Top Story: It seems like every time I think I’m done mentioning the antics of Jonathon “The Impaler” Sharkey, that subject of documentary filmmakers, and founder of the “Vampyres, Witches, and Pagans Party”, somehow manages to do something even more extreme and ill-advised to gain press attention. After recently landing in jail for threatening the judge who was overseeing a case than involved Sharkey harassing an under-aged girl, he’s now at the center of a drama involving another under-age girl, whom he helped run away from home and is/was proposing to marry as soon as she reached the age of consent (she’s 16 currently).
“In an e-mail to the Red Wing (Minn.) Republican Eagle newspaper, Brewer insisted the decision to join Sharkey was her choice. “I pretty much told Jonathon either he come meet up with me or I would walk to New Jersey on my own,” she wrote, referencing Sharkey’s native state. But Collins said police do have some concerns about the man who in 2009 was convicted of harassment in Olmsted County after a Rochester, Minn., teen broke off an online relationship with Sharkey. “Anytime you have a 44-year-old man hooking up with a 16-year-old, there’s a concern,” Collins said.”
Yes, men in their 40s trolling the Internet looking for under-age brides is “concerning”. Sharkey posted a video on Youtube that accused Paige Brewer’s mother of hitting her, and detailing their plans to marry and have kids as soon as Paige is of age.
However, despite the threatening montage of Sharkey hitting a punching bag, and detailing his plans of judicial revenge once he’s “king” of Minnesota, Brewer was taken into custody yesterday after an arranged meeting with social services. No charges are currently being filed against Sharkey, but he is being questioned by police.
I think we’ve reached a point where those covering Sharkey’s exploits need to acknowledge that he’s not some jokey vampire-witch punchline any longer, but a criminal who has shown a pattern of having inappropriate, and sometimes threatening, interactions with young girls. A rational man, when confronted with a teenager who claims to have been abused, would go to social services first, not try and marry them. A sane man would understand that this behavior is the behavior of a predator, not a loving individual. I can only hope that something is done before yet another troubled teenager falls into his all-encompassing delusion.
In Other News:
Post-PantheaCon Ponderings: It’s been a few days since PantheaCon in San Jose, and we’re starting get some reflections and round-ups from participants. First, Thorn Coyle discusses the blurry distinctions between “serious seekers” and “party Pagans” at the event, finding that perhaps such divisions aren’t productive.
We all have our own journey to the sacred within. Who am I to say that one person’s journey is less serious than my own? Trust me, I’ve done my own fair share of carping about people whom I want to respect but who’s methods, outlook, or “fruits”, I don’t quite understand or may even disagree with. But I simultaneously have to admit to myself that I simply cannot know the core state of their hearts and souls. Unless they come to me for advice, I simply must say, “their path belongs to them” and then decide whether or not I want to lend time and energy to that relationship or not. What I cannot do is decide definitively whether or not their search is “serious.”
Meanwhile, Gwion Raven explored what the “back to basics” theme really meant this year, Cosette gives a first-timers perspective and says some nice things about me, Lupa discusses her Bear Performance Ritual, the COG NPIO blog says some nice things about my talk, Frater Barrabbas discusses some of the more ritual magic-focused events, Frater POS discusses his class at Pantheacon, Stella of Revealing had some interesting insights concerning my talk, Donald Michael Kraig has a few interesting Pantheacon-related posts you should read, and Erynn Laurie has several posts concerning her PantheaCon adventure. If you have some PantheaCon related thoughts or wrap-ups you want to share, please leave a link in the comments.
The Invisibility of Vodou: Samuel Freedman at the New York Times looks at the bad and uneven press Haitian Vodou has gotten since an earthquake devastated the country on January 12th. The core of Freedman’s essay is how reporters and editorial-writers have overlooked the centrality of that faith in Haiti.
“Crude and harsh as Mr. Robertson’s words were, he deserved a perverse kind of credit for one thing. He actually did recognize the centrality of voodoo to Haiti. In the voluminous media coverage of the quake and its aftermath, relatively few journalists and commentators have done so, and even fewer have gotten voodoo right.”
It’s actually interesting how much of his column echoes a good portion of my coverage here at The Wild Hunt. I say this not to brag, but as a vindication of the fact that this issue of Vodou in Haiti is an important one that deserved more attention and understanding than it generally received from the mainstream media. I’m glad that more reporters are picking up on these threads.
Bob Barr Isn’t Making Friends: On Wednesday I mentioned how former Libertarian candidate and Republican Senator Bob Barr has reverted back to his Pagan-hating ways, with a two-faced article mocking Pagan soldiers. Now journalist Ed Brayton, the man who got him to originally recant his anti-Pagan views on-the-record, is hopping mad.
“F**k you, Bob Barr. You obviously lied to me and you are just as bigoted and stupid as you were when you were in Congress.”
How Often Do You Write Letters to Your God/dess? In a final note, Thaindian News reports on a little post office near the banks of the Ganga river (aka the Ganges river) in Kachhla town of Uttar Pradesh that receives dozens of letters every day addressed to “Ganga Maiya” (the goddess personification of the Ganga river).
“Today those dashing off letters don’t just pray for a cure to their ailments; they write on auspicious occasions as well. Once the letters reach the Kachhla post office, the postmen take them to the river bank and drop them into the water. “Be it any festival – Holi, Diwali, or birthdays, marriages, mundan (tonsure ceremonies) or house warming, people seek blessings from Ganga Maiya by writing letters,” Satya Pal Singh, a sugarcane farmer, told IANS. “Residents here believe the letter serves as an invitation to Ganga Maiya, who will then visit their home and bless them, in turn bringing good luck and prosperity,” he added.”
Which makes me wonder, do any of you send formal invitations to your deities? If so, where do you send them?
That’s all I have for now, have a great day!