Sunday, April 8, 2012

A Rose by Any Other Name

So it's Easter, another of those usurped pagan holidays which the Roman Catholic church decided to make it's own in order to make Christianity more palatable to their various converts.

Eggs, a millenniums old symbol of eternal life always renewing itself, have been decorated since long before an insignificant Bedouin tribe left off it's wandering to follow their goat herds and settle in the Sinai valley.  They were considered sacred to various of the mother goddess figures of several cultures, ranging from Isis of the Egyptians to Ishtar of the Babylonians to Ostara of the Norse. 

Rabbits, with their excruciatingly quick reproductive cycle, are another of those ancient pagan symbols of fertility and renewal which were held to be sacred to various mother goddess types.

The Spring festivals associated with the various goddesses always fell around the Vernal (spring) Equinox - which just happens to also coincide with the Judaic Pasch (Passover) celebration commemorating the Israelis leaving slavery in Egypt. 

Is it any wonder, really, that Ramses II was reluctant to allow the Israelis to migrate at that point?  The floods had passed and spring planting was about to get under way.  Losing a good half of your work force right at that point, in an agrarian culture, is disastrous in and of itself.  Forget plagues, etc - just the lack of manpower to till the fields and sow that year's crop is going to almost certainly guarantee Famine come harvest time - when you'll need that same work force to get the spring planted crops in from the fields and into the grain silos.  No ruler in his right mind is going to willingly let go of a free (slave) labor force large enough to keep his entire country fed for the following year in those circumstances.  He (or she) would be extremely unwise to even Consider allowing it. 

So, jump ahead a couple hundred years and several generations, and you get to one Joshua Ben Joseph, more commonly called Jesus of Nazareth.  Typical Jew, in town to celebrate the Passover with all his Jewish buddies, like all good Jews did at the time (and still do, I'm assuming, since I've never put a lot of time into studying Judaism but it's a marked holiday on the calendar.)  He gets whacked, his followers - all good Jews - continue to observe the Jewish high holy days of Passover and the Feast of Unleavened Bread - for a couple hundred More years. 

By then, the Church has gained acceptance as something other than a minor (and somewhat heretical) Jewish sect, gained Political power, and is nearing the point when it's going to start forcibly converting "barbarians" and "heathens" who happen to Not follow this originally minor desert tribal god.  Go a few more years, and they're taking over the still celebrated holidays of their converts, renaming them, attaching their own religious significance to those dates in the form of feasts for various revered church elders (saints) and ignoring the fact that "their" holiday is not "theirs" at all - but a completely pagan celebration which the founders of their religion considered to be abominable, detestable, and completely no-go for celebrating. 

After all, if you follow Only One God - who is supposed to be THE ONLY god - what are you doing taking part in celebrations which, through the centuries, were specifically to venerate and pay homage to OLDER gods, And Goddesses??  It doesn't matter how much you attempt to place your own significance on the celebration - not when you retain the rights of other deities, and simply stick a new name on them.  Remember Shakespeare?  "A Rose by any other name... " etc? 

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

I just have to Rant for a bit about this recent BS in Florida

I'm not now, nor have I ever been, a racist of any stripe.  I truly don't care whether you're black, white, brown, bronze, yellow, or green with little pink and blue polka dots all over you - if you're a decent person, you're a decent person.

I could also give a flying flip about what particular flavor of religion you happen to follow - whether of the Abrahamic traditions (Judaism, Christianity, or Islam) one of the Eastern religions (Tao, Buddhism, Hindu, etc) one of the various revived pagan faiths (Wicca, etc) or even no path at all as an Atheist.  As long as you don't shove it down My throat in an attempt to convert me to what you believe is the "one true way," we'll get along fine even if what we individually believe is diametrically opposed.

I don't care what your gender is.  Born with an innie or an outtie, that's your business unless you're figuring on sleeping specifically with Me.  Hell, born with both or none at all, or physically one but emotionally the other is fine by me as well, as long as you aren't a militant asshole about it.

