Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Ten Years of "The Gods Are Bored!"

Wow. It's our tenth anniversary here at The Gods Are Bored!

There are over 2200 posts.

And a half million page views.

Dozens of bored deities have sat for interviews.

Goats were judged back in the day. Not so much anymore.

We will always love faeries! Remember Puck?



So many adventures with Decibel the parrot!



I couldn't afford to buy the family farm, so I've asked Gaia to reclaim it. This view is already lost due to tree growth!


I love the Goddess Brighid the Bright. She led me to the Light.



One day when they're older, my daughters The Heir and The Spare will come here to read about their lives! Spare was 11 when I started this blog. Tomorrow she turns 21. Oh my.


There's been one magnificent, overriding passion here at "The Gods Are Bored," celebrated with supreme devotion since this site's inception. That passion is the Rich Worship of the Great Sacred Thunderbird! Long may Vulture own the skies!


Thank you, readers, for your comments and support lo, these many years. It doesn't seem like a decade has passed since that day I read an article about a woman who got money to pay her dog's vet bills by blogging. I didn't set out to make money here ... but your generosity through several projects has been heart-warming and well-remembered.

Ten more years? Probably. There are still quite a few bored Gods and Goddesses out there who want their Voices to be heard!

FROM ANNE
THE MERLIN OF BERKELEY SPRINGS

Saturday, April 11, 2015

When He Says He's a Shaman, Believe It!

Welcome to "The Gods Are Bored," a house of hilarity for nearly, almost, shortly, getting there -- ten years! I'm Anne Johnson, that's really my name, and here's a wild and wonderful "Gods Are Bored" story, fresh off just happening.

I couldn't sleep last night, so I got up at 4:30 a.m. to go see King Neptune in His briny deep.

From where I live, at 4:30 in the morning, you can cruise on down to the edge of the continent in about an hour. It was my intention to be on the beach, searching for beach glass, at "can see," which right now is about 5:50 a.m.


When I got to the sea glass beach, it was barely, barely light enough to see. All the casinos were still lit up (and empty, for all I know). When I pulled into a dead end street to park, there was a big rig cab with a dude inside. He was just staring out at the water.

This made me a little nervous, but I've always had a lot of luck being alone places with strange dudes. This time was no exception.

I got on the beach, paid respect to King Neptune and Queen Oshun, and I tucked into hauling in some sea glass.

It pays to be the first one there, because it's pretty much a candy shop after an overnight high tide. I'd never gotten so much glass so quickly. And after a few minutes, I saw the trucker dude, standing on the beach.

When I got a little closer to him, we struck up a conversation. He'd never been to Atlantic City before and was interested in its history. He knew a lot already and was a big fan of "Boardwalk Empire."

When daylight truly emerged and I got closer to where he was standing, I found that he was chock-a-block with Pagan bling: pentagram and Celtic knot rings, Green Man on a cord around his neck.

I said, "Whoa, you are my kinda guy." And then it was like we were long lost pals.

He was from Kentucky. He had never heard of sea glass before. He said he was a Shaman, and that his wife was into minerals and Tarot cards. I didn't press him about what kind of Shaman he was. I figure ... and I know I'm in the minority here ... if you go to the trouble to call yourself a Shaman, well then, by golly you are one.

 I gave the Shaman a nice piece of sea glass to take home and wrap. Then he started looking for sea glass too. (I must warn you, this is an addiction that can happen very quickly. DO NOT START.)

We were chatting about the bootleggers who off-loaded their cargo in the area of Atlantic City where we were. I said, "Yeah, they used marbles as ballast in their ships, and finding them all washed by the sea is a real treat. They're very rare."

He looked down at his feet and said, "Here's one." And handed me a marble.

I've been going to AC for four years now, and I have found two marbles. Well, I found three, but King Neptune wanted to keep the third. It had been a long, long time since I found a marble, and I never, ever found one on that stretch of beach before! And this Shaman had never heard of sea glass, and the moment he heard of it, he found a rare piece!

Readers, the Shaman and I had the beach to ourselves for about 20 minutes. That's all. By 6:30, full daylight, hordes with rakes descended and started beach-combing like fiends. You snooze, you lose.

The Shaman asked me for suggestions as to where he should spend the rest of his day. He certainly wasn't keen on casinos, but he wanted to walk the boards in an "artsy" place, maybe with a few ink parlors. I directed him to Asbury Park.


We said our "Merry meets" and parted paths. I went to another section of beach and combed some more, very profitably, but (predictably) no marbles.

When I returned to the main sea glass beach, the truck was gone. I hope the Shaman found his way to Asbury Park. For my money (and it ain't cheap), Asbury Park is the best boardwalk in New Jersey. Anything beats Atlantic City.

