Wednesday, February 28, 2007

The Buzzard Shaman Prepares to Suffer for Her Faith

Welcome to "The Gods Are Bored," the only place on the World Wide Web to find dancing vultures, cats that blog, and any and every god or goddess ever to grace the prayers of mortal humankind!

Is it a secret around here that Anne worships vultures? Ahem, you must be new to this site. Hey, welcome! Want a piece of pie?


We all know that to be a good missionary and proselytize properly, one must suffer.


I am ready to put my life and limb on the line for the Sacred Golden Purifier.


Two days ago I introduced you to the Buzzard Mascot outfit I plan to wear to the sold-out East Coast Vulture Festival. Isn't it fabulous?


Today the doggone thing arrived in the mail. It looks even more awesome in person (or I should say, "in buzzard"), but ... ah, you religious folks ... be careful what you wish for. You just might get it.


The head is made of fur. I can't breathe and see at the same time. The "feathers" weigh at least 40 pounds. Whoever made this thing was certainly creative. But that person must also have foreseen no indoor use for a buzzard costume. Once I get to the indoor activities (including the spirited shamanic dance), I am gonna collapse with heat stroke.


Yo, I'll deal, yo. Cuz u ain't 4 yr religion if u can b psyched.


If ancient Native Americans could go on Vision Quests and fast and suffer while awaiting a sign from their deities, I can honor the Sacred Golden Purifier by donning The Suit.


Yo, bring it on, yo.


FROM ANNE
THE BUZZARD OF WENONAH

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Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Fait Accompli

Welcome to "The Gods Are Bored," the premiere site on the World Wide Web for vulture worship and sound tips for furniture restoration!

It's 10:55 p.m., and I'm just back from Wenonah, NJ. I spent the evening rehearsing buzzard dance steps to the epic hymn, "Dead Skunk in the Middle of the Road."

I'm proud to announce that the East Coast Vulture Festival is entirely sold out. Three hundred -- count 'em, 300 -- tickets sold. We're going to show this world how vultures can make life better! (Or at least cleaner.)

What a gift to me from the bored gods. If this event were being held anywhere within a 100 mile radius of my home, I would have made plans to attend. As it is, it's a 30 minute drive, I've gotten to meet fellow vulture enthusiasts, and ... oh, very best of all ... I get to participate!!! I am so psyched I can hardly see straight!

Oh, may I make proper homage to the Sacred Golden Purifier (aka turkey vulture)! In Vultures We Trust.

My cat Beta helpwwd mw rqirw this entry.

FROM ANNE
THE MERLIN OF BERKELY SPRINGS

Monday, February 26, 2007

In Which Anne Swears

Welcome to "The Gods Are Bored." If you're already having a bad day, better click off here and go see Dora the Explorer or something.

There's a book I haven't read, but I love the title. It is:


Another Bullshit Night in Suck City, by Nick Flynn.

Inspiring. Because there are days, let's face it, when all of us pull up to the curb in Suck City, park our cars, hit the sidewalk, and get flattened by a nearby bulldozer.


Today was one of those days for me. It was a day in which I contemplated the rest of my life and saw a one-way ticket to Suck City as I stepped onto Platform #9.


Regular readers know that such bouts of self-pity don't wash around here. Tomorrow we at "The Gods Are Bored" will be back to our sassy selves. Sort of. Maybe. Oh hell, who knows?


We're betting on "maybe." Because tomorrow night at the ungodly hour of 8:00, I travel to Wenonah, NJ to rehearse a Buzzard Dance.


The following is just to cheer myself up. Go directly to Dora if you want sure-fire happiness and light.


Anne at East Coast Vulture Festival, 2006






Anne at East Coast Vulture Festival, 2007




If those people in Akron don't mail me this Shamanic Vulture Garb, I'm gonna get on a plane, fly out there, and escort them to Suck City to keep me company.

FROM ANNE
CORNER OF DAMMIT AND ALLTOHELL STREETS
SUCK CITY, USA

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Sunday, February 25, 2007

And the Winner Is ...

Welcome to "The Gods Are Bored," stain-free furniture since 2005!

Is there anything more boring than the Academy Awards? I polled the most bored gods and goddesses I could find today, and none of them are going to watch it. And that's even with a pagan-themed movie up for best foreign film (Pan's Labyrinth).

I believe it was The Dagda who told me he'll be sorting his socks while the Oscars are playing. He says if I think my faerie infestation is bad, wait until I get to Sidhe. His socks disappear at an alarming rate.


See what I mean? He can't even put two together. Has to wear sandals.

FROM ANNE
THE MERLIN OF BERKELEY SPRINGS

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Saturday, February 24, 2007

Black History Month

Welcome to "The Gods Are Bored" in the final days of Black History Month!



