Monday, May 30, 2005

You Get a Second Chance!

Welcome to "The Gods Are Bored!" Are you stuck in traffic driving home from your 3-day holiday, your funds depleted and your guilt throbbing as you hear the news radio talking about honoring fallen heroes? Congratulations! You're another victim of corporate greed.

Where did the idea come from to make certain holidays into 3-day weekends?

A. Some Congressman woke up one morning and said, "Oh well, Memorial Day has been on May 31 since the Civil War, but heck, let's make it a Monday and give everyone a 3-day holiday."

B. Some major corporations who give big donations to the Congressman (i.e. the hotel industry, the tourism industry, and Big Oil) called the Congressman and said, "You know, if you make Memorial Day on a Monday, people will be able to take a nice summer-send-off holiday and stimulate the economy by driving to a resort and spending money."

If you guessed "B," move on to Round Two.

I'm old enough to remember when May 31 was deep-sixed, and so are members of The Greatest Generation, who've never quite gotten over having the holiday (look at that word closely, Chippie, it's diminutive of holy day) usurped for the cheap thrills to be had at the Jersey Shore. A lot of towns still observe Memorial Day on May 31. Everyone should.

However, since I pay taxes and have to earn the money to pay them, I went to my very own Memorial Day observance this morning, Memorial Day Observed. Not the posh ceremony in my local burg. My own private one at a neglected cemetery for Civil War Dead (African American).

Apparently the national cemeteries wouldn't take African American Civil War casualties, because there's a cemetery near my house where there are about 150 black heroes buried, and the town couldn't even have been that big at that time. The town, which from this point on I'll call "Whistle Stop," was -- and is -- an African American community. They must have put out the word that they'd take Civil War soldiers of color. Because there are a good many there, all in rows with weathered stones -- not that picture-perfect look you get at Arlington, or anything like that.

One of the Civil War veterans buried in Whistle Stop is a winner of a Congressional Medal of Honor. The town paid to have a new stone made for him, and they don't have a whole lot of money to throw around. (They also paid to restore a home used in the Underground Railroad. It's a museum now.)

When I got wind of this fallen hero lying in Whistle Stop, I told my daughters, The Heir and The Spare: "From now on, every Memorial Day (Observed), we're going to take a wreath and put it on that soldier's stone. He can stand in for our ancestors so far away in the mountains, and for the two who never made it back from Andersonville Prison."

Well, to make a long story short, I think the African American members of the Whistle Stop VFW, and their Ladies' Auxiliary, must have been somewhat surprised when they arrived to do their own ceremony at the hero's grave this morning and found a way weird druid with a magic wand chanting over some (if I might toot my own horn) tastefully arranged red, white, and blue silk flowers in a sensible, re-usable vase.

However, the kindly members of the Whistle Stop VFW, and Ladies Auxiliary, recovered quickly and said some very kind things about my interest in their cemetery. I promised them next year I'd wait for them to start and attend their ceremony. They said they'd be glad to have me. Nice people. Charming little town.

But wait! There's good news for you sunburnt, impoverished tourists out there. If you join up with the druids and pay your dues, you can celebrate Memorial Day on our holy day, which is never thrown into a 3-day weekend even if it falls on a Wednesday.

Our Memorial Day is October 31. And we honor not only the heroes of wars, but also our departed kin, who often return on that evening to visit us and shoot the breeze and see how the great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great grandchildren are doing.

You get a second chance! Heave that guilt out the window, take a deep breath of SUV exhaust from the behemouth in front of you on the turnpike, and plan ahead. Because your ancestors deserve some respect, don't they?

Saturday, May 28, 2005

Who Let HIM in?

Welcome to "The Gods Are Bored," your alpha and omega for character-building and sensible solutions to pet stains on your furniture.

I want to know. What the hell went on here while I was out plying my trade? I go away just four short days, to judge goats, and in comes this "Mr. Applegate," stealing my site! I simply cannot get my foster kittens out from behind the drywall. They're mewing in sheer terror. My husband may have to tear down the wall. You can imagine how happy he is about that!

"Mr. Applegate?" Get your own doggone web site. And don't come here anymore. My resident fairies tell me that you've hidden the cream cheese, you stepped on my reading glasses, you did all the crossword puzzles my husband clipped for me, and you even purloined a jug of Berkeley Springs water from my basement. Excuse me, but if you want to improve your public image, this isn't the way to do it.

And how dare you take me to task for my opinions on Mick Jagger? Did I ask for an editor here? I hope you wake up one morning and find Mick Jagger, Billy Joel, Neil Diamond, and Barry Manilow all limbering up their vocal chords for a little barbershop quartet right under your window.

This is a serious web site. We talk about important, life-altering decisions, like what color to paint the foyer and whether or not one ought to take one's magic wand to the local observance of National Day of Prayer.

I'm sure all my faithful readers are breathing a sigh of relief that I'm back. Unfortunately, the goat-judging season is just now swinging into gear, and I'll be going hither and yon. I will be more vigilant about posting fairies at my desk, to keep the intruders out. Unfortunately, that will allow the fairies to play on this web site, and one can only imagine what they'll come up with.

Don't believe me? Right now they're downstairs, re-writing the National Anthem. They're giving it more difficult words, so that when people from Princeton sing it, they'll sound more intelligent. So far they've finished just a few lines:

Pardon me, but do you regard
In the developing daylight rays
What with arrogance we beheld
When the planet last rotated into darkness?

They will work on this drivel for hours. And then, just beforfe retiring for the night, they'll spill something sugary on the kitchen floor and make it look like my youngest daughter, The Spare, is to blame.

If you have fairies in your house, you know exactly what I mean.

Friday, May 27, 2005

Evidence for the Defense #4

Oh, what a topping morning! Please tell me I don't have to go back to hell. There's always so much to do. Laundry. Paperwork. Fixing appliances that go on the fritz. There's probably a million electricians among my throng, but do you think one of them wants to tinker with the strobe lights? I've got to do everything.

In case you're just joining us, My name is ... Mr. Applegate. I think that sounds kind of all-American, and it has a nice double entendre to it as well. I have to hurry up and write today, because Anne Johnson owns this space, and her husband is out mowing the lawn. That can only mean one thing. She must be due back today from her sojourn to rural locales in the pursuit of her duties as a goat judge.

We've been moving through the Bible from my point of view, and since I'm gonna have to bolt in short order, I want to address one last seminal passage that gets trotted out a good bit, and in which I'm mentioned by name.

That name being Satan.

I don't use that one much as a rule, because it only encourages some really bad apple teenagers to blame me for all their nastiness and self-destruction, when they really ought to be blaming the nameless ruffians who raped and pillaged 2,000 years ago and left DNA behind that should have been weeded out. Not to mention the lunatic Muslim terrorists who throw the name around, indicting whole countries, right down to the youngest newborns, for policies created by a handful of lobbyists.

If you role model me from what you read in the Bible, you're dumber than a brick.

Case in point: Me and J.C. in the desert.

For those of you with a copy of The Good Book handy, that's Matthew 4:1-11.

In this passage - surprise! - I'm painted once again as a bad guy, someone trying to lure Jesus away from his appointed mission. Who the heck wrote this stuff?

Remember, reader, I met J.C. at my job interview, and the whole reason I signed an ironclad 10,000-year contract with this god group is that I liked both J.C. and the Holy Spirit. Righteous dudes, entirely.

What happened between me and J.C. in the desert? Well, first of all, it was just the two of us. Matthew was not present. Nor was John, that beautiful dreamer. It was just me and the Big Him, shooting the breeze on a cliff.

And for the record, I knew J.C. well enough to know that he would never be tempted by any amount of temporal money or power. Disdainful is the word for how he feels about all unseemly, excessive displays. Any time he sees someone on a balcony, waving to adoring crowds, he shudders. He's been that way since I met him.

So I wouldn't have bothered giving him that option. Waste of breath.

The true conversation in the desert? It went something like this:

Applegate: What on earth are you doing way out here, dressed like a human?

J.C. I'm fasting. Just to see what it's really like to be human. Man, it's worse than I thought. I feel terrible.

Applegate: Excuse me for asking, but does the boss know about this? Because I don't remember reading this in his long range planning reports.

J.C. Yes. Well. About those reports. The Holy Spirit and I got together, and we think we can improve on them. Dad's taking a nap, so I put on this human form, and I've come to ... alter things just a bit.

Applegate: Your father is going to have a cow.

J.C. No, because I'm not trying to supplant him. I'm just tweaking the message, making it more user-friendly.

Applegate: Well, it sure does need that. But human form? Seriously. How long do you think you'll last? Your father is the least of your worries, if Zeus and Poseidon and those guys get wind of you trying to steal their worshippers. They'll get the Roman government after you. Next thing you know, you're being tortured.

J.C.: I'm aware of that. The torture is part of the plan.

Applegate: Sweet Jesus. I like you too much to see this happen! Honestly, I'm going to go wake up the boss, no matter how deeply he's sleeping. You haven't thought this out any more clearly than he has. Don't you see this species hasn't evolved sufficiently to rid itself of aggressive impulses and work together for a greater good in which all can share equally?

J.C. There are a lot of good people out there. I think they're ready to hear some sensible preaching.

Applegate: Oh, you do, do you? I give you three years, tops. The Roman gods will bring you down, and take all of the boss's followers with you.

J.C.: I don't need negativity right now.

Applegate: What you need is a loaf of bread and a jug of wine.

J.C.: Seriously, once you get this far into a fast you stop thinking about food.

Applegate: All right, think about this. Call this off. Wait until the species has evolved a bit more.

J.C.: I just can't stand seeing so many poor people suffering at the hands of the greedy, power-hungry men at the top. And I don't just mean the Romans. I mean Dad's priests too. They're so arrogant, and they're just going through the motions. It's just a job to them.

Applegate: So you'll have them on your back too! Six months, I tell you. First visit you make to Jerusalem will be your last. Please! I really do like you! Go live a quiet life as a human, if you want. It will enrich your god skills. But don't go off alienating the power structure in a species that hasn't sufficiently evolved! Every bit of good you do will wind up being offset by the dunderheads that won't understand a word you say.

J.C.: Look, Satan, will you just get behind me on this? Because the Holy Spirit and I have made up our minds, and we sure could use your support.

