Sunday, July 31, 2005

Anne Reviews "Harry Potter and the Medical Marijuana"

Welcome to "The Gods Are Bored!" Surely you've seen this hefty volume for sale at the local Barnes & Noble. And I was just kidding in the blog title about the medical marijuana. The real title is ... okay, you can read it right here!

Today this book was reviewed in the New York Times, a classic liberal rant sheet with big words. As with most book reviews in the New York Times, you can't tell if the reviewer liked it or didn't, although it appears she managed to push through to the end.

I, too, finished "Harry and the Half-Blood" over the weekend. And I think it should be banned by all druids everywhere. To think that the only duty of fairies in this enchanted world is to provide light at a Christmas party! I am seriously offended. This author lives in Scotland, for crying out loud. She probably has fairies hiding in her writing desk, wringing their hands and wondering what she's really all about.

But it just goes to show you how hidden the World of Sidhe is from modern humans, at least until they get ready to bounce over there permanently. Oh yeah, and for those who dabble in hallucinogenic substances. (I don't.)

After six volumes, it is crystal clear to me that J. K. Rowling doesn't dabble in hallucinogenic substances, and that she's only out to write a ripping yarn for the kiddies, based closely on English private schools and the British temperament in general.

It is interesting to note, however, that in six volumes the subject of attending Chapel has not come up once, nor has any mention of a wizarding religion. Death seems to be of the existentialist sort, with no afterlife to speak of. I counted two offhanded mentions of churches in the 652 pages, and my memory is not clear enough to recall whether those churches were in their world or ours.

I'm not going to ruin the plot for my legions of fans who don't read as fast as I do. (Okay, ta da! Harry lives.) I'm just here to tell you the one place where the author gets it absolutely right. And that has nothing to do with wizards or witches or magic or magical creatures. On those subjects her expertise is dim at best.

She does know professors, though.

I attended college, and I can tell you that every professor I had either hinted or outright declared that he (note non-inclusive language) knew all kinds of great things that were too advanced for us entry-level goat students.

Just recently I was foolhardy enough to sign up for an adult education course, and the professor who taught that was even more smug than most. He just looked down his patrician nose at us and from the first sentence declared us incapable of reaching his lofty career achievements, no matter how hard we tried. The course title in the catalogue was "Advanced Flea Detection," but the professor quickly (after receiving our tuition) advised us that it would really be "Advancing Flea Detection," since we adult students were not fully prepared for true, in-depth, no-holds-barred, super-specific flea detection.

I could have used that $225.00 tuition payment to buy something useful, like a second-hand Hatteras hammock or awnings for the double-wide.

But I digress. Let's take a close look at two notable Hogwarts professors and the student that everyone, down to the lowliest elf, knows is The Chosen One.

Well, there's Dumbledore. I've wanted to shout at him from Page 1, Volume 1. Clearly he's privvy to all sorts of secrets, all sorts of advanced magic, all sorts of mystical languages and high-level meetings. But he chooses to put The Chosen One on the slow track, doling out information at a rate that even our sitting president would find less than taxing.

Excuse me, DUMBledore, you're working with The Chosen One here. Don't you think you should be teaching him more, faster, better? Your average Native American shaman would be mortified at the pace you set. I mean, by damn. The boy's almost seventeen, and you have whole languages you use that you haven't even taught him!

Then again, we all know that Harry will eventually go up against He Who Cannot Be Named. Another student taught by Dumbledore. Who probably has similar gaps in his education.

Moving on to another professor. Now let's talk about Snape.

Okay, Snape's my favorite, because my college, Billy Bob Agricultural University (BBAU) was absolutely packed to the rafters with teachers just like him. So arrogant. So insecure. So jealous. So quick to pick you apart when you do something wrong, so slow to reward you when you do something right. So afraid you're going to excel and wind up stealing his job. (Well, maybe that doesn't describe Snape, but it does cover most every professor in America who doesn't have tenure.)

I'd be less than honest if I didn't admit this. I think Alan Rickman is hot stuff, and he plays Snape in all the "Harry Potter" movies. Therefore I love a Snape-filled volume, and Vol. 6 is bound to set me panting when it gets into celluloid.

This is a long blog, but bear with me. Have you ever been a student? Have you ever been frustrated by overbearing, pompous, secretive, less-than-illuminating professors? You have? Then imagine being Harry Potter and knowing that your sweet little life depends on killing a powerful enemy, based on what these losers are teaching you!

Ms. Rowling, why has your hero never stated, with firm conviction: "You Hogwarts blokes aren't educating me fast enough. Call in Professor Leary, and let's get to the bottom of this Voldemort nonsense!"