I was once at a Daughters of the American Revolution event, and I heard one blue-haired lady grouse to another: "Do you remember when February used to be American History Month? This 'Black History Month' stuff is just terrible."



Okay, so now the Marian Anderson thing is getting old. Yeah, the D.A.R. wouldn't let her sing in their auditorium in DC, but that was, oh, 70 years ago. Dissing Black History Month is so much more cutting edge.



I've been getting some good-natured ragging in my English class because Black History Month is almost over, and the whole time (give or take a few snow days and holidays), we've been doing a step-by-step research report on insects. When the students don't feel like finding reasons to hate houseflies, they say, "Hey, isn't it Black History Month?"



Yes indeed, and these students have probably been writing reports on Marian Anderson every February since they were in first grade.



That's no excuse, though. I promise, bright and early this coming Monday morning, we're going to read African American poetry. It's high time.



Today is Saturday, though. And I'm just back from the movies. I like to go to movies alone. Do you? Some people say that's weird.



The movie I just saw is called Amazing Grace. It's a British production. I went to see it because it got three stars from the local critic, and it's a period movie. (I love period movies, because even if they're boring the gooey gowns are worth the price of admission.)



Amazing Grace is not boring. AND, even though it's about the slave trade, it's rated PG.



(I once had to turn off an HBO special about the African slave trade because of the graphic descriptions of torture. My loyal readers know me to be so squeamish I rarely attend movies rated R for violence.)



Anyway, the movie is about this righteous dude named William Wilberforce. Accent on the righteous. Wilberforce was moved by his religious faith to devote his life and health to abolishing Britain's ties to the African slave trade.



That faith, of course, was in the Big Old God, the busy one who is never bored.



Sometimes we here at "The Gods Are Bored" get pretty snarky about B.O.G. (For one thing, his book needs a serious edit.) Then we tend to forget that a great deal of good has come from people of faith in this particular deity. Wilberforce appealed to the clergy and the religious people in his nation, and they listened.



This, of course, was not the last time a man invoked B.O.G. in petition for redress of grievances for people of the African diaspora.



So, I think awesome Chonganda gave me an afternoon free of parental and spousal responsibilities so I could go and see a movie that reminds me not to throw out the baby with the bathwater. Faith in a deity can bring out the worst in people, but it can also bring out the best in them too.



If you're a Darwinian evolutionist like me, you understand that we are all African if we dig deep enough around the roots of the good ol' family tree. So, on Our History Month, let's try to treat everyone with respect and justice, and keep all furniture free from pesky, hard-to-clean stains.



FROM ANNE
THE MERLIN OF BERKELEY SPRINGS

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Friday, February 23, 2007

Anne's 25 Million Dollar Idea

Welcome to "The Gods Are Bored," looking to get rich and instead barely scratching an itch! If you're rolling in money, yo. Share, already. My email is in my profile.

I read on Hecate's site that someone is offering a $25 million reward for anyone who can come up with an idea that will put a stop to global warming.

That's a big challenge. I put my thinking cap on, but I came up empty. So of course it became obvious I'd have to consult a bored god. And here he is. Please give a warm "Gods Are Bored" welcome to The Green Man!

Anne: Green Man, you lived through the temperature anomaly back in 1000 AD that allowed the Vikings to settle Greenland. Is this different?

Green Man: Yes it's different. For the love of buttercups, there were only a couple million people on the planet in 1000. Now humans are packed so tight that a rise in sea level's gonna be one big f***** deal.

Anne: (I don't dare tell a god to watch his language.) Emmm ... Green Man, Your Majesty. I did have a modest little idea for decreasing the CO2. Let me run it by you.

Green Man: Please do. By the way, did you know you have hyacinths coming up in your garden?

Anne: Yeah. Only two months too early. Anyway, here's my idea. My daughter The Heir and I were out in the neighboring suburb. We noticed that some of the largest mansions have a thick, unruly grove of trees in front of them. Now, in the wintertime (such as it is), you can barely see the mansions through the scrub. But in the summertime, you wouldn't know there's a house there at all.

Green Man: I'm getting your drift.

Anne: So why don't people let those stupid, over-watered, over-fertilized, over-pampered green grassy lawns go to seed? Don't mow the doggone lawns! The first year you'd have meadow. By the third year you'd have tree seedlings. By the tenth year you'd have a thick scrub. In twenty years, all the shade you could ever want, and no outdoor maintenance except picking up kindling you can use for ritual bonfires!

Green Man: Or marshmallow roasts.

Anne: Or both.

Green Man: It's just that easy, too. If all subdivision suburbanites just said "toodle-oo" to their fields of green, parts of America would re-forest in a hell of a hurry. You know all about that, don't you?

Anne: Yep. When I was a teenager on my grandparents' farm in Appalachia, there were three big meadows. They're gone. They're now three indistinguishable pine forests, soaking up CO2 and spitting out oxygen. So, Green Man. What do you think? Could I qualify for the 25 big old bucks?

