Existentialism and Vampires
That will be my first Malk character, I suspect. And then think of all the ways I can twist it.
@scarecrow - maybe at the end of the day… I’m just a horrible person.
S’okay. These things happen!
JJ last edited by
This is also why it is fun to play a high humanity childer template type character, too.
Sure the beast is there. But for many of them it’s only been a few years at being a vampire, so they’re still clinging to things that remind them 100% of being human. It’s the whole like, trying to build and maintain human-like relationships, while realizing that humans are now food, and the beast is always there. It makes for a lot of internal back and forth and sometimes irrational decisions in a way to try to prove that the beast doesn’t own you (often resulting in the beast proving it does).
I think it is perfectly valid, particularly with the younger characters, for them to sometimes go too far to the extreme to try to mimic their old human selves. Then on the other hand, at times they may revel in giving in to their new selves. After 5-10 years I imagine things are still confusing and hard to come to grips with it.
Let’s ride this train all the way down to Hell.
If we take a different Existentialist, we get something a smidge different. We’ll stick with the French just to make Syn’s life a nightmare.
Albert Camus: One of his big contributions here was the notion of the Absurd. Everything we do, and every everything, is capital-A Absurd. Basically, none of it can possibly, ever, matter. YOU GON DIE IN LESS THAN A HUNNIT YEARS, BOO… Death is certain AF, and this certain death renders our entire lives utterly inconsequential and meanjngless. We live a hundred years on a tiny rock on one of 100 billion stars in the galaxy, knowing that there are 500 Trillion galaxies, and that the universe is already 14.3 billion years old. Time is the great destroyer. It’s not possible for us, individually or collectively, to make any difference, ot to do anything that will be remembered 6 billion years from now, much less 20 billion, and even if you did, this universe still (prolly) gon die too, so…
So in his book The Myth of Sysiphus, he takes up the question, “Does the Absurd provide a genuine motivation to go on living, or to commit suicide?”
Camus’ answer is that the Absurd is precisely what frees us to fully experience the moment, to love the living of life, the doing of it. The Absurd is actually what makes absolutely every impermanent thing precious beyond measure, in all of its temporariness and specificity. He uses Sysiphus as an illustration, saying that the reason the dude pushes the rock up the hill for all eternity is cuz he fucking lover that rock, and all of its particularness. He therefore says that the Absurd, paradoxically, provides genuine motivation for living, and not for suicide.
Cainite Application: Well, here’s where it gets cray.
Camus’ analysis does and does not apply. Vampires might well live forever. Like, FOREVER forever. For the sake of this part, we’ll assume that the universe doesn’t collapse and doesn’t reach heat-death, that vampires might outlast our sun which wI’ll go red giant in 5 billion years, etc etc. Like the big ultimate forever. So Cainites have a genuine shot at not being Absurd. They might actually be freed from the ultimate plight if mortal humans. So his analysis doesn’t apply, right?
I’d argue the opposite. Cainite immortality is actually the worst thing that could happen to them, through Camus’ lens. It means that absolutely every single microscopic detail of their lives, thoughts, and actions now matters, like far more than a human can comprehend. They will be affected by every microscopic movement they make foreverrrrrr. In this sense, they are literally figuratively carrying the weight if the universe on their shoulders. They now have more responsibility than they can possibly bear. So they’re not Sysiphus. They’re Atlas.
Really imagine it. Some one approaches. You can wave, say hello, ignore, or an infinite number of other things. And what you do will still be affecting your life 5 billion, 10 trillion years later. Forever forever. How many times did you blink? You will never be free of the consequences of that. Ever.
It gets worse.
They are eternal, not Absurd. Everyone and everything around them is Absurd. See, the Absurd makes everything meaningless but precious. Eternity makes it meaningful but not precious. Not. Precious. Touchstones? Convictions? Empathy? Humanity? Not possible now. You’very got your Eternity Goggles on, thinking in terms of trillions, quintillions of years, and you wanna talk to some one who’ll be dead in 50 years? Non-Absurdity has robbed you of something. It has robbed you of the ability to experience the moment, the ability to lose yourself in the doing of life, the ability to love particularity and impermanence.
Now… Sysiphus was eternal too. So maybe you can achieve his joy and liberation? Push the rock up the hill, knowing it’ll fall again and loving it!! Right? Right? Knowing that everything else dies is like knowing the rock will fall back, right?
But remember, Sysiphus knew his efforts were inconsequential. The rock would fall and he would push and it would fall and… none of it mattered. Cainites don’t have that luxury. Yes, everything else will die. But again, the consequences of every detail will ripple forward and back upon you for all eternity. So no. You can’t lose yourself in the meaningless preciousness of all things.
It turns out…
Immortality took something infinitely precious from you, and gave you something beyond horrible in exchange.
My simple reply:
Totally agree. How I imagine the philosophy. Also. Waking Life.
@onyx — Is there a tl;dr version of this? Asking for a friend… no, who am I kidding? i’m asking for me.
@duh OOC HARPYING?!
@unclean - I’m at work! I can’t read book replies! tl;dr is necessary for my well being! Shut your meat flaps.
@duh I HAVE ADHD. I just skip over it and hope I’ll get clues from the replies.
That some wacky Frenchman made the point that everything you do is absurd because yer gonna die. The way to not be Absurd is to not die, which is actually conceivable (if not practical) for Kindred. But, to get locked into that not dying with the curse you have is a monstrosity, not a gift. You’re a slave to your hunger and your limitations and the Beast.
So, being not-absurd, being eternal, instead of being a positive is just freakin’ awful. Like, peas-in-chipped-beef awful.
Which is absurd!
But I like peas with minced beef Is chipped beef an American word for minced beef?
@syn this is what he means
What sauce is that?
it’s like creamy gravy stuff
That actually looks pretty nice then!
@bek - It’s my creamy gravy stuff bumps brows
Then do not want!
Also: being Not-Absurd, being eternal, give you meaning, which is the worst thing to have. Cuz Meaning makes it impossible to experience the moment and lose yourself in the doing of it. It robs every thing of preciousmess. The only way for anything to be precious is to be Absurd and meaningless.
I’ll take Da’s creamy gravy stuff. bumps brows
@malevolence – That’s right, baby… stick it right in your mouff… mmmm