So, who establishes the criteria for "Shaman?" I know you can read a load of books and study up on ancient Celtic lore, and all that. But at the end of the day, the title is nebulous. To my way of thinking, though, the performance of minor miracles most definitely gets you the Shaman badge. For a guy who had never been to AC before, had never even seen sea glass before, to just reach down and find a marble, well. I'll sign off on him.

Okay, okay, do you want to see? This was my best day ever ... even better than the day I found my own marbles!


I found two pieces of red (one is magenta!), a huge chunk of yellow, lavender, a nugget of cobalt, and lots of really pretty, well-rounded nuggets. And someone, I think a Shaman, gave me a marble!

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Sunday, April 05, 2015

Eostre 2015

Welcome to "The Gods Are Bored," where we didn't find out what those colored eggs and bunnies were about until we were in mid-life! Yes, it's another stolen holy day! But I'm wise to it now.



Don't you just love Thalia Took's work? This one is particularly beautiful.

Today my daughter The Heir and I got up at dawn, and instead of going to church we went to the beach. We spent five hours hunting sea glass and soaking in the sun. As we stood there staring into King Triton's briny deep, I said to her, "You are so lucky to be all done with church at such a young age. Just think of all the beautiful spring Sundays we spent holed up in a gloomy sanctuary, over-done with dead flowers! And you have your whole life ahead to spend this particular Sunday in some refreshing and bored-god-approved activity."

She said, "Mom, so do you."

And so I do.

The rocks, the mountains, the beach, the woods -- these are my Temples.

Dancing, and drumming, and meditating, and hiking, and laughing -- these are my devotions to the Gods.

It's Spring! Time to be out, to be alive, to shake off the cold and to welcome dear Persephone back into the land of the living. All that falls shall rise again. All.

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Friday, April 03, 2015

Real Christians Sell Cakes

Hello and welcome to "The Gods Are Bored," pouring tea and baking scones for bored deities from multiple pantheons for almost ten years! Yes, we've got a big anniversary coming up next week!

Today's sermon: Christians Baking Stuff for Gay People

There's a very famous market in Philadelphia called Reading Terminal Market. It's a big place, and on the weekends it is stuffed to the gills with locals and tourists. You can get a Philly cheese steak  sandwich there, or fried oysters, or the best, freshly made donuts in the city. There are a dozen different ethnic foods, both for raw purchase and already cooked. I'm a total sucker for the crawfish etouffe at the Cajun stall.

Some of the booths in Reading Terminal Market are staffed by the Amish.

The market is open on Sunday, but the Amish booths are closed. On Sundays they are at home, being Christians.

With all this anti-gay bigotry on display in our nation's heartland, I have been thinking about the Amish in Reading Terminal Market. They sell stuff. Lots of stuff. Mostly food, both fresh and preserved.

So, who shops at Reading Terminal?

People. All kinds of people. City people, artsy people, tourist people, gay people, straight people, Goth people, Pagan people, atheist people, drunk people, high people, Jewish people, teenagers, senior citizens, Asians, African Americans, and foreigners of all stripes.

I have never seen an Amish vendor turn away a customer, for any reason.

Why is this? Aren't the Amish really, really super religious?

Indeed they are! They think we are all going to Hell. Every last one of us who isn't Amish. We are all sinners in their eyes, and all doomed.

Then why do they serve us?

They serve us because it isn't their business to care about our souls. It's their business to care about their large families and keeping food on their own tables. Selling to sinners, you see, isn't a sin.

If these extremely strict Christians can sell donuts to drag queens, why should it be an issue anywhere?

It's an issue because many people are just hateful. They don't want anyone to be happy. Boils down to that, folks.

You don't see much hate coming from the Amish. A few years ago, a crazy gunman took hold of one of their school houses and shot a bunch of girl students, even some very young ones. There was no call of vengeance from their community. In fact they comforted the killer's wife. And they steadfastly refused to speak to the press.

In my opinion, the Amish set the gold standard for what Christians should be and do. They keep their views to themselves, they live and let live, and they do not discriminate in matters of commerce. Whatever their expectations for behavior may be, they confine those expectations to their own communities and leave the rest of us alone.

You know what else I love about the Amish? You never get them at your door on Saturday morning, trying to persuade you to become Amish. Live and let live.  Some people -- I'm not saying who -- could sure take a lesson from these folks.

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Wednesday, April 01, 2015

A Great Day

Well! Let me tell you, my friends ... being a supporter of the bored gods pays off big time!

Today my principal came into my classroom during home room. He said, "Mrs. Johnson, your services to this school have been unappreciated for too long. Effective immediately, we are doubling your salary!"

My students stood and applauded. That's right, I got a standing ovation. One of the "mean girls" who sits right in front whispered, "It's about time, too!"

Bolstered by this good news, I quickly purchased a brand new gown for this year's Fairie Festival:



I think I'll look smashing in this.

Then I thought, "Whoa! I'm no longer leader of the Mountain Tribe! Spare will need a new fairy gown too!" So I bought her one.


