Monday, July 31, 2006

A Bored God Asks for Your Prayers

Welcome to "The Gods Are Bored!" We're glad you stopped by. If you're here to take a tour of our home, scroll down.

How's every little thing in your neck of the woods? Gosh, there are some trouble spots out there, eh? Lebanon, Israel, Iraq, Philadelphia.

And then there's the Congo. Run by one of Africa's most despicable dictators (Mobuto Sese Seko) for more than 20 years, then plunged into civil war. Thousands dead, sick, and homeless, year after year after year.

Hey, tough luck. Those are black persons living in a jungle. No oil under those canopies of leaves. So who cares?

Chonganda cares. He's their bored god, and he wants you to pray for a positive outcome in the recent democratic election, first in Congo in 20 years.

On Chonganda's behalf, we at "The Gods Are Bored" petition you to keep Congo in your meditations. Ask your god or goddess to shower those people with peace. Or just take it directly to Chonganda. He's okay, trust me.

So might it be.


Saturday, July 29, 2006

World of Homes Tour

Welcome to "The Gods Are Bored!" We are proudly polytheistic and pro-Celtic, although we admit each and every deity who promises not to stain the furniture.

Please note: We are not unmindful of world events or callous to the suffering caused by our nation and others. We at "The Gods Are Bored" pray at our sacred spring for the entire human race, that it moves beyond its present half-finished state.

Some say God created the universe in a week. I can't even get the laundry washed and folded in that amount of time. So we should expect glitches in the universe, eh?

Well, Autumn, you inspire me. I don't know how to enter the "World of Homes Tour" officially, and that's a shame, because I've been trying to demonstrate my fine taste and my ideal home-school environment for a long time.

If you follow Autumn's link, you'll see not only her lovely surroundings but the entryway to "World of Homes," a chain that allows you to share photos of your house with the wider world.

How can we resist? Here is Chateau "Gods Are Bored."

The front. I told you I have a home office.

This is the home office I'm talking about.

My favorite art work.

My precious collection of Bakelite telephones. Don't be jealous cuz u ain't got one.

Bathroom. Two-seater.

The view from my back door.

And last, but not least, my precious ram, John Henry. He finds plenty of tin cans to eat in the back yard.

So, I hope you've enjoyed my home tour, and remember, having one god in your life is like having one painted toenail. Relax and invite them all! I'll bet they wouldn't cause a bigger mess in the world than we already have under present godship.


Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Messages, Subliminal and Otherwise

Welcome to "The Gods Are Bored!" Worshipping one god is like slopping a big dab of peanut butter in the middle of a piece of bread and calling it a sandwich. Spread that yummy condiment around a little bit! Maybe top it with jelly or bananas! Now you've got something worthwhile.

Last week I wrote a post about a rock concert I attended and my thoughts on it. My post inspired an even better one on the importance of myth, over at Hecate's great site. I'm not ashamed to admit she's a deeper thinker than I am.

Today's topic: Advertising where you might not expect it.

Whew. Heavy stuff. Maybe you want to go on out to the lobby and get a 7-Up.

For some reason, my daugher The Heir is deeply interested in how minds can be molded and how human beings can behave in ways that they might not even be able to explain.

The Heir has a famous book (now out of print) called Clam Plate Orgy. It's about subliminal messages. The author, a college professor, went to a Howard Johnson's with his students. He decided to order the clam plate, even though he didn't much care for clams. And then, as his students watched, he traced human figures in the menu's photo of the clam plate and deduced that the figures could be processed by the brain as a bunch of horny people having an orgy. (Hence a hungry diner, especially if he reads New Man magazine, will order that sucker up in a jiffy.)

The author went on to trace such hidden messages throughout the entire advertising world. Most notably, the word SEX on a Ritz Cracker.

Of course, there are some who say this guy was a loony. Gee, that's a reach. But what if you believe in subliminal advertising? Suppose a bored human, for instance, could look out her window at her tomato garden and find hidden images of Rick Santorum and a willing Labrador Retriever where another person would just see a tangle of leaves?

Okay, I only see a tangle of leaves. Honest.

But whether or not subliminal advertising exists (I think it does), subtle message advertising is a certainty. And it doesn't only happen in t.v. commercials. In fact, it mostly happens outside commercial advertising, because if you know you're watching Ron Popile, you know he's gonna try to sell you that slice-and-dicer. ("But wait! There's more! Buy now and we'll send you a semi-automatic weapon, absolutely free!")

Subtle message advertising has been a tool of certain bored gods for more than a millennium. And we are richer for it, and their praise and worship teams of the past deserve a performance bonus. Payable on the Other Side, of course.

Here's how subtle message advertising works:

1. Christian missionaries come into your country and win over many of your people. First, those of you who hold onto the Old-Time Religion (the pre-Christian one) meet secretly to keep it going. You cultivate an image of quiet wisdom and acquiescence that only thinly veils your cunning strength. (I call this the Obi-Won Kenobi effect.)

2. After the missionaries have broken up your secret groves and burnt your books, you adopt another tactic. You tell "fairy tales" that present your gods and goddesses as "fictions." You tell the stories to your kids at bedtime. Inevitably they'll ask, "Mama, are faeries real? Are Leprechauns real?" Ah, darling, you betcha. As real as angels, maybe more so.

3. Some of the "fairy tales" gather strength until they become fabulous epics like Morte d'Artur. Well, now, we all know this is just a story, right? So what does it hurt if kids hear about the Lady of the Lake, and Avalon? It gives them something to play together outside, using their fertile imaginations. Given a choice between playing King Arthur and playing Sermon on the Mount, what kid's gonna choose Sermon?

4. These fairy tales endure through centuries. And then along comes a new medium: film. A Jewish animator from New York seeks about for good stories, much as Will Shakespeare did in his day. The animator decides that the old fairy tales will draw in the crowds.

5. So in the twentieth century, when 90 percent of Americans worshipped the Yahweh God, Walt Disney presents:

Peter Pan and Tinker Bell
Pinocchio's Blue Fairy
The Sword and the Stone
Sleeping Beauty's guardians
Cinderella's Fairy Godmother
The Little Mermaid

Of course he dropped in a few bad witches here and there, but so do the old tales.

6. What happens? In an age of Christian oligarchy and scientific hegemony, little kids still get a hefty dose of faeries while young and impressionable. In essence, that Old Time Religion has foud a subtle way to rock on.

Case Study #1: The last time we at "The Gods Are Bored" attended our good ol' Methodist Church, the youth pastor released this huge movie screen and ran a clip from Disney's Peter Pan. In the clip ("Following the Leader"), a happy group of boys chases after Peter Pan. It's lively, classic Disney animation. When the clip ended - you could see the tots were disappointed not to be able to watch more - the pastor reminded them that "the leader" was God, and they should follow him.

Emmmm. How many preschoolers are gonna watch cute cartoon kids following Peter Pan and make the sophisticated leap that Peter Pan here symbolizes God? Tee Hee! Like Annie on the balcony, they're gonna leave church thinking they ought to be following Peter Pan. They heard it at church.

