Thursday, 26 June 2008

Intolerance

I have to face up to it: I am intolerant. Having read Bo's thread, "The Enregies of Jupiter", gone to the BBC Pagan Boards and had a look at the various postings of the members, I have to admit I'm intolerant of fools.

I have to admit here that I did once upon a time frequent lots of pagan-lite boards in the past. Time being scarce, I have recently reduced my surfing to those boards where I am challenged and, as a consequence, expand my knowledge, deepen my practice and grow as a pagan. So, it has been a while since I've seen the bicce & bitchcraft that is out there in the ether. Thus it was, with great dismay, that I saw the offerings of the various posters (apart from one or two brave souls) and felt so angry I was ill. I was desperate to have a crack at the sheer idiocy of some of the posts, but, alas, it was not to be. The BBC boards have me on moderation (does my reputation proceed me?) and it was too much to tolerate to write all those posts and not have them seen because of some mod's overzealousness.

I had thought that with the growth of more serious discussion boards and fora in the pagan community that the general state of knowledge in the pagan community might have improved. People would see the wikkan misinformation, relabelled and recycled continously in a never ending loop, for what it is: new age, hippy trippy tripe. From what I can see at the BBC, a board open and readable by the general public (not just pagans), this is not the case and people appear to be getting a rather pitiful view of pagans. If you're reading the BBC Pagan Boards, you might end up believing pagans are freaks, uneducated, dyslexic, overweight, covered in tattoos, judgemental, intolerant, delusional (i.e. prone to "seeing things"), argumentative, ill-informed, vicious, vegetarian, vegan and carnivorous - all at the same time and, frankly, a very mixed bag of angry fruitcakes.

The recent troll incursion at the fora where I moderate, some posts from pagan friends of mine, at a different forum, on the subject of fundies of the "bessed be" bunny kind and the trouble they cause, has come to remind me why I don't: (a) go to moots; (b) attend a lot of pagan events (and why I get so sick after a few hours at pagan events and have to go home and rest for about a day to recover); (c) why I don't (pay to) join any pagan organisations; and (d) why I generally don't mix with many other pagans, choosing instead to keep contact with a very select few.

I just don't have the tolerance levels for it any more. It has come to a point where I feel I don't want to even refer to myself as a pagan, for fear of being lumped in with the general mêlée. Perhaps I should just stick to calling myself a polytheist and leave it at that?

In the meantime, I have realised I am intolerant of those fluffy bunny (yes, I use that term), wikkan, fundie, IRAB (I read a book), "more pagan/witch than you" wannabes and, should they get in my way, I will have no hesitation in cutting them down to clear the path for those that seek spiritual/religious truths. That said, I will not go out of my way to meet them, ever again. I just don't need the aggro.

While I'm at it, I should also admit to being judgemental, prejudiced, unforgiving, grumpy and tired. Ah, I guess I am a pagan after all!

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[Note: My definition of a "fluffy bunny" is one who only reads one author, or books from one publishing house, or one internet site and sets it up as the one and only authority, refusing to be challenged on fact or experience, and informing all others they are wrong to call themselves pagan/witch/druid/heathen/whatever if they don't follow the guidelines as defined by them. These are the people who scream louder when challenged, drowning out any reasonable discussion with cries of "persecution".].

7 comments:

wiccanwanderings said...

I should also admit to being judgemental, prejudiced, unforgiving, grumpy and tired.

Gods, who isn't! I don't believe it is judgemental and prejudiced to feel slightly jaded by all the overweening arrogance, misinformation and hegemonising behaviour out there; as I've said somewhere else just recently, if we don't have opinions on what's written and spoken about paganism, and if we don't feel able to express those opinions, then we're all stuck in a big, churning, relativistic hell with no means of pulling ourselves out.

Where's the perspective? It has to be provided for someone, by someone. And while I'm with you on not needing the aggro, we can at least say what we think clearly and let them bring the fight to us if they want to!

miss*R said...

I have been accused of being a fluffy bunny :( but not for the reasons you state.. but rather for being to 'vague' a witch.. and it annoys me.. I follow my own path, I try hard to connect to earth, I love herbs, folklore and my ancestry. I search - alot and I believe myself to be a 'hedgewitch'..not even sure what one is but I like the sound of it.. if you read my profile at the top of my blog you will see my friend Daisy's definition of a hedgewitch and this is what I am. I also believe that there is a Goddess/God/divine spirit - call it what you will.... and for all of that, I have been called a fluffy bunny.

Fog Patches. said...

The Pagan Topic becomes less of a forum and more of an asylum with each month that passes. The inmates are obsessing once more over “blades”, bizarrely beating and bleating on “fluffies” - as though they themselves are hard and fast religious fundamentalists - while on another thread someone agonises over which is worse - father-daughter rape or the possibility that their favourite pagan beliefs might ever crystallize into a coherent religious tradition.

The only reason to visit this asylum at the moment is to enjoy the posts of The Knight Gerund.

I enjoyed your point about your disappointed expectation of a rising standard of pagan discourse but do not feel that the problem is confined to open fora. In their own way closed fora can be even more disappointing as tyrannical list-owners come to believe that list ownership is about deciding who may say what to their chums and not about maintaing a place for discussion. When any forum is locked into a single perspective and pisses itself with fight at any new ideas then it becomes as dull and small-minded as the BBC.

Your music player here, incidentally - and my opinion in this has been in no way shaped by recent events - is really very irritating. Here I am, listening to a vintage edition of I’m Sorry I Haven’t A Clue when bloody Clannad kicks in from nowhere. The Handel isn’t bad, but it still gets in the way of some super gags. Nice little line about druids at the start of this week’s episode, incidentally.

Ah. I see you have comment moderation turned on. Who could have guessed.

Fog Patches. said...

“delusional (i.e. prone to "seeing things")”

Seeing what kind of “things“?

Ancestral Celt said...

Fog Patches: The music can be muted if its annoying; there's a button on the player. The moderation is to stop unrelated advertisers. I'm sorry if you find them an inconvenience.

Fog Patches. said...

I know about the mute button but did not use it for a long time when first reading blogs, preferring instead to close down pages as soon as tunes started jingling out of them. As irritating as that damn badger page. Your music player was an inconvenience but there are two things to say about that. First, it was a particularly good episode of ISIHAC and second, it does not detract from the generally enjoyable content of your blog.



I have not been hit by any advertisers yet. There is time.

Ancestral Celt said...

Beware the advertisers, Fog Patches. I thought my blog would be safe, being small and, mostly, unread. I was wrong. :(

Sorry the music interrupted your enjoyment of ISIHAC. I can't hear the music most of the time, as my computer is permanently muted because I view the net at work. *tsk, tsk*