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Post by allthegoodnamesweretaken on Mon Jul 23, 2012 1:24 pm

So my wife and I are at Taco Bell the other day.

We are sitting there, finishing up our meal as a car pulls up.

Three rather largish individuals get out, 2 girls and a guy.

The shorter of the two females, goes up to the counter, and says to the first person she can see: "I ain't paying for this if it takes a long time with the order".

She exchanges words with the cashier. Then profanity with the other female she came with. The male stays silent the whole time.

The Taco Bell people fill the order in what seems like record time to me.

Then she examines the sauce selection, and upon finding that there is no "fire roasted" sauce states:
"There is no fucking fire roasted sauce, WTF is this shit?"
The Taco Bell people explain that it is only available in select markets.

A slew of profanities ensue, ending with, "I suppose you don't have any fucking fire roasted sauce."

Upon discovering that they don't, the brigade then storms out with the shorter female leading the bunch, of course carrying the prodigious amount of food that they ordered, and she leaves with the parting shot: "I get treated like the fucking help and I still pay for my fucking order".

Now, I could just chalk this up as another of societies shining members at work. The gods know we've got enough of them. What really pisses me off is that as the shorter female came in, I noticed her pentacle tattoo, and as they squealed out of the parking lot, I saw the bumper sticker proudly emblazoned "I'm pagan and I vote!"

In the 5 minutes that they were in the Taco Bell, they did more work to paint non-Christian religions in a negative light that it is likely that any of us here have done to paint non-Christian religions in a positive light for the last month.

I don't care that they all had mohawks, all wore dirty clothes, all looked and smelled like they hadn't bathed in the recent past. I do care that they were rude. If you choose to emblazon your body and mode of transportation with messages about your theology, and I don't care what that theology is, your actions reflect upon it.

Oh, and if the people who are responsible for these actions are reading this, the Taco Bell people spit in your food. Hope you enjoyed it.
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Post by Gorm_Sionnach on Mon Jul 23, 2012 5:06 pm

Individualism to the extent it has developed in general American (and largely Canadian) culture necessarily results in a loss of social virtues like civility, charity and common courtesy. The mindset is that everyone is out for themselves and will do anything they please to get it. What other people think, how the wider community sees you is irrelevent, because; "who cares what those judgemental pricks think of me?"

Concepts like honour are based on a shared sense of common values, and the expectation that ones reputation, expressed through ones words and deeds, was something that had value and ought to be protected. Is it any wonder then, that people who care so little about the way they comport themselves, are completely ignorant of how to be honorable?

Paganism is after all largely a catchall; and that includes the detritius.

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Post by MaineCaptain on Mon Jul 23, 2012 6:11 pm

Mad I am wordless. It is so hard to get people to accept non Abrahamics in the first place to have someone like that destroy all the work done over the past few decades.

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Post by allthegoodnamesweretaken on Mon Jul 23, 2012 6:24 pm

I long for the days where it would have been acceptable to split their heads open.....

You're right of course, Gorm, but I don't have to be happy about it.
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Post by sacrificialgoddess on Mon Jul 23, 2012 10:16 pm

How old were they? I have an ex who was pagan when it was cool Ann's stopped when he realized the work involved. He was 19 at the time. I... wasn't. I learned two things from that relationship. 1.Immaturity isn't attractive, and 2. I very much preferred older men to younger ones.

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Re: GGGGGGGGRRRRRRRRrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr

Post by MaineCaptain on Tue Jul 24, 2012 12:23 am

I would never stoop to the "they weren't really Pagan" line like some Christians like to do. But you do wonder what the symbols of Paganism mean to someone like that. Do they practice, or is it for shock value.

That is a legitimate question, since people do play at Paganism, being given the impression by what ever church they grew up in, that Pagans are immoral, irresponsible and all the other nasty things that get bandied about.

So some people latch on to the symbols and really do nothing else.

P.S. As SG mentioned, there is work involved in actually living and practising as a Pagan


Last edited by MaineCaptain on Tue Jul 24, 2012 3:24 pm; edited 1 time in total

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Post by John T Mainer on Tue Jul 24, 2012 12:34 am

Every village has idiots. Christians have a bigger village, so they get louder idiots (cough *tea party* cough), but ours is large enough to support a veritable forest of dunce caps.

