Okay, so last night the Biography channel had a re-run of their special concerning Witches. I had been really anticipating this show, as it originally came out last year and I never got to see it. It comes out on re-runs every now and then, I found out from the blog Lizzie's Logic, and it came on again last night.
I'm going to be as fair as possible in this review, but you all know my views on media's take on paganism...
The Good: Most of what the narrator said was quite accurate in its representation of the basic understanding of earth-based spirituality and modern paganism. The show made the point that pagans/witches could be your doctor, lawyer, teacher, and neighbor. Even though the historical information was quite brief, it was excellent in its attempt to show that people that were tried for witchcraft were only charged due to political or social motives rather than actually practicing witchcraft. Oh, and they stressed that WE DON'T FRIGGIN WORSHIP THE DEVIL! (Yeah!!!) Also, the last segment, in which they talked to Roberta Stewart moved me deeply. She's the wife of fallen soldier Sgt. Patrick Stewart who fought to have the pentacle put on her husband's gravestone.
The Bad: However, for being a Biography channel special, I was hoping for a little more in-depth information than the basic info you find in the first chapter of every single 101 text. Perhaps they could extend this show to be a series and go a bit more in-depth into each of the topics they presented. But...my biggest beef with the movie...the thing that quite literally made me a bit sick to my stomach...was the inclusion of LAURIE CABOT and SILVER (FUCKING) RAVENWOLF!!! Pardon the language. I was just so incensed by this. Cabot got on screen with her frizzy black hair, mountains of black robes, and Flava Flav sized pentacle and told the cameras she didn't appreciate the visual stereotypes of witches in the media. As she sat there in her billowing black robes with a spiral tattoo on her left cheek and glasses the size of pie plates.
She is THE bad stereotype of modern witches. She is the face that the media seeks out to put on television, because she looks like what pop culture thinks 'real' witches look like. I mean, really, she said the Goddess required us all to take vows that we would wear black robes and 'the pentacle' at all times. I have never in my life, except when graduating from something, worn a friggin black robe, and my one pentacle was small and meant to be more of a personal symbol than something to flash around for the masses. (though, I don't wear it anymore...more out of a desire for different jewelry) And, really, she knew she was going to be on television. If she didn't want to perpetuate a stereotype of silliness and institute an idea that this religion is legitimate, she should have dispensed with the 5 people in fairy wings and glitter crowns in the depiction of her coven's Imbolc celebration.
Also, every pagan that I know cannot stand Silver Ravenwolf. (Or Technicolor Sparrowbear, as my friend Beth would call her) I have no idea what world Silver is living in, but it has nothing to do with a little thing called reality. Click here for an excellent article on the problem of Silver Ravenwolf. Yet another woman who is perpetuating the exact stereotype she claims to be trying to overturn.
Couldn't they have gotten some nice, normal, well-spoken individuals on screen? Of course not. They have to go for the most visually and aurally sensational subjects they can find.
This, however, shouldn't deter one from hearing the information presented. What is said is, most of the time, wonderful information. (Except for the fluffy bunny garbage espoused by Cabot and Sparrowbear.) I cannot wait for the TV special in the mythical future that will grab a bunch of normal folks that are, surprise, also pagan. Dare to dream....
What did you think about the show?
Love and Lyte,