Thursday, August 31, 2006

Ack! Puck Is Back!

Welcome to "The Gods Are Bored!" We dust off downsized deities and delight as they dance! Scroll down to watch our theme video, courtesy of Nachtchat.

It's been a quiet week around here. Not once have I had to hunt for my eyeglasses or my car keys. My earrings are all accounted for. The wild kittens I brought home from the SPCA have tamed right down instead of running under the sofa and biting me.

Now I know why.

Puck went AWOL, to the home of artist Seitou, to have his portrait done. And here he is, cheeky little faerie. Don't you just love his faerie tail?

You can look him in the eye and see he's hatching his next prank. What an imp! Will he ever grow up? No! Why should he when it's so much fun being a little boy?

Is your life dull and predictable? Invite a faerie into your home! Our operators are standing by to take your call.

As always a reminder: Seitou's fabulous artwork is hers and hers alone, so don't go trying to become famous by snatching it. Not that any of my readers would do such a thing. You're all the most witty and engaging people on the planet!


Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Donnie's Democracy

Welcome to "The Gods Are Bored!" We don't discuss politics much here. There are far better sites than us for that. However, we have a nice Point/Counterpoint today for your personal perusal.

"Any kind of moral and intellectual confusion about who and what is right or wrong can severely weaken the ability of free societies to persevere."
--Donald Rumsfeld

"Statesmen will invent cheap lies, putting blame upon the nation that is attacked, and every man will be glad of those conscience-soothing falsities, and will diligently study them, and refuse to examine any refutations of them; and thus he will by and by convince himself that the war is just, and will thank God for the better sleep he enjoys after this process of grotesque self-deception."
--Mark Twain

"Against our traditions we are now entering upon an unjust and trivial war, a war against a helpless people, and for a base object — robbery. At first our citizens spoke out against this thing, by an impulse natural to their training. Today they have turned, and their voice is the other way. What caused the change? Merely a politician's trick — a high-sounding phrase, a blood-stirring phrase which turned their uncritical heads: Our Country, right or wrong! An empty phrase, a silly phrase. It was shouted by every newspaper, it was thundered from the pulpit, the Superintendent of Public Instruction placarded it in every schoolhouse in the land, the War Department inscribed it upon the flag. And every man who failed to shout it or who was silent, was proclaimed a traitor — none but those others were patriots. To be a patriot, one had to say, and keep on saying, "Our Country, right or wrong," and urge on the little war.

"Have you not perceived that that phrase is an insult to the nation? For in a republic, who is "the Country"? Is it the Government which is for the moment in the saddle? Why, the Government is merely a servant — merely a temporary servant; it cannot be its prerogative to determine what is right and what is wrong, and decide who is a patriot and who isn't. Its function is to obey orders, not originate them."
--Mark Twain

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

The Bored God of Hurricanes

Welcome to "The Gods Are Bored!" If you haven't checked out our awesome new theme song, scroll down.

One clarification: We at "The Gods Are Bored" did not create the video "Party of the Gods." We were challenged by the task of getting it onto the blog. The credit for that wonderful piece of work goes to Nachtcat (hope we spelled it right this time). You can see Nachtcat's work on YouTube.

Today, on the first anniversary of Hurricane Katrina, we have the dubious pleasure of interviewing another bored god. Please give a panicked and traumatized welcome to Huracan, bored god of hurricanes to the ancient Mesoamerican people.

Anne: Well, I guess we now know where the word "hurricane" comes from.

Huracan: Just like possum, raccoon, Potomac, and cocoa. Whenever Europeans didn't have a name for something in the New World, they asked the aboriginal praise and worship teams. Then the Europeans went ahead and spelled the names any old way. You should just see some of the old spellings of "raccoon."

Anne: Huracan, you're one of the most destructive gods at work on the planet. Doesn't that bother you?

Huracan: Of course it does! And I'll quickly add, lest you get all pompous about your species, I've been dissatisfied with my working conditions since long before Homo sapiens came to feel my wrath. Do you think it's any fun killing Florida panthers and Carolina parakeets and passenger pigeons and ghost orchids?

Anne: As long as I'm getting pompous, I'll point out that you've wreaked havoc in Appalachia plenty of times. Hurricane Agnes of 1972 comes to mind. And Hurricane Floyd.

Huracan: Lots of water coming from the sky and falling onto sloping surfaces. Yeah, flash floods. They weren't as bad until your species came along and cut down all the trees.

Anne: Point taken. So, Huracan, if gods are all-powerful, how come you are allowed to pack such a punch and cause so much pain? Can't you just stand up to your superiors and tell them to stuff it?

Huracan: Alas, no. Can Prometheus call off that bird that eats his guts every day?

Anne: Then what can we do to appease you?

Huracan: I'll tell you what doesn't work. Throwing gold and virgins into the ocean. Some praise and worship teams have tried that.

Anne: Eeeeesh. Pass.

Huracan: Know what else doesn't work?

Anne: I'm guessing the efforts of the Army Corps of Engineers to build bulwarks against your might?

Huracan: Absolutely correct. Sky Woman created barrier islands with high dunes along the Atlantic coast to protect the inland from hurricanes. She created the swampy, mosquito-infested, perennially flooded Mississippi delta to suck up as much excess water as possible. So what do humans do? They get cocky, pull down the dunes and build casinos. Erect levies and dig canals. Frankly, it makes about as much sense as the virgins and gold.

Anne: So you're saying there are parts of America where nothing should be built at all, like the Florida Keys, the Everglades, the Gulf Coast, and the barrier islands? Wow. That's stretching it even for a tree-hugger like me. Where would all the people live?

Huracan: You asked me how to blunt the force of my wrath. I create hurricanes. I'm not an urban planner.

Anne: I'm afraid to ask about your future.

Huracan: As well you should be, my pretty. The soup I'm stirring seems to be getting warmer all the time. It's getting easier and easier to craft big ones and launch them. I don't feel good about it. But I can't think for the human race. You've got to get smart yourselves about what you can and can't control. When I get up a good head of steam, no man-made levy's gonna hold up. Sorry, but that's the way it is.

Anne: So you're saying it's the will of God when these disasters happen.

Huracan: I'm not saying that at all. For the love of manatees! It's not the will of God. It's the whim of the weather. I work with the raw materials I'm given, and send the product on down the line. What happens in the aftermath depends on how your species handles it.

Anne: We don't generally handle it too well.

Huracan: Neither did the Aztecs, if it's any consolation.

Anne: Huracan, it's been interesting talking to you, but given the fact that I'm only 50 miles from the Atlantic coast, and the last time you dropped by you pulled up trees and shut down the main street of my town for a week, I'm going to say I hope I don't see you soon.