So, there you have it, faithful readership. He did say, "Get behind me, Satan." But he meant it the same way that the local sportscaster tells fans to get behind a team. And I'll bet you a liquid ruby that he told Matthew exactly that, and it was Matthew who misunderstood.

This won't surprise the single last one of you, but I do deeply love J.C. I have worked with a lot of gods in my time, from one end of the known universe to the other, and I've never seen one so good to the core. But of course, he, like the boss, was new at the god-game, and he didn't wait for the species to evolve sufficiently. Just as I predicted, he pissed off Zeus, he pissed off the boss's priests, heck, he pissed off two-thirds of the people who heard him preach!

And why he didn't leave behind a primary written source, I will never know. He must have talked to Queen Brighid about oral transmission of seminal truth. But then he went and allowed a bunch of lessers to write everything down, liberally dosing his message with their own biases.

Oooops! I hear a pickup truck in the driveway. Anne is home! I'd better toddle before she sees me. I forgot to comb my hair this morning - I scared her kittens so bad they're still behind the woodwork!

Hope to have another chance to chat with you.
Mr. Applegate

Thursday, May 26, 2005

Evidence for the Defense #3

Hello, My name is ... well, kind of complicated. Just call me Mr. Applegate. This is the third day that Anne has been off judging goats, leaving her blogsite exposed to alternative points of view.

I spent yesterday afternoon reading Anne's blog, and I must say I agree with her about 90 percent of the time. We could quibble here and there. Especially about Mick Jagger going into retirement. I like seeing Mick up there strutting around the stage. If he goes into retirement and doesn't get that much exercise anymore, soon enough he'll wind up with me. And I'm not looking forward to that. So let's keep the Rolling Stones portside as long as possible, eh? It's hard enough being Satan without those guys and their noise.

Today we move on in my efforts to correct the record and get my side of the story in print. And you might not think this is important, but in 3995 years my contract expires, and my rep has suffered big time in this job. I've never needed to hire an agent to get a job before, but now I'll need one. Probably for about ten million years. And what do you think you have to pay a deity agent? They're sharks, I tell you. I know a few who have whole star systems at their command, just from commissions. They've got way too much power. But I won't work without one in the future. I don't trust my ability to read contracts and judge situations anymore.

Okay. On to "The Book of Job."

If you have a Bible, you've seen this one. And in this one case, the boss and I agree. "The Book of Job" is egregious fiction. It makes me look like a strutting fool, and the boss look like an ego-maniac. (Which he is, but in this case he didn't do what the story says he did.)

"The Book of Job" was written by a scribe named Hilkiah during the reign of King Josiah. You can look them up in the Bible if you're so inclined. I'll never impugn Hilkiah's writing skills - he can craft a good tale. But "The Book of Job" never happened. Never would happen.

I'm not saying the boss hasn't struck a few people dead here and there. It's true about that dude who touched the Ark of the Covenant and got zapped. And if you go out on a golf course in a thunderstorm, and start waving your five-iron over your head while shouting to your pal: "May God strike me dead if I've ever had an affair with your wife!" You are just pushing your luck to the max. The boss does occasionally strike people dead. It's just not a tool he calls upon frequently, and never for someone who's just going about his or her business and walking the walk.

And let's not forget that Hilkiah, author of "The Book of Job," declared that the boss offed all of Job's daughters and Job's wife. The boss is still really steamed about that passage. Not that he's into feminism or anything, he just knows that graphs like that can make little kids wonder if they ought to be worshipping someone who can knock their mommy off in an eyeblink.

When "The Book of Job" started making the rounds, and I got wind of it, I just fell all to pieces. As I said in a previous post, I'm generally a freelancer. It's always hard to find piece work. And getting press like this would make it doggone near impossible. So now I'm really stuck. I hate working for this boss, and I've got a short contract. But I might be forced to re-sign, and he's seen "The Book of Job," and he'll want give-backs in the next contract. Either that or I wander the universe, listening to deities from ten thousand solar systems snickering behind my back. "Look. There's old Scratch. Did you hear about his last posting? Sheesh! My toddler wouldn't make idiot mistakes like that!"

There are only two deities on earth who are fully accredited and registered with the Intergalactic Federation of Gods and Goddesses (IFG&G). Vishnu is one. Brighid the Bright is the other. You don't need an appointment to drop in on Brighid, so I did. I took a copy of "The Book of Job" with me and asked her advice.

I said, "Look at this 'Book of Job,' and tell me I'll ever get another job."

That cracked up her whole coterie. She's always surrounded by fairies, and they delight in puns, songs, and riddles.

Brighid said I could always claim that the species looking to me for deity work hadn't evolved sufficiently.

Gosh, why didn't I think of that? Takes me off the hook completely.

Then, bless her heart, Brighid took a look at my credentials and said she'd recommend me to Hufflepuff University, where I could get a master's degree in some specific godly pursuit. I've always tried to avoid graduate school, but after this posting it looks like it's inevitable.

Today's lesson: "The Book of Job" is fiction. It was written with the best of intentions by a member of an incompletely evolved species. Point of fact, Hilkiah's down here with me now, and whenever I see him I have to bite my lip to keep from poking him with a pitchfork.

Oh. Some of you were wondering about Hufflepuff University? Well, why do you think the Christian conservatives ban "Harry Potter" books? There's subliminal stuff in there. Brighid's been working the subliminal route for 1500 years, quite successfully as a matter of fact.
Mr. Applegate

Wednesday, May 25, 2005

Evidence for the Defense #2

Welcome to "The Gods Are Bored!" I'm your host for today. My name's Mr. Applegate. Please don't call me Satan. I'm a victim of circumstance.

Anne's off judging goats, and she's kindly allowed me use of her space. Well, I didn't exactly ask her permission. What a devil I am!

Today I'm going to tell you how I got this job. If you were here yesterday, you'll know that I signed a 10,000 year contract that is now in year 6005, and I don't plan to renew.

I was freelancing with a nice group of gods at a little, rocky planet in the Pinwheel Galaxy. We had a nice gig there. The natives looked something like your koala bears, but they made a sound something like your whipporwills -- only a little more complicated, since it had to be a whole language. I was their god of song and dance. As I say, it was a nice placement. But freelance.

Up comes this volcanic eruption and wipes out our whole praise and worship population, down to the last fuzzy little member. Put six of us gods out of work. And since I was freelance, I didn't get any unemployment or severance pay. Couldn't even collect unused vacation days, because when you're freelance you don't accrue paid vacation.

We were all really sorry to see those dear little critters go, but it only took one god to manage their heaven. One of my colleagues said his cousin was working in the Milky Way Galaxy on a planet near a star named Sirius. (And yes, folks, the inhabitants of that planet are watching you.)

I'd never been in the Milky Way. Heard it was nice. About that time I checked a trade paper and saw a classified for contract work, in the Milky Way. I thought that was a good sign, so I sent in my resume.

I got called for an interview. The planet was hard to find, but once I got good directions, and got close enough to see it, I could tell it was first-rate. Lots and lots of water, pretty cloud banks floating past, and no neighboring planets with inhabitants. Appealing.

I was somewhat surprised to find the little god-group that had placed the ad was actually offering a contract. Because there were only three of them: a Father, a Son, and a wholly awesome fellow called the Holy Spirit. I liked the Son and the Holy Spirit right away, even though they didn't seem to be taking an active role in the proceedings. Looked like the Father was holding them in the reserve unit. But that was okay. They were, well, just straight-up dudes with the kind of sweetness you look for in co-workers.

So the boss of the outfit shows me what he's done in six days, and I'm impressed. He's set up this gorgeous garden, like the biggest indoor flower show you've ever seen, on steroids, and he's got a cunning barrier around it that keeps out biting insects and man-eating beasts and even such pests as houseflies. I thought he was running some sort of eco-tourist experiment, to see how long something that stunning could sustain itself. I figured a 10,000 year contract is a safe bet, because in celestial terms that's not a long time at all. I've seen it take longer than that for some gods to fix their hair for a party.

I signed the contract and heaved a sigh of relief.

If you've ever been a freelancer, you know what an uncertain lifestyle it is. Always seems like you're either working way too hard or not at all. One or the other. And you never get paid as much as you should, and you keep telling yourself that the gods ought to get organized and form a union. But I digress.

My first morning at work, the boss says he's tired and tells me to go down into his creation and stroll around a bit, tweak it here or there if need be. He did give me express instructions not to monkey with the creatures that looked like him -- the six-foot-four-inch, blonde-haired, blue-eyed Man, and his five-foot-eight-inch, blonde-haired, blue-eyed Woman. Otherwise I was free to tootle.

So off to the garden I go. Yes sir, I was a happy camper. No rocks in this garden, and the food was luscious. Every creature was topping happy. And so was I. Until I saw the ones that I wasn't supposed to monkey with. (Please pardon the double entendre.)

The one named Adam, the Man, was sprawled in the grass, sniffing his armpits. He did that for about three hours, took a nap, woke up, pulled a few handfuls of grass, ate it, and commenced sniffing his armpits again.

The woman just sat against a verdant vine, staring off into space. I kid you not, she drooled. When she got hungry, she ate some vine. For about two hours she scratched the bottom of her feet. The sun went down and she fell asleep. She'd never moved from her spot.

The next morning, when I reported for duty, I said, "Um, boss, I know I'm new here, but. Um. Are you gonna do anything about the ones made in your image? Because they're dull as paste. They don't seem to appreciate what you've made for them."

That's when he laid out his Plan of Salvation for Mankind, and I knew right then and there I'd signed on with an amateur, someone who'd gotten some seed money somewhere without really qualifying for the task at hand. I mean, they've been using inclusive language in the god schools in the Pinwheel Galaxy for about 317 million years, and here he's talking about Mankind!

When he got to my specific role in the Plan, I asked politely if I couldn't just tear up the contract, seeing as how I'd only been on the job for a day. I said I wouldn't even ask for a day's pay, just release from the contract. Reasonable, don't you think?

Nope. I signed. I had to serve. That's how the boss is. Everything's black and white. No gray about this guy at all.

The boss pointed out the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil down in his garden and told me exactly what to do. I had to see that the Woman ate from it first, so that everything that went wrong after that could be blamed on her. (Of course, no small amount of blame has accrued to me over the millennia, but it was never my plan.)