Green Man: If you could combine that with stopping the people in the tropics from mowing down rain forest for cow pastures, you might be onto something. Say. While I'm here, I want to know what the hell is going on with this mountaintop removal on my favorite mountain range?

Anne: Don't put me in a sucky mood. It's Friday and I want a beer. I can only solve one big problem a day. We can tackle that one another time, I hope.

Green Man: I hope so too, because I am big time pissed at Big Coal, knocking down venerable old mountains created by Danu and Bile.

Anne: Get outta here. The Appalachian Mountains were made by Celtic deities?
Green Man: The Scottish Highlands are the same mountain range as Appalachia. It's all this complicated plate tectonics and stuff. I leave all of that to the Goddess. I just supply the flowers.

Anne: Getting back to my re-foresting the suburbs idea. The one downside I can see to it is tree roots getting into plumbing lines and basements.

Green Man: Oh yes, that's a problem all right. Until you factor in the possibility that your species might suck down all the oxygen before you have to worry about a backed-up sewer line.

Anne: Sold! I'm on the plane to Geneva. Or wherever it is that they're having the big global warming contest. Thanks for the feedback, Green Man. Will we see you at the 2007 faerie festival at Spoutwood Farm?

Green Man: Goddess willing and the creek don't rise.

Anne: Please give my regards to the awesome Celtic deities. They're swell.

Green Man: They like you too. I'll see you in a few weeks ... if not sooner.


I thought it was a good idea. But it never hurts to check with an expert.

FROM ANNE
THE MERLIN OF BERKELEY SPRINGS

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Thursday, February 22, 2007

I Do


Welcome to "The Gods Are Bored," where love is always in the air! Bored gods and goddesses put it there, for all to share. It's only fair.

Last night at 12:01 EST, the state of New Jersey began to conduct civil union ceremonies for gay and lesbian couples. We at "The Gods Are Bored" applaud this action.

Yes, we know ... we know ... it falls short of the magic word, marriage. For now, though, it's a giant step for loving couples who want the same legal protection that is accorded to straight people.

We at "The Gods Are Bored" think that marriage is a state of mind, not something intoned by a priest or slapped on some fancy, flower-bedecked certificate. (I've got one of those. It makes me laugh.)

We've heard of people who got divorced before they had paid off all the credit card debt they ran up for their fancy weddings. Was that marriage, or just a day where you pretended to be Barbie and Ken?

We at "The Gods Are Bored" are proud to live in a state with a big, broad, flexible outlook. We feel that civil unions will enrich our neighborhoods with great folks and bring sadly-needed tax revenues into our coffers. We're going to get plenty of gay people moving into our state. And that is great!

I don't know about you, but truly I will sleep more soundly tonight, knowing that my fellow citizens of New Jersey are all entitled to the same state rights that I'm enjoying. And the rest of it is none of my business. No gay person has ever stained my furniture, so why should I barge into their private lives?

Yours from the Great Blue Northeast,

ANNE
THE MERLIN OF BERKELEY SPRINGS

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Tuesday, February 20, 2007

RU Raptor Ready #2: Free at Last


Welcome to "The Gods Are Bored," or, if you prefer, Buzzard Central. We just can't understand why anyone would refuse the life-changing opportunity to worship vultures.

And yet, day after day, we go knocking on doors, spreading the message of hope and purity, and people just look at us like we're weird. We even wear nice clothes and offer free vulture feathers. Not one convert. It's disheartening.

We guess Buzzard Heaven is going to be one wide-open playground. A few Egyptians, a few awesome Native Americans, and lots of magnificent aerial bliss.

Go ahead. Sit on your old cloud with your harp. We'll buzz right past ya. (Pardon the pun.)

This just in from Buzzard Central:
The East Coast Vulture Festival will feature a moment of worship that will kindle a flame in the coldest heart.

Last week a wounded vulture was found in the vicinity of the festival. The sacred bird was too weak to elude capture. It was taken to a wildlife rehabilitation clinic. There it has improved day by day. It is almost well.

On March 3, as part of the Vulture Fest, the wildlife rehab people will release the restored vulture so it can return to the flock. It probably has pair-bonded with a mate who has been searching frantically for it.

In the great grand scheme of things, one rescued vulture doesn't amount to a whole lot. That is, of course, unless you worship vultures. Then it's nothing short of a miracle. Who says miracles can only happen to people? Anything done for a Sacred Golden Purifier is an act of worship!

A quick note: It is illegal to keep vultures as pets. If you find a stranded baby vulture, leave it alone. Its parents are probably close by. If you see a wounded vulture, call Animal Control.

Another quick note: I guess it's a damn good thing it's illegal to keep vultures as pets, at least from my point of view.

