I think I know what it’s like to write for The Daily Show. You know how, at least half the time there’s a two week break on The Daily Show, either Republican candidates make some especially jackass comments, or Evangelists throw a memorial service for all the aborted rape foetuses and vasectomies from the past year, or there’s a natural disaster and the other cable news sources have a meltdown –and because the Fates love to fuck with Stewart and Colbert and Company, it’s going to be another week and a half before they go back on? Of course you know about that. I have a very intimate relationship with that kind of feeling, cos it seems that almost every time I take a break from reading my Google Reader, all hell breaks loose on the blogosphere.
I’m only going to place two links in this post. First, I’m going to link to Your One Stop Shop for the Pagan / Polytheist Controversy. Seriously, all, or at least most of the posts worth reading are compiled there. The author might still be accepting posts to include in the list, so if you’ve said something about this shitstorm that hasn’t already made the list, or if you know of such a post, it wouldn’t hurt to go and suggest it, I imagine.
The other thing I’m going to link is actually a comment, and I’m going to “QFT” here, cos really she summed up a lot of my own thoughts, so I only have to add a bare minimum of additional commentary:
Honestly… I think the controversy around Star’s decision not to be Pagan doesn’t have much to do with the actual definition at all, however loosey-goosey. I think there’s controversy because she has actively cultivated controversy in her online life. She has attacked others more than once for “not really being Pagan,” and when she isn’t attacking them for not really being Pagan, she’s attacking them for supposedly trying to dictate what Pagan “really” means. (I’ve talked on numerous occasions about my complex relationship with the term “Pagan,” and so have many others, without generating the kind of firestorm that’s sprung up over the past few days.) The fact that Star has finally thrown her hands up and decided not to try to claim the Pagan label anymore is not only not all that surprising, but for some of us, it’s actually a bit of a relief and a ray of hope that maybe some of that controversy will die down and we can get back to talking about all the things we have in common and all the things we love about our own unique traditions. —Alison Leigh Lilly
Seriously, I’m glad I wasn’t the first to say it. And really, the most surprising thing to me isn’t that Foster FINALLY decided to make good on her numerous threats to “leave paganism” (really, if you’re surprised by this from her? YOU ARE A MORON WHO DOES NOT PAY ATTENTION!), what surprised me was both how strongly people reacted to this stunt (really, I can’t be one of only two people who’s paid attention), and how thoroughly this gave way to a domino effect, where people who don’t even seem like they know what caused the first ripple and are essentially responding to the second and third ripples.
And cos I’m curious, does anyone have a similar list from the shitstorm a couple years ago when Drew Jacob made a similar proclamation, arguably the first major post of its kind, that lists all the responses and domino effect posts? Cos people are still responding to Drew’s post, almost two years later, and I dunno, I don’t think, even if Foster wasn’t a coward and deleted her G+ status announcement, she’d’ve really had the same longevity, and I’m curious if the immediate shock to the community was at all comparable to when Drew Jacob posted his?
[ETA: 24-01-2013; 00:18]
H’OK, so, cos I decided to read (and occasionally respond) to the comments in some other posts on the tablet whilst basking in the magic of television, I figured I’d illuminate a couple other comments from others, and ask people to consider the context illuminated by commenter Kallan Kennedy, on this blog, a couple months ago. Remember: Ms Foster has begged a lot of resources from the pagan & polytheist community: She’d mooched a laptop, she’d mooched a move, and she’d unsuccessfully mooched a salary within a month of claiming she was “going to focus on something other than paganism for a while”.
Seriously, you can’t blame people if this is a thorn in their side. It also seems to fit with a pattern of cultivating drama in her online life. Remember how not even eighteen months ago, Star was initiated into Ravenwood tradition Wicca? I can’t find any evidence of what I remember was mention of her covenmates being kind of annoyed with what she *did* share of her initiation online. I remember the post I linked to wasn’t all she wrote about it; I have this vague memory of waking up, going to my computer, seeing an e-mail alert for her first post on the subject, and then clicking it and getting a “post does not exist” page. A few months after that, she seemed to have just casually stopped calling herself a Wiccan. So, I don’t know what happened after her Wicca initiation, but I know it’s pretty danged clear that SOMETHING happened that caused a rift with that, and not too long afterward, she latched onto Hellenism, cos I guess Neoplatonic Theurgy is where all the REAL M4DD SK1llZ are at, or something.
I wouldn’t be too surprised if it turned out that she’s having a genuine spiritual journey here, and all my speculation is just a tad harsh; but I notice patterns in people, like this right here, and I know other people have noticed them, too, and it’s helpful to me (and hopefully others) to actually say something about it.