The term “witchcraft” is getting used a lot in the newspapers at present. The media have determined that there is witchcraft afoot, therefore there must be a witch. Seems logical, except that the media are primarily focused on witches who might be somebody you’ve heard of.
The general trend in the quality of the media’s coverage on witches had started low and headed downwards, with a few exceptions. Every morning there appears to be a new set of articles all misusing basic terms like ‘illusion’ or ‘magic’, and then moving onto trying to find a set of facts to fit their definitions.
So how do you address the issue of being perceived to be a witch? Well, for one thing you can round up a posse and start intimidating others and accusing them of witchcraft. Then, if anybody accuses you of witchcraft yourself you can accuse them of trying to divert you from your righteous mission.
That’s quite high profile though, and you’d only expect that from the sort of egomaniacal hypocrite who has the ulterior motive of self promotion. That’s the sort of person who would read these paragraphs and jump to the erroneous conclusion that it was about them.
Yes, you are so vain you probably think this blog is about you.
That doesn’t work for me. I’ve enough skeletons in the closet… Oh, and a strong sense of morality blah, blah, blah.
Also, I’m not sure I’ve the stomach to burn an innocent man. I imagine that it probably helps if you pick on people who are unpopular already, but still..
Keeping your head down and not behaving like a witch is generally a good start to surviving. But you might find one of those posse’s recruiting near you wondering where your pitchfork is. Best carry a pitchfork with you at all times.
But that’s pretty cowardly, right?
Well, yes, but it’s fairly sensible. Defending the witch of the day is usually one of the surest signs of benefiting in some way from witchcraft, if not being a full on witch yourself.
A slightly less cowardly thing to do is to be slightly outspoken (but not too much) on the whole witch thing and wait until the posse burns an innocent person and it feels a bit sated. And, more importantly, a little bit guilty.
Then start suggesting that the burnee perhaps wasn’t a witch, and maybe the posse acted in haste.
Or maybe you feel brave and fancy the lead role in The Crucible. To my mind it’s only particularly appealing if those slightly outspoken people get their act together and clear your name before the ashes cool. No sense in being labelled a witch and being dead.
But whatever option you choose, don’t be surprised when the medicine man leaves the village, and the blacksmith, woodsman and carpenters decide to go with him.
The posse will be glad because they were probably witches anyway…