FROM ANNE
THE MERLIN OF BERKELEY SPRINGS

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Monday, February 19, 2007

RU Raptor Ready #1


Welcome to "The Gods Are Bored," where snark is a lark! When life is dark, kindle a spark.

Yeah, I know it's easier said than done. My life is dark too.

Every year between Imbolc and Equinox, we at "The Gods Are Bored" examine the sadly under-utilized religion of vulture worship. We are gearing up for the East Coast Vulture Festival, the only collective Buzzard Appreciation Event east of Hinckley, Ohio.

If you missed our series on Buzzard Worship last year, we invite you to check out the old archives and ground yourself in buzzard basics.

Just a quick "for instance": Wouldn't you be honored to worship something called the Golden Purifier? That's what turkey vultures are called in their Latin nomenclature. I don't know about you, but Golden Purifier sure sounds celestial to me.

My beloved grandfather was a lifelong Southern Baptist, very devout. When he died and was laid out in the funeral home, the pastor of his church came to talk to my dad and my uncles about the service. As always seems to be the case (or curse) at funerals in my family, this good Baptist pastor was a young fellow who hardly knew Granddad at all. The pastor did not know my father or my uncles, not even a little bit.

So the pastor gathered Dad and Uncle Superior and Uncle Diaspora into a little office. It must have been crowded in there, because they left the door open. I could hear every word.

And of course the pastor began as all pastors do. "What would you like me to say about Mr. X?" he asked. (Can you believe it? Damn pastor didn't even know that everyone always called Granddad "Zeb.")

There was a pregnant pause, which surprised me. Both Dad and Uncle Diaspora are great talkers. Uncle Superior could engage in a conversation on any topic under the sun and know more about it than the experts. But for a moment all three were at a loss for words.

Then my dad said: "Well, emmmmm. This is what I think. Human beings model their understanding of God upon the relationship they have with their parents. I have always felt that God must be a great deal like Pop."

(At this point my dad choked up and had to wait a moment before pursuing his philosophical statement.)

Dad added: "I've read the Bible all my life, and really you don't get a clear picture of God from reading it. He seems different in different parts of the book. But I've always felt in my heart that He must be kind, and gentle, and slow to anger, and eager to figure out vexing problems, and quick to forgive. Because that's how Pop was."

A silence descended in that room. You could have cut it with a knife. If I hadn't been sitting wake by my dearest granddad's coffin, I would have burst out laughing. To this day I wish I could have seen that Baptist pastor's face when confronted with the heresy that people base their worship of deities on the behavior of other people around them, especially their parents.

If pastors were allowed to say WTF, I think that one might have uttered it.

Anyway, I waited for my uncles to chime in with their opinions, but neither one of them said anything. And I took that as silent consent. Because as I say these weren't men of few words when they got going.

My dad was a very intelligent man. I mean, look around at the various pantheons of bored gods. Look at the behavior of the popular modern gods. Look at the way they're drawn or painted or sculpted, for the love of fruit flies. Most of them look a heck of a lot like people, give or take an extra set of arms or some horns and a tail.

So, if I might be so bold as to say so, it takes a true leap of faith to be an animist and worship some creature that isn't a thing like a human, in looks or behavior.

Ack, forget you read this. I was probably just a vulture in a previous life or something.

FROM ANNE
THE MERLIN OF BERKELEY SPRINGS

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Saturday, February 17, 2007

Fighting Impure Thoughts

Welcome to "The Gods Are Bored," where every road map takes you to Sin City! Or is it Cincinnati? We're terrible with directions.

One of the bloggers in my sidebar is a very bad girl. Every Friday night she posts pornography. It's so graphic I find myself dropping everything and careening off to the gym for an hour of over-pumped stationary biking.

What is this Internet, that people can post detailed photos of goat milk fudge and the recipe too? In my granny's day, such things were kept in locked kitchen cupboards and shared only with the closest of kin.

I'm all for fighting fire with fire.
EXHIBIT A: THE CURE FOR FOOD PORN ADDICTION


O ye who fear an addiction to food porn, absolve yourselves! Drink this holy potion, yea verily especially first thing in the morning. In just two or three short weeks, you'll forget you ever tasted goat milk fudge. As for me and my house, we will follow the Tab.

I think this is what they used to cure Pastor Haggard of his little problem.

FROM ANNE
THE VERY, VERY AWAKE MERLIN OF BERKELEY SPRINGS

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

The Rapture Race

Welcome to "The Gods Are Bored," where you're a school kid, and every day's a snow day! Go get your sled, pal, and let's ride!

Rapture is right around the corner, you know. The only question is, which one?

On the one hand, you've got the growing body of ChristiNazis who aren't sure whether they want Jesus or Hitler to return. Then you've got the New Saxons who are still seeking that perfect nation of blonde, blue-eyed purebreds.

Saxons and Christians invading with the idea of turning you into them, or else?

