Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Angel Bunny Rainbow Unicorn Horror

Last weekend, I visited Vashon Island, WA, for the very first time in my life, and I saw something. Something that must exist in our world, yet manages to be wholly separate, and also kind of awful.

I've lived near Vashon (a short ferry ride from Seattle) for about twenty years. There was some kind of "art tour" set up for the weekend, and there were many numbered signs around town indicating galleries or shops that were participating. There were a couple of places that had what I would call "modern" pottery, with a few pieces of genuine artistic merit. Lots of fancy woodwork. But the last place we visited...

A small, unassuming tea shop on the main drag. Families sitting around, drinking little cups of tea, teapots for sale, lots of fancy bulk teas, and then there were the paintings across from the cashier's counter. Lots of pastels and glitter. Cutesy little subjects: unicorns, fairies, angels, bunnies, bunnies that are also angels, RAINBOWS, you get the idea. Her name is Claire Schlosser, and she paints at about a fourth-grade level. Lots of glitter; she says in her mission statement that her spirit guide told her to pile on the glitter. Art is only one way she makes money, though. She is also a Certified Unicorn Therapy Practitioner. Really she is. I can't explain this. I've been told, "well, that's Vashon Island."

Unicorn Fairy Light - about 8 x 10", and the red sticker means "sold"

This woman has her beliefs, and okay, she's entitled to them, but the fact that she has them in this day and age makes me wonder where she got them from, and how they stuck. I won't complain about the fact that she claims to care mostly about healing animals, since I'm a huge animal lover, and they deserve the best possible treatment. You know, vaccinations, decent food, and a warm place to sleep. I'm not sure how beneficial "Distant Reiki Animal Sessions" are, and I know you can't prove that they work. She charges $44 for a half hour, $64 for an hour for any and all of her services. (any form of Reiki therapy labeled "distant" was invented in the west, and has nothing to do with the original intent of Japanese Reiki)

Please look her up, and check out her references. It's beyond anything I have time to list in here, but it's pure awesome.

Being an atheist, I have respect for people who were raised with God and still have their faith, but only when they act in a way that wouldn't piss off God. The Christians who tell the poor to essentially suck it if they're poor, "why they hell aren't they working harder?!?" are Christians in name only, and the worst kind of hypocrites.

But what of the New Age? So much of it is rooted in the ability to delude oneself (as it is with faith healers): "I have laid my hands on you and said the magic words." "I am HEALED!" (as they fall out of their wheelchair). I believe this will help, therefor when someone says it has helped, I feel better. That's great, if you're feeling a little down, but how well does this sort of thing work with broken legs? I've seen people who believed they were cured with the laying on of hands, neglecting to remember that they also took powerful narcotics for the same symptom at the same time. "Thank you for curing my migraine with your magical hands - what codeine?" And the New Age folks who tell us that each person needs to take responsibility for everything in their lives, so, for example, the Jews somehow wanted the Holocaust to occur. I mean - seriously?!?

I grew up during the sixties and seventies and this sort of thing was re-gaining ground, long after the whole concept of scientific testing had been decided as the best way to determine if any given treatment is efficacious. I've heard about the healing properties of crystals, while understanding that anyone can say anything about them, and the practitioners of said arts will smile and nod and say, "oh, yes, that's true" to almost any healing property they might contain, without any proof other than "a friend of mine said...".

The other levels of crazy involve the whole "buffet" of beliefs that people are willing to glom onto. "Mayan healers used this silver doohickey to cure infections". Mayan priests were also pretty well known for running a long-term human sacrifice machine - should we go back to that as well? "I believe this part of the magic because it sounds good and makes me feel good about myself, but this other part, well, that was because they were primitive." How condescending is that? You wanna be a Mayan, go whole hog Mayan - don't stint the human sacrifices, because maybe, without that, nothing else works.

I don't wish to conflate human sacrifices with glitter - though if you're going to split someone's chest open, and cut out their beating heart, it would certainly be more colorful and fun with glitter. I'm opposed to lazy thinking. To lazy or convenient faith. You wanna believe something, believe it, but don't believe only the "happy" parts of that faith while leaving the inconvenient or "icky" parts behind, because without one, does the other actually work, or mean anything?

Q'uq'umatz, eat your heart out.