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PostPosted: 11 Aug 2008, 18:40 
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Grand Poobah
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from here.

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A Phenomenon of Evil
admin on August 7th, 2008
I once took my family to a Renaissance Festival. Something that seemed perfectly innocent to me. It was meant to be edifying to my children. A chance to see knights joust, some crafts, and art work being done, story telling, etc.

We walked about and watched the folks in costumes. We explored the booths and participated in the low-tech entertainment. The kids enjoyed the glass blowing and the dress up. Mostly the dress up, until the knights came out and clashed. That was the highlight of their day.

I sensed something amiss. Wouldn’t there have been a ton of religious walking about, a bishop with his entourage riding through. Where was Friar Tuck? There wasn’t even a hint that there was religion in the middle ages let alone that the Renaissance was born of Christendom.

But it wasn’t just that, the whole fair was tinged with blatant paganism. There were fairy themes and there was a Magick and Herbs shop. All kinds of bric-a-brac was for sale with dragons and warlock imagery.

We stopped to listen to the minstrels. The music was bawdy and low. Most of the people who seemed to regularly come there, dressed up as they were, wore something that was closer to modern goth than mainstream middle age. The clothing shops that catered to the renaissance regulars sold tight-fitting, lace up sexiness.

It was just off. I was getting more uneasy and was glad that the joust was over and we could head for the car. We walked by the Magicks and Herb place again and I looked at the shop. The sales girl looked at me a little too coquettishly. It was blatant come-hither. I looked away. I felt a sudden unnaturalness and the drone of the crowd suddenly had a coherence. Normally, I don’t hear what people in a crowd are saying, bad hearing. It’s all a jumble. But now there were sentences or phrases framed for my hearing. A palpable presence of evil had unmasked itself and was talking to me through the crowd. It was asking me why I was there. And making threats.

And it followed me, as the crowd moved by, a new voice would emerge. It was scary. I didn’t run. I prayed. And I led my kids and my wife to the exit.

As we got to the exit it disappeared. Not a vision, just a coalescence of evil. It used people the way a musician uses an instrument.

I often wondered looking back if this wasn’t some moment of craziness. But I don’t think so. Could it be that the pagan/neo-pagan is evil’s firmament? Are those living in mortal sin easily or commonly possessed? When the neo-pagan numbers get large enough, will the devil hold back? I don’t think so.


Unsettling to me.

Thoughts?

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PostPosted: 11 Aug 2008, 21:03 
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Garden Goddess
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some people only see what they want to see.
hear what they want to hear.
He was convinced that it was evil and thats what he experienced. The mind is powerful indeed.

I have never been to a Ren Fair but they sound fascinating.

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PostPosted: 11 Aug 2008, 23:59 
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I think Otter hammer, nail, head. The title of the article says it all. And to stretch my metaphor to its elastic bounds: when what ya got is a hammer...everything starts to look like evil.

It's entertainment. Plus, most of the fantastic, the very American romanticism of the mediaeval era and Middle Ages are steeped in this very dread fantasy. The fair folk, bards lilting through forests, knights & dragons. Ren Faire is about giving people what they want and they really do not want a vision of peasants starving while the royalty and religious ride their high horses through town squares. (Yes, I'm being snide.) They want fairy princesses, beneficent kings, dark knights, and the triumph of love over evil.

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PostPosted: 12 Aug 2008, 12:47 
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If it makes the blogger feel any better, our local Ren Faire has a group of regular attendees who play the role of Puritans. They are always very much in character, glowering and clicking their tongues at all the merrymaking and bright colors. One year they called my sister a "slattern" and demanded she cover her hair. (She responded by tossing her hair over her shoulder at them as we passed--lots of fun!) But this group is exceptional--for most people, the idea of taking "ultrareligious party pooper" as your Ren Faire persona does not appeal.

On another note, the only way you could get the idea from a Renaissance Faire that "paganism is evil's firmament" is if you already believed it to begin with, so--dude, stop acting like you just had some amazing spiritual insight when all you did was confirm your preexisting neurosis.

