Wednesday, April 27, 2005

Welcome to "The Gods Are Bored!" We value your opinion - if you agree with us. If not, take your dissent and file it. We brook no argument here. It's what we say that matters. We dictate the rules. We dictate the facts. We're eager to surround ourselves with cheering sycophants. We're chomping on the bit to get tons of "you go, girl" emails from other truth-seekers. But if you don't agree that Dobson, Frist, and their Chippie buddies are bad for the globe, don't tell US about it. YOU don't exist.

Hey, we didn't start this all-American form of fact dissemination. We're just modeling "The Gods Are Bored" on such eminences as the sitting president (George W. Bush) and the most important media eminence in journalism (Rush Limbaugh). When THEY start inviting rational debate of their views and platforms, WE WILL TOO.

A mother of a dead soldier in the Iraq war actually got ARRESTED for attending a "town hall" meeting and asking Laura Bush what the hell we're doing blasting Baghdad to itty bitty pieces. This bereaved mama didn't incite to riot, she didn't hurl anything. She just asked a question. Boom. Off to jail she goes.

Freedom of speech? Not on THIS blog. We keep up with the times! And as soon as we figure out how to filter out the negative comments and let the positive ones shine through, we'll welcome all you followers of the bored gods to join us and celebrate with us as we watch the Chippies fail in their attempts to create an American Taliban.

One caveat: Just because we advocate the information dissemination policies of the president and Mr. Limbaugh does NOT mean we endorse the recreational use of controlled substances. It seems important to make that clear. We advocate the legalization of marijuana, but since marijuana is illegal, we don't use it. As for cocaine and Vicodin, well, gentle readers, a ten-foot-pole is just not long enough to keep us from that stuff. A fragile thing, the brain. When you've got a good one, you ought to be careful to maintain it. And breaking the law is just for lowlifes. Right, Dobson?
Your friend with the understimulated mu receptor, ANNE

Monday, April 25, 2005

HIPPIES IN ALL BUT NAME

Welcome to "The Gods Are Bored!" On this blog we concede that our deities don't dress as nice as the pope.

But today we have important business to discuss. We need to find a good working name for the small but vocal minority who now call themselves "Christians" but who are becoming more and more like hippies every day. I'm not talking about your liberal New Agers here. I'm talking about Dobson and his crowd.

Don't like the way the government is treating your special interest? PROTEST! MAKE DEMANDS! MAKE NOISE! TRY TO CHANGE THE CONSTITUTION!

And hey, it's cold out there. So we won't have a rock concert or a be-in, or a march. We'll just sit in padded seats in some mega-church, beam our views over the airwaves, and MAKE OUR DEMANDS HEARD! BY CRACKY, WE ELECTED "W," AND NOW HE HAS TO GET ALL THOSE BIBLE-TOTING JUDGES INTO PLACE! WE WANT ACTION! A-C-T I-O-N!

We'll call it JUSTICE SUNDAY.

Considering that "Summer of Love" was already taken, that's a pretty good title.

So, what do we call these people? They just found out that the majority of Americans don't want any particular religion codified into law. Perfectly sane federal judges said "No can do." Now these Dobson freaks are takin' their views to the streets!

HEY HO, HEY HO! LIBERAL JUDGES GOTTA GO!

Folks, I say we either call them "Chippies" or "Dobbies." And since Dobby is a well-known character in a certain banned book (that is, by the way, first rate), I guess that leaves "Chippies."

If you are trying to pull down the wall between church and state, you're one of two things. You're either Taliban, or you're a Chippie. And take it from someone who is old enough to remember the "Summer of Love": The louder you are, the phonier you are.

Frist, you're a Chippie. DeLay, you're a Chippie. Dobson, you're the leader of the Chippies - and your second-in-command (if he can kick the narcotics) is the Rush-Man.

Power to the (family values) people. Right on.
Peace, Anne (wasn't a hippie, isn't a Chippie)

Sunday, April 24, 2005

Our Monkey Man is First Rate!

Welcome to "The Gods Are Bored," the blog where we boldly go where no man has gone before (to the devil with inclusive language) to ask such seminal questions as: At the Pentecost, did St. Peter speak Spanish? And, when did his successors start wearing kingly attire and waving from balconies? Shouldn't they be on boats, surrounded by fish nets?

Well, even I have to take a break occasionally from such deep speculation. It tires your brain out. So today I introduce a new subplot to "The Gods Are Bored": Monkey Man Sightings.

Sunday, April 24, 2005 MONKEY MAN SIGHTING

Does your town have a Monkey Man? Ours does, and he rocks. He rides around on an old bicycle, with one of those wire mesh baskets hanging from the handlebars. In that basket he carries his toy stuffed monkey, sometimes some other stuffed toys, and maybe some things he's trash-picked (today it looked like he had a fox pelt in there).