Case Study 2: We at "The Gods Are Bored" are spending yet another dreary weekend morning at the cheapo flea market, where enterprising Heirs and Spares find books like Clam Plate Orgy. A mother with a tot in a stroller passes us. The tot points up at Anne and says: "Tinker Bell!" Because of course Anne has a huge collection of Tinker Bell t-shirts, growing all the time, and she's wearing one of them.

Would that tot recognize Jesus just as quickly? More important, would a picture of Jesus excite her enough to make her point at a stranger?

So this is how the bored gods thrive, and have thrived, and will thrive. If they're not immortal, how come they predated Christian missionaries, exist alongside Christianity, and will probably keep humming along to infinity and beyond?

Following the Leader I remain,

Your pal in the Santorum tomato garden,


Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Blow, Wind, and Crack Your Cheeks!

Welcome to "The Gods Are Bored!" You supply the need, we'll supply the deity. No one is turned away!

It was King Lear who shouted, "Blow, wind, and crack your cheeks!" in the immortal play bearing his name. And damned fine imagery, if you ask me. We have a Very Important Goddess here today to talk about hefty breezes. Her name is Danu.

You've heard of the Danube River, perhaps? Yeah, that Danu. Let's give a warm, wonderful "Gods Are Bored" welcome to Danu, Celtic Creator Goddess! OOOOOOO EEEEEEEE! YEEE HAAAA!

Danu: Why, that's most flattering, Anne. And, by the way, I love that quote from Shakespeare. I inspired it, of course.

Anne: As you did so much of The Bard's work. He was a bard, after all. One of yours, so to speak.

Danu: Absolutely.

Anne: So. I'm humbled and honored by your holy presence here today. What can we at "The Gods Are Bored" do for you?

Danu: Build windmill farms.

Anne: A woman of few words and infinite wisdom! I guess you heard that the U.S. plans to build 150 new coal-burning power plants in this era of global warming. In the meantime, we're the windiest nation on the planet, and surrounded by two major oceans to boot.

Danu: Build windmill farms.

Anne: As of today, wind energy only accounts for 1 percent of the nation's electrical needs. And yet it's renewable, reliable, non-polluting, and it will keep those savage Mountaintop Removal creatures from turning Appalachia into a desert. Yes, for all my foreign readers, please be aware that coal mining has gone from an underground operation to just simply blasting whole mountains to bits and gathering up the coal with bulldozers. (More info here)

Danu: I am not amused at all by that.

Anne: Neither am I. I came up in Appalachia. Well, Danu, it's customary for pissed off gods and goddesses to threaten disaster if they're not satisfied with the human race. Are you of that ilk?

Danu: I'm here trying to save you, not smite you. Smiting is officially censured by the Intergalactic Federation of Gods and Goddesses (IFG&G).

Anne: If that's the case, how come so many gods and goddesses (I'm thinking of at least one notable) smite with reckless abandon?

Danu: Deities who smite are not officially recognized by the IFG&G. They can't even buy membership cards. Some have tried.

Anne: A little payola to the top dogs, huh? Kind of like celestial lobbying?

Danu: Doesn't work. Three smites and out. No exceptions.

Anne: Returning to our central topic. You are the Celtic Goddess of Wind (among other things, including creation of the world). Do you think it's blustery enough here in Amerika to get us all lit up?

Danu: Lit up like Rush Limbaugh on vacation in the Dominican Republic.

Anne: Some people say the big windmills are an eyesore. I'm thinking particularly now of the rich folks on Martha's Vineyard who successfully lobbied (there's that word again) to keep a windmill farm from being planted offshore where they could just barely see it.

Danu: I'd better go. I'm being tempted to smite. But you see, I did the smart thing. I set the world in motion and then gave humans free will instead of that original sin and Grace of God malarky. If your species doesn't do the right thing, you can't blame me for your trip down the tubes.

Anne: A wise Goddess indeed. And congratulations on regaining a substantial praise and worship team. It's growing all the time! I'm proud to be in your camp.

Danu: It's a pleasure having you. Now you'd better bop downstairs. Your daughter left a notebook on your altar to my daughter, Queen Brighid the Bright.

Anne: And I can't smite her for it?

Danu: Make her fold the laundry and weed the garden.

Anne: She'll consider that being smited.

Danu: Then you just tell her that, in order to fit into the pure definition of godly smite, there's got to be unpleasant boils, an invading army, purchase by slave traders, a plain old savage beating, or being stoned to death.

Anne: Awesome Goddess, how did there come to be so many smiting gods and goddesses on this particular planet?

Danu: Curb appeal.

Anne: I don't follow.

Danu: Curb appeal. Earth looks great from space, and so it attracts its share of riff-raff. They like the looks of the planet, and when they come in to land, they find only one species capable of being subordinated and tons of species that make good sacrifice fodder. Next thing you know, planetary values plummet.

Anne: I guess you can't scare them off.

Danu: That would be discrimination. And remember what I said about free will. I must admit that, from time to time, I do politely ask them to stop acting like an episode of World Wrestling Federation.

Anne: Some of them are known smiters.

Danu: Yes, and I've reported them, but the brass at IFG&G is notoriously busy. It's a great big universe out there. Eventually the paperwork will be processed. But by that time your species' free will might settle things in an unpleasant way.

Anne: I hear you. So, is there any veracity at all to this Left Behind business?

Danu: I don't mean to sling mud, but I have jars of jam older than the team that cooked up Left Behind. I wouldn't worry about The Great Beast.

Anne: I don't! He visits my site. He wants to be known as "Mr. Applegate."

Danu: Gosh, thanks for reminding me! I owe him ten dollars for repairs to Excalibur!

Anne: Your own people couldn't do it?

Danu: He offered, and my people are busy trying to stem global warming.

Anne: Anything else you'd like to share with "The Gods Are Bored?"

Danu: Please use your free will wisely, my children. A planet is a terrible thing to waste.

AREA 14, STAR 14

Monday, July 24, 2006

Bumper Sticker Shock

Welcome to "The Gods Are Bored!" When we first met this charming little fellow, his eyes were still closed and he was the size of a gerbil.

We named him "Casey Jones" because someone left him on a railroad track, figuring he'd be good in a global warming commercial.

Could you have reared this lil' kitty and then turned him over for adoption? No? Well then, you're normal. Those of us who work in ag make good foster parents for just about any animal. We bond, but we don't bond.

You've gotta be in ag to understand.

I was over at Interroblog the other day. This deep-thinking blogger had posted a bumper sticker she saw on a car. To whit:


Gosh, did you know conservatives are happy? I'm shocked and amazed. All they do is complain, complain, complain. Whereas we polytheistic liberals here at "The Gods Are Bored" just exude happiness from every pore! (We work middling hard.)

This cheerful bumper sticker reminds us of one we once saw outside the local Methodist church. To whit:


Whoa, that's harsh. When was the last time you saw a bumper sticker that said:


Which is exactly what the "April 1" bumper sticker says.