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PostPosted: 12 Aug 2008, 15:30 
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Grand High Lord Admiral of Hell
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You know what I noted in there? Oh sure, the writer noticed the 'lack' of religiosity and thus equated it with evil. And that horrible 'come-hither' look ... salesfolk -never- try to entice people into their shops if they aren't evil, right? :twisted:

AND with it not being 'historically correct'. If one starts down that route, you could ask where the lepers and plague victims were, and perhaps, why there were so many elderly about ... :cheeky:

I also found it mildly funny that the writer seemed to expect that it wasn't a 'for fun' thing, but rather a 'living history' sort of thing ...

But, it had all those alluring hallmarks of the Christian perception of Pagan Evil (tm) - laced-up sex, merriment, a lack of Yahweh-based symbols, and 'magick' ... How did these not get noticed until after the joust?

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PostPosted: 13 Aug 2008, 15:42 
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Lace-up sex, merriment, immorality-- and he had a bad time?


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PostPosted: 25 Aug 2008, 16:04 
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Otter wrote:
some people only see what they want to see.
hear what they want to hear.
He was convinced that it was evil and thats what he experienced. The mind is powerful indeed.

I have never been to a Ren Fair but they sound fascinating.

Agreed, all three points.

I also agree with some later points about the way the negative aspects of the period aren't included. Maybe we should be aware of that negative side, but that's no reason to ruin the role-playing. Because that's all they are doing, afaics. Very cool period, pre-mechanist (that's an obscure reference related to my handle, btw), and it deserves a celebratory fair. In My Opinion. I'd love to participate.

But the quote in the op was interesting anyway. Imagine feeling what the author felt.


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PostPosted: 25 Aug 2008, 16:07 
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Wow, i m o (no spaces) was changed to In My Opinion, complete with caps. My opinion deserves no caps. I'm new here, but fucking fix that.


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PostPosted: 25 Aug 2008, 17:37 
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Garrett wrote:
Wow, i m o (no spaces) was changed to In My Opinion, complete with caps. My opinion deserves no caps. I'm new here, but fucking fix that.


Really, it's no reflection on you ... We've got a bunch of internet shorthand that posts in longhand. The capitalization is to indicate not only the shorthand that was changed, but also that a change was made. :salute:

However ... if you've got some design input, pop it in the Oracle or PM me about joining the Magrithean Workers group ... :wink:

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PostPosted: 25 Aug 2008, 20:29 
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Hex wrote:
Garrett wrote:
Wow, i m o (no spaces) was changed to In My Opinion, complete with caps. My opinion deserves no caps. I'm new here, but fucking fix that.


Really, it's no reflection on you ... We've got a bunch of internet shorthand that posts in longhand. The capitalization is to indicate not only the shorthand that was changed, but also that a change was made. :salute:

However ... if you've got some design input, pop it in the Oracle or PM me about joining the Magrithean Workers group ... :wink:

Okay, Hex. I Won't Argue With You On This Point Since You Make So Much Sense. Love You Man, Okay?


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PostPosted: 25 Aug 2008, 20:30 
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Grand Poobah
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Our 'Town Hall' (Magrithean Workers) is hidden and request/invite only. You want to participate, feel free.

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PostPosted: 25 Aug 2008, 20:56 
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Garrett wrote:
Okay, Hex. I Won't Argue With You On This Point Since You Make So Much Sense. Love You Man, Okay?


I feel it ... :love4:

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PostPosted: 25 Aug 2008, 23:23 
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Quote:
But now there were sentences or phrases framed for my hearing. A palpable presence of evil had unmasked itself and was talking to me through the crowd. It was asking me why I was there. And making threats.


LOL! :lol:

Oooh, the Ren Faires Ive been to, I always had an uneasy feeling. Thank god this fucktard explained it all for me.

I must pray for my soul now. :confused2: Bye yall.


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PostPosted: 26 Aug 2008, 04:35 
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magdlyn wrote:
Quote:
But now there were sentences or phrases framed for my hearing. A palpable presence of evil had unmasked itself and was talking to me through the crowd. It was asking me why I was there. And making threats.


LOL! :lol:

Oooh, the Ren Faires Ive been to, I always had an uneasy feeling. Thank god this fucktard explained it all for me.

I must pray for my soul now. :confused2: Bye yall.

Most of your post is obviously kidding. But did you really get an uneasy feeling? I guess not.


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PostPosted: 26 Aug 2008, 05:57 
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In one sentence he's complaining about it not being realistic (the lack of religieux), and in the next he's complaining about it being too realistic (the songs were bawdy).

One would think he could be consistent, at least.

Rob

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