All this crap about the Fox New segment that ‘pokes fun’ or just generally displays total ignorance about Wicca and Paganism, has me just shaking my head. In what world does getting them to issue an apology actually change anything? It’s not like you change THEIR minds. Those people, in spite of what they say, are NOT journalists; they’re not even really very educated. There is absolutely no point in trying to insert logic into the minds of people who make a living off of deliberately misunderstanding our path, our beliefs and anything to do with our lives as Pagans.
You can see the spot and some of the various and sundry reactions from the Pagan community here:http://wildhunt.org/2013/02/pagan-community-responds-to-inflammatory-fox-news-comments.html
The problem with this spot is twofold. First, it’s just plain crappy journalism. Those people would not know the proper method of critical examination of facts if those facts were to crawl up their butts and leave calling cards. There is not one single thing to be done about ignorance at that level because it’s willful, irreparable, and has very little to distinguish it from outright stupidity.
Second, we, the members of the Pagan community haven’t done such a hot job of representing ourselves. Most of the fun they poke at us would not be available if we did not provide it for their mocking pleasure. Case in point:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=inibGFQE0JU&feature=endscreen&NR=1
This is several years old of course, but the disturbing thing about it is that the ‘star witch’ and believe me I use that term loosely, has gone on to become the “Archpriestess” of a long time Wiccan Church. I will leave you to find your way to that site if you are really interested. But the fact remains is that anything Fox News can do to make fun of us pales in comparison to what members of the pagan community do to Pagans on a regular basis.
Let’s just take a look at a few things in the Reality TV Episode of "Wife Swap" starring the aforementioned “Arch priestess” (what the hell IS an arch priestess anyway? Wicca does not recognize the term. Eclectic Wicca on the other hand has a host of Christian derived terms to trot out anytime the media spotlight focuses on one of us.) First in the laundry list of damages to Wiccan and Pagan credibility is the pandering to stereotypical “Witchcraft” paraphernalia being prominently featured.
In this case, the very first thing you notice is a steaming Cauldron. While no doubt many Witches use cauldrons and they very often probably steam in just the same manner featured…it’s not something that should be trotted out for all and sundry to see. Add to that, it just looks stupid paired with the really cheesy music selected to enhance this sequence.
The second thing you notice is the whole damn family of wanna blessedbees standing out front of their home and blowing into their hands giving the film editors the footage needed to create a picture of them blowing Fairy Dust. Then there is the cheap candle trick which is included I guess to prove they are REAL Witches. Pardon me while I giggle.
The two youngest children attend public school. However the oldest is home schooled because she ‘is a free spirit’; and because she’s being trained to be a Witch. I cannot find words to express the depth of horror at the idea of not only a child being home schooled in such a way, but the idea of a child being taught the arts of magick before they understand the role emotional maturity plays in its use. It’s child abuse. It’s no better than drilling bible verses into kids in Sunday School. Corrupting the mind of a child is an act that cannot be undone. The child will most likely need years of therapy to understand that she is not to blame for the ridicule that will undoubtedly visit her for much of her life. Being featured on a reality show as a child is bad enough (I have no respect for any of them, including the Gosselins) but one that is focused on the more sensational aspects of supposed Witchcraft beliefs…poor kid. My heart just wrings for her.
Then, as the ‘star Witch’ leaves in a limo, she yells out the window in true trailer trash fashion:
“No bad magick on the new mom!” Really? It’s too bad they didn’t do some” bad magik” on you when you decided to feature them on national television as moneymakers before their age of consent.
The next incongruous statement is truly unbelievable: “I control all of your money.”
I have no words. What? Yo bitch, if you can take it you can control it. Otherwise, unless you earn it, you have no right to it. Oh my gawd there is not enough bullshit in the world to attach to that statement. The enforced slavery of her husband (estranged husband at the time of filming btw) in addition to his full time job is just…again, I have no words for the inequality and abuse. Horrible doesn’t cover it. When you choose to subjugate yourself to the authority of someone else…at least make sure that person actually deserves it. This woman is so completely devoid of anything worthy of the term ‘goddess’ that I shudder to think what she demands of her slaves now that she flaunts the title ‘Arch priestess’.
