Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Pagan Pride Day

I volunteered to staff a booth at this year's Salt Lake Pagan Pride Day, which I was able to do after being delayed a couple of hours by one of my routine headaches. I just made sure my stomach was stable and headed out the door. Because of the blessed organization of this year's local coordinators, TaMara, Kayote and Andromeda, the booth/table I was staffing was in the shade of the main pavillion. Gods love all three of them--I know I do. The staffing part was easy for the most part. It only became involved later in the afternoon when one elderly woman came to me for answers to some very serious and intelligent questions about Paganism because her son had come out of the broom closet to her. She had a very diverse family. She had lost one gay son to AIDS fourteen years previously and PPD happened to be on his birthday. She was saturated with love and memory and grief and hope all at the same time and I gladly spent over an hour with her and her questions and concerns, all because she loves her son and wants to understand him rather than direct him. She seemed to be able to relax and confide more and more personal information to me in the course of our discussions. I really just wanted to give her a big bear hug and wash away her worries. I hope the information I gave her helped. Ultimately she was all about what the Pagan Pride Project was started for. It was not about getting Pagans, themselves, to congregate and shop for Pagan bling, but to disseminate information about Paganism to non-Pagans, to provide for a charity, and to make a place where media could get to know us.

This year PPD did not have vendors, although there were people with things to sell that were there on an informational basis (i.e. here are my wares, and here is how you can get ahold of me to buy the stuff). In my staffing of my booth for Aspen Grove Circle, there were two people who bitched to me that they had gone to the ATM before coming to PPD so they could buy some Pagan bling. I explained to them the reason for this year's lack of vending--getting the message back out to NON-Pagans. They seemed to understand and were not angry, but still no pentacle bling . . .

So, then some anonymous fucktard goes and creates a blogspot on this site to trash PPD at http://www.saltlakeppd.blogspot.com This blogspot was created three days after PPD by someone calling themselves "anonymus". Yeah, another brave soul who thinks of themselves as Pagan, but who is probably really just a scared little Christian practicing what they know. They even enabled the moderation function on blog comments, so my comment will likely never see the light of day . . . One would at least think that the person would bother to spell anonymous correctly--unless, of course, they are just fucktarded. That is my theory.

So "anonymus fucktard" starts out his rant--and I believe it to be a he for many reasons--just saying that PPD in Salt Lake sucked because no vendors were there nor would they participate because the people running PPD were part of the Utah Alternative Spirituality Substitute (UASS) group. That is a huge laugh! Anyone on the SLCPPD list could see the emails coming in about vending and being gently told that instead of vending there would be information-only booths. Let's pretend this is the old Gong Show. Can I please hit the gong about three times now, please? "Anonymus fucktard" needs to get his facts straight.

The next charge against PPD was that all of the UASS people call people from other groups junior high school names. I imagine this one is all in regards to one's perspective. Since "anonymus fucktard" obviously does not have spelling skills beyond middle school, then I guess any names that UASS calls would be of a junior high level. Anonymus fucktard might not even be able to spell fucktard, or let people post comment who could out of fear. Junior high might be an intimidating goal of anonymus fucktard. I hope he makes it, though.

Name calling? Oh yeah, there was some name calling going on, particularly in 2007 against the Sacred Circle Church (i.e. Sacred Squirrel Church) because of their diversion of a pool of community-raised funds earmarked for community land for ritual and other observance toward a yurt put on the private property of their one and only Reverend Heron. All of the accusations, name-calling, and community organizing that went on regarding this diversion of community funds in trust and it subsequent astrological and public relations spin eventually ended up in stalking injunctions being served against myself and two other community members who where the most vocal and visible critics of Reverend Heron's diversion of a community fund to her own benefit. The two other community members and myself decided to fight those injunctions in court and you can watch the court proceedings here:



Among the junior high names pointing to this diversion of funds, I think one might find on all of the local Pagan lists, words like "liar", "thief", "bitch" directed toward Reverend Heron. Well earned, if you ask me. Others thought up monikers for the most vocal supporters of the diversion of funds and its astrological and public relations spin, such as Avaloon, Lady Tara Moneydragon (Tara Moondragon financed the other half of the yurt purchase). None of these names had any purchase on PPD email and webspace as far as I remember. The Sacred Squirrels were not mentioned as far as I know. Oh yes, Sacred Squirrels . . . how junior high of me! Not so far from the truth when you consider Heron as Reverend Nutbag for showing up on the porch of some of our community members and screetching like a banshee with her foot in a fire until the cops were called. High drama, anyone? Oh yeah, that might have earned our dear, Reverend Heron, the name of "porch harpie". Maybe that is higher than junior high because it requires one to know what a harpie is and that might be beyond the intellectual skills of one anonymus fucktard.

Perhaps anonymous fucktard was at PPD, which was attended by hundreds of people despite rumours otherwise. I was there and there were at least a couple of hundred people there while I was there, with people coming and going. Some complained . . . no bling to buy. Others liked the relaxed atmosphere and informational focus. I think those stayed and participated in the workshops and rituals through the day liked the focus and stayed. I know some came by my table.

So if some little whispering fucktard approaches you and talks about the evil UASSes, just remember that it was the members of UASS stepped up to volunteer for PPD. It was the UASSes that did the work, worked with sponsors and created the event because NO ONE ELSE would step up to do the work. If one does not do the work, one cannot take the credit in the current milieu of Pagan Community and those who would take the credit for the work of others are the ones spewing the most criticism. I wish anonymus fucktard would boner up and take credit for one's words, but we are dealing with cowards here. I am not even a UASS, so I have no bones to pick with the mischaracterization of people in that group. I just want to have anonymus fucktard own up to his words.


Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Fun at the ranch

I have a lot of thoughts swirling about in my head, but not a lot of time to put them down here.

House update: The old floor is out, most of the new subfloor is in. The sink is out--mostly due to an accident. I cant do dishes. I hate that.

Me update: Well it looks like my usual September respiratory infection is back, in spite of quitting smoking. It is actually an inner-ear infection, but last year that turned into a pretty scarey bronchitis and three rounds of anti-biotics. I went to the doc when I KNEW I had an infection. I am taking Levaquin, which has some interesting side effects after just a couple of days, but my sore throat is better and my left ear is now pretty much normal. Now just need to get the right ear into the game.

Politics: I have read some stuff about how some of the Pagan and anarchist protesters at the Republican convention in St. Paul were treated. These people were subject to arrest, detention, interrogation and search, all by suspicion. If the police were trying to send a message, I think they did for the whole nation to take note of. As it turned out, these detainees, all arrested on suspicion, were released one by one when it was noted that there was no bomb-making or terrorsim being planned. So where was the evidentiary burden for probable cause on the police when they started playing Nazi on all of the hippies in St. Paul? It appears like there was none. So now does that mean that police everywhere have the duty to arrest, harass, search and intimidate whatever element of their communities scares them the most? I imagine that here in Utah that a lot of things will scare the suits and ties on Capitol Hill in Salt Lake. Let's not be naive and think that given the opportunity, the LDS majority in this state would not oppress and suppress communities which give them gas. It is like they are so ignorant of their own history of oppression and misunderstanding that the abused child has grown up to be the abuser. There is a huge and very progressive subculture in Salt Lake, itself. Less so in other places, but it is there as an "underbelly" of many communities. So what if the arrests and intimidation of those communities proceeded apace of what happened in St. Paul? Stormtroopers at Pagan Pride Day? More at Gay Pride Day? How about arresting patrons of alternative music performances? Strip searching organic gardners? How about shock troops marching against the Liberty Park drum circle? . . . oh yeah, that already happened here. Gotta keep those revolutionary pot smokin' drummers in check at all times! You never know when they might be planning to bomb the Capitol in Washington! I am surprised that they can get up the gumption to drum, let alone plan acts of sabotage and terror. I can just see the cell meeting now: after the joint has passed a few times, no one has the volition to lift an arm and make any kind of proposal. "Dude, I motion to vote this dope the best I have smoked, any seconds?"

I think that if the police are looking for crimes against the people, that they look upon the fat whiteys in their suits and ties before they bruise up someone in a tie-dye shirt and a hemp-cloth bini. It won't happen, but that is what I think. I guess this post will make me one of the first to disappear if word gets out.

Time will tell.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Nearly a month later . . .

Quick retrospective: I was cleaning my house in preparation for a kitchen upgrade when I pulled my groin and had to stop all movement below the belly button because of a lack of serious pain medications--you know, the good stuff that lets you jump on the trampoline while in traction with a broken femur?

Yeah, well that situation slowly resolved itself with only a couple of paralyzing flare ups. Eventually, much stuff was repatriated to the den, much other stuff was set aside for donating and still much other stuff was set aside in large trash receptacles for transport. There was much pulling of hair, gnashing of teeth and vacuuming of carpets. I mention the vacuuming of carpets because my cats hate it when I vacuum. Lusay and Ulysses run and hide where a vacuum cannot reach them--and NO, I have never chased them with a vacuum! Loki likes to watch the vacuum from a safe distance, about a metre away and generally above the business end of the vacuum. I am usually pretty predictable when I vacuum--back and forth, nice straight and clean lines on the carpet. If I deviate from that, say by suddenly turning the vacuum to the left and heading in a new direction, Loki has been known to jump down in the path of the vacuum, hiss at it and bat at it with his paws, as if to shepherd the errant machine back into its routine. We have all heard the metaphor about herding cats, but cats herding vacuums is a new slant on this for me. Perhaps he is so engrossed in the vacuum that he doesn't even notice me doing the driving. Maybe if he did notice, he would come and bat me around . . .

Alas, today was the day that the kitchen floor and the lower cabinets were torn out. When I moved into this house, some rocket scientist had put SHAG CARPET in the kitchen. Brown Shag. Millie, my landlady, said it was the brother of the girls that lived here before Brad and I. Someone give that guy a Nobel Prize, puhleeze! After Brad moved out, I had enough of the shag, so I ripped it out only to discover orange patterned linoleum. I put a rug over most of it and feigned colour blindness for the rest. Okay, so today, we ripped out the linoleum, a layer of particle board, then a layer of square plastic tiles that were glued down and came up with no problem, then this layer of cardboard type stuff that was a real bitch to dig up. Under all of that was some narrow wood plank floor with nothing beneath but the joists. The wood is actually in really good shape, so we are going to put our subfloor over that and then the pergola stuff. Millie got my new floor cabinets, counter top and sink today. They are so awesome! Looks like the upper cabinets will have to wait for another time.

Well, my back is singing from all the ripping, tearing, pulling, shovelling and sweeping I have done. I feel like I have done Tae-Bo for about four hours. Besides Millie and I, Travis and Cassie--Millie's kids--and Joe were all in on the festivities. Thank the Gods it was a cool September day! Joe's truck was a real labour saver, too. We loaded it up with the cast off crap and shuttled it out to the curb where it will all be picked up by Salt Lake City this coming week. Thanks, Mayor Becker! I think it is time for a nice, cool shower and a relaxing DVD. Phase two starts tomorrow!

Bon soir!