“Pagans Like Shiny Things”

September 17, 2015 — 8 Comments

What's in the box

While editing some fantastic essays for a certain anti-capitalist Pagan Journal being published by a certain non-profit publisher I run, I had the rather delightful experience of listening to one of the owners of everyone’s favorite Mail-Order Sabbat’ start-up discuss the ethics of capitalism.

I’d actually felt a bit bad singling out one opportunistic entrepreneur (there’s a very long list I could have chosen from) ’till hearing that interview.  I picked a good example, I guess.

Particularly informative bits include

  • Magic doesn’t come from your surroundings but from within
  • Pagans by nature like shiny things.
  • we live in a consumable society and that’s a good thing
  • He’s not bringing Witchcraft to the Mainstream, but something from the Mainstream to Witchcraft (yay!! about time!)
  • Paganism isn’t ‘just’ buying and selling (!!!)
  • Commercialism is how community is built. (They hadn’t read this article, I guess).

And this choice quote:

You go to a store, you buy something, and you pay for it. This is the society we live in. And if you want to exclude yourself from that society, that’s fine, but don’t make other people suffice your terms.

Besides hearing echoes of ‘this is America’ on repeat (I know, I know, we’re supposed to remember September 11th….), I suspect that, when you have to say multiple times that ‘this isn’t an advertisement for our businesses’ on a two-hour interview, I think, maybe, your subconscious might be leaking.

But that was cute, anyway. And my laptop was made in Taiwan, not Bangladesh. And yes, I’ve written repeatedly about the use of coal  and oil for electricity (glad you noticed it too!  Let’s stop eating the hearts of mountain giants together!)

And those poor people who have to make all their own stuff who aren’t worried about ‘alienating the spirituality’ of objects? They’re called Animists.

And they’re awesome.

And our magic comes from the land itself and the gods, and will never come from a box. (fun starts ’round 1h10m)

8 responses to “Pagans Like Shiny Things”

  1. 

    Oh for feck’s sake…I kind of just lost some respect for Chris for running that interview on general principles (as I have not listened to it yet)…Crap.

    I love it when people give away the game, though. This just happened to me Monday, when someone who is a full-timer at the main campus of our college basically argued in such a way at a district faculty meeting that will make it harder for me to get classes, and then afterwards says “I hope you’re not offended that what I was saying directly impacts you.” Uhh…no, I’ll just thank you for speaking in such a way that guarantees my future impoverishment while you’re about to take a tenure buy-out and retire, thanks. 😦 But that’s another issue altogether…

    I was at a union leadership retreat over the weekend, and have a few interesting things to share on that. I didn’t ever imagine I’d be “big” in any union, but I kind of am now, which is good, I think. 😉

    • 

      “It’s not an advertisement!” 🙂

      Thing is, they actually end up arguing precisely the point they’re trying not to make. Their discussions about ‘the craft’ are informative, and particularly the bits about the worry regarding spirituality being commodified being a “First-World Problem” (Chris’s words) are spot-on, but not for the reasons he thinks. In fact, that’s the very root of Dis-Enchantment itself…. 🙂

      Oh…Unions. Break some arms… 🙂 Actually, would love to talk to you about my experience as a Union shop-steward. Best and worst thing I’ve ever done with my time…

      • 

        That would be very interesting indeed! It needs to be added to the list of things we need to talk about, which has been an ongoing one since the PLC! 😉 Perhaps we can make a dent or two in that list at the EBC in a week and a half, eh?

        I am about to listen to the show now…I’ll probably have more to say afterwards.

      • 

        Aaaaand…yeah. I don’t think I’ve ever heard, recently, anyone use as many words or expressions completely wrong as Hugh did in that interview. The “I’m not a capitalist, I’m a liberal” bit was especially amusing…And, the whole thing about “I’m not really religious,” but he’s got a project called “Sabbat Box”–because, you know, sabbats aren’t *really religious* things either, if all you do is practice your craft and all of your power comes from you and not from where the products you buy come from or are made. The accusation that detractors haven’t done their research and really don’t know what he’s all about, and yet he clearly doesn’t know very much about you (who I think he was pretty blatantly criticizing) but all of that information is readily available, too, is also kind of amusingly dismaying or dismayingly amusing. Crikey…

        And, the Dunning-Kruger effect also comes to mind with all of this…

    • 

      Hmm, involved in a unionizing project myself….

      • 

        Interesting! It’s actually a very Irish thing to do. 😉

        I may make that post later today, or perhaps Tuesday. I’m in between writing two academic articles at present–one is done apart from a few footnotes, the other hasn’t kicked off but shouldn’t take long as it’s been in mental process for years–so my writing juice may be going toward those things more today. We shall see…

  2. 

    I looked at that Sabbat Box thing. Just, stop. Soon there will be an app for it, I’m sure.

  3. 

    As my uncle was fond of saying, “Advertize your product’s weakness, and most folks will be fooled into believing it’s a strength.”

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