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Writer's Block: Riddle me this

What is something that just doesn't make sense to you?

When people get mad at me for something I didn't actually write, or attribute to me atittudes or stances I've never publicly advocated. If I had a nickel for every time someone wrote some varation of "Jason believes/thinks __________" I could buy a very nice sandwich. 

Few have tried the revolutionary tactic of actually asking me directly what I thought about something.
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Writer's Block: AIDS Walk

Do you think there will be a cure for AIDS in your lifetime? Why or why not?

Yes. Whether it will be affordable and accessible to everyone who needs it will be a different matter. So far, most of the promising advances haven't been in the form of a "magic pill" or injection that can be easily mass produced and distributed.
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Advice to someone who's been attacked on the Internet.

More than one person has marveled at my thick skin in regards to shenanigans on the Internet. Particularly when it comes to Pagans. I have often found that people you thought you were friends with, who you've even met and talked with, can suddenly decide you're the devil (which Pagans don't believe in, of course) and say some pretty unkind and unfair stuff. If you're not expecting it, it can feel like a punch in the gut. "Why is my friend saying these things about me, why isn't he/she just calling or emailing me for clarification?" It can make you despair, feel shitty, and want to just pick up your toys and go home. 

Here's what I know: There are a lot of great Pagans out there, people I deeply admire and respect. But there are also a lot of walking wounded, psychic vampires (not the good kind), antagonists, and predators. It can sometimes take months, or even years, to really find out what a person is like, especially if most interactions are through the Internet or phone. 

In my job as a Pagan blogger/journalist I have to interact with just about everyone. I don't really have the choice to be as discerning as I'd normally be comfortable being. I  go where a story leads, and if I alienate too many people I'm hobbled in what I can do. So, as a consequence, I'm "friends" (in the social networking sense) with all sorts of suspect folks. Naturally I weed out the fascists and racists when discovered, but that leaves a wide berth of creeps, space cadets, and woo-peddlers with who I try to stay on relatively friendly terms with. Once you reach a critical mass of these "friends" it starts to get hard to remember who's trustworthy, and who isn't. 
As a consequence of all this I've been attacked on the Internet now and then. Sometimes by people who want attention, sometimes by people who believe I've wronged them in some way, and sometimes for no real reason I  can discern. In almost all cases I've found that the best response is to make like the Amish and shun. Most of my attackers thrive on the attention that "trolling" gets them. It validates them when I respond. It gives them a form of legitimacy if I engage them. So I don't if at all possible. Starved of a fight, they quickly expose themselves as unbalanced, and quickly alienate the few (sane) allies they had. 
In my head, when dealing with the Pagan community, there are two columns. People I trust, and people I don't trust (I suppose there's an unofficial third column for people I don't know at all). If someone I'm friendly with flips out and attacks me publicly without trying to clear up their grievance (whatever it is) with me privately first, then I know they can't be trusted and are moved into that column. Then I know to keep those individuals at arms length, and only interact with them when a certain story demands it. Likewise, if someone proves themselves to be trustworthy, then I feel safe reaching out to them, involving them in ideas and projects, and turning to them for advice and support. 
This can all seem very detached, very cynical, but I don't believe I'm a cynical person. I'm actually a very friendly, trusting, and affectionate person if I trust you. I also tend to give just about everyone the benefit of the doubt at first. I consider myself rich with friends from the Pagan community, and I wish that they all lived in my town so we could hang out more often, and I could invite them to swanky parties. But because I know that I am who I am (and that's all that I am), I have learned through experience that I can't trust anyone who puts points-scoring over a personal relationship. If I didn't, I'd go crazy. I'd burn out, and The Wild Hunt, and all the other projects I'm involved in would eventually end as I started to count up the betrayals and meltdowns. So you have to create those columns, and shut out those who don't make it into the trusted category. 
I have been blessed with this community, and the good has outweighed the bad. It would have to be or what I do wouldn't be emotionally sustainable. As Pagans in the public eye we have to be constantly discerning, and when a betrayal happens, we can't take it too personally. We have to remember that sometimes people can't see beyond the image they've built of us, the aggregate of their own experiences, instead of trying to remember that there are human beings on the other side of their impressions. It can hurt when people we thought were our friends turn out to not know us at all. It can be hard to remember all the good people, all the people who have earned our trust in those moments, but that's what we have to do. Remember those who've earned our trust, shake off the haters, and keep our eyes on our Great Work, whatever that might be. For me that Great Work is being the Pagan journalist, for you it may be something else. But if we remember our purpose, why we became engaged, why we stay engaged, the sting of petty betrayals do fade. 
I wish healing for you, and for anyone who's been in that lonely place. Practice some self care, be gentle with yourself, and call me if you need a sympathetic ear. 
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Things, Goth stuff.

 First off, I'd like to thank all my friends here who've been so supportive of my recent coven-related issues. I really do appreciate it.

Now then, I've got a new music related article up at my TheSkysGoneOut Tumblr.

Goth Music is Back, But are Goths Listening?

For those who don't regularly follow my Tumblr, here’s a quick run-down of the largely goth-focused music essays I’ve been posting to this site.

A True Return
A Return to Dark Places: 1990 & 2010
Rockism, Popism, and Goth
Is 1990s Darkwave (finally) Making a Comeback?

These music essays are mostly done for my own enjoyment and edification. A break from all the Pagan stuff I usually write about. 

Yes, I'm one of those geeks who take music and pop-culture seriously. What can you do?
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"Well, first of all, I detest the term "casual sex" -- since when is it actually casual, this so-called casual sex? Every time I was with someone it was intimate. It was intense. I got to know them and they got to know me on levels we certainly wouldn't have known if we hadn't gotten together -- and I don't just mean what their bottom looked like, I mean their personality, their feelings. You're vulnerable with someone. I mean, some people say, "No, I'm made of steel. I just go in there and fuck." Have I ever experienced that, at all? I just don't find sex to be this jaded, cynical, stoic exercise. How do you manage to do that and have an orgasm? I don't." - Susie Bright