Okay, with apologies to all my gentle goddess readers, there's only one way to fight this invasion. We need to pray for the immediate return of King Arthur.

Remember, in the oldest legends ... errr ... scientific sources about King Arthur, his mortal remains went to Avalon. From there he will return to claim his immortal kingship! I'm not making this up. It's in the literature.

If you forget that part of King Arthur's history, it's okay. Generations of clergymen have tried to pass King Arthur off as either a myth or a living human who died just like the rest of us.

I've got news for you. He will return. If Jesus can do it, then King Arthur can do it too. No one knows better than we at "The Gods Are Bored" that resurrection is part of every god and goddess's playbook. They learn how to do it in school.

A quick recap for those of you waffling between which Rapture you'd prefer (Jesus's or King Arthur's).

Jesus told his followers to go out and make everybody worship him. Jesus advocated nonviolent approaches, but you know how it is. You get a few hundred years in your pocket, and violent and/or coercive conversion tactics seem perfectly acceptable.

On the other hand, King Arthur understood that he would have to find room in his house for folks of many religions and races in order to fight off the invading hordes of Mono-Thinkers. He was all about inclusion. There's no reason to believe he wouldn't hold to that course during his Second Coming.

So, be on the fence no more! Choose the polytheistic, race-uniting King Arthur and his Knights of the Round Table, and especially his Lady of the Lake! Here's a Rapture we can live with.

King Arthur, please come and rescue your people -- there are so many more now, all living in fear of the death of their freedom. They're of all races and all genders, and they need your defensive prowess and your sensible governing practices.

So, get it on King Arthur, and hurry! The ChristiNazis and the New Saxons want us to burn. Only you can stem the tide.

FROM ANNE
THE MERLIN OF BERKELEY SPRINGS

Monday, February 12, 2007

Do U Remember Middle School?

Welcome to 7th grade, courtesy of "The Gods Are Bored!"

Here's just one small part of tonight's assignment in just one course area, geography:

1. Find the absolute and relative locations of Panama and its capital city.

2.List all the countries and bodies of water that border Panama.

3. Write a sentence describing the relative location of the country.

4.List at least two human characteristics of the country.

5. What climate(s) are found in the country? Describe with details.

6. What is the most recent population of Panama? List the various ethnic groups found there.

7. List at least three physical highlights and/or landforms.

8. List the capital and two major cities and their most recent populations. What sites are especially noteworthy in each city?

9.List the natural resources, agricultural products, and chief industries of Panama.

10. What type of government is found in Panama? Explain.

11.What is the name of the currency used? How does it compare to the U.S. dollar?

12. What physical or recreational activities can a visitor do in Panama?

13.What major manmade changes can be seen?

14. How has man used the natural resources?

15. How has the country used technology to make better use of the land or natural resources?

Stop Here! There are TWO MORE FULL PAGES, plus documentation of 4 sources in MLA format!

Well, it could be worse. My daughter The Spare might have gotten Russia.

Saturday, February 10, 2007

Cookbook Update

Okay, I'm a goat judge, not a public relations specialist.

I talked up a cookbook and didn't tell you how to snag your own copy.

Here's the destructions:

1. Mail $12 in any format along with your name and address to:
Citizens for Smart Growth in Allegany County
P.O. Box 401
Cumberland, MD 21502

I promise they will not start sending sweet-faced college kids to your door at suppertime. You'll just get a lil' ol' Granny cookbook flung into your mailbox. Yum yum. Eat, drink, and be merry, for tomorrow you may goose-step ...

Emmm ... that's in the depressing post underneath this one.

All They Need Is a Hitler

Welcome to "The Gods Are Bored," officially sanctioned by the International Federation of Gods and Goddesses (IFG&G) since 2005!

Decibel the Parrot and I are home alone this evening. Mr. Johnson took the daughters to a family party in a faraway locale. It's too cold to go buzzard-watching, so I'm going to catch up with a topic that I've been meaning to address for a few weeks.

We at "The Gods Are Bored" cannot speak for every Christian who has decided to leave Christianity for another faith. But one small component of our decision to bolt from the Bible was the fact that we found ourselves in church surrounded by people who didn't seem to be getting it. By "it," I mean Jesus Christ's central message of separation from the affairs of state in order to contemplate (at whatever cost financially and socially) the Great Divine.

Put more simply, true Christians should not vote, although they should pay their taxes. They should not seek retribution for any grievance, be it a shooting of little girls in a one-room Amish schoolhouse or a bombing of a pair of New York high rise buildings with thousands of innocent souls inside.

Jesus said the meek will inherit the earth.

I guess we could give Jesus credit for some future vision of a globally-warmed earth boiling the meek into dehydrated submission. But I don't think that's what he had in mind.