I've always felt that, if I couldn't be a goat judge, I'd like to write bumper sticker slogans. For instance, I'd like to drive through the American heartland with a bumper sticker that says:


I'll bet I could drive like Mad Max, right through Mississippi, running every red light, and never get so much as a peep from my fellow drivers. I'll bet even the cops wouldn't pull me over. Of course, when I ran out of gas, I might have trouble finding a filling station where I could safely re-stock.

As for "Annoy a Liberal," well. This one just begs to be mocked. For one thing, it's so doggone limpid. Try this on for size:


(gender specific language intended)


I suggested that one at Interroblog.



This one's not very creative, but I'm running out of steam:


Wait a minute. Second wind:


Just can't resist a big closing here:


From the happy, working liberal. Laughing through the Apocalypse.

AREA 14, STAR 14

Sunday, July 23, 2006

Ever Since Burma-Shave

Welcome to "The Gods Are Bored!" If you read this blog, you'll be thinner, more beautiful, more attractive to the opposite sex, smarter, richer, and funnier! Everyone will love you! And, best of all, you'll love yourself!

This commercial brought to you by Anne Johnson, "The Gods Are Bored." Get your bored god today, and get everything else your heart desires!

Okay, most advertisements are more subtle than that.

I'm not over the hill. I'm enjoying the view from the summit. It's been a long climb, and I think I'll rest up here for awhile before I start that perilous descent that ends ... you know where.

One of the things about being "of a certain age" is that you can remember pivotal moments in history that happened before most of your young, smart-set readers were born.

One such pivotal moment happened on the television.

I'm not talking about the damned Beatles on Sullivan. And yes, I watched it the first time around.

No, the pivotal moment of which I speak was a commercial.

The commercial shows a Native American moving slowly amongst a polluted landscape. At the very end of the commercial, the Indian looks around, surveys the gutted earth and noxious, smoky air. A single tear runs down his face. Close-up.

Of course everyone had talked about pollution before that commercial aired. But after that bit started running on the telly, wow. The rank and file voters started kicking government ass. One crying Indian changed a nation.

(I've since read that he wasn't a Native American at all, but a Jewish guy from the Bronx. Not that it matters. He sure looked like an Indian.)

Nowadays I don't watch much tv. Just like everything else in my house, it's gotten too damned complicated. Half the time I can't even turn on the stupid machine. Forget TiVo, even though we have it. Once when I wanted to watch an "On Demand" movie, I literally got on my knees and prayed to the stupid tv to let me get the thing up on the screen. (It worked. TV probably has some bored god behind it somewhere.)

I don't know how I came to be sitting alone with my tv the other night, surprised to find it responding to my gentle prodding. I settled on MSNBC.

That's where I saw THE COMMERCIAL.

It's new (to me, anyway), and it's just as powerful as the crying Indian.

The subject: global warming.

The message: Rank and file voting Americans, get off your butts and kick government ass.

Al Gore can talk about global warming in a movie for two hours, and make perfect sense, and use worldwide illustrations. But the best way to reach people is in a 30-second commercial, using recognizable imagery that conveys menace and then tugs the heartstrings.

The commercial is here. Railroad tracks.

If you click back to me, shaken and stunned, hey. I know how you feel.

Now let's do some ass-whoopin and stop global warming. I vote the windmill ticket.

And since we don't like to leave you in a bad mood when you visit us at "The Gods Are Bored," here's Anne's commercial, a nostalgic throwback to the days of Model T Fords and the fabulous Burma-Shave ads along the highways:




The Burma-Shave folks always loved a double-rhyme in the last sign.


Friday, July 21, 2006

Rolling Rock, Smashed

Welcome to "The Gods Are Bored!" We're so glad to have you with us today. Now, just to extend your warmth, why don't you stand up and greet the readers next to you? Give them a hearty handshake.

When was the last time you had a beer with lunch? I know it's been years for me, but today there was nothing else cold in the fridge. Mmmmm mmmm! Gonna be a real productive afternoon here at "The Gods Are Bored."

The bored god Goibhniu and I are clinking our bottles together with deep sadness. My favorite brand of beer - lifetime - has been Rolling Rock of Latrobe, PA.

If you want to get RR while it's authentic, better bustle on over to the liquor store. Because, as we all know, things fall apart.

From the sage Joe Sixpack comes news that Annheuser-Busch, brewer of the swill known as Budweiser, has bought Rolling Rock's brand name, distinctive label, and slogan. However, A-B plans to brew RR in Newark, NJ and not in Latrobe.

Two hundred fifty loyal Rolling Rock employees have been "let go in revised head counts." (And you wondered where I got that phrase!) For some of them, making Rolling Rock beer is the only job they've ever had. And Latrobe isn't exactly a bustling burg, so this is a huge blow to the town.

Okay, all you rocket scientists out there: Compare and contrast Newark, NJ with Latrobe, PA. Forget about the folks who live in the two towns, they're mostly all stand-up blokes. But every region has something that makes it different from all other regions.

That would be its water.

I'm not the Merlin of Berkeley Springs as a passing fancy. I know my water. And you, Newark, haven't got the water that Latrobe has.

Rolling Rock will be sold in the same bottle, with the same label and the same slogan. It'll still be marketed especially in blue-collar Pennsylvania and environs. You'll see ads for it on televised Steelers football games.

But that sucker will not taste the same. Different water, different taste.

Now all you trolls out there are going to write to me and say that Newark actually has better water, that its deep aquifers have been filled to the plimsol line with H2O that has seeped through layers of purifying sand.

I'm not debating that. I said the water in Newark is different, not inferior.

And maybe, just maybe, there will be a few hard feelings in blue collar Pennsylvania about the closure of the peerless Latrobe brewery. Gosh, do you think anyone will notice, if far-flung goat judges like me can receive this crushing news?

This beer gal will find a new happy hour companion. And it sure won't be Budweiser. If you'll permit me to be crude for a moment, Bud tastes like they rely a little too heavily on those Clydesdales for essential liquids.


Thursday, July 20, 2006

On Eggs

Welcome to "The Gods Are Bored!" Do you have all your eggs in one basket? Well, you could put some in the deep freeze. We mean the deep freeze.

Yesterday our fearless (and clueless) leader vetoed a bill for federal funding of stem cell research using frozen human embryos. He was surrounded by about 10 families that had produced babies from said embryos that weren't from their own genetic bond.

So if 10 little eggies have been used, that only leaves 399,990 in cold storage. Unwanted and unloved, the little pre-tots sit (lie?) there in suspended animation.

The parents of these eggs, which come from oversupply during in vitro fertilization, do not want them to be used by other folks.

Hey, duh, imagine your superior genes implanted into some coal miner's daughter in Kentucky. That wouldn't do at all. Freeze those eggs and forget 'em!