I guess then Ms. Rowling wouldn't have seven bestsellers. Or the castle in Scotland. Or the peerage. Or be richer than her queen.

But if I was Harry Potter, I'd have rebelled long before this. I'd have taken the fairies out of the light fixture and said, "Hey, help me out here." And they would have taken the whole business to the right people for the job at hand.

But who am I to talk about fiction? I'm a goat judge, not a writer.

If I could be a writer, I'd write an epic adventure about real alchemists and real warriors, set in, oh ... say ... Europe of 1300. They would be dabbling with potions that are highly illegal today, experimenting with gunpowder (secretly imported from faraway China) and fighting for their lives against the dual powers of the Catholic Church and the king of France.

And the hero would not be a clueless bloke named Harry Potter, but an awesome advocate for freedom named Pierre de Bologna.

Um, did I mention that I'm a redneck goat judge? Just want that to be here at the end of this meandering book report.


Harry is a boy.

See Harry run from bad men.

Good men help Harry.

A girl is smart.

Harry lives.

Anne, humble goat judge
Slightly bitter about her education and job prospects

Friday, July 29, 2005

Dr. Annie's Guide to Practical Parenting

Welcome to "The Gods Are Bored!" You've found the awesome web site that asks you to pick a god, any god - hide it in the deck - shuffle thoroughly - is this your god? Great choice!

Check the date and time of this blog. I'll help you. It's about 8:15, Eastern Daylight Time on a Friday night. On this day and hour thoughts turn to Bacchus, god of distilled spirits.

In short, pass the twist. Shake, don't stir. Here's mud in your eye. It's Happy Hour!

But wait! I'm the Mother of My Children! The precious tykes, Heir and Spare, might need some home-schooling or a Bible verse or two. Ah, hmmm. My, this is a nice martini. So very dry....

Time to call for a good nanny? Yeah, right. I've been married almost 21 years. I'm not idiot enough to let some babe come in here and coo over my teenagers. Look at Jude Law, for crying out loud.

Do you ever find yourself in this quandary? Well, here's a great solution to all your parenting problems.

It's called a television.

Right now, my offspring, the Heir and the Spare, are curled up together (as opposed to their usual predilection to maim one another), watching a brand new episode of some show called "Degrassi."

What is "Degrassi" about? I don't have a clue. They won't let me in the room while it's running. I therefore assume it's not Billy Graham or "Hour of Power."

But hey. The frost is beading on the martini pitcher, and I'm not some mother 100 years ago, doling out opium (technically, Mrs. Winslow's Soothing Syrup).

So, with all due apologies to Dr. Laura and that junior (league) senator from Pennsylvania, I offer the following sensible parenting advice:

You gave them life, let them run with it.

Another martini? Yes, thank you very much.


Aw, you bunch of over-zealous lion tamers, stuff it! Don't come to me and say kids grow up warped if they don't have effective parenting. I know what I'm talking about. My mom had bipolar disorder before there was any medicine for it. She was nuttier than a Sunday danish, worse than an ineffective parent because she was a menace to family and society.

And just look at me. I'm gainfully employed (most of the time), no arrest record, long-lasting marriage (see above), and my children have beaten the Medieval curve for longevity.

If I survived Psycho Mom, I think my kids have half a chance of surviving "Degrassi" and attending public school while I work.

All hail Lord Bacchus, pass another round. Personally I'd rather have a spliff, but they're illegal. And I'm bullish on my clean arrest record, it's a matter of personal pride. Aren't many rednecks of my age don't even have one little DUI.

A TOAST ... to Eddie.
No, I mean, a toast to Dr. Laura and Senator Rick. A toast to salacious television. A toast to a bright future of home-schooled Christians running everything!

Ummmm. Is there any more gin in that bottle?


Thursday, July 28, 2005

Mission Statement

Welcome to "The Gods Are Bored!"

We hold these truths to be self-evident.

Just as the human race is varied, so is the grand, vast world of deities, sprites, celestial beings, and non-human doers of dastardly deeds.

The afterlife is like Florida. Some folks drive down crowded I-95 and head for Disney World. They're welcome to it. Others meander down the byways and wind up on Sanibel Island or in the Everglades. Hail, Osceola! Others choose Miami Beach. Key West. Naples. Sarasota. An unnamed orange grove. A mangrove swamp with ghost orchids. Tallahassee. (Is that in Florida, and did we spell it right?)

It is fundamentally wrong to feel that one's religion is the only true religion, and to espouse that view in any forum, public or private.

It is fundamentally wrong to craft public policy or to create a temporal state based on any religious dogma or set of religiously-motivated laws.

It is incumbent upon all people, religious and non-religious, to harm no one and to keep the furniture clean.

