Thursday, 13 October 2016

A place, that isn't

Place marker.

Because to have links you need content, to have content you need links.

To have any presence on the internet you need to have a "Brand" with all that that entails.

My brand is Village Idiot, because I have no King to act as Jester to.


2016.10.13


Sunday, 4 March 2012

Regulating blogging in Australia

So, the Finkelstein Inquiry has recommended regulation of "news" blogs that get 15,000 hits a year. Thats a bit over 40 a day. If more that 40 people read this post, apparently that would mean this post, cross-posted with my Google+ and my facebook page, may qualify me for regulation.

Ignoring the faint sound of marching jackboots, and the dampening effect on anonymous commentary, who the hell is going to pay the armies of regulators to peer over our shoulders.

Please comment so I know if I'm at risk of being regulated for the sin of posting topical and often political material.

Saturday, 11 February 2012

Secularism AND Humanism

Secularism says basically whatever your religious position/philosophy, including atheism, it is irrelevant in the eyes of the law. Secularism does not necessarily preclude strange rituals and prohibitions, it does however stand against any group being able to impose their rituals and prohibitions on even their own members and adherents in anything but a voluntary capacity.

Humanism is the idea that just because a holy book or quasi-historical figure or leader (spiritual or temporal) says "Thou Shalt" or "Thou Shalt Not" does not carry any weight above and beyond the deliberations and decisions of rational human beings working together to create a mutually agreed set of rules by which to live. They are often traveling in the same direction but they are horses of rather different colours.

Gods in Wicca

I often explain the Wiccan "belief" in gods as like the western cultural belief in Bugs Bunny .

When I say Bugs Bunny, you have a picture in your mind, and we have communicated much ancillary matter by holding that common cultural icon in our minds. When a historian or Asatru or Marvel comic fan says "Thor" likewise there is an immediate mutual understanding (and grounds for endless dispute, discussion and exploration of the nature of that divine entity).

Individual Wiccan belief in Gods varies from a simplistic adoration of a pair of pseudo-parental Sky Fairies one Male one Female, to a non-theistic interpretation that draws strongly on the work of Jung on Archetypes. WIccans are not defined by a common doctrine, but only by a reverential attitude to nature and the place of human beings in it; acknowledgement of the power of romantic and sexual love and the duality of masculine and feminine natures; and a dual solar/lunar ritual calendar. Beyond that everything is up to individual interpretation.

Thursday, 9 February 2012

FOOs

Forces
Of
Occupation.

Doesn't matter if the Jackboot pressing on your neck is worn by an Alien Space Bat; a member of the Bananian Army; an Officer of the Special Police; a regular beat cop or some guy from the department of agriculture, once they strap on those Jackboots they become the Forces of Occupation.

Subject, Citizen, Comrade, it matters not what you used to think of yourself as, you are now just a doormat.

In the 19th Century we could look back fondly at the 18th century revolutions, but from automatic rifle to Predator/Reaper/Avenger drone the asymmetry between "we the public" no matter how well armed and military might has grown from merely overwhelming to defying quantification. The Eureaka Stockade fell to superior training and equipment deployed with the unwavering willingness of Jackbooted thugs to act in a dishonourable manner. The Spanish Civil War saw Franco's triumph in part due to provision of state of the art aircraft by the Italians and Germans and the blockade preventing similar aid reaching the Republicans.

As the 20th Century wore on, we saw the limit of oppression being only the intestinal fortitude of the oppressors. With a few horrifying exceptions, there have been limits to how cold blooded the oppressors are willing to be. Where they have acted without qualms, the atrocities have been devastating and crushing.

In the 21st Century we are forced to confront the fact that where the rule of law loses the power to protect us, the military and the increasingly indistinguishable paramilitarized police can hunt us down and kill us at whim, limited only by their willingness to accept collateral casualties and their own core humanity. The moment they take a page from the history of the SS and start executing random civilians in retaliation for resistance, we are lost.

That raises a new specter. DNA testing means that the families of resistance fighters and revolutionaries can be targeted even where there is no traditional evidence to form links. Perhaps we have reached the point where only an orphan can oppose the might of the state.

Friday, 27 January 2012

When dreams are thoughtcrime

I dream that our children will live in a world where secular and humanist democracy still exists.

A world where everyone is free to have a religion and to change from one religion to another or none at all.

Free to think, to believe, to speak and most importantly to dream.



That dream seems distant some days, unachievable others. We live in an age of dark age theofascists howling at the gates of civilization determined to tear them down. Our votes are all that stand in their way. As a wise man once said, there may not be someone you want to vote for, but there is almost always someone you want to vote against.

Wednesday, 25 January 2012

Australia Day

Well, it is Australia Day. There are things to celebrate, like Governor Arthur Phillip's formal extension of religious tolerance to Catholic transportees, his assertion of the illegality of slavery and his early attempts to treat the Aboriginal people with respect and extend to them the protection of law.

There is much to regret, from the invasion and enclosure of Aboriginal lands echoing the tragic mistreatment of the Scots and Irish before them to the disgrace of blackbirding compounded by the insult of The White Australia policy.

Australia is still, despite the efforts of some, a secular, religiously and racially and culturally diverse nation of immigrants and outcasts brought together by common belief in a fair go and honest dealing.

Each of us has much to celebrate, and much to contemplate, we can revel in our achievements without forgetting te mistakes made along the way.