Miley And Why I Really Dislike This Meme


Miley Cyrus or Draco Malfoy?
Miley Cyrus or Draco Malfoy?

So, this one with Miley Cyrus has been making the rounds lately and most of the time I just ignore it but it showed up in one place where I found it particularly inappropriate and admittedly I reacted badly to seeing it there because I felt that where it was posted was not the place for this particular type of humor. But why so? Well, I would like to take this opportunity to explain and to apologize to my brother who I sort of went off on when I saw it posted there. I said some things which were inappropriate myself and I feel bad about having done so.

The comparison between Miley Cyrus and Draco Malfoy is indeed mildly humorous and I see where that might be funny. What annoys me is the wording with the particular image which was used to create this meme. Keep in mind, I look at things from a Pagan perspective, particularly from Pagan culture as I see it and it is from that perspective that I perceive things. Also, I never really kept up with Miley Cyrus during her Hanna Montana years nor am I a fan of her music. But I do remember my daughter watching the show when she was younger for awhile. What I am trying to get across is that I don’t carry any emotional baggage because I am a fan of Miley Cyrus in particular (artistically I am not) nor do I carry such baggage as a person who is utterly shocked that as she became grown she threw off the childhood persona and began to express herself as a more sexual being. No, she didn’t particularly begin to get my attention until she started making waves by challenging the social norms. I am right there with her on her views of nudity and how people react to it as she revealed in this interview with Jimmy Kimmel recently.

http://www.upworthy.com/

See, what I don’t like is that the picture shows Miley Cyrus in what appears to be a stripper pose and further enforces puritanical ideals by implying that Draco Malfoy is going through “tough times” by having to strip for a living. Understand that as far back as I can remember. Well before I even realized I was Pagan, I never could wrap my head around why being naked or working in a sex related industry necessarily had to carry negative connotations or had to be a degrading thing. Some people (a lot if they want to be honest about it) actually enjoy sex and being naked.


Many people don’t realize that our modern words gymnastics and gymnasium come from the Greek root word gymnos. Do you know what gymnos means? It means naked. The ancient Greeks, the Pagan ancient Greeks, generally stripped down naked for sporting events. The first Olympic games were held in the nude. In most Pagan societies being naked was not looked down upon in the way it is in puritanical America. It was simply a state of being, a way to be comfortable and unrestricted in movement. It is said that ancient Celtic warriors charged into battle naked when confronting Roman invaders as a means to frighten them and to show that they had faith in their gods to protect them without the need for armor. Indeed, they fought and won many fierce battles. Whether the account of them being naked in battle is true however is debatable because it comes from their enemy, Caesar himself. But in any event, most historical studies of most Pagan cultures show that they did not hold the human body in quite the same view of detest-ability that modern Americans tend to. Granted among various tribes throughout the world, Europe and the Americas included, some were proudly naked while others indeed held a more reserved view and remained clothed.

Still, I have never been able to help but wonder if places like strip clubs would have even taken off in a majority Pagan America. After all, why pay money to see something you can see just walking down the street or hanging around at the pool or beach right? The very fact that such professions even exist or are looked down upon as a means of supporting oneself is based in the puritanical view that being naked is evil, sex is dirty and to make a living that way is degrading. I find those views alien to a Pagan culture personally. That is the crux of why I find the meme and ones like it offensive. But as with most things which don’t appeal to me, I usually just scroll by such things and ignore them. It’s only when they appear in places where I have no choice but to say something about them that I generally speak up.

That’s my two cents. For what it’s worth.

 

 

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Multiple Gods? Everyone Loses Their Minds

Multiple gods as a mainstream view of the divine fell out of favor twenty centuries ago or so throughout most of the western world but for a long, long time our ancestors saw the ethereal realms of the gods as a place populated by families of divine beings with light and dark, struggle, strife, plots and twists. In other words, pretty much like the world we live in.

Say you believe in multiple gods and everyone loses their minds.
Say you believe in multiple gods and everyone loses their minds.