We at "The Gods Are Bored" issue the following Manifesto:

1. WHEREFORE all fertilized embryos are human beings, THEN all 400,000 frozen eggs have the right to life to begin immediately. To keep these human beings in deep freeze indefinitely is cruel and unusual punishment. These human beings would, upon birth, create a city the size of Oakland, California. Or, give or take a few miscarriages, Omaha, Nebraska.

2. WHEREFORE these surplus eggs were created and then discarded by their parents, the practice of in vitro fertilization should cease immediately and should be declared unlawful. It is tantamount to torturing your own offspring. See above for cruel and unusual punishment.

3. WHEREFORE the presiding God in this country expects human beings to suffer prior to attaining their celestial goals, all victims of spinal cord injuries, Parkinson's Disease, Alzheimer's, cystic fibrosis, Lou Gehrig's Disease, and myriad others, should quit demanding cures and just die, thereby increasing the surplus population to make way for the 400,000 new (and presumably disease-free) embryo humans.

4. THEREFORE, the right to life of the frozen eggs supercedes the right to life of the suffering disabled.


Good. Let's get the baby-making underway, and to hell with Michael J. Fox and Muhammad Ali.

In honor of her dad, who died of Parkinson's Disease after severe suffering, 2004.

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

A Bored God Bows to the Era

Welcome to "The Gods Are Bored," where a small investment in polytheism will gain you a rich reward of multiple Afterlife options! You can start as a minimalist by inviting a local deity to your backyard or local kiddie park. Or you can make a grand gesture and pitch tent with a huge pantheon. Whatever you do, rest assured that bored gods appreciate your custom.

Busy gods are, well, busy. One of the best known, Yahweh, bewilders us all by allowing his followers to hasten each other's entree to his well-stocked heaven by means of violent bloodshed. If he doled out some underperforming praise and worship teams he might be able better to manage some of these Rambos and their missiles.

It's always a treat when a bored god or goddess drops by TGAB for an interview. But I'm not sure this one today is worth a deep pocket investment. Nevertheless, let's give a great big "Gods Are Bored" welcome to Mithras, Slayer of the Sacred Bull!

Mithras: Not exactly a ringing endorsement there, Anne.

Anne: Well, I'm understandably skeptical of bored gods whose praise and worship teams met underground, or in temples without windows, in super-secret ceremonies.

Mithras: Bite me. I don't need you. I'm a warrior god, and you're some kind of goatherd.

Anne: Wow. Hostile. And yet you're here. I assume you have something to communicate of worth to my readers. As to biting you, don't underestimate me. I've worked with mountain goats.

Mithras: My bull is mightier than a mountain goat.

Anne: Your bull does seem mighty. In fact, you seem full of bull.

Faeries: (Tee Hee!)

Anne: Please get to your message, Mithras.

Mithras: It's a general one. At one time my praise and worship team was composed entirely of men. Most of them soldiers.

Anne: Peachy.

Mithras: But, bowing to the changing times, I am now admitting women and minorities.

Anne: Do say! Who would have thought Mithras a feminist and integrationist at heart?

Mithras: Well, as I say, times change, and there are some worthy females who have joined my secret ranks.

Anne: Are we naming names, Mithras?

Mithras: And violate the secrecy of my praise and worship team? Never!

Anne: If I guess, off the top of my head, will you confirm or deny?

Mithras (swelling with pride): All right.

Anne: Condoleeza Rice.

Mithras: Confirmed. And she kills two birds with one stone, if you understand me.

Anne: So does Dick Cheney, if you understand me. Okay: My second guess. Ann Coulter.

Mithras: Confirmed. And she's mighty mighty popular at Bohemian Grove ... err ... ooooooops!

Anne: No prob, Mithy ol' boy, I was going to guess Bohemian Grove as the source of your praise and worship team after I got finished determining the female members.

Mithras: Don't tell anyone.

Anne: Don't worry. No one reads this blog. And, the presence of Ann Coulter in your praise and worship team reveals to me that she's not godless like the liberals she writes about. So that's something, at least.

Mithras: She's very brave. There are no woosies in my ranks. And she's working her way through the levels very nicely.

Anne: I'll bet. They don't call it Bohemian Grove because it's straight-laced.

Mithras: Are you making fun of my adepts? I will draw my sword!

Faeries: Here's some colored pencils to help you draw your sword! (Tee Hee!)

Anne: It's customary here at "The Gods Are Bored" to ask downsized deities how they make a living. But if you're getting prayed to at Bohemian Grove, Mithras, I'm sure you're comfortable indeed.

Mithras: I could have a private Lear jet if I needed it.

Anne: I daresay. So then, what do you do in your spare time?

Mithras: My old pal Mars rings me up sometimes. We like to dress in Dallas Cowboys fan apparel and attend Philadelphia Eagles football games. Once we went to the University of Michigan all pumped in Ohio State gear. The fights we start are spectacular.

Anne: That's when immortality can be a real asset.

Mithras: Damn straight. We never lose.

Anne: Here are a few friends of mine to show you the door. Yo, don't mess or they'll house you.


Mithras: Who tied my bootstraps together?

Puck the Faerie: That would be me. Snatch me in the can! Might makes fright, and that ain't right.

Anne: I hate to contradict you, Puck, but Might is Right these days. Right wing, of course.

Puck: Is something wrong with my right wing?

Anne: As Milk and Cheese (Dairy Products Gone Bad) escort Mithras from our presence none too gently, I bid you farewell from this edition of "The Gods Are Bored!"

"Milk and Cheese: Dairy Products Gone Bad" created by Evan Dorkin, comics available at Slave Labor Graphics.

Monday, July 17, 2006

Warning: Graphic Sexual Content

Welcome to "The Gods Are Bored!" We'll bet that title perks your interest, eh?

The Johnson family vacation is an annual trek to St. Michaels, Maryland, now home to Dick Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld. And oh boy, they are gonna fit in nicely.

We stay at a stately Bed and Breakfast with vast screened-in porches and a princely view of the Mighty Chesapeake from just about everywhere.

The B&B is run by a very nice lady who has six portraits of President Bush in her kitchen and who plays religious music at breakfast time. The music is so loud it's hard to concentrate on the Sean Hannity books in the library.

"So," you're saying, "Where's the sexual content in this post? Get it on!"

Here goes:

Proudly displayed on the breakfast nook, along with the Washington Times, is a magazine called New Man. It's a manly approach to ultra-Christian living, featuring manly men and their particular devotions.

Anne figured she might get some insight out of this glossy. Unfortunately, by the time she picked it up, someone had stolen the back issues. Doggone it. (And, you thief, you violated the Ten Commandments.)

A regular column in New Man appears to be "Ask the Sex Doc." And one of the questions was about that yucky "m" word that rhymes with "nation."

Ew. Icky.

We don't mean the act. We mean the word. Sounds like something you'd do to caustic chemicals in a laboratory before bringing Frankenstein's monster to life.

We prefer the term "turtle dove love." Doesn't that sound so much more user-friendly?

Remember what Woody Allen said about TDL: "It's sex with someone I love."

