Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Happy 101st Birthday, Alice B. Toklas!


Welcome to "The Gods Are Bored," where you should not feel so all alone! Everybody must get .... emmmm ..... never mind.

Today is the 101st birthday of Alice B. Toklas, famous companion and beloved of writer Gertrude Stein. In honor of the event, my daughter The Heir and I will toddle into Camden, New Jersey tonight for our monthly meeting of Pizza and Poetry. It's Alice B. Toklas Night.

I baked some brownies for the occasion. I haven't tasted them yet. They don't have ganj in them. It's illegal. And we at "The Gods Are Bored" aren't big on breaking the law. We can't gas up the car, so where would we get money for reefer ... and the fines you have to pay if you're caught with it? Forget it.

At the same time, we at "The Gods Are Bored" are strongly in favor of the re-legalization of marijuana. I say re-legalization because pot wasn't made illegal until the 1930s, largely due to a PR campaign against it by newspaper magnate William Randolph Hearst. (Hearst wanted to sell his pulpwood for newspaper production and therefore wanted the cheaper, more environmentally sound hemp taken off the market.)

Recent studies have shown that today's super-strength weed, consumed in quantity, causes brain damage. Ya think? Well, if something's illegal, it's unregulated. You don't know what's in that baggie, son. Steer clear.

However, if pot was legal, it would be inspected by those masters of efficiency, the Food and Drug Administration. The skunk hybrid stuff would be out, and the more benign cannabis in. Bought in packs. With filters. Must show valid ID, etc. etc.

Benign? Yes indeedy, the old-time stuff was benign. Just ask George Washington how he cured his toothache. Midwives used it to ease labor pains. And given the choice between a confrontation with someone who's toked and someone who's been downing martinis all evening, I choose the toker. Every time.

Pot causes brain damage? Probably. But so does booze. I would tell you how booze causes brain damage, but I can't remember. Ah, but this reminds me to go to the totally legal liquor store and buy a bottle of wine for Pizza and Poetry! If I don't forget. I think you see my point, but if you don't, I'll have forgotten making it by tomorrow.

I'm not going to hold my breath until reefer gets legalized in this country. So on to the other Alice B. Toklas crusade.

Alice really, really, really loved Gertrude. And vice versa. They had fabulous parties and fabulous friends. Like Picasso. It seems Picasso enjoyed their company so much that he gave them a couple of paintings. Which Gertrude's family legally confiscated from Toklas at Gertrude's death. Alice died a pauper.

For the love of fruit flies, can't we recognize gay couples with the same legal protections we fling at straight couples? Is that asking too much, Kansas? A little old-age security for someone whose dying words were, "Will I see Gertrude in heaven?"

Oh yeah. Gay people don't go to heaven. No, wait. False. False. False. Gay people are warmly welcome in Sidhe and also by the Greek pantheon. So if you're gay, just pick a queer-friendly heaven. It's not hard to do.

And while you're alive, as far as we at "The Gods Are Bored" are concerned, you should be rewarded for fidelity to a partner the same way myself or Mr. Johnson will be rewarded when one of us passes on, leaving the other to make his own coffee (or mow her own grass).

Hoping Alice B. Toklas would approve of this post I remain,

Your faithful servant,

ANNE J. JOHNSON

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Tuesday, April 29, 2008

A Plague on Both Your Houses

Welcome to "The Gods Are Bored!" Whether you worship Elvis, Freya, or the Salmon of Wisdom, you're welcome here! We've even reserved a section for people who crave diet soft drinks of yesteryear. A toast to TaB cola, beverage of champions!

The faeries have hidden my copy of Deliver Us from Evil, by Cindy Jacobs. But that's okay, because I finished reading it recently, and good riddance.

Mrs. Jacobs, a prophetess who is in every way occult herself, only in service to Jesus, wrote Deliver Us from Evil to warn good Christians about the perils they face from the Pagan Menace. What happens, though, is that by the end of her book she all but admits that real evil doesn't come from Wiccans, but from nasty folks in her own rank and file. Oh yeah, and from kids who read Harry Potter. Let's not forget Harry Potter.

Mindful that this is the 21st century, I have to ask you: Did you know you can curse someone to death? Me neither. This is news to me. But according to Cindy Jacobs, you can actually throw a death curse on another person, and they'll keel.

Sounds like she's reading Harry Potter on the sly.

I'm having trouble believing this death curse scheme. Wouldn't George W. Bush, Dick Cheney, and the lady who writes parking tickets downtown all be pushing up daisies by now? I don't deal out death curses myself, but I'm sure there are at least two or three Americans who have wished a lingering plague upon the Bush and Cheney households.

As for the parking ticket gal, I actually heard a citizen tell her he wished she'd just go die. She didn't even break her stride. There were more tickets to write.

Mrs. Jacobs has personally survived two death curses. She described how it feels to get hit by one: inability to breathe, certainty of imminent death, cold chills, immobilization. It took serious prayer to bring her back from the brink.

I once had symptoms like that, and fairly frequently. Took some mild anti-anxiety medication to bring me back from the brink. Except I never was on the brink. I recognized the symptoms of panic attack. They aren't pretty, but they can be tamed.

There's a lot of cold shit in Deliver Us from Evil, but one of the coldest passages is Mrs. Jacobs's warning to people going into hospital for surgery or other medical emergencies. Apparently this moment of peril is when you're most likely to get hit with a death curse.

As if being sick isn't bad enough, you gotta worry about someone cursing you to death? And this is the religion of a third of the human population of the globe? Why?

Well, I can answer that one. Because the vast majority of Christians aren't wingnut morons, that's why.

If you are ready to believe that a person can wish death upon you, and then it happens, perhaps you've never raised a teenager. My daughter The Spare once told me she hoped I'd die soon so she could have all my stuff! How come I'm still breathing?

Maybe death curses don't work right away, at least if you're not already in Intensive Care for something else. Maybe they just get stored in a curse databank, and when you're 87 ... boom! Curse hits, party over, outta time.

Mrs. Jacobs says the only way to work up immunity to death curses is to be on perfect footing with Jesus. Which makes me wonder how she suffered through several of them. Maybe she had a weak moment and allowed herself to read a couple of chapters of Harry Potter.

Let's leave the death curses right where they belong: in moldy old writings by long-dead dudes like Shakespeare. And Saint Paul.

Enjoy all your days,

FROM ANNE
THE MERLIN OF BERKELEY SPRINGS

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Monday, April 28, 2008

Remarkable Feat of a Very Small Faerie!


Welcome to "The Gods Are Bored," a faerie-friendly site! My name is Princess. I'm a faerie. Do you like my hat? Why, thank you. Yes, I love it too!

Let me tell you a fabulous new fairy tale, one you've never heard before because it's just unfolding!

Once upon a time, not so long ago, Anne and her daughters (The Heir and The Spare) went to visit Anne's sister for a two-night stay.

Anne wouldn't let me come, or Puck, or Aine. We are her main faeries. Anne told us we wouldn't be welcome at her sister's house, which wasn't telling us anything we didn't already know. But we didn't want Anne going there without any faeries at all, so we enlisted another local fey, a trickster named Mimsy, to watch the backs of Anne, Heir, and Spare. Mimsy went along on the trip and hasn't come home since.

Last Friday evening, Anne's sister called and left an urgent message. When Anne called her back, Anne's sister said:

"Don't think I'm going to be mad or anything, because it isn't important, but could one of your girls have tried to lift Granny's hand-made ceramic butter dish without knowing the bottom comes off? Because the top is in the display case, but the bottom is gone. I'm just wondering if The Heir or The Spare might have broken it and didn't want to get in trouble, so they didn't say anything."

I was sitting across the room, idly tugging on the cat's whiskers. I could see Anne's blood starting to boil as she held the phone. Anne stayed quite calm as she explained to her sister that The Heir might have been interested in looking at an old hand-made ceramic butter dish, but she would have immediately apologized for breaking anything. The Heir apologizes even when she hasn't done anything wrong, just to keep in practice. (Gotta break her of that habit.)