Huracan: If your people could turn down the temperature under the Atlantic soup, I might have to struggle more to whip up big ones.

Anne: I don't have much confidence that the Army Corps of Engineers will figure out how to do that.


Sunday, August 27, 2006

Party of the Gods

Welcome to "The Gods Are Bored!" Can you spare 6 minutes for our awesome new Theme Song? Thanking Heroic Hecate for referral, and on our knees to Natchat, creator of epic proportions.

Saturday, August 26, 2006

Crying for Joy (and Frustration)

Welcome to "The Gods Are Bored!"

Hecate posted something for Anne at her site. Anne is overwhelmed. Sat and wept, to be precise.

Anne tried to set up a link between "The Gods Are Bored" and YouTube, but typically she found it past her skills (will try again tomorrow).

Equally frustrating, for some reason Anne can't post comments to Hecate's site. And if you haven't seen her site, well. Take a trip, you won't regret it. She rocks.

Anyway, to put it mildly, "The Gods Are Bored" now has a theme song. If only we can figure out how to load it.

Hecate: Do you like pie? Name your favorite. It's yours, hot from the oven.


Friday, August 25, 2006

Mercury and Pluto

Welcome to "The Gods Are Bored!" One god, two gods, red gods, blue gods. Old gods, new gods, tried and true gods. Join us, won't you? We value your patronage.

Public service announcement: Give blood. Anne just did. She's a trifle shaky now.

It's hard to call a site "The Gods Are Bored" when gods are in two headlines in today's newspaper. On one front page, we get both Mercury and Pluto.

But of course, the stories are about Mercury and Pluto, without a single quote from either one. So they've dropped by here to chat. Please give a wild, wonderful "Gods Are Bored" welcome to Pluto and Mercury! We flipped a coin and Pluto won, so he goes first.

Anne: Pluto, awesome god of the Greek and Roman afterlife, I know this is a dark day for you. Pardon the double entendre.

Pluto: Ah, yes. The fate of a bored god. One day you're on the tip of every schoolchild's tongue, and your name's in every textbook ...

Anne: We haven't checked Of Pandas and People.

Pluto: I'm in there. They call me Cold Satan. Anyway, where was I? Oh yes. After two millennia, I finally regain some respect. Having a planet named after you is at least something. Now I'm demoted, degraded, relegated to the dustbin of history ... again. It's devastating.

Anne: I totally agree. We at "The Gods Are Bored" are given to understand that astronomers have documented more than 400 objects orbiting the sun in the Kuiper Belt beyond you. One of them, Sedna (also a bored goddess) is larger than you. So we have to ask: With so many bored gods and goddesses out there, why don't we just name all of the orbiting objects, no matter how humble? Gosh, there are way more than 400 bored gods and goddesses who would love a little press.

Pluto: That certainly seems more humane, doesn't it?

Anne: You bet. I'd love to see a planet named Danu. Isn't that a superb name for a planet? Almost makes you want to book a reservation on a spaceship.

Pluto: Anne, you're a wise woman. We bored gods and goddesses sure appreciate your interest in us. Can I have a piece of that mocha chocolate pie?

Anne: It's homemade. And I can eat it guilt-free because my blood sugar's low. But here. Take the rest. And take heart. Every kid over the age of 6 recognizes you as a planet. Given the rate of increasing longevity, you have about 80 years to weed that out of the general population. And by that time, maybe you'll have a bigger praise and worship team back in the old homeland. I hear there are 100,000 Greeks who worship Zeus.

Pluto: We could sure use a little new blood in Hades.

Anne: Good time to repeat the public service announcement: Give blood. And here's our platform at "The Gods Are Bored": Restore Pluto to his planetary status, and start naming those post-Pluto orbiting objects after other worthy bored gods and goddesses! For crying out loud, the existing planets are all male except Venus and Earth. That's not a level playing field.

(Pause while Anne and Pluto savor the pie, taking care not to stain the furniture.)

Anne: Whoa! What's that in my hair! Is that you, Puck?

Mercury: Nope! Puck gave gossamer this afternoon. He's tuckered out. It's me, Mercury, fleet ancient messenger god.

Anne: Why are you in my hair?

Mercury: I'm in everyone's hair. Especially where you live, in the Great Blue Northeast. Proof that you're being slowly poisoned by toxic emissions from coal-burning power plants!

Anne: Oh joy.

Mercury: You can speed up the poisoning process if you eat fish. They concentrate the toxins in their tissue.

Anne: Oh joy.

Mercury: And with the push on to increase coal production and use, the amount of me in the environment will only grow! It gets even better, Anne. In order to hurl more of me into the air, bulldozers are tearing down mountains!

Anne: You sniveling little sorry excuse for a god! I just added $11 a month to my electric bill voluntarily so that my electric company could start erecting windmills. (Not that those bandits need extra money, by damn.) But you know what, Mercury, you poisonous vermin? Your days are as numbered as Pluto's. Within 80 years you'll either have killed us all, or we'll blow you away. Literally, not figuratively. It can't go on the way it's going on. And as for those mountains they're blasting to bits, well. There's a finite amount of mountains, just as there's a finite amount of coal. So don't sit there smirking. You're biting your own ass.

Mercury: I'll have the satisfaction of killing you, though. You're clinging to the top of the hill, but the slide's gonna start any day.

Anne: Bring it on, fly boy. I've got the Celtic pantheon at my back. They're taking care of me now, they'll take care of me on the other side. Now beat it before my ram John Henry smells you and decides to show you the block he learned today at Rams training camp!

That's it from "The Gods Are Bored." Fight for wind power, send Mercury back to the unemployment office for downsized deities!


Thursday, August 24, 2006

Great Opportunity for Single Ladies

Welcome to "The Gods Are Bored," principled polytheism for your purpose-driven perusal! Liberal yes, godless no. We've got so many deities hanging around we never have to do any housework or cooking!

Today we have a special offer for all you single ladies out there. Take a number and be seated. While you're waiting, here's a copy of Brides magazine. Pick out a gown, because the wedding bells are about to chime!

I think it was Jesus' General, a very popular blogger, who alerted me to the hard work of Alberto Trippe at R U Rapture Ready. For some reason his blog won't link to mine (probably the work of the bored gods), but you can Google it.

Alberto's goal in life is to persuade homosexual men to renounce their filthy, sinful lives (his views, not mine) in favor of Bible-based living. In the past two weeks he's been conferenced with 16 gay men who have pledged to go straight, to marry and have children as the Bible commands.

Are you young single gals getting this? Here's a chance to snare a man, to settle down and have those little tots you've been seeing in your dreams.

And you know how air-tight pledges are. Just look at all these motivated teenagers who sign chastity pledges. Well, maybe that's not a good example. How about New Years' resolutions? Air-tight. I know I've kept every single one I've ever made.

