Tag Archives: news

News, trolls, tolerance and headspace

This is not a climate in which you can afford to spend too much time imagining things. It is harder than it has ever been to image anything good, and if you accidentally start imagining how any of the not-good stuff is going to play out, you’ll hurt.

If we are to be responsible citizens, we have to know what’s going on. Given that neither our politicians nor our media seem wholly trustworthy right now, getting real insight that can lead to a truly informed opinion is hard work, and there are so many issues, and all of them have so many implications. Overload beckons. The more sensitive, empathic and caring you are, the more scope there is to tear yourself to shreds over the world’s many problems.

Shutting down and shutting it out can feel like not caring. It can feel like a cold, hard choice, a betrayal of causes that needed our help. We don’t want to join the apathetic many, or the uninformed many, but knowing comes at too high a price.

There’s no tidy answer here, not least because we’re all different. As creatives many of us need to feel in touch – but we have some scope for deciding what we’re in touch with. We are not all obliged to know everything.

Picking things to be informed about and letting go of other issues is a reasonable choice. Cutting down on exposure to media to avoid being overwhelmed is also an option. Taking holidays from the woes of the world in order to clear the mind and claim back some space for creative thinking. Focusing on news outlets that offer good news stories, solutions and so forth can also be a great help. One of the reasons I like being involved with campaigning groups is that they all, reliably, feed good news stories back to participants, when there are any.

My creativity depends on the interactions between my imagination and the world as I encounter it. I can’t run far on pure imagination, that’s a dragon eating its own tale/tail. I want my work to be grounded and informed, not pure escapism. I cannot insulate myself too much. But, if I don’t insulate myself to some degree, all I think about is what’s going on out there and the implications of it, or I end up having to not think, to avoid spiralling into anxiety and dysfunction. I think part of the point of what we’re being exposed to is to shut us down, shut us up, overwhelm us into doing nothing. I want to resist that. There are groups and individuals out there whose intention it is to trash anyone who wants to do anything good.

There are stories about troll factories and people paid to get on social media and spread lies. Groups driven by the desire to tear down. They aren’t a majority, they are people who for various reasons have the time to be online a lot, making noise. They give the impression of being a huge and popular movement, but I think there are more of us who want to improve things than there are people who just want to destroy. There’s a case for the balance between digging around and staying away right there… Because however you go about it, not hearing those voices will help you stay sane, and maybe we don’t need to know what the trolls amongst us think, feel and want. Maybe we aren’t responsible for them – although they will tell us we are, and that we aren’t really tolerant if we can’t tolerate their hate… Maybe the answer is to selectively close our ears and not have compassion stretched to breaking point by people who set out to break us.

 

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Down the Forest Path

TDN to join Inter Faith Network

On the 29th of September 2014, at the Annual General Meeting of The Inter Faith Network for the United Kingdom (IFN UK), The Druid Network (TDN) was admitted to Membership.

IFN works to promote understanding, cooperation and good relations between organisations and persons of different faiths in the UK.

In April 2012, IFN refused the first application for membership of The Druid Network due to its current membership policy restricting membership to the ‘big’ nine faiths.  This refusal resulted in TDN becoming involved in dialogue with IFN, with a view to reviewing their membership policy to become both more inclusive and to remove any suggestion of discrimination against minority faiths.  Other interested parties also took up this challenge and this led to a meeting, hosted in the House of Lords, discussing religious freedom within the UK. This meeting was held in November 2012 and representatives of some twenty…

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Druid News

Welcome to the first instalment of druid news. I’m hoping to make a regular feature of it.

 

A new Bard of Exeter

The competition to find the new Bard of Exeter was held last Sunday at the Bike Shed Theatre in Exeter. The event was hosted by the Grand Bard of Exeter Mark Lindsey Earley and current co-Bards Clive Pig and Jackie Juno, who last January came equal first in the yearly competition, and made history by sharing the title.

This year there were seven contenders for the title; poets, singers, musicians and storytellers who all performed for up to seven minutes and read out their manifesto to the audience, after which the audience voted for their favourite performer.

Exeter’s new Bard is Jon Freeman, who had a runaway win with voters’ numbers; quite the reverse of last year’s neck-and-neck result.

 

 

Imbolc for Little Ones

Author Siusaidh Ceanadach has a booklet out with Imbolc content for parents of young children, and a helpful explanation to wave at teachers. As many schools are inclusive and open to recognising the various faiths of their pupils (at least here in the UK) teachers can be very supportive of pagan children. The trouble is; they don’t tend to know a great deal about what might suit. Wading in as a parent and trying to squeeze in an explanation whilst fielding a rioting young person or two, is not the easiest option. This is a handy little text, great for working with the smallest pagans in an inclusive but not indoctrinating sort of way, and perfect for passing on to other adults in their lives – not just teachers.

 

Siusaidh has been distributing pdfs from her facebook account, but if you aren’t connected to her there, leave a message and I can pass it along.

 

Jackie Juno charity gig

The new Grand Bard of Exeter Jackie Juno has a gig on Friday 27 January at the Civic Hall, Totnes (UK) at 7.30pm.  It is a comedy cabaret raising funds for the South Hams Green Party and features Jackie, Matt Harvey (of Radio 4) and Clive Pig (my fellow co-Bard 2010-2011) with stand-up poetry, music and songs.

 

www.myspace.com/jackiejuno

www.mattharvey.co.uk

www.clivepig.com

 

 

 

Share your news

If you want to get your news mentioned here, mail brynnethnimue (at) gmail (dot) com – short and sweet is good, by all means include links. Don’t send pictures, I have a hard time of it uploading anything big and complicated. I’m happy to include events, courses, book releases, new websites, new groups, things druids have been up to, or things you’ve spotted in the news that seem relevant to the druid community. Arty, crafty, musical or literary people with stuff to sell are welcome to present themselves if they can find a news angle. I’m not averse to personal news. No witchwars content, no conspiracy theories, no ‘I know a bloke who met this guy down the pub who said…’ tales. I’m looking for good news where possible. The mainstream does plenty enough of the miserable content already.