Column: the Mainstreaming of Pride

Pagan Perspectives

June saw events around the world commemorating the LGBT+ Pride celebration. (LGBT+ refers to lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender, “plus” other nonheteronormative gender and sexual identities.) While on the surface these seem to be happy affairs, awash in rainbow colors and set to the thumping beat of dance music, their history is one marked by oppression and bloodshed. Commemorating the June 1969 Stonewall Riots that sparked the birth of the LGBT+ equality movement, modern-day Pride celebrations have for years struggled against an onslaught of hatred and persecution in the United States and around the world. But as society continues to make its snail’s-pace march toward genuine equality, one unexpected – if problematic – ally has emerged: capitalism. What began solely as a human rights movement has now also become a viable market.

Column: an Essay in Five Hammers

Pagan Perspectives

Hammer the First
She hands me a tiny white box. I look at it, the gold lettering of the logo for Pathways, our local metaphysical shop, glimmering in the candlelight. It is the night of my first-degree initiation into my family’s coven, and now that the ritual is over, we are gathered around the coffee table altar in the living room of the house where I grew up exchanging presents. I slide the top off the box. Inside, resting on a pillow of spun fibers, is a silver sigil attached to a slim black cord.

Column: Musings on Propaganda in the Age of Authoritarianism

Quotations are useful in periods of ignorance or obscurantist beliefs. – Guy Debord
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One of the first things I noticed upon arriving in France last summer is that battles were being waged on multiple fronts. There was the most obvious battle, the one that the media was covering, a nationwide uproar over a set of controversial labor reforms that were widely viewed as a betrayal of the working class on the part of a supposedly left-wing government. There was a secondary battle that was playing out alongside that uproar, a guerrilla battle against capitalism and international finance that was being waged by leftists and anarchists in the form of smashed bank windows and repeated violent confrontations with police. And then there was the battle for the imagination, the battle of dueling narratives that leftists and fascists alike were waging on every blank surface imaginable, from street poles to mailboxes to the walls of boarded-up buildings.