Then Anne called upstairs, where The Spare was instant-messaging her pals. The Spare admitted that she had gotten into some of the cupboards, but only to look for dog food when the doggie was crying. She said she didn't touch the ceramic butter dish. And why would she? The Spare's like me: If it isn't jewelry, or cute clothes, or makeup, or perfume, or bathing supplies, or nail polish, she can't be bothered.

I'm sitting there listening to this sisterly phone conversation, and I remember that Mimsy went along on the trip and hasn't returned.

Get this: After explaining that the only other person to have been in her kitchen was a nice church lady who comes to walk the dog sometimes, Anne's sister asked Anne:

"What about your faeries? Could they have done this?"

Just like that, she pinned it on us!

Can't say I blame her. If a demon had gone for that butter dish, the demon would have hurled it against Anne's sister's head, or at least against one of the 50 portraits of Jesus in the house.

Anne stayed very calm. She said: "If the faeries took it, you'll find it somewhere in the house, unharmed. It might take you years, but one day it'll turn up."

A very reasonable response, don't you think? Because I could read Anne's mind, and what she was thinking went more like this:

"How dare you accuse my grown daughters of breaking something in your house and then pretending they didn't do it! Just because my kids aren't being raised Christian doesn't mean they're being raised without morals and manners. And what makes you think they'd want to paw over an old butter dish, way up high in a cupboard, made by someone they never met? And what makes you think faeries are any more devious than church ladies who walk dogs?"

Anne suggested that since it was only the bottom of the butter dish that had gone missing, maybe her sister should just go and get some generic butter dish bottom and put the top part on it, because the top is all you see anyway, way up in the cupboard. And then Anne's sister asked Anne to buy the butter dish bottom, because Anne goes to flea markets all the time.

The cat swatted me across the room at this point, and I could actually hear Mimsy laughing through the phone line. But Anne wasn't laughing. She was insulted.

Perhaps you haven't noticed, but take it from me, Princess: It doesn't take much to insult Anne. She's one of those easily-offended people. Fortunately, she bloviates and bitches awhile, and then she gets over it.

However, I know Anne has vowed not to buy any butter dish parts for her sister, except if the dog-watching church lady admits to snooping and breaking crockery. Because that's what happened. The church lady picked up the butter dish, and then Mimsy tripped her, and the dish broke, and Mimsy helped her clean it up and take the pieces away in her car. I've known Mimsy for years. That's the way she works.

I wish Mimsy would come home, but I'm kind of interested to see what happens next. Anne's sister might ask her pastor to exorcise the house, at which time they'll find little Mimsy sitting upstairs in the night stand, right by where Anne was sleeping!

The End (for now)

FROM PRINCESS

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Sunday, April 27, 2008

My Daughter The Who






Welcome to "The Gods Are Bored," and merry meet! We have an exciting time here in Whoville. We like the Grinch better when he's mean. He's more interesting that way. Any old Who can carve roast beast. We wanna see someone steal Christmas!


For those of you just joining us, a brief explanation: At "The Gods Are Bored," I call my daughters The Heir and The Spare. This is because I once saw a documentary on Princess Diana, and some snarky commentator said, "It doesn't matter that Diana is dead. She produced an heir and a spare, and that's all that royalty is expected to do."

Wow. Isn't that the coldest thing you've ever read? So of course it appealed to me when trying to protect my daughters' identites.

The Spare just finished performing Seussical Jr. with her Middle School drama club. And what a production! It was splendid. So this post is dedicated to her.

Here's a piece of trivia for you: I once wrote an encyclopedia entry about Dr. Seuss. It took him a solid year to write The Cat in the Hat. Here's another trivia: His college professors told him to find a different profession, he'd never be an illustrator.

Dear Spare:

Oh the thinks I can think
When I drink in your wink
And you caper and blink
And my cheeks turn all pink!


Your style and your smile
Drain the Grinch of his bile
Like a tile on the Nile
You delight all the while!

The Sneetch is all frazzled
And Horton's bedazzled
Because, my dear you
You're a fabulous Who!

FROM MOM
Who Knew?


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Friday, April 25, 2008

White Magic Friday #2: Go For the Weird

Welcome to "The Gods Are Bored" and our recurring feature, "White Magic Friday!" We are seeking to prove that magic need not be feared, that it can lighten everyone's burden or whatnot.

There's a park near where we live that is dedicated to a dinosaur. When my daughter The Heir was a tot, I took her there, telling her we were going to the "Dinosaur Park." And when we got there, all we saw was a plaque with a picture on it. The Heir said, "Mommy, where are the dinosaurs?"

A few years later the subject came up of the boring dino park. Heir, daugther Spare and I decided to use magic to make the park better.

We combed flea markets and thrift stores for cheap plastic dinosaurs. We made sure we didn't buy any that a kid could choke on. And then, under cover of darkness, we took them to the dinosaur park and put them all around.

About a week later The Heir was out riding her bike. She went past the dino park and saw a mom with two little kids. The kids were playing happily with the dinosaurs. One of the kids asked if they could keep them, and the mother said, "No, they belong here, so that next time you come you can play with them again."

Over the years we've replenished the supply of dinosaurs when it runs low. But here's the magic part of it. Since we started dino-stocking, other people have been doing it too. We always find dinosaurs we didn't buy ourselves. And one time, when some bad demon took each and every dinosaur away, we found that we weren't the only ones re-stocking the site.

So here's our white magic tip for today: If you see a park where you know that kids play, make it more fun for them. Quietly leave some sandbox toys, or plastic dinosaurs. This is a cheap proposition, and it heightens happiness in the world. And even if it's only a little bit of happiness in a small park, it's adding to the conglomerate of worldwide happiness.

Pick a spot. Make it weirdly kid-friendly. Remember to use stuff that kids won't be tempted to put in their mouths. And don't take credit for it. That's the magic part.

FROM ANNE
THE MERLIN OF BERKELEY SPRINGS

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Thursday, April 24, 2008

Thumper Is More Than a Cute Little Bunny

Welcome to "The Gods Are Bored!" C'mon people now, call all your brothers, everybody get together, try to love one another right now!

(Now that's a beautiful sentiment. Maybe I'll write a song and use it as a lyric!)

Back in the day when my mama was alive, she used to complain when people talked about their health. She would say, "Oh boy, I got treated to another organ recital."

Get it? Organ recital?

Mom never did organ recitals herself. At her 70th birthday she announced that she wouldn't live to see 75, and she didn't.

Pardon me while I crack my knuckles and give you a brief organ recital. Because it contains free advice from Annie ... and we all know what that's worth!

I've suffered from a bum hip for a couple of years now, and it wasn't until I was limping like a Civil War veteran that I decided I'd better see what it was all about. It's arthritis. And that's a bummer, because it cuts down on my tap dancing quite a bit.

The limp is caused partly by bursitis. So I went to see this really nice doctor, and he suggested a new alternative treatment called The Thumper. (Not as yet seen on T.V.)

The Thumper is a hand-held device that works kind of like a jackhammer, but on a different scale. A technician puts it on your sore hip, and it vibrates and thumps away at the inflammation. Yes, it does hurt like H-E-Double-L. But when the treatment is over, you feel better. As in, bring on Gene Kelly and two umbrellas, please!

I'm told I'll be getting 8-10 Thumper treatments, and then I'll not only tap but go right back in toeshoes for the local production of "Buzzard Lake." If you haven't seen "Buzzard Lake," I won't give away the plot except to say that you can't do it with a sore hip.

Oh well, heck. Here's the plot: A pretty swan dies, the buzzards swoop in, and after some appropriate sailing, they eat the swan. The New York Times calls it "appalling and compelling in equal measure."

The moral of this sermon: If you have bursitis, you might want to ask around for this Thumper thing. After only one treatment I'm springing forth like the crabgrass.

FROM ANNE
THE BAMBI OF BERKELEY SPRINGS

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Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Demons vs. Faeries

Welcome to "The Gods Are Bored," where faeries can wreck a day faster than you can say, "How did that garbage pail get in my way?"

In a previous post we discussed demonic possession of furniture. (See below.) Author and Martin Luther wannabe Cindy Jacobs notes in her book Deliver Us from Evil that demons can possess your ottoman, especially if it belonged to someone else first.

