Thursday, May 07, 2009

My BNPs can beat up your BNPs

After reading Cat's wonderful post on the nature of fame in the Pagan community, as well as the subsequent reviews on The Wild Hunt and The Stroppy Rabbit, I need to make a confession.

I drop the names of my famous Pagan friends into casual conversations. But I only do it to make other people feel insignificant. So that's totally okay.

Before you dismiss me as a complete dickhead, let me explain. We don't really have standard-issue Big Name Pagans in Texas. We are, however, infested with people who believe themselves to be BNPs... or, more accurately, people who would like the rest of us to understand that they could be BNPs. Unfortunately, they're just too darn modest and down-to-earth to accept their rightful places in the NeoPagan firmament.

"Someone actually asked if I was ever going to write a book!" they'll say, feigning wide-eyed disbelief that their fellow New Agers would think so highly of them. "Can you believe that? Just because I have 35 years of experience and a direct link to the Divine and 60 generations of Witches in my family and an official certificate of appreciation from the Goddess Herself and a Lulu account, people think I should write books! Little ol' me! Me me me! Ha ha!"

When dealing with this particular species of yutz, name-dropping is decidedly not recommended. If you say something like, "You know, a friend of mine just put out a new book," they'll shove a ringbinder into your arms and scream, "Tell her to read my manuscript!" No, name-dropping is reserved for those locals who talk about their relationships with BNPs in the same way that they claim to be initiates of ancient Mystery traditions (i.e., "There's no way for anyone to prove I'm lying"), not realizing that I am much, much better at psychological warfare than they are.

The last time I went to a pub moot, I spent most of the evening watching a pasty young man spin tales of his great and powerful Witchiness for an appreciative female audience. I swear I didn't have plans to engage him or smack him around or anything, but then he said the Magic Words:

"I grew up with Isaac Bonewits' son."

I couldn't resist. "Ohmigod, you know Arthur?"

"Um, who?" He asked.

"Arthur," I said. "Isaac Bonewits' son."

He stuttered a little. "So... you know Isaac Bonewits?"

"Oh, geez, no," I said with a carefree smile. "But I'm friends with Arthur's mom. It's so cool that you know him! I'll tell him you said hi."

And then he was all, "Uh, Ireallywishyouwouldn'tdothat," and added that he didn't exactly grow up with Isaac Bonewits' son as much as he maybe kind of hung out with him a little at a festival once. The girls sitting next to him glanced at each other and drifted away.

Okay, so I am a complete dickhead. But I'm also a fan of truth in advertising.

The two pretty much cancel each other out.


Yvonne Rathbone said...

Oh, this post made me laugh louder than Cake Wrecks.

Evn said...

For those not in the know, I present Cake Wrecks.

Siobhan said...

So first I head to CaerStrife and boast about my newly won minute of fame (guest post on Shakesville!) and then I come here and am taught humility again.


Evn said...

Guest-posting on Shakesville is awesome! Congratulations! No bleah!

Siobhan said...

Nono -- YAY guestpost, bleah humility.

I want to be able to drop my own name for a while.

Are you by any chance a Scorpio? Because I have seen a friend of mine (coincidentally named Arthur) skewer someone that exact same way.

Anne Johnson said...

After I saw what they put poor Brian Froud through at FaerieCon, I'm quite sure I wouldn't want to be famous in the Pagan community. They damn near killed that guy with autograph requests.

There. I dropped a name. But I don't know him, or his son, or his wife, or his neighbors.

Thanx for Cake Wrecks. The Heir will love it!

Evn said...

Anne, I've only met him once (so this doesn't count as name-dropping), but at PantheaCon 2008, Christopher Penczak told a group of us a story about being stalked by a crazed fan that damn near curled my toenails.

hermeticbear said...

hehe, you are the bringer of strife and humble pie.

Evn said...

LOL My specialties.

Thalia said...

Isn't it fun? Not that I actually know any Big Name Pagans, or that I can even name any Big Name Pagans. But I'm practically a hermit.

Pom said...

I was going to comment that even the BNPs are relatively approachable but then I got distracted by Cake Wrecks - at least I'll having something to do during my insomnia! Thanks ;o)

BTW - I have no desire to be famous. I'm much happier being invisible. Nobody sees my blushy faces that way!

Deborah said...


Siobhan: OMGZ guest-posting at Shakesville is WAY cooler than knowing Isaac Bonewits.

But not cooler than being Arthur's mom. Although probably lower stress.

knottybynature said...

Hahaha.... my husband walks I start talking to him about this blog post ...I mentioned that Aurthur just graduated (- just thinking about the 'stress' comment).

He says, "Did he graduate high school or into the next circle?" (I'm sure he means degree....)

But that thought, all I could do was laugh.

Coincidentally, just because someone's rich or famous, that doesn't really make them any different. They just have more money. Or more people know them. Sometimes it changes a person a lot, sometimes not at all, but they're still a person. And half the time you can really 'drop a name'...most people don't believe you anyway.