Thursday, 29 December 2011

Big Tent

I've been having to deal with some theological disputes since we've entered the post-Yule lull. This is typical of what happens when people have time on their hands. Which is why I prefer the busy times, like Yule itself when people are so busy attending Ceremonies, and so sleep-deprived from watch-nights and early Pouring Out of Beakers that even if they had time to think, those thoughts would be incoherent.

For starters I've got to deal with Marston Moretaine. Marston has come all Oxford Movement on me, and started to demand a certain precision in our observances. He's presented me with a list of rules dictating the correct length of hi-viz and the number of pieces of velcro that should be used to fasten it; the correct direction in which to turn a beaker during Pouring-out (anti-clockwise); and the Four Additional Bows we should introduce into the Tea Light 'n' Pebbles Service.

Meanwhile Mansfield Wodehouse has come up with with his own set of diametrically opposite demands. If we are to re-establish the Primitive Beaker Faith, according to Mansfield, we need to do away with pebbles and tea lights (reminding us as they do of Popery). He is particularly scathing about Pouring Out of Beakers, and its eventide equivalent when we fill them up. The ceremonies seem to imply, according to Mansfield, that by leaving a Beaker of water overnight it soaks up Good Earth Energy, which is then distributed in the morning by its pouring-out. He has declared this to be neo-paganism of the first water (and not the kind of water we are pouring out which, for Mansfield, has been contaminated by its use in these ceremonies).

Thinking of Mansfield at one pole and Marston at the other, I've realised that what I need, drawing from Gordon Brown's example, is a Big Tent approach.

So I've pitched a Big Tent out on the lower field and I'm making them sleep in it until I hear some sense from them. They've both just come in for breakfast, frozen but fanatical, so I guess they're gonna need a few more nights out there.

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