Reasons I Would Not Have Been Burned As A Witch In The Early Modern Era No Matter What I Would Like To Believe About Myself And Would Have In Fact Been Among The Witch-Burners -The Toast

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11. Because, let’s be honest, while I am totally into Stevie Nicks and candles and The Craft and whatever now of days, it is enormously safe for me to do so, and I prioritize my physical safety and comfort over absolutely everything, and if there was even a chance that someday I could face social or legal repercussions for my vague, shallow interest in “witch shit,” I would throw Stevie Nicks into a god damn river this time yesterday.

10. Because as much as I would like to think of myself as a persecuted outsider I am fact a Joiner through and through who craves nothing so much as the approval of a group. Any group. If there’s a group, I will defer to its moral code. Oh, there’s multiple people of you? I bet you have a way better plan for living than I do. Let’s do your thing. I have the seamless soul of a conformist.

9. There is not a single principle I would not betray in order to preserve my miserable, wretched, cowardly skin, if shit ever really came down to it. Not one.

8. Yes, even that principle. The one you’re thinking of. I’d chuck it in a river with cheer and a right good will.

7. Because I would have thrown a rock at that lady in The Lottery. You kidding me? Tessie Hutchinson? Threw a rock right at her face, then gone home for supper.

6. I love blaming other people for my problems.

5. Because I’m no better or smarter than a seventeenth-century peasant just because someone explained to me how electricity and outer space work. If I’d had the same information as your average Bavarian circa 1605, you can bet your absolute britches that I’d be in the tavern jabbering about spirits of evil portent come the first bad harvest or weird-looking moon, looking for someone to blame.

4. I love the cleansing purity of self-righteous anger and feeling like I’m a part of something bigger than me.

3. I still kind of believe in magic, and I’m not convinced one of these days I won’t be able to move something using the power of my mind, so it would not take a lot to talk me into believing devil-consorters walk among us and must be killed.

2. I honestly quit smoking because my dental hygienist told me, “You have great teeth, and it would be a shame if you ruined such perfect teeth from smoking,” which tells me that I am A) incredibly suggestible and B) driven entirely by empty praise and the promise of Official Male Approval.

1. I would have named names, too. And I’d have been especially good at intuiting what names my interrogators wanted to hear (they would not have to torture or even threaten to torture me) – sharp-tongued gossips and independent-minded widows and all kinds of people who get described as “unruly” in modern academic essays. Throw them under the god damn Witch Bus. Does it disappoint you to hear this? I never asked you to have faith in me, Goody Watson.

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