Polytheism makes more sense to me than a single entity that is supposed to be omniscient and omnipotent because the world is just not an orderly place where things can easily be categorized as totally good, totally evil, purely black, purely white or even sensible. Questions such as, “Why do children die of cancer?” or other variations don’t add up in a universe created and totally controlled by a single being who is all knowing, all wise and all powerful. But the chaos of struggle and strife between multiple competing forces? That makes more sense to me when I observe the world around me.

It might not be fashionable these days but some other folks I know, and myself are re-adopting the notion of multiple gods.

Seekers – What Do We Want? Shrug.

One thing I have learned so far in my less than a year as a High Priest and therefore teacher, so to speak, is a thing I have heard many elders before me utter. But sometimes we don’t see just how true some things are until we’ve been in the driver’s seat and seen it for ourselves. It is frustrating at times but I suppose it goes with the territory and provides us with opportunities to learn and grow as well. That thing I am talking about? It seems, more often than not, that Seekers come and have no real idea of what it is they are seeking or that what they think they are seeking is ever changing. But they do know that whatever it is they want, they want it RIGHT NOW! Lol! So, I was inspired to generate a meme.

Seekers want what?
Seekers want what?

But you know, I can relate to both sides of this. I’ve been the seeker not knowing what it is I want too. Sometimes I still don’t. But I think I have developed more patience over the years and learned to give gentle nudges then wait and see what unfolds. It’s sort of like tending a garden I suppose. 🙂

What’s Funny And What’s Not

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Anyone who knows me well knows that I find a lot to laugh at in this world. Humor is all around us if we look for it and my own tastes in humor can be described as what more refined and civilized people may consider crass and offensive but to each their own. Despite my love of jokes about sex, religion, world views and other things which might be controversial there are some things I do not find funny.

Mean-spirited Jokes – You know the old running gag on Peanuts cartoons where Lucy holds the football and just as Charlie Brown runs up to kick it she snatches it away and he goes flying into the air and falls on his butt? Even as a kid, the first time I saw that, I asked my parents “Why did she do that to him?” I didn’t see why that was funny. It just seemed mean. Well, I feel that way about most jokes where someone is made the victim in a cruel or humiliating way. I enjoy pranks just fine. Things where someone gets scared or put into a weird situation to see how they react. That stuff is funny to me. You know, Candid Camera type gags. But those clips of people having accidents, falling down and whatnot? I find myself cringing and hoping they are okay more than anything. It’s not funny to me when people get hurt or may have been hurt. Now, if I see that they are okay, sure it’s fine to have a good laugh then.

Body Shaming Jokes – We all have a body and they come in all shapes and sizes. I have seen beautiful people who were short, tall, skinny or fat and many things in between. I don’t like those kinds of jokes that say stuff like “Why is she wearing that? She doesn’t have the body for that.” I find such jokes cruel and a form of bullying. If you don’t like what you see, you don’t have to look. But I don’t think anyone should be shamed into fitting your idea of what a perfect body should look like. I applaud people who shake off the cultural shackles and shine regardless of what body type they have.

Racist Jokes – Enough said. It ain’t funny if it’s cruel and mean spirited. Now, I will put the disclaimer in there that there are some very talented comedians out there who can joke about our differences in a way that we can all appreciate and laugh, even at ourselves. But when it’s degrading or demeaning to someone, I am not down with that.

I do enjoy jokes about religion, even if it’s about my own religion, but I will make the same disclaimer that I made with race jokes. If they are done in a way which causes us to laugh at our differences without being degrading or demeaning it is much preferred. I like to laugh at ideas and concepts as well as people in general. We human beings can be a funny lot if you step back and look at us from a casual observer’s point of view. But those aimed at a single, individual person, are not usually funny to me. I say not usually because there are a few who I feel have brought it on themselves by being huge assholes in the public eye (Think Fred Phelps, etc.) But the ones which single someone out and are cruel in nature; the ones that sometimes people will comment on with words that would make you feel terrible if someone were to say the same things about you. Yeah, that stuff is not funny folks.

I get many forms of humor which I have noticed some people don’t usually latch on to including satire, puns, slapstick and more. But cruelty? There’s nothing funny about that to me.