Insomnia for fun and profit!
Haven’t been able to sleep at all tonight (last night?) so this might be a little more surreal than usual. But I’m looking forward to shutting off the blog reminder the very first time I see it today.
First, this article by Joshua Holland responding to the Naomi Wolf Guardian piece I linked yesterday. I can’t do this subject justice right now, I don’t know enough off the top off my head and I’m too tired to trust myself researching both articles. I may post more about this later, but for now I wanted to put this opposing viewpoint link there in case I totally forget about this after I see a shiny object or something.
I’ll be honest here, my first impulse was to mock this guy mercilessly, but after reading that article I actually kinda feel bad for him. Father Gabriele Amorth reminds me of a dedicated fan who’s slightly unstable, maybe doesn’t have a two-hand grip on reality. (Yes, yes, Catholic priest. Reality is not what they try to grip, I know.)
There are Star Trek fans who wear their Starfleet uniforms in everyday life. They speak in the style, conduct their lives to the standards and try to act in the best ideals of Starfleet officers, or at least what they imagine they would be. I imagine Fr. Amorth being like one of these fans who’s gotten a job someplace where they spend all day role-playing their persona as if Star Trek were actually the world they lived in. While surrounded by people who encouraged them to believe it was true, to never doubt that warp drive existed, and starships orbited this very world, that their phaser was a potentially lethal weapon, that the fantasy was real and the only reason they couldn’t just beam up was that the mission wasn’t complete yet.
As sad as that scenario is, this is worse because people die in exorcisms. Not just in horror films, not centuries or even decades ago, but right now in the really real world. Real people die real death because others, probably their own family who genuinely wants to help them, believe that they are possessed by evil spirits.
Evil fucking spirits, people.
We’re going back before germ theory here. “Why is Jenny weak and throwing up, Daddy?”, “Well Timmy, the demon we beat out of your stomach last week must have jumped into her. Call the neighbors while I tie your sister down, now.”
So yeah. I have some sympathy for the guy. Perhaps even more knowing that (unless he’s a truly sick person) he was trying to help, and probably genuinely thought he was helping people. But he’s almost certainly hurt people. And he’s definitely caused indirect harm by telling ignorant people, who trusted his word, that evil spirits are real and can take over someone and have to be driven out.
Yoga is not a gateway tool of the devil, it’s stretching. It’s healthy exercise and the worst it’s going to do is strained muscles or some new age jackass blathering about “aligning chakras” to college girls in a transparent attempt to get them into a leotard. And Harry Potter fans aren’t witches or servants of Satan, either. They’re people who have an active fantasy life or are, you know, literate.
I forgot where I was going with this, so I’m just going to stop here, post the damn thing, and head to the kitchen to make something hot & caffeinated. Have a great day everyone, and if you see any evil spirits give them the finger for me.