Demons belong to the Yahweh pantheon, so we at "The Gods Are Bored" don't worry about them.

Faeries are another matter.

This morning as I began brewing the old cuppa tea, I casually mentioned to the faeries that we will not be able to attend the outstanding Fairie Festival at Spoutwood Farm this year. I will be away part of that weekend, and on that Sunday my daughter The Heir has been invited to be the Dancing Bear at a Maypole in honor of the Grateful Dead. (Gosh, I'll have to get some pictures of that.)


Hearing this, the faeries went into bad overdrive. They hid the lemon for my tea. They incited Decibel the Parrot to projectile poop in most dramatic fashion. And then they clogged the toilet so thoroughly that even Mr. Johnson's superior strength with the plunger has not corrected it. They made today's work longer and harder than it needed to be, and now I'm coming down with a cold.

All of this is classic faerie. Unlike demons, they mean no real harm. They're past the stage of leading lovelorn gentlemen off into bogs to drown. Likewise they've given up the bad habit of stealing healthy infants and replacing them with changelings. Nevertheless, they hate to be thwarted and will seek revenge in a thousand snippy little ways.

The only way to set faeries straight is to threaten them. And so I hereby issue this warning to my faeries: "Stop being bad, or else you will be locked in a dresser drawer throughout all upcoming Beltane events!"

You would think something immortal like a faerie would understand the concept of "wait until next year."

FROM ANNE
THE MERLIN OF BERKELEY SPRINGS
Faerie: "The Rebel," original artwork by Seitou.

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Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Perplexed Pagan Parent

Welcome to "The Gods Are Bored," celestial clearinghouse for peppy pantheons! If you're thinking twice before pulling up those baby trees in the backyard, you may be a Pagan. After all, those saplings have a right to life!

And, bye the bye, Happy Earth Day! I'm celebrating by not pulling up the saplings in my backyard. Small as they are, they're helping to stem global warming.

Now back to our regular programming. I've been reading this book called Deliver Us from Evil: Putting a Stop to Occult Influences Invading Your Home and Community, by Cindy Jacobs. And today I need her personal advice, so please bear with me.

Dear Mrs. Jacobs,

As a practicing Pagan parent, I'm having problems squaring my daughters' behavior with what you consider "occult." Let me explain.

My daughter The Heir (eldest, age 18) loves to listen to weird, experimental music like The Residents and Negativland. She just showed me a Residents CD with song titles "I Hate Heaven" and "In Judas We Trust." She says the entire CD is a condemnation of the Bible. And she loves it. She also took me to the University of Pennsylvania to hear Negativland's program, "Christianity Is Stupid."

That's all well and good. But The Heir doesn't drink, take drugs, or have sex. She doesn't mutilate herself or small animals. In fact she raises under-age kittens for the local animal shelter. She's in the National Honor Society. All of her friends are nice, and so is she. I always know where she is and what she's doing, and it's never criminal activity. In fact, she likes nothing better than combing flea markets for old cookbooks from the 1950s and 1960s. She wants to analyze eating patterns in postwar America as part of her college research.

In your book you said that listening to anti-Christian music leads kids to become Columbine-type murderers. I'm just wondering when my daughter's going to get busy with that. I suppose it doesn't help that she hates guns, and we don't own any.

Now here's my other problem: my daughter The Spare (youngest, age 14). She never fails to participate in our Druid Rituals. She usually takes South, but if the smoke is blowing in that direction she switches to West, and then I take South. Anyway, I know it's early in her teens and all that, but she's showing definite tendencies toward being a peacenik. She just wrote a report on the prisoners at Guantanamo Bay and how their detainment and treatment violates the Geneva Convention. And how can I stop her from listening to sappy Broadway music? My computer is loaded with show tunes.

My kids just aren't following the trajectory you spell out in your book as the one and only path any Pagan kid will take. Either you rushed into print without bothering to see if there were any nice Pagan kids out there, or you conveniently overlooked the fact that the vast, vast majority of Pagans are morally upright individuals motivated by respect of self and others, love of justice, and harm to none.

You may want to address this concern in your second edition. Either that, or please tell me how I can turn my sweet daughters into the horrible, hurtful, hateful felons you describe.

Psyche! I wouldn't follow your advice if you were telling me how to get to the corner store.

Sincerely yours,

ANNE
THE MERLIN OF BERKELEY SPRINGS

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Sunday, April 20, 2008

The Devil Made Me Drink That Milk

Welcome to "The Gods Are Bored!" Having a deity dilemma? Do not despair! Dozens and dozens and dozens of deities delight to deliver! Pick a pantheon, greet a Goddess, grin from ear to ear!

We at "The Gods Are Bored" have been reading a little screed against the occult called Deliver Us from Evil, by Cindy Jacobs. (We picked it up at a second hand Christian bookstore.)


I believe Mrs. Jacobs might have set out to attack other religions, like Wicca. But what evolved in the course of her writing was (no surprises here) more of a red-alert against the dastardly deeds of her own deity.

I just finished a chapter on demonic possession. Apparently demonic possession is fairly common in Mrs. Jacobs's circles, and also -- if you can believe anything you read in this book -- in South American countries where missionaries are still hard at work trying to oust bored gods.

It makes sense that Christians would be wary of demons, since demonic possession seemed to be the illness du jour during the Roman occupation of Israel at the time of Jesus. Seems like half the healings Jesus and his disciples did was casting out of demons. Get thee behind me, Satan, and all that.

We at "The Gods Are Bored" believe in demonic possession, but once again we see it as a Christian phenomenon. Why would a demon from the Christian pantheon want to bother with a peaceable Pagan? The demon would be stuck in a body that never went to church.

I've never met a demon, but I'll bet they can't stand sitting around barefoot in the woods singing "Here Comes the Sun."

The more you read about casting out demons in Deliver Us from Evil, the more you begin to ask yourself which religion practices the most magic. Seems like Mrs. Jacobs (who is herself an exorcist) and her ilk do more wizardly work than you'd find in all of Isaac Bonewits's books combined.

What we'll concentrate on today is the serious matter of demonic possession of pussy cats.



Yes, true. Mrs. Jacobs says that if demons can't find a human to possess, they'll settle into poor old Fluffy. In this case she gives two examples from her very own life, where her otherwise sweet little kitty began acting really mean and aggressive and kept acting mean and aggressive until she exorcised it.

When I was a kid we had a rescue cat that was so fierce we actually called it "Devil Cat." That cat would hide behind a door, come leaping out, and scratch the hell out of you. Nor would he back off if you retaliated. He was a bloody, mean-assed cat. I've never seen another one like him that wasn't pure, out-and-out feral.

It never occurred to my good Christian parents to take Devil Cat to an exorcist. My mother never saw bad in any pet, only in her kids. And Dad was a scientist with strong atheist leanings. If asked about Devil Cat, he probably would have attributed the behavior to some backward notion like inbreeding. (We didn't know Devil Cat's biological background.)

So readers, I'm just sending along Mrs. Cindy Jacobs's advice about your pussy cat, and by extension your puppy dog, gerbil, hamster, goldfish, ferret, guinea pig, budgie, canary, and sea monkeys. I would especially be wary of demonic sea monkeys. There's something weird about a creature that comes alive when you shove some dust into saltwater.

Swear to the fruit flies this next part is true. According to Cindy Jacobs, demons can possess your furniture, especially antiques! She had to exorcise the headboard on her daughter's bed.

And they call me crazy when I talk about living with faeries.

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Friday, April 18, 2008

White Magic Friday #1: Hot Rod Nite

Welcome to "The Gods Are Bored!" Oooooo Weeeeeee! That headline sounds half sexy, doesn't it? Well, that's the problem. At my age, I'm only half as sexy as I used to be. And half as good a wage earner, too. But I'm holding my own.

Emmmmm. Mmmmmm. Holding my own? Perhaps I should say I'm still in the game. There's a dance or two in this lame dame!

Thursday brought one of those rare spring evenings that just drive you outdoors and beg you to party on. And it happened that a town near us was having an odd, middle-of-the-week classic car night. So I told my daughters The Heir and The Spare to drop their homework and toddle off with me for an adventure. Which they were only too glad to do.