One of the arguments I frequently have in my own community is between those who have an invested interest in being a despised fringe (largely trollish figures like you describe) and those who feel themselves to be pretty much mainstream; not pillars of the community because pillars just stand around beside the load bearing walls trying to look useful.

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Post by sacrificialgoddess on Tue Jul 24, 2012 6:48 am

Hey! I was suggesting if they were in their teen/early twenties, they might not have developed the maturity to not be assholes. Nothing about whether they were really pagan or not.

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Post by allthegoodnamesweretaken on Tue Jul 24, 2012 9:25 am

Nah, they were late twenties early thirties. Definitely old enough to know better.

I don't know if anyone in there recognized them for what they were advertising. I know I wasn't going to draw attention to it if no one else said anything.
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Post by MaineCaptain on Tue Jul 24, 2012 10:17 am

I was not trying to imply they were not as advertised. I was just trying to say. I have met people that had such symbols, and really practised nothing at all. Perfectly nice people, who just like the design and idea but did nothing.

I figured un nice people might do the same. But they could just as easily be practising and still be jerks.

People are people first and there beliefs and religion second in my observation. So good people will be good regardless and bad people are bad regardless of beliefs and practices.

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Post by tmarie64 on Tue Jul 24, 2012 12:00 pm

I will BET that either the car came with the sticker when they stol...um bought it or whoever owned the car put it on there JUST to piss of their parents, and to "shock" the neighbors.
I could be wrong...wouldn't be the first time...but I'd BET money that I"m right.

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Post by john5180 on Tue Jul 24, 2012 8:03 pm

I always thought fat people were supposed to be jolly. But then again, if she missed out on her third of fourth meal for the afternoon, it could make her a little cranky...... I know fat people take their grub seriously, and when it's running late...... well, I'd rather tangle with a Louisiana alligator Stir .
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Re: GGGGGGGGRRRRRRRRrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr

Post by DiminishingInsanity on Wed Jul 25, 2012 2:21 am

allthegoodnamesweretaken wrote:So my wife and I are at Taco Bell the other day ...
Well, as you know people will be people. It's nothing new. Those guys are God's children as we all are. It's best not to let them rob you of your peace of mind. Forgive them and get over it. We all learn in our own time.
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Post by sacrificialgoddess on Wed Jul 25, 2012 6:45 am

Maybe it's a sign that you should be eating better, All. Particularly with the baby on the way. ;p

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Post by Guest on Wed Jul 25, 2012 12:32 pm

Hey S.G. I'm an older man. 67 to be exact. I really don't understand people like what ALL mentioned. I've always been respectful of others when I'm out in public. These people don't realize that by their very actions & words they are most likely to get bad service. And that by the very language they use that the are showing a compleat lack of education. Now I can see & understand that sometimes we use cuss words. But usually when we're in emotional turmoil. The Goddess knows that at times I've used less than desirable words. But never in public. That's very a rude thing to do.

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Post by allthegoodnamesweretaken on Thu Jul 26, 2012 10:09 am

DiminishingInsanity wrote:
allthegoodnamesweretaken wrote:So my wife and I are at Taco Bell the other day ...
Well, as you know people will be people. It's nothing new. Those guys are God's children as we all are. It's best not to let them rob you of your peace of mind. Forgive them and get over it. We all learn in our own time.

Ya know, no. I was going to write a little bit about how I know you are just attempting to offer condolences and probably didn't mean it, but you should take some time to read at least the faith grouping section on the right side under the avatars.

I'm not going to. See, I remember how I wrote the opening post. I thought I was clear on the fact that I was not upset at them as individuals for their rudeness, but the fact that they were advertising their paganism, and being rude at the same time. I live in probably the armpit of the bible belt. The first exposure that people that are interacting with them to any form of paganism is more than likely them.

So they are going to think of pagans in general as you seem to be expressing here. Immature, rude, attention seeking persons who "just need to learn better".

