Saturday, April 2, 2016

Paul Wartenberg, Infidel753, and The Archdruid comment on me

Monday's prompt reads "Have you ever had another blogger write about you? How did you feel reading the post?"  I mentioned this in passing as part of STORY is the theme for April 2016.
Also, I like the idea of writing about what other bloggers have to say about me.  I can think of two who have been complimentary, Paul Wartenberg and Infidel 753, and one who has been not necessarily critical but not friendly either, John Michael Greer the Archdruid.  I've mentioned the first two writing about me before, including in two of the recent retrospectives, but I've never passed along what Greer thinks of me when he's not responding to me directly.  Time for that to change.
I rather enjoy when Paul and Infidel write about me, which usually include links to my blog.  Here's an example from Paul Wartenberg that I quoted in Super Bowl drinks from Tipsy Bartender.
This year, I'm going to take a cue from Paul W., who mentioned about the topic he most associates with my blog:
So I need to point out, as this is the Internet, LINKS are everything around here. They link to me, I link to them, people can follow through those links to new and exciting places that offer up drink recipes and NSFW comments about crazy Republicans.
Super Bowl drink recipes it is.
I took it as useful feedback about what he most values in my blogging, so I chose my topic for that day accordingly.

The same is true of Infidel 753, who regularly includes me in his Sunday linkspams.  For example, this past Sunday's referenced me in the sentence "A week ago it was Nowrûz (Persian new year), and Obama once again took stock of our relations with Iran."  The first one of last month linked to me twice, beginning with "It's Springtime for Trump!"  He paid me the favor again by writing "here's what genuine popular anger looks like."  My response was to comment "You linked to me twice! That's an honor usually reserved for the likes of Rosa Rubicondior! I'm not worthy! /WayneandGarth." Infidel753 was quite complementary in return, writing "Pinku: Hey, they're good posts."  I'm glad he thinks so!

The Archdruid, on the other hand, was less positive.  Follow over the jump for what he wrote in response to another commenter at his blog.

On the second page of the comments to Dark Age America: The Cauldron of Nations at The Archdruid Report, I stumbled across the follow exchange about me and a friend of mine.
Ellen He: @JMG: Do you know that Pinku-Sensei believes that collapse is evitable and that your his adversary?

Greer: Ellen, of course; I've read his blog and his comments on some of the other peak oil blogs, and of course he's also a friend and online ally of one of my most entertainingly foam-flecked trolls. That doesn't concern me in the least. So long as he follows the house rules here, and posts his attempts at amateur psychoanalysis elsewhere, why should I spare myself the fun?
At least he's not hostile and tolerant of me as long as I follow the rules of his blog.  I should expect no less of him or me in the same situation.

As for my being "a friend and online ally of one of [Greer's] most entertainingly foam-flecked trolls," I referenced him in Changing of the Gods.
@Brother Nihil: "UFOs, because again it's a direct experience with alien intelligences. The UFO scene has a definite cultish aspect that could become the basis of a new religiosity, particularly if the right 'prophet' comes along. One could make the case that several recognized prophets were basically UFO contactees."

Several people have already beat you to that punch, as religious movements based on alien contact already exist.  One of the largest and the most straight-forward is Raëlism or the Raelians, who have been around since 1974.  They hold that aliens have been in contact with humans from the beginning, shaping their biological and cultural evolution, and that prophets of all major religions have benefited from being informed by the aliens, which the adherents call the Elohim.  One could say that the Scientologists are a UFO cult once removed, as their founding myth has aliens visiting Earth millions of years ago and the aftereffects of that visit have been the cause of our troubles ever since.  Even my friend Nebris (yes, THAT Nebris, who is notorious for his excoriation of our host on his LiveJournal years ago) is trying to get a fledgeling cult he calls the Temple of the Pentavalent off the ground and it has alien visitation at the core of its mythology, too.
Yes, Greer knows I'm friends with Nebris.  It doesn't seem to bother him.

Here's the rest of that exchange, in which I mention Nebris again.
That written, there are some problems with these movements or others based on alien visitation becoming the source of a new religious sensibility.  First, these are all prophetic religions, not nature religions, so they wouldn't fit with a return to a reverence of nature and acceptance of our Earthly lot.  That's probably the least of their problems. As long as writing exists, the religious impulse may be expressed through the written word and the people who laid ink to paper, so any new religious sensibility may still be prophetic as well.

Second, both the Raelians and Scientologists are expressly atheistic and fairly materialistic in their understanding of the cosmos.  The Elohim of the Raelians are just sufficiently advanced aliens, not beings inhabiting the astral light.  The Scientologists have alien souls (body thetans) plaguing people, but they still exist within MEST (matter, energy, space, and time), and the movement passes off their magic system as science.  Nebris at least allows for dieties and knows he's practicing magic, but he's something of a chaos magician.  He believes in tulpas, divine beings created out of human devotion that then take on lives of their own.

The third and largest problem is that UFO cults look like the next logical expression of the old sensibility, which our host described at his other blog when he wrote about the old religious sensibilities embracing "Salvation from the natural world and the human condition remains the core premise (and thus also the most important promise) of all these faiths, whether that salvation takes the supernatural form of resurrection followed by eternal life in heaven, on the one hand, or the allegedly more natural form of limitless progress, the conquest of poverty, illness, and death, and the great leap outwards to an endless future among the stars."  Alien visitors are that endless future among the stars come home to Earth.  That promise might just ring even more hollow as the secular religion of progress fails, although UFO religions might make good cargo cults.
Welcome to the intersection of science fiction and religious thinking, something I might explore more in this blog, particularly when I discuss the upcoming season of "The Leftovers" or start writing about "You, Me, and The Apocalypse."  After all, I did that once already in 'Falling Skies' vs. 'Defiance' for the final season premiere of 'Falling Skies'.  Why not do so again?  Speaking of which, stay tuned for Entertainment Sunday.  I have more awards shows to write about!