Greetings fellow Americans! It’s been awhile since I’ve posted anything on here. So I’m here to review the first episode of AHS: Cult. I enjoyed last season immensely especially after the hum-drum Hotel season. However, this looks to be a crazy and wonderful season. Straight from the beginning, Ryan Murphy hits hard with the extremes of both sides of the political spectrum and how they reacted in regards to Trumps ascendancy to the Presidency. You see two Left leaning folks freak out. Ally (Sarah Paulson) breaks down as the news of the Trump win with a string expletives that I’m sure resounded within many election watchers. And also within the same scene, we see a Hillary supporter start bashing Jill Stein supporters. I’ve experienced this just recently, so the wounds are still fresh with Hillary supporters. The other Left leaning person is Winter (Billie Lourd) as she is watching the horror of the Trump win unfold, she comments on “What was wrong with CNN for not giving us a trigger warning before they announced the results?”. Finally we have alt-Right crazyman Kai (Evan Peters) having a figurative orgasm over the Trump win. In my humble opinion, these are great caricatures of the divisive environment our country is embroiled in and I think a dramatic look at these issues needs to occur. I commend Ryan Murphy for this season.
Now certain articles such as Rolling Stones article complains about the cartoon quality of the characters of this season. I think the cartoonish quality is quite on par with how the two extremes are these days. Both the Left and the Right have become circus clowns on a murderous spree against opposing ideas and free speech. Look at the recent spate of White Supremacists and ANTIFA clashes. These are the clowns that want to destroy freedom for the sake of their own agenda. These are the clowns parading as human beings when they are acting like the stereotype that is imposed upon them. So to have the characters in AHS: Cult as not human beings, but cartoons is not too far from the truth. I’m sure both sides will hate this season as it progresses because it provides a mirror onto their antics and their extremism, but seriously America needs this and they need it bad because our extremism is becoming our downfall. Our extremism is destroying the United States from within and if we don’t take a long, painful look at ourselves we’re going to become the next Nazi Germany/ Soviet Russia or worse Khmer Rouge Cambodia. You can’t simply act out on your extremist views without having someone provide your ugly reflection back into your face.
Rolling Stone ends their article with this, “The country is sick, yes, but not in the way Trump – or Cult – seems to believe it is.” It’s not simply a belief, but an observation made by those who aren’t entirely extreme. Extremists are the minority in this country, but they are receiving the most views on social media, in the news and everywhere else. Those of us who don’t abide by any specific political ideology, those of us in the center, and those of us who are simply apathetic aren’t represented proportionally. AHS: Cult is that representation of the views of those who aren’t extreme. It’s what we see on the news and on social media. So, if you’re offended by how AHS: Cult portrays your side of the aisle, ask Ryan Murphy to provide trigger warnings prior to each episode.
For a long time, I’ve always considered myself a very optimistic person, giving those selected to the position of the American Presidency the chance to prove themselves as a competent leader. For the first 100 days of Trump I did just that. “Nah, he’s not that radical, he’s a real estate mogul wanting to play leader. He won’t do anything.” Well, how wrong I was proven sure struck down my optimism with
healthy dose of the reality pill.
From the gutting of the EPA and the regulations against pollution to allowing basically any state wishing to make a hefty profit to mine resources off of what was Federally protected lands to the recent push through of the American Healthcare Act yesterday through the House of Representatives. This is by far a recipe for disaster. Not only does it further divide our country along political lines, but it also makes look weak. “Weak?! You’re kidding me, right?” No, I’m not. It’s true along the same reasons why Obama helped destabilize our country into an awkward morass of divisions. This whole Us vs. US thing that politicians do to the average American is simply a play for power. If the people are consistently divided, then politicians can do whatever they want.
So when you have riot on a certain campus ( looking at you Berkley), you feed the antagonism of the political elite (which includes Trump, Pence, Clinton and yes Bernie Sanders). This is what they want! They want us to fight as they sit in their cozy homes watching the plebians fight among themselves. To them, our fighting each other is akin to Americans obsession with reality shows. However, all of this faux rage is just that, it’s fake because if it were genuine it would last longer and actually provide a platform of change. Instead, it divides further and makes the rift between all Americans bigger than the rift in the huge ice shelf about to break off Antarctica. I will state that there are some well-meaning folks in both camps that want to see this country in a better state, but the radicals appropriate the message of peace and unity into an antithetical statement of violence, hatred and fascistic tendencies. Both the Left and the Right are to blame for this. They are both increasingly shifting to fascism. Red fascism (communism) is no different than Right Wing fascism (Alt-Right). It all leads to violence and hate.
