Sunday, September 7, 2014

The Magic of Control, or Nagging Spells

I can be a bit of a nag about things. This bothered me for a long time because I thought it was a flaw in me.

Then, I saw an article stating that nagging is what you do when people don't listen the first time. That statement turned my perception around of how I saw my constant reminding/pleading/yelling for my family to get their chores done/put things away/clean up after themselves.

I am a nag. And here's an example of why:
If the dishwasher doesn't get emptied, it can't get loaded, so the sink fills up and I can't get kids drinks of water or scrub out the cast iron skillet, which I need to use to brown meat for taco cornbread muffins, which bug and stormie take for meals, so they don't have good lunch options, so they buy lunch for three times the price, spending money we can't afford (on our super-tight budget), so we can't save as much and we can't go on vacation.
If the laundry doesn't get rotated, it starts to smell and we have to run it again, which uses up time, soap and electricity, which raises our basic costs, so now we can't do the state fair.

I wish I was exaggerating, but we actually have that tight of a budget. And I've seen it spiral out of control, costing us hundreds in extra spending or (gah!) bank fees. All because one chore wasn't done in a timely manner.

See, I do a bit of kitchen magic. I use cooking as a way of maintaining our prosperity. And it works.

But the kitchen is small and needs to be kept clean and organized. The rest of the house, too. We schedule our lives closely, not out of a need for control, but out of a desire to take control.

See, we have goals and wants, and some resources, but little money. To be able to travel to Heathen Sumbels & Blots, Pagan festivals and gatherings... to do any of this, we have to make it work.

And we do. Often.

It takes feeding the family on less money. It takes scheduling things to get medical appointments done when we are already travelling to that city 200 miles from home. We have 15 minutes to get this done or we lose our window of opportunity. We have $5 to last us a week.

And we can do it. We *have* done it. We want this prize, we will Get. It. Done.

And I nag because I'm the big picture seer, the planner, the orchestrator who gleans knowledge and plans an entire week and squuezes pennies just so my kids can go to an event we would otherwise not be able to swing. Or scrimps for years so hubby can get a fishing license.

I am a benevolent dictator. I am a parent. I am a witch.

Let's do this.

Monday, April 14, 2014

The Let-Down & the Warning

This is in response to a discussion. It started with the suggestion that there be a website resource that would provide both contact information for vendors, performers and speakers, and rating and reporting for the same people.
From Web of Trust

While there were some good suggestions (branching into even more groups of people) and some great support, there was also the couple of responses that were less thrilling.

One type of this response was the compromise response: we should keep it local; we should keep it locked/inaccessible. All saying, "We should take this things teeth before it can actually make a difference."

The other type of this response was the defense lawyer (as far as I know or can tell, none of these responders are actually at all familiar with the legalities of this situation): someone might sue; be careful of libel/slander; you want to protect yourself.

So, to this discussion, I say: 
I live 50 miles from the nearest official pagan anything, 200 miles from most of our activities, 400 miles from the closest major festival. How local do I need to be before I'm allowed to know if my children will be safe? Kenny Klein and many others travel the country, if not the world. How does "local" keep organizers in any kind of loop for being even in a position to know that something is a possibility?

There are lots of Pagans that talk behind backs. Someone might sue for libel/slander. When did Paganism become the religion of the fearful? When did doing what's right to protect and defend our fellow humans become too risky? When did protecting children turn into a a slanderous act?

I'm begging someone to explain why raging BNPs and lying gossips have more rights then abuse victims do?
Lady Liberty League's Logo
Let me be clear on this. From my (admittedly laymen) research, libel and slander simply do not apply when reporting a complaint. Making an accusation is a whole different game. This is saying, "A person made this statement about BNP Such-n-such."Adding that legal statements were made, or charges were filed, or a conviction was made, are all reporting, not the statement that could support an accusation of slander. (Or libel, cuz it would be in print.) BNP Such-n-such can threaten to sue all they want, but reporting like that doesn't give them anything to sue about. That's why you can't sue a newspaper for mentioning the arrest report of your DUI.

As far as the complaints go, I would like to see better, more comprehensive complaint procedures across the board. How do you document it so it doesn't come back and bite you? What should you report as an event organization? What MUST you report as an event organization? How do you go about making or forwarding legal complaints to the legal system? Who do you make or forward them to?

Officers of Avalon Logo
We, as a community, have two (that I can think of right now) organizations that would be ideal for setting up such a system: The Officers of Avalon and the Lady Liberty League. We should be using these resources and working to set up a system. Why? Because we do not want to become the pedophile joke that the Catholic Church has become. We don't want that reputation, and our current course, guided by fear of someone important getting their feelers hurt, puts us right there in creepy-ville.

We NEED a reporting system. One that is as fair and unbiased as possible, but one that is easy to use, easy to access, and easy to update. We NEED to keep track of these things, because it has just been proven that one person can cut a huge swath of harassment and abuse across the entire country and over the course of decades. We need to put on our big kid panties and take responsibility for the environment that we have worked so hard to create. We've done well, but now we need something more.

To those who fight this movement, who say that there's a reason not to do this, that there is too great a chance for abusing whatever system we set in place, that we've worked too hard to create a culture of sexual freedom and positivity... To all of those people, I am telling you now: your arguments make me want to look closer at why you want to keep this stuff in the shadows, at what you might be hiding and how your behavior might be hurting others. And stay away from my kids.