Decibel the Parrot has had his bath, and after I'm finished up here I'm off to the mega-bookstore to buy a book. It's called American Fascists: The Christian Right and the War on America, by Chris Hedges. Mr. Hedges has a degree in divinity from Harvard University and is the son of a Presbyterian pastor.

In his book, Hedges demonstrates that the Christian right is not "Christian" at all, but instead a large group of politically-motivated people who have not found security in the new global economy. These people find comfort in a mass movement that promises them a better future after the Rapture.

That's not enough, though. Two things happen to people in this movement:

1. They fall victim to smoke screens. They focus on issues like gay marriage and teaching evolution in schools rather than the forces that are disrupting their lives, like the burgeoning costs of the war in Iraq and the tidal wave of job losses to cheaper overseas markets.

2. They want to use the government as a tool to turn their particular beliefs into law.

No, I'm not smart enough to think up fancy stuff like this. Chris Hedges proposes all of the above in his book.

Then he goes one chilling step further.

For this next part, you'll need to dust off those black boots and spruce up your goose step.

Hedges writes that all America needs is a severe economic depression or a major terrorist attack to set these so-called "Christians" into Heil Hitler mode. Remember, the aforementioned dictator came to power in Germany at a time when the German economy was in the tank. And he never won over ALL Germans, just ENOUGH Germans to subdue the dissenters. The Germans who didn't care one way or another just went along for the ride.

Chris Hedges envisions a future America built on a "Christian" fascist model, in which "good Christians" spy on their neighbors to make sure everyone is living a "moral" life. The morals being legislated, of course. Anyone found in violation of the legalized "morals" would face penalties.

"Pish tosh," you say. "Anne, why don't you try a little light reading, like Harry Potter or something? Our U.S. Constitution would protect us from fascists."

Emmm hemmm. Excuse me if this is spelled wrong, but the Brown Shirts burned down the Reichstag. Germany was a technologically forward nation filled to the plimsol line with university-educated citizens. No one stopped the fascists there.

Even before Mr. Hedges came along with his book, I had been thinking about an old-time politician named William Jennings Bryan.

Let's leave behind the fact that Bryan, an ardent Christian, would find precious little common ground with today's Christian Right. Let's just imagine that someone as charismatic, and as dedicated, and as magnificent at speechmaking, came along in troubled times to lead America both politically and spiritually. Now let's imagine that this charismatic political/religious leader accepted the Christian Right agenda.

Okay, I'm even scaring myself. Where's my blankie?

A handful of my legions and legions of readers might think that "The Gods Are Bored" and Mr. Hedges are overstating the case.

Think again.

I invite you to take a look at Exhibit A below. I can't link to this guy's blog, "R U Rapture Ready," for some odd computer-related (or fae-related) reason. So I'll copy and paste. The author's name is Alberto Trippe:

EXHIBIT A: CHRISTIAN FASCIST

Beware you liberals, I am back and I am mad as heck at what has happened to our country.We God-fearing America-loving Christians are not going to let you flag-burning bleeding heart tree-hugging liberals destroy our country with your anti-gun pro-homosexual agenda.NO, NO, NO!Don't even begin to think that we will accept this with no fight!Get ready because there are a lot of us and we are really mad at what you and all you phony baloney limo-liberals are doing, or well attempt to do with this God-blessed Christian nation.

Lest you think the above Exhibit is satire, I assure you that I have been following Mr. Trippe's posts for some time. Every time a commenter proposes that he must be joking, Mr. Trippe responds that every word he writes is dead serious.

Please excuse me now. I've got to go find my blankie. Or my passport. Or both.

FROM ANNE
THE MERLIN OF BERKELEY SPRINGS

Thursday, February 08, 2007

My Very Strange Bedfellow

Welcome to "The Gods Are Bored," lovely liberalism lavishly applied! Blue isn't good enough for us. We say, Go Green!

Today when I came home from work, there was an email waiting for me from a reporter at Fox News in Baltimore.

Yeah, well, there are more than 341,000 Anne Johnsons in the U.S.A. Some of them must watch O'Reilly. Sure as hell not me.

Then I read the reporter's note: "Please call me if you're the Anne Johnson interested in Terrapin Run."

Bingo. That's me. I called Fox News. Me. Anne Johnson, calling Fox News. Geez, it's like taking lunch with Darth Vader.

But wait. Let's not jump to conclusions here. The only thing we at "The Gods Are Bored" jump to conclusions about is the indisputable fact that ALL POLITICIANS CURRENTLY IN OFFICE ARE POCKET MONKEYS FOR THE RICH, RICHER, AND RICHEST.

The kind young reporter alerted me to a sneaky bill that will be introduced in the Maryland State Senate on February 20, just a mere 3 weeks before the issue of Terrapin Run (a little stream trying to avoid becoming a sewer hole) was to be taken to Maryland Circuit Court.