We went to the neighboring town, and the joint was jumpin'. There was an Elvis-era rock n roll band set up in front of City Hall, and the street was lined with souped-up classic cars.

When we go to stuff like this, I almost always embarrass The Heir and The Spare. The reason: I talk to everyone like I've known them all my life. It's just the way I am. I was raised in a place where everyone did that, and it stuck with me.

So we were passing this totally bitchin' maxed-out rod with a body circa 1962 and an engine stolen from NASA. The owner, a largish fella with a white ponytale and bandanna, was leaning proudly against the machine.

I said to him, "Whoa, this car is bitchin'. How fast does it go?"

And he said, "I don't know. The speedometer's broke."

And I said, "Well, that's an inessential piece of equipment anyway."

And he said, "When the paint starts to peel off her, I know she's goin' fast."

And we both laughed.

To me, this is white magic at work. If you can make a stranger laugh, and he or she makes you laugh in return, the bored gods just shower you with positive energy.

I'm not finished with Cindy Jacobs's nasty diatribe about the occult, Deliver Us from Evil. Not by a long shot. We haven't gotten to the demon-possessed cats yet! But reading this loathsome book has got me determined to share white magic with y'all in order to counteract the widespread notion that all magic comes from de debbil. From now on, whenever I post on Friday, the topic will be How To Improve Your Life through White Magic.

So here's White Magic Lesson #1: Make a stranger laugh.

Please don't use dumb blonde jokes. That really big dude with the white ponytail might have been blonde back in the day.

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Thursday, April 17, 2008

... And Granny Makes It Three!

Welcome to "The Gods Are Bored," where we say, why be an atheist? At least hedge your bet. Choose from one of our fabulous bored pantheons today! What have you got to lose?

Our operators are standing by to take a stampede of calls.

In a previous post, I re-claimed my beloved grandfather from the Christian afterlife. This was a monumental coup, given the fact that he worshipped devoutly his entire life. But, alas, he lived and died a Mason, the Masonic emblem is on his tombstone by his request. Who knew that the Christian "in" crowd, its most highly electable, consider Masons to be a bunch of nefarious necromancers?

Not Granddad, I assure you. But there you are. Occult to the core, he got marching papers to You-Know-Where from that god of his. At which point, I'm certain, a more reasonable pantheon snapped him up.

(This is why it's a good idea to be on speaking terms with every non-binding pantheon, which these days is every and any pantheon that's lost out to Yahweh.)

Being so excited about regaining Granddad, I totally forgot about his better half, my dearest, darling, most beloved, and most LUVVVVVVVED grandma!

If you aren't 103 years old (which Granny would be if she was alive), you might not have heard of Eastern Star. It's sort of the women's auxillary to the Masons. Granny was devoted to Eastern Star. It was her cup of tea. Took the sting out of not being eligible for D.A.R. and all that.




This "Chick tract" would have astonished Granny. She was the kind of person who would have crawled from her deathbed to make a casserole for a church supper. She wore out more Bibles than some people wear out shoes. She wrote a poem about how happy she was to be in heaven at the foot of the Lord, and asked us to read it at her funeral.

BAMMMMP! Sorry, Granny. Not enough. That Satan star is on your grave. You didn't make the cut.

Oh, readers. Next time I visit my grandparents' graves, next time I scale that steep old mountain with my bum hip crackin' and my fist full of Dollar Store flowers, I'm gonna get down on my hands and knees and kiss those "occult symbols" by my most beloved ones' names!

Yahweh, if you're not admitting nice little old Eastern Star ladies, I'd say you've got some mighty big holes in your fishing net.

FROM ANNE
THE MERLIN OF BERKELEY SPRINGS

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Fly on the Wall

Welcome to "The Gods Are Bored!" Did you get your taxes done on time? Remember, the nation needs your money to build democracies in countries far, far, away ... by force if necessary!

Today a momentous event is taking place. Pope Benedict the Whatever is having a private afternoon visit with our Fearless Leader and (one presumes) the wife, perhaps the Vice Fearless Leader and his wife. (But, one presumes, not VFL's gay daughter and her wife.)

So, let's be a fly on the wall and listen in as the Supreme Pontiff chats with George W. Bush et. al.!

GWB: Well, come on in, Mr. Pope! Nice to see ya.

Pope: Always a pleasure, Mr. President.

GWB: And here's my Laura ... say hello to the pope, honey.

Laura: Hello, Your Holiness. Oh my goodness, that's a beautiful robe. Did you see his robe, Georgie? Look at all that fabulous embroidery!

Pope: It's all done by hand, stitch by stitch.

GWB: Well, those Chinese laborers sure know how to work hard.

Pope: No, this is done by cloistered nuns.

GWB: You could get it done cheaper in China, I'll bet. Want me to look into it for you?

Dick Cheney: I'm sure I could find you a cheaper contractor, Your Richness. In fact, I could probably get you all the goods, services, and protection you currently use at half the cost.

Pope: I'll admit it's harder to find good, quiet, sewing nuns these days.

Cheney: Now see? We can help you with that.

Laura: Tea, Your Holiness?

Pope: Yes, please.

Laura: One lump or two?

Pope: Sixteen, please.

GWB: My kinda guy. So, Mr. Pope, how's the weather in France?

Pope: I don't know.

Cheney (to Bush): You mean Rome.

GWB: Oh! My bad. I meant Rome. How's the weather in Rome?

Pope: Quite pleasant. I'm hoping the weather will be nice for my outdoor Mass at Yankee Stadium this week.

Cheney: Not a problem, sir. This gives us an excellent opportunity to test a new secret weapon that alters the weather at the push of a button. We've been using it to stir up storms, but it also works the other way around.

GWB (to the pope): You'll of course keep this a secret.

Pope: Oh my yes. I'll give credit to God for the sunshine!

Cheney: I like the way this guy thinks.

Pope: Since I am the most direct route to God of anyone on the planet, I wonder if any of you would like me to recommend any particular prayer requests to the Almighty?

Laura: They say this mild winter we just had will be hard on the roses out in the garden. Can God fix that for us?

Pope: Consider it done.

(GWB is thinking hard.)

Cheney: I have a little matter that's troubling me. Awhile back I accidentally shot a good friend in the face during a hunting expedition. My friend is going in for plastic surgery. Can you see that it goes well?

Pope: Just ask for the Lord's help and it is granted. Your pal will come out of surgery looking like Cary Grant.

Laura: Oh, I like that one! Honey, do you have any special prayers you'd like the pope to say for you?

GWB: Well, I don't like to seem impolite, but I can't think of a doggone thing I'd want you to pray for on my behalf, Mr. Pope. Oh no, now wait a minute. I've got this problem in my knee, it comes and goes, but you know, I just love mountain biking. Could God patch up my knee?

Pope: Done, good as new!

GWB: It feels better already! I'm a believer, Hail Mary!

Cheney: Your Holiness, the better question might be, what can we do for you?

Pope: Just keep up that wonderful government-subsidized abstinence education! It's a model for the world.

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Tuesday, April 15, 2008

How I Got My Grandpa Back

Welcome to "The Gods Are Bored," waiting, as always, for Rapture! Get it on, God! Think how much more open space we'll have when we raze the doggone ugly megachurches and their multi-acre parking lots!

If you're new here to "The Gods Are Bored," here's our creed: If one god is great, then a bunch of gods and goddesses are that many times better! Teamwork is one of the better qualities of the human race ... and where did we get it? From the godly example of multi-deity pantheons! Choose yours today!

Our operators are standing by to take your call.

That gentle swish you just heard was me opening today's can of TaB cola. It's time for an uplifting sermon.

My grandfather was an extraordinarily superior Homo sapiens. He was born and died on the same Appalachian farm from which his great-grandfather marched to the Civil War. In between he got two years of college, learned how to use a microscope, and became a pioneering inventor in the crowded field of drilling microscopic holes. Innovations my grandfather made to micro-drilling improved gas masks used in World War II. He also put the poly in polyester. (He worked in the synthetic fabric industry.)

