Haha, yeah, you looked up the wrong AFA! No worries - there are a ton of organizations labelled AFA, as I just found out doing my own search on Facebook.
The AFA that I’m talking about is the Asatru Folk Assembly. Founded by Stephen A. McNallen in 1994, they’re a Heathen/Folkish neopagan organization, based in California. Recently, there was a shift in management, as it were, and the newly-elected Alsherjargothi Matt Flavel posted a short commentary on the AFA Facebook page that read:
I rather optimistically assume that that post speaks for itself. If not, I can count at least sexism, transphobia, homo/biphobia, and racism - and I’m sure there’s more “isms” to be found in this disgustingly loaded sentiment. There’s some question of its echoing Hitler’s rhetoric, as well. (To be honest, I’ve never had to deal with neo-naziism before and so I am not well-versed in their literature or ideals. Clearly, that needs to change.)
Now, as I’m not a Heathen, I can’t speak to the organization’s past, but I have seen on multiple blogs that the AFA has always had these leanings and are just being more out and open with them, thanks to Flavel’s election. Several subsequent responses to this post - that have not been deleted by administrators - confirm a veneration of Hitler’s ideals, and all manners of anti-QUILTBAG+ and racist and sexist stands by leaders of a prominent religious organization.
What I can speak to as an Irish Recon is one of the comments, lower down, that the religion of Celtic Recon shares those views. Several CR elders - whatever my personal opinions on their stances and foibles are - spoke out against oppression, racism, etc. on the public CR FAQbefore this ever happened. CR was conceived, in part, as a religion intent on being open to everyone. Unfortunately, a lot of CRs in the greater interwebs believe that Celtic cultures are “for” descendants of those cultures. They argue that people should be worshiping whatever they descended from - with the clear note that if your melanin levels don’t match theirs, you aren’t welcome. Which is absolute bullshit. Before this past July, I had no knowledge of a hereditary link to Celtic heritage (and what link I do seem to have is still, to my mind, questionable) - but because I’m white, I’m still okay to practice? Bullshit. Because if I wasn’t white, I wouldn’t be. If I connect with the religion respectfully, and it’s an open religion, I could be purple and still able to worship. Anyone who says anything else is, barred none, wrong.
So what can you, a hopefully non-racist polytheist, do?
Openly and publically announce your standings. Let no one assume that you’re interested in the sort of values the AFA espouses.
If you’re up for it, publically denounce the values of the AFA. This will open you up to some hostility on the internet, so please only do this if you’re psychologically up for it.
Keep abreast of these topics. I love reading The Wild Hunt every morning, tbh. And if you don’t know what’s happening in the wider community, you can’t take steps to protect yourself and your community.
You may be surprised or not at who has not bothered to speak out against AFA’s views, especially in the Heathen community. Hopefully this will be rectified soon, although it will not surprise me if it’s not.
How has the Bassnectar movement impacted your life?
Beyond words…no really! I will try my best, though! For many, myself included, the Bassnectar movement has completely transformed their way of life, their social views, or finally finding a place where they fell they belong. For some this might come as a surprise, but I used to be rather shy when placed in a large social setting and meeting new folks. The idea of striking up a conversation with someone I did not know seemed rather nerve wracking and frankly a bit scary. That was then. Slowly but surely I began to break out of my shell. I have done a total 180. No longer do I fear of large social gatherings. In fact, one of my main goals at shows and events is to meet and interact with as many bass heads as I can. It is an awesome feeling to find something that you are extremely passionate about, feel a sense of belonging, and for others to share those same feelings.
What is your favorite Bassnectar Memory?
My favorite Bassnectar memory…hmmm. Now this is truly a tough question. A Bassnectar show or event is not simply a concert. It is an absolute experience. From the camaraderie built between fans to the sonic ride Lorin takes us on, attending a show is much, much more than listening to some music broadcasting through some large speakers. Each experience is unique and special in its own way. I have met my best friends through just attending shows and becoming more involved and engaged in the community. If I had to pinpoint my favorite memory, it would be of this past New Year’s 360 in Birmingham, Alabama. I have never felt more connected to a group of people before in my entire life. The whole room of 20 thousand plus bass heads in sync was a remarkable sight. Watching everyone have the time of their lives was an incredible and powerful experience. The moment “Lights” belted out of that Anya Sound System, the whole room waited and paused with baited breath. The intensity in the air was awe-inspiring. The level of interconnectedness reached an all-time high during that song. It was a very powerful moment in time. That moment was one of my favorite Bassnectar Memories to date.
Your friend has never listened to Bassnectar before. What song would you play for them first?
Easy…Timestretch. No wait! Colorstorm, or, Bursting, or When I Grow Up. Maybe Vava Voom, or Wildstyle Method….actually Butterfly, that or Shampion Chip. Hold up a second…that question is not as easy as it seems. Bassnectar’s music spans so many genres, styles, tempos, and methodologies that for me to sum up the collective Bassnectar sound to another person in just one song would not work out too well. I would like to take my friend on a journey though time from the beginning all the way up to the present day. Sample a few songs from each time period and see what their favorite songs were out of the collection. If I HAD to choose one song to demo first, it would be Butterfly.
