Monday, July 20, 2015

Book Review: Go Set A Watchman

Today I had the privilege of finishing the novel Go Set A Watchman by Harper Lee. This makes only her second published novel, the first being the iconic To Kill A Mockingbird. Some have called Lee's initial TKAM a "great American novel." Despite it being her first and - until now - only book, she won nearly every literary prize there is and then some telling the story about a girl named Scout, her brother, and her lawyer father Atticus. The book discussed issues of race and justice and inequality at a time (1960) that these issues needed to be discussed. 55 years later and the United States is embroiled in another time of turbulent, violent, and complex discussions about race.

And, once again, Harper Lee is there with a novel whose prose perfectly sums up the issues at hand.

Friday, July 17, 2015

Introducing...

Literary Maven, Vinna Harper, and I have spent the last several months quietly crafting our own little not-actually-a-spin-off show. It's a pet project where we invite listeners to submit their favorite guilty pleasures in the realms of music, movies, literature, and pretty much anything else. We take a listen/watch/read and review it! In podcast form!

Why?

Well, because apparently the other 7,243 "bad ____ review" style shows just weren't enough. THE WORLD NEEDS ANOTHER BAD MOVIE PODCAST! Also, because we wanted to, and we were already watching bad movies all the time anyway.

The show is called Because Reasons, and it comes out EVERY TWO WEEKS! I know...I know... Every two weeks?! You can't even get the Riot out consistently. 

Never fear, Rioters! We already have the first 5 episodes recorded, and are planning on releasing them every other Friday, and will continue to record in the meantime so that we can keep up with our self-imposed deadline!

What should YOU DO?! How can YOU HELP?! I know these are all questions you're asking yourself. 

Friday, July 3, 2015

'Murica & The Meme-Based Political Discussion

America is careening headfirst into the most patriotic weekend on the calendar:
Independence Day. ���� It's a time of flag waving and hot dog eating and fireworks exploding and a time when folks pretend, at least for a day, like the political history of this country is a nice, straight line of nice, polite people that did nothing but have sex with bald eagles on a red, white, and blue bedspread and give birth to tiny, crowned Lady Liberties that spend their respective lifespans baking apple pies and killing terrorists. It's a time when we fall in love all over again with the idea of America.

And...that's great. But, when July 5th comes around, I think we need to have a discussion.

So go...have your fireworks...and then come back and read the rest of this.

I'll see you then.

Sunday, June 28, 2015

Episode 95: Inciting A #LoveWins Riot!

Episode 95 of Inciting A Riot: the Podcast celebrates #LoveWins! 

We're looking at the recent Supreme Court decision that recognized same sex marriage nationwide. 

The majority opinion, the minority dissent, and reactions from YOU, the Rioter community!

Music included:

Somebody Loves You - Betty Who
We Are The Night - Steve Grand
Safe In My Hands - Eli Lieb
Proud - Heather Small

Love and Lyte,

Fire Lyte

Blog: IncitingARiot.com
FireLyte@IncitingARiot.com
@IncitingARiot on Twitter
Facebook.com/IncitingARiotPodcast
Subscribe/Rate/Comment on iTunes: http://bit.ly/iTunesRiot

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

The Confederate Flag & Easy Activism

News has spread like so much wildfire throughout the 24-hour infotainment cycle and social media outlets everywhere: The Confederate Battle Flag (might) soon be removed from the grounds of the South Carolina state capitol. This is due to the emotional and political aftermath following the Mother Emanuel massacre last week. It's not happened yet, as the flag is permanently affixed to its respective flagpole and further padlocked literally and figuratively. It requires an overwhelming majority vote from the state congress in order to remove the flag completely.

Similar actions are being taken in Mississippi - whose state flag includes the "stars and bars" of the confederacy - where lawmakers are considering changing the state flag completely.

Saturday, June 20, 2015

Episode 93: Inciting A Sorting Riot

Episode 93

News: Mother Emanuel Shooting, USA PATRIOT Act/USA FREEDOM Act, Boy Scout gay ban unsustainable, Girl Scouts welcome trans members, Nebraska death penalty, Tsarnaev verdict, Elonis v. US, the Dalai Lama is threatening to be reborn as a precocious blonde woman

Music: Amazing Grace - Kellianna - from the album “Traditions"

WOTD: Dauntless 

Gripe Dept: Etsy ban on magical services 

Sociology: Duggar

Spiritual: I’m a Hufflepuff

Blog: IncitingARiot.com
FireLyte@IncitingARiot.com
@IncitingARiot on Twitter
Facebook.com/IncitingARiotPodcast
Subscribe/Rate/Comment on iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/inciting-a-riot/id337689333?mt=2

Love and Lyte,

Fire Lyte

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Inciting a Literary Riot: Brigid

Good evening Rioters! My deepest apologies for the delay in putting up a new book review but tonight I have one I'm delighted to share with you. As of May 2015 Red Wheel/Weiser Books has released Brigid by first time author Courtney Weber. The book focuses on various portrayals of the goddess Brigid throughout history, from Christian saint to Caribbean Voodoo deity, all the while interspersing the mythology with personal anecdotes and opinions. Think Eat, Pray, Love meets Mists of Avalon.