Where, when, and with whom you Use your gender is Also not my problem, nor my business - again, I don't care what you came equipped with or what your partner preferences are, unless it's Me (or my boyfriend) that you're planning on attempting to use it With.  You can sleep with men, women, or consenting extraterrestrials and selections from the produce section for all I care, as long as they're of legal age and have agreed to it - and you don't try to force Me to "accept you" as you are.  I'll accept you just fine as long as you keep your bedroom business to yourself.  (Unless you're asking me to hold the camera for amateur video, and I'm getting a piece of the profit when you sell same - then it's all negotiable!)

Now that I've gotten That out of the way, let's get on to the Real Meat of this particular enraged rant, shall we?

STFU about poooooor widdle Treyvon Martin getting his ass shot.  I'm sick of hearing about it - not just from a very obviously biased media and government, but from people who could, quite honestly, give a flying shit about Martin, his grieving family, or what happened.  NONE OF US know what Really happened.  NONE OF US is in a position to cast a Judgement on this particular case at this point.

Read The Constitution, people.  Innocent until PROVEN Guilty.  Learn what it means.  It does NOT mean "judged by the media before the investigation is over, proclaimed guilty to the public so that opinions are swayed and an IMPARTIAL jury can hear ALL THE FACTS that are uncovered During investigation."

It sure as shittin doesn't mean "cover only the kinds of cases that will incite more racial hatred and can be overly sensationalized by selective retelling of the facts, use of out of date photos, and teary eyed mommies so that people are angry and more stupid than usual."

Where is the government - or Public - outcry against the New Black Panther leader who offered a Bounty on Zimmerman?  When are charges going to be filed against Him?  Can we say "conspiracy to commit murder for hire"?  I knew we could.  This is a guy who is Very Obviously racially motivated to commit hate crimes - illegal in and of itself - and who is advocating same to the public - and no one seems to give a flip that what He's doing is illegal, and potentially dangerous to a large segment of society.

Where's the media - or Public - outrage when it's a black shooting another black, a white shooting another white, an Hispanic shooting another Hispanic - or a black or Hispanic shooting a white?  It happens Every Day, in pretty much Every Major City in the US, at all hours of the day and night, and in some neighborhoods multiple times a night.  I don't hear any outcry about it.  I'm not seeing any media coverage calling for criminal indictments and convicting people in public opinion, ruining any chance of a Fair and Unbiased trial by jury about any of Those killings.  I'm not seeing the accused having their photos plastered all over TV in every state, demanding that something be done about the violent psychopaths.  Oh Wait - if they were to do that to every case, that's all they'd ever get around to reporting, since it happens so damned frequently that no one even stops to think about Those grieving families any longer, or give a shit about the escalation of violence and racial tension.

Let's take a look at a few things here, concerning This SPECIFIC case, shall we?

The photos being shown frequently of Martin, the dead 17 year old, show a fresh faced kid of about 12 or 13.  They aren't recent.  All of the RECENT photos of this guy which have come out at all show a young man dressed as a thug, flashing gang signs at the camera.  The photos of Zimmerman, who pulled the trigger and shot this kid are also old - an admitted by the media old photo of Zimmerman at a much younger age, after a run in with police, wearing jailhouse oranges and looking (to me) to be both hungover and rather petulant.  The petulant I can understand - no one Ever looks their best in a mug shot, whether it's caused by something like armed robbery or getting picked up for a traffic ticket.

People change.  Sometimes they change for the better, and sometimes they become worse.  Either one has an equal chance of taking place.  Some people respond to social, financial, or circumstance pressures well and become stronger people due to those pressures, and some use those pressures as an excuse to flush themselves down a figurative toilet and abrogate their personal responsibility for what they do or how they act.

Treyvon Martin may once have been a fresh faced innocent 12 or 13 year old.  He may still have been a good kid.  OR, he may have been a good kid while around his family, all while trying to be a tough guy and look/act like a thug so that his friends thought he was "cool" when mommy and daddy weren't watching directly.  We don't know, unless we personally live in the area where these people live and know them personally.  We can't necessarily take mom and dad's word for it that this kid was some upstanding boyscout type - he might have been, but there's at least a 50/50 chance that his parents were wrong and refuse to see what their kid was, like most of us who are parents tend to do at some point along the line when are spawn are being unholy little shits.  Only the people whom Martin hung out with know the truth about what he was like when his family wasn't around - and at this point, with all the media crucifiction that's already taken place, I have to ask myself if they would be 100% honest about the kid if they were asked directly.