Okay, okay. Don't get smart. I have kept the one about shaving my legs.

Anyway, back to topic. I encourage all you unmarried ladies out there to consult the appropriately-named Mr. Trippe to find out how you can date and mate with his reformed homosexuals.

Think of all the help they'll be with the home decorating.

(I hope you all know I'm kidding about this. I can't even decide if Mr. Trippe is serious or the best satirist on the Web.)

AREA 14, STAR 14

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Puck and Me

Welcome to "The Gods Are Bored," mystical mayhem and mindless madness since 2005!

Today Mr. Johnson and I celebrate our 22nd wedding anniversary. You can only stay married that long if you know the four magic words:

"Yes, darling, you're right."

And it helps immensely if he is right about almost everything, especially politics. Throw in good-lookin', and you beat the curve.

I apologize for Puck's sorry entry yesterday. I'll quote Terrence McKenna on faeries:

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

Exhibit A: Faerie (not Mr. Johnson)


Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Bleaters, Tall and Hairy, by Puck the Faerie

Welcome to "The Gods Are Bored!" My name is Puck. I'll be your toast today. Or is it Host? Oh, don't you love Hostess Twinkies? I hold them in my pinkies!

Anne has been tiffed and miffed at me ever since she took me to a rowdy rock show and stuck me with the job of protecting her and her daughter, The Heir. Gimme a brake! Hey, she set me free in a smoky hall with 2000 guys and 200 girls, all moshing their brains out to Les Claypool and his kick-ass drummers! Did she for real think she could reel me to the back of the haul?

That's one of the best things about being a faerie. You can mosh without getting stomped.

So after that Anne made me sit on the window sill and be still for a long time. She said if I hid her car keys one single time she would exile me to the jewelry box. That's the coffin where she keeps her ugly stuff.

Aha, but she wasn't done with me yet! You bet!

Over the weekend, Anne visited her sister. The mega-church one. Or is it won? Nope, not won. I'm sure of that, fat cat.

Anne and her sister get along okay, so long as the subject doesn't turn to real pigeon. Or is it religion?

So Anne wore me, and her sister admired me, said what a nice faerie I was, and where did Anne get me? You know, the usual peasant trees. Then Anne's sister turned to her husband and murmured: "Biff, get your cross out!"

Biff, u c, was wearing a cross on a string around his neck. He promptly lifted it into eye site. And off we went to lunch. Or brunch. To munch.

I thought I was maybe gonna get to play a few rounds of "My real pigeon is better than yours" with that cross. But when we eyeballed each other I could seed that it was the Celtic cross, with even sides. And that means it's all subliminal for the Old Time Real Pigeon, where all my peeps war shipped the Gods of the Four Quarters. And they used that cross as a way to just add Jesus to the mix. Smart tricks!

Off the hook was eye, except it's a fun game.

But alas and alack, my pun-ishment was not over. Back to Sis's house we go, and she and Biff serenaded me, Anne, and Heir with Christian folk music. Let's just say they're not ready for prime rib. Or is it prime time? But the messy was obvious: It's Rapture or Rupture.

Next day Anne and Heir and me went to Berkeley Springs. Anne stuck me in the Sacred Spring and maid me promise to bee hive the next time we go to a rowdy concert where there's moshing and such much.

I'll do it, by gum. I've learnt my mission. But I still got even for that Bleaters, Tall and Hairy song-sermon. This morning I hid Anne's sneakers so well she couldn't even smell 'em!

You can lead a faerie to water, but you can't make him shrink.

Have a nice fae,

Monday, August 21, 2006

Shooting at the Gods; or, Buzzards Do Not Shred Trampolines

Welcome to "The Gods Are Bored!" We are just back from a merry tour of three states. We felt guilty when our daughters' best friends all went abroad this summer, so we had to do the old parental thing and make up for it by going to Gettysburg's "Land of Little Horses" and the Paw Paw Tunnel in West Virginia. Paris? Tokyo? Who needs those noisy old cities? Feed pellets to a llama! Step in murky water in zero visibility in a 150 year old tunnel! Luxury accommodations at the Red Roof Inn!

I know how to show my kids a good time.

Anyhow, we're back and deeply affronted to discover that, in our absence, the local third-tier newspaper published a front-page piece about rampaging turkey vultures in Florence, New Jersey.

According to a Florence Baptist minister, a tough gang of buzzards has moved in on Florence. They punctured his daughter's swimming pool. And they shredded a trampoline. They roost in the park, where you must dodge the droppings as if you were passing some urban statue of a Confederate general.

The minister added whistfully that he longed to end this conflict at the point of a gun, but alas, turkey vultures are a protected species.

It's news to me that turkey vultures are a protected species. I'll have to check the awesome site in my sidebar to confirm that one.

However, on these two points I'm firm. First, the photographs accompanying the story showed black vultures, not turkey vultures. Second, no self-respecting buzzard of any stripe would ever shred a trampoline, even if it was coated with dead skunks.

Sacred Thunderbird Exhibit A: Turkey Vulture

Sacred Thunderbird Exhibit B: Black Vulture

As for a punctured kiddie pool, if you'll please put down Of Pandas and People and consult your handy atlas, you'll see that Florence, New Jersey bumps up against the mighty Delaware River in an extreme way. Again, no buzzard of any stripe will attempt to drink from a kiddie pool with a magnificent river just a few awkward hops down the block.

So I've spent way too much time today setting straight a reporter named Richard Pearsall.

At one time I had dreams of writing for a newspaper. Wisely, I chose goat judging, where slipshod standards and quickly formed inaccuracies are unacceptable.

As for the Baptist pastor who wants to terminate Sacred Thunderbirds with extreme prejudice, well. He'd better hope his heaven isn't closed for repairs when he crosses over, or he might find himself trussed up like old Prometheus by some loving (but firm) feathered gods.

AREA 14, STAR 14
Tomorrow: Wheezers, Tall and Hairy, by Puck the Faerie.

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Creation Series #4: Spitting Image?

Welcome to "The Gods Are Bored!" Did you ever take a gander at yourself and think, "Gosh, if God created me in His image, He must have been looking in a funhouse mirror at the time!"

Ever ponder this? What ideal human is the spitting image of God?

I once heard two of my inner city students talking (when they should have been working). One of them said, "What you think God look like?"

And the other one said, "He a white man."

They were both African American girls.

Sometimes it's hard to separate church and state. Because I wanted to ask those two lovely teenagers: "Do you pray to a white man? What's the white man done for you? Not God, I mean, but any white man?"

Of course that could have sparked a discussion that veered into paganism, so I held my tongue.

Michelangelo painted God as a big dude with flowing white hair and a long beard. Sort of what John Brown might have looked like in extreme old age, if he hadn't been hung.

