Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Quote o' the Moment - Relapse and Recovery

"Maybe you can keep me from ever being happy, but you're not gonna stop me from having fun."

-Ani DiFranco

Friday, May 07, 2010

Stockings of Strife

Behold, mortals! Fear my witchy socks!


And also... I, um, kind of forgot to do laundry this week. It was either these or wear flip-flops to work.

But they're still witchy! Booga booga!

Thursday, May 06, 2010

I believe the preferred term is "Aviator-American"

Remember that Very Cool Episcopalian Guy I told you about (forever hereafter known as EpiscoPete)? Here's his favorite joke:

EpiscoPete - "What do you call a black guy flying a plane?"

Unsuspecting Victim - "I don't know. What?"

EpiscoPete - "A pilot, you racist asshole."

Loyal Strifemongers will understand why we get along.

Wednesday, May 05, 2010

Generations To Go

My HR Director just forwarded an e-mail to me, which he prefaced with, "Uh, yeah, I think you should see this." Apparently, someone I'd interviewed, and who'd ultimately declined the position offered to him, was still interested in working for us. However, he didn't like the required schedule, so he thoughtfully provided us with the days and times he would be working. Also, the starting salary was too low for his tastes, so we needed to bump it up by a couple of thousand. But after that, he can't wait to get started!

To sum up, he'll come in when he wants, not when we need him, and we'll pay him more for it.

Oh, and he misspelled "interview."

Fail.

I know my co-workers wish I would shut the hell up about it, but they're also not anywhere near as battered by this mindset as I am. They only see it in our department, when we're trying to herd cats keep our employees motivated. I, on the other hand, leave the office, traipse out into NeoPaganism, and see it everywhere.

Leads to angst-management issues, that does.

Before I go any further, let me just say that there are a number of young Pagans who freakin' blow me away with their insight and abilities (Veles, Chiron and Annyikha being shining exemplars). But also swelling in ranks are the tenderfoots who seem hellbent on academically improving Paganism without having truly experienced it. And the thing is, Paganism is an experience over anything else: Regardless of beliefs or book-learnin', the only way to benefit from any permutation of Pagan spirituality is through active engagement.

This does not seem to be universally understood among the up-and-coming generation.

A bright young lass popped up on a British Traditional Wiccan listserv awhile back, introducing herself with enthusiasm. She'd been reading about Wicca for a few months, and while she thought it was nifty and all, she also had a laundry list of changes that needed to be implemented before she could participate. And to be clear here, she wasn't talking about developing her own personal practice: She expected BTW as a whole to reinvent itself in order to accommodate her. So, y'know, if BTW initiates could get on that for her, that'd be great.

As you may have guessed, her requests were not particularly well-received. And if it had been a one-time occurrence, maybe the other list members would've been able to keep their annoyance under control. But the sense of entitlement exhibited in this situation is spreading in waves, and those of us swimming against it are finding it harder and harder to keep our patience afloat.

In a recent article on Witchvox, a high school student described her disenchantment with the gender roles of Wicca. (And believe me, no one is more legitimately world-weary than a suburban, upper-class teenager.)  She doesn't like the God/Goddess "model" as it stands, so she decided that in her Wiccan practice, the Gods, while partnered, are androgynous and celibate. Which, hi, sorry, that ain't Wicca. I mean, if she wants to worship genderless deities who don't have teh icky het-sex, more power to her, but it's not Wicca. And frankly, there's a helluva lot more to Wicca--or any Pagan practice, traditional, ecclectic or otherwise--than "Metaphorical Boy Polarity Gets Metaphorical Girl Polarity."

Again, it's that lack of engagement. And it's a cop out. Because it's easier to rework someone else's perception of the Divine until it's nice and safe than it is to actively commune with the Gods in a ritualistic context to determine how They might choose to reveal Themselves. It's easier to demand that an entire tradition adjust itself to one's comfort level than it is to challenge oneself to grow as an occult practitioner.

It's easier to stay unemployed than it is to accept an entry-level position.

Apoplexy aside, I do have quite a bit of faith in the next generation, both Pagan and non. For instance, I just hired two spectacular new employees and promoted another for kicking much ass at her job; meanwhile, in the Realms of the Beyond, the Veleses, Chirons and Annyikhas of the world are doing amazing and inspiring things. But I don't want any of these guys to be exceptions: I want them to be examples. I want their peers to see what they've accomplished and think, "You know, with a little effort and focus, I could be an example, too."

Which, granted, is a tall order. But hey, I lived down the stereotype of "Generation X."  If my generation can get through that crap, I guarantee Millennials can do anything.

Saturday, May 01, 2010

My First Official "Shut Up and Kiss Me"

This Very Cool Episcopalian Guy I've Been Hanging Out With - "Evn, I really like you, and I enjoy spending time with you. But I also have to admit that your religious beliefs freak me out a little bit."

Me - "You know how you graduated from the University of Texas? The ancient Cretans worshipped a solar Bull God.  That's kind of like how your school's mascot is the longhorn."

TVCEGIBHOW - " ... "

Me - "I swear what I just said makes sense."

TVCEGIBHOW - "Surprisingly, I stll enjoy spending time with you."

And then... well, see title of post.

Happy Beltane.