Granddad was a religious man. He helped to found a big Baptist church and then attended it and tithed to it with devotion. He loved Billy Graham, and Retired Men's Prayer Breakfasts, tent revivals, and covered dish suppers. You'd think all of this would qualify him as Yahweh heaven fodder, first class.

I'll admit that when I became Pagan, one of the things that vexed me was that I might never get to see Granddad on the other side. 'Cause damn, I loved that man!

Ha Ha! Granddad, we'll be together again anon! Turns out you're a rank sinner, which sets you free for easier pasturage!

I've been perusing a book called Deliver Us from Evil, by Cindy Jacobs. Mrs. Jacobs finds occult influences everywhere. Thank goodness.

You see, my grandfather was a Freemason. He had been in the Masons for years and years. He asked that the Masonic symbol be placed on his gravestone. The Masons performed a ceremony at his funeral.

Who'd a thought the Masons were a bunch of occult, demonic, Satanic, vicious hell-bent skunks? Not me. But according to Mrs. Jacobs, membership in the Masons quickly demotes you from membership in the Grace of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Lake of fire for you, Mason.

(If you're a Mason and reading this, yeah. I'm flabbergasted too.)

But of more interest to me is the other way my grandfather fell into fatal demonic sin. He hired a water witch when he wanted to drill a well.

Maybe some of you flatlanders have never heard of a water witch, or water dowser, or water diviner. These are people who use a wand or stick, and a combination of intuition and divination, to decide where it's best to drill or dig a well. A water witch will walk back and forth across a property with his or her wand, and when the wand points downward of its own accord, that's where the well should go.

It was 1972 when Granddad hired a water witch. Granddad had just retired and was finally putting running water into the little cabin on the family farm that he'd previously only used in the summertime months.

I was keen to see the water witch at work. While my uncle stood by and snorted stuff about the whole process being "backward" and "hillbilly nonsense," I just found it fascinating. And quite worth the fee, too. That old water witch spent the better part of a whole afternoon criss-crossing our steep property, wand always at the ready. In the end, he told Granddad that no place in particular was better or worse to drill, because there wasn't much water to be had under the cabin.

That witch was right. From that day to this we've had water level problems in our well.

But forget the spitting faucet. I got my granddad back! According to Mrs. Cindy Jacobs, the use of a water witch is demonic to the nth degree. (Or would it be 33rd degree? No, that's the Masons. I think.)

So, Granddad. I know you're out there waiting for me. I'm so glad! We'll tour Avalon together, two ancient-as-dirt British Islanders returning to the place of birth.

I'll bring your microscope. It will amuse the faeries.

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Monday, April 14, 2008

Now We Are Three!


Welcome to "The Gods Are Bored" on this, our third anniversary! Gosh! We've lasted longer than a lot of marriages! It must be the great sex.

Hard to believe that three years ago I sat down at this computer and defied all of my previous illiteracy long enough to start this blog.





I've had a lot of great adventures since April 14, 2005. My daughters and I have gotten to know the Monkey Man. I joined a fabulous Druid Grove. I've been to two Fairie Festivals and three East Coast Vulture Fests.

I've interviewed many fabulous bored gods and goddesses: Asherah, Baal, Epona, Mannanan MacLir, Sedna, Chac, and many, many more! All but Mars were quite polite and disinclined to stain my furniture.


My faeries, Puck, Princess, and Aine have contributed their own mayhem to the site. And once and awhile when I'm away, some whiner named "Mr. Applegate" comes and complains about his job.



Never hear me complaining about my job, do you? That's because I don't have one! Thank you, Mr. George W. Bush! Soon you won't have a job either. (What a lovely thought!)

Writing this web log has been a joy for me, a way to make myself laugh and to stick it to the morons out there. Who are the morons? They're people who don't agree with me! Hey. I'm human. And this is my blog. If you don't like me, you can call me a moron on your blog. Which is gonna happen any day, when the fundies catch up with "The Gods Are Bored."

I think the very best part of "The Gods Are Bored," for me, has been all the comments I've gotten from you readers. I love making you laugh, and getting your advice, and hearing from you. Someone proposed marriage to me via email. Another person wondered where to get vulture feathers for religious purposes. I got invited to be on a kick-ass Appalachian web site. I got a "Thinking Blogger" award.

I have even met two of my readers, Hecate and the Wandering Hillbilly. Over the coming year I would love to meet more of you, because I've never had as many friends as I have from writing this site.


So if you want more wicky-wacky-wackadoo mayhem, more essential upholstery maintenance tips, more sensuous writing about ancient diet colas, and more righteous indignation about the Yahweh Oligarchy, join me in 2008! We've got magic to do, just for you!






FROM ANNE

THE MERLIN OF BERKELEY SPRINGS

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Milestones

Welcome to "The Gods Are Bored!"

Mistress Mary, quite contrary,
How does your garden grow?
With silver bells, and silver bells,
And silver bells all in a row.....

Wait a minute. That isn't right. I think Mistress Mary grew lots of stuff in her garden. What a boring garden she would have if it only had silver bells! And if that's true for a garden, isn't it true for religion as well? Become a polytheist! Then you'll get your cockle shells, at least. Maybe you'll pass on the pretty maids all in a row. (Maybe you won't.)

We at "The Gods Are Bored" are celebrating several milestones today.

1. My daughter The Heir has now formally enrolled in college. She will be Class of 2012. And since she had the nerve to choose her own school and bypass all of my brilliant recommendations, I am going to send her to Appalachian State University for purposes of this blog. Go Mountaineers!

2. My daughter The Spare just had her 14th birthday yesterday. We had a party for her at home, 15 rowdy 8th graders, all screeching at the top of their lungs. Decibel the Parrot was in hog heaven. He thought he'd finally found a worthy flock.

The Heir will graduate from Snobville High School in June. The Spare will be paroled from Middle School. Decibel the Parrot, now 22 years of age, is not graduating from anything. You can have him if you want him.

And now ... drum roll ...

3. The Gods Are Bored is celebrating its third anniversary!

More on the latter later. I've just been called to Woodstock Trading Company to evaluate two more crawlspace kittens. I sure hope I don't have to bring them home for bottle-feeding!

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Friday, April 11, 2008

It's Against My Religion

Welcome to "The Gods Are Bored!" Let us entertain you ... let us make you smile ... let us do a few tricks, some old and then some new tricks, we're very versatile! Our faeries glitter ... they're never bitter ... they'll make you shimmer and shine. So let us entertain you, and we'll have a real good time, yessir. We'll have a real good time!

Lately we've been picking apart a Christian tract, and right smack dab in the middle of the process we got a celebrity endorsement. So, many of you newcomers might have gotten the wrong impression. This site's not only about putting the "fun" back in "fundamentalist." We're serious about religion here!

I went to the doctor today, and he wrote a prescription for a painkiller. When I asked him what it was, he said a "non-steroidal anti-inflammatory."

I told him I can't take non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. It's against my religion.

This doctor doesn't know me very well. But considering what I'm seeing him for, we're gonna be sick of each other's stink before I'm finished with him. So he'd better get to know my religious practices.

Between 2000 and 2006, 90 percent of the vultures of India and southern Africa died inexplicably. When you think about it, what the heck can kill a vulture? Food poisoning?

Turns out that's exactly what killed them. Farmers had begun dosing their livestock with ... you guessed it ... non-steroidal anti-inflammatories. Apparently the painkillers were good for cows, but when vultures eat corpses laced with the stuff, it turns the vultures' insides to goo.




We at "The Gods Are Bored" worship the Sacred Thunderbird with great devotion. So I told the doctor that taking non-steroidal anti-inflammatory painkillers would make me inedible to vultures. Against my religion to be inedible to vultures.

Can you believe this made him laugh? The effrontery! Would he laugh if he shoved a slab of ham at a Jewish patient and said, "Dinner's served?"

I tell ya, I can't get no respect.



The doctor pointed out that it's probably going to be a long time before I will qualify as vulture food. And I hope that's true. But you never know. Just ask that possum splayed across two lanes how things stood with him day before yesterday. One must always be prepared to meet the Sacred Thunderbird.

The prescription for non-steroidal anti-inflammatory painkiller is hanging on my corkboard downstairs. I will not fill it. I'll limp around until the X-rays make me eligible for Limbaugh-grade pharmaceuticals, and then I'll get an operation.

