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


I is for Insanity ala Einstein

One definition of insanity has nothing to do with mental illness:
"Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results." - Albert Einstein
This is the situation a lot of people are in when it comes to the economy and the climate.
Conservatives believe (not know, believe)
"A rising tide lifts all boats." - J.F.K. (mistakenly)
Yet in practice, the "rising tide" lifts only the boats that are seaworthy, and those with leaky boats or no boats at all drown, with no hand in rescue from the people who were born with the money for a good boat.

So they cut taxes, again and again, believing that it will improve the economy and lift people out of poverty. Yet every time the economy struggles even more, and more people end up further down the economic scale - further underwater. Insanity.

A similar form of insanity is expecting everyone to have had the same advantages and opportunities that the average has. These are the guys who are born with boats. A rising tide doesn't hurt them, they just sail away from those who are not in their elite club. But using this type of person as the norm on which to make policy? Insanity.

Global warming and climate change denial is yet one more type of willful insanity. Yeah, guys, the tide is rising, soon your beachfront property will be underwater, and you'll be howling for the government that you despise (and want to drown in a bathtub) to come and fix it.

What does this have to do with pagans?

Turns out a great deal. Most pagans are not the privileged demographic that these policies favor. While pagans have their own problem with the government, primarily due to institutional prejudice based on policies that privilege straight, white, cisgender, protestant, upper-middle class males, the US Constitution does promise us more freedom than we are actually granted by society.

Taking an active interest in government, and keeping the unsavory elements of the corporatocracy out of our lives, pocketbooks and bedrooms is actually a major undertaking. Yet if we don't, if we go off trying to walk outside the system and acting like it doesn't affect us, we should stop being surprised when the different result we expect, leaving us alone to do our thing, doesn't happen.

Turns out that even the most benevolent corporation is focused by its nature on profit, and will use every tricky, dirty and underhanded or not, to boost said profit. To expect anything different is insanity. Leopards don't change their spots. Rules are required to make these constructs/homunculi follow the will of living humans. The rules are called regulations and laws, and they are enforced by the government in the name of the people. But if the people who pass the laws and enforce the regulations are corrupt, or not held accountable by the people to the people, it all breaks down. If the people don't pay attention, are so self absorbed that they don't care to look, the callous actors take advantage, and the construct corporations take control. This is what fascism truly is - the weeding of corporate power to government power, the privatization of government in favor of corporate interests.

The most simple magical act that a person can do to help fight against the insanity is to vote mindfully. Follow the money, consider carefully who you will throw your vote magic behind, and then cast a ballot in every election. This includes the local ones especially.

Most of the Randroid nutjobs (fascists, IMO) in government today are there because they suckered uncaring local elections into putting them into low level offices, and thus start their fundraising capacity. Even if it's for dogcatcher, pay attention to the outlook and statements of your local candidates. Don't let them use your ignorance or apathy to propel themselves into higher office.

Yes, there's a lot more you can do - protest, write letters, make appointments with your local elected representatives, give money to worthy causes and candidates, educate yourself about people who aren't like you, etc. But voting intelligently in local and national elections is basic.

The midterm elections are coming up. Register and remember to vote intelligently. Don't follow the campaign commercial hype or so-called news (after all, Fox won the right in court to broadcast falsehoods as "news", even if it is known by them to not be true.) Do your own digging, search engines are your friend, and work your magic.

Apathy and ignorance are no longer affordable if you want to be free of corporate and politically motivated oppression. You have to take action to preserve your freedom and livelihood.


H is for Homelessness

Several years ago, in my early twenties, I was literally within weeks of being homeless. My car was dead, I was unemployed and almost out of benefits, had been eating rice and ramen for almost 6 months, and I was being evicted from my apartment because they were raising the rent by over $100 a month (30% more), which was more than my UI. I was literally less than a month from losing everything I had. The "public assistance" stuff at that time was only available to women with kids, not able-bodied students.   I already had too many men catcalling me on the streets, following me home from the bus, etc - how the fuck would I survive without even a car to lock myself into? How would I cook, what could I eat or drink?

I had no one to turn to, just my own skill and magic. I had to make some luck, and fast.

I was lucky, I had some magical skill, and a stubborn will.  I spent weeks calling temp services, and working rituals to get a job and apartment.  No fancy shit with robes and props, just focus of my will on what I needed. Action plus magic, with purpose and will.

I found a (temp) job I could get to by transit, and another apartment that I could (just barely) afford. I moved on the last weekend before the end of my notice. All during this time I had no medical insurance, of course, so even when I trashed my ankle a few months later, I just ace bandaged it, stayed home from work for two days (unpaid) and took lots of ibuprofen.

But I will never forget, staring into a dingy bathroom mirror on a soon to be overpriced slum apartment (complete with roaches), telling myself I would never let myself get that desperate again. Another "spell", and one I remember and reinforce every time I think about it.

Ever since then, I've always had a few months of food "in case". I've always tried to keep a car that I could sleep in, if I had to. I always had "camping gear" available, ready to hand. I've always had a plan B, plan C, and plan D, and fret if I don't. I have my magical senses tuned to the flow of the world around me.  Mundane action, and magical awareness.

I always will.

I wasn't raised a few weeks away from homelessness. I was middle class, professional parents, raised a good little Christian girl, etc.  But that was before Ronald Reagan was president, and the shredding of the safety net., and the rise of the institutional hypocrisy of the Religious Right.

So every time someone shits on the homeless, I take it personally. That could have been me, but for a job from a temp agency. The only difference, in a lot of cases, is that they never got that call, never had the magic or the luck.  They didn't have the magical skill to bend probability just a little bit. 

Two of my roommates were homeless before they moved in with me. Both veterans.

I don't go on marches and all of that. But my friends know that if they're a bit short on food, if I've got something they can use to eat, it's theirs for the asking. If someone needs a couple months crash, if I've got room, they can have a roof for a while, but not necessarily forever.

I will not vote for a Republican who is heir to anything resembling Reagan's "legacy".

No matter how much I make, no matter how high I rise, a part of me will always be a terrified twenty-something looking at living on the street with nothing, desperately working every type of magic I knew to change my situation.