This engaging book sets out to discuss the question: Who is Brigid? What follows are various myths and folktales that all in some way tie back to Brigid through name, association, symbolism, and history. As someone who has not spent much time working with Brigid or reading her stories I was delighted with the assortment of tales found in Weber's book. Both the stories and historical snippets were well rendered. The one main thing that did detract a bit from the overall enjoyment of the book were the italicized reflections at the end of each tale. Though not terrible they felt a bit like a parent asking you for the morale of the story you just enjoyed. I admit this may be entirely personal preference but I could have done without these.


Aside from the mythology, the other strongest element in the book was the personal point of view. Instead of a dry text about the history and significance of the deity as told by an omniscient author, Weber offers you the chance to experience Brigid in all her forms through the eyes of one of her devotees. I found most of the personal anecdotes to be honest and entertaining, Weber's pleasant narration leading me further in to the book. Even though Brigid as a goddess has never drawn me to work with her, through Weber I felt the emotion of connecting to a deity and how that impacted her life. Honestly this is one of the better Pagan books I've read from a main Pagan Publisher and I hope to see more of this ilk.


Who is this book for? Those who work with Brigid (obviously), anyone looking for a personal account of Pagan worship, and anyone interested in mythology and folklore.


To purchase a copy of Brigid visit: http://redwheelweiser.com/detail.html?id=9781578635672


To learn more about Courtney Weber visit her at: http://thecocowitch.com/


Until next time,

Vinna

PS! Check out Vinna's most recent podcast interview with Mogg Morgan of Mandrake of Oxford publishing!



Tuesday, June 9, 2015

She was already baptized.

Facebook is a strange place. In our small town we had somewhere between 61 & 69 kids graduate in our senior class. (Nobody in our class knows the actual count, because some folks were held back, others moved, and the truth is that nobody cares.) Incidentally, at the time we were our school's largest graduating class. Our 10 year reunion came and went last year. As far as I know something like a dozen people attended. Facebook makes the need for a reunion unnecessary. We see the folks we want to see online, and that's enough for most of us.

Yesterday, I was browsing my mundane timeline when I saw a video posted of a baptism. While I will not repost the video here for privacy's sake, the text accompanying it reads as follows:

What an amazing day today has been. Anyone who knows me knows my love for my Lord and Savior. They also know my love for the greatest gift he has ever given me, my wife. Well today I witnessed my wife get baptized and it is a day I will always remember. A lot of couples have different things that only they can say they experienced together, well me and my wife have ours. We were both there when the other received God as our personal savior and both there when the other was baptized. God is so amazing. Ruth 1:16-17 #whereyougoiwillgo

Now... My immediate reaction was an eye roll. No, I don't hate love and affection. No, I'm not anti-Christian. And, no, I don't morally object to hashtags on Facebook. However, there's an issue with the above mentioned "first time". It wasn't her first time. I was actually there for her first time. I went to Sunday school with her. Youth group later on. I went to church camps and Bible camps and camp outs and all sorts of events over the 13 years of our growing up. And, most germane to this conversation: I saw her baptism. The actual first one.

Saturday, May 23, 2015

The Story of Failure

 

Two days ago I had a pretty disastrous trail run. Disastrous for me, that is. Normally, I run for a good 6 miles or so on cardio days when the weather is nice and I am not working. I'm able to run at a good, steady pace and, by the end of the summer, I'm usually able to up that to 8-10 miles at an 8-9 minute mile. I enjoy exercise. I'm no muscle bound cover model, but I enjoy the cathartic release of stress through physical activity.

Two days ago I went out for my usual run. It was a gorgeous day that had, thankfully, proven the weatherman to be wrong in his forecast of gray skies and possible rain. It was warm and I needed a break from studying. It ended abruptly, however, as I realized about 1.5 miles in that I was not feeling well. My hands, lips, and legs started a familiar tingly feeling that begins when my blood sugar drops out. I'm just a touch hypoglycemic and I hadn't eaten enough that day...apparently. I walked the final half mile of my first lap through the preserve in defeat.