So down I went, taking some solace in the shortness of the contract. I got the Woman's attention, no small task, and kindly suggested she try some of the fruit. She must have been tired of vines, because she ate three pieces. And of course, just that fast she became not only intelligent and discerning, but concerned about the vacant-eyed dude nearby who was smelling his armpits.

She took the poor cretin some fruit. He ate less than she did, but then he leaped up and announced that he had a taste for a fatted calf, he was off to find one! He fashioned a spear, girded his loins, and went hunting.

The Woman kindled a fire, wove some sleeping mats, gathered a nice bounty of plant matter for side dishes, threw some pottery so she'd have cooking vessels, cooked the side dishes, erected a shelter, and made herself an attractive little outfit. When the Man brought back a wildebeest, she skinned it, gutted it, cut it into manageable portions, cooked some, and dried the rest. In the meantime he'd returned to sniffing his armpits, but now he had the good taste to do it where she couldn't see him.

They invited me to stay, but I'd seen enough. I knew that a day or two later, the boss would come tearing down, accusing them of going against his wishes, and throwing them out into the regular ecosystem, which I found to be populated by tribes of people more or less like these two, being guided with various degrees of success by other gods.

Of course I took the fall for "The Fall."

The worst part of it was that I had to leave the HQ for a satellite office, and so I hardly ever get to see the Son and the Holy Spirit. I was looking forward to their company. They do drop by now and then, but they get so swamped by people who want to know why they're with me, that I hardly even get in an uninterrupted game of checkers.

Just in case you missed yesterday, only two sects of Christians actually get into heaven. One is the Russian Orthodox, the other the Black Bumper Mennonites. So you can imagine what happens when the Son shows up at my office. He gets exhausted from the crowd control.

If Anne isn't back tomorrow, I'll continue my saga of being under contract to the boss from heaven. Have you ever seen 6005 calendars with each day crossed out with a red X? Freelancing never looked so good.
Mr. Applegate

Tuesday, May 24, 2005

Evidence for the Defense #1

Hello, there, and welcome to "The Gods Are Bored!" Anne is off judging goats in some pleasant rural locale. In the meantime, she's opened her space to any celestial entity who wants some air time.

That would be me.

I've got so many names that, around the office, they just shout: "Hey, You!" It's an inside joke. And you would be willing to be called that, too, if you had to sign "Mephistopheles" on every document you generated. But I guess that's a minor improvement over "Beelzebub."

Call me "Mr. Applegate." I like that one fine.

Okay, on to business.

My boss is a jerk. Don't you hate that, when you work for someone you just can't respect? He's arrogant, he's right about everything, you can't change his mind even on the smallest things. What makes it so hard for me, as a contract employee, is that he's supposed to be so loving, and so forgiving, and so kind, and there when you need him. But lo and behold, if you die, and you're not either Russian Orthodox or a Black Bumper Mennonite, you're coming to see me.

Yes. Sad but true, there are only two Christian sects recognized as True Believers by my boss. Listed above. And this does create a good deal of confusion in the Great Hereafter. And no little amount of resentment among the ranks of Presbyterians and Roman Catholics and Mormons and Seventh Day Adventists, and especially those Assemblies of God folks. They cross over, confident that all their "i"s are dotted, and all their "t"s crossed, and they get routed to me. And then guess who has to listen to them complain?

I don't make the rules. Well, let's amend that. Except on the rare occasions when the boss drops by to do a performance evaluation, I'm pretty much left alone to run my satellite office. Thank goodness. Because I can't find it in my heart to torture people indefinitely in bodily ways.

The only time we stoke up the lake of fire and brimstone is when the boss is due for a visit. We get it up and running, send out a call for volunteers, and shut it down when he goes. It's pretty unseemly to see someone who's purported to be so loving, taking glee in the bodily torture of kindly Presbyterians. (And did I mention Methodists?)

My preferred means of eternal torture is just to make people see themselves the way everybody else saw them when they lived. This puts a great many Seventh Day Adventists at complete ease, and they walk around here quite contented. It gets trickier if you're a Hitler or a pope who died in the arms of his sixteenth mistress.

I've got one client here who sexually molested his daughters. He's had to watch 17 subsequent generations of his family live totally screwed up lives, all thanks to him. And I think he deserves it.

I believe Anne will be away for several days, so I'll use the time to go into detail about why my boss is a jerk. Suffice it to say today that I signed a 10,000 year contract, I'm into Year 6005, and I'm not going to take renewal on the thing. I was a freelancer before joining on with my current boss, and a contract with benefits looked nice after so much employment insecurity. But I was -- I kid you not -- exactly one week into the contract when I realized I'd made a mistake. Still, a contract's a contract, and I will honor mine.

If you're a Christian and not Russian Orthodox or a Black Bumper Mennonite, I'll see you sooner or later. I just have one last thing today:

You nutsy punks who worship me by killing kittens and other evil deeds? You're way over the top. That kind of foolishness doesn't get you preferential treatment here. I'm more likely to wait until the boss is napping and send you back for another term on Terra Firma - as a nematode.

See, if you've been reading the Bible, you're only getting the evidence for the prosecution. I have my way of looking at things, and if I was in a union, I could definitely file a grievance.
Mr. Applegate

Monday, May 23, 2005

What's Up in Afghanistan?

Welcome to "The Gods Are Bored!" My name is Morpheus, and I'm stepping in for Anne this morning. She had to go out and judge some goats, you know, make a living and all that.

I, Morpheus, Greek God of Dreams, would like to thank you Americans for dismantling the Taliban regime in Afghanistan. Since you did that, the farmers have returned to growing their most dependable cash crop, opium poppies. (The Taliban killed anyone found guilty of growing opium.) Thanks to you Americans, the worldwide supply of cheap, pure heroin has skyrocketed. Your kids can come and talk to me, and they don't even have to use those dirty needles. They can just snort or smoke that nice, pure Afghan stuff. And it's so much cheaper now! You know all about supply and demand, don't you?

The ouster of that repressive fundamentalist regime has led to almost 90 percent of illegal heroin coming from one, yes one country. That's Afghanistan! The farmers grow rich, the police grow rich on kickbacks, the politicians grow rich on graft, and your American children grow mellow in the glow of my most famous product. Everybody's happy!

Oh, and don't worry about those angry mobs over there who protested the news that some American burned the Koran. You know how countries are. There's always going to be some lunatic fringe on the side of repressive religion. The new Afghan government will soon make short shrift of those rabble rousers.

I just love the way you Americans sow democracy all over the place. I think of it every time I see all those acres and acres of Afghan fields, planted edge to edge with my beautiful red and white poppies. Oh, so sorry to you liberal Americans out there. Poppies don't come in blue.
A Public Service Message from
Morpheus, God of Dreams

Sunday, May 22, 2005


Welcome to "The Gods Are Bored." The gods aren't terribly bored today, but they are sleepy. They went to a midnight showing of Rocky Horror Picture Show and didn't get to bed until almost 3:00 a.m.

As a parent, I feel it is my responsibility to give my children cultural opportunities. So it was on behalf of my older daughter, The Heir, that I attended Rocky Horror. She's almost 16, and a concerned mom feels that someone that age shouldn't be allowed to go alone to a midnight romp with 300-plus tattooed and otherwise individually decorated persons.

It was refreshing, however, because the assembled seemed to share my opinion of the sitting president. When asked to give him a Rocky Horror salute, they rose as one and shouted ... ummm ... certain common expletives that ought to be hurled with great regularity at this particular head of state.

On the other hand, no one else there seemed to share my enthusiasm for Susan Sarandon as a Supreme Court justice. But perhaps the audience was just reacting to her seminal performance in the film when they repeatedly called her a slut.

Have you seen Rocky Horror Picture Show? It is quite possibly the stupidest movie ever made. But it bonds people. It allows you to sit in a dark theater and express opinions. It presents the notion that perhaps a stray oddball here and there isn't such a bad idea, is perhaps instead a refreshing breeze through the stodgy human race.

If I might be bold enough to monkey with the lyrics of one of the songs:

"Blue tint my world, keep me safe from Republican games!"

I've been hearing for weeks about this gal who planned a 600-guest wedding with nine bridesmaids and then came up missing a day or two before the big event. Turns out she hopped the old Greyhound and took it a couple thousand miles to Vegas.

I used to ride Greyhound a lot when I was a penniless college kid, and my hat is off to that gal for being able to sit on one of those things for a thousand-mile trip. After about the first hour, I'm searching for a barf bag, and by the time I reach my destination, I'm sorry I embarked in the first place. And the longest I ever spent on a bus was from Baltimore to Cleveland. That's not exactly a hop, skip, and a jump, but it ain't Vegas.

But I digress. First of all, what is with these big weddings? Nine bridesmaids? You want nine of your best friends and family to waste hundreds of dollars on some gooey gown they can't ever wear again, buy you a gift (or two, if you have a shower), and devote a day of their lives to your vanity? Six hundred guests? You feed that many people hors d'oeuvres, salad, a main course, dessert, and an open bar, entertain them with music, and rent a space big enough to accommodate them, and you've got ... a fully-equipped double-wide trailer and a nice down payment on a low mileage pickup.

Big weddings are just another corporate boondoggle, one of the many ways the few fleece the pockets of the many.

I am fully qualified to render a verdict on this. I got married in 1984. There were 14 people at my wedding. My sister was my maid of honor, I lent her a dress. Dad treated everybody to lunch. Bottom line, stem to stern: less than $200.00.

I'm still married to that man. Point of fact, I like him a lot.

But the runaway bride didn't bolt because she invited so many people that there were at least 15 on the "yes" list who planned to kill her at the reception. She bolted for another reason entirely.

Seems she and the man who'd set up this bash had never "done it." The groom, it develops, was a Chippie (Christian/hippie) who had declared himself a "born again virgin," having once or twice porked some chick but then decided that it was wrong, and he should wait until saying "I do." Perhaps understandably, the bride began to wonder if she could pledge herself eternally to a man, not knowing if she would want to share his bed again after the honeymoon night.

Can the bored gods weigh in on this one? Because the Chippie trend seems to be that anything more tempting than holding hands and exchanging "sweet nothing" glances prior to marriage is somehow sinful.

The bored gods have a little saying attributed to them. It goes like this: "An thou harm none, do what thou wilt."

Modern translation: Just set it and forget it.

Oh, there we go with these translators again! Is it any wonder the bored gods don't want to go on record in print?

I need new translators for this site. It's making me work harder. Because here's what the bored gods would tell a bride, any bride. And a groom, any groom.