In the meantime, does anyone have any herbal remedies for bursitis?



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Thursday, April 10, 2008

Everybody Look What's Goin' Down

Welcome to "The Gods Are Bored," sweating the small stuff with a big, broad, flexible outlook! Asking major questions, like: Why do I forget to get cat food for Alpha and Beta when I go to the grocery store?





Today's Topic: Pastors Led Astray by Black Magic!





We've been examining a little ol' used book I picked up recently. It's called Deliver Us from Evil, by Cindy Jacobs.





I've gotta tell you, reader: I'm reading this thing, and it's like the past four centuries never happened. The word "Pagan" has at its root a word meaning "backward" or "yokel," but trust me on this. Mrs. Jacobs is so far backward she can't even see the end of the line in the distance.





Here's a direct quote, because it defies paraphrase:





"A friend told me a story of a Satanist whom she led to the Lord. He began to weep after his conversion and confessed that he had planted fetishes with spells in them in the yards of churches. His intent was to cause the pastors to fall into sexual sin."





Here in the text, Mrs. Jacobs describes how these fetishes were made. It offends the delicate sensibilities of "The Gods Are Bored" to quote that part. However, to continue:





"My friend went with him to dig up what he had planted. In each case, the pastor had indeed fallen into sexual sin."





And they call King Arthur a myth!





Don't you wish you had a dollar for every pastor who has "fallen into sexual sin" in the history of the Christian church? Me too.





It's a tough job being a pastor. Just ask one. You've got to dwell on all those temptations you teach people to avoid. And you know your parishioners aren't any better at avoiding them than you are, but you ... you have to set the standard.





And doggone it, along comes some Satanic black magician who plants a fetish in your churchyard. Sure enough, the very next Sunday your eyes fall on the well-turned calf of the cute widowed church lady in the front row. Did she just wink at you? Demons, demons everywhere!





So you succumb, and the devoted wife who only fantasizes about you, and only during sex, finds out. And so do the folks paying the tithes. They aren't happy. They think you should step down and go sell used cars, and if you're not willing to step down, they'll provide a shove.





But what they should provide is a shovel. Go dig up that churchyard, inch by inch, until you find that fetish! Because it's not your fault you sinned, it's the work of some Satanic black magician. Maybe you don't even know the dude. But he's gone and ruined your life with a little bit of mud and some other ingredients too gross to mention.





Makes you wonder how the hell we landed a man on the moon, doesn't it?





At the same time that I'm laughing at Mrs. Jacobs and her Snopes-proof "my-friend-told-me" yarn, I'm also keenly aware that the Christian fringe is brimming to the plimsol line with people who really believe this stuff. And that's scary, because these people get to cast votes that decide the leadership of this country.





You know what's just as scary? The thought that someone would read that passage in Deliver Us from Evil and actually go out and bury a stinky fetish in the local United Methodist churchyard. That person gets a vote too. (Of course he probably writes in Ozzy Osbourne. If he can spell "Ozzy.")







Far be it from "The Gods Are Bored" to choose a religion for you. Even so, there are plenty of bored deities out there who view such vile acts with disdain. If Yahweh counts himself among these, why doesn't he collar those demons and put them to work paving a Black Hole?







In the meantime, as a nice little old Pagan lady who takes care of orphaned kittens and leaves yarn out for the birds to use in their nests, who has tried hard never to harm anyone or stain the furniture, who is endeavoring to raise two daughters to be sensible, moral, moderate, intelligent adults, I most deeply resent being considered as foul as someone who would pee on a mound of dirt and bury it in front of a church!







Cindy Jacobs, the worst bad faerie who ever hid a sock is nicer than your faith's nicest demons. Forget all about Wicca. Clean your own damn house.

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Wednesday, April 09, 2008

What a Field Day for the Heat

Welcome to "The Gods Are Bored!" Shut de do, keep out de debbil. Shut de do, keep de debbil in the night. Shut de do, keep out de debbil. Light a candle, everything's all right. Light a candle, everything's all right!

Let's be clear on one thing. "The Gods Are Bored" is not a Satanic or demonic web site. Satan is not bored. He's busy as ... hell. So if you want to gain his ear, please toddle off elsewhere.

What's that? You're a disgruntled teenaged child of fundamentalist Christian parents, you've had it with Father God and his shifting sand rule book, and you want to find a portal to nastiness with Old Scratch? In short, you're Christian, but you want to be Satanic?

You've got the pantheon right. With God goes Satan. Old Scratch is part of the package. And that, young disgruntled teenager, is why you went to a local Wicca gathering and felt cheated. Nice ladies, dancing in circles, waving scarves around, praying for peace in the Four Quarters? You wanted to kill a kitten, and they would have none of it!

What now, teenager?

My guess is that you've tried the family computer, only to find it safely Nortoned against de debbil. So, why don't you look in the family library?


This week we've have a "Gods Are Bored" series on a book called Deliver Us from Evil: Putting a Stop to the Occult Influences Invading Your Home and Community, by Cindy Jacobs. As its title suggests, this is a book for good Christians who are worried, either because they're having sexy dreams about the cute neighbor covered in whipped cream, or their kids are going through pet gerbils a little too quickly.

Follow my logic:

1. Christian mom worries that her disgruntled teenager might be dabbling in the occult, so she buys a Christian book to tell her what signs to look for.

2. The selfsame book, chock-a-block with names of major Satanic groups, heavy metal bands, occult symbols, and lurid details of demonic sexual seduction and murder, finds its way onto the coffee table, only lightly hidden by Highlights for Children Magazine.

3. Disgruntled teenager finds the book. And promptly uses it as a how-to guide for launching a career in Satanism.

This, to my mind, is one of the biggest dangers of a book like Deliver Us from Evil. Cindy Jacobs "exposes" Satanism so well that you could dive right into its worst abuses just from reading her tract.

Teenager, have you heard of the Church of Satan, The Satanic Bible, the Necronomicon, Anton LaVey, the Temple of Set, Aleister Crowley, or Nietzsche? Cindy Jacobs tells you about them. Not with any kind of accuracy, mind you, but she gives you names to research. On Saturday, armed with Mrs. Jacobs's most helpful book, you ride your bike to the public library and ... by cracky ... here's stuff in the encyclopedia about Aleister Crowley, the Illuminati, the Hellfire Club, and Anton LaVey!

Readers please note: We at "The Gods Are Bored" do not consider Aleister Crowley a Satanist, although he took delight in being called one. Nor do we consider the Illuminati a Satantist organization. It's not even really an organization. Unless you're a paranoid fundamentalist, hunting for debbils.

Why, just by reading Mrs. Jacobs's chapter on black magic, I myself learned how to make an ironclad fetish, sure to bring a church pastor to sexual sin if buried in the rectory lawn!

Thanks for the info, Mrs. J., but I'll take a pass. Of course, I'm not a disgruntled fundie teen. I'm a sensible Pagan with morals.

Now you're saying, "Really, Anne. If kids don't become Pagans by reading Harry Potter, are they likely to become Satanists by reading Cindy Jacobs?"

Let's use a local example. My daughter The Heir also uses this computer. Deliver Us from Evil has been sitting here on the desk for a few weeks. The Heir has been reading it in snippets, here and there. She had never heard of Nietzche. She asked me about him. I couldn't give her much of an answer, but by golly the Internet did. I'm 100 percent certain The Heir is not inclined to embrace Nazism, but if she was, Mrs. Jacobs just gave her a superb launching pad.

We at "The Gods Are Bored" denounce Christianity's Satan as a bad blighter. We repeat that he is not a bored god. But if you want to learn more about making him happy, Deliver Us from Evil is a first-class primer on the topic.

And please don't neglect Mrs. Jacobs's fine Appendix of Occult Signs the next time you're off to the cemetery to desecrate graves. Cindy Jacobs, be forewarned: I bought this book in the land of my ancestors, and if their tombstones get slathered with Mark of the Beast signs, I'm gonna buy you a scrub brush and some Mr. Clean and put you to work!