I have a little app that keeps track of my running progress. I normally share that run on my personal social media for a few reasons. My father is a runner, and running is a way that I connect with him. A lot of my family is made up of pretty active people. And, sure, it's a bit of a humblebrag. Hey! Look at my awesome running skills!

That day I did not share my run to social media. I drank a sports drink, got in my car, and headed home feeling more than a bit defeated.

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Spiritual Parenting & Indoctrination: An Invitation

Rioters! It's been quite a while since we've had a good roundtable discussion on the Riot, but I think it's high time we discuss the notion of raising our children with (or without) spiritual beliefs.

Inspired by a discussion I had yesterday on social media, I would like to extend an invitation to all the parents out there that would be interested in coming on and discussing the issues involved when it comes whether or not to raise your children with spiritual beliefs.

The discussion will include:


  • Do you have a particular faith? If so, is it different from your parents' faith? How did you come to it?
  • Do you share your specific faith with your children? At what age did you start? Are there specific rituals (such as baptisms, naming ceremonies, high holidays, etc.) in which they participate?
  • Do you expose them to other spiritual beliefs? How do you discuss the differences and similarities between another faith and your own?
  • The word "indoctrination" gets thrown around when it comes to certain kinds of faiths and practices. Do you feel it is "indoctrination" to teach children about faith or spirituality (or lack thereof) at an early age? Why or why not?
And so on.

Please write to FireLyte@IncitingARiot.com to let me know whether you would be interested in participating in this discussion. It will be held via Skype, and would, ideally, include members of multiple faiths (and hopefully at least one representative from a non-faith group/agnostic family). 

As with discussions in the past, you may use whatever name you would like publicly to protect your personal life if you so choose.

My goal is to get this discussion to happen some time in the next week so that it can be broadcast by end of May.

Love and Lyte,

Fire Lyte

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Marvel's Misogynist Merchandising Malady

I am a boy.

I love comics.

All my favorite characters are girls.

And I have always wondered why my shelves had to be lined with Cyclops and Wolverine action figures.

Friday, May 8, 2015

TV Review: The Almighty Johnsons

Netflix has been insisting for some time that I watch a show called The Almighty Johnsons. However, this is the same service that has been begging me to watch Ancient Aliens, Digimon, and the Nicholas Cage version of Left Behind for quite a while now. So, suffice to say this website totally knows me I am always hesitant of accepting recommendations. However, all my regular shows are off taking a hiatus for the summer, and I had time, so I decided what the hell. Live life to the fullest. Go out on a limb. Take a chance. What's the worst that could happen?

And...for once...Netflix got something right.

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Little Battles: Larry Wilmore and the Taboo Words

Nine years ago I set about deciding I was going to love a man. A specific man. The man who would later be my first (and only) live-in boyfriend. A man who would challenge my ego and allow me the space to grow up. He was older than me - come to think of it, he still is - but our age meant nothing as he always got carded at restaurants and bars and I didn't.

We got a cat. A dog. A horse. A bird. An apartment. Another apartment. Still another apartment. A rented house. A house we bought. A half dozen automobiles after mine mysteriously had a habit of ending up crashed. A couple of rings. A wedding day.

Did we fight for equality? I don't know. I didn't march in any rallies, but I cast my vote when I was able. I was the first openly gay person in the department in which I was an officer in Texas. There were times when he was not allowed near my parents' home and we had to hide his existence from our apartment. And there came a day when he and my father were showing off their respective roping skills.

Little battles are the ones that matter. The battle to not give up when things get tough. The battle to say yes when saying no is easier. The battle to see each other through the darkness and hope like hell that a light starts shining soon or else you don't know how you'll make it out alive...but then you do...

Somehow.

I don't know whether this segues properly or not, but I cannot get an episode of The Nightly Show with Larry Wilmore out of my head. It aired on April 27, 2015 and it largely dealt with the recent Bruce Jenner interview. It began with Wilmore interviewing Ian Harvie, transgender male entertainer (I use that codifier because...well...it's pertinent to the discussion), about certain terminology as it relates to the transgender community.



Larry's humor seemed to be less about satire, as his betters Colbert and Stewart do, and more about laughing at how icky and uncomfortable the entire situation was to him. Sure, he did his due liberal diligence and talked about how "brave" he thought the Jenner interview was, but...then he did something that made me...well...upset.