Get some dependable birth control (pills for her, condom for him). And get it on. Because sexual compatability ranks at the very, very top in marriage. Right up there with sharing fundamental values and not spilling beer on the upholstery.

Bride, you're going to be living with this man and his sexual habits the rest of your life. You'd better like his way of doing things, because he's going to be doing it a lot. Groom, you'd better be aware if she has headaches or "times of the month" that last 14 days out of 28. Otherwise, the good ol' marital union's gonna have some hairline cracks in it from Day One. And we've covered hairline cracks in this forum before. We all know where they lead. Oh, someone missed that? Well, they lead to a pile of crushed rock with bodies buried under it - sometimes children's bodies, when the cracks are in a marriage.

In the heyday of the bored gods, people got married at 12 or 13. Remember when you were that age, how cranked up you were?

The bored gods wouldn't endorse teenage marriage anymore, but the only harm in premarital sex between two consenting partners comes from the possibility of conception. It's harming an unborn child if the two people getting it on aren't sure that they want to gaze fondly at each other over the cafeteria table in the nursing home.

But there's surefire stuff out there that, used sensibly, prevents conception before it occurs. The bored gods think these items, particularly birth control pills, should be available over-the-counter at every pharmacy. Really. You can go psycho on Robitussin, treat yourself to an agonized, lingering death with an overdose of Tylenol. No one ever OD'd on estrogen. You can even use it and operate an automobile or other complicated machinery.

The bored gods are all for sexual experimentation, provided that it is done with the use of sensible, dependable family planning measures. Sex is a gift from the bored gods. Yes, those poor old forgotten deities who sit around knitting afghans! They ruled at a time when humans didn't dominate the planet like steamrollers stuck in high gear. Since humans lived and died in harmony with Nature, life was tough, short, and mostly difficult. Sex was one of the few pleasures, to be enjoyed in and of itself but also for its ability to provide offspring that were valued.

Wow, have times changed!

I'll never encourage my daughters, The Heir and The Spare, to do this "hook up" crap and slut around like those creepy women on Sex and the City. But I am likewise definitely NOT going to encourage The Heir and The Spare to "wait" when they find some guy they dig who digs them back enough to want to spend a good bit of time exclusively with them. Pass the estrogen, pass the condoms, and get it on.

Don't look for me as the hostess of a 600-guest wedding, either. I'm not bloody Queen Elizabeth II. And look how those marriages turned out!

Friday, May 20, 2005


Good morning, and welcome to "The Gods Are Bored." Check out your local newspaper, see if it hires union reporters. If not, cancel that sucker. You can get all the news you need right from this fair and balanced blog.

In previous posts I have described myself as a kitten-killing, homo-loving, pro-union, tax-and-spend liberal. And it occurred to me yesterday that I might be putting a huge number of fine women at risk by describing myself that way.

I mean, there's 3 Anne Johnsons who fill their prescriptions at my local pharmacy. One of them famously cracked up a whole room of Kept Women at PTA by thanking me loudly for the free diaphragm - they'd put in the wrong insurance number. I love that story, don't you?

It's the "kitten-killing" part of my description that has me worried today, although the tax-and-spend liberal part could get me strung up in many places, particularly from the rafters of mega-churches.

Folks, the "kitten-killing" tag is metaphorical. I don't kill kittens. In fact, I volunteer as a kitten foster mother at the local pound. Just now I have a litter of four downstairs that were found in the back of a Target truck as it was being unloaded about 300 miles from its point of origin. Poor babies! They were all of two weeks old when I got them. But they took to me fast. They're thriving and will be ready for adoption around Memorial Day, and two of them have already found homes.

For a moment yesterday I pictured those wackadoos at PETA summarily gunning down every Anne Johnson, in hopes of offing the actual kitten-killer. PETA, no Anne Johnson I know kills kittens, including myself.

The idea for calling myself a kitten-killer came from my sister, who is a Chippie (Right-wing Christian activist). When I told her I'd become a druid, she said, "Don't they slaughter kittens at midnight in pentagrams?" Which, come to think of it, is just about what you'd expect someone to say who listens to Dobson faithfully every day.

False, totally untrue. Druids do not perform human or animal sacrifices. And as a goat judge, I just cringe when I read the Old Testament, where they describe such practices - particularly aimed at goats - in some detail. As a goat judge, you're not looking for the best animal for sacrifice. You're looking for good milk-makers. They're meant to live, to be milked for cheese that tastes good on salad.

In fact, I should be in excellent standing with PETA. When I discovered a stray cat in my backyard, I had her trapped and spayed, and then I removed all my beloved bird feeders. Can't be luring innocent chickadees to their death. I have since adopted the cat. She sheds on my rug.

Now, this next part may surprise you fascist Christian conservatives out there, but I believe in the Right to Life. Life is a gift, right?

Here's the rub. Where do we draw the line on Right to Life?

If you're a druid, and you weed your garden and pull out new, young tree seedlings because they're in the flower bed, you're committing murder. Those baby trees have as much right to life as the kittens downstairs. If you retire to your front porch to pray for forgiveness to the Green Man, and a mosquito lands on your arm and proceeds to probe, you can't slap that bugger dead. Mosquitoes are alive. Who says they have any less Right to Life than I do?

You think I'm being facetious, but I'm not. I won't kill a spider, I won't kill ants at picnics, I hate pulling weeds (it's a sin), but hey, this is Stepford, and one must keep up the old property or face public approbation.

Everything that's alive has a Right to Life. So, along with PETA, I would consider an anti-abortion activitist who worked, say, at a slaughterhouse, to be the worst kind of hypocrit. Equally, I would consider an anti-abortion activist who worked as a logger or who supported logging "interests" to be either a murderer or an accomplice to murder.

When my daughter The Spare got strep throat, I said, "Well, there's medicine to cure this, but Streptococci have a Right to Life, and they've decided to live in your throat. Who do you want me to give your teddy bears to when you're dead?"

In all seriousness, where do we draw a line on Right to Life? Does a white, suburban fetus have more of a Right to Life than an eight-year-old Ugandan? Why don't you placard-waving Chippies stop taking the easy road by standing in front of the women's clinic, and start saving your time and money to go save African children who are suffering worse than American dogs ever dared to suffer? Don't tell me your church tithes cover that. What a lame answer. You're spending six hours in front of a clinic, you could be working at McDonald's, saving those wages, and giving more to Africa!

Or, have regular yard sales at your church. I need the cheap household items.

When the druid theocracy is established in the Empire of America, it will be illegal to pull up a tree, even if it's growing into your bedroom window. All spraying of mosquito-infested marshes will be outlawed, and no human will be issued any sort of medication to kill a virus or a bacterial infection. Right to Life will be taken literally, and that includes root vegetables. No more eating carrots and potatoes. It kills the plant. And carrots have a Right to Life.

Since I don't like carrots, I'm anxiously awaiting the druid theocracy in the Empire of America. The way certain Republicans are behaving is actually encouraging the bored gods to revise certain timelines they've been keeping about these things.

Thursday, May 19, 2005


Welcome to "The Gods Are Bored," a commentary site launched to promote polytheism and special reverent attention to bored gods like Epona, who gave humankind the horse, and Morpheus, who gave humankind potent painkillers to ease suffering at the end of life. We feel these deities don't get enough respect in these dark times, and why should they not? Where would we be without the horse?

Of course, what's a daring religious blog site without daring political views as well? So we go on record as being pro-union, kitten-killing, homo-loving liberals, the kind of dangerous extremists your parents always warned you about when you planned to walk up the street for an ice cream at the local soda fountain.

Today's topic: My impeccable American pedigree.

My younger daughter (I have two daughters, The Heir and The Spare) is not a highly motivated student. She likes relevance in her learning and can't quite muster up much enthusiasm about, say, spelling words like "relevant."

In the last two weeks, however, The Spare has been studying American history in the eighteenth century, first the French and Indian War, and this week the events leading up to the creation of the Declaration of Independence (which, by the way, is printed on cannabis).

Somehow, The Spare became excited about the Sons of Liberty, those undisciplined rabble-rousers who challenged fully armed, highly trained foreign soldiers, called them Redcoats, and told them to go home to their empire-building country across the sea.

The social studies text calls these Sons of Liberty "patriots." Today, under different circumstances, they're known as "insurgents." But that's another story.

The Spare was equally intrigued by the colonial militia, those good ol' Minutemen who dragged themselves out of their warm farm beds, climbed into trees, and took pot-shots at the aforementioned fully-trained, highly armed foreign soldiers.

The social studies text calls the militia ... the militia. Today, under different circumstances, we call them terrorists. But that's another story.

I told The Spare to hold out her arm. I pointed to a blue vein (artery? I'm a goat judge, not a doctor). "The blood of those patriots flows in your veins," I told her.

Then we went upstairs, and I showed her my Daughters of the American Revolution papers, for two different ancestors. One on my dad's lineage, one on my mom's. Both had served in the colonial militia between 1777 and 1783. When The Spare saw "militia" clearly printed on the form (with company, commander, dates and place of service), she was simply galvanized. How refreshing!

The Spare can proudly claim two ancestors who fought as terrorist insurgents in the War for American Independence.

Her people got pummeled by George Washington's hand-picked troops in a little misunderstanding called The Whiskey Rebellion.

Her ancestors are praised by name in an award-winning novel about the Underground Railroad. Her ancestors' names, and the circumstances they found themselves in, are the only nonfiction in the otherwise ficitious story.

If The Spare moves on to the Civil War, she fill find three direct descendants who fought for the Grand Army of the Republic. That's the Union Army. Go, Union! One of them was at Appomattox. One served for the entire duration of the war.

Two brothers of one of The Spare's Union Army forebears are buried in a pit at a place called Andersonville, Georgia.

On to the twentieth century. The Spare's great-grandfather designed technology that was instrumental in improving the functionality of gas masks. The Spare's grandfather, so recently taken from us and sorely missed, is a member of The Greatest Generation: U.S. Army, World War II.

The Spare's other grandfather served during the Korean War, but he was such a good baseball player that the Army kept him stateside to play ball for the U.S. team. He went on to sign a pro contract and to become quite famous not in baseball but as ... aww, I've done enough doggone bragging already.