It is unwise to disrespect ancient deities of any culture. Some day your deity might be equally disrespected or relegated to the realm of "myth."

Some deities re-invent themselves in order to remain active during times of dogma and persecution:

"It's not nice to fool Mother Nature."
"Clap if you believe in fairies."
"Defense Against the Dark Arts."

Some religions resist even the most aggressive attempts to undermine them. Ayahuasca, anyone?

Some gods are bored because they have no followers. If you pray to these gods, they will answer you quickly because they have so little to do.

Join us at "The Gods Are Bored!" Disney World is wonderful, but it's not for every taste.

Anne Johnson
Really! My name is Anne Johnson. Some people call me A.J.

Tuesday, July 26, 2005

Labor Pains

Welcome to "The Gods Are Bored!" You've found a righteous web site run by a Blue Redneck, dedicated to the proposition that religion should be like the food table at a family reunion and politics ought to be conducted with some degree of intellectual competence.

Today's topic: Better dead than Red.

Nowhere has the Red Right had more success than in undermining organized labor. Puppet shills of the corporate elite like Bill (he-man) O'Reilly, Rush (the junkie) Limbaugh, and Sean (the taxi driver) Hannity have harkened to the signers of their paychecks and demeaned unions as the stomping grounds of mafia goons and lazy slackers who want checks and benefits for drinking coffee and eating donuts.

The Three Stooges mentioned above would be very happy to see a return to the Triangle Shirt Factory days, when a 14-hour shift earned enough to live in a fifth-floor walkup tenement with no heat or water. That would actually be good for America, because then we wouldn't have to send the jobs overseas to Sri Lanka or Guatemala. And by golly, the "work harder for less" philosophy is a winner for Wal-Mart, now isn't it?

Don't you just love those Wal-Mart commercials where they crow about what a wonderful place it is to work? It isn't even a wonderful place to shop, let alone work! Everything you buy there, you feel like you're putting money into some fat cat's pockets at the expense of every worker on the globe.

I don't shop there, by the way.

But back to my point. Unions exist to give ordinary working people a chance to earn respectable wages and realistic benefits so they can live comfortably. Not lavishly. Not lazily. Comfortably. People would like to feel, when they get out of bed in the morning and put on the working clothes, that their jobs are secure, that they'll be paid enough to live on, and that they'll be cared for when they're sick.

Unions have taken it on the chin over the past twenty years (thanks, Rush). Membership is declining. Clout is at an all-time low. It's time for a change, and if the venerable AFL-CIO can't change, then we need some new thinkers in charge.

Therefore, we here at "The Gods Are Bored" endorse the recent split in organized labor, and we are rooting for the mavericks who see membership recruitment as the most important goal. Yes indeedy, there are jobs that cannot leave the ol' US of A, and those workers deserve union protection!

Here's a cute little slogan from a t-shirt I bought at a thrift store.

United We Bargain
Divided We Beg

How do your employment prospects look?

Sign that union card.


Monday, July 25, 2005

A Bipolar Confronts Her Computer

Welcome to "The Gods Are Bored!" I suppose the gods are also computer illiterate (excluding Satan, of course ... see below). Pray as I might to the Ancient Ones to keep my computer equipment humming along like a pleasant little beehive, the @#$S#@$# equipment just will not cooperate.

So let us just do the sane thing and attribute Anne's recent scarcity of blogs to "technical difficulties" and "goat judging duties."

Otherwise we might see a vast cosmic conspiracy to keep the real truth about the wonderful Goddess Brighid the Bright from reaching all the poor searching souls out there who want a religion that makes a tiny bit of sense.

The public libraries in this great nation only give you 30 minutes of computer time if someone else is waiting. You wouldn't think 15 people would be waiting to use the computer in the Alpena, Michigan public library, but guess what? There you are.

I'm trying not to see 30 pairs of eyes staring at me, all fundamentalist, Rick Santorum lovers who want bombs, not bambis.

Please keep checking on me. I can't go too long without a computer, so sooner or later I'll pull out the old checkbook and call the guy with glasses who smells like Marlboros and get him to sort out which god is sabotaging my internet. The smart money says Yahweh.


Thursday, July 21, 2005

Applegate's Performance Evaluation


Evaluation Conductor: Archangel Gabriel
Job Title: Head Angel, Kingdom of Heaven

Subject of Evaluation: Archangel Azrael
Job Title: Head Angel, Hell

1. Does the subject show a willingness to obey orders, even when they do not reconcile with his/her personal convictions?

I am frankly suspicious of Azrael's allegiances, although he seems sufficiently humble and is certainly attending to his duties. While I see no indication that orders are being disobeyed, I rather think they are being obeyed grudgingly, minimally, and with little enthusiasm or team spirit.