In his panel discussion, Wilmore asked if there was a trans-community equivalent of the "N-word". Both of his trans panelists said that there was, but declined to use the word so as not to give permission for others to use the word. They stressed how important they thought it was not to spread the word on national television and that they didn't want that word used during their appearance. They said this. 

So Wilmore had Harvie write the word down...and immediately blurted it out. And kept blurting it out, seeming rather flummoxed at the pained looks on 2/3rds of his panelists' faces. Later on he said the words "fag" and "tranny" in the same sentence as "the n-word" as examples of terrible words that shouldn't be used.

But he just used two of those three. Not, of course, the word that pertains to his immediate community. Not the word that affects him or his identity. Not a word he personally relates to name calling and abuse. But...you know... 

See, folks, it's little battles. My father didn't go horseback riding with my husband just because I wanted him to. It was years and seeing that my husband made me happy. Seeing that I was the same person. Seeing that I was a better person because of him. It was the humanizing of the alien that finally made my husband my family, that allowed him a place at Thanksgiving dinners and family vacations. 

We have a lot of battles to fight. Each community and sub-community and niche community and micro community needs to realize that we have a lot of tiny battles to fight, but the first is ending the battle of recognition. We need to recognize the pain of our sister and brother and sibling communities. We need to stop putting our struggle on an altar of importance while feigning empathy for another's struggle. 

Equality is an impossible war. There is likely never to come a day in which all people feel perfectly and completely accepted and comfortable in every possible situation. There will always be a mainstream and a counterculture. There will always be a minority and a majority. That's just how societies function. And with the Age of Information making us all constantly exposed to the farthest reaches of just how interesting and unique humanity can be, it's going to be more important than ever that we learn to accept without explanation and empathize without argument. 

Because one day someone is going to shine a light in this darkness, but until then we have to hope like hell we make it through together. 

Love and Lyte,

Fire Lyte

Monday, April 27, 2015

Dear Selina Anderson...


There's this blog whose existence I became aware of recently when a Rioter told me they used a picture of me on one of their blog posts. It's run by someone named "Selina Anderson" and seems to mine random snippets of other pagan blogs along with random photos from even more pagan blogs and posts them under the aforementioned Ms. Anderson's moniker.

Just because I'm That Guy, I did a little clicking around.

This is Selina Anderson on Google+.

This is her YouTube account.

She also claims on her Google+ account (seriously, who uses Google+?) that she contributes to something called Esoteric Soup and Alchemy and Alchemists.

Now, I'm not one to start any kind of online war or anything (please don't pop your eyeballs out of your head from rolling them), but this is a bridge too far for my liking, thank you very much. The author of the information that accompanies my dashing photograph is a guy named Carolina Dean, whose blog of quite interesting conjure information is found here. (*edit* On second thought, feel free to ignore that guy's blog. He was kind of an asshat about the whole thing.)

See...here's the thing about us Pagan folks. We're a small community. If you want to use something of ours, just ask. We will very likely say yes. We might have stipulations, but we don't mind sharing. But what's ours is not yours for the taking just because you like the picture or the spell or the quote or whatever.

Do I really need to have the Copyright Infringement discussion all over again?

Suffice to say, this blog, "Pagan-Space" is not affiliated with "PaganSpace.net", the social media platform for pagans to chat about...stuff.

It isn't even filled with original information. It just posts, seemingly automatically, every few hours with a snippet of information and a random picture.

Selina... Honey... You've angered witches.

Multiple witches.

I really, really wouldn't want to be you right now.

You might want to take down your entire website...before we do it for you.

Love and Lyte,

Fire Lyte

Sunday, April 26, 2015

Episode 92: Inciting Mogg Morgan's Riot

Episode 92 of Inciting A Riot the Podcast features a full-length sit down between Literary Maven Vinna Harper and Mogg Morgan of Mandrake of Oxford, a Pagan publishing house based in England.

News: Bruce Jenner comes out, California may require vaccinations for children, Walter Scott, Freddie Gray, Pope Francis speaks out about Armenian genocide, and the Nevada Bunny Ranch is looking for secret shoppers!

Mandrake of Oxford: http://mandrake.uk.net

Contact Mogg via his website: http://mandrake.uk.net/contact/



Vinna Harper's Contact Info:

@VinnaGrey on Twitter
Vinna@IncitingARiot.com

Blog: IncitingARiot.com
FireLyte@IncitingARiot.com
@IncitingARiot on Twitter
Facebook.com/IncitingARiotPodcast
Subscribe/Rate/Comment on iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/inciting-a-riot/id337689333?mt=2

Love and Lyte,

Fire Lyte