Yet another blog for spewing. This one may end up with a lot of religious and social content.


D is for Dangerous

Last weekend I spent a day at PantheaCon.  I couldn't afford to go to the whole thing, with having to work and all, plus I was feeling rather ambivalent about the "community" as present at the con, and running it.

To me it seems that the community has been taken over by the white-light tone police.  These are the people who admonish you if you post angry blogs, or swear, or point out problems, or are actually angry about things like cultural appropriation and fat shaming in paganism.  They "tsk, tsk" at your "outbursts" that they see as "dangerous" to the community.

"How dare you be angry!  No one will listen to angry people! You have to speak reasonably, with 'love' in your heart. Don't endanger the respect people have for us." is the message I hear in the pagan blogosphere.

Fuck. That. Shit.

If that's what I have to do to be considered part of your little white light, goody two-shoes, social norm enforcing, non-threatening community, then you can take your damned community and shove it up your "my shit doesn't stink" ass!

If we can't, or won't, listen when people are upset about stuff, but feel the need to silence them with tone policing to "preserve harmony", "not be dangerous" or some such bullshit, then I feel we have failed as pagans, as servants of the gods, and as people who can and will change the world.  If we value conformity and "niceness" more than we value truth and fairness, then we're no better than a bunch of Baptist hypocrites.

If that is now our community standard, the silencing of the aggrieved and marginalized until they learn to "talk nicely" about their issues, then we are as bad as the quasi-liberals who want peace and order more than they want justice and change.

If being listened to on the web or at a conference requires us to couch everything in terms of what is pleasing to others to hear, we are actually nothing less than unwilling to hear that which might make us uncomfortable.  Then we become just another "three monkeys" community, not magicians willing to examine ourselves and our lives.  That's the real danger, but people won't see that.

Oh, it's "acceptable" to "peacefully protest" environmental causes, as long as we aren't "angry" about it.  It's "acceptable" to protest the treatment of people who are other than us, like "the homeless", as long as we are "the calm voice of reason and peace".  Meanwhile, we ignore the real economic hardships withing the community, although maybe we'll contribute to a nicely worded Kickstarter. 

What a joke.

We have lost our fire in the rush to become "mainstream". We have lost our will to be angry and change things.  We have lost the ability to accept anger as a valid emotion, and allow it to have healthy outlets - and I don't mean silencing it and trying to meditate it away.  We have become a "respectable" minority, always speaking in uplifting, reasonable words, and have lost our fire and heart.

We. Have. Lost. Our. Soul.

I would challenge people in the pagan blogosphere to write one blog post where they were passionately angry about something, where they saw an injustice that was so totally outrageous that they would swear and rage about it.  Gods only know there is plenty in our world to be angry and outraged about.  Find it, and say it.

Tell the tone police to go fuck themselves, and find your voice again.  Save our community from the "calm voice of reason" and forced cheerfulness.  Post a good, solid rant. Be dangerous.


C is for Comfort Food

Most everyone has their favorite comfort foods, the foods they like to enjoy when they are feeling down, lonely, cold, or stressed.  Part of being pagan to me is being aware of these things, and their place in my life.

Comfort foods are often picked up / set in childhood.  They usually combine familiarity with emotional attachment to the preparation, with a huge helping of yummy on top.  Very often they are cold weather foods, but not always.  Sometimes they are "You're feeling sick? Let me make you some ___" type of folk remedies (chicken soup is a classic for this.)

Comfort foods help fill an emotional niche in our lives - they help us re-connect with happier memories and feelings from our past.  Common American ones I know of are things like mac and cheese, franks and beans, chicken soup, hush puppies, brownies, split pea soup, aroz con leche, etc.

Anyway, here's my recipe for a biiig batch of one of mine:

Split Pea Soup with Ham

8 cups dried split peas
18 cups water
2 tablespoons chicken bullion (vegetarian: use vegetable bullion)
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 tablespoon baking soda
2 cups sliced carrots (more if you like more carrots)
2 pounds ham, diced (vegetarian: omit this, add more carrots, onions. Don't use TVP or tofu.)

1) Rinse and drain the peas (takes a really big strainer)
2) In at least an 8 quart stock pot (err on the side of bigger), combine rinsed peas, water, and baking soda, and bring to a boil.
3) Skim off the foam into a measuring cup, pouring back the liquid that settles out.  Do this until it doesn't foam, just bubbles.
4) Add bullion, garlic, carrots, and ham.  Return to a boil.
5) Once boiling, reduce heat and simmer for an hour, stirring violently no less than every 5 minutes. (Yes, I said violently, keep it swirling to prevent lumps and scorches, you want the peas to fall apart.)
6) Serve and refrigerate/freeze the leftovers.

We prefer to package it in 16 oz portions.  When it cools you can stand a spoon up in it - thin it if that's too thick for you. I don't put celery or celery seed in it - I'm allergic, and so is my mother.  The ham we use is the inexpensive canned hams, and if you are really feeling adventurous, substitute Spam for the ham, but cut it up really small so it blends in well.

This batch should serve 12 or so, if you use 16 oz portions.  The peas we buy in bulk (25 lb bag bulk), so they cost under $1/lb (find the best prices at a restaurant supply, or an east Indian grocer.)  The hams we get for about $5 each (canned), the carrots etc are about $1.  So the whole batch runs about $14, which works out to under $1.20 per serving.   Each serving is roughly 300 calories, 7 grams of fat.

Think about your favorite comfort foods, and maybe make some for the next circle potluck.