I was torn in that instance. I wanted to step in and give them the smack down that they deserved. I wanted to show to the people in there that not all polytheists were like them. That we were not like Christians who just dismiss anyone that doesn't behave in the manner that they find acceptable as "not Christian".

There are two things that stopped me.

1. They were not actually being violent. If they were, all bets are off. Rude but not violent.

2. I carry. I have to watch what confrontations I get into, because by the mere fact that I am in them, a gun is by definition inserted in the mix. You want to see a confrontation go from rude to violent, step in.

So if I did step in, what would I say to the police after they showed up to take away the dripping bodies? That they were being rude? We don't live in a society where that is seen as a justifiable reason. I have no desire to go to jail. I have no desire to ruin my life because they were rude.

So, I will not forgive them. In fact, I will remember them and if I see them at a time and place where I can correct their behavior, I will. I am not one of your deities children, most of the people here are not your deities children, and those who kicked of this rant were more than likely not your deities children.

I will also use this as a talking point. A point that we need to be in control of our behavior. Maybe we just had an argument. Maybe it was hot. Maybe we were out in it all day, were tired, and had to go to the bathroom. That does not excuse behaving like a jackass. That does not excuse being rude to people that have no bearing on it what so ever.

Did they disturb my mind? No. They focused it. I don't run around all day in a state of blissful ignorance that can be disturbed by people. I know how we are viewed. I deal with it every day.
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Post by allthegoodnamesweretaken on Thu Jul 26, 2012 10:12 am

sacrificialgoddess wrote:Maybe it's a sign that you should be eating better, All. Particularly with the baby on the way. ;p

Honestly, fast food is probably a bi monthly occurrence in the all household. The rest of the time we eat at home, because we like it better.

I did trade in my pickup for a small SUV too.....
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Post by john5180 on Thu Jul 26, 2012 10:59 am

allthegoodnamesweretaken wrote:Did they disturb my mind? No. They focused it. I don't run around all day in a state of blissful ignorance that can be disturbed by people. I know how we are viewed. I deal with it every day.

All, if you noticed, when I responded to your initial post, I made a lame joke of it. Not to be a smart ass about the incident, but to remind you we have choices.... Just like the woman in the restaurant. She made a choice to be an ass on that particular day.... Now, you have to make a choice.... either make a joke about it, and let the feelings run their natural course, or fume. You call it focus, rather than obsessing. I say that woman and her actions now OWN you. Why, you're even planning on how to "set her straight" if you should happen to see her again.

Rude people aren't defined by how they worship, how they dress, size, color, physical mass, personal hygiene or sexual orientation. People are rude because they are simply assholes. And in this case, the rudeness wasn't even directed toward you. Sure I understand the idea of people getting the wrong impression about Pagans, and that's legitimate. But by and large, people are gonna believe what they want to believe, regardless of how one acts publicly, professionally or privately. We (regardless of religion) have no control over this. All I'm concerned with is being a better person... not necessarily a better Pagan. That's what you need to focus on; not giving them a lesson on how to live and act as a Pagan when in public. If you believe in the Law of Return, Karma, reaping what you sew, or simply the worm turning, her payback will catch up to her when the time is right. You don't need to set yourself up for the same event.

Just let it go, All. In the long run, they aren't worth the investment you've made on them.
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Post by allthegoodnamesweretaken on Thu Jul 26, 2012 11:08 am

John, I honestly didn't really think about it again all yesterday. It was just reading it that reminded me of it as a specific incident. I have let the incident go. It reminds me of the issue though.

It's that how they act is how people see us. They see us that way because that is what they are exposed to. Well, and that is what they are told.

So, how do we correct this issue? Not by ignoring it and refusing to talk about it.
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Post by Gorm_Sionnach on Thu Jul 26, 2012 12:00 pm

Obsessing over something you have no agency, or potential agency, to alter is of course going to be fruitless.

This doesn't mean, however, that in circumstances like this, that we have no agency. All clearly could have done something, but was concerned that doing so would escalate an already bad situation; and why ought he go to jail for being the decent one in the face of assholes?

