In a surprise ruling Thursday, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) gave its unanimous approval to Paganistan’s petition that its athletes be permitted to participate naked. “This ruling will no doubt be highly unpopular in some circles,” said Bruner Soderberg, IOC chair pro tem. “But the IOC charter is quite clear on the matter. If some countries can require their athletes to compete with limbs fully covered—not to mention with headscarves—then the athletes of Paganistan have an equivalent right to their own national traditions.”
Paganistani sprinter and 2016 Olympic Gold Medalist Aspen Moore said: “It’s something to celebrate, a return to the original Olympic ideal. Any runner can tell you that clothing constricts your movement and slows you down.” As expected, the ruling has created a stir among certain socially conservative countries. North Korea, Saudi Arabia, and Iran have lodged protests with the IOC, but have yet to threaten withdrawal from the 2020 Games.
Before one decides to make the big leap and attend their first pagan event, one's imagination conjures up all sorts of images about the sorts of people they will meet and the experiences they will have. If you're prepared to eliminate any romantic notions and be realistic about the people you might meet, you will do well. An open mind and tolerant spirit is the best attitude to adapt as there are going to be people who, regretfully in some ways, snugly fit into stereotypes which might be a little too familiar. For the Australian pagan that stereotype is going to be: the bogan. Bogans love witchcraft, Wicca and paganism and are drawn to it, like moths to a flame. Because of this, you might find you are swamped by bogans at pagan events, a horrifying prospect for an inner city, soy-chai-latte-sipping hipster witch.
Bogans are firmly entrenched in Australian culture and their kin are the 'rednecks' in the U.S. or perhaps 'chavs' in the U.K. They are symptomatic of middle-class white cultural cringe but mostly I think bogan identification is harmless and taken with a good shake of humour. The Things Bogans Like website tells us that "the bogan today defies income, class, race, creed, gender or logic". The negative aspects of the stereotype, such as willful lack of education or general racism (in the form of cultural appropriation) and bigotry, unfortunately does make an appearance in the pagan bogan, or as very artfully coined by Galloway of the excellent blog Galloway & Daracha, the 'pogan'.