(one of the amazon.com reviews for Subliminal Sandwich from Meat Beat Manifesto)
"Not Recommended for the Weak of Heart, July 14, 2002
Reviewer: cale1321 (see more about me) from Tacoma, WA United States
This is by far the creepiest album I have ever listened to. I have a very diverse taste of music, and am used to and welcome surprises, so when a friend who knew I liked NIN recommended this album to me, I was all thumbs! However, to my deepest dismay, I find it hard to believe that anyone who has ever left the dark, inner dwellings of their home could enjoy this 2-disc set. Complete and utter chaos was what came to mind while listening to Subliminal Sandwich, not art by any means. I prefer to stick with the more tasteful techno tunes of Chemical Bros, Fatboy Slim, Crystal Method, Prodigy and NIN, and spare myself the bitter taste of heartburn. "
"tasteful techno" hehehe...that's an insult if I ever heard one.
I'm going through this cool bookclub thing I'm a member of... QPB, quality paper backs.
They have an insane selection of new books from a huge range of sources (not a lot of sci-fi or fantasty though... but lots and lots of nonfiction) and in this month's catalogue are some books on Wicca.
I thought Raymond Buckland was a shiester when I was involved in wicca and paganism and I think he's even more of one now. How the hell is wicca a religion based on the pure forces of the natural world *and* something that requires a silver blade and a tiny goldsickle to gather herbs at midnight in order to "properly" practice it?
The setting up of altars and incense and watch towers and "magick" and coven structure are all bullshit.
If earth mother is to be honored, you can do it by walking in the grass and thinking about her and recycling.
If sky father is to be honored, you can do it by enjoying the sunny day and saying a silent thank you.
This is why I always got into arguments with wiccans over how much like catholicism their 'faith' was.
I've been told by the true believers that this is only because the early church pillaged other religions for things to adopt and ease conversion. Which is true.
Except that argument doesn't apply to Wicca, considering it isn't more than 70 years old (and from the looks of it becoming increasingly more about selling books by the Bucklands, Silver RavenWolf (who I've met... he's kind of an ass), Gerald Gardener and Charles LeLand, and retreats than actual faith)
It's a piecemeal conglomeration of many different traditions, not a coherent faith and not an evolution of an older faith. It's a *creation*. Just like scientology, though with fewer beatings... unless you're in a coven that requires use of the scourge for purication reasons. Yes, they exist. Yes, that sounds a lot like deep end christian fundamentalism.
I've never met a pagan or wiccan who wasn't an RPG freak or who wasn't the product of an abusive background.. usually both.
That doesn't make it meaningless, but it does give me pause.
The prospect of a faith that encourages the idea that you can work 'magick' on the world is *of course* attractive to people who are desperately broken.
But it's too simplistic to say that that's all it is.
I think people take it too far, just as I think people take christianity and islam and judaism too far. I adore passion and passionate people but there are limits to passion after which it's obsession or disorder (and not in the happy discord/natural chaos of life way).
ramble ramble ramble.