Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Posted: 31 Oct 2005 10:14 AM
We've got two developments of interest in this regard, two at least I say: one is the revival of the celebrations in the old style, the "pagan" or "wiccan" style. This is gaining many adherents in the United States. I don't know about Canada.

The other is the backlash against Halloween, and all things which hint of witches, worlocks, magic, or witchcraft by the Christian right wing. I suspect the more they rant against it, the more the young folk take to the Wicca, Satanism, and other odd cults.

Re: Halloween
Posted: 01 Nov 2005 06:03 AM
What a pity that people seem to continually align Christianity and Right Wing.

At the risk of offending politically inept contributors I would say that Jesus would have been a politically "socially conscious" person - thus he would have been all for many concepts traditionally anathema to right wingers.

Anyways back to Halloween - the new agers, witches etc have tried repeatedly to get this happening in Australia but it just doesn't rate a mention.

Re: Halloween
Posted: 01 Nov 2005 12:56 PM

In the United States it is the conservative and reactionary Christians who themselves align or declare to be right wing. Conservatives really prefer the term conservative, Christian, or Moral Majority. There is also the term neo-Con, which is, I gather, the "enlightened" conservatives, or so-called centrists realigning themselves with the right or conservative.

The "New Agers" have lost much ground in North America, in the US in particular. They are now considered to be active mostly in Southern California, San Francisco, Seattle, Anchorage, some cultural "islands" in southern Florida and along the East Coast. Oh, I forgot Chicago, Minneapolis, and Memphis. In other words, the "New Agers" and other "Liberal" or humanists are fragmented, isolated, disorganized... or so it would seem.

I suspect there is more activity than is noted by the various media, including the internet, which is over-rated. There is a vast "underground" which has yet gone unrecognized by much or most of the media. This includes but is not restricted to certain churches, college and university organizations, ad hoc groupings of individuals, the Rainbow circuit (no, I am NOT referring to 'the homosexual conspiracy'). Within the last 30-40 years, the FBI, police, and other governmental agencies and institutions have succeeded in either rendering ineffective or coopting various dissenters, including the radical environmentalists, anti-war activists, labor, student, and feminist groups. For a good read on this, I recommend Bell and Lasch.

Posted: 31 Oct 2005 10:16 AM
It's so hard to hold a bonfire around here, unless you own a great lot of land, and can find a spot shielded from the road, from curious onlookers.

Several years ago, some angry Christians rode into the forests of Fort Campbell and burned the Wiccan community house to the ground. Around this town in Georgia, folk recoil in horror if you say you like Harry Potter.

Re: Samhain
Posted: 31 Oct 2005 03:13 PM
And yet I bet they allow their children to go trick-and-treating. Or is Halloween also a no-no?

Re: Samhain
Posted: 01 Nov 2005 06:00 AM
certainly in Australia the Christians I know do not align themselves with any pro-Harry Potter or Pro-Halloween stance.

In the case of Halloween I have never seen any "trick or treating" in regional Queensland which is where I have lived most of my life.

Re: Samhain
Posted: 01 Nov 2005 11:41 AM
My trick-or-treat comment was aimed at J-P, in whose country I believe children are encouraged to indulge in this sort of thing. Here in SA, we have enough sangomas, shamans, iyangas, tokoloshes and so forth to keep us busy, without bothering about Haloween.

determination noun
1. the act or an instance of making a decision
2. the condition of being determined; resoluteness
3. the act or an instance of ending an argument by the opinion or decision of an authority
4. the act or an instance of fixing or settling the quality, limit, position, etc., of something
5. a decision or opinion reached, rendered, or settled upon
6. a resolute movement towards some object or end
7. the termination of an estate or interest
8. the decision reached by a court of justice on a disputed matter
9. (a) the process of qualifying or limiting a proposition or concept (b) the qualifications or limitations used in this process
10. the condition of embryonic tissues of being able to develop into only one particular tissue or organ in the adult


Posted: 01 Nov 2005 01:02 PM
At the risk of offending certain smug reactionaries and fascists, I suggest that one may consider that there is a mood, an air, a movement about, that is not confined within national borders. Some people are tired of being stereotyped as Liberal, Conservative, Radical, Fascist, Christian, Jewish, Moslem, Buddhis, pagan, humanist, atheist, agnostic. Concepts of self and group thinking and action are being re-examined, put to the test once more, restructured.

determination noun
1. the act or an instance of making a decision
2. the condition of being determined; resoluteness

I think we have entered into a very interesting time in history. We shall see what happens.

Perhaps the gauntlet has already been thrown. Hmmm... time to examine those words. Yet again.

gauntlet 1 or gantlet noun
1. Arms & Armour a medieval armoured leather glove
2. a heavy glove with a long cuff
3. take up (or throw down) the gauntlet to accept (or offer) a challenge
History: C15: from Old French gantelet, diminutive of gant glove, of Germanic origin

gauntlet 2 noun
1. a punishment in which the victim is forced to run between two rows of men who strike at him as he passes: formerly a military punishment
2. run the gauntlet (a) to suffer this punishment (b) to endure an onslaught or ordeal, as of criticism
3. a testing ordeal; trial
4. a variant spelling of: gantlet 1:(sense 1)
History: C15: changed (through influence of gauntlet1) from earlier gantlope; see gantlet1


Posted: 01 Nov 2005 01:05 PM

3. take up (or throw down) the gauntlet to accept (or offer) a challenge
History: C15: from Old French gantelet, diminutive of gant glove, of Germanic origin.

In the US, there are a few movements about, one of which is moveon.org. Another phenomenon of note is "the Nov. 3 theses." This involves, I think, both an organized and re-invigorated effort to reform, perhaps radically, the Democratic Party. I think too, there is reform being considered within the Republican Party. I'm not sure what's going on with the Greens.

As I wrote above, we shall see. Consider then, that the gauntlet has been thrown down.


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