2. Does the subject present a proper personal appearance?

Again, there was something just slightly lacking in Azrael's wardrobe. He appeared to be hastily adorned, and when asked to demonstrate how his wings worked, he seemed awkward with them. Please note that his appearance is entirely altered from his last P.A., during which he wore a costume that looked like it had been used in a Wagner opera. His appearance during this evaluation was an improvement over the last visit, but distinctly non-traditional and - should I say it - veering toward the counter-cultural.

3. Evaluate the subject's treatment of the worst offenders sent to him/her.


4. Evaluate the subject's treatment of good Christians who happened to worship with the wrong sect.

Sufficient. Evaluator notes a great deal of bitterness in this segment of Hell's population. Azrael deems this bitterness a part of the punishment and tends to deal less harshly with the various elements of this population. Suggest further monitoring of punishment levels with an eye toward greater torture. Azrael agrees to any amendments so long as they come through official channels.

5. Evaluate the subject's treatment of non-Christians and those who died prior to the arrival of Jesus Christ on earth.

Insufficient. Azrael is not nearly harsh enough on these populations. Placing Buddhists in huge traffic jams from which they cannot escape is not, in this evaluator's opinion, torture at all. The giant insects that are supposed to be used on some of these populations are instead sleeping in nests that look as if they haven't been disturbed since the last evaluation. Strongly recommend more close monitoring of torture of non-Christian populations in Hell.

6. Is the subject fully cognizant of the corporate strategies, long term planning issues, and market goals, as they pertain to his/her division?

Questioned at length on this subject, Azrael seemed to be completely versed in the corporate philosophies. However, his comfort level vis a vis heaquarters' policies is questionable at best, and verging on mutiny at worst. Recommend further questioning at the home office, possibly including indoctrination seminars. A random sampling of individuals under Azrael's control reveals a thinly veiled affection rather than the requisite contempt, fear and loathing.

7. If it were up to you, would you give this subject a raise in salary and benefits?

At this time, I feel more questioning is needed to discern Azrael's level of devotion to the team.

8. Are the personnel under the subject's supervision performing their tasks suitably?

It appears that Azrael has no underlings and runs Hell all by himself. This too raises suspicions for me, as the division is so large, and growing larger every day - impossible for anyone, even an archangel, to manage without a flow chart. Recommend further examination of policies and procedures.

9. Any further comments or observations on the subject, his/her performance, attitude, ability, or suitability for promotion?

Very frankly, if I may - Azrael seems to be "going through the motions" without any real enthusiasm or conviction regarding his work. If his credentials were less impeccable (meaning his prior professional experience), I would probably recommend relocation and a demotion. At the very least, he needs more oversight and less autonomy, as he seems to be abusing that autonomy (see above re giant insects).

I would be remiss, however, if I did not add that Azrael expresses genuine affection and allegiance to certain members of the corporate team. He seemed deeply disappointed that the Holy Spirit did not conduct this evaluation and asked repeatedly about His health and happiness.

In sum, if I may speak bluntly, I think we ought to keep a closer eye on Azrael, especially in these days of computers. I don't think he is doing enough to corrupt the unconverted, and he is certainly not torturing the pre-Christian and non-Christian population adequately.

Respectfully submitted,
Archangel Gabriel
20 July 2005

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

A Really Quick Quiz

Welcome to "The Gods Are Bored!"

Quiz: Who is this fine fellow?

Don't have the foggiest? I understand.

This is the Green Man. He is a bored god. He has to fly under the radar to get noticed at all. The Yahweh people tried to pink slip him, failed. They tried to call him Satan. Sorry, that post is full. (And what a whiner filled it, too!) Then they tried attrition. Just don't talk about him, and he'll go away. Sort of like the way you treat the ugly kid with braces in Middle School.

Ahem. The Green Man didn't go away. He's still creeping around, pushing up like a weed through a crack in the asphalt. His message? Don't dominate the earth, live as a team player!

Today a big crew of cement masons are out in front of my house, pouring a new sidewalk. The foreman is a good-looking young man, no older than 21. He was walking around shirtless (mmmmm MMMMMMM!), and lo and behold, he has a huge Green Man tattoo on his flat, well-muscled abs.

I said to him, "Do you know what that is?"

And he said, "Naah. I just liked the design."

Hey, Yahweh people: Hear that? This is how bored gods fly under the radar!

So I took off one of my Green Man earrings (wear them almost every day), showed it to the beardless youth, and explained his personal adornment. I then predicted that said youth would have a long and happy life, because he was sporting the right god in his tattoo.