The point of all this is, you've gotta be intensely patriotic to seek out the Daughters of the American Revolution and try to get your butt accepted into their ranks. They have tough policies. They won't take the nicest, most famous ladies who think they might have had an ancestor who fought in the Revolutionary War. You've gotta prove and prove and prove to gain DAR respect. Not only for the guy who hid behind the rock and took pot-shots at the British, but for each and every subsequent generation. No "love children" allowed. All marriages, births, and deaths must be validated, clearly linking one generation to the next.

Know how hard that is to do if your people were Appalachian Americans?

Okay, bigot. Proves you think hillbillies never wash and wait for city folks to wander into the woods so they can rape 'em. Actually, because Appalachia has always been sparsely populated, and people tend to like it there and stay in one place, it was easy not only to find the patriot, but to find his grave, his will, his son's will, his great-grandson's Civil War record, Grandpa's birth certificate, Grandpa's death certificate, Dad's marriage license, and Dad's dog tags. One trip to a bucolic little town overlooking a river with a lovely name, and the work is done.

What's wonderful about America is that I can lay claim to this long and distinguished ancestry, and it doesn't make me any more American than the nice Indian guy who just bought the local 7-11 and got his citizenship last month. He's just as American as I am, and I'm real comfortable with that.

The difference between him and me? He's probably a lot less likely to probe at his new nation's warts the way I am. He's not overly concerned about the tyranny of the majority and how very delicate a system of checks and balances we have here in our government. I worry about these things. Not only because my pro-union, kitten-killing, homo-loving liberals aren't in power, but because they might some day be in power. And the surest way to usher in an era of unbridled liberal power is to usher in an era of unbridled conservative power.

My Uncle Dimwit, who listens to Rush Limbaugh every day, likes to say, "Most Americans are conservative." To which I reply: "No. Most Americans are moderate." That's how we get close elections like the last presidential. And it's good to keep in mind how many moderates there are out there, because you can never really count on how they'll vote from year to year.

Me? I haven't voted for a Republican in my lifetime, in any election from my local municipality right up to El Presidente (who we don't really vote for anyway). I'm a blue-blooded blue voter, with a long and distinguished family history of pissed-off Scotch Irish troublemakers.

Senator Frist? If you want to move on to the White House, you'll have to get past me. I'm not gonna hide in a tree and take pot shots at you, I'm just gonna oppose you. If you move up anyway, and get Roe v. Wade overturned by your activist judges "of faith," I'll laugh as your whole world crashes and burns in an enormous liberal backlash that will bring me, among other things, the legal marijuana that will ease my Alzheimer's.

Will I live to see President Frist? Hope not.

If I do, will I be surprised if he's succeeded by a gay president? Not a bit.
Member in good standing.

Wednesday, May 18, 2005


Welcome to "The Gods Are Bored," where we've noted this day as an eventful one in the history of American democracy.

Bring it on, Frist. Your comb-over is really ugly, and your message of majority rule stinks of the Third Reich.

Zeig Heil, Frist. You are a brown-shirt, even if your shirt is white.


Tuesday, May 17, 2005


Welcome to "The Gods Are Bored," your first stop for individual freedom and the right to be a lunatic, so long as no one gets hurt and the furniture doesn't get stained.

Are there any among my multitude of readers who look all over the house for the cream cheese, only to find it sitting front-and-center on the kitchen counter ... and then you can't remember why you wanted it in the first place? Or this one: You start down the basement stairs, get halfway down, and think: "Why am I going down the basement stairs? What did I want to do in the basement?"

Scary, isn't it?

I'm a tad too young to be coming down with Alzheimer's Disease. But it does rear its ugly head in the good ol' family tree here and there. It's a nasty ailment. Hard for those who have it, hard for those who love those who have it. My dad just "Went West," as we druids put it, and he spent the last 5 months of his life on an Alzheimer's unit. Made me think about all those end-of-life issues - the sort of thing you usually tuck into the mental filing cabinet right behind the recipe for Jello-mold with crushed pears.

But there's light in the tunnel even for the poor souls who have Alzheimer's. And I am just sorry this research didn't come to light before Ronald Reagan "Went West." Because he might have ben helped by this stunning new discovery.

In a small, carefully-controlled scientific study, Alzheimer's patients with particularly intractable temper issues were given ... drum roll, please ... cannabis. Lo and behold, it improved their mental outlooks to such an extent that family members who dared not visit them could come and see them again! The Alzheimer's patients who were given cannabis were ranked for signs of depression, aggressiveness, ability to relax, and overall quality of life. Geez, big surprise here. The ones given cannabis were happy, the ones given placebos continued wrecking the joint.

Now this little message is going out onto the Internet, where even Osama bin Laden can read it if he wants to. (Osama, the bored gods are NOT happy with you, pal.) So HEAR YE, HEAR YE, HEAR YE!


None of this Marinol. It's like a pina colada with no rum in it. I want the real thing. I've never smoked a cigarette in my life, but I bet I'd catch on fast.

Yeah, I can hear all you Chippies out there. You're saying I'm already demented. I've got a canister of cream cheese downstairs that would agree with you. But I can still drive a car and write a check and help my daughter, The Spare, with her social studies. So I'm not quite ready to toke.

But when the day comes, I WILL WANT MY THC!

Time for the nuclear option! Let's load the bench with conservative judges "of faith," who will make such a mockery of justice that an inevitable liberal rebound will occur just about at the time I go loony. Then I'll get the right medication for my aggressive, nasty form of Alzheimers, and I'll be able to sit by the window and watch the fairies all day, until off I fly with them - West.

And no one will get hurt, and the furniture will all be plastic anyway.


Monday, May 16, 2005


Welcome to "The Gods Are Bored!" If you're just joining us, well then, howdy. Help us shore up that wall between church and state, because it's got a few hairline cracks. And you know how hairline cracks are. One minute they just stand there looking innocent, the next minute the castle shudders and collapses into the moat.

This is a little heads-up for a Chippie (Christian/hippie) named Chan Chandler, who rightfully lost his day job as pastor of a church because he said anyone who voted for John Kerry was a sinner who needed to repent.

Now, folks, Chan has every right not only to hold that opinion in his heart, but also to express it vocally and frequently. Just not from the pulpit of the church he's pastoring.

Chan, dearie. Have you ever heard of a notorious criminal named Al Capone? He ran bootleg booze through Chicago in the days of Prohibition. Know how they finally nailed that guy? THEY CALLED IN THE IRS.

Chan. Sweetie. Guess who heard of your little pulpit political plug? THE IRS. They want TAXES from your church, honey! It's not a CHURCH if you're spouting politics. It's not a CHURCH if people have to declare their political party to join. It's not a CHURCH if people can be tossed out because of the way they vote.

And one last thing, you clueless Chippie. It's not a CHRISTIAN church if you stick your nose into other peoples' lives and pass judgment on them. You're not preaching gospel, you're throwing stones. Bad boy. Very bad.

I guess that gets you promoted to Dobson's staff. Oh, but your Chippie future looks bright. Until you come face to face with Jesus, or - gasp! - the bored gods, who will find your intolerance ... ummm ... intolerable.
See y'all in Hell!


Welcome to "The Gods Are Bored!" And today, folks, the gods are really bored. They haven't even gotten out of bed.

For those of you just joining us, we are pro-union, pagan, kitten-killing, homo-loving liberals - everything your mega-church pastor warns you to avoid! We're begging to be put on a list of "blogs you must NEVER read" by that lunatic fringe known as the Christian Right. (Here we call them Chippies, i.e. Christian/hippies.)

But today's topic should be safe enough even for the high standards of decency set by people who think gays are just a little bit mentally ill and can be cured by the right (Christian) therapist.

Sick and tired I am of two things culturally very big today in America. Horses they are that have been put use to plowing fields for too long way. Refer I to "Star Wars" and "The Rolling Stones." Does not apply particular order.

So let's start with "Star Wars." This is the one that has kept the bored gods in bed today.

In the mid-1970s, inspired no doubt by the many illegal psychotropic substances making the rounds in those times, a bold young filmmaker named George Lucas somehow channeled the bored gods and wrote a swashbuckling, far-future (or past) sci-fi adventure. Mr. Lucas wanted to make a film about good and evil, about how absolute power and greed corrupt, and how a good, universe-friendly religion run by principled warriors might oppose said evil. He turned out a pretty good piece of work called "Star Wars."

I'm a goat judge, not a theologian, but I do know that from 1977 until the present, we druids have gotten a kick out of saying, "Help us, Obi-Wan Kenobi. You're our only hope." Because of course old Obi-Wan is just another plant by the bored gods to keep the good, old-time religion vibrant. (Gandolf and Dumbledore also spring to mind in this regard.)

The Christians like to claim Obi-Wan and his Jedi Knights. But I don't see any Crucifixes on those dudes. Whether they lived a long, long time ago, or in the far, far future, apparently they haven't learned that you need Jesus to get into heaven. (Well, not all heavens, just America's most popular one at the moment.) However, druids can boldly claim Obi-Wan, first because of his cool name and then because he seems to have an itty bitty sensitivity for the celestial and earthly environments so imaginatively portrayed in "Star Wars." You don't hear Obi-Wan saying that only Jedi Knights go to heaven, and all those anonymous Storm Troopers in the hockey masks wind up devil-fodder.

Anyway, I've established to my satisfaction that the original "Star Wars" sends a druid-friendly subliminal message. Let's move on.

Toys. Videos. Conventions. Costumes. Money, money, money! Seduced by the very greed he deplored, Mr. Lucas has gone on to make 5 MORE OF THESE MONSTERS!

Please! Uncle! We're hollering uncle! Lucas, you've betrayed the bored gods by turning their cunning subliminal message into an all-American foray into overkill.

The original "Star Wars" was about a technologically superior culture overrunning an eco-based, religiously devoted culture. The bored gods applaud. The rest of the "Star Wars" debacle is all about product tie-ins and special effects. The bored gods pull the covers over their heads and say, "Maybe we should shorten the timeline for the massive explosion of Yellowstone."

To our second topic. Comes to me news of another summer tour by The Rolling Stones.

Do you really think that when Mick and Keith decided to call their band The Rolling Stones, they meant to be so literal? Because if ever moss should be growing on someone, it's Sir Mick Jagger. (I imagine the queen used an extra-long sword to knight him, so she wouldn't have to get too close.)