The Monkey Man is known far and wide in this district for greeting kids with his monkey. "Hi, kids! Ooooo oooo oooo AAAH AAAH AAAAH!" Lately his monkey has been wearing a tie-dyed baby t-shirt. He never lingers. He just greets and moves on.

Oh, I can feel the frisson of anxiety from all my Dr. Laura fans. Isn't this a dangerous child molester, a murderous freak trying to lure innocents to their death? Well, folks, the jury's out, but someone (I forget who, Shakespeare maybe) said "judge not, lest ye be judged." Our local Monkey Man is well-groomed, he shops at the grocery store and chats with the cashiers, he eats at the pizza parlor, he attends football games. If you asked the average kid around here to describe the Monkey Man, they could do it in a flash. He's not trying to fly under the radar.

He's just mysterious. He peddles around, shakes his monkey at kids and adults, laughs and smiles all the time. And let's rule out mental simplicity right now. He had a New York Times with him today. And that's not even the local rag.

Would I let him take my daughter out for an ice cream? No. Would I treat him to the extra large size if I ran into him at the ice cream parlor? You betcha.

Our Monkey Man is a great Monkey Man, and inspired Monkey Man, a highly motivated and resourceful Monkey Man. At a convention of Monkey Men, he'd stand out. To tell you more about how smart he is would reveal too much about the location of this humble scribe (moi), who is frankly more frightened of Opus Dei than she is of Monkey Men.

Anyway, today's Monkey Man sighting was right in front of my house! Yes, I just happened to come outside right when he was peddling by. I made him stop and let me shake his monkey's hand. He smiled and waved at my daughter. Then he rode on, smiling. And I smiled too. The Monkey Man always makes me smile.

My daughter had to run inside and call all her friends to tell them she saw the Monkey Man. It's always an occasion. Okay, yes, Dr. Laura, my daughter is not your average white-bread brat. Perhaps that's because she doesn't feel like she owns me, she's got to be a little bit motivated and resourceful herself.

This is the second time I've seen the Monkey Man on my street. The last time was the dead of winter. So he's an infrequent visitor. We will keep track of him on this blog, to alleviate the tedium of discussing what sort of food is right to serve at Christian meetings and whether or not the Lord's Prayer ought to end with "For Thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, forever and ever and ever and ever..." you know the drill.

If your town has a Monkey Man, I'll bet it has fairies as well. Oh, lucky you!
Anne is a Fan of the Monkey Man

Friday, April 22, 2005

DEFINE LIBERAL

Welcome to the blog of the bored gods - wherein we offer performance evaluations of the Big Guy, his second in command, and the other staff in his chain of command. This will include, but not be limited to, the new pontiff, some dude named Dobson, and an absolutely fabulous child care expert named Dr. Laura.

We admit to a bias in favor of such eminent bored gods as Peter Pan, Mother Nature, and some elderly deity from the Canary Islands who swears up and down that he is the One True God. Who are we to argue? Ever met a Messiah who didn't claim to be the one and only?

But tonight we turn to that other big, fat bugaboo: politics.

A definition is in order, because a great deal of confusion has arisen over a very simple word. My fifth grader can spell it, despite Dr. Laura's every attempt to keep her in diapers. The word is:

LIBERAL

lib-er-al adj. from the Latin liberalis (liber= free), belonging to the people, free, to grow up, rise.

1. orig., suitable for a freeman, not restricted; now only in "LIBERAL ARTS, LIBERAL EDUCATION," etc.

2. giving freely; generous

3. large or plentiful; abundant (a liberal award, etc.)

4. not restricted to the literal meaning; not strict (a liberal interpretation of the Bible)

5. tolerant of views differing from one's own; broad-minded; specifically not orthodox or conventional

6. of democratic or republican forms of government

7. favoring reform or progress, as in religion, education, etc., specifically, favoring political reforms tending toward democracy and personal freedom for the individual; progressive

8. designating or of a political party upholding liberal principles

9. excessively indecorous in behavior; licentious

n. a person favoring liberalism
a member of a liberal political party, especially that of England or Canada

Source: The Bleeding Heart Handbook, New York, NY: Blue Press, 2005.

JUST KIDDING!

Real, True Source: Webster's New World Dictionary of the American Language, Second College Edition.Cleveland, OH: William Collins/World Publishing Co., Inc., 1976.

Rush Limbaugh: Heads Up! Liberal does NOT mean EVIL, HATEFUL, GOVERNMENT-DESTROYING, TAX-AND-SPEND, GOD-HATING, ABORTION-LOVING CRIMINAL.