I don't have flowing white hair and a long beard. (I get a few chin hairs now and then. Aren't they gross?) Heck, I can't even anticipate someday having long white hair and a beard.

They say "image is everything." But in the case of God Almighty, I have to think that "image is severely limited by the imagination of a male-dominated desert culture that refused to commit to artwork an image of the god that made them in his image so we can all see what we should look like."

While we're on the Hard Scientific Work, Genesis, I have another minor quibble.

Where's the motive?

In the previous Creation of the World Scientific Theories we've examined, the Celestial Creators had motive. Bumba was lonely. Sky Woman got shoved off her cloud by an angry spouse.

Why did God start slinging stars and planets around, all of a sudden, like you or me would stroll into the corner bar on the spur for a pint?

I wish the Discovery Institute would enlighten me on some of this.

This last is just my opinion. I think God's Celestial Computer malfunctioned when He got around to the image thing. You know how a mouse can be sometimes. You point it and click, but it slides just a tad and you click the wrong item.

God may have meant to click on Bonobos. They're a vastly superior ape species to ourselves. (Actually they're under the bored god Chonganda's jurisdiction.)

Instead, with one little slip in the techno, boom! We get this upright, hairless, big-brained but unpredictable mammal. What a species. One specimen will sneak into a man's house, rape and murder a six-year-old. Another will fly a plane into a highrise and kill three thousand people. And the next one down the line will run to the burning highrise and try to save perfect strangers caught in the wreckage, and end up dying himself.

As part of her Confirmation, my daughter The Heir had to have a private chat with a Methodist pastor. The pastor was a woman on the verge of retirement. The pastor asked my daughter what word my daughter would use to describe God.

My daughter said, "Temperamental."

My daughter got gently chewed out. She returned to the car saying, "I'm not a very good Christian."

In the ensuing years The Heir has adjusted to her poor showing on the Christian exam. She simply changed her major.

If by creating Man in His image, God meant Man to be temperamental, I'd say God succeeded brilliantly.

And all of this deep scientific scrutiny today was sparked by a special issue of Scientific American, having to do with the origin of our species, with a side trip into the happy world of Bonobos.

We at "The Gods Are Bored" are taking a brief road trip over the weekend to replenish the springwater supply. We'll check in on Monday. If you have any questions about today's post, you can pose them to the Discovery Institute, where nuclear physicists will be standing by to take your call.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Creation Series for Dummies #3: Of Toads and Turtles

Welcome to "The Gods Are Bored!" Summer's here and the time is ripe for dancing in the street! Grab a bored god or goddess and cut a rug!

Could you raise these dumpster orphans from two weeks of age and deliver them to the pet shelter? These are my latest fosters, Tara and Cara. Sweeter than the bottom of an icing bowl. Oh, if I think about it I'll weep! They're on PetFinder.

Today's topic: How the World Began. No Questions.

Who are we to doubt the mighty Iroquois Nation? Here's what they have to say about the formation and disposition of our planet:

In the beginning there existed only Sky People. They lived eternally, and without strife, in a heavenly place.

One day one of the Sky Women told her husband she was expecting twins. For some reason, this so angered the husband that he took his wife to the center of the Sky Realm, where there was a tree that emitted light. The man pulled up the tree. Curious, the woman glanced into the hole left by the tree. Below her she saw the ocean, down on the earth.

Then the man, still nurturing his grievance, pushed the Sky Woman into the hole.

The Sky Woman fell and fell toward the water. It was certain she would drown! But two birds caught her. They sought help from other animals to create a place where the Sky Woman could stay. One by one the animals tried to scoop mud from the bottom of the ocean. But it slipped through their paws or flippers or whatever as they rose to the surface.

The Toad had an idea. It scooped up some mud and put it on the Giant Turtle's back. The mud began to multiply, and soon the Giant Turtle carried a whole world on its back. The Sky Woman liked the world, so she blew some dust into the air and created the sun, moon, and stars. She gave birth to her twins on this new world, carried on the back of Giant Turtle.

Well, you know twins. These two, named Sapling and Flint, were ... well ... hey. Whenever twins show up in these holy stories, they're always trouble.

Sapling was kind and nurturing. Under him, everything thrived. Flint had a hard heart. He put bones in the fish and thorns on the berry bushes. Finally he got so nasty that Sapling was forced to get physical. They had a fight, and Sapling won. Flint was banished underground, to the Giant Turtle's back. There Flint resides until this day. You can see his work in the Sumatran vocanoes and the Yellowstone caldera, among other nasty geologic events.

Scientists at the Discovery Institute for Giant Turtle Creation assure us that any day now, they will have hard evidence that our landmasses rest on the back of a mighty terrapin.

Until then, let's just accept this on faith, shall we?

AREA 14, STAR 14

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Pleasant Interlude

Welcome to "The Gods Are Bored," where today we recall our childhood in Appalachia!

The occasion for this stroll down memory lane is a merry adventure in my tiny New Jersey yard last night. My two rescue cats, Alpha and Beta, discovered a fair-sized praying mantis and didn't quite know how to handle it.

I took Alpha inside. She's old and doesn't need to have a big insect hanging from her ear.

Beta stalked the mantis cautiously. Wisely, the mantis hid in the grass, where it blended right in. (I guess I should mention that my daughters cued me to this drama. They were both watching it.)

Beta kept prowling the yard for more than 10 minutes, looking for that bug. Finally the mantis got bored and started creeping toward the garden. Beta noticed right away and gave chase.

All you tree-huggers out there know about praying mantises, right? I'll bet they pray to some badass bored god like Mithras. Because that mantis sprang up on its hind legs, splayed out its wings, prepared its pincers for action, and charged Beta Cat. Wisely, she backed off. Then I grabbed her and shoved her inside.

I want to apologize to the Green Man for uprooting a tallish plant and using it as a vehicle to return the mantis to the faerie part of my garden. One can never be too rich, too thin, or have too many praying mantises in the garden.

Anyway, this fascinating natural drama recalled to my mind the long summer days before video games and 24 hour cartoons, when I mostly played with insects. Granddad would give me a big jar, and I could catch bees in it, or big grasshoppers, or anything that crawled in my path. (Never could collar a hummingbird moth, sure tried. Didn't go for butterflies, too fragile for a jar.)

This next won't win me friends or influence people. But I liked to get a huge, monstrous praying mantis in my jar and then feed it a grasshopper. Okay, so it wasn't nice, but it also wasn't Left Behind: Kill All Pagans. My granddad was always waging war on grasshoppers and other pests of the truly organic garden, so he encouraged my childhood antics.

My cousins and I used to catch box turtles and paint our initials on their shells with fingernail polish. Then we would have turtle races. Yeah, turtle races are slow affairs, but you've got to remember we had a lot of daylight to kill.