But, the extent that the situation left him "fuming" and that these people now (or temporally) "owned" him, is a bit excessive. There isn't anything wrong with caring about a situation, or about how a group one has a tie to is being portrayed. Clearly with something as fractious as paganism, standards are going to be different depending on the group.

If this had of happened at a moot or other pagan gathering, these folks would have been asked to leave; in some places forcefully ejected. Even in so fractious a group as a pagan moot, there is still a base line for acceptable bahaviour.

The problem here, or one of the problems, is that those who care about their reputation, are on one side, and those who couldn't care less, are on the other. The company has its policy, and this is the natural result of "the customer is always right"; people feel entitled in these establishments, and are more than willing to milk it for everything they can get out of it. Make a big enough fuss, throw a temper-tantrum and management will have to cave into your demands. Be beligerant about it, you'll see results even faster because management wants to avoid escalation, possible bad publicity for the company and law suits. Its like these sorts of people never developed behaviourally past the age of 4: I want something, I make a fuss, people give it to me, repeat as necessary.

Enforcing a base of law is possible, because enough folks fear the penalties. If there are no repurcussions for incivility, if folks actually derive benefit from being dickish, theres nothing to be done about it. If due civility is going to have a chance, there simply needs to be a cultural shift, and frankly outside small communities or groups, that is not likely to happen. Maybe then, it is better to simply laugh, shrug it off and accept that this si the way things are gonna be, worry about yourself and let people do what they will...

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Post by allthegoodnamesweretaken on Thu Jul 26, 2012 2:22 pm

Well Gorm, I think that is part of the issue as well. I do try to worry about myself, and let people do what they will.

Honestly, if the people involved were obvious Christians, or Muslims, or Buddhists, it would be much much easier for me to say, "gee, they were being dicks, man this is a good taco". To be perfectly honest, if they were Christian, I'd just think: "figures". If that shows the relative level of esteem that I hold for most members of Christianity and is the default setting I have for the expectations I have for behavior of Christians. Which likely illustrates some issues I have of my own.

Pretty much a constant that I have found in these discussions over the years is that people tend to assume a similar reaction or thought process to their own. Hence, I assume that other peoples framework of expectation in regards to others behavior is dependent on exposure and the frequency of that exposure preportionally weighted.

I have personally met one Muslim person. She is well spoken, educated, intelligent, respectful, and understanding. Hence, that is my view of Muslims. It would take a personal experience with several Muslims of different varieties to change my mental image to different.

So I have to wonder. Is this the first experience with a person claiming to be pagan that these people have had? If so, how does this inform their view?

If they are like me, not in a positive manner.

So, this does affect me.

In a way, this affects most of us here.

In this area, can we afford to have many types of this interaction?
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Post by Gorm_Sionnach on Thu Jul 26, 2012 2:36 pm

And there in lies the rub; dicks, who we have never met, who grace us with their prescence and then leave, can still have a profound impact on us. As you say, it is not unreasonable for folks to make judgements based on their observations and experiences. If the only Pagan someone has ever met is a complete tosser, that is going to have a very significant impact on the way that individual views other Pagans.

As you say, we're a small group, and since we get lumped in with all the others, how the majority view one can affect us all.

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Post by allthegoodnamesweretaken on Thu Jul 26, 2012 2:42 pm

And hence, why a little incident that is easily dismissed on one hand, has me still talking about it almost a week later.
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Post by gillyflower on Thu Jul 26, 2012 6:21 pm

I think that it is human nature to clump people and things into groups. If a person who wears glasses is a jerk, do I feel like they have disgraced glasses wearing people everywhere, myself included? I know that chagrin of having co-workers who are fluffy bunny white witches getting spells out of books (not to mention stealing our library books). That hits closer to home. Sometimes a teaching moment presents itself to at least say that not all pagans are like them. And sometimes it is just better to hope they don't notice the symbols. Smile

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Post by allthegoodnamesweretaken on Thu Jul 26, 2012 6:24 pm

I guess it probably means something that my wife hasn't mentioned that she saw them. For me it was like a neon sign.
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