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Tuesday, April 08, 2008

It Starts When You're Always Afraid

Welcome to "The Gods Are Bored," published with the support of viewers like you! NPR - National Pagan Righteousness! Be good, be careful, and be happy. And don't be afraid to take the last chocolate brownie on the plate. How's that for swell advice?

I would be remiss if I didn't thank Yellowdog Granny for all the nice things she said about me and all the great new readers she's sent my way! I like Granny as much as she likes me, because she's not afraid to write out what I often think to myself and keep in my brain for the few times when I need to explode with expletives. (It has happened.) So thanks again, Granny. I have asked the bored gods to give you a great garden this year.

Here at "The Gods Are Bored" this week we've been perusing a book called Deliver Us from Evil, by Cindy Jacobs. Mrs. Jacobs is a Christian prophet and is very concerned about occult influences on good Christian folks who might not be prepared to fight them.

I know you've heard of astral projection, but have you ever heard of astral sex? Oh yes, you have, I guess, because some of those poor witches burnt at the stake back in the day were accused of doing it with demons.

Now you might think that such superstitious stuff fell out of fashion about the time when Galileo proved that the Earth moves around the Sun. Think again.

You know those torrid dreams you have about the gorgeous hunk/chick you see at the health club? Turns out that hunk/chick is astrally projecting into your dreams and having real sex with you! And since all of this is inspired by Satan, astral sex is also responsible for those dreams you have in which you're ... emmmm ... doing things that might be a bit over-the-top for the ol' boudoir. Some demon is sporting with you while you're asleep, and you're waking up and feeling really really grimy.

But wait. That's not all. When you wake up, you want to do some of those grimy things in real time. So you go out looking for someone other than the devoted Christian spouse sleeping next to you who only fantasizes about you, and only during sex! Wow. You are in such a bind! Damned sex demons! They want you to lick Smuckers strawberry jam off your next door neighbor's thigh! They made you dream about it, didn't they? And your neighbor must want the jam, because he/she astrally projected and got you riled in your dreams...

I feel so sorry for the people who take Cindy Jacobs seriously. Really I do.

It stands to reason that the more mundane your sex life is, the more you're going to be ... emmm ... dreaming about weird stuff. And the more uptight you are about the weird stuff, the weirder it's going to be. Go ahead. Blame it on demons. It's really only you, stuck in a wacked religion. Your subconscious is gonna rebel, sinner man.

I bought Deliver Us from Evil at a Christian used bookstore. So it came to me as a used book. And there's just a little bit of yellow highlighting in the book. In fact, only one little prayer is highlighted in yellow.

"In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, I break all the power of all sexual spirits that were sent against me in the night. I command you in the name of Jesus to be gone from me. Father, I now ask that You cleanse me from all the defilement that has come from this demonic attack. In the name of Jesus. Amen."

Whoever owned this book before me had some troubles in the wee small hours of the morning, when the whole wide world is fast asleep.

For the love of fruit flies. The entire Greek pantheon is howling with laughter. Hey. Have some sympathy! The human race is in sexual recession, and you think that's funny?

Gosh, the next time Johnny Depp astrally projects into my dreams, I'm gonna see that he leaves his autograph on the bed table. That would be a win-win situation.

Monday, April 07, 2008

Hooray for Our Side

Welcome to "The Gods Are Bored," positive polytheism, practical parenting, and pestering parrots for peppy people! The world is a harsh place. None of us escape it alive. So do what you can to make your trip enjoyable for yourself and others. And don't sweat the big messes. You didn't cause them, so why beat yourself up?

Today I want to talk about one of my personal favorite Bible heroes, the prophet Daniel. Daniel is a big favorite with the Sunday school crowd because his story is so exciting. He gets dumped in a lion's den, but the lions don't eat him. His three pals spend the night in a fiery furnace and don't even get singed.

I think Daniel always appealed to my inner Celt. Because I was less interested in his lion-taming abilities than in his wizardry.

Yes. Wizardry. The prophet Daniel fits every qualification for a wizard. There's the lion's den bit that we all know and love, but it doesn't stop there. Daniel is gifted with divination. He interprets King Nebuchadnezzar's dream when the king can't even remember it himself! That's Merlinesque. Daniel also has visions of the future that would make Nostradamus proud. And confused. Prophets can be doggone confusing, can't they? Especially when their prophecies are stripped of historical context.

In the little book we've been reading, Deliver Us from Evil: Putting a Stop to the Occult Influences Invading Your Home and Community, author Cindy Jacobs calls all acts of divination the work of Satan. All, that is, except for our hero Daniel. After comparing herself to Daniel and noting that she has been called upon by our nation's government and business leaders for advice, she writes: "There will be prophets who will work with presidents and there will be kings with apostolic gifts to lead their nations."

Just so long as they're Christian prophets, let 'em trance, trance, trance. Know what we wind up with when they're through trancing? The war in Iraq.

We at "The Gods Are Bored" hereby propose a whole new way of looking at Tarot readers, psychics, wizards, astrologers, and prophets.

If your personal psychic is helping your life, she's a good psychic. If she's making matters worse, she's a bad psychic. Her religion has nothing to do with it.

Extra-sensory gifts are nearly universal through cultures, so it's just a little bit unfair to dump all non-Christian experiences of this sort into a file marked "BAD." For one thing, it would make for a very fat file. For another, you might have missed the wizard who predicted that the war in Iraq would be long, messy, and hazardous to human life -- just because that wizard was a traditional Apache shaman, and not a Christian.

As for Cindy Jacobs being called upon to prophesy to our government and business leaders, I just have one thing to say. Perhaps an overnight in the lion's den should be employed to test her worth.

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Saturday, April 05, 2008

For What It's Worth

Welcome to "The Gods Are Bored," where we encourage free-thinking! Make up your own mind about things. Don't wait for the dude next door to tell you what to think. Unless he sees termite tubes headed into your foundation. Then maybe you should trust him.

I've been reading a little book called Deliver Us from Evil, by Cindy Jacobs, that I bought at a Christian bookstore while visiting my sister. And I've been giving my opinion about it, which is my opinion, and you are free to agree or disagree as you like. Just don't stain my doggone furniture.

Mrs. Cindy Jacobs takes aim at the occult in a manner most dramatic, and I'll have a lot more to say about her and her book next week. But tonight, duty calls. My daughter The Spare is having six of her friends over. That's seven 13-year-olds in my living room.

I have a small house. And I'm distinctly fearful for my upholstery!

This morning The Spare was tootling around very early, cleaning house for her guests. (Yeah, go figure.) I got up, and I saw her flicking through the channels on the t.v. She went right past Buffy the Vampire Slayer.

The aforementioned Buffy is a target of Mrs. Cindy Jacobs's ire. I couldn't remember ever seeing The Spare watching the show.

So I asked: "Do you ever watch Buffy the Vampire Slayer?"

She answered: "Ew, no."

I said, "Why don't you like it?"

She said: "Well, it's really gory and nasty, and the girl dresses like a slut."

So, Mrs. Jacobs, if you're looking for someone turned into a Pagan by watching Buffy the Vampire Slayer, you'll have to look elsewhere.

So sorry. I was trying to be helpful.

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Thursday, April 03, 2008

Step Outta Line, The Man Comes and Takes You Away

Welcome to "The Gods Are Bored!" We're easy like Sunday morning. And you know which Sunday morning we mean. The one where you don't have to get up, dress to the nines, and rush off to church!

This week we've had a little series going. We're slogging through a book called Deliver Us from Evil: Putting a Stop to Occult Influences Invading Your Home and Community, by Cindy Jacobs. Today's installment is Chapter Four: "The Witch Next Door."


Cindy Jacobs doesn't like witches. According to her, Wicca is a construct of a slick Madison Avenue con job, and if you don't watch out, witches will curse you. Oh yeah, and Wicca is responsible for all the abortions occurring in America today, because the dead babies feed their demon leader.

Whew. This is one lady I would not like to have over for tea and scones.

The following is a true story.

When I finally could no longer ignore the voices of the Ancient Ones, the deities who had been silenced by the great Christian oligarchy, I had an epiphany and embarked on a new path. I can literally pinpoint the day when I dedicated myself to the bored gods. It was August 30, 2004.

