TERF Wars and Trans-terrorism
10 months ago
What a thing it is to sit absolutely alone,
in the forest, at night, cherished by this
perfectly innocent speech,
the most comforting speech in the world,
the talk that rain makes by itself all over the ridges,
and the talk of the watercourses everywhere in the hollows!
Nobody started it, nobody is going to stop it.
It will talk as long as it wants, this rain.
As long as it talks I am going to listen.
We were very excited to be asked to do the invocation," Childers told the Patch. "A lot of people think pagans go out and kill goats; they don't even understand what paganism really is. Although contemporary society is taught to believe it's a bad thing, we're just like everyone else."
"I don't know why the city chose to go with pagans, but we're honored," she told the Patch,
"We have also had Native American 'Medicine Men,' Islamic Imams, Buddhist Monks, Falong Gong, Rabbi's, Hindu's and a couple of religious persons that I couldn't even figure out what they were," Santee Mayor Randy Voepel told the Patch in an email. He said the city council invocations are about half-and-half Christian and non-Christian, according to the Patch.
"I think religious values should be everywhere," Jesuit Fr. Kevin Casey, associate pastor at Guardian Angels Catholic Church in Santee, told the Patch, noting that he performed an invocation in November 2009. "I always welcome the opportunity for there to be a mention of God at the beginning of a City Council meeting."
When I teach the study of framing at Berkeley, in Cognitive Science 101, the first thing I do is I give my students an exercise. The exercise is: Don't think of an elephant! Whatever you do, do not think of an elephant. I've never found a student who is able to do this. Every word, [such as] elephant, evokes a frame, which can be an image or other kinds of knowledge. Elephants are large, have floppy years and a trunk, are associated with circuses, and so on. The word is defined relative to that frame. When we negate a frame, we evoke the frame.(emphasis added).
Richard Nixon found this out the hard way. While under pressure to resign during the Watergate scandal, Nixon addressed the nation on TV. He stood before the nation and said, "I am not a crook." And everybody thought about him as a crook.
[Think for a moment about Christine O'Donnell telling the world, "I'm not a Witch. I'm you." It led to nothing but replies further defining her in the public's mind as a Witch and, definitely, not "us."]
This gives us a basic principle of framing, for when you are arguing against the other side: Do not use their language. Their language pickes out a frame -- and it won't be the frame you want.
[I]t is [not just on Fox, it is] on CNN, it is on NBC, it is on every station because it is "the president's tax relief plan." And soon the Democrats are using tax relief and shooting themselves in the foot.
It is remarkable. I was asked by the Democratic senators to visit their caucus just before the president's tax plan was to come up in the Senate. They had their version of the tax plan, and it was their version of tax relief. They were accepting the conservative frame [that taxes, rather than being a patriotic duty, that one should be proud to pay, were a burden from which one needed relief]. The conservatives had set a trap. The words draw you into their world view.
Green added that just like Christianity, which has thousands of denominations, there are many diverse traditions under the umbrella term "paganism."
Novello and fellow event coordinators Sabine Green and Mahonri Telles said they would like to dispel common misconceptions about pagans and paganism. Too often, they said, and especially in the media, pagans are depicted as witches running around in heavy eye makeup.
"Paganism - some people prefer the term 'neo-paganism' - refers to a group of related ancient religions," said Green, a college instructor. "We are nature-based, we honor the elements Pagans
live a very seasonal life, we're very agricultural."
Green said Las Cruces Pagan Pride Day is one of the ways local pagans work to "dispel the myths, one person at a time."
"It's true that there are some people, mostly young people, who think 'it's cool to be a pagan or a witch' and they like the shock value," she said. "We'd like to help people move beyond the spirit of novelty to a more mature understanding of paganism."
reminded of one of my favorite passages, ever, from Ursula LeGuin. A woman importunes her ancestors for help. "Oh, it's That One. In trouble, again," the Ancestors chuckle to each other. It's what I imagine some Viking thrall saying to some settler from ancient Rus and to the barefoot old crone, the one who died lighting fires at the edge of the cave to keep the winter wolves away from the smell of placenta and mother's milk. "Oh, it's That One. In trouble, again."But I think they'll say it with a friendly chuckle.