Bigfoot and Plato and Witches, Oh My!

People repeat these crappy attitudes because, in their world, it works for them. They get something out of it.

They can hang out with people exactly like themselves, and snicker at those of us who are not like them – even as they distribute food to those of us less fortunate. And yes, for the record, we do see you snicker, we do get the condescending tone of your voice, and bless you too.

Right, so what really brought this tirade on? Recipes. And Halloween.

First, the recipes. I was looking at recipes so I can plan my monthly trip to the dreaded grocery store.

Side note: Food stamps, and struggling to get groceries onto the shared-ride van I take to and from the store does not a pleasant outing make – if not for the physical drain, for the emotional one every time I get the stink-eye from Mrs. Perfect Blogger for buying organic food. Because she “can’t afford such luxuries”.

Better we po’ folk just eat high-salt, high-fat stuff like the boxed mac and cheese, white bread, and canned vegetables people donate to the food banks. But you know what? Try buying a lot of that unhealthy stuff and you get the stink-eye from Ms. Perfect New Age Blogger. Can’t win.

But I digress, again…

As I was reading recipes, I began to notice something that pissed me off more than the profiles of the so-called recipe mavens:

They were plagiarizing at an alarming rate. I don’t mean, “copying recipes” – after all, how many ways can you make a ‘dump cake’, anyway? No, I mean verbatim introductions to recipes, like how Brandee and her husband Richard (last name….naw, too easy) love Chinese food SO much that Brandee figured out how to make sweet and sour chicken that tastes just like the restaurant kind.

In fact, I saw this sweet and sour recipe introduction so often that I actually tried to track down the original writer so I could tell her what was going on. I couldn’t find her. Either this woman is writing many blogs using many different names, or people just don’t see anything wrong with copying/pasting/publishing someone else’s work. When I started looking at other “familiar” recipes, I found the same thing.

The only thing that surprises me about it is how someone has the nerve to do this in such a public manner. No doubt they figure the internet is such a huge space that they won’t get caught. Because “getting caught” is one of the biggest fears people like this have.

Volunteer at the food bank? Of course! Otherwise I might “get caught” not doing something my pastor/priest/next-door-neighbor expects a “good Christian” to do.

Take my kids trick-or-treating? Of course not! Otherwise, I might “get caught” doing something that my Bible study group considers ‘satanic’.

And on and on it goes. The concept of having your own set of values seems to be lost on people like this. In a way, it’s sad – ok I don’t really think it’s sad, because as pathetic as I think people like this are, I am getting pretty tired of hearing them talk about non-Christians “having no moral compass”.

This brings us to the second cause of this rant – Halloween.

This time of year it’s especially bad for people like me. There’s no point in attempting to explain the origins of Halloween to Mrs. Perfect Blogger and her friends, and Goddess help you if you then tack on Christmas to that as well. They won’t believe you. Period.

This time of year is a celebration for some of us, the end of harvest and the beginning of winter. Pagan New Year. A time when we honor those who have passed. A night when our kids can go out and get candy for free! And when Mom can dress as herself and not get grief about it.

To have people lecture you on your beliefs – especially from a group who seems to be almost constantly screaming that they are denied religious freedom – is not only rude, it’s intolerant and highly annoying.

Yet another side note: No, I do not think ALL Christians are like this – in fact, I think it’s a very loud minority. Most Christians, and most recipe bloggers, for that matter, are very nice people who are just rolling along in life like the rest of us. 

And yes, I think some pagans, especially those who manage to get on TV (usually on ghost hunting shows, or as the token pagan on a news story about Halloween), can be so obnoxious, intolerant, silly, theatrical, and straight-up wrong about the origins of paganism that it makes me cringe.

But to continue my rant…

Every Halloween-time when I was working, I was asked stupid questions about the difference between satanism and Wicca (go look it up), and told I “seem so nice” for someone “without a moral compass” (ie, for someone who doesn’t read the Bible). Yes, people have actually said that to me (and behind others’ backs) – in PA as well as in MS and TN.

I was routinely given “goth” patients/clients because, believe it or not, therapists were afraid of them. Sometimes the psychiatrist attempted to label a goth client’s beliefs as pathological, and you can imagine how well this went down with me in treatment team meetings.

If I spoke up, it inevitably would lead to questions or assumptions about my own belief system. If I didn’t speak up, the patient would be labeled with a mental illness I didn’t think he/she had (psychosis, for example). So guess what I did, every time?

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