Anyway, a New Man reader poses this question: "Is it OK to m****&etc. if I only think about my wife? I mean, what's the big deal as long as I fantasize about her?"

To which the sex doc replies: "Don't touch that thing, don't fantasize about anyone, if the wife's not handy for a roll in the hay, go do the laundry."

Okay, I paraphrased a little, but I'm hitting a bullseye on the jist.

The Sex Doc ended his diatribe against self-directed lust with the proclamation:"I am very healthy and have a strong sex drive, and I haven't m***&etc. in 18 years."

Now that's a straight quote. And by gum, you never know where you're gonna find a world record buried in text, huh guys?

The Sex Doc's picture runs with the column. He has perfect teeth but a slightly pained expression. His shirt collar is buttoned right up to his neck.

Do you wonder why there's so much pent-up anger out there in the megachurches?

Go ahead. Tell a 14-year-old boy that turtle dove love is a sin, he has to wait for marriage. Trust me, he'll want a semi-automatic weapon. Either that, or he'll rush down the aisle at 18 so he can ease the strain.

When I think of turtle dove love, I think of the 99,999 out of 100,000 men who indulge in it and save the world from unwanted children, bad marriages, and aggression.

That other one guy is twisted, and turtle dove love or no, he's gonna get in trouble.

Gals, I assume the Sex Doc's advice applies to you as well. Keep your hands on those dirty dishes, or dirty diapers, or dirty Venetian blinds. When you find yourself thinking about that rogue Johnny Depp, reach for your Bible, honey. Otherwise it's hell for you.

Sweet Blessed Mother, is this any way to live? No wonder so many men want to blast each other to smithereens.

We at "The Gods Are Bored" go on record as endorsing turtle dove love, with the fantasy that floats your boat. Especially if you're a teenager with a future and an intellect that's worth recording in upcoming gene pools.

Judging from his picture, the Sex Doc is about 40 years old. How he has gotten through 6,570 days without one little incident is anyone's guess. But hey. Some people just are determined to get into Guiness. Beats eating 1600 cockroaches, I guess.

Are you struggling to contain your urge to indulge in turtle dove love? Do you want to commit to a religion that will make you a whirling ball of combustible testosterone?

Subscribe to New Man Magazine now!

And I'm just curious: What are you doing on this site? Hands in the air, bad boy!


Sunday, July 16, 2006

Live Long Enough to Live Forever? Sez Who?

Welcome to "The Gods Are Bored," where we have personally wrestled with the concept of eternity lo, these many years.

In today's Philadelphia Inquirer, there's a long piece about the acceleration of technology. The author, Ray Kurzwell, predicts that by 2029 all chronic diseases will have a cure. He goes on to describe tiny computers embedded in one's skin and nanobots that will lodge in the brain that, when activated, will create virtual reality experiences.

I assume these include visiting Grandma and Grandpa on the old Appalachian farm, even though they've both been dead since 1987. Or perhaps touring the Grand Canyon. Or making love to Johnny Depp.

He says we will be able to live forever.

To which I reply: You are one loony dude, Ray Kurzweil.

Once again we face the ongoing spectre of elevating our species beyond the bounds of nature. We can live forever in bodies that will self-correct any medical problems we develop.

Um, excuse me. What exactly are we going to do about the Yellowstone Caldera? And if we figure that out, what happens when that bright star out there starts showing signs of age and eventually goes Supernova? Are we gonna fix that too?

Who gets to climb on the spaceship to go looking for a new planet to colonize? And who gets to be the first one to take off the disease-protecting suit and breathe the air in this world upon which we forcibly re-settle?

And about those nice little nanobots that will allow us to roam the Louvre without leaving the comfy old couch. Suppose they have a virus programmed into them that turns little old ladies like me (that's what I'll be in 2029) into Manchurian Candidates? Are you going to let some lil' old thing into your brain? And sit cooing over virtual memories of holding your firstborn while the next celestial object the size of Connecticut smashes into Albuquerque?

The biggest problem with our species is that we are short-term thinkers. Fix it fast, fix it now. Live forever.

Hey, there will be no living forever in physical form. Get over it and embrace the Spirit World. If that doesn't float your boat, imagine being hit by lightning or a falling tree 4,000 years down the road. Imagine how the hordes and hordes of poor people who can't afford the eternal nanobots are going to feel about your possession of an indeterminate lifespan.

Ray Kurzweil might be intelligent, but he's still a moron. That's possible. I've met plenty of people like that.

For more on your possibilities of making it to the Big Yellowstone Bang, go here:

Fantastic Voyage

I'm as afraid of dying as the next Joe, but I'll pass on the nanobot, thank you very much.

(One day it won't be there as geologic conditions change.)

Saturday, July 15, 2006

Personal Preference

If being a neo-pagan means having respect for the planet, respecting other people's privacy, and abhoring war, count me bloody in.

AREA 14, STAR 14

Friday, July 14, 2006

Les Claypool Concert Review ... Sort Of

Welcome to "The Gods Are Deaf, Redolent of Second-Hand Tobacco, and Numb."

In short, we've been to a rock concert. A real head-banger of a rock concert where all the attendees (except us) were smoking something and everyone either got drunk beforehand or had a handy flask to make matters worse.

We at "The Gods Are Bored" bet you never thought of this: A hard rock concert in a smallish, standing-only venue, can reveal everything disreputable about the human species. We will use the concert we attended last night as Example A.

The warm-up band, The Coup (French Pronunciation), has received much attention of late for their politically relevant work. Well, they might have been dissing the Iraq War, Ann Coulter, or even Pol Pot, for all you could hear of their lyrics. The sound was shattering, the lead singer a rapper who held the mic right at his mouth.

At least the audience behaved politely while these young rebels performed.

The featured artist, however, unleashed an avalanche of audience behavior that convinced Anne once again that no one comes to a rock concert to hear music. Most people go to rock concerts in order to divest themselves of what little civilized evolution they've acquired, in pursuit of behavior that reflects poorly on the species.

Witness the nice-looking underaged drunk who collapsed at my feet and, once having regained his Homo sapiens posture, turned his entire pre-puke attention on myself and The Heir. At The Heir's (prudent) request, I sought security guards and had the young primate ejected. He resisted, telling the security forces that I was his "grandmother."

All this time, Mr. Les Claypool was performing, himself quite talented and surrounded by other talented musicians. But it was rather difficult to concentrate on the truly eccentric artist in an atmosphere that was 50 percent pure secondhand tobacco and 46 percent alcohol-fueled testosterone (the remaining 4 percent almost totally hopeful estrogen, and that's just sad).

If anyone wonders why the human race is the only species that tries to obliterate others of its kind, one need only study human behavior in a mosh pit.

Conservatively speaking, we at "The Gods Are Bored" feel it will take 10 million years for Homo sapiens to evolve past the aggressive phase. And by this I don't only mean physical aggressiveness, but also the kind of mental aggressiveness that plots, plans, and hatches incidents conducive to shortening the lives of others.