Come on, already, guys! You're seriously starting to make me think you're the Vampire Lestat made flesh. Do I hear you laughing, Aerosmith? Ha ha! YOU LOOK SO DAMNED FOOLISH, YOU CAN'T EVEN IMAGINE!

Some styles of music can be played with equal flair by teenagers and octagenarians. One need only think of (hats off, rednecks) Bill Monroe and His Bluegrass Boys. Or a more universally known figure, Frank Sinatra. Miles Davis springs to mind as well.

But rock and roll? No sir. There should be a mandatory retirement age. And a definition of the genre broad enough to include Neil Diamond, Sting, and Billy Joel. We'll exempt Bruce Springsteen only if he restricts himself to acoustic output.

Am I the only person in the world who wouldn't waste $100 on a show featuring a bunch of geezers in do-rags, veins flowing with formaldehyde, singing songs that are 30-plus years old? Hey, Mick? Can't get any satisfaction? Geez, don't you make enough money to pay your bills? Why else would you drag your geriatric butt onto a stage? Does the roar of each and every crowd sound different? And, Mick. Have you looked over your fan base lately? They drive Porsches to the concert, and their hands shake from Parkinson's Disease as they try to light their spliffs. That's one fan base. The other one is a clueless bunch of teenagers too scared to try listening to some brave, new music.

From the bored gods to the Rolling Stones: STOP ROLLING, ALREADY. Go start an insect collection. Make one of those teeny tiny boats in a bottle. If you need money, sell your peerage to Dick Cheney. JUST STOP TOURING. PLEASE.

If you don't, I'm going to get out the bikini I used to wear in the 1980s and wear it to one of your concerts. A pretty sight will not it be, assuredly.


Friday, May 13, 2005


"Being able to pun, sing, or riddle will usually get you through fairy checkpoints. To deal with real fairies is to enter a realm of riddles and puzzle settings where what they punish is stupidity and what they love is intellectual cleverness."
--Terrence McKenna, 2003

Welcome to "The Gods Are Bored!" We love intellectual cleverness. And puns, too. Especially the unintentional ones. Like a guy named "Rush" who struggles with opiate addiction.

Please understand, we are not so hard on drug addicts here. We understand psychotropic substances and how addictive some of them are. The only time we make fun of anyone for an illness is when that person has hypocritically called for punishment of others while having the same sickness and covering it up.

Actually, we believe there's worse things than having a secret opiate addiction while calling for tougher drug possession penalties. And that would be? Convincing ordinary working Americans that the best thing for them is tax cuts for wealthy Americans.

But we digress. Today's topic: Scientific proof of fairies and Bigfoot!

And this isn't Creation Science, folks. See previous blogs for our opinion of that seminal line of research. In brief, we give the Intelligent Designer of the Universe as portrayed in the Bible at best a "C," and a warning that you never leave the toughest jobs (creating the human race) for a Friday. Find youself behind on deadlines, you're gonna cut corners. Next thing you know you've got people constructed on your image gassing millions of other people constructed on your image, just out of religious differences.

Gosh, today's Friday, and I'm not going to plug like I did, say, on Wednesday, when our president was out riding his bike.

Scientific proof of Bigfoot. A species of ape standing 9 feet tall has been identified from fossils in China and Mongolia. The extinct ape, named Gigantopithecus, stood erect in the manner of the Intelligent Designer, and might have lived into the Ice Age. If this creature lived into the Ice Age in China and Mongolia, it is highly likely that it was covered with white hair. Whether or not that is the case, it must certainly have had a big foot, and it most certainly was seen by Homo sapiens.

Scientific proof of fairies. A species of hominid standing 36 inches tall at full adulthood has been found in archeological deposits on an island off Indonesia. The bones have been nicknamed "hobbit" as the scientists decide on a species name. Along with these bones have been found bones of other island animals, clearly slaughtered with tools. On the island where the bones were found, there are many ancient "legends" of "little people" who would sneak out of the forest and steal things - including children.

The scientist who found the bitty hominid bones noted that islands sometimes produce diminutions of normal species.

Now here's where we make our giant leap of unscientific faith.

Either before, during, or after the last Ice Age, Homo sapiens arrives on the British Isles to find a species of forest-dwelling hominid, 36 inches tall or smaller at adulthood, that would creep out at night to steal things, including an occasional child. As Homo sapiens has a long and well-documented history of wiping clean whole biospheres, these small hominids disappear and become the stuff of legend.

Fairies, leprechauns, gnomes, sprites, elves. "Little People."
Trolls, giants, Bigfoot. "Big People."

Having said that, we at "The Gods Are Bored" are not about worshipping some extinct species of hominid. One presumes that no species of hominid ever flew, and fairies can fly. But just for the sake of conjecture, it's interesting to examine how close some ancient legends come to the evidence in the fossil record.

We are willing to concede the possibility that the Intelligent Designer, Creator of the Plan of Salvation for Mankind (note that we do not use inclusive language), deliberately buried all these fossils to seduce good people into Satanic beliefs and atheism. To which we reply: How intelligent and loving is that? I wouldn't try to trick my kids, The Heir and The Spare, into beliefs that would endanger them - say, for instance, that it's safe to ride a bike without a helmet, or crushed up OxyContin can't kill you.

Hey, Intelligent Designer. Fairies aren't perfect like you. But they've never presumed to be. At least on that point they're up front and honest.

Now I'm BOLTON on outta here, to begin a busy work day!

Thursday, May 12, 2005


Welcome to "The Gods Are Bored!" We engage in pleasant chit-chat about how, in America today, the few are enriched by the sweat of the many.

Today's topic: Where Were You at 12:01 p.m. EDT, Wednesday, May 11? We're doing a random sampling, including the local weather.

For those of you who don't follow the news, at 12:01 EDT, an unidentified Cessna aircraft strayed into airspace over the nation's capital, causing mass evacuations at the Senate, Congress, the White House, and other federal buildings. Turns out the pilot was just learning how to fly and wanted to see the Washington Monument from the air.

Where were you?

Anne Johnson (author of blog): Working diligently and ardently, fuming over the fact that she makes 1/2 as much for the same amount of work as she did in 1993. (Weather outside, sunny, 75 degrees.)

Sri Lankan teenager (factory labor, My Scene Dolls): Sleeping like the dead after a 14-hour shift at 23 cents an hour. Was too tired to indulge in "turtle dove love" or eat his rice. (Weather outside: warm and rainy)

Ugandan child (sold into slavery): Too scared to sleep after a first encounter with sexual molestation. (Weather outside: hot and dry)

Utah female, 36 (Wal-Mart checker): Being disciplined for coming to work late after having to shovel out car from snowdrift. Silently thanking God that she didn't take that index card from the Union organizer in the parking lot. Wondering how she's going to pay for her daughter's strep throat medication. (Weather outside, snow flurries)

Baltimore female, 73 (seamstress): Recovering from pneumonia brought on by botched surgery, wondering which is most important this month, food or heart medicine, can't buy both. (Weather outside, 78 and sunny)

Indianapolis male, 25 (construction): Watching clock, hungry as a bear after a long morning building McMansions. (Weather outside, cool and windy, possible showers)

Laura Bush (First Lady): Tucking into a light snack of Twinkies and Hi-C with former First Lady Nancy Reagan in the White House dining room. (Weather outside, 78 and sunny)

Dick Cheney (Vice President): Briefing corporate CEOs on the latest methods to streamline the American workforce through "revised head counts"; pondering ways to deal a final death blow to all labor unions; hearing anonymous big-time pay-to-play fundraisers' latest ideas on smoke-screening important issues with meaningless "morality" debates that distract voters and let them feel like they're electing people who will serve them and not Big Business. (Weather not a factor, he's in the War Room)

George "Dubya" Bush (Commander in Chief of Armed Forces, Leader of the Free World): Out riding his bike in a nature preserve. (Weather outside: sunny, 78 degrees, splendid)

WHO BESIDES ME IS TIRED OF THIS? COME ON, AMERICA! SPEAK UP! Be honest. Were you either working, taking a truncated lunch break, or worrying about your bills at 12:01 p.m. EDT on Wednesday, May 11?

The president just over half of you voted for (not me, muchachas!) was doing one of two things:

He was either playing hooky from important duties like writing letters to war widows, or ...

He was lubricating the old fund-raising machine with a little leisurely bike ride among fat cats.


Anne? Get to work, you have work to do, you have bills to pay and less money to pay them with than ever.

Princeton filibusterists? Write to Corzine and demand action on Uganda.

Kept women? Stop buying those My Scene Dolls until they pay those kids in Sri Lanka a living wage for an eight-hour day.


Construction worker? We've got enough goddamn McMansions eating up farmland. Go rehab the city housing, make it shine!

Laura Bush? Count the silverware.

Dick Cheney? Please give your prescription heart medication to the lady in Baltimore. She can't afford it. And then, with all due dispatch, let Mother Nature take her course with you. You are an ENEMY OF THE PEOPLE.

Dubya? Set your bike on a course following the setting sun. Keep riding. And riding. And riding. Don't come back. No one will miss you. YOU'RE THE WORST PRESIDENT WE'VE HAD IN OFFICE SINCE WARREN HARDING!

Folks, I really hate to point this out, but at least Bill Clinton was at his desk when he and Monica were going at it. Who rides bikes at noon on a Wednesday, except for corrupt Union workers who get mob-guaranteed salaries for doing nothing all day? IS THAT YOU, DUBYA? YOU A UNION MAN?

And to think I started this blog to talk about religion!

Wednesday, May 11, 2005


Welcome to "The Gods Are Bored!" Test your knowledge of witchcraft and drug use through the ages!

Remember, Princeton, if you answer ALL questions either TRUE or FALSE, and the quiz is graded on a curve, you're sure to pass!
(Answers at bottom. Don't cheat.)

1. Cannabis has been used by the human race for its euphoric effects for more than 12,000 years.

2. In the sacred Indian texts called The Vedas, the god Shiva is praised for giving cannabis to humankind.

3. One hundred years ago, medicines containing cannabis were sold over the counter for such problems as toothache and fussy infants.

4. George Washington and Thomas Jefferson both used recreational cannabis, grown on their plantations.

5. William Randolph Hearst led a campaign against cannabis in his newspapers because hemp was grown for paper and he had invested heavily in forests he planned to cut down for paper pulp.