What is a social issue that is important to you and why?
The world can be and is certainly a crazy place. As of late, we have been bombarded with news reports on how no one in the world is seemingly getting along which often leads to disastrous outcomes. We have seen everything from terrorist bombings and police hatred to gun control problems and gender issues. One issue often rarely discussed or “slid under the rug” is depression and having access to mental health services. There unfortunately tends to be a stigma attached to folks who need to seek out mental health services. Depression is a real issue and the World Health Organization believes that depression is one of the leading causes of disability today. Everyone from teens to senior citizens are susceptible to becoming depressed, and chances are, you know someone who has or is currently suffering from depression. I have personally watched people I know lose their jobs, drop out of college, or slowly become completely reclusive while struggling through this illness. Fortunately, depression is largely treatable and the people I know had access to the mental health services that they desperately needed and are doing much better today. Unfortunately, not everyone has this same access or funding that they need to successfully beat the illness. I believe we must make mental health services vastly more accessible and affordable for those in need. A healthy mind is a very important thing! After all, the brain is what makes us, well us!
You’re a very positive individual, both in the community online and on the rail at events - can you tell us what it’s really like at the rail? What are you and those at the rail doing to give back at events and festivals?
That is very kind of you to say! No matter where you are in the crowd for a Bassnectar set, you will have the time of your life. It is a matter of preference but some people get groovy in the back, some folks get their dance on in the middle of the crowd, and others feel at home up front at the rail. We have nothing but love for everyone up at the rail! If Bassnectar is playing a festival set with other artists beforehand, we actively seeking out fans of other acts all day to trade places so they too can be up close and personal with their favorite artist. I love doing this as I get the amazing opportunity to meet so many cool people I otherwise would not have the opportunity to get to know. I love hearing about how their love for their favorite act mirrors our passion for Bassnectar. My homies and I have nothing but love for all other artists. I make it my personal mission to seek out first time Bassnectar fans and folks who have never been up on the rail too and swap out with them. Their reactions are priceless. Aside from meeting new music fans, I love meeting the security team members, EMS, production crew members, and other folks who are hard at work to make an unforgettable experience for us. Without them, none of these shows and concerts would even be possible. Most of us at the rail also come armed with show essentials that we love to give away! Between earplugs for those without them to water, sunscreen, and other essentials, we are actively doing what we can to make sure everyone is having the time of their lives. The rail is full of nothing but good vibes. Come find any one of us up there and we will be glad to share our space with you. After all, the “fam” is what makes Bassnectar shows and events so special
Cari and Lauri Ryding, a couple in Massachusetts, came home from vacation recently to find their house had been egged and their rainbow flag stolen.
So more than 40 houses in their neighborhood put up rainbow flags in a show of solidarity.
Neighbors got the flags from the Rainbow Peace Flag Project, a local organization that gives away free rainbow flags to area residents. Cari and Lauri had originally hung the flag after the Orlando shooting.
“It just happened so quickly — the whole neighborhood said, ‘Get me a flag. Get me a flag. Get me a flag,’ ” said Penni Rochwerger, who lives around the corner from the Rydings. “If we can stop whatever hate is out there, I think that’s really important.”
“We said, ‘Why don’t we all have the flags? They can’t take them from all of us,’” said Dennis Gaughan, whose wife, Maura, helped organize the rainbow response. […]
As jarring as the initial crime was, Lauri Ryding said, the response has helped restore their faith in their community. “Somebody’s fear called them to action,” she said. “But our neighbors’ support and love called them to action, and love conquers hate. Love wins. We win.”
For example, an entertainment FC basket might include:
Chilled Red [housing Booze Item]
Pince-nez [Ruby glasses head item]
Plush Cushion [minion]
Service: VIP treatment at their next event
Book: The Great Gatsby
We’d love for a representative from each FC sponsoring a basket to have a moment to promote themselves and any upcoming events (1-4 paragraphs) before their basket is auctioned, though that is certainly not required!
Proceeds from the auction will be divided between the sponsoring FCs and the Library.
The Office, Parks and Rec, Community and Brooklyn nine nine all have this special feeling to them that I could never explain before but I finally got it, they are all showes that feel real. Not because they make sense, but because the humor is based on personal relationships between people who deeply care for and about each other. They are all humor based on love! They are lightharted and happy. They dont focus their humor on making fun or people or being negative. The humor is based on friendship and respect! Sure it can be brutal, but at the basis of the showes is this deep caring between all of the characters. And that just makes them so much better because watching showes were the humor comes from a place of mocking and laughing *at* characters is no fun, instead I like showes were you feel you are languing *with* them, where you come to love the characters as if you were one of them instead of feeling like Im an observer of these people being cruel to each other. And that is why i love those 4 showes. Im sure there are others like them, but those are the only 4 comedy showes Ive ever liked and I can finally explain why.
My (bio) sister offered to help me get a “Smash The Partriarchy” t shirt and as much as I appreciate the effort like do I look like some cis femme ‘lady type’ who has a bearded “mostly het” boyfriend who drinks craft beer over here??!?