Liberal means GENEROUS.

By the way, Rush ol' boy, how's it going with the detox? Narcotics addiction is tough to kick. But take heart. How old was William Burroughs when he died? 95? Now there's a fine role model for you, Rushy.

Soon we will examine that other form of pond scum, THE MEDIA.

Yours truly in service to the bored gods,
Anne Johnson, liberal

Thursday, April 21, 2005

DEFIN

Tuesday, April 19, 2005

THE BORED GODS' NEW POPE

What a coincidence! It's new popes all around today!

This just in from the Isle of Avalon: The convening of high priestesses of the bored gods has resulted in the naming of a new Pope of the Bored Gods.

The new pope, who will call herself Altheia XVI, is a 76-year-old lesbian from Somalia. She was the unanimous choice, on first ballot, of the 23 priestesses (all dressed in blue robes bought at thrift stores) of the Most High Bored Gods.

In her first address, Altheia XVI noted that she is conservative on issues of faith. So we can expect few changes in the agenda of the bored gods, at least during her pontificate.

Altheia XVI said it's really, really important to adhere to the bored gods' ancient instruction to not write down any rules or regulations. The minute you bind something into words, you have a devil of a time changing it. (Witness the competition, poor old Pope Rat, trying to get all the ancient Latin right. Jesus didn't even speak Latin.)

Altheia XVI asks that you wear your Tinker Bell t-shirt on Wednesday, April 20, as a show of support for the bored gods. If you don't own a Tinker Bell t-shirt already, go buy one! They're everywhere!

Altheia XVI plans to apply for the position of Catholic Pope the next time the job opens up. She said the Cardinals didn't give her enough time to get her application papers notarized this time around. They shouldn't be in such a rush, those Cardinals. It took them less time to pick a pope than it does for most people to choose a color for their new Ford Explorer. Haste makes waste. What does waste make? A rock that's too crowded with hungry, breeding people.

Your correspondent from Avalon's Misty Isle.
PS - Don't forget that Tinker Bell t-shirt!

Monday, April 18, 2005

VICTIM IMPACT STATEMENT

Testimony before the Grand Jury, jurisdiction of Jerusalem, Monday, A.D. O.
Pontius Pilate, presiding

Victims of JIM BAKERUS vs. Estate of Jesus of Nazareth

For the prosecution: Janus Cochranus
The defense is unrepresented

Pilate: Present your case, Cochranus. And be quick about it. My tincture of opium is wearing off.

Cochranus: Your honor, I represent more than a thousand families from Jerusalem and environs. These families were robbed blind by the late Jim Bakerus. He promised them an unreasonable return on their investments, they bought into it, and they were plunged into poverty when the scheme proved to have no foundation. At least 326 children have been sold into slavery by parents made bankrupt by the fiend Bakerus. Whole families have been torn apart.

Pilate: Yeah, well, we caught that guy and crucified him. He'd spent all the money, but hey. He died a lingering death.

Cochranus: That's the issue, your honor. Many of the wronged parties turned out to see said Bakerus receive his punishment. They clearly overheard another condemned prisoner promise Bakerus he'd be going directly to paradise. Your honor, you cannot imagine the emotional impact such a promise has had on my clients. They've watched beautiful young daughters sold to brothels. They're begging in the streets for food! Their lives have been ruined, and the thought that Bakerus is sitting around in paradise like a king just pours salt into their wounds. My clients are seeking financial redress from the Roman government for pain and suffering.

Pilate: Wait a minute. Who was this prisoner who promised instant heavenly rewards to a vile criminal?

Cochranus: His name was Jesus of Nazareth.

Pilate: Doesn't ring a bell. What was he crucified for?

Cochranus (checking notes): Disturbing the peace, inciting to riot, fomenting rebellion.

Pilate: We don't usually crucify for that. We put those types in galleys, let them row off their anger.

Cochranus: It was an unusual case. I have your signed death warrant. It's noted thereon that you felt the sentence unnecessarily harsh.

Pilate: So this Jesus of Nazareth blabbered about heaven while being crucified, and you expect the government to pay out compensation? That's a reach, Janus. Even for you.

Cochranus: Well, your honor, you see, it's like this. My clients feel that Jesus of Nazareth is setting a dangerous precedent when he unilaterally sends a fellow condemned man to heaven, just on the basis of the condemned man's feeling remorse for his crimes. Don't you see where this could lead? People could live totally immoral lives, ask for some sort of Almighty forgiveness on their deathbeds, and go to paradise. On the other hand, perfectly moral folks who happen to commit an itty bitty sin and then get mowed down by a chariot could face punishment on the celestial side. It's not logical. In fact, it's downright hurtful. Here my clients sit, weeping for their lost children, their total ruin, and there Bakerus sits in heaven, having a good old time.

