Alternate title: A is for Aubs is a poopy-head.
This post was sparked by the Great Shopping Cart Debacle of 2013 and this post here.
For those who don’t know about the Great Shopping Cart Debacle, it occurred last week, when someone made a post, discussing ma’at and how she could better live within ma’at, or bring it into their daily life. In this post, she stated that the Shopping Cart Theology was useful for some, but not for her. This then sparked a response post and a host of comments on KIN and Tumblr.
It seems to me that the Kemetic community (if you wish to call it that) is a lot like a fandom. In any given fandom, you tend to have people who believe that the books are better than the movie. You have people who think that you aren’t a true fan unless you’ve read all of the books. There are those who are content to only watch the movies. There are those who like to take the original content and work with it- creating things like fan fic. You have those who take multiple series who mesh them together into one broad spectrum, multi-fandom alternate reality type thing. And you probably have people who write fanfic or make art about a series that they’ve not even read or seen it in its entirety.
If you take this into a Kemetic frame: your people who believe in only the books might be considered recons. You have people who are content to only work with the movies- they might be Tamerans. You have those who dabble with the books and the movies- maybe they are revivalists. And you have those who create the multi-fandom alternate reality things- maybe those are your eclectics.
And just like in fandoms- you have people who hate on those who never read the books. You have people who call out women for being in the fandom just to get attention. You have people who criticize one another for the way they ‘ship various characters. Hard core staunch traditionalists, people who think you need to know Tolkean Elvish in order to really be able to call themselves a LOTR fan.
And so it goes in the Kemetic sphere, too.
Recons hate the fluff. Everyone dislikes eclectics. Someone will judge you because you’re Kemetic Orthodox, which obviously means you’re a mindless drone. If you’re not posting 2 pages of sources for each of your points, you’re obviously not hardcore enough to have any say in the matter. If you’re not divined as a child of XYZ deity, you obviously have no grounds to speak with any authority on that deity. If you speak out against any of the few BNPs we have, you’re disowned by everyone. This is exemplified by the Shopping Cart Debacle mentioned above. In many cases, people were more upset that the OP had stated that the Shopping Cart Theology wasn’t working for them, or criticized its usefulness than actually reading the point of the post- which was to determine what would work for the OP (in terms of living daily within ma’at). People got so upset that someone dare criticize their favorite “character” that they lashed out blindly.
It’s insane, people. It’s stupid.
Much like a fandom, instead of coming together to celebrate a great story, universe and characters- and to explore how we can express our interpretation of all of that, people would rather point fingers at one another, sling judgmental comments at one another, and more or less spend their time whining and complaining about how they aren’t doing it right, and how dare you even open your mouth on the topic. Oh yes, and allow me to grab all of my other fandom friends to prove my point.
In the post I linked to above, Teo Bishop talks about how many people are plenty fit to call others out on a situation. It’s really easy to cut someone down for the way they practice. It’s so much simpler to call someone out for being in a fandom just for attention. Or in the case of Kemeticism- to claim that someone is only there to collect god statues.
Everything we do is heka based. Everything we do and say creates. It creates a framework, a basis, a foundation for future people to build upon. And I have to ask- how much energy, time and spoons are we wasting by purely stabbing one another for approaching this huge slab of stone called Kemeticism differently.
How much do you really gain from cutting down others who are helping to build this thing called Kemeticism?
Think about that for a bit.
How far would the gods get if they fought over who gets to stab
apep? Could you imagine?
Set: No, it’s my spear!
Aset: give me that, I want to do it!
Ra: No! I want to do it today!
Do you think the cosmos would really last very long?
Now, I’m not saying we can’t have our disagreements. Disagreements can be very constructive– they can lead to deeper discussion and further insight into a situation. However, many times disagreements degrade straight into calling people names, slinging mud and general bad behaviour. Much like people who get way too attached to their favorite character or story telling method (books vs. movies), many times we get so attached to what we feel is the only (or best) way to do things, we end up missing out on great opportunities to take a different method of looking at things, and possibly enriching our practice in the process (I, too, have been guilty of this).
And to me, that’s a crying shame.
And of course, every single time I write about this sort of thing, it comes down to one thing: Respect. Respect for ourselves, for others. Respect for the gods and ma’at we supposedly worship and emulate. Respect for the fact that this world is too diverse and different to expect everyone to do it the same way that you do. And the knowledge to remember that everyone has to start somewhere, people are on different levels, people have different needs, approaches, and methods.
And to keep in mind that, at the end of the day- it serves no one to cut people down in a public forum, and its bad form to vaguebook/post/blog etc. because you happen to have a disagreement. We are too small of a community to waste our time on such things. Not to mention, we should all be adult enough to know when to walk away from a situation (two response rule, anyone? Bueller?)
So, in an attempt to emulate what I have said, and not make this entirely about complaining and pointing fingers, I pose this for your consideration:
What can we as a community, a sphere, a genre of religion do to work towards active, proactive discussion (which will hopefully lead to action)? What can we do to stop people from cutting down others in the heat blind emotion? Is it bad form to call people out where we see it? Do we turn the other cheek? Do you think its a problem at all? Are you guilty of sometimes cutting people down in the heat of the moment? How do you stop yourself from doing so??
- Kemetism is Orthopraxic: Live in Ma’at
- Kemetism is Orthopraxic: Live in Ma’at (KIN version)
- Tumblr thoughts on the SCT
- Response to a post about Ma’at
- Action, Action, we want Action!
- A is for Asshat
- Action, you must take
- Newbies Need Help