I do think this evolution is possible. After all, for every stoned head-banger at the Les Claypool concert, there existed within the same square mile about 100,000 humans spending a quiet evening at home, watching the dreadful news on CNN and feeling terrible about it.

Now. We at "The Gods Are Bored" don't like you to be in a funk after you read our rock criticism. If being in a funk after reading rock criticism floats your boat, go buy a Dave Marsh book.

So we're gonna leave this trenchant critique on a high note.

At concert's end, my daughter The Heir and I beat a hasty retreat into the night air. We wanted to put a distance between us and the rest of the Les Claypool audience, feeling that behavior inside the venue might be repeated outside. So we turned a corner to find the place where we had arranged for Mr. Johnson to pick us up.

And that place was in front of a bar that was packed to the plimsol line with members of the Pagans motorcycle gang. The Harleys were parked in a neat row, and several Pagans (colors and vests in proud array) were chatting on the street, trying their level best to look like the cast of "Mad Max."

The Heir tried to pull me further up the street where there was no one at all. Just a dark sidewalk.

Hey, I lived in Detroit. And the biggest lesson I learned there was always avoid the dark sidewalk.

So I sat on a rowhouse step, surrounded by Pagans. When the Heir tried to shove me into motion, I said, "Hey. I'm a pagan. So this is the best place to be!"

We were not accosted or even noticed by the Pagans, who were a colorful lot to behold. Mr. Johnson was not amused when he picked us up, but hey. He lived in Detroit too, and he knows all about the dark sidewalk.

Back to the evolution thing. I know it's a bummer that we live in the simian stage of this thing, but maybe the bored gods will give us another shot when the species turns the corner.


Thursday, July 13, 2006

Reluctantly the Mother of My Children

Welcome to "The Gods Are Bored," where we're learning what a circle's worth, and returning to the place of birth! Everything's round.

Look at this guy. Would you want to spend an evening in his company? You would? Then, okay! I'm attracting the young, smart, rock-snob set!

The gent in question is out-there rocker Les Claypool, here pictured with his Flying Frog Brigade.

My daughter The Heir, age 17, persuaded me to buy two tickets to Mr. Claypool's performance tonight.

To say I'm anticipating this event with every breath would be to indulge in Bushian mendacity. My idea of a concert is a blanket spread on a shady green lawn, a cooler of iced beer, and some guy with white mutton chops and a mandolin singin' "Man of Constant Sorrow."

Doubt if any of that is on the agenda tonight.

In fact, someone warned Mr. Johnson that Les Claypool often attracts a particularly virulent mosh pit. Whatever that is.

But Dr. Laura and Senator Rick urge us to be the parents of our children. And The Heir is a particularly gifted child. In order to warm me to The Frog Brigade, she sent me to YouTube, where Mr. Claypool has a song called "Buzzards of Green Hill." The video is liberally laced with footage of turkey vultures, and the song is an indictment of drunk driving.

Say no more, darling. I'm calling Ticketmaster promptly!

So wish me luck as I venture to Mars (or beyond), where few geezers dare tread, for a night of music (or something purported there to be) and bonding with the dear old child.

He'd better play "Buzzards of Green Hill."


Wednesday, July 12, 2006

In Which I Do Battle with the Mighty Chesapeake

Welcome to "The Gods Are Bored!" Many monotheists forget that it's always a good idea to have at least one water deity in your worship basket. It's too late to adopt, say, Poseidon, when that Perfect Storm rolls in and swamps your sea-doo.

I don't know which bored god or goddess saved my girlish rear end last week, but I spread my thanks around liberally. I think I even prayed to the Little Mermaid.

Now, sit right back and you'll hear a tale of a fateful trip. It started from a boat launch on the Chesapeake, aboard a kayak.

The mate was a tween with attitude. The skipper completely clueless about tidal drains.

The weather was balmy and bright, not a cloud in the sky, light inconsequential winds. But don't let that Chesapeake Charm fool you. Danger lurked within. Particularly for a gal who grew up amidst little rushing streams on steep hillsides.

Now try to picture this without laughing:

I launched a two-seater kayak from a small boat launch with my daughter, The Spare in the front seat. Before I could climb into the back seat, the kayak drifted into the water, and The Spare dropped both oars. So she was drifting (and screaming) about 10 feet from shore.

I waded in to grab the kayak and pull it back. But as I moved toward it, the insolent little craft floated farther away. Somehow I could not convey to The Spare the concept of using her hands as paddles. She just bawled for my assistance.

I took one step in the direction of the fleeing kayak. My foot sank into about six inches of muck. I took another step. This foot sank into about 12 inches of muck. Completely clueless in the Tidewater region, I lumbered on. Two strides later, I was up to my haunches in muck, couldn't feel a bottom to it, and I couldn't move. If I extricated one foot from the steely grip of the muck, the other leg slid deeper into it.

The Spare sat a mere eight feet away, wailing. Clearly she was not going to grasp the concept of moving a lightweight plastic boat with her hands.

I started screaming. Don't laugh until you've felt muck creeping up your helpless shanks.

The screams brought my other daughter, The Heir, who had successfully launched her solo kayak. Her response: "Mom, are you all right?"

Well, I might have been had I not seen "Lawrence of Arabia" or "Blazing Saddles." As it was, my life was passing before my eyes, and I was soundly cursing the day I left Appalachia which, though not entirely muckless, is decidedly less mucky than the Chesapeake.

Here's where the bored gods enter the picture.

A pair of nice young dads, out to bond with their tots over a fishing adventure, also heard my scream. They heaved another kayak into the launch. I grabbed it, and they pulled me back to shore. The Heir retrieved the errant paddles, and The Spare paddled all 12 feet back to the launch all by herself. (She has not since quit bragging about her superior kayaking abilities.)

You would think that after such a harrowing experience I would retire to the nearest rocking chair with a stiff mint julep. And I must admit that was my first impulse. But I bit my lip and got in that kayak, paddled a grouchy Spare to a beautiful bit of undeveloped beachfront, and let the gentle low tide lick my wounds.

I felt like I'd just gone fifteen rounds with one of your nastier middleweights, like Tommy Hearns or some other Kronk dude. And all along through this post I've had the good taste not to mention what that muck smelled like.

But. Lessons learned. We at "The Gods Are Bored" are big on messages in our texts.

1. When launching kayaks, always keep an oar in your hand.
2. Make the oldest daughter stand on shore until the clueless kayakers are all in the water safely.
3. If there's nothing growing out of it, and you can't see sand or rock, it's bottomless muck.
4. If you rest to lick your wounds on a nice sandy spit, Sacred Thunderbirds will come in droves to see if you plan on getting up again.

Now here's where the Bored Gods really enter the picture.

Those fishermen were on their way to the boat launch with their tiny tots because the tots wanted to swim in there.

All hail the Great Bored Gods of the Deep (and occasionally mucky) Chesapeake!

(Rock-bottomed and gravity-driven fresh water)

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Did Rick Santorum Invent Family Vacations?