Once a turtle got ticked at me and bit me. After that I generally avoided the turtle races.

About 6 years after the turtle race, I was hiking one time and found a turtle in a spring that still had an initial in pink on its back. Is that possible, or am I unclear on how many years passed? I know it surprised me.

When my mama died and went to sleep with the Confederate Dead, we had a visitation at the funeral home. An old friend of mine stopped by and said, "Do you remember how we used to catch bees?"

Yep, I sure do.

AREA 14, STAR 14
Tomorrow we look at the hard science behind that Turtle Upon Whose Shell the World Rests.

Monday, August 14, 2006

Creation Series for Dummies #2: Hold the Pepto

Welcome to "The Gods Are Bored," where we honor your deities, and our deities, and every single deity who can refrain from staining the furniture!

If you're just joining us, we're looking at The Varieties of Religious Experience. From the perspective of a goat judge, not a great philosopher.

So, how came we to be here, on this blue-green planet? Were we made, or did we just happen?

As luck would have it, my daughter The Heir stumbled on a pantheon that has her very excited. And no wonder! Chonganda -- yes, the bored god Chonganda of the Congolese people, is a prominent member of this pantheon!

We just love Chonganda here. We're trying to make up for all the members of his praise and worship team that were bound in chains, shipped to America in appalling conditions, and turned over to Christianity, never to revere old Chonganda again.

Anyway, on to today's Creation of the Universe:

Once there was nothing but an entity, existing in pitch-black darkness. The specific gender of this entity was unknown. Over a long period of time, the entity became lonelier and lonelier, more and more depressed.

That kind of stress produced dire symptoms in the entity. Its stomach churned.

Then it vomited.

With the first heave, out came the sun, moon, and stars. With the second, nine animals and nine humans splatted onto the planet. When they picked themselves up and had a nice, cleansing swim, the humans and animals found a lot to like on the planet. They were so happy that they began to evolve into all sorts of creatures. Hence, the variety of life we are so hell-bent on reducing, species by species, today.

The grateful humans called their creator Bumba. And Bumba was overjoyed. He decided to be a man, and to reside in the sky where he could enjoy the show with a good seat. Somewhere he found himself a loving Goddess (probably from another pantheon, eh girls?).

Bumba and his Goddess had three sons. One of them was Chonganda. Praise and honor be to Chonganda, from whom blessings flow as from the swift, fragrant waters of the Congo!

Now we get to the hard science behind this creation.

There isn't any. Accept it as a matter of faith and move on.

AREA 14, STAR 14
For Bumba t-shirts and other information about bored African gods, consult God-Checker, the website with the best and brightest deities and disciples.

Saturday, August 12, 2006

Creation Series for Dummies #1: A Strong Candidate

Welcome to "The Gods Are Bored!" Today we commence tackling that hardest question of all time: How did we come to be here, today, on this big rock?

You could call that an open-ended question. Answers abound.

We'll look at Goddess Creations, at God Creations, at Multiple Deity Creations, and at the hard science behind them. None of this godless communist Charles Darwin evil-ution stuff for us!

But first let us wax philosophical for a moment. Many deeply religious people will say that the universe opened up to them, indeed began, the day they accepted the deity of choice into their lives. We at "The Gods Are Bored" won't quarrel with that a bit.

Other folks search for a god or goddess they can relate to. One who, given the motive and means, would create a perfect world.

Readers, I give you Jeeves. Not the stupid one that can't answer a question on the Net. The Real Jeeves.

If you have read the "Jeeves" books by P. G. Wodehouse, you need proceed no further in this entry. You have been converted. Admit it.

If the name "Jeeves" is new to you outside of the frustrating context of using his useless search engine, and you're god-shopping, well then. You're in luck.

Imagine that you're a well-heeled gent of leisure, splayed on your couch with a morning head. The previous day, you sacked your valet after you found him pinching your silk socks. You've asked the Service to send around another specimen for hire. In the meantime you ponder how to duck an engagement you've made with a woman who, while great-looking in profile, is steeped to the gills in serious purpose.

Deep problems indeed.

Suddenly there's a gentle knock on the door. In shimmers Jeeves. He floats out into the pantry and comes back with a bracing invention that puts morning head to flight.

And that is just a prelude. He solves all your problems, while asking nothing in return but to jettison your inappropriate attire. Oh yes, he does take a two week vacation to go shrimping at the seashore.

That's when you get in the most trouble, of course. When he's shrimping. And also when you quarrel about the old attire, and you win. Then he lets you get into all kinds of trouble so he can show you how invaluable he is.

We at "The Gods Are Bored" started reading "Jeeves" stories and novels back in the early 1980s. Of course they were written much earlier, all the stories having been completed prior to the Omnibus Edition of 1931.

To make a long post short, I think you'll agree with me, if you spend even ten minutes with Jeeves, that he would make a first-rate Creator of the Universe, and he ought to be given a fair shot at it.

A warning: Ten minutes with the P. G. Wodehouse "Jeeves" work will result in a total addiction. You won't be able to stop reading until you've exhausted the entire supply. And you never recover. Inside my well-thumbed Omnibus I have written, "Property of Anne Johnson. Please Return. Can't Live Without."

To quote Jeeves's primary disciple, Bertie Wooster:

"I've always said, and I always shall say, that for sheer brain, Jeeves, you stand alone. All the other great thinkers of the age are simply in the crowd, watching you go by."

To which Jeeves replies (as he so often does through 564 howlingly funny pages):

Thank you very much, sir. I endeavour to give satisfaction."

I nominate Jeeves for God. At least we should let him take a crack at fixing the world's glitches. With two weeks off for shrimping.

The World of Jeeves, P. G. Wodehouse, is available at

Friday, August 11, 2006

More Helpful Tips on Traveling in Terror Times

Welcome to "The Gods Are Bored!" Jump under your desk and put your hands over your head! Don't you hear that Republican siren? We're all toast, I tell you, toast! Especially if legally-elected Democratic candidates like Ned Lamont, a Mr. Softee on Terror, get into power!

Thanks for the public service announcement, Dick Cheney and Joe Lieberman.

You know what I hate? Suitcases. Especially those big ones that you lug to the airport check-in, and they promptly send them to Singapore instead of Milwaukee.

Here's a handy tip I learned from Going Greyhound, where they leave your bag in Uniontown and your destination is Cleveland.

Don't take a suitcase at all when you travel. Take the clothes on your back, your wallet, your passport, and the car keys.

When you get to your destination, have the cabbie take you to a department store. The seasonal clothing is always on sale. Buy a few things. Wear them while you're vacationing. Then, either dump them or put them in a box and mail them to your home address.

The Postal Service is slightly more reliable than Greyhound.

