Sunday, August 31, 2008

Patience Extender


Welcome to "The Gods Are Bored!" Someone had better throw some gold into the Gulf of Mexico. The bored god Hurracan hasn't ever been as steamed up as He's been in the past decade. Hey, don't blame Him. He's just getting tight on CO2 ... our bad, not His.

As you probably know by now, I'm going to the hospital on Tuesday for an extended stay. Hopefully. Because, you know, if you show up with the sniffles they send you home, and it's goldenrod season.

I had a Mennonite friend named Lewis. He was a swell guy, may he rest in peace. During his final illness he was sent to a Mennonite nursing home. There he broke his "Patience Extender." That happens all the time in nursing homes.




This afternoon I didn't break my personal Patience Extender, but I sure dented the hell out of it. So just now I went out and bought a brand new one to take with me to the hospital. It is state of the art. The warranty says it will keep you patient through eight years of a bad presidential administration. It's certified for use with a newborn baby. But what settled me on paying more for the Patience Extender Model #23 was the fact that it has been tested on the New Jersey Turnpike by daily commuters from Philly to NYC. A ringing endorsement!

One cannot live with a macaw and not have a Patience Extender. I can't recommend enough that you get one if things in your life piss you off. At the very least, you should never go to the hospital without one.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Pick a Woman. Any Woman.

Welcome to "The Gods Are Bored," all you gals! Today we're going to try a brand new casserole recipe, learn how to make a door wreath out of paper towel tubes, and try to find a qualified nanny for a child with Down Syndrome! Gosh, we'd better get started!

Am I the only woman who is insulted by the new Republican candidate for vice president? It's like they sat down and said, "How can we keep all these Hillary Clinton backers happy? I know! We'll get ourselves a great dame and set her loose!"

Except ... gosh ... they went through the ranks, and the only suitable (and willing) warm body was Buffy the Bear Slayer? A woman who, if she lived by her evangelical Christian tenets, would be staying home to raise those five children, especially the disabled one who will need her desperately.

By the way, will that disabled child get taxpayer-funded special services, like most of them do? Down with the socialist agenda! Make that kid accept responsibility!

Gag me with an oil pipeline.

I'd like to see this lil' gal spell "tomato" on a blackboard. It's a nice litmus test for Republican vice presidents.

I've added a new blog to my sidebar. Bibi the Hillbilly Fairy has just joined Blogger, so if you have room in your heart for a faerie-lover who doesn't just talk the talk, go and welcome her to our family!

That's all for today. My faeries want me to mist the garden.

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Thursday, August 28, 2008

Intake Interview

The following is a transcript of the Patient Intake Interview between Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital and Anne Johnson, Scheduled for Inpatient Orthopedic Surgery, week of 9/1/08.

Nurse: Hello, is this Mrs. Johnson?

Anne: Yes. Who's calling? If this is Direct TV, I've already told you a million times....

Nurse: Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital, with final confirmation on your scheduled surgery.

Anne: Oh. Sorry.

Nurse: Your scheduled arrival time is 10:00 a.m. Please bring your insurance card.

Anne: If not for organized labor, I wouldn't have one of those. But yeah, I'll bring it.

Nurse: I have a note here about the medications you take ... emmmmmmm.....

Anne: Yeah. Can't miss those, no matter what. Don't blame me, I was born bipolar. Your orthopedic staff won't be real happy if they come to get me out of bed and I'm too depressed for PT. So keep the meds comin', babe.

Nurse: What is your religion, ma'am?

Anne: I already told you. Pagan. Which you classify as "Other."

Nurse: Yes, that's what it says. Do you have any dietary restrictions?

Anne: Yes. I do not eat salmon, out of respect for Fintan, the Salmon of Wisdom. I also abstain from all rotten, rancid, and overripe food. This is to be consumed only by the Sacred Thunderbirds. Please make note of this on my chart.

Nurse: No salmon, nothing rancid. Check. Now. When you arrive for surgery, make sure you are wearing no jewelry...

Anne: My faeries travel with me in glass balls that hang from around my neck. Are they okay?

Nurse: I beg your pardon?

Anne: Ah, never mind. Can I have my faeries ... errr ... jewelry ... in the recovery room?

Nurse: Oh yes, of course! Let me see if there's anything else. Oh! Can we arrange clergy visits for you during your inpatient stay?

Anne: Let me get this straight. You've got probably more than a dozen distinct Pagan faiths lumped under a meaningless term like "Other," and you're asking me if you can arrange a visit from a clergyperson of my faith? Okay, have at it! I want regular, scheduled visits from that "Other" clergyperson. (Thinking to herself: Oh PLEEEEEEZE let it be a Whirling Dervish! I'd love to see a Whirling Dervish!)

Nurse: Any other questions for me?