This story would have a really happy ending if the dude had thrown down his trowel and said, "I'm not laying one more inch of cement on this poor, overworked planet." But that would be too good to be true, and not a great state of affairs for all the people who walk by my house. Suffice it to say that I did a little missionary work today that clearly qualifies as the sin Mr. Applegate asked for in his previous post.

I hope this helps the devil get a good performance evaluation.

You go, Green Man!


Monday, July 18, 2005

Applegate Clears up a Tiny Issue

Welcome to "The Gods Are Bored!" When last I could locate Anne, she was sitting in the warm spillway at Berkeley Springs, West Virginia with a grin so goofy her children didn't want to be seen with her. Majorly embarrassing for the old teenagers, to have Mom babbling about fairies and sacred springs and stuff to anyone passing by. And then, when the teens were just about to go to the courthouse and get their surnames changed, along came a fiddle player, and next thing they knew, Mom was clogging in the water, barefoot, to "Sally Goodin." Even the crayfish ran for cover.

In my last post, I was asking all you sinners out there to help me get together a good outfit for a performance evaluation by the boss. If you missed the costume I chose, scroll down to the previous entry. The boss will be here day after tomorrow, and we've got everything spit-shined to the max. We've stoked up the Lake of Fire (usually I only turn it on in the winter months), heated the brimstone to a cheery crimson, and recruited twenty generations of bitter Methodists to leap in and burn, burn, burn when the time is right.

If you're just joining us, I'm pleased to meet you. Call me "Mr. Applegate." Well ... umm ... for the next day or so, you'd best call me Satan, or Mephistopheles, or Beelzebub, or Azrael (forgot that one last time), or just plainly The Devil. As in the guy who makes you do all the bad things you do. Like you have no control over your stupid aggressive driving, it's all my fault.

And then when you do something right for a change, like dropping a ten-spot in the Breast Cancer Awareness fund-raiser box, you give my boss, The Big Guy, all the credit for that. Oh sure, it's never Satan's idea to help find a cure for bird flu or AIDS or anything. Satan would rather you spent that money on chocolate, dirty magazines, or drugs.

I'm getting as bitter as those Methodists.

And I don't have time for bitterness just now. Have to make sure everyone's suffering, putting on a good entertainment for the boss.

Anyway, in my last post, I mentioned creating a New Jersey Turnpike down here in the satellite office, and filling it bumper-to-bumper with cars driven by all the greedy, Type-A rape-and-pillagers (in ancient times, sackers of villages - in modern times, raiders of pension funds). It was also my idea to fill the passenger seats of the cars with Buddhists. Because, of course, Buddhists wouldn't give two hoots about sitting in a traffic jam for a thousand years. It's sitting, isn't it?

Lest I offend you living Buddhists out there, please be advised that Buddhists are not on the payroll at my plant. They volunteer their time, because the Big Guy likes to think that they all wind up here because they didn't worship him. Of course they don't wind up here, not even the bad ones. They're just an obliging lot. And quiet. Once I used Krishnas, and they made too much noise. I was glad to see them go back to their happy hunting ground.

Okay, are we clear on that? Big boss coming to visit, Buddhists helping out on a volunteer basis, Methodists mad because they aren't "God's chosen people," only too happy to create the illusion of eternal agony for a day or two.

When all the smoke has cleared (pardon the pun), I'll post a picture of what I really look like. Suffice it to say that a Jersey Devil I am not. Nor do I have horns or a tail. I did have wings, but I had to pawn them during a period of unemployment. I'm saving up to retrieve them, so that when my contract expires in 10,000 A.D. I can fly off into a Black Hole and mend my tarnished reputation.

Wish me luck. I have a feeling the boss has been watching the American way of doing business and will be in a mood to wrench give-backs from me. He'll want my personal days, I'm sure of it.


PS - If you're thinking of doing something sinful, please wait until Wednesday.

Friday, July 15, 2005

Applegate Needs Advice

Welcome to "The Gods Are Bored!" Quick. I need some advice. What do you think of this outfit? And I'm in a rush today, so a yes or no will suffice.

Memo comes in that the Big Guy will be arriving for a performance evaluation sometime next week.

Of course I look nothing like this for real. Would anyone hire a god that looks like this? But the Big Guy gives good raises if you cooperate with his Plan for Salvation of Mankind, and I'll need a fat savings account to live down this posting when the contract expires in 3,995 years (counting the days).

I think I'll do a whole New Jersey theme. Trot out a Turnpike, bumper to bumper, fumes seeping into the air, with Bob's Big Boy signs every thirty yards and smokestacks belching. I'll put Type A corporate men in the driver's seats of every car and fill the other seats with Buddhists. (For some reason the Big Guy especially has it in for Buddhists.)