Pilate: I see your point. Zeus would expect some sort of celestial redress for victims even if a criminal died penitent. That's why we Romans have such an advanced civilization, while these infernal redneck shepherds are always arguing with one another about theology. But I don't see how I can send this case to trial, for two reasons. One, you have no defenders here for said Jesus of Nazareth.

Cochranus: They've fled to the hills in fear for their lives.

Pilate: I like hearing that. Sounds like peace to me. But the fact is, it's the family of said Jesus of Nazareth that your victims will have to sue, not the Roman government. We did our job. We crucified Bakerus. If this Jesus said something inflammatory from his own cross, that's a matter to take up with Jesus's estate - if he has one.

Cochranus: But the precedent, your honor! The metaphysical implications!

Pilate: Don't use such big words. All right. I'll issue a writ. Any victim of Bakerus who wishes redress for the untoward remarks of Jesus of Nazareth may apply for charity at the Temple of Poseidon. I'll bet some wealthy man of Poseidon will step forward and buy back those children sold into slavery. The victims can pray to Poseidon for a proper celestial reconsideration of Bakerus's heavenly status. Poseidon will take care of it on the other side.

Cochranus: I thought that was what you'd say. But you haven't addressed the precedent.

Pilate: How about this. We'll round up anyone we find who supports this Jesus of Nazareth and feed them to the lions.

Cochranus: If you can be thorough. The problem with that is, the ones that get away will feel like they're part of something big.

Pilate: It's the best I can do. Honestly, Janus. Do you think anyone will be dumb enough to believe that if they spend their whole lives stomping on other people and raping the earth, then just ask some god to forgive them as they expire, they'll get a free pass?

Cochranus: I never underestimate the stupidity of the human race, your honor.

Pilate: Case closed. Janus, let's go have a drink. I've got three more years in this hell-hole, I might as well spend them smashed.

Friday, April 15, 2005

POSEIDON FREAKS OUT

Case Study #1 Bored God: POSEIDON FREAKS OUT

Long ago Poseidon was a powerful and important god. Intelligent people built huge temples in his honor. Talented artists painted and sculpted images of him. Festivals were had in his honor, at which diligent church ladies made sure everyone got enough casserole. He had a whole army of priests who spoke on his behalf. The righeous prayed to him, especially when they were planning sea-going voyages or building expensive shorefront property.

This god was taken seriously. Check your Homer (THE ODYSSEY) if you don't believe me. If you were to ask Homer if Poseidon was a myth, he'd look at you ... (wait a minute, he was blind) ... he'd regard you with the same shocked expression that you might expect from Dobson if you told him Yahweh is a myth.

Established. Poseidon was an important god. He ruled the oceans, the rivers, and the itty bitty springs. The Romans called him Neptune.

Along comes the Big Guy and his followers, and they marginalize old Poseidon. Only one god at a time for the followers of the Big Guy. And as these followers grow in number, they take over Poseidon's temples and shove around his statues until the statues crumble. Poseidon takes his pink slip, files for unemployment compensation, and retreats to Atlantis.

Fast forward a couple millennia. Poseidon's been sitting down in Atlantis, bored out of his gourd. Since no one worships him anymore, no new souls come to Atlantis (well, maybe a few here and there, but not enough to increase the overall population). Poseidon knows everyone in Atlantis way too well. He may even be feeling a little bit sorry for himself, although gods rarely fall prey to self-pity (there are a few notable exceptions to this rule).

One day shortly before Christmas, Poseidon decides to take a stroll amongst the mortals. It's been awhile. He finds himself in posh Westport, Connecticut, at the Westport Country Day School. There the 9th graders are receiving their test scores for Social Studies Examination #3: Ancient Greek and Roman Myths and Mythical Figures.

Courtney Elizabeth Roth-Knepper sits at her desk. She takes one look at her test grade and bursts into tears. "Oh my God!" she says.

The epithet gets Poseidon's attention. "Can I help you?" he asks.

She can't hear him. He's a myth, remember? The tears flow as her sympathetic friends rally around. "Oh, God," she reiterates. "My parents said I couldn't go skiing with Biff and his family if I didn't get at least a 'B' on this test! And look at this! How could I know SPELLING would count? Who can spell 'Poseidon,' anyway? And why do we have to learn such MEANINGLESS stuff and get tested on it? Who cares about ancient gods?"