Anne: Yeah. Am I gonna live?

Nurse: We leave that up to the will of God.

Anne: Uh oh.

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Drop By, Wear Blue

Welcome to "The Gods Are Bored," where this evening we will be having an open party, bring your own, wear blue, be prepared to cheer for change.

Personally I will be entirely pumped if I live to see a man named Obama in the White House. Because you're raised from infancy on all this America the Melting Pot myth and legend, and you never really believe it until something like this comes along and suggests ... it ... might ... be ... true.

I'm Anne Johnson, and I approve the Democratic Party's presidential ticket for 2008.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Twilight of Organized Labor

Welcome to "The Gods Are Bored." Forget eternity. Where will you be spending Labor Day?

Yesterday my husband's labor union voted to give back its $25.00-per-week pay raise that was due to kick in on September 1. If you combine that with the fact that we now have to pay $150 a month more toward our health care, you can see that Chateau Johnson is losing ground.

The gesture of goodwill made by Mr. Johnson's union towards the clueless folks that bought his plant two years ago will not help management balance its books. Nor will it save jobs, nor will it save his union. In a global economy, the days of collective bargaining have come to an end.


Being rather laid up right now, I brought some movies home from the library. One of them was Norma Rae. It has always been a favorite of mine. But watching it again, after a period of many years, just made me weep.

In the film, a textile union organizer comes to the small Southern town where Norma Rae lives in order to install a union in her cotton mill. In one scene, the organizer tells a sparse crowd that he's there not only to make their working lives better, but the working lives of their children and grandchildren, who will also go into the mill.

That's where I started crying. Because the mills have all closed down. The work is now done in Malaysia, China, Vietnam. Under the same horrid conditions that haunted Norma Rae, for even fewer wages than she earned in her days prior to joining a union.

Take a look at the speakers at the Democratic National Convention. I haven't seen the entire tally, but I can remember a time when important keynote addresses would be delivered by presidents of big unions like the AFL-CIO. It ain't happening this time.

Last spring my daughter The Spare decided to do a big diorama on organized labor. So, to help her, I looked up the major candidates' opinions on the topic. I had to hunt like a hound to find any mention of unions on Barack Obama's official web site. When I finally found his position on labor, it consisted of a single paragraph about a single piece of legislation.

We have returned to a Guilded Age on a global scale. A scant few hold the wealth, with no qualms about their rights to it and no sense of social justice for the many who barely survive while generating that wealth.

Barack Obama says he will work for America's middle class. I hope he can find it, because from where I sit it's disappearing ... along with its creator, the labor union.

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Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Other


Welcome to "The Gods Are Bored," where OTHER gods in OTHER rooms and OTHER heavens get to have their say!

In one week I will be going to the hospital for inpatient orthopedic surgery. The surgeon in my health plan works out of the local Roman Catholic hospital in Camden, New Jersey.

Today I went to the hospital in for my preliminary blood work, etc. I wore my second favorite Tinker Bell t-shirt and brought along my faerie named Aine.

The enormous revolving door inexplicably shut down with me in the middle, unable to get into the building or out of it. Ten seconds later it started moving again. So is that God telling me to stay the hell out, or the bored gods telling me not to go in?

I went in.

So I'm having my admission interview, with Mr. Johnson standing behind me (ever the protective mate). The nice hospital lady is clicking away on the computer, and she says, "Religion?"

And I say, "Druid. D-R-U-I-D."

(Mr. Johnson, an unrepentant lapsed Catholic, shoves me in the back. So much for the protective mate.)

Nice lady stares at screen. Long pause. "We don't have that," she says.

So I say, "Pagan."

(No shove from spouse this time. He's given up.)

Nice lady examines the screen again. Long pause. Finally she chirps, "I'll just check 'Other.'"

Can I be the first Pagan ever to check into Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital in Camden, New Jersey? From the top floors of the hospital you can see Center City Philadelphia!

I wish I had thought to say "Santeria." Just to see if that would be a first, too.

Back to the waiting room we go, and Mr. Johnson whispers, "Why did you do that?"

And I say, "Because it's my religion, silly. Where do you think I go eight times a year, with the Heir and the Spare and a cooler full of fried chicken? To Druid Grove!"

And Mr. Johnson (who knows a lot more about Catholicism than I do) says, "Now they're gonna neglect you and probably kill you."

Ya think he's a little nervous about all this? Or do you think the Roman Catholics have never gotten over their penchant for slaughtering Pagans? I opt for the spousal nerves. With hope in my heart.

I did have an interesting dream last night. I was driving in a car with my dad, in the mountains that we called home. I looked out the window as the beautiful vistas stretched out, and I said, "Oh my, it's so good to be home." Our destination was a big family reunion, which I knew to be my family but didn't know any of them by name. Dad knew them all, though. And typical with hillbilly family reunions, every table groaned with food -- the most gorgeous cakes I'd ever seen.

