The Green Eclectic

{May 15, 2011}   Musings on Morning Readings
A contrived tag cloud

Blogging about blogs...

Lots of stuff being posted all over the web this morning.  Here’s a sampling, with some commentary.

  • Downsizing May Not Be Enough, by Nathaniel Jeffers
    A good essay, with some shudder-inducing observations and well-made points, but I’m the choir he’s preaching to.  It’s an essay like so many others these days: volumes of evidence about how bad things are, with maybe five percent of the writing dedicated to what we can do to change how bad things are. What can we do? A major solution would be to pursue readily available alternatives to gasoline-powered engines and start working toward affordable alternative energy sources. […] Americans as a whole must reprioritize their values and begin advocating change. We must drop the cowboy persona and adopt a new identity for ourselves and a new set of values. We must learn humility and be willing to let profits suffer briefly for greater rewards from positive change.

    That’s a tall order.  The vast majority of the people reading Jeffers’ post are hopefully already on board with him… it’s everybody else that needs to get the message, and couching it in the rhetoric of we must drop the cowboy persona isn’t going to win that audience. Then again, this critique of his essay is no better, as I’m not exactly offering solutions… subtlety is lost on this population he’s trying to reach, pointing out the true seriousness of the issue or where some of the faults lie shuts them down, and my personal approach to this whole thing (to lead by example and demonstrate that you can  lead a normal life and still live sustainably) is slow-going and (though it’s effective) it only reaches so many people and it seems like there aren’t enough people leading by example to spark substantial change.

    He’s got a point, though: downsizing isn’t enough.

  • A Call to Arms – The Time is Now, by Storm Shadow-Wolf
    This is less of an essay than Jeffers’ Downsizing May Not Be Enough, though it approaches the same topic in a very different way.  This one is more of impassioned speech.  And reading it makes my heart and soul go out to the girl who wrote it, but … yeah, this is never going to reach the masses.  I get why people use craft names (hell, I’m using a pseudonym myself here), but when you call yourself Storm Shadow-Wolf and you lace your speech with phrases like our Mother speaks through me so hear Her now! This world is aching to be healed. It will die without us… well, you lose a lot of listeners that way, especially when you’re cognizant enough of your tone that you feel it necessary to overtly say I’m not a fluffy bunny. I’m very serious.

    I do know where that blaze of passion comes from, how heavy the ache can sometimes be in your soul when you contemplate the state of things, but this is not the way to engage with the world at large.  This is the way to make the world at large laugh at environmentalists and Pagans.  This is the way to make them stop listening.

    And perhaps the hardest truth?  The world will most likely not die without us.  I think it more likely that the world will purge itself of us, and then it will eventually reachieve equilibrium, and then things will go on. We just won’t be here to see it.

  • Grassroots Paganism: Magic or Miracle? by Disciple of Oghma
    The short version: In Lafayette, Indiana, USA, there are forty-eight churches, five dedicated Christian books stores, but only one Pagan supply store.  There are lots of Christians out there doing charity, but (to quote the author) Where is OUR presence? The world isn’t stopping online to read our blogs and web posts. Where are the coven food pantries? I certainly hope we aren’t too busy to start one because we are complaining over our ritual feast about why no one pays attention to us.

    People generally come to Paganism because it’s a path that calls to them.  Not because they were ‘saved’ by a missionary or were invited to a ritual by a friend trying to save their soul.  That’s part and parcel of many Christian faiths, and generally considered to be bad form by most Pagans because we hate it when it’s done to us.  So when the author goes on about how We practice a faith that venerates our connection with nature and the world. Let’s set our self-flattering aside and yield a true sacrifice.  Well, here’s the thing: lots and lots of Pagans are out there, doing everything this person is trying to encourage them to do.

    We donate to charity, we help our neighbors, we give to food banks, we volunteer with Big Brothers/Big Sisters, we do all those things.  And we do it because it’s the right thing to do, without feeling the need to say that we’re doing it because we’re Pagan, without using our charity as an opportunity to proselytize.

  • Where is the Neo Pagan Community?  by Crick
    This essay is about how there is no Pagan community, not really, and how all the Pagans are on their computers (like I am, and like the author is) and how the Pagans only go out to attend high-priced festivals and why does Paganism have to cost so much?  From the closing of the essay:  Do you have what it takes? Can you step away from your computer and step outside and engage Mother Nature? Can you reach out and support those of a truly like mind and join them at the park or in the woods or atop a mountain… free of charge? In short, are you ready to create a true “pagan” community?

    Now, I’m solitary, but I’ve been to a few gatherings, and they’ve all been friendly and tight-knit-but-welcoming, and I’ve never paid a dime to attend them.  And while I may be typing this up on a computer right now, I spend a fair amount of time (admittedly not as much as I could spend, but a fair amount of time) connecting with the world around me.  I just don’t see what this person is seeing, and think that perhaps he’s just running in the wrong circles.  What he wants?  It’s out there.  We’re out in the forests and along the rivers and climbing the mountains and listening to the planet.  We’re out there.

  • Huckabee Not Running for President, by Jason Pitzl-Waters
    And, of course, the big news of the past twenty-four hours: Huckabee thankfully not running for president.  While this is a relief for most (if not all) non-Christians out there, we still have another year and a half of politicking to endure by whichever Religious Right candidates step into the lead spot over the coming months.  To be clear: I have no problem with Republican Christians running for president, but so far, it rather looks as though all the possible front-runners have an agenda for further marginalizing minority faiths in the United States.

et cetera