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.