6. Chemists have devised a synthetic opioid that is not habit forming.

7. The use of opiates for analgesia and euphoric effects dates back at least 6,000 years.

8. Much of the world's best poetry has been written by people under the influence of cannabis, opiates, alcohol, or hallucinogens.

9. The celestial sensations and proximity to deities experienced by hallucinogen users is merely brain chemistry and not a true religious experience.

10. European women in the Middle Ages distilled hallucinogens from toad venom and mushrooms, smeared the substance on broom handles, and touched the broom handles to their genitals to transmit the substance into their blood streams.

11. Some men and women in the Middle Ages knew how to poison people with opiates, ergot, arsenic, and mercury.

12. An overwhelming proportion of the women and children of Europe did the above, necessitating their being burnt at the stake.

13. During the Middle Ages and Renaissance, an overwhelming proportion of women and children in Europe had sexual intercourse with demons, necessitating their being burnt at the stake.

14. Medical doctors (men) promoted the burning of witches because it removed herbal healers and midwives from the population and was therefore good for business.

15. Priests tortured women and children into confessing to having sex with demons because the existence of demons proved the existence of God.

16. It is possible to overdose on smoked marijuana, just as it is to overdose on hard liquor.

17. Cannabis has never been proven to have any medical benefit.

18. The Web site Wikipedia: The Free Encyclopedia names Rush Limbaugh on its "List of Famous Opiate Addicts," which also includes Axl Rose, Aleister Crowley, and future Supreme Court Justice Lou Reed.

19. Of the three men above, Rush Limbaugh is the only one to use a national platform to berate drug users and call for their imprisonment.

20. Four in ten Americans admit to having tried marijuana at least once.

Okay, students. Now for the answers.
10. TRUE
11. TRUE
14. TRUE
15. TRUE
18. TRUE
19. TRUE
20. TRUE

Bonus question: Legalizing cannabis would prove catastrophic to the American pharmaceutical industry, which profits greatly from habit-forming prescription medications for pain, anxiety, nausea, depression, and drug/alcohol addiction.



Welcome to "The Gods Are Bored," where "liberal" means "generous" and "conservative" means evil Fascist. We take all our tactics from the lively debates going on around us on the radio and t.v. every day!

Ah, those bright youngsters at Princeton. They successfully complete a week-long filibuster in front of the Frist Building and then take their tour on the road to Washington, DC. (You know why that city is where it is, built on a swamp in a climate the Brits call "subtropical?" It could have something to do with the fact that George Washington was part of a real estate conglomerate that owned the land.)

Alas, many goats to judge today, so I can't come to DC to give my moral support. However, I do want to present a quick scenario to Mr. Frist. It's kind of personal, I hope he doesn't take offense.

Mr. Frist. You are in a hospital, dying of bird flu. Two people enter the room. One voted for you and plans to support you in the future, so long as you get "people of faith" onto the federal bench. The other one is from Princeton.

Only one of these two people can offer you any assistance in your dire illness. You must choose.

So, who will it be, Fristy? The faith-in-God snake handler, or the epidemiologist specializing in avian virus strains?

This is a wonderful country, because both of them have treatment plans, and both are willing to help you, no matter what your politics might be.
However, one might not be willing to vote for you as president, providing you survive the bird flu, which is killing 7 in 10 people who contract it.

Far-fetched futuristic scenario?

Tuesday, May 10, 2005


Good morning, and welcome to "The Gods Are Bored," where we congratulate the lively young minds at Princeton University on their successful Frist Filibuster! It's a bittersweet victory, however. As a godless, kitten-killing, homo-loving, tax-and-spend liberal, I really was hoping for an end to the filibuster so that when the liberals seize power they could put Susan Sarandon and Lou Reed on the Supreme Court.

Actually, there's going to be a very important Supreme Court decision this year that's gonna drive those Far Right Chippies (Christian/hippies) out of their ever-lovin' gourds. And that is the "must be faced" decision on whether or not individual states can enact medical marijuana laws. A classic case of states' rights (conservative) versus a strong federal government (liberal). But oops! It's GANJ. The DEVIL WEED. The tool of Satan vs. the Conservative interpretation of the Constitution! Stay tuned.

The bored gods say, "He who fights use of medical marijuana may need it some day."

Translation: Ganj is good medicine for a lot of things. I don't use it, it's against the law (as is doctor-shopping for Vicodin). But I've had a few run-ins with Jack Daniels in my time, and "anecdotal evidence" tells me that being stoned is not as bad as that.

Today's topic: Kept Women

You Princeton guys are slobbering, thinking I'm going to tell you all about sexy mistresses who sit around luxury apartments in lingerie, waiting for their rich, fat-cat corporate greed-monger married boyfriends to arrive with the diamond bracelets that stimulate the economy.

Sorry. That kind of kept woman now has a new name. She's a trophy wife.

There's another kind of kept woman out there, and I'm surrounded by them. These are highly intelligent, college-educated, upper middle class women who don't have to work because they married well. Husband is breadwinner. He's in pharmaceuticals. He practices corporate law. He's a plastic surgeon. He's a developer. (We have LOTS of developers where I live. The master plan is to cover the entire state in asphalt.)

These wives are kept women. They have nice houses, budgets for pedicures and shopping, time to join book groups and to do charity work. But most of all they are absolutely, positively, relentlessly, avidly, and obsessively devoted to their children. They run the PTA as if it's the FBI. They're constantly after the school board - and the teachers - to make the curriculum more difficult, so their daughters can grow up to be kept women too. They organize talent shows after school, they run girl scout groups, they agonize over their kids' unpopularity, and then when the kid actually gets some friends, they agonize over whether or not they're the right friends.

Welcome to the world Dr. Laura has made. Thanks, Doc.

If you detect a touch of bitterness in my tone, you're right. Because I have to work. Not that my husband's a slacker. Far from it. We live here in Stepford, and our house is almost as nice as all the others. We even have an updated kitchen and one and a half baths, both with low-flow toilets. So it's not like the old man isn't pulling his weight. But when we moved here we were both working, our salaries were deemed barely adequate to meet the mortgage and expenses, and it's been that way ever since. Harder now than ever, in fact. Thanks, Dubya.

Worse, I often have to work on weekends. It's that way when you're a goat judge. So my kids, The Heir and The Spare, are given a tad more latitude than most of the carefully cossetted tweens and teens around here.

This degree of freedom for the old tots has led to no end of snide remarks from the kept women, who feel my children are headed straight to Cannabisville by way of the Abortion Clinic. But because these kept women have college educations, they couch their critiques either in "I really care about your out-of-control child" solicitude, or in subtly wicked comments like, "No one knows Main Street better than The Spare. She's down there all the time."

Yeah, Kept Woman. My Spare is a favorite of all the merchants on Main Street, because she's buying stuff while you're carting your brat to gymnastics in the Ford Expedition. And it hasn't escaped my notice (or yours) that my kid is gorgeous, witty, and dramatic, while your little precious pet is plain, shy, and moody.

The Spare was accused of using physical force against the posh offspring of a kept woman. It might have happened. I wasn't there, I was half mile away, with cell phone highly charged, looking at goats. But guess what? Since being earnestly entreated by said highly educated kept woman to get help for The Spare, I have decided that what The Spare really needs is to be kept away from kept women. Poor Spare. Now she'll be dragged to the goats.

A quick aside: Kept Woman's child showed no blunt trauma force, no missing teeth, no contusions or post traumatic stress disorder. In fact, she's still pals with The Spare, if only in the confines of school.

And poor kept woman's offspring, who didn't have a pal to her name before The Spare came along. Oh well, there's always soccer, and ballet, and piano lessons, and gymnastics, and girl scouts, and church choir, and astronaut club, and chess club, and swim team, and shopping.

My biggest pet peeve about kept women? Why did they need a college education? They don't use it, except maybe some of the vocabulary. What a waste of money.

I say, bring back finishing schools and everything they implied. If you want to be a kept woman, you go to one of those, save your tuition money for a better down payment on a bigger house.

You Princeton girls don't run a high risk of becoming kept women. You didn't get into Princeton because you want to be a good judge of wallpaper and a savvy flea market shopper. But watch out, Princeton gals. Wherever you move, Buffy the Peace Slayer is going to be micro-managing your kids without your help, and she won't be a damn bit grateful when your influenza vaccine saves her precious tots from bird flu.

Monday, May 09, 2005


Welcome to "The Gods Are Bored," a blog about words and ideas and the lack thereof in certain segments of American society.

Quick, Princeton: Who has the right to call someone a hillbilly?
A. No one, its a bad cultural epithet.
B. No one, it condones disrespect for people in a certain part of America.
C. No one, especially those making movies and television shows that mold public opinion. That includes you, Bill O'Reilly. Not that you would ever use a bad word, you good ol' boy.
D. Someone who grew up in, or currently lives in, Appalachia, and only when addressing someone who grew up in, or currently lives in Appalachia, who knows that you, too, grew up in, or currently live in, Appalachia.

If you guessed "D," move on to Round Two.

The author of this blog is from Appalachia, and she is sensitive about it. She is so sensitive about Appalachian issues that she has entertained the idea of leading a push for the entire Appalachian region to secede from the United States of America and form its own country. The first thing we'd do is name Robert Byrd emperor. And even our faltering economy would outdo two-thirds of the Third World.

Democracy would not exist in the United Kingdom of Appalachia. We will examine the author's prejudices against democracy another time.

The occasion for this rant is the presence on my computer screen of an offer to watch a trailer for a new "Dukes of Hazzard" movie. What director's nephew pitched, wrote, and produced this rot? And, can we please have him dropped from a helicopter straight into the Allegheny National Forest, liberally doused in mountain lion pheromones? Thank yew kindly.

One hundred years ago, Appalachians were just another ethnic/cultural group deemed ripe for rape and abuse by the bold capitalists of Corporate America (read, robber coal, oil, timber, and natural gas barons). Hillbillies were lumped in with the Irish, the Jews, the Chinese, and the Mexicans as "persons not fit to inhabit wonderful, democratic America." Today you can turn on any t.v. and see fine, positive role models from any of those ethnic groups - except Appalachians. We're still Granny and Jed and Jethro. And especially Ellie Mae. Let's not forget Ellie Mae. City boy, she'll just pull you behind the barn and make you forget all about "turtle dove love."

The difference between Ellie Mae and Daisy Duke? Daisy Duke is alliterative. And her shorts are shorter. Times have changed, after all. She might even have gotten breast implants on her one and only visit to a city.