Hated… time and time again
Force fed, suppress senseless fear of difference
True self suppression, hollow dreams of misery
Blind wish to see
Indifference to be
Freedom, expressionless bouts of legislation
True self repression, take a stance of fall to your needs
Corrupt in the system
Laws bent to other needs
God fearing idiocy
Ignore just pleas
Blind wish to see
Indifference to be
Ruling powers be
Never really free
by The Germs (Darby Crash, Pat Smear)
The news media are like a pack of sharks circling around waiting for their first sniff of blood in the water. When that blood does seep into the water, the mere thought of a ratings bonanza sends them into frenzy attacking whatever has spilled that blood. This is what we are seeing whenever Trump says something way out in left field. I personally can’t stand Trump. I think he is a phony and a crook. However, I don’t believe he’s stupid as everyone wants to pretend that he is. In fact, I see a very intelligent man who knows how to work the media to do his bidding. Ask yourself this, how do you keep the headlines with your name in it? Establish controversy by saying something so off the wall that the media can’t ignore it. This guy knows the media well since he’s been in it so many times before. He knows how to work the media to keep the limelight on him at all times and thus keeping it off Hillary (unless it’s negative then he lets it be).
I believe the news media is the reason why Trump is, so far, a success. Yes, I blame the media for putting Trump to the forefront of everything. I can’t turn on CNN, MSNBC, FOX or any other news station without being bombarded by Trumps Cheeto tan, raccoon eyes, and ridiculous toupee. I’ve boycotted all news channels because of this. If the media is so inclined to bashing Trump, why are they ignoring the fact that they are giving free air time each time he says something crazy? I seriously doubt the Liberal lean of news media and that what interests them more are ratings rather than political persuasion. If indeed the news media wants to crush Trump then they need only to stop being played by him. We know, though, that they won’t…strike that….they CAN’T resist throwing the limelight on him because, like any addict, they need that ratings fix that is induced by the majority of people who are thrown into a seething anger whenever Trump is mentioned.
This is the media blitz, folks, and it’s tearing our country apart with divisiveness and half truths. Everyone who hasn’t the time to research everything said by every politician simply parrot what the chosen interpretation of a news blurb whether it’s from Trump instigating foreign hackers or the misconstrued idea of “death panels” contained within a healthcare reform legislation. The media tells us what they want us to believe rather than objectively stating the news of the day. Objectivity in the news is long gone and probably will never resurrect from the dead.
I believe it’s every Americans right to arm themselves especially in a world so inclined towards violence. I believe also that we need to use the laws that we already have on the books to make sure that people are safe from gun violence.
I think it’s sexist to tell a woman to use a whistle in the event that she’s about to be assaulted. Women especially should be able to conceal carry a gun as an alternative to the whistle method that anti-Second Amendment would want. Their emotional plea for a gun free society is selfish in that it establishes that since they don’t have gun nor need one that no one else should. Now, there are those who seem anti-gun, but aren’t. Those folks simply want gun laws that protect people from gun violence. In fact, my wife has thought (more so lately with the insanity we’re seeing around the world and in our country) about going through the lengthy process of getting a gun and I can’t blame her. I absolutely support her in doing so. When I can’t be with her at all times, I believe it’s imperative that she keep herself safe whatever way possible. She’s not dumb nor irresponsible so it goes without saying that she would do fine owning a gun.
Those who wish to limit access to guns want to blatantly trample on the Constitution, be my guest because I can guarantee that a majority of Americans are pro-Second Amendment especially witnessing the horrors of the 20th Century when fascist/communist governments disarmed their people in order to have absolute control over the people. What limits should be placed on gun ownership should be a dialog opened up between those want to limits gun ownership and those who don’t. It needs to be civil and without condescending remarks. Without this criteria in place nothing will happen that will appeal to both sides of the aisle.
When people say things, it tends to need a mirror held up to it and taken apart. Perhaps this is the scientist in me to inspect the various parts of an idea or article. Recently, this blike named Rhyd Wildermuth painted polytheists in a broad brush stroke and for good reason it sparked the ire of many polytheists. I tackle this is my previous post, which includes a link to the article in question. Rhyd Wildermuth has posted another article titled The Uncomfortable Mirror which I will inspect and take apart.
The information page, called Confronting The New Right, was crafted by me in order to provide more information about the New Right to readers who were unfamiliar with that ideology. I consulted with several others regarding the information therein, who helped refine the language and provided additional resources; however, I claim full responsibility for its contents.
Now, I can respect someone who ends on the note that they take responsibility for their words. I must ask, though, about those others he consulted with. Did they not see the pompous rhetoric that was flowing? I would say perhaps they ignored it because they agreed with it which doesn’t ever help in creating constructive dialog. In order to do so you need to step down from the holier than thou nonsense and come at it with a full spectrum of ideas to posit to the masses. People don’t like being talked down to nor having sweeping generalizations being made. If I were Rhyd, I would have consulted both those who are on the Left and Right that way I establish a better understanding from differing perspectives instead of only gaining insight from one perspective.