There are several shots of the outside of the family home featuring - a skull and cross bones flag? Really? The tackiness just keeps coming.
And then we get to the REAL problem as far as I am concerned:
“This is my wand, you just wave it and you talk to the fairies.”
Say what? That’s what you call using a magick wand? Really? That’s all you got? Well bippity boppity boo! Hope that works for ya. It doesn’t LOOK like you could wave your way out of a wet paper bag. The idea that THIS is what YOU, a purported REAL Witch has to say about doing magick is just…listen I’m rarely speechless, but honey you’re holding the record for how many times I’ve been rendered speechless in a hour’s time.
And then they address their version of Astral Travel…
“I’ve been to Mercury. Mercury is a very LOUD place. Kind of sounds like a fax machine.” and then later....
“Mars is the red planet.”
Holy shit. Really? Again, I have no words.
Then when the ‘new mom’ arrives, the first thing she says is:
“I don’t know how they live in all this filth”
Cut to nasty laundry and cockroaches. Hey they couldn’t use it if it wasn’t there. You did that to yourself woman. And we wonder where Fox News gets it’s ideas. Too bad they didn't get any footage of the 'house elf' NOT doing its job of cleaning. If you're capable of creating a 'house elf' to do your cleaning..you suck at it.
Then the new mom is reading from the household rules book:
“When we disagree, watch out. Fire shoots out from our finger tips…” Again…really? Just…wow.
“I am the earthly embodiment of the goddess because I am a woman.” And don’t forget that ALL of the
Wiccan High Priestesses always wear tinkerbell/elf shoes….NOT!!!! Please, girl, get yourself a stylist. And that tattoo on your forehead? Really? Just makes you look stupid. Really.
And then miss Witch Queen of the Universe utters the words:
“I felt like Cinderella all day. I come from a land where I am Queen and I have been put in all this drudgery.”
But you are being well paid for this drudgery dear. And it’s only for a week. Suck it up. Priestesses and Witch Queens do NOT whine….seriously.
Cleaning glassware is the way to break her down. This powerful goddess shudders and cries at the idea that she can’t get the glasses clean enough. Judging from the way she allowed her life to be presented, it’s probably the first time she’s ever actually cleaned anything. Surely there must be a learning curve…?
The new mom gets an ear full from one of the kids. In the world of Wicca, apparently all the children’s delusions are supported as real. She’s “really been to China and saw this big dragon with people in it.”
Good points about devaluing women, the other household is just as bad in some ways. Both sets of kids have been damaged, perhaps beyond repair.
Removing the signs of Wicca and the coven no longer being welcome was a bit overboard….but then you can’t expect non spiritual people to ‘get’ how much being Wiccan means in every day life. Not that this in any way resembles Wicca. Freakshow maybe. Wicca, most certainly not. Yeah, I’m a judgmental bitch..sue me. I call it like I see it and there’s a boatload of stupidity to remove from that household and Wicca has absolutely NOTHING to do with it.
The results opened the eyes of everyone about something, even if it was just something small like having dinner together or the other lady's husband realizing how demoralizing his expectations were. The lessons the parents learned about their children were valuable as well. I think that was the important idea behind choosing two families that were both so extreme. Doesn’t justify using Wicca as a vehicle for ratings though. Add to that the other lady's comments about rating herself lower than the family dog....you can't make this shit up.
Apparently I am not the only one who had these sorts of thoughts. This is just one of the blogs I ran across when I discovered this sacrilege:http://solitaryeclecticwicca.blogspot.com/2009/11/wife-swap-wiccan-high-priestess-vs-iowa.html
There was so much more that I could have used. But I really got tired of wasting so much time sifting through all the stuff trying to find something that DIDN’T say this woman and her idea of Wicca was so full of shit we should all be ashamed for letting HER get away with misrepresenting Wicca.
Fox News is the least of our worries, people.