Zimmerman had been in trouble at least once.  Unless we've examined the man's police record for ourselves, we don't know whether it was only once, or multiple times - nor what, exactly, he's ever been in trouble For.  He could be exactly what the media is trying to paint him as in public opinion - a bad seed with a criminal record, dangerous to the rest of humanity, and looking for an excuse to be violent that particular night.  OR, he could be some poor schmuck who got into a fist fight one night at a bar, and ended up in jail for the weekend with a drunk and disorderly charge against him that is so far in his past as to be simply an embarassing incident from when he was much younger - while he's now a hard working husband and father, living in not the best neighborhood because times are financially tough all over the country and that's the best he can afford for his family, with a determination to keep himself, his family, and his neighborhood a safe and relatively decent place to live.  Again, we have no way of know which is the actuality, unless we live in Florida, in that neighborhood, and know the guy personally and what he's like when not being villianized by journalists. 

At least Martin's family has been interviewed by the media for how they personally perceived the kid- I have yet to see anyone interviewing Zimmerman's family to ask them on national networks what he's like, or giving them equal time for Their outrage, Their tears, Their fears over all this.

A lot of the outcry against Zimmerman comes not from knowledge of the actual circumstances that night - it stems from the media portrayal of him as a violent man with a criminal  history, showing his old police mug shot.  Well, that in combination with it being Politically Correct to be outraged about the partial facts and scanty details that we're given by the media about an ongoing investigation into a possible criminal act.  No, not outraged because we're only given partial facts - outraged at what those few facts detail when spun by the major news networks into something that can easily be sensationalized.  If folks were outraged because we only have partial facts and biased coverage, I'd understand it - and even agree with them.

People are lemmings as a whole, and far to prone to jumping on the outrage bandwagon without knowing all there is to know about a case these days, making them collectively unfit to do their civic duty and sit on an impartial jury to pass judgement on a peer.

Not everyone who's had a mug shot taken after a brief run in with the law is a hardened criminal who is dangerous to society or prone to unwarrented killing.  Let's face it - you can go to jail over a lot of petty, minor things that run the gamut from forgetting to get your tag and insurance renewed on your car and then speeding, to being drunk in public, to doing something serious like robbing a bank or going on a mass killing spree.  When  you're being booked into jail to wait and see the judge (and yes, you Can be booked into jail over traffic tickets, as who should know better than myself, who Has sat in jail over traffic tickets!) the police do the same things to you that they do to multiple crime recidivists who are going back in for the 15th time that they've been caught committing burglary, or after a lengthy investigation into a string of serial killings. 

You're searched, cuffed, taken to the police station, your mug shot taken, finger printed, issued jail house oranges to wear, your own clothes and such are checked in and locked away and you sign a paper that verifies what is in the bag of your belongings, you get your phone call (do yourself a favor, call a room mate or friend or relative who can get the ball rolling on bail and a lawyer, unless you don't have such - because you can't afford to waste that phone call!) then you're escorted to a cell that may or may not have other people in it, who may or may not be the kind of hardened criminal that you aren't.

While the US has it's fair share (or more than it's fair share) of recidivists who are chronic repeat offenders, it also has it's share of folks who never see the inside of a jail cell a second time after that first minor bout of oops with the law.  There are even plenty who go straight after multiple or a major oops with the law, who actually learn their lesson eventually - that society will not tolerate certain types of behavior.  While we have a lot of truly outstanding young adults, who are responsible upstanding citizens that will go far, we also have a growing percentage of teens and young adults who are violent, racially motivated little thugs that mistakenly think being ghetto and acting like a "gangsta" are where it's at.  I see far to many of them on any given night at work - and some of them are my fellow employees.

We don't know where Zimmerman OR Martin fall within the possible spectrum, and until ALL of the facts are heard, it's not Possible for us to know.  So until we do, why don't yall collectively sit down, shut up, turn off the TV news coverage of what's going on in the investigation of the case, quit making snap judgements about guilt or innocence, and give the police an opportunity to finish their investigation and take the case to trial before finding this guy Zimmerman to be a guilty devil, or Martin to have been an "innocent" victim.  Hmmmm?  Can we do that?