06 December 2011

Δοξαν μη λειπε (Do Not Abandon Your Reputation)

From Henry George Liddell and Robert Scott’s An Intermediate Greek-English Lexicon:
δόξα, n.
II. 1. the opinion which others have of one, estimation, reputation, credit, honour, glory, Lat.existimationSolon.Aesch., etc.; δόξαν ἔχειν Thuc., etc.; τινός for a thing, Eur.:—rarely of ill reputeDem. 2. the estimate popularly formed of a thingid=Dem. 
After reading about this article on the Wild Hunt, I tried to be offended by the caricature, but failed miserably.

I’m mostly confused about what that mass of woodlike stuff is because the perspective seems a bit off. Did caricature-Halloran sacrifice an animal using a tumbleweed instead of a knife? How is that even possible?

Dan Halloran is a bit of a sticky subject for me. He’s a conservative Heathen, while I am a progressive Hellenist. I think the article captured some of the difficulties in reconstructionist communities and in politics, where so many Type A personalities interact that it sometimes becomes difficult to discern when someone actually disagrees with you or if you have just offended their vastly superior intellect:
“He always thinks he’s the smartest man in the room,” says one of his former followers. “Sometimes he is. But his thinking that can get in the way.” [source]
Get two people like that together and you have something popcorn-worthy.

But honestly, I wish that commentary about politicians’ doublespeak and incongruencies happened more often, no matter how disappointed I feel because pagan and polytheistic candidates receive this treatment more often than the Dominionists. I wonder how much of Halloran’s seemingly difficult personality comes from the stress of justifying oneself to a political environment (on the right and on the left) hostile to minority religions and how much is just his personality. Polytheistic politicians, if we take his case as setting the trend for future developments, will face hostility from coreligionists for “passing” as Christian and pressure from their political allies for not assimilating enough.

It raises hard questions about how we balance our personal beliefs and a political position without betraying our sense of ethics. Having good business acumen and relying on positive ancient role models, probably effective politicians, is easier said than done in the modern era because everyone seems so focused on scandal and publicity generation. You don’t make headlines by appearing sane, and no one appreciates someone who won’t abandon their sense of honor or worsen their personal brand when it comes to making tomorrow’s headline.

Again, here’s the article at the Village Voice.

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