I rapidly directed the kind young reporter to the head of Citizens for Smart Growth in Allegany County.

Here are the two kickers:

1. The reporter at Fox News said: "Yes, we're ultra-Republicans, but we oppose this bill and the ramifications it has for the environment in Western Maryland."

Anyone with this attitude is welcome in my circle of friends, no matter where they may be employed.

2. Big kicker: The reporter tracked me down through this blog. Oh yes, I am proud to say that Fox News firewalls "The Gods Are Bored," but he found a computer that lets him read about Zeus.

And so my magickal quest to save Terrapin Run and its environs from townhouses, asphalt, shopping centers, and fatal deer-vs.-SUV encounters has found an ally in ... drum roll ... Fox News.

Yeah. I've pinched myself black and blue.

FROM ANNE
THE MERLIN OF BERKELEY SPRINGS
SAVE TERRAPIN RUN!

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Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Morel Values


Welcome to "The Gods Are Bored," serving savory suppers since the seventies! I'm Chef Annie. Are you interested in hearing tonight's specials?

For appetizer, we have Morels Baked in Cream.

We're also offering our signature Corn Crabmeat Soup.

Our salad tonight is Winter Fruit Salad with Lemon Poppy Seed Dressing. Of course all of our salad dressings are made from scratch.

Tonight's entree of choice is Roast Loin of Venison with a juniper berry and white onion reduction, served on a bed of fresh baby spinach tossed with goat cheese and Tuscan olive oil.

Got that? Don't forget to leave room for Lemon Verbena Cake.

Okay, if almost all of this sounds like dressed-up hillbilly food, you're absolutely correct. And you're just dying for the recipes, aren't you? You were wondering what to do with that deer you ran over last week.

All of the above (with the exception of the fresh baby spinach bit) come from a brand-new cookbook called I've Got to Have That Recipe! It's a collection of homestyle recipes from distinctly rural and ruggedly Appalachian Allegany County, Maryland.

You can own a copy of this magnificent and quite original cookbook for just $12.00. Just click "Save Terrapin Run" in my sidebar, and you'll find your way to an order form.

For about the last two years, my magickal quest has been to help the Citizens for Smart Growth in Allegany County preserve the rural character of the county. This rural character is steeped in morel values. It deserves to be taken seriously.

What threatens the morel values of Allegany County is developers. One wants to build a full-sized town of 11,000 people where there's nothing now but ... morels. How im-morel is that?

This new town would be called Terrapin Run, after the tiny little dry branch creek that the 4400 housing units would destroy. Because of course 11,000 people are gonna have to go to the bathroom. When they flush, the water has to go somewhere. That somewhere is going to be Terrapin Run, a tributary (however small) of the Potomac.

This could be devastating for the morels of Allegany County. And if you think that doesn't matter to you, well. You've never had morels to begin with.

The Citizens for Smart Growth in Allegany County have to pay a lawyer to fight the big city developer who wants to build the town. Have you noticed that lawyers don't come cheap? Even high-minded, well-meaning ones?

In short, please buy a cookbook to Save Terrapin Run.

You won't find any recipes for morels on this site. As for morals, I'll tend my own, and you tend yours. If you want to let your furniture get stained, that's fine with me.

FROM ANNE
PLEASE HELP SAVE TERRAPIN RUN

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

You're Kidding Me!


Welcome to "The Gods Are Bored!" Peer-reviewed by fabulously intelligent and open-minded superior individuals since 2005!


The karma's been rippin' poor for me since I didn't take Imbolc seriously and wrote that silly haiku with the faeries whispering in my ear. Thankfully, something has happened that raises me once again in Brighid's favor.


Queen Brighid the Bright has a brand new little nanny kid named after her. You can read all about Bridey the Goat here.


Rosanne, the author of "Smokey Mountain Breakdown" (now in a sidebar near you) has earned top "Gods Are Bored" honors for her aptitude with goats, especially under trying circumstances. If you want to know about goats, don't ask me. I don't talk shop on this site. Rosanne is your best bet.


Those of you not interested in goats will be drenched in desire when you see Rosanne's special brand of porn.


(I just lost my entire male audience.)


For you girls left behind, you'll be pleased to know that I suggested Rosanne name her newest kid Bridey, and she took me up on it. I'll be judging that goat someday, and I'll bet she takes the blue.


I've never had any lasting trolls at this site. I've read other blogs full of horror stories -- threats of bodily harm, name-calling, cursewords. But here at "The Gods Are Bored" I've made friends I'll probably never see face-to-face ... but you're alive and you know who the hell you are.




FROM ANNE

THE MERLIN OF BERKELEY SPRINGS

Monday, February 05, 2007

What Luck! It's Puck!