The dream, I think, is a message from my ancestors that if anything does go wrong, I'll shortly join them at home.

In the meantime, I'm an "Other." But I already knew that.

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Monday, August 25, 2008

Stoner Flicks, Then and Now

Welcome to "The Gods Are Bored," where today we'll remind you right up front ... it's not illegal to go to a stoner flick.

Even if you don't count "Reefer Madness," stoner flicks have been around a long time. And for some reason, I love them.

Your classic stoner flick throws together two characters who have little in common beyond their fondness for weed. The plot need be no more complicated than having the heroes find weed, lose weed, get weed back again, or successfully partake of their munchies of choice. The conflict need be no more complicated than the friends fending off those who would take their weed, share their weed, steal their munchies, or berate them (uselessly) for being losers.

Ahhh. The good ol' days. Cheech and Chong at the midnight bijou, "Up in Smoke." Remember Cheech's pimped car? Me neither. Tee hee!


Now study this old picture closely. Cheech and Chong look pretty buzzed, don't they? Of course they freakin' do, it's a stoner movie!

Which brings me to our modern era, when one night recently I found my options limited to watching the Summer Olympics or hobbling into the nearby cineplex to see a stoner movie. I thought I had this one bagged, tagged, and ready for sale. Never saw a stoner flick I didn't love.

Until now.

Have you noticed that so many movies today are written by their star or their director? (Come to think of it, Cheech Marin and Tommy Chong were pioneers in this respect.) Well, Cheech got it mostly right. Seth Rogen, the star/co-writer of Pineapple Express, literally a stoner flick in name only, laid an egg.

Pineapple Express has that stoner flick staple, two dudes with nothing in common who get paired up over their love of pot. But these two dudes really don't have anything in common. And then the plot is just ... oh well, let's let a picture paint a thousand words.


Do these guys look stoned? No, and that's because in this movie, even when they take a moment to light up, they're still being chased after and shot at. This isn't a stoner flick, it's Grand Theft Ganja. It's not Dazed and Confused, it's Dead and Abused. Bill and Ted? No, Killed and Dead.

If ever two genres should not be mixed in any meaningful way, it's the stoner flick and the action flick. Lack of action is the whole point of being stoned. Those of you who get your vicarious pot thrills from watching stoner movies (like me) should best steer clear of Pineapple Express. It's all killer, no chiller.

Do you think an Obama/Biden administration will legalize marijuana? Me neither.


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You Love Me! You Really Love Me!


Welcome to "The Gods Are Bored," liberally spicing our rants with bald sarcasm since 2005!

Lately this pretty little award has been making the rounds of Pagan blogdom. I was given the award by three different bloggers --- my goodness, I hope I have enough fresh peaches for three pies!

I'm honored that people like to read what I write. When I go to some of the other Pagan sites and see thoughtful, kind, gentle entries, combined with beautiful photographs and/or recipes and/or deep philosophy, I feel a little bit silly. But we at TGAB love to laugh! It's the best medicine.

Having been showered with love, I hereby follow the rules of the contest, which are:

*Pick seven of my favorites, and
*Let 'em know they should feel the love, and
*link 'em (not my forte, folks), and
*shove 'em into the sidebar, if they're not already there.

If you get the award, you can post the pretty graphic to your blog. And be sure to say where it comes from, Anne Johnson. Be careful with the spelling of that name.

Passing On the Love:

1. The Wild Hunt. I check Jason every day for what's happening in the news regarding Pagans, both here in the U.S. and abroad. This is a great blog, you probably already read it.

2. A Druid's Apprentice. Nettle is an herbalist and a natural medium for faeries, also a lovely human being. Anyone who can grow hefty yields of farm crops in a rowhouse backyard is special to the Bored Gods.

3. Radical Goddess Thealogy is as serious as I am flippant, but if Athana's religion suddenly took over the world, our troubles would be over.

4. A Druid's Journal is for all of you out there who want to read serious Druidry by someone who is really walking the walk with all the ups and downs daily life doles out. Again, Jeff is as serious as I am silly.

Okay, this being The Gods Are Bored, I just have to throw in some personal favorites that brighten my day.

5. Want to join a truly fringe-fringe praise and worship team? Try The Dude Who Worships Batman. He calls himself Reverend Elvis Drinkmo, and he quotes Scripture from Star Trek. Nuff said.

6. Buzzardbilly isn't a Pagan, but she's sharp as a tack and a fun daily read. Sadly there's no vulture worship at this site, just a really smart lady lobbing gobs of reality out of West Virginia.

7. Everyone should have a really fun granny, so I hereby shower love on Yellowdog Granny. She would rather be showered with Dublin Dr. Pepper and