I love how we'll be color-coordinated! (Don't tell her -- it's a surprise!)

After home room, the principal gave me the rest of the day off. So Mr. J and I drove down to Atlantic City. The conditions were perfect for collecting sea glass. Look what I found!


In my whole time communing with King Triton, I had only ever found three marbles before! Today I found four dozen! Aren't they stunning?

When I got home, I got a call from the animal shelter. They needed someone right away to foster a kitten.


I'm going to name her Kimba.

The Gods are good to me! I hope you all have the kind of day I had -- whew! I'm going to sleep well tonight!

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Bad Time To Be Young

I hate to say how long ago I was young, so I won't. Things weren't great for young people then. But as far as learning stuff in a taxpayer-funded building was concerned, it was okay.

Not so these days.

I'm going to do some counting here:

September -- 3 to 4 days
October -- 2 days
March -- 3 days
April -- 4 days
May -- 2 days

That's 15 days this year that young people I am closely associated with will be taking ass --- es --- ments. These are not mere queries from me on topics the young people have recently delved into. These are standard +  ized t and e and s and t and s.

Three weeks of every 180-day cycle are spent on standard  +  ized    material! In one case the young people have to do the same one, exact same one, twice!

And they wonder why young Americans are not performing similar to their peers in Vietnam.

This has great import for the people (like me) who work with the teenagers. The object is not to advance our nation's mental capacities. It is to under + mine one of the few remaining powerful collective bargaining units in this country.

If medicine can be for profit, and pharmaceuticals can be for profit, and energy can be for profit, and college can be for profit, why not learning institutions for younger kids? There's money to be made and pensions to chop!

The victims are the young people. How stifling of all creativity, how anxiety-provoking, how deadly dull their year between Labor Day and Summer Solstice must seem! I feel for them. To Hell with what happens to me. It's them I feel bad for. This country is a joke.

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Sunday, March 22, 2015

SNBN

Welcome to "The Gods Are Bored," swirling in the Moronic Inferno since 2005! My name is Anne Johnson, and I work with young people in a society setting.

Last night I dreamed that I was getting my score back on the life-altering examination that my young people just sat through. I looked at my results, and it was just enough to proceed. Right on the money. But I was red-hot furious. "Look at this result!" I shouted. "I went to Johns Hopkins and graduated Phi Beta Kappa, and this is the best I can do on this thing? What about my young people?"

Pardon me for being so oblique in my vocabulary. But you see, the creators of a certain widespread examination for young people is actively mining social media for peoples' opinions of said exam. Any person who works with young people who says anything about the examination will be investigated for possible discipline. This is an attempt to silence dissenters who feel this examination makes young people sick, not better.

With a respectful nod to Voldemort, I will call this t  and  e  and  s  and  t "The Examination That Shall Not Be Named." And then, as this is a certain sector of society known for copious acronyms, I'll call it SNBN, for Shall Not Be Named.

There are some hallmarks of SNBN that boggle the mind.

One is that it's so hard that young people will be forced to learn more to meet its demands. This is backwards thinking to me. I feel like all the excitement and interest can be sucked out of something if it's too difficult to understand. Young people tend to give up easily on stuff they think they will never get, stuff that they see no point to. Of course, if they do give up and cry "uncle," the burden and blame will fall upon the folks like me who are working with the young people to help them proceed in life.

Two is that every young person who takes SNBN becomes part of a pool of information to be stored by the federal and state governments. We don't know who will be able to swim in that pool; namely, whether or not future employers will be able to see the Score! s. We don't know who the government will sell the information to, either. We do know that the government will use it to ... how can I say this to sneak it past Older Male Sibling? ... map the navigation and chart the course of our striplings.

Last, but to my mind the most pernicious, is that SNBN is being administered and Score! d by computers. Basically where SNBN is concerned, it's not what you have to say that counts, it's whether or not it's said according to arbitrary, hidebound, and confusing vernacular. Although one part of SNBN asks young people to create fiction, it is Judge ing for skills that used to be inculcated using diagrams and smart slaps with the ruler across the hand if not completed properly.

To me, all of this runs counter to the kind of  imagination and spontaneous thinking that has been a hallmark of this nation. Suddenly, young people are no longer individuals, they are d plus a plus t plus a. And what they have to say, no matter how creative, will not matter, because how can you entertain a computer?

Our society is becoming a vicious place where your numbers will drive everything you achieve. If your numbers go down, you will be sacked. A world of mercy and understanding will be washed away as pre-Christmas Scrooges rule the day.

I weep for my young people. I really do. And since it's International Water Day, I'll add that all of this will reach critical mass when that most essential of commodities -- water -- becomes scarce. Hope I'm wrong, but could a day come when your SCORE! on SNBN will determine how many gallons of essential fluids you receive?

Hoping I have foiled attempts to divine my purpose I remain,

Anne Johnson

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