Showing posts from April, 2017

Toxic Masculinity : The Problem of Brosatru

As a certain world-travelling pagan writer recently pointed out, using the phrase "toxic masculinity" can be troublesome. By using the phrase, is a speaker implying that all masculinity is toxic, or only certain types? Since I've dropped the label into both the title and will be using it throughout this post, let me define it as coherently as I can so there can be no future quibbling about what, exactly, I am speaking about.

Toxic masculinity, for the purposes of this post, is defined twofold:
(1) The behaviors, attitudes, and speech by which people of any gender or none attack (either verbally or physically) others who do not conform to a set or sets of behavior, appearance, and attitude that have been defined by certain cultures as inherently "masculine" or "male."
(2) The behaviors, attitudes, and speech by which people of any gender or none argue or imply "male" as the superior gender, and/or interact with "female" in objectify…

Havamal 20: When Misinterpretation Turns Toxic

Content Warning: Weight Shaming

Havamal 20:
A greedy bloke, unless he curbs his bend,
will eat himself into lifelong grief:
he's often derided when he comes among the wise,
a man who's a fool in the belly.
Translation - Andrew Orchard - Penguin Classics

The AFA's podcast recently decided to attempt a discussion about one of the most complex and personal topics affecting society today: obesity and weight. It went about as gracefully as you'd expect...

"A" for effort tho...

The first clue was the title, an elegant foghorn to the listener that a holier-than-thou lecture was incoming: "No Fat Heathens." Leading in with several Havamal verses, including the one above, the presenter somehow felt it was wise to dispense questionable dietary/medical advice on a podcast ostensibly dedicated to religious topics.

I don't see a benefit to a full point-by-point breakdown like some of my previous rebuttals, but there are some salient quotes that I think speak …

On Whose Authority?

Less than 20 blog posts into this mad experiment, and I've had my words shared across dozens of pages, a couple hitting views in the thousands. I've been shared to far corners of Facebook whose intersectionality with the Pagan (and specifically Heathen) audience I originally envisioned for this blog makes a game of Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon seem straightforward.

But am I someone who should be saying some of these things? They're being shared and read, so there's obviously an audience who appreciates that they're said at all, and a large majority of the feedback I've gotten has been positive.

From a certain point of view, I am practically the worst person to be sharing these thoughts, though. My upbringing was so cliché American White Bread™, it's practically an SNL skit without a punchline: White, firmly Middle Class, two parents, Christian, Private School, International Exchange Student... The list can go on, but you get the idea.

It's taken …

Story-time Saturday: The Golem

Another art-inspired fiction. Source Best source I've been able to manage. 
If there is an artist's direct page, feel free to message/comment and I will update ASAP.

     There were birds chirping somewhere nearby. The light of the late afternoon suns forced its way through the canopy into the hollow where the Golem awaited, peaceful and still. The gnarled fingers curled into dirt and stone, intimating their original form, uselessly. The stone lining the hollow had worn smooth over the years of rain and erosion, creating soft cascades of water that could have been soothing.
Or torture.       The Golem had once had a Name. It had once had a Home. The ache to feel the cool comfort of the planetary embrace far below and the lover's caress of warm breezes far above gnawed at the Golem's soul. It held on to those memories as fiercely as it had once held on to the ground below during the Storm Times.
Who is screaming?       When the young ones had first begun to grow around It lo…

The Thin Line Between Racism and Misogyny

Recently on Facebook, a popular (and very good) Mythology Page shared two sets of pictures, and the reactions to both sets were extremely telling, with one picture in particular completely blowing up in terms of reaction and comments. The first set of pictures was from an amusing calendar (which you can, and should, pick up from the original artist HERE) playing on a punny pin-up theme using the Norse Gods entitled "Dat Às." It's technically pronounced like "ace," and it means "God" or "Deity" in Norse, but you get the joke...
So we have a series of beefcake images poking fun at the Norse Gods in a lighthearted way, and the biggest push-back I can find on this page is for the following image: Do you want me to put the hammer down?!
The push-back involved a simple error on the artist's part: Using the "Ð" character for the "Th" in Thor, when it should have been "Þ". The difference is "Ð" is pronounc…

Havamal 23: Njorð Take the Helm?

23: An unwise man lies awake all night,
brooding on everything;
he's quite worn out, when morning comes,
and it's all just as bad as before Translation - Andrew Orchard - Penguin Classics
We all worry, it's a natural part of being human. Isn't it? I'm not sure. I mean, shouldn't I worry?

Seriously, the meta-worrying is stressful AF.
Every choice can bring anxiety. Is there a "right" or "wrong" choice? Often, our experience and knowledge can tell us that the answer for the majority of our choices. Running a red light, even though we're late, is a "wrong" choice, it's safe to say. But what about taking that job offer on the other side of the country? What about the comfortable, but cramped, house you can easily make payments on, but you're positive some space would grant some peace of mind? For those questions, things get significantly fuzzier. For the monotheists, it's a common response to "Let God handle it"…

Story-time Saturday: The Thief and the Guard

“Whoa,” was all that Jim Stefánson could articulate. He knew the resort lounge well enough, but something, someone, was new. He just knew saying the words in his head would jinx things. That the action would somehow guarantee that he would never be able speak to her, but he had to admit it to himself. That is probably the most beautiful woman I will ever see.
     She was being chatted up by one of the trust-fund brats that frequented the resort. The kid was decked out in the latest cold-weather fashion, some kind of camouflage pattern based on feathers, which only managed to stand out garishly against his bright red hair. Jim tried to pay attention to the kid, but his eyes drifted back to the woman as she smiled faintly at some joke the kid rattled off, sipping her drink. Her outfit looked like it was hand-crafted from one of those fabrics that only the rich could afford to know the name of. It was a modest cut, but randomly sheer in places, giving tantalizing hints of the skin …