Welcome to "The Gods Are Boarded Up!"
When does a faerie carry a cherry to Ben & Jerry in Tipperary? When Hairy Larry doesn't need it on the prairie for nary a Mary nor a Gary! Don't be wary ... come and tarry! I'm extraordinary!

My name's Puck. It rhymes with ... emmmmm ... ahem ... oh yeah, Duck!

I've been away many a day from the lair of A.J. But hey, that's okay, she's bad pay anyway.

A.J.'s so sad and blue. And there's one thing she can't do. And that's write a poem or two. She tried a haiku. It died, boo hoo! The bored gods want to sue. Or to cook A.J. as stew.

She's feeling it now. And how. Transgression, confession, depression. Dejection, rejection, alienation of affection.

But she's in luck, cuz here comes Puck! She'll be unstuck from all her muck.

Just remember: It's always better to be mucked up than to be f ..... emmmm .... screwed.

A RHYME JUST IN TIME
FROM PUCK THE SUBLIME

Saturday, February 03, 2007

Awesome Imbolc Poetry


Welcome to "The Gods Are Bored!" When the bored gods close a door, they open a window. And that's how that ugly wasp got in your shower stall.

Some people will feel that we at "The Gods Are Bored" are rather irreverent when it comes to religious feeling. Yesterday was Imbolc, for the love of fruit flies, and we made light of it. (pardon the double entendre)

It's our position here at "The Gods Are Bored" that even heaven can be humorous and that what makes us laugh makes us lighter. We're not big on solemnity here, and we don't prefer heavens that accent the devotion and eliminate the emotion.

We also can't write poetry. Our example in the previous entry proves it. We got two lovely lines, and then we had to turn the thing over to faeries to finish. On a Friday. After a long week of work.

Fortunately, we at "The Gods Are Bored" do read other bloggers. Two of them, both Appalachians with all the gifts that word implies, created awesome Imbolc poems. Here's the entry from Buddy Don, the Wandering Hillbilly:

Brigid

Upon a day that legends say hog shadows can fortell
The ending of the hoary winter season,
A child was born one early morn between heaven and hell,
Between the warmth of spirit and cold reason.

The year was old, the winter cold, yet tiny shoots of grass
Still bravely pierced the hardened frosty rime –
Their shoots unbowed they stood the vow that like the newborn lass
The spring would quickly grow and reach her prime.

For from that start twixt head and heart a small girl bathed in milk
Would grow to be the saint of three great arts –
She would exalt distiller’s malt, weavers craft, poet’s ilk –
All treasures from the soul’s liminal parts.

Our faith is clear in times most drear, when earth is bleak and frigid –
The gods did send a guide, a friend, to all in lovely Brigid.

I don't know about the rest of you, but I hear Appalachia all over this. Beautiful.
I encourage my readers to visit Buddy Don at "Wandering Hillbilly." When he's not posting poems he's posting photography or political commentary, all of it right nice stuff.

Not to be outdone, another of my favorite daily reads, Tennessee Jed, took a coffee break from his job repairing lights on a big bridge and wrote this charmer:


The sun fell away autumnal

So your forecast is worth

When your view is successful

Vernal sun of spring birth

Oh bone aches are dreadful

Small creature humble in Earth

Solaris cure this head full

Weather provide me my mirth.


If you want you some righteous poetry, just ask a hillbilly, wandering or otherwise.

(I didn't ask Jed if I could use his poem, I hope he doesn't mind.)


FROM ANNE
THE MERLIN OF BERKELEY SPRINGS

Thursday, February 01, 2007

Imbolc 2007


Welcome to "The Gods Are Bored," your cosmic cornucopia! A blessed Imbolc to one and all!

Imbolc is the Celtic holy day dedicated to the Goddess Queen Brighid the Bright, keeper of home and hearth, guardianess of the forge, and Muse of creativity. She also plays a mean game of Monopoly, and she will make you pay if you land on Park Place. Don't try to dodge.

In honor of Imbolc this year, many pagan bloggers are posting poetry on their sites. Alas and alack, I've had no time to peruse the 986 verses I've penned about turkey vultures to find an appropriate entry. Sadder still, the poet whose poem I wanted to use (as it is one of the most wonderful "Mom" poems I've ever heard) never got back to me about it. I ain't postin no poetry without permission.

So the faeries and I pooled our talents. And since one of the locals was the great Nick Virgilio, famous for his haikus, we decided to praise the Goddess with an awesome haiku.

Here goes:

Darkness of winter
Made warm by the bright Goddess.
Now it's Miller Time.

When we have haiku readings in Camden, we always say the poem twice:

Darkness of winter
Made warm by the bright Goddess.
Now it's Miller Time.



Thanks be to the faeries, and have a wonderful Imbolc!


FROM ANNE
THE MERLIN OF BERKELEY SPRINGS
(BURP)
"Kyrie," by Seitou. Godlove's Liquors, Hagerstown, Maryland, photo by author.