Every Halloween people from around the world put on masks and costumes to pretend they are something that they are not. There are a few of us who use Halloween as a chance to take off the masks we wear all year and be ourselves.
Anyway, my Halloween thoughts run back to listening to public radio while on my trip south a few weeks ago. I was listening to the Moab Radio stations. Apparently the public radio station has a program where a local witch (wiccan) comes on each week and does free tarot card readings and dousings.
During the show, the witch and the DJ had a big discussion about how being Wiccan is the most progressive thing a person could do in this modern age. Wiccans, pretty much by definition, are in tune with the universal oneness. They reject the patriarchy and the oppressive western culture. Witches have superior spirituality and are brimming over with wonderfulness. The primary message of the show was that being a witch is Progressive.
I listened as the self proclaimed progressive witch announcer did tarot readings and doused a few questions from the audience. I was impressed that all of the callers were female. I heard that most talk radio is dominated by obnoxious male callers. The witch talked about how any woman who feels spiritual has hidden witch powers and suggested to several callers that they join a coven.
Being an oppressive male, the thing that stuck in my mind was the sentence that being a "witch is progressive." In my education (education being a synonym for patriarchical condiditioning) I developed the fuddy duddy view that dousing, tarot card reading and witchcraft were the ultimate in superstition.
I find this idea that witches are the ultimate manifestation of the modern progessive movement fascinating. I believe that the Progressive movement of Teddy Roosevelt was based on a enduring respect for reason and logic. In my reactionary world, progressive means to me a society progressing with technology and a respect for reason.
The new modern progessive movement seems to simply be a feel good movement. Anything that feels good is progress ... even if it is unreasonable. Or, in the case of witchcraft, promotes superstition and what I consider to be ignorance.
Of course, the idea that reviving superstitions is progressive is one of those paradoxes adored in the modern age.
I do realize that different people have different ideas about the meaning of "progressive". Everyone works to define terms to meet the ends. There may be modern progressives who think witchcraft is regressive.
Back to the modern progressive movement:
I listened to the public radio station the on a different day. This time the talk was about gay rights. I agree with the need to protect gays. This especially true in a relatively backwards state like Utah. So, I was feeling warm and smuggly progressive listening to public talk radio while driving an economy car on jeep roads.
As the talk went on, I learned that respecting gay rights was just kind of progressive. You really aren't progressive until you've slept with a member of the same sex.
Dang, once again, I found myself tossed out of the progressive camp.
That idea was kind of icky so I pressed the scan station channel and ended up with a Christian talk show denouncing the homosexual society. The station was probably timing its programming to its adversary.
I remembered how much I hate talk radio and listened to music and went back to enjoying the beautiful scenery in Utah.
The third time I tried listening to public radio, there was a speaker who was livid because a multinational firm was trying to promote a product that had been touted by the progressive community. The speaker talked about how you have to judge people involved in a product and not just the product itself. A product that usually would be consider progressive that is sold by people who are not considered progressive loses its progressiveness.
A true modern progressive makes their decisions based on who a person is and not what they are doing. This descrimination based on the who and not on the substance of what they do is the only way that we can break the bonds of our opressive patriarchical society.
One of the things that keeps striking me about the modern progressive movement is horribly elitist and judgmental it is.
Since it is Halloween, I thought I would fill my blog with horrible politically incorrect thoughts about the progressive movement and will leave with the most terrifying statement ever made. In my opinion, the free market, free speach, freedom of association and religion are among the most progressive ideas ever conceived.
The modern claim that "regression is progress" that sits at the base of groups Democracy Now is paradoxical rhetoric.