Well, Courtney's not a bad egg after all. She wouldn't consciously hurt Poseidon's feelings. But she's cut him to the quick. He floats back to Atlantis in a blue funk.

As I said, gods aren't known for self-pity. When confronted, they tend to get angry, to send Horsemen, or locusts, or at the very least an unusual darkening of the sky, just to burn off the anger. So Poseidon goes home, and he gets angrier and angrier. He's tired of being a myth! He wants his old job back! He did it just as well as the new guy, maybe better sometimes, maybe worse sometimes, but the difference was not statistically significant. Why should he sit down in Atlantis, being disrespected by teenagers?

Poseidon starts beating up on the furniture, the rocks outside his palace, the vent in the ocean where all that lava pours out. He's so mad he whips up a whopper of an underwater earthquake.

A giant tsunami forms and rages across the land, far and wide. Sweet babies get ripped from their mothers' arms and hurled into the flood. Whole families die as they're swept out to sea. Countries that always totter on the verge of economic ruin are cast into the real thing as the damage spreads. The casualties are astonishing.

The Big Guy's missionaries rush in to help out. Some people, it doesn't matter what god you hand them to work with, they're going to do the right thing. Those who can't board a plane or adopt an orphan send money. But that won't restore the dead babies or the sweet little kids who just couldn't get away from the water.

People unaffected by the tragedy shake their heads, utter a "tsk tsk" and call the tragedy an "Act of God."

Does anyone think, "Gee, Poseidon might be angry about being neglected?" Does anyone erect an altar and make an offering to Neptune? Alas, no. All that fuss and bluster came to naught. Poseidon's still a myth.

I said a prayer to Poseidon. I asked him not to do that again, because some of us believe in Atlantis.

I take these bored, neglected gods seriously. Why? Because folks, while you bicker about putting the Ten Commandments in courtrooms and order your science teachers to call evolution an "unproven theory," another bored god is becoming just a tad miffed. While you spew greenhouse gases into the air with your "Honk If You Love Jesus" SUVs, while you encourage poor people to have big, big families and spread over this rock we share like kudzu run amok, a certain bored god is getting ... just a tad miffed. The clock is ticking on this bored god's fuse.

Even the Big Guy will tremble when the charge hits the powder keg.

Thursday, April 14, 2005

The Gods are Bored!

This minimalist rant by a busy, overworked suburban mom, will take aim at none other than the Big Guy. You know the one. Calls himself Lord God Almighty. Has some powerful friends here on earth, like the pope and Osama Bin Laden. Well, Big Guy, some of us have had enough, and we're not gonna take it anymore. ENOUGH cretins with placards standing out in front of family planning clinics while thousands of children starve to death in Africa. ENOUGH treating gay people like ants at a picnic, just because some ancient book says they're evil. ENOUGH trying to undo the intelligent rift between church and state that our forefathers (fresh from religious persecution) had the insight to enact.

Time to give the Big Guy some much-needed competition in the deity ranks. Hold Him accountable the same way you would a C.E.O. who takes a hefty buyout and jets off to his private island while his 11,000 employees get laid off.

God, you have some explaining to do.

I can hear the "righteous" shivering for me already. Oh, this lady's goin' to hell! Well, to quote Mark Twain, what do we really know about the devil? We have only the evidence for the prosecution. Maybe he had some legit gripes he wanted to air and got the shaft in the interest of corporate harmony. Here at "The Gods are Bored" we fully intend to give the devil his due. And that doesn't mean cutting up kittens at midnight in a pentagram. I like kittens. They're cute. I don't like lyme ticks. I wonder why God created them.

In terms of my immortal soul, what concerns me is that I'm violating the first rule of my own religion, which is not to write anything down. Yeah, folks, at the time of J.C., way back when, there was a vibrant religion with priests, churches, hymns, tenets, and all that fun stuff -- all transmitted orally. And that vibrant religion is still strutting its stuff and finding followers, right here in the good ol' USA, right in the Almighty's finest hour.

Most of the Gods in that religion (there are more than the Christian 3-in-1) have been lost to the ages. They're sitting around in their heaven (it's quite colorful, none of those dull white angels), just watching with dismay as the Big Man runs things from his domain. Here we'll invite them to speak, encourage their product tie-ins, and perhaps introduce a sane approach to managing this rock we're all clinging to.

Calling all bored Gods! Come on down. The Big Guy's had the floor too long. And sad to say, most of his followers couldn't pick him out of a lineup.

Excuse me, but I have to go to work now. Hey, I'm lucky to have a job.

Oh yeah. That product tie-in. Go see "Finding Neverland," starring Jonny Depp. For starters.

Blessed be, MERLIN'S HANDMAID