, it was said that they couldn’t be faulted, because the Treaty of Versailles was clearly unfair; and could we really blame the German people for wanting an end to that oppression?

When France fell, and London was besieged, we complained because we didn’t see it coming. Our self-righteous vanity shattered like the aftermath of an airstrike.

And now, we stand by, saying that Russia’s invasion of Ukraine is clearly different.

Propaganda is circulating, saying that Ukraine doesn’t have to stay independent, because it’s only been that way for 24 years, and before that, it was part of Russia.
But the kingdom of Germany had only been fragmented for 20 years before World War Two began.

The propaganda says that Ukraine’s government is corrupt, and therefore they don’t deserve to be their own state.
So, too, were the lords of fragmented Germany when they met in that fateful beer hall, and were shot at by their nation’s soon-to-be fuhrer.

Our vain, liberal propagandists claim that we can’t lay this at the feet of Vladmir Putin, because he’s a latecomer, and is only responding to the fragmented nature of Ukraine.
So, too, did Adolf Hitler only respond to the fragmented nature of his beloved Germany.

Yes, our vaunted diplomats urge that, if only we do nothing, this whole thing will blow over, and clearly Russia will stop as soon as they conquer Crimea. Or, at least, they’ll stop before they reach Poland. Or, maybe they’ll stop before they reach Germany. But surely, France is safe.

How long are we going to suffer the advice of cowards and fools? Does it make sense to ignore the past, in hope that doing so will change the future? When has the ever…ever worked?!

I call myself a Centrist because I can’t stand the idiocy of any polarized ideology, be it conservative, liberal, capitalist, or socialist; and it’s high time I write some propaganda of my own:

Down to ignorance!
Down to cowardice!
A pox on the enemies of peace,
And a brand on the ever-hackneyed re-writers of history!