While the vitriol and falsehoods contained in some of the critiques make it a little difficult to dissect their arguments, I believe they fall into three categories:
• Guilt by Association: the analysis I provided directly equates Pagan and Polytheist beliefs with the New Right
• Leftist Infiltration: that I am part of a leftist infiltration of Polytheist belief, and not a Polytheist myself.
• “Red Scare” or “Witch Hunt”: by discussing intersections between New Right ideology and some Pagan beliefs, I am attempting to demand ideological or political purity.
I’ve read the article over and over again and it does equate Pagan and Polytheistic beliefs with the New Right. Also, there’s the idea that being apolitical is fascistic in itself, which is nonsense. As a practice, I keep my religion out of my politics just like I keep my religion out of science. I think others would benefit from such an idea, but that’s me. As a former Leftist infiltrating certain groups was always discussed and if applicable encouraged, but such an idea isn’t confined to Leftism, but also Right Wing as well. You can’t blame people who might assume that you’re trying to dismantle Paganism by positing the idea for all of the world to see that basically all Pagan traditions are inherently fascist. It’s bad enough that we get bad press when the media gets the chance and also the long period of climbing our way up from the abyss of history. We have enough struggles as is and to have this hung around necks now is not fair to those of us who don’t perch our personal politics next to the statues of our Gods. If you wish to place your politics next to the Gods, be my guest, but don’t admonish people for not doing the same by calling them closet fascists.
I am also not accusing all polytheists (or anyone else) of being Fascist. If I were, then I would also be a Fascist. The piece I wrote draws no equivalency between specific Pagan-aligned traditions and the New Right. Rather, I draw attention to places where New Right ideology intersects, could influence or currently influences Paganism, including the traditions I am a part of.
Language means a lot and if used properly or improperly can mean different things despite it having the same meaning to it. I can say that I wish to kill myself, but it can differ in context. Maybe I made an error on a test I figuratively want to kill myself and not literal. So with that in mind, the way you utilize language needs to be observed and that’s why consulting with others outside of your boxed in world helps a great deal because then this whole mess could have been avoided. Language, people, language!
Do I put my politics first? I don’t actually know what that means. Do I favor political ideology over what the gods say to me? Do I favor political action over spiritual activities? This is not a question I can answer, because in my world, they inform each other and are inextricably linked. My gods help me understand my relations to politics, and my politics helps me understand my relationship with my gods. There is no wall between them for me.
So in Rhyds world politics and religion goes hand in hand, which sounds much like the problem over in the MidEast with radicals combining religion and politics into the age old concept of theocracy. We Pagans know what happens when theocracies occur, other beliefs seen as heresies are attacked and burned at the stake. However, today the stake is on the internet and public/cyber shaming spectacles are becoming the new normal. I mean if that’s how you conduct your life, so be it, but don’t shame those who are apolitical and have their religion separate from their politics. Some of us prefer walls between our religion and politics.
Or did I, by gathering information about the New Right hold an uncomfortable mirror up to a tradition I am a part of? Have I violated sacred traditions, or merely revealed their political aspects?
No and no, to answer both questions. The mirror isn’t uncomfortable because being a part of quite a few Heathen groups ( one which has been founded by a Jewish convert to our religion) and following many Heathen and Pagan blogs I have seen the arduous task of keeping the fascist element out of our beliefs. We are being scrutinized by various groups such as Leftist ran organizations like the Southern Poverty Law Center to Right wing organizations who want to prove that their Christian religion is far more moral than ours. So, we have to, by our own means, fight against the fascist elements attempting to usurp our religion for their political advancement (sound familiar?). While I believe vigilance is important, and that is the ultimate takeaway with Rhyds article, we certainly don’t need to be chided by those who feel like they have to be the impromptu “nannies”.
The ‘Red Scare’ was a time when artists, intellectuals, writers, actors, and many others were investigated by the House UnAmerican Activities Commission, led by Joseph McCarthy and influenced by J. Edgar Hoover and powerful business people. Radicals of all sorts—particularly civil rights activists—were investigated for potential associations with the Communist Party. People with suspected associations with Communist organisations or even sympathies (‘fellow travelers’) were blacklisted from trade unions, actors guilds, publishers, and many other artistic and professional organisations, effectively silencing radical voices for decades.
The Witch Trials have been variously described by many authors, but Feminist author Silvia Federici’s Caliban & The Witch perhaps best elucidates the historical and political processes which led to the arrests, trials, imprisonments, and burnings of heretics and witches.
In regards to the Red Scare and Witch Hunts, isn’t this what you have pretty done yourself with stating that anyone who is apolitical and in disagreement with your views as fascists and agents of the New Right? I believe so. Enough said.