Welcome to "The Gods Are Bored," your lightning-fast clearinghouse for done-in deities! We're so glad you're here. We're just about to tuck into a few dozen hard shell crabs and some frosty mugs of National Beer.

Just kidding. We're back from vacation now. And badder than ever! Plenty of new topics of interest to the bored gods!

But first: Who the hell invented the concept of a family vacation? It sounds like some sinister plot hatched by Dr. Laura, Dr. Spock (not the Star Trek one), and Rick Santorum.

Every year la famille Johnson ventures abroad to the beautiful Chesapeake Bay, namely St. Michael's, Maryland. We stay at a Bed and Breakfast run by a lady who has six portraits of George W. Bush in her kitchen and a plethora of pamphlets and magazines on Christian living sitting on every available end table. The coffee table is reserved for Sean Hannity tomes. (No sign of Ann Coulter, my hunch is, that little black dress is just too too provocative.)

Hence, blood pressure rises upon perusal of reading material, but is quickly cooled by screened porch catching bay breezes.

Then nighttime comes.

Four light sleepers, two of them world class snorers, shoved into a single room (with kitchenette).

Rick, Rick. How do you do it?

Dr. Laura, I'm the mother of my children, but when they hiss, "Wake up, Mom. I can't sleep" at 4:00 a.m., I can't help but have a Medea moment. It's enough to make you long for those days when nurturing moms dispensed "Mrs. Winslow's Soothing Syrup" to the tots at bedtime (active ingredient, morphine).

So, despite the undeniable beauty of the surroundings, and the plethora of opportunities to worship the Sacred Thunderbird and the Many Deities of the Deep, I have come to the conclusion that "family vacation" is an oxymoron.

Rick Santorum is just a moron. Limbaugh gets the Oxy.


(I didn't see Dick Cheney, but I was looking for bald eagles, not evil geniuses.)

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

If Only I'd Known Sooner

Welcome to "The Gods Are Bored," toujours bleu and so left wing we support Governor Corzine's sales tax increase!

Once each year I take a little breather and go worship the Sacred Thunderbirds of St. Michaels, Maryland. They like me. They really like me. Who else buys them racks of baby back ribs and then sits in a field to watch them chow down?

St. Michaels has been the venue of choice for la famille Johnson for nigh on six years. It's a pretty spot but getting overgrown with wealthy folks from Washington, DC. We're not naming names. So this will probably be our last trip to this particular crab-cracking paradise.

In the meantime, I've left two of my favorite posts below for your perusal. And if you have lots of time, check out the troll in my Comments section, post about St. Michaels. Clearly he doesn't appreciate the big, broad, flexible outlook here at "The Gods Are Bored."

In the name of all the bored gods and goddesses and sacred animals of every variety, I wish you a pleasant week. I'll return on July 10. So don't touch that bookmark!

AREA 14, STAR 14

Monday, July 03, 2006

Rednecks, White and Blue


Welcome to "The Gods Are Bored!" Kick off those muddy work boots and set a spell. We've got to talk some more about rednecks.

The Fourth of July will soon be upon us. It's a great day to cook burgers and lose a few fingers when the fireworks malfunction. So, no time better than the present to explore the exciting topic of redneck politics!

I "came up" in the Appalachian mountains, before satellite t.v. and computers and all that stuff. Admittedly, I don't live in the mountains anymore. But I do visit alot.

To hear certain talk radio personalities, you'd think that all rednecks are ... well ... red. Not red as in Commie red, but red as in Republican.

Well, by damn. It's bad enough that all the college pukes write us off as a bunch of savages who hide behind rocks, waiting for Ned Beatty to blunder in. But to think that we're being lumped into the G.O.P. fold as a big, fat group. Just boils this expatriate hillbilly's blood.

In the heart of real redneck country lie some of the most pro-union counties in America. These are the tough folks who had to go up against Big Corporate Interests and even the National Guard when they dared to strike for living wages in the mines and factories. Last time I looked, Norma Rae wasn't no Princeton grad. Nor can I see her voting Republican or turning her radio to Rush for guidance.

These same good folks are the ones who've seen their jobs go abroad to non-union foreigners, their mountains carved into deserts by Big Coal, and their rugged individualism challenged by backward, politically-motivated preachers.

I'll agree that Rush has made inroads among the redneck population, but that's only because his backers can send out the strongest radio signals. There's not a hollow deep enough that conservative radio doesn't penetrate it.

But that doesn't mean that all rednecks buy the red agenda. Let's do a little categorizing here. Remind Rush that some people think for themselves. Remind Hollywood that some people think.


1. The Rebel. This redneck has never surrendered to the U.S.A. and recalls bitterly that it was a Republican president who flattened the South in 1865. Sad to say, Republicans are courting these folks by painting Democrats as a bunch of college-educated city slickers. Don't buy the bull, Stonewall. If you and yours elect a Democrat from your state, won't that candidate reflect your values? (P.S. - Save those Confederate dollars, bring 'em to the Empire of Appalachia.)

2. The Bad Ass. Who ever said all rednecks go to mega-churches, where they soak up red politics? Hell, Sunday is for rippin' around the fire roads on your Harley! Those church people have their snoots in the air so they can look down on everyone who doesn't do what they do. Who votes those sort of hypocrites into power? Bad Asses don't make up their minds about anything easily, and they're not gonna be told who to vote for. Anyone who counts on them in an election is likely to get stomped, just because Bad Asses hate to be pigeonholed.

3. The Lone Wolf. Better leave this one alone, not talk to him or her. Better not set out for a stroll across the barbed wire surrounding the property. This redneck hates all forms of government and has never met a politician of any party that he or she didn't want to spit on. (This is the category of redneck that fits the author of this blog.)

4. Union Yes! All you pro-union rednecks, stand up and be recognized! You vote Republican? I didn't think so.

5. (Gasp!) The Green White Blue Redneck. So many colors, so little time! This redneck actually appreciates the beauty of the country he or she lives in, and so has little patience with heavy machinery, natural gas leases, clear-cutting, or radical strip mining. Surprise, surprise. They'd vote a whipporwill into the White House before they'd vote red. (A lot of these rednecks live in cities now, since having been forced from their lands, either by coal interests or the red feds - how do you think that Skyline Drive would look if all the hillbillies still farmed the land they once owned?)

6. The Old Order Mennonite. Let us not forget the growing rural population of God's Chosen People, the only ones who are really going to heaven. These people do not vote and do not follow national politics, because the worldly concerns of sinners do not matter a bit in God's Plan for the Salvation of Mankind. How, you ask, can these people be growing in numbers? Each set of parents produces anywhere from 8 to 15 children. You do the math.

7. The Fringe Farmer. You know this guy. He's the one trying to keep the family farm even though a huge new Wal-Mart and a strip shopping center containing a Home Depot, a Barnes & Noble, and three Starbucks just went up across the lane. He's getting sixteen calls a week from realtors, and someone just burned down his barn. He doesn't think it's the Earth Liberation Front. This guy is savvy to the workings of Corporate Interests, and he sees right through Rush Limbaugh. The Fringe Farmer doesn't want to be a millionaire. He wants to hand down the family business to his kids. He votes blue because he sees red - the Target store that ruined his view of the mountains.

