Yesterday evening I attended the Building Bridges Pub Moot, which is an extension of the Toronto Pagan Conference — the goal being more community inter-connectedness, and networking.
A few comments were made yesterday which make me uncomfortable:
- We must support festivals by attending them, as a sign of support for the organisers. My question is, what if the schedule of workshops, and/or presenters are not to the liking of the majority of the “community”, should we still attend? Isn’t it much more direct to not attend and low turnouts would be a direct indicator of what people do not want?
- One cannot be considered as contributing to the community unless they attend the various festivals. I’m sorry, I don’t camp ergo I don’t go to the outdoor festivals, does that make me the equivalent of a dried up old newt useless to anyone? I don’t go to these festivals, for the most part, because of medical reasons…I will not use a port-a-potty, outhouse or a dug out hole; I will not use a portable shower; I need the bare minimum of some semblance of hygenic facilities.
- One is not contributing towards the community unless they are willing to step-up to the plate and organise something for the good of the community. There will always be leaders and there will be followers, the followers outnumbering the leaders by a huge margin. Should the community become full of only leaders? I don’t organise anything cos for the most part people are not interested in Baltic Reconstructionism, they are still working with the confines of neo-paganism which still casts circles, uses athames and chalices, handmaidens, a priest & priestess, calls the four quarters and so forth. Why should I put out the energy? I once had a Druidic Seedgroup in Toronto, but try as I might people weren’t coming even though I held open circles…now, wiccan open circles oh yeah you can get a good turnout but anything else you’d be lucky to get one or two peeps.
All of these comments I heard yesterday by speakers at the Pub Moot has made me view them in a different light. These comments, I found, border on being ignorant, intolerant and pompous. There seems to be this expectation that we need to support each other in all the different endeavours we have. But why should I if I find their businesses questionable? Why should it be automatically expected of me? My inability to camp isn’t just confined to me, but to many others…. are we unacceptable because we don’t make an “effort”?