If you have the money to fly to London, book a hotel, and toddle out to Stonehenge (lucky sod, you), then you've got the money to get some togs. And if you're even a luckier sod and plan to take a train from London to, say, the Scottish Highlands, just use the good old shopping bag they give you in the store. This has the added bonus of making you look like a citizen out for a shopping spree in the city.

I have actually done this from time to time.

I've left a few threads of clothing in the homes of family members I visit frequently, too. Do they mind if my extra "El Paso Buzzards" t-shirt and some undergarments are stowed in their crawlspace? Nope.

For my legions of foreign readers who don't know what Greyhound is, here you go:

This one is considerably smarter-looking than the ones I used to ride.

Tomorrow: A new "Dummies" series! We're gonna put the Science in Creation. Send us the Creation you want proven. If you have the name of the god or goddess, that would be helpful.


Thursday, August 10, 2006

Sulfa Denial

Welcome to "The Gods Are Bored," the single most godly site on the whole World Wide Web! Come see us on Bingo Nite and test your skills against ancient, forgotten pantheons!

This was one of my mother's favorite jokes:

"What's the best form of birth control?"

"Dunno, Mommie Dearest, what is the best form of birth control?"

"Sulfa denial." HA HA HA HA HA HA HA! Get it? HA HA HA HA HA!

We're not exactly going to talk about sulfa denial today. But let's take a look at self denial.

Admittedly, we at "The Gods Are Bored" haven't flown very much on planes. Probably less than a dozen times in our lives. We have never been abroad. We wonder how other people can afford to travel like that. They must not have electricity in their houses.

But we have Gone Greyhound pert near halfway across America. And we have done some fasting, occasionally for spiritual reasons and occasionally out of sheer busy schedules.

So, how long can you go without eating or drinking? Assuming, of course, that you're not crawling naked across Death Valley.

Do you think you could go 24 hours without a sip of water? Might not be pleasant, but would it kill you? Again, location matters. Death Valley, maybe. United Airlines Flight 666, doubt it.

I'm inspired to make this observation by the recent discovery of terrorist liquids hidden in beverage containers. Here we go with another Republican "I told you so!"

To which I reply: "Can't people fly on f#$@# planes without slurping down beverages or snorting up food?

Gosh, what a loss it would be to miss that little bag with 3 peanuts in it! Or the delicious t.v. dinner that makes hospital food look and taste five-star!

You need to fly somewhere? Eat, drink, and be merry before you board. Then settle in for a little self-denial. Look at it as your patriotic duty, as your way to thwart Republican fear-mongers.

Can't bear the thought of flying without that little bottle of Seagram's? Okay, here's some of the best advice ever offered in this column of wisdom: Go to the doctor, say you have a phobia about flying, get a scrip, and take a pill before you board. Voila! No more spilling that pesky Jack Daniels on your suit!

You've got a special medical condition, like, say, diabetes? Let them know when you make the reservation. They can pack on supplies for you and you alone.

And for the love of ducks, who packs toothpaste, shampoo, or any product in a bottle except a prescription? Where the hell are you going where they have no shampoo or toothpaste? And if they don't have it there, will anyone notice your morning breath?

You know who has to toughen up in this country? All of us Bubbas and Buffies. A little self denial while aboard an aircraft could save us, oh, say, three or four unneccessary global wars.

Just a suggestion. I don't fly anyway. So go ahead and insist on that bottle of Evian and those peanuts. Just like you insist you need that big SUV to protect your kids. Now get out your checkbook, because it's time to pay for missiles.


Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Another Day, Another Deity

Welcome to "The Gods Are Bored," better known as the Wild, Wild World of Downsized Deities! I'm your host, Anne Johnson. When I'm not hugging trees or judging goats, I talk to gods and goddesses.

Please don't recommend Thorazine. Did Moses use Thorazine? Case closed.

We're proud to announce an interview today with a very wide-ranging bored god (or goddess, we're not sure). Please give a great big "Gods Are Bored" welcome to Ihu, Music of the Spirits!

Ihu: Thanks so much for sharing your space with me, Anne.

Anne: Ah, such lovely sounds! An Egyptian rattle, a deep Amazon Rainforest tribal chant. My, Ihu, you do get around.

Ihu: Well, my name is easier to say than Quetzalcoatyl.

Anne: And easier to spell, too. For that I'm grateful. Ihu, you have the floor.

Ihu: I am here today on behalf of my most recent followers, the Kayapo Indians of Brazil. There are about 7,000 members in my praise and worship team. They live in one of the last large tracts of rain forest in Brazil.

Anne: Oh brother, where art thou? You're going to tell me that developers want to mow down their forests for cow pastures and mine their gold and otherwise just lay waste to that woods.

Ihu: My people have fought that off so far. They can be rowdy, if you know what I mean.

Anne: If you mean they freeze out Christian missionaries by any means necessary, I'm okay with that. You need your praise and worship team.

Ihu: And they need me. There's all kinds of endangered species in that forest. And now the Kayapo face another threat. The Brazilian government wants to build a superhighway right through their territory. And, a dam on the Xingu River, where they live.

Anne: Mother of Mercy.

Ihu: I'm here to petition other bored gods and goddesses of sacred groves and deep forests to come and help the Kayapo thwart these developments. Both of them could shatter the Kayapo's environment: The highway by bringing in squatters and other riff raff ...

Anne: Including those omnipresent Christian missionaries ...

Ihu: And the dam by disrupting the water supply the Kayapo rely upon. Every one of their villages lies on the Xingu River.

Anne: Well, I can't speak for the bored gods and goddesses, but you've made a heartfelt request. The trouble is, many of the bored gods have to work for a living. Will they be compensated for their time?

Ihu: Free parrots. That's about all I can offer. I know I'm asking a lot when I plead with other bored gods and goddesses to use their personal days or their vacation time to come and help out.

Anne: Some nice people do it. And without any religious strings attached too. That would be your basic, Exhibit A tree-huggers.

Ihu: I need all the help I can get. Thank you for letting me vent! Rain forests can't be replaced once they've been cut down.

Anne: Yeah, I know. I'm thinking of those Tall Cedars of Lebanon mentioned in the Bible. Ain't no tall cedars there anymore. It's a desert.

Ihu: My praise and worship team deserves to keep their swath of green.

Anne: I'm with you all the way, Ihu. Calling all bored gods and goddesses! If you've got some time saved up from your job working the cash register at J.C. Penney, swoop on down to the Xingu River and help Ihu!

For you humans out there, this information came from Russell A. Mittermeier:

Sounds like a tree-hugger to me.


Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Believe in Everything

Welcome to "The Gods Are Bored!" We love your gods and goddesses. We love all the forgotten gods and goddesses, the ones who used to get showered with love and now have to work night shift at CVS.

