Is it all just commentary?

I’m tired. Pretty damn tired. It’s been a long year. Some days I’m not sure why I keep this blog. Every day brings with it a new “controversy” of one type or another, the same ongoing culture “war” between the polytheists and pagans, right and left, grouchy old guard and dirty hippies–really, its the same ol’ same ol’.

There were days on the ops floor, watching our aircraft float above Afghanistan, that I couldn’t help but think the whole thing was pretty pointless. Some days I thought it was because we weren’t being as aggressive and destructive as we need to be (still pretty much true, damn NATO ROE). Other days I felt it was because the public had abandoned the war because they were too small to see the larger geopolitical ramifications of withdrawal (also a big part of the ongoing issue).

Anyway, I’ve begun to feel this way with the current round of bickering. It’s like the gods-damned Arian controversy. Unfortunately though, this modern world won’t go for us actually starting a war, so we would probably be best off ignoring these things. Instead of being indignant or offended, we should let the gods do that. They’re the ones supposed to be offended, right? And I get that poking sleeping bears can be fun, especially if said bears are in cyber space and have no physical teeth. Seriously though, every time? Doesn’t anyone else get bored? This coming from the f**king FIFA World Cup champion of kicking hornets nests.

Maybe I’m just being bitchy. The holiday season always makes me want to burn the whole f**king world down. I just thought we could get beyond this stuff. Wasn’t that the point of the month of silence? I am reminded of my favorite Greek hero, the Spartan lawgiver Lycourgos:

11 Being asked why he had prohibited frequent campaigns against the same foes, he said, “So that they may not, by becoming accustomed to defending themselves frequently, become skilled in war.” It was for this reason also that there appeared to be no slight ground for complaint against Agesilaus, who by his almost continual inroads and campaigns into Boeotia Dhad rendered the Thebans a match for the Spartans. At any rate Antalcidas, when he saw him wounded, exclaimed, “You have got a handsome reward as you deserve for your fostering care in teaching them to give when they did not wish to fight and did not even know how.” (Plutarch)

That’s all that’s happening here. By feeding the “enemy” and acknowledging their ideas, we are legitimizing them. In the end, we all become the Athenians, endlessly talking nonsense for the sake of hearing our own voices. Never in my life would I want to inherit that legacy.

4 comments on “Is it all just commentary?

  1. Meg says:

    Reblogged this on Sour Mead and commented:

  2. Aj / Melia says:

    I tire of the endless rounds of tit for tat. I used to turn to the internet and fellow bloggers for ideas, knowledge and suggestions on how to manage on my spiritual path. More and more, I’m turning away because its gotten to the point where trying to figure out fact from opinion is more trouble than it is worth. I want to have a community but I’m starting to believe the virtual communities are good for little more than debating. Unfortunately, I live in a small town with no other Pagan or Polytheist nearby. I’m going to have to learn to be ok with that. I’m going to have to learn that I have to walk my path alone and learn to get past the loneliness that causes. For good or for bad, I’m going to have to stop relying on other means for “truth” and trundle ahead, stumbling off the path now and then, praying to get to the right destination with only whatever aid given to me by the gods and their attendants.

  3. marybeth says:

    Yes yes yes! Thank you. I don’t understand why reacting to every little thing some internet person out there says has become so popular. It makes me tired and doesn’t convince anyone of anything. Why can’t we share and learn from each other instead? The reason I read polytheists blogs is to learn about Them and how people worship Them and hear about what people do for Them and to remind myself that I’m not the only one when I need inspiration, not to catch up on the latest dumb thing people are arguing about. Especially since its essentially about the same things over and over. Nobody benefits from rehashing anything so much.

  4. Solo says:

    I’m concerned. You refer to the endless disputes as polytheist vs pagan, old guard vs “grouchy hippies” (classy). Okay. But you then go on to refer to the other side as enemies — and I will go ahead and assume you were just continuing the metaphor there — and complain that polytheists are legitimizing them by acknowledging their ideas.

    Because Gods forbid we treat others as having legitimate opinions worthy of occasional acknowledgement even if we don’t agree, right?

    I’m a Hellenic polytheist. I am, in fact, a devotee of Ares.

    I am also involved in the wider pagan community and have many friends among other historically-based polytheisms and yes, *terrifying* as the idea may be, among the “grouchy hippie” pagans. I assure you the skin has not yet melted off my face and my heart has not stopped beating because I didn’t automatically treat them as enemies.

    You complain about drama and fighting between polytheists and pagans and yet you perpetuate it by telling people not to acknowledge differing viewpoints lest they legitimize someone else’s beliefs.

    And what exactly is a “grouchy hippie” pagan? I mean, I’m pretty damn grouchy and I’m a far left liberal who worships non-Abrahamic deities. Am I a grouchy hippie pagan? Or am I safe because I slant towards reconstructionism? Does not being a reconstructionist make me a hippie? Does being a Neowiccan instead of a Hellenic polytheist make me grouchy? Who exactly are you referring to here that we should treat as enemies that don’t have a right to legitimacy?

    It’s just very frustrating for me to sit here and watch Hellenic polytheists, supposedly “my people”, become more and more alien to me than the pagans I share no religious beliefs with. And why? Because sometimes they use Greek words while praying and they don’t have Tumblr blogs? That doesn’t make you better or more valid devotees of our Gods. That doesn’t give you the theological high ground for you to establish a grand throne from which you pass down your edicts on who is a valid pagan who has the right to talk about their religion and who is a dirty grouchy hippie pagan who better not open their mouth because they’re illegitimate.

    I don’t like what I’m seeing among my big name co-religionists, man, and I gotta tell you: I like the grouchy hippie pagan community a whole lot better than I like the community that treats people like enemies because they don’t have a university degree in ancient Greek.

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