I propose a challenge.
A bunch of “devotional polytheists” are just starting to notice track-backs from a post by a certain blundering silly person who just wrote a confusing and somewhat incoherent piece about how that person doesn’t trust the gods and wonders at how others do.
How ’bouts we all ignore it? ‘Cause it’s kinda silly, and it’s got so many links to it that it functions as “click-bait,” linking to many, many old articles which will only re-inflame an argument that pretty much died out and generate a hit-frenzy. All the reliable blog-readers will flock, post comments, write their own posts, and hey, look, there’s an internet argument again and Patheos gets lots of ad-revenue and the popular writers there get a bigger check and we all have something else to talk about instead of doing stuff for the gods and building community and making the world better.
So, my proposal? Don’t. Don’t go read it, don’t comment on it, don’t address it. Or if you do read it, don’t read the comments, don’t link to it (note that I haven’t done so). Go light a candle at your altar, or sit in under a tree, or compose a new prayer or select fun clothes and walk around looking at all the silly people and smile at them. Take a day off from work, or quit your job, or hug your children, or make hot cocoa, or dance in the sunlight.
11 thoughts on “Don’t. Just Don’t.”
I haven’t read the post yet. But just the idea of not trusting gods has me writing a new post, so I guess that’s good? Cause the post I’m imagining in my head is better than any response to that other post could be.
To be honest, this person actually has a good point buried deeper in the post, which is an argument against monotheism (or is it henotheism? it’s unclear precisely), and some polytheists would certainly nod at some points this person sort of makes (gods are dangerous, even as they’re benevolent), but there’s like many, many links to posts (including the superhero/popculture debate, and a photo of Sannion!) that really will just stir shit up, internet-style. Resist! Resist! 😛
You gotta wonder why someone who claims to not want to stir shit up is…stirring shit up 😛 (I guess we’re all hungry hungry hippos for those pageviews…)
If this person is the person that I think this person is, well, I only read that person when someone links to that person’s blog, so if no one mentions that person’s post, that person’s blog will not get any hits from me.
Gods, was that elliptical enough?
I have to say, that particular blogger rubs me the wrong way.
I have been adhering to this policy for the last six months, and I have to say, it’s wonderful. I am so much more relaxed now that I am not engaged in whatever the latest controversy is. I have fewer hits on my blog, and fewer topics to rant about, but at least now when I have something to say, it comes from my own experience and not as a reaction to some nonsense. I highly recommend it.
You know, I really like him. Personally and his writing. I don’t always agree with him and this post is particularly awkward, but I truly appreciate how he is working out what he does think. He’s laying it all out, incredibly open, flaws and all, for every one to see. He’s super thinky and I guess I have a lot compassion for his awkwardness and attempts to make capital S sense of everything, since I’m overly thinky too. He’s also not afraid to rethink his position and apologize when necessary. I don’t think he’s out to stir shit up.
But I do think not commenting or linking to things that one doesn’t want to promote or engage with is an excellent policy.
Oh, I like that person too, actually! Julian B. and I have a fantasy of having a backyard barbecue with him. Long story, but it sees like it’d be fun!
More to the point, I really don’t want to spend the next three months reading new iterations of last year’s debates. If I woke up and saw 8 trackbacks to my site from a largely negative post, I’d probably come out swinging especially if it’s before tea.
There’ve been a few people discussing limiting linking to other posts for awhile, and I really like that idea. The endless click-throughs really inflame tensions as much as the comment-piles.
I really like the idea of not linking – of responding to topics, not people.
I already commented- but I hadn’t read your post- I went camping! Problem is for some of us who yearn for the gods, but do have our doubts about them, we feel we can’t share them with devotional polytheists. (Am I supposed to talk to my UU ministers about this? ) So we talk to other people who express doubt. I think he could’ve written this without quoting all those people though.
Here’s what I said:There are some polytheists that describe their relationships to deities in ways I shy away from- like “godslaves” They will talk about how this god made them lose their job, develop an illness etc. but it was all a test of their devotion! Umm, no thanks. Definitely not part of my value system. I can accept that a god may challenge you to get outside of your comfort zone and be a better person, and religion is not all easy and fun going thru extreme suffering for the sake of faith is not what I signed up for. I’m not all sure about gods- I do know plain ol’ atheism doesn’t feed my soul. I’m not sure about humanistic paganism either. There are certain deities (like Zeus and the Morrigan), after studying their mythology that I really have trouble worshiping. I understand that we don’t take the myths literally and all that but still.
In fairness, it is possible to read that post (or many others) and not get caught up in the drama of re-hashing old arguments and re-criticizing (or re-defending) certain colleagues who might be maligned by it, etc. This, of course, must be taken with a grain of salt of some size, given that I’ve been involved in many of these internet disputes rather vocally at various points (though not recently–who has the time?…not me!…plus, after having resolved not to read a certain someone else on Patheos any longer, there’s not a lot to get angry over, I don’t think…!).
I thought he had some good points and important questions that are fair to raise; I also think that Galina’s post in response was quite good.
I hope that the comment I wrote on there wasn’t one that made you sick, if you did read it. 😉