We at "The Gods Are Bored" love being called tree-hugging liberals. Because we hug trees. Really. If you haven't hugged a tree, you ought to try it. It's a living thing, with a Right to Life.

We at "The Gods Are Bored" resent being called "godless liberal." For the love of ducks, it's just raining gods and goddesses on this site! You can hardly move without stepping on a faerie! We host interviews with bored gods and goddesses from every culture on the globe. So, we are emphatically not godless.

We don't try to foist our beliefs on other people. We figure actions speak louder than words. And bumper stickers speak louder than actions.

So, our little 12-year-old economy car is slathered with bumper stickers, the favorite being: "My karma ran over my dogma."

While we respect deities, we have nothing but contempt for politicians at every level of society. Party doesn't matter. They're all the same, case closed.

This comes from our ancestors marching in the Whiskey Rebellion and being shot at on orders of George Washington. Or maybe it comes from running with the likes of William Wallace. Can't trace it back that far.

So, if you need a god or goddess (we admit to favoring The Goddess, she was here first), come and see us. We'll fill your need no matter how esoteric or individualized.

Our operators are standing by to take your call.

AREA 14, STAR 14

Navel-Gazing: Skip This

Welcome to "The Gods Are Bored." Toddle along to my next post so I can navel-gaze, ok?

I dreamed last night that I was home at the family farm in the mountains. My daughters and my sister were there too. My sister, though only five years younger, is a fitness buff. She wanted to take a hike with my kids.

I decided to be lazy and stay behind. But after a few minutes I felt guilty for being so lazy. I got up and started down one of the overgrown but still usable paths on the property. The woods were cool and beautiful, deep and dark.

But suddenly I came out into a clearing. A huge housing development had been built there, one of those ugly ones where every house is the same and the lawns are all sodded and watered and the shrubbery all comes from Home Depot.

I stood in agony looking at this devastation.

There were some children playing in one of the well-groomed yards. They were all dressed exactly alike. (Remember, this is a dream.)

They said to me, "Oh, you came from out of the forest! Do you live up there in the woods?"

I said yes.

They said, "Oh, you must know all about the mountains, then!"

And I said: "I do, and the knowledge will die with me."

I turned around and walked back into the woods, and woke up miserable. I'm still miserable now, so I have to write something funny to perk myself up.

312 Johnson Road
Artemas, PA 17211

Monday, August 07, 2006

The Day I Shook Darth Vader's Hand

Welcome to "The Gods Are Bored!" You could almost argue that this site is perpetually Long, Long Ago in a Galaxy Far, Far Away.

Hecate posted a powerful photograph of Dorothy Vader on her site last week. I especially liked the white breastplate with "Hello Kitty" motif.

Seeing "Dorothy Vader" reminded me about the day I met Darth Vader and shook his hand. So, with no further ado:

I live about 8 miles from Philadelphia. On New Year's Day, Philadelphia has a huge, 8-hour parade called the Mummers Parade. Half the population of the city dudes up in sequins and feathers. The other half turns out to watch. And trust me, the parade is so good that it;s easy to forgo all drunken revelry and get a good night's sleep on Dec. 31, in order to watch the Guys in Feathers and Their Fabulous Strutting.

Exhibit A
Philadelphia Mummer

For a few years in the late 1990s, the city of Philadelphia threw what it called a "Summer Strut" around the 4th of July. This was a shorter evening parade of Mummers in costume, aimed at tourists and families with little kids who don't crave spending 8 hours in the frosty outdoors on January 1.

We at "The Gods Are Bored" just adored the Summer Strut. Especially the daughters, Heir and Spare (designated like royal children for their breeding potential). Spare was young enough during that era to get all excited whenever a Mummer gave her a little feather or any old thing.

Typically for some aspects of Mummers Parades, the line between participant and viewer at Summer Strut was drawn not by behavior but by attire. Meaning, of course, that if you saw someone cute in the parade, you could run out in the street and dance with him.

Now, if you look at Exhibit A above, you will note that this is not the sort of attire one might want to wear on a globally warmed summer night when the temperature is hovering around 85 and the humidity is topping 5o percent. No matter how much fun the Summer Strutters seemed to be having, the heat took its toll.

The final Summer Strut occurred in 2000.

We cannot remember how many Mummers stringbands participated in the Strut. Perhaps about 8 or 9. We remember that it was hot that night in Philadelphia.

We also remember that the Strut was moved ahead a few days to be presented as a welcome to delegates to the 2000 Republican National Convention.

We assume that the Mummers were informed that they would be performing on the street for Republicans from all over the grain-fed USA.

Emmmm hemmmm. Yo, Philly! Let's hear it for Republicans!

One by one the Mummer bands slogged by, noticeably less enthusiastic than in years past. They didn't want to shake a single hand, lest it might belong to some Corporate Welfare Bible-Belter.

And then one final band closed the parade.

The band was led by Darth Vader, carrying his sword. Behind him, in perfect goose-step, marched five rows of those white soldier drones (the ones that always get killed in great numbers while the hero gets away).

This band did not play any music. But it had to be one of Philly's own, because no mere freelance Mummers could have gotten such authentic costumes in such numbers, and marched with such precision.

So, being the wild woman I am, I rushed into the street. I strode up to Darth Vader. And damn, the closer I got the sorrier I was to be such a wild woman, because he was the tallest, broadest dude I'd ever seen.

Screwing up my courage, I extended the right hand of fellowship and said to Darth Vader, "Welcome to Philadelphia, we hope your convention runs smoothly, and please enjoy your stay."

He shook my hand and strode on. I had to leap out of the way of those white storm troopers and make my way back to the curb.

I had spoken loudly enough that the other parade-goers around me heard what I said. I got hugged, high-fived, and free beer-ed to the max.

Remember, this was 2000. Before the current administration had an opportunity to unfold its game strategies.

So that's how I met Darth Vader. I stared that sucker in the eye (I think. Where is his eye, anyway?).

I wasn't born in Philadelphia. I don't have any family in Philadelphia. Half the time when I drive into it, or see the skyline from a distance on the freeway, it looks like Mars to me. But I know that inside its neighborhoods are people who think like me and who have more grit than a Death Valley sandstorm.

Republicans in town? Let's dress up like Star Wars and give them the welcome they richly deserve.

Yo, Philly. You rock.

AREA 14, STAR 14

Saturday, August 05, 2006

Good News!

Welcome to "The Gods Are Bored!" We tip our hats to little cats!

We're pleased to announce that Casey Jones has found a home!

Casey was found on a railroad track. He was about 10 days old. His eyes were still closed when the Animal Control lady brought him to me. Now I wish him happiness in his new home, a long nine lives, and precious memories of his "foster mom."