Um, America? You've practically raped us dry, you're bulldozing whole mountains in Kentucky, you've created a wasteland and called it progress. Enough, already. HOME RULE FOR APPALACHIA.

Hollywood? Oh yeah, lots of brain power out there. They take a tween idol (Orlando Bloom), cast him in an R-rated bloodbath that no self-respecting parent would ever take her Bloom-besotted tween to see, and spend $150 million to create special effects including cleaving people in twain, neglecting any semblance of a coherent plot. Call it "Kingdom of Heaven" and figure the Chippies will go see it because they'll think it's a sequel to "Passion of the Christ."

A "Dukes of Hazzard" movie? Give me thirty minutes with the producer, director, and screenwriter. On my family farm. At night. Please.

Daisy Duke will be the last thing they'll think about. But they might recall another rabidly anti-Appalachian film that ended Ned Beatty's career and gave all of us hillbillies ideas we might never have thought up ourselves, because we're so stupid.


Welcome to "The Gods Are Bored," where we support senate filibusters and all other efforts to separate church and state. When the day comes that all Americans embrace druidism - the only True Religion - then we can have a theocracy. But not until then!

Today's topic: What do low-flow toilets and Ronald Reagan have in common?

My many intelligent young Princeton readers are too young to remember Ronald Reagan as anything more than a smiling face on the television, spouting rhetoric read from cue cards. Funny, that's how I remember him too, only I'm not a college kid. I'm a geezer.

Ronald Reagan had this theory called "trickle down." I'm a goat judge, not an economist, so if I get this wrong don't sue me. The theory seemed to go like this: If you make rich people pay less taxes, they'll buy more stuff, creating manufacturing jobs and other perks for the less fortunate. In other words, the newly generated wealth will "trickle down" through the whole economy.

I don't think Ronald Reagan told Americans that the rich would be buying more stuff made in Sri Lanka by kids working 14 hours a day. But hey, the kids need a job, eh?

Whenever I use my low-flow toilet, I think of "trickle down." Because Ronald Reagan's theory didn't work, and neither do low-flow toilets. Low-flow toilets are supposed to cut down on water use (and the bored gods are all for that, they care deeply about non-renewable resources). Trouble is, the doggone things don't perform. You've got to flush them three times to do the job that your Eisenhower era toilet did on the first flush.

In this old house of mine, I could have flushed Jimmy Hoffa down my 1952 potty in one piece. (I didn't, I'm pro-union, you can't pin that on me.) Then comes along a nice bequest from a rich old uncle, a nice new bathroom, and the Ronald Reagan "trickle down" toilet. If the item needing to be flushed is bigger than a quarter, you're going to have to flush and flush and flush and flush. So how much water are we saving? Not a drop. We're deficit spending. And how much did the "trickle down" theory help the average American, say a humble goat judge? Not a damn bit.

I'm working twice as hard to learn 2/3 the income I did in 1995. And I don't think I'm atypical.

Here's my radical solution to using too much water through flushing toilets. I have my Appalachian background to thank for this one.

Let's revive the outhouse.

For those of you who've never used one, that's the little shed with a moon in the door (and a hornets' nest in the roof) where you go to ... well, you know. Let's just say that "turtle dove love" could be performed there, if you have a sack of lime on hand to cover up the evidence.

For every McMansion, an outhouse. No, that wouldn't work. We'd need 5-outhouse McMansions. But oh, how this would stimulate the economy! We'd need a whole new industry to come and suck the stuff out (in the olden days they were called "honey-dippers"). Jobs, folks! Zero water use for bodily functions! And, take it from an old Appalachian American, people. Outhouses are aesthetically pleasing structures. Ever notice how many artsy photographs you see of the few still remaining among us?

I say the government should hire me as a consultant. Such good advice, going to waste on a blog no one reads.

And by the way, for you greenhorns out there: Some outhouses had two holes. Not so two people could use it at the same time. One of the holes was big, one was small. And you judged your entree into adulthood by when you could perch on that bigger hole.

This is the kind of thing they don't teach at Princeton. So if you go to Princeton and you're reading this, I've enriched your fertile brain.

Tomorrow: (gasp!) Kept Women

Sunday, May 08, 2005


Welcome to "The Gods Are Bored," where we prefer not to use the term "midlife crisis." We prefer the term "paradigm change." Makes it sound like something everyone should have, doesn't it?

This blog author is HUMBLED to be on a list of blogs supporting the Princeton filibuster, staged in honor of a Chippie (Christian hippie) named Frist. Nuclear option? Do these Chippie politicians know how dangerous nuclear weapons are? Gosh, we never fired a single one at the old Soviet Union, and we've completely destroyed that nation. Totally plunged it into chaos.

Then again, I get all my information from the evil liberal press, so what do I know?

Well, I know this, muchachas. My maids don't even speak English, and they have a "God Bless America" bumper sticker on their car. Guess where they're from, and so glad to be here that they're willing to scrub low-flow toilets? (More on low-flow toilets tomorrow.) You got it. They from Mother Russia. They taught me to say "blockhoy papuguy," which either means "bad parrot" or "Rush, time for your medicine."

For a graduate of Billy Bob Agricultural University to have ANY association with Princeton is, to say the least, heady. We BBAU grads couldn't begin to penetrate the kind of stuff they teach at Princeton. We're too busy surgically sexing guinea hens and learning the ins and outs of bovine nasal passages.

Princeton filibusterists, I do hope that you attract more than just the attention of an anonymous freelance goat judge like me. I hope a certain conservative radio personality finds out what you're doing, because perhaps it'll make him mad enough to forget those opiate cravings for an hour or two. And I hope you get to "Phase Two," whatever that is. I assume it's getting course credit from your liberal professors for taking part in the gambit in the first place.

Yeah, we grads of Billy Bob Agricultural University have heard all about the evil liberal universities like Princeton, where teachers get paid to think and students have to face challenges to their dogma. None of that sort of thing at BBAU. You just probe a hen and look at the parts.

Stand secure in your knowledge that the bored gods support you, Princeton filibusterists. And I do, too. My ancestors marched in the Whiskey Rebellion, and not a single generation since has had one shred of faith in the federal government. That can happen to a family that gets shot at on the order of the Father of Our Country.

Friday, May 06, 2005


Welcome to "The Gods Are Bored," where today we assess the intelligence of the Intelligent Designer who intelligently designed this complex universe we live in.

Sort of a celestial IQ test.

Okay, I'm a goat judge, not an astrophysicist. But even so I can see that the universe is pretty doggone fantastic, and the variety of life on this rock we all share is staggering (despite our best efforts to weed out the many superfluous species of plant and animal in the service of corporate greed).

Could this all have just happened? Wow, it doesn't seem likely, does it? Has to be some brilliant mind behind it all, setting the physics and chemistry in motion, providing for tsunamis and bird flu and HIV.

Intelligent design. Yessir, the Great Designer, in the time it takes you or me to earn $400, cook 12 meals, and do six loads of laundry, created ALL OF THIS. Bugs that hide on sticks by looking like sticks. Toads that make you see weird stuff if you lick them. Bones buried deep in the ground that, when put together by people trying to hoodwink the public, resemble huge beasts that no longer roam about.

Okay, Great Designer. We concede your unparalleled ability to design a universe that could randomly plunge any one of us into the clutches of a serial killer on a day that starts out with a walk to the subway. Or the Subway. Tell me there's an intelligent design to the stuff Subway passes off as food!

If you go through the Great Designer's week from Sunday to Thursday, He's looking to outpace Albert Einstein by a country mile. But then we get to Friday - and beyond. And we wonder if the Great Designer started smoking that cannabis He created, the substance that is said to affect the ability to perform tasks and learn new ideas.

Mark Twain put it this way: "Well, you see, God created Man at the end of a busy week. And God was tired."

Tired or stoned, or fresh out of lively ideas. Take your pick.

But here's where the Great Design shows its warts. Because buried within this Great Design, from that first Celestial Cold Fusion, was a Plan of Salvation for Mankind. (Remember, we never use inclusive language here.)

And here's the Plan of Salvation for Mankind created by the same Intelligence who brought us prairie dogs and parrot fish.

First, we're gonna send millions upon millions of people to Hell just because they had the bad taste to be born before their Savior arrived on the earth.

Then we're gonna send a Savior. He'll be a modest carpenter, probably not terribly literate, living in a marginalized culture in a desert. We'll give this modest preacher three years to save the whole world, which he'll ultimately do by rising from the dead. And after rising and walking around with his buddies for a few days, he goes to Heaven and promises to return for everyone who believes in him. Two thousand years and counting, he's still not back.

To Hell with anyone who doesn't hear the message. To Hell with anyone who hears it, thinks it's a nice message, but goes right on chanting Buddhist prayers. And especially to Hell with anyone who hears the message and says, "Gee, that's the very best an Intelligent Designer could do for the human race? Makes me glad to be a woman, because it is a Plan for Mankind."

Intelligent Designer, I hate to rain on your parade, because you were doing okay right up to the Creation of Mankind and the Plan of Salvation. But, to be blunt, I think your average truck stop waitress, given a pencil and a sheet of paper, could draw up a better Plan of Salvation. Sorry. No, I mean really. I'm sorry I have to be so mean about this. But facts are facts. If you had enough gut intelligence to set a whole universe in motion, how could you only give your chosen Savior three years to plant his message, and that through secondary sources? Couldn't you have intelligently designed The Gospel According to Me, by Jesus Christ? Heck, Muhammad worked on the Koran for decades. And I guess that gets Muhammad a better sort of eternal torture?

Folks, there's nothing particularly intelligent about the design of this planet. And there's certainly nothing particularly compelling about our species. In fact, we're one of the worst the planet's ever seen. Like kudzu we're running amok, creating a huge, tightly-packed pool of meat that some hungry virus is gonna chomp through wholesale. If you don't believe me, you aren't following the news from Vietnam.

There is light at the end of the tunnel for the Intelligent Design people. No matter how hard it tries, the human race will not be able to destroy the earth. Our species will go extinct eventually, and the earth will rock on.

Pardon the pun. Fairies like puns. They also love intellectual cleverness. And they never claimed to have created the earth, only those crop circles near Stonehenge.

Contemplating the rape of 34 million acres of untouched wilderness in search of a non-renewable energy resource, I am,

Your humble servant,