All this will make Hitler happy, because he'll get a day off the real punishment I've dealt him, which is to be alone in a room with 10,000 different translations of the Torah, which he has to render in German, one by one. He'll be only too happy to hitchhike in the humidity. But he'll act put upon, because he wants us all to forgive him and give him another chance. Yeah, right. Not on my watch.

But back to the burning (pardon the pun) question. Is the above outfit sufficiently evil, frightening, and otherwise appalling? I like the teeth and eyes, but the wings could be bigger. What do you think?

Gosh, these performance evaluations just put everything into a tizzy. And, please. The fact that I won't be renewing my contract is a secret just between us, okay? Big Guy gets wind of that, I won't get another raise and will probably be socked with as many give-backs as an American labor union.


Thursday, July 14, 2005

Harry Potter ... Nonfiction

Welcome to "The Gods Are Bored," where we can hardly wait until midnight! Yes, surprise surprise, the bored gods are huge Harry Potter fans! Hey, J. K. Rowling would have to be brain dead not to realize she's writing about the Ancient Ones, who disappeared onto Platform 9 3/4 when the rotten crop of current humans sailed into the British Isles.

Why is Harry banned by the scariest factions of the Christian Right? Because deep down we all know that wizards aren't fictitious, that magic happens, and that if you want something done right, you have to wave a wand over it.

Does anyone know where the nearest Barnes & Noble is? My current location is the Washtenaw County Fair, Ypsilanti, Michigan. I have three more rounds of goat-judging today and don't have time to go in search of a bookstore.

Never mind. A helpful 4-H kid just told me there's a Borders in Ann Arbor. Even if she isn't right about that, her goat is first-rate.


Tuesday, July 12, 2005

Native American Gods Stage a Comeback

Welcome to "The Gods Are Bored!" Aren't these the most outstanding gods you've ever seen? We think so.

These are California condors. They were worshipped by the Native Americans, who called them "Thunderbirds."

Not surprisingly, Thunderbirds fell on hard times in the twentieth century and almost found themselves extinct. You know the drill. Progress of man and all that. (Note the non-inclusive language.)

But good news, all you buzzard-worshippers! The state of California must have confidence that the Thunderbird population is on the rise! Poised gracefully on the "tails" side of the new California issue quarter is none other than a Thunderbird! OOOOOO-weeeee! Some bored Native American gods are rejoicing!

And I join them in their happiness. Who can doubt the mystical powers of vultures? In this the Native Americans make us look like religious toddlers.

Vultures soar great distances with minimum energy output.

They can live to be 100 or more years old. Think how wise they get.

They keep the country clean.

They rarely harm any living thing and vastly prefer their meals to be dead or nearly so.

They are loving, attentive parents who spend a long time raising chicks.

You can do a lot worse than to worship a Thunderbird. Or even the more modest turkey vulture, my personal favorite in the crowded bird totem field. I can't think of a more pleasant way to spend an afternoon than to be soaking in the healing waters of Berkeley Springs, West Virginia, watching the turkey vultures soaring over the ridge tops. Kinda makes St. Peter's Square seem ... well ... square.

If you find yourself with a handful of pocket change, and one of the quarters is the new issue featuring California, think of me. I've offered my daughters, the Heir and the Spare, fifty cents for every California quarter they find. Sorry, can't tender that offer to my wide legion of fans here. Besides, you need your money, don't you? If not, drop it in the poor box.

One last thing. If you worship Thunderbirds, there's not a lot of competition for the best seat in the choir loft. It's called "giving your business to the bored gods."


Monday, July 11, 2005


Welcome to "The Gods Are Bored!" Okay fans, let's vote. Do you think "Mr. Applegate" is bored?

Then why is he sneaking around on my blog?

I caught him at it just now, at the public library in Plymouth, Indiana. I stopped by to check on my email on my way to the next county fair. And there he sat, on this site, yakking away.


You know what he was writing about? He was thanking Osama Bin Laden and George Bush for taking so much subcontracting, and blaming all their actions on his boss!

He's gonna get me sent over to Cuba. I told him as much. I'm not afraid of him, but he can't just go around disrespecting the sitting president on my watch. Not this president, anyway. I'm already afraid to check books out of the library!

Anyway, while I'm here, I'll pass along some fun Chippie news (remember, "Chippies" are Christian hippies). In today's Gary, Indiana Daily Tattler, there was an article about how some mega-church pastors are encouraging their followers to think big and grow rich. After all, being rich just shows how much God is blessing you, right? Or so this challenging, Scripture-based philosophy goes.

Wow. I'm re-thinking my whole allegiance to Queen Brighid the Bright. Maybe I oughta go back to Yahweh, get my fair share. All those abundant blessings. Like the McMansion. The Ford Expedition. The backyard pool. And let's not forget the good neighborhood, far away from all those poor, uneducated, violent, mixed race drug pushers in the next county.