Oh, it was a long time coming, but when it came, it came with an absolute finality. I could feel Queen Brighid the Bright put her hand on my shoulder and say, "King Arthur calls to his people. You are among them."

Within a week of this epiphany, all hell broke loose in my life. I lost the job I'd held (and loved) for 20 years. (The loss had nothing to do with my change of faith.) My beloved dad was clearly dying. And I started limping. A misery in my hip.

The limp has become so severe that I finally got it diagnosed. Eeeesh. Ugly-assed x-ray. Gonna need a new hip socket in 5-10 years, when the bone rubbing against the bone has become so excruciating I can't stand it anymore.

All of this made me wonder if that jealous Yahweh had cursed me for stepping outta line.

No one much follows the Old Testament anymore. You know, stuff like "you shall not suffer a witch to live." If Christians follow their book to the letter, my sister would have to murder me in cold blood.

But Cindy Jacobs tells us on page 73 of her paperback that when Jesus entered the mix, he sort of put the nix to these extreme actions. Real Christians pray that Pagans will come to Christ like good little middle schoolers getting to class on time.

The Salem trials and other burnings? Oh, that's so centuries ago. These modern Christians like Cindy are expected to pray for us sinners and to love us, and to bring us pies. Because God is cursing us. And this isn't the Old Testament God, the smiter of Philistines. This is the New Testament incarnation. Here's Mrs. Jacobs's scriptural proof:

"But even if we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel to you than what we have preached to you, let him be accursed."
(Galatians 1:8)

Thanks, Cindy, for pointing out that God still has his petty jealous streak intact even after torturing his son.

So, for the first time in years, I am about to pray to Yahweh.

Dear Sir:

Wow, you are so not nice, going around cursing quiet, tax-paying ladies just because they love Queen Brighid the Bright. When did Queen Brighid the Bright lay a curse on one of yours? Never, that's when! She even slid to the sidelines for awhile so you could set up shop. I'm glad she's back.

Bad deity, bad! No cursing nice ladies! You think that advances your case? NOT.

And while I'm at it, let me just say that I wouldn't consign the smallpox virus to eternal damnation. Nothing deserves your hell, not even the world's most notorious killer.

If you would like to find a deity who will not curse you, a sweet Goddess or kind, nurturing Daddy God who really understands parental love, run -- don't walk -- to the New Age section of your local Barnes & Noble.

Of course, as always, our operators are standing by to take your call. Bored goddess top tips! Herbal remedies for bum hips! God is mean -- read my lips!

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

There's a Man with a Gun Over There


Welcome to "The Gods Are Bored," my lieblings! I'm Anne, and this is my friend, Psyduck.

For those of you who are too young (or too old) to recognize this cute lil' quacker, he's a Pokemon. All Pokemon have some sort of unique power. Psyduck's is psychic. He can bend your mind. Or so my daughter The Heir once told me. She played with Pokemon cards back in the day. And it's a long-ago day now. Gosh, a decade almost.

This week here at "The Gods Are Bored," we've been cruising through a book called Deliver Us from Evil, by Cindy Jacobs. The book is all about protecting your innocent youngsters from the evil influence of the occult. We are now on Chapter Three, and the going gets more nauseating all the time.

The chapter is entitled "Child's Play." It concerns itself with two terrible, horrible demonic influences on innocent tots: the aforementioned Pokemon, and that good ol' standby, Harry Potter. With a few potshots at the venerable realm of the ueber-nerd, Dungeons and Dragons.

Deliver Us from Evil was published in 2001, and it just goes to show you how quickly fads rise and fall. My daughter The Heir used to love Pokemon. Today, I'll bet you could turn this house inside out and not find a single Pokemon card. Even one that the faeries might have hidden really, really well.

Did Psyduck drag my daughter into black lipstick, Marilyn Manson concerts, and the ritual slaughter of gerbils? Oops, sorry. No.

Too many lovely trees have been killed and pulped to warn good Christians about Harry Potter. But I'd love to have the forest that's been pulped to produce the Potter books themselves. The final installment, Deathly Hallows, was said to have sold more than 8 million copies in the first 24 hours of its release. Add to that the Nielson-estimated 27.7 million copies of the previous installments, and you've got the Library of Congress, by J.K. Rowling.

Cindy Jacobs warns that reading Harry Potter will make your kid want to be a witch or a wizard. Would that it were true! We'd have so many kids clamoring for Pagan education we wouldn't know how to handle it! Eight million youngsters, all wanting wands simultaneously? Gosh, there goes another forest!

I have not yet had to wax righteously indignant over Mrs. Jacobs's book, but now I've got her firmly affixed to the Annie Blacklist. After excoriating violent video games (can't say I disagree with that), Mrs. Jacobs has this to say about the ... violent video games the U.S. government uses to train soldiers:

"I am not criticizing the military for its legitimate use of video games in training. That is very different from kids being amused through violent and demonic fantasy."

Indeed, Mrs. Jacobs? Exactly how is it different? You claim that violent video games turn youngsters into serial killers, and then you don't criticize the military for doing the same thing?

The U.S. government has been using video games to create lethal soldiers since the Vietnam War. Is it coincidental, then, that our nation's soldiers often return from battle to become spouse-abusers, drug abusers, homeless and psychotic? Oh, but that's okay. They're soldiers, not serial killers.

You want sin, Mrs. Jacobs? Killing another human being is a sin. Just ask the Quakers and the Mennonites. In other words, ask the real Christians, not the "gosh, why don't my books sell as well as Harry Potter" people like yourself.

More on this moron anon.

FROM ANNE
THE MERLIN OF BERKELEY SPRINGS

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Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Nobody's Right If Everybody's Wrong

Welcome to "The Gods Are Bored!" Oh, readers! A dreadful sin has occurred! Two days ago, when I took my daughter The Spare out shopping, I spilled half a bottle of Robitussin on the back seat of my car! Stained upholstery! Where is my scourge?

Actually the car smells really good right now. And that just goes to show you how sin can creep into your life. Smells great one day, goes rank the next. You'd best bet I got out there with the scrub brush and Mr. Clean and went to work on that foul blot! Nor did I rest until the deed was done! Hallelujia!


If you're just joining us, we've begun a "Gods Are Bored" series that is taking a look at a book called Deliver Us from Evil, by Cindy Jacobs. Cindy's a self-styled Christian prophet. You can read up on her by following the links in the previous post.

Cindy covers a lot of ground in the second chapter of her book. She heaps scorn on such renowned bored goddesses as Diana, Hecate, and "Ereschigal." The latter, says Cindy, was called upon by people "when they cast love spells for homosexual partners."

Okay, yes, I went looking for "Ereschigal," figuring she might like to be interviewed sometime. Turns out her name is spelled Ereshkigal, and she's part of the Babylonian pantheon. Goddess of the Underworld, to be specific.

If you are reading this and you're queer, please be advised that we at "The Gods Are Bored" have not been able to fact-check Cindy's assertion about Ereshkigal. But why wait around for confirmation? You need a partner, and Ereshkigal is most certainly bored, so there's a nice tip!

Enough sidetracking. Gotta get to the jist of this chapter. Mrs. Cindy Jacobs defines "magic" as follows:

"a form of communication involving the supernatural world. An attempt is made to affect the course of present and/or future events by means of ritual actions (especially ones that involve the symbolic imitation of what the practitioner wants to happen), and/or by means of formulaic recitations which describe the desired outcome and/or invoke gods, demons, or the spirits believed to be resident in natural substances."

Sounds like a prayer chain to me. Throw in a rosary and a couple of "Hail Marys," and you're bound to cure that cancerous tumor.

You see, this is "Them vs. Us" thinking at its most pathetic. All through the Bible, people pray to God to smite their enemies, many times meeting with gory success. And that's okay, because that's God. But if some nice, tax-paying Pagan lady leaves a couple of ceramic elves by a stream and prays to Mother Nature to protect that stream from a developer who wants to make it a sewage sluice, well ... that's sin.

I wonder where Mrs. Cindy Jacobs stands on upholstery stains. Guess I'll have to keep reading. Her book beats Weight Watchers as an appetite suppressant.

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