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Vampirefreaks.com …too cool for us

Hannah Cooke



For when you are decaying you hear many wishes whispered in the wind, Unable to tune them out because of the torment from the countless ways you have sinned. Not appreciating what’s around us will only lead to our end, For when you are captive in the Underworld, you see nothing but the dead.
Excerpt from ‘Eternal Whispers’, by Poetic_Reaper, accessed at http://www.vampirefreaks.com on February 3, 2007

After last week’s revolutionary experiment in getting cool on MySpace, we decided to take it to the next level and try and get popular on vampirefreaks.com – which is like MySpace, only black.
Vampirefreaks.com is a massive site that boasts 867,061 members across the globe. Like MySpace, it features personalised profiles, events and music, but also journals, cults (that’s right – cults), chill and buy stuff sections. To use some features of the website you have to purchase a premium membership for US$5 a month. There also are ads by google which disappear once you become a premium member. So basically, they are making money off your angst no matter what. As poverty-stricken media students, we didn’t pay for premium membership but tried to make some friends anyway.
It turns out that it’s actually quite hard. Basically, the goths and emos of vampirefreaks.com are insular and afraid of anyone new trying to break into their circle, and after over a week of having a go at this thing we have received no friend requests, no comments, no picture comments, and one sad little message about a website called “the fuck you cult”.
So why did we fail? Well, it might have something to do with our name – “mediafreak” – maybe it’s not dark enough for the judgemental sad-sacks on this site (yes, we are bitter). Also, our interests were “the media” and our likes “the media”, and we disliked “you” –we can only surmise that the population of vampirefreaks.com are not into staying abreast of current events, and prefer to look inwards for poetry inspiration.
But we did try and fit in by joining two cults (like groups, only sinister), the first “My Chemical Romance”, because it seemed to have the most members, and the second “Poetic death”, because it had poetry workshops, and was “home to the poetic soul”. Finally, a home for mediafreak. We also chose Combichrist and Marilyn Manson as musical favourites in the hope that it would tempt some potential friends to look past the media obsession and see the tortured soul inside mediafreak. It didn’t work.
To be honest though, after the whole “Gwen” effort-fest that took over our lives for two weeks, we couldn’t really be bothered putting too much time into lonely little mediafreak. Our Vic computer accounts were empty of funds and we had to return to our lives in the real world before the internet absorbed us completely.
But we can’t mock vampirefreaks.com too much. The internet is a space where any group, scene, or sub-culture can make room for themselves and their friends to express themselves and exchange ideas in a form of (sub-)cultural production. Judith Bultler would probably say it was fair enough that mediafreak wasn’t welcomed with open arms, as we failed in our performance of the goth/emo and were rejected as a result. The real vampirefreaks saw through us and protected themselves from our intrusion so they could continue being poetic and alone, together, in peace.