8.The Bubba Who Knows Who Butters His Bread. Go figure. A "backward" state like West Virginia keeps voting and voting and voting for one of the bluest senators in modern history -- a senator who dared to stand up and denounce the War in Iraq even BEFORE no WMD were discovered! Robert Byrd. What's the deal with Robert Byrd? Take a look at the committee he chairs, and has chaired, and will chair until he dies. And then tell me redneck voters are stupid. "Where will we put the $70 million Institute for the Study of the Snail Darter? Hmmm. How about West Virginia?" A senator with seniority is a very valuable commodity.

9. The Urban Redneck. There are millions of these, and most of them are either in a union or wish they were. These guys and gals fund the Democratic Party, and they're sick and tired of being told that gay marriage is a more important national issue than NAFTA.

10. The Live and Let Live Redneck. These folks are likely to vote blue in the future because they don't want to be told how to live, how to die, how to breed, or how to rat their neighbors out as unpatriotic. These are true conservatives who don't want the government interfering in their personal lives -- and they see that happening all around them.

As a Caucasian person, I am not equipped to discuss Black and Blue Rednecks, but it's my sense that, unless they're really REALLY religious, these folks consistently vote Democratic. And gosh, why not? What do they admire more, Head Start or Condoleeza Rice?

Hey, Rush! You can fool some of the rednecks some of the time, but don't set off in a canoe for a little float down a Category 5 rapid through the heart of Appalachia. Then again, why don'tcha? Bring Bill O'Reilly. When you see my farmhouse, come right on in! You won't miss the house. It's the one surrounded by "NO TRESPASSING" signs and fields all clear and ready for the day when cannabis is legalized.


Pickett's Slots

Welcome to "The Gods Are Bored!" Don't let the cannon scare you. It's not loaded. And neither are we at the moment, but we're working on it.

This is back in the news here in July of 2006.

Lawmakers are preparing to pass a bill that will allow casino gambling in Pennsylvania. Some members of the PA legislature tried to have removed the planned casino in Gettysburg, but no dice. If Gettysburg's casino goes, Philly's do too. After all, Philly has historic sites and it gets casinos, so why not Gettysburg?

Hey, we got Judge Alito (living up to advance billing), so slots at Gettysburg seem fully rational to me. Here's a few names they might use.

Pickett's Parlor
Little Round Slots
Sleezer's Palace
The Forgotta
Yankee Boodle Candy

and this one's a no-brainer ...

Stars 'n' Bars

What an absolutely fabulous venue for gaudy, grubby money-pits full of desperate old ladies! Think of the product tie-in!

Come see the ground where 50,000 men got brutally killed or devastatingly injured in three days of bloody warfare! Then relax with a Cosmopolitan in our plush casino, where you can shoot craps 24-7! Performing tonight, The Grateful Dead!

Abraham Lincoln just went to the post office and asked for a Change of Gettysburg Address card.

America: Land of the moron, home of the moron.


Open Chemise, Gaze at Navel

Welcome to "The Gods Are Bored," hopefully Anne's "Samuel Pepys Diary" for her superior descendants!

I just want to record this quickly for my own faulty memory's sake, and then I'm gonna load some vacation stuff before I go try to avoid Dick Cheney in the hamlet of St. Michaels, MD.

(I have some experience avoiding heads of state, having grown up near the Catoctin Mountains and the forbidding Camp David.)

Today's topic: Chonganda came to me in a dream. It was marvelous.

I dreamed that OakWyse, the leader of LlynHydd Grove, told me to go seek this holy man in the mountains. Of course I'm no stranger to the mountains, so I went.

The holy man's house was on a hillside, about halfway down into what we hillbillies call a "holler." And it was very cluttered with old stuff, and sort of falling down, the way we hillbillies call "home."

So I walked down the path and onto the porch. A heavyset black man wearing a dashiki came out the door and greeted me. His face was very gentle, and he seemed to be pleased to see me.

I was confused, however. Why would a Druid send me to an African holy man? This may be a reach, but I doubt there are very many Druids of African descent.

Well, you know dreams. I was just settling in to get this kind holy man's advice when the cat jumped on my stomach and demanded her morning massage. Thank you, kitty.

It wasn't until hours later that I recalled Chonganda, and how I had prayed to him to help save my husband's job, and by gum, Mr. Johnson's job is safe for at least another five years.

So, with apologies to none, and with pleading to all, I say, if you have any wisdom passed on to you from Chonganda, awesome bored god of the ancient Congo, share share share.

AREA 14, STAR 14

Sunday, July 02, 2006

When Family Vacations Go Bad

Welcome to "The Gods Are Bored," where we feel it takes a village of gods and goddesses! Well, maybe it could take a family too, if it was a nice nuclear family, with a daddy god and a mommy goddess, and some sibling gods and goddesses. Yes, that might work.

The Johnson family will this week embark on its annual Family Values Vacation, where emphasis is placed upon such pagan pursuits as kayaking in search of water birds, visiting wildlife refuges, and meditating on the Chesapeake sunset. This will be the sixth year, I think, that we have spent our Family Values Vacation in the same location.

That would be St. Michaels, Maryland.

Alas, we already have a guaranteed reservation. If we didn't, we wouldn't be going.

Why? You ask. This looks like an absolutely charming little Chesapeake town, laden to the plimsol line with steamed crabs and frosty mugs of beer!

Yes. You would be right about that. The Johnson family has dumped thousands of tourist dollars into the St. Michaels economy.

That is about to end.

Word comes to "The Gods Are Bored" that both Donald ("Duck") Rumsfeld and Dick ("Quail Killer") Cheney have bought posh little vacation homes in that Zip Code.

Actually there's nothing posh or little about the Rummy/Cheney digs. One, called "Mount Misery," is an antebellum plantation where masters sent recalcitrant slaves for "behavior modification."

Isn't it strange how history repeats itself?

To make a long post short, we at "The Gods Are Bored" realize that we have a finite amount of tourist dollars in our coffers (less every year). To be brutally bigoted and frank, we no longer like the company we must keep in St. Michaels. Who wants to run into Dick Cheney and his quail gun on the brief Family Values Vacation?

We don't associate with those kind.

We at "The Gods Are Bored" pride ourselves on our big, broad, flexible outlook. Heck, we try to be as tolerant as the Chesapeake Bay is wide! But St. Michaels doesn't need our money, clearly. The Cheneys and the Rummys can spend their money there. And St. Michaels will make out better for it, we're sure.

Next year we think we'll enroll in summer school. We've found a good one in Hoopeston, Illinois.

To Donnie and The Killer: We, the pagan Johnson Family, do not hunt or fish. So you run no risk from us, unless you get stuck in a crab trap. And that would be your fault, not ours.