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 So I spent the morning lurking on FB. Curiosity mostly, but also because I wanted to see if anything awful had happened south of the border yet this week.

It took all morning because the moment I opened feed I fell face first into a big pit of drama. From the venom of the childfree to abusers within the pagan community to a specific childish idiot flinging shit because he's bored again, it sucked away two hours of my life. I said nothing, but it did remind me just how much emotional energy is required to deal with the sorts of people who troll the internet begging for attention. It's similar to realizing just how many hours are in the day when you turn the tv off. 

I'm torn. I do miss my friends, but I don't miss the internet. I prefer to spend my days ​reading and wandering around in the sunshine to drowning in the neverending pit of social greed that is FB. Maybe I'm just lazy. Maybe I am rotten for caring more about my local life/community than bigger social issues. Maybe I'm just burned out. Still.

But I don't want to go back. Having finally made the leap of leaving my personal FB behind in favor of one where I can post my own thoughts without consequence, it seems easier to take that final step and walk away entirely. Part of me says that is the healthy thing to do. And maybe I will. I like it here. DW is a good place to be and think out loud. Instagram feeds my need for visual stimulation. Maybe the time for FB is done at last.

That would be nice.
 Funny how I said that I wouldn't use this place because it wasn't user friendly anymore, and yet here I am spending a good deal of my time reading the Friends' Page (wish I wish had more to read), and posting because I just don't really feel like Facebook is a place where I can be open. I am still using my new WP blog, but for short status updates, I just toss it out there into cyberspace, and while I do like getting the instant-ish feedback of FB, I don't really care if I am just talking to myself.

I don't like how FB censors people of colour more than others. I don't like how they will pull down a page for making fun of Nazis, but will not take action on the pages of ACTUAL self-described Nazis because somehow hate is not against their community standards, but calling out hate is. Screw that. FB can be for knitting, bitching about random #firstworldproblems, and surface level coordination. Anything more in depth or anything that might identify one as a target (for those of us who are able to pass) is best not put there. I hope that others of like mind are already creating safer spaces for themselves.

And while FB fuckery is at best a minor annoyance, I can't help but feel that the coming years will find it a lot more collusive with fascist ideologies than previously thought. At the end of the day, FB is a for profit company, and doing the right thing is very rarely the same as doing the profitable thing.


Nov. 29th, 2007 03:12 am
pt_tangles: (The Hermit)
I am reading the last couple of chapters of the Heart of Wicca, and I came across a sentiment that I seem to see around a lot lately. It's an explanation of Karma that seems just as short sighted as the views that the author is complaining about. I feel that I am being surrounded by the philosophy of, "We are all connected ... except when something bad happens."

I understand that extreme pacifism is distasteful to a lot of people. I also get that people who use karma or the Rede as an excuse for inaction are in for a really rude awakening one day. But, does that mean that when tragedy does strike that it is outside of karma or destiny or whathaveyou?

I really don't think so.

I know that no one likes to think that suffering is anything other than just random occurrence or as someone used to so often shout at me, 'shit just happens'. It's not tasteful to tell people who are going through hard times that their suffering very likely is for a purpose. No one wants to hear that. But, it doesn't mean that it isn't true.

To paraphrase Ellen Cannon Reed, "Being attacked is not part of the Goddess' plan." Why not? If we believe that we are all connected to one another to make up a web of life and magic, then why is it so hard to grasp the idea that not everything that happens in your life is something that revolves around you and your journey?

I have learned a lot from other people as well as my own life. I didn't need to have an abusive boyfriend or parents who threw me out on the street to see the effect it has on people.

Let's take the example of someone being beaten to a bloody pulp. Maybe it is seeing your bravery in dealing with the pain, and healing that leads someone else to illumination. Maybe it shows the orderly at the hospital that even victims of violent crime can be courageous. Maybe it finally sinks into his head that violence doesn't make you strong.

Maybe it helps the nurse find the strength to leave her abusive boyfriend, even if only by illustrating to her what is very likely in her future if she doesn't.

And maybe it shows you reserves of strength that you didn't know you had. Shows you that you can deal with something that you thought beyond your abilities, and that there is life on the other end.

Bad things happen. People are hurt, and sometimes they die. Just because things aren't pleasant doesn't mean that they aren't there to help us grow.

I think a lot of people are stuck rebelling against the idea that "God is testing you".  Even that tired platitude of faith wasn't designed to be a cop out.  It was designed to help people find the strength to move forward, no matter what was standing in their way.  Is that something that is really so terrible that it absolutely has to be false?

I believe that all life is connected.  I believe that our actions echo through the web.  And sometimes, I believe that our lives and our troubles can help to start the ripples in someone else's pond.

And I don't think that is a bad thing.
Step one is to say "I feel sad/angry/upset/powerless" rather than using the old "I am". The "I am" should be rarely used. The "I am" is reserved for those moments when we want to remind ourselves that we are whole, that we have a part of ourselves that touches the fabric of the Limitless and that we can touch this part. The "I am" is not our anger or our sadness. The "I am" is only ever about full connection.

It makes me think about when I was little, and I would run around singing 'I am' (one of my mom's favorite stories about baby Phae) ... nothing else, just that phrase. Perhaps I was having a moment of profound understanding at the tender age of 2! ~_^

Seriously though, I find the thought very beautiful. I wonder how hard it would be to change our thinking from 'I am' to 'I feel' ... perhaps it would make what we 'are' a little more stable.



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