Thank you, God, that I'm not like that drug pusher over there. He's lying in the street, all bloodied up from a drive-by shooting. I'll just walk right around him.

Alas, alas for you, clueless Chippies! Hypocrites to a man!

Oh, for the love of fruitflies. "Mr. Applegate" just whispered in my ear. He says to leave the Chippies to him, he likes to watch their faces as they arrive in his lair. They feel so betrayed.

What a pathetic bunch they all are. Let's call on some bored gods and see if they can't entertain us better!

Friday, July 08, 2005

Satan Weighs in on Terror

Welcome to "The Gods Are Bored." If you're just joining us, this site is dedicated to all the gods and goddesses who have been let go in "revised head counts" since the so-called "modern era" got underway.

My contract is secure, unfortunately. I signed on for 10,000 years with one of the gods who isn't bored. That's my boss, The Big Guy.

Yes folks, I'm back! Anne turns her back, goes off goat-judging, and I sneak into her space. You can call me Satan if you must (hate it), or Lucifer (hate it), or Mephistopheles (can't spell it), or Beelzebub (he's a bored god, and he hates to see his name abused). Myself, I prefer Mr. Applegate. It's so user-friendly.

If you haven't seen my previous posts, here's my resume in a nutshell. I was working freelance in a galaxy far, far away, and my entire praise and worship population got killed when an asteroid hit their planet. They only needed one god to run their heaven, so I had to hit the road. I was desperate for work (as most freelancers are) when I heard about this post. The fact that it was full-time with bennies appealed. But I should have read the fine print on the contract and taken a better look at the species I'd be godding for. One week into the gig, I'm sent to head the satellite office, and my name is mud.

If you've worked corporate, you know how it is. If something goes right, The Big Guy gets all the credit. If something goes wrong, It's all my fault.

Case in point: Have you ever seen a football player score a huge touchdown, kneel reverently and point toward Hell? I get no respect.

Today I want to tell you why I'm sorry I'm stuck here for another 3,995 years.

To put it bluntly, I arrived about 5 million years too soon. Your species (you human beings, I mean) has not sufficiently evolved. Worse, I think the general universal consensus is that you have a 90 percent chance of destroying yourselves and your beautiful planet before you do evolve sufficiently.

"War of the Worlds?" Give me a break. Every species that is intelligent enough to come and study you quickly puts a big XXXXXXXXX through your name on the Official List of Planets and Intelligent Beings Worth Getting to Know (LPIBWGK). And off they go, shaking their heads and saying, "Oh well, decent planet, bloody horrible intelligent species."

On the last planet where I worked, there were four, yes four intelligent species all living together in harmony. Here's your earthly analogy. You and your closest friends are out power-boating, and all of a sudden a dolphin rears up out of the water and says, "Excuse me, I hope you don't mind, but you're polluting my daughter's baby shower." And just like that, you cut your engine and drift slowly back to shore.

That was my old posting. Everyone was so polite.

The first rule of inter-galactic communication is this: No species is deemed worthy of contact if it kills its own kind.


Your primitive primate brains are big on inventing things and small on evolving rational uses for your technology. And there's nothing more pathetic than an intelligent species with deadly weapons of mass destruction and a "Them vs. Us" brain stem.

But what really puts you at the bottom of the LPIBGWK is that so much of what you do is "religiously motivated." Who do you think you're fooling with that one? No one, not even The Big Guy's second-in-command, was ever killed from religious motives. It's all politics. All of it. Always has been, at least since I signed on.

One group says: "America is the Great Satan." And goes off to kill.

Another group says: "God Bless America." And goes off to kill.

And you think the rest of the universe finds that intelligent?

Human race, as I see it, you have a long way to go and not enough patience to get there. Bad combination.

See (almost) all of you soon,

Thursday, July 07, 2005

Rick Santorum, Clueless Chippie

Welcome to "The Gods Are Bored!" This week we're on the road, judging goats at county fairs through the heartland of America.

One of the best things about being a goat judge is that you get to try all the delicious jams and pies and pickled pigs' feet that are put up for judging in the home economics categories. And we here at "The Gods Are Bored" salute all the hard-working women (and men) who perfect these delicious blue-ribbon recipes!

But wait. Shouldn't these women who are spending all their time in the kitchen, perfecting pickled pigs' feet for the fair contests actually be devoting all their time to their children? What can possibly be more riveting than spending all your time, every last precious second, with your offspring? Thinking about making that phone call to Cousin Mabel to see how she did in her cervical cancer surgery? Forget it! Baby Biff needs for you to squeeze that rattle in his face 35 more times! If you don't, he'll grow up warped, like all the kids of those morally bankrupt liberal working women!