Friday, August 04, 2006

More On Mel

Welcome to "The Gods Are Bored!" Everything you ever wanted to know about goats and the people who love them!

A quick bit of business. About 2 years ago, I wrote a screenplay called "My Dear Goat." My husband has some connections (vague) in show biz, and "My Dear Goat" has passed through the hands of several producers. I would say it got as far as third base when a big star's manager loved it, but the star's agent didn't. So. Most recently, "My Dear Goat" is about to be sent to one of the co-producers of my favorite movie, Finding Neverland. Please ask your god or goddess or many thereof to push "My Dear Goat" along!

Actually it's not called "My Dear Goat." It's called "Embassy Row."

Today's topic: Mel Gibson.

I've tucked into plates of crow before on this site. And today there's some more crow to eat.

Yesterday I compared Mel Gibson unfairly to Cheech Marin. And that's vintage "Gods Are Bored." Mean, mean, mean.

Alcoholism is a terrible disease, not only for the person who has it but for his or her family. And if a person behaves like Mel Gibson did in public, one can only imagine how he behaves in the comfort of his home, with his wife and many, many children.

Loathsome as his drunken ranting was, we should all pray for Mel Gibson. He is clearly troubled. May the Goddess (he would know her as the Blessed Mother) help him to heal.

So Might it Be.


On Monday: Back to form. My adventures with Darth Vader.

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Mel and Me

Welcome to "The Gods Are Bored!" We're pagan and poor, with the wolf at the door, and ants on the floor that are hard to ignore! Scroll down, por favor, for our "World of Homes Tour!"

Here's a handy tip to get rid of pesky ants: Leave a bottle of maple syrup in a cupboard with its flip-top open. Those pismires check in, but they don't check out.

Please don't ask how I discovered this fact.

Today's topic: Mel Gibson.

Say what you want about art imitating life. Did you ever think he'd really become a Road Warrior?

There's nothing particularly novel about ordinary folks like you and me being strongly influenced in life by the actions of movie stars. On screen, off screen, behind the camera, you name it.

For the love of ducks, I can't get my daughter The Spare to stop saying, "'Ello, Poppett." She's seen that cheesy Pirates of the Caribbean movie four times, and that's her favorite line.

If I look across the Hollywood pantheon, I can't see a single actor or actress who's had a more profound effect on my life than Mel Gibson.

I can't give Mel all the credit for pushing me out of the Christian fold. But he definitely opened the door and shoved. He might have used one of those battering rams from Braveheart.

Mel said he made Passion of the Christ, rated R for extremely gory violence, to bring people into the Christian church.

Sound logic. I think Martin Scorcese made The Godfather to bring people into the Mob.

(OOOOPS! That would be Francis Ford Coppola. I'm a goat judge, not a film buff. Credit Mr. Johnson with the save.)

There was something so unseemly, so sickening, about the whole concept of Passion that I was appalled. The fact that it was so widely embraced, not only by fundamentalists, but by supposedly mainstream pastors like the local gent at the Methodist Church, made me lose sleep at night.

My daughter The Heir was in eighth grade when that movie came out. She was 13 and in Confirmation class. The youth pastor demanded that the entire Confirmation class attend the film. I wouldn't let my daughter go, and that was that.

The night the Confirmation class attended Passion, I rented some wholesome family entertainment on DVD: Cheech & Chong's Up in Smoke. Hey, who cares about that R rating anyhow?

Plus, you don't hear Cheech Marin say he made Up in Smoke to bring people to ganj.

I believe Passion of the Christ was inspired by bigotry, a sense that "my religion is the only religion, and the rest of you can go up in smoke." So am I surprised that our famous Road Warrior gave vent to his philosophy under the influence of Tequila?


But I thank him for being such a bigot, because his celluloid foray into the New Testament sent me in search of the bored gods and goddesses.

And for that I will be eternally grateful to Mel Gibson.

You've gotta feel sympathy for a man who's spending his 50th birthday in rehab. Heck, even Cheech Marin is doing better than that.


Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Lughnasahd/Green Corn Celebration

Welcome to "The Gods Are Bored!" Have you hurled a dragon today? Why not? It's Lughnasahd! Are you tucking into some fresh sweet corn, drenched in butter, held by those dumb little plastic, corn-shaped holders? Better thank the bored gods for that grain. It's Festival of the Green Corn!

Two different parts of the world, one big Holy Day. The Celts celebrate Lughnasahd, the first gathering-in of crops, with a festival honoring Mother Earth Danu and Goibhniu (never spell that one right, took me months to get Chonganda), Great God of Brewing. Finally we're sure there'll be enough grain to make bread and that other important staple, whiskey, through the cold months.

The Native Americans celebrate Green Corn. The corn in question is, of course, maize. That was their staple crop. In the days before Columbus and his little friend Smallpox, the Green Corn Festival was the biggest holiday on the Native American calendar. Same reasons as above, except that the Native Americans didn't have a bored god of whiskey brewing because they didn't invent White Lightning.

(Fast fact for the day: When we say "corn," we mean "maize," i.e. sweet corn. But in Europe prior to 1492, "corn" referred to barley. There was no maize in Europe prior to 1492.)

So, let's be thankful to our gods for their bounty! And have some fun doing it! If you've never tossed a dragon, today is a good day to start. (Those mitts you use to extract the Pillsbury Slice n Bakes from the oven are very helpful.)

Exhibit A
LlynHydd Grove Dragon

Nowadays as most of us tuck into our Thanksgiving dinners on blustery November afternoons, there's a small little something we've forgotten that was evident to the Celts and the Native Americans.

Sometimes harvest doesn't happen.

It rains too much. It doesn't rain enough. A late snow nips the peach buds. Locusts roar through. Mold, blight, rust, weevils, worn out soil ... climate change.

One little blip, harvest doesn't happen.

Oh, Anne. You're so morbid.

Think so? Try this: If harvests could be counted on with absolute certainty, why would Homo sapiens have covered the globe? Gosh, why pick up and move if the crops are good in your valley?

So, if I may be so bold as to predict why Green Corn and Lughnasahd evolved into such revelry-filled events, it's because you can't always count on a harvest, and when you get a good one, you are as relieved as all bloody git-out.

I come from a long line of hillbilly farmers, and they were a fretful bunch indeed until they got the hay made and the apples picked.

The point of this rambling? We're a nation that takes harvests for granted in an era when we should be fretting. Those amber waves of grain may be baked before they leave the field. And the corn'll be as high as a jackrabbit's eye.

If we keep on hacking down forests and pumping CO2 into the air, a Lughnasahd may arrive with no barley.

Are we smart enough to keep that from happening?

Maybe we should ask Danu for help. That is, after we've thanked her for what she's already done.