Usually, we here at "The Gods Are Bored" do not review books that we haven't read or base our comments on random quotes. But if the entirety of Senator Rick Santorum's new book is as monstrously idiotic as the quotes that ran in today's JOHNSTOWN COURIER POST, we are not gonna place that sucka high on the summer reading list.

Those of you just joining us need to know that we call people who cater to the Christian Right "Chippies," because they are Christians who make as much noise, and every bit as much sense, as the Flower Children of the 1960s. Rick Santorum is a Chippie par excellence.

According to the junior senator from Pennsylvania, women who work outside the home are godless liberals who put their self-indulgence way ahead of the needs of their tender tots. Said tots grow up unloved and unwanted in day care centers, sort of latter-day Oliver Twists, while Mommy flies to Aruba to take meetings and drink daiquiries.

Rick, you couldn't find your butt with two hands.

First of all, it was that champion bleeding heart liberal, Mother Jones, who convinced the nation that children shouldn't be working 14 hours a day, six days a week, in dangerous factories. (Now we've sent those jobs to the children of Sri Lanka.) And it is the "feed the rich" policies of corporate conservatives that have forced so many women into the labor force where they work, underpaid and under-insured, in non-union jobs.

Second point. And I hope the other working moms out there will back me up on this. Who out there is working because they'd rather work than be with their kids? Hot damn, I LOVE goat judging, but I don't do it because it's more fulfilling than motherhood. I need the bloody income to keep a roof over my kids' heads! I've got two beautiful daughters, the Heir and the Spare. They eat. They get sick and need a doctor. They get sicker and need a specialist. Pass the goats, please, and make the paycheck out to Anne Johnson.

Third point. And I hope the dwindling middle class will back me up on this. Is it even possible today to maintain a middle class lifestyle without two incomes? Anyplace besides rural Pennsylvania, I mean? Well, I guess it is if Daddy belongs to the corporate elite and rakes in the big bucks as Eastern District Supervisor for Wal-Mart.

And what about poor mothers? Aren't they the ones being chased into the workplace so they won't drain our tax dollars dry on welfare? What happens to those kids, Rick? Okay, I'll tell you. They're the REAL Oliver Twists among us. How do you propose to make their lives better?

Fourth point. I need no backup on this one. As a woman, I feel it is very important to set an example of self-sufficiency for my two daughters, the Heir and the Spare. They must see how important it is to be able to pay your bills, to work side by side with a spouse, or even to support yourself on what you earn. The alternative is to play "Vanity Fair" with them and try to find them well-heeled husbands who will see to their needs so they can stay home and raise little Biff Buffington IV, Esq.

On to another Rick Rant. People shouldn't live together before they are married.

Excuse me, Rick, is it any of your business what other couples decide to do with their lives? When did CONSERVATIVES become so all-fired curious about what people do behind closed doors? It makes no difference to me what YOU choose to do about your marital status. Why do you care about me? Not that it matters, but I lived with my husband before we got married, and we'll soon be celebrating our 21st wedding anniversary. We've beaten the "divorce curve" three times! But, last time I looked, this is America, where people should be free to live as they please, so long as no one gets hurt and the furniture doesn't get stained.

On to my favorite Rick Rant. "Partisan politics" made his home-schooled children's lives a nightmare.

Geez, if I lived in Pennsylvania, I'd be going door-to-door begging people not to vote for this guy.

Rick, who lives in Virginia with his stay-at-home wife and home-schooled children, was charging the citizens of Pennsylvania for the elite cyberschooling his children were receiving. Sort of a "Rick Deserves The Best" Super-Voucher. Can't say as I blame the "partisan" citizens of Pennsylvania for complaining about that. After all, their kids have to go to the godless, liberal public schools, which Ricky describes as total failures.

Who forgot to muzzle this mutt?

Hey, Pennsylvania, you can do better. There must be a village idiot somewhere in the state who could be convinced to oppose this clueless Chippie.


Sunday, July 03, 2005

We the People

Welcome to "The Gods Are Bored!" Every god loves a party. Jesus famously bailed out a big party by turning water into wine. What a lovely way to start a career as a god!

Wherever you are, and whoever you're with, we at "The Gods Are Bored" wish you a Happy 4th of July! Just remember, FREEDOM means being able to say what you think, to worship the way you please (or not at all), and to conduct your private life however you see fit, so long as no one gets hurt and the furniture doesn't get stained.

All you 4-H-ers out there, you'd better not take a day off from that goat grooming, if you want a blue ribbon from me. 'Tis the season to judge goats, both the ones at the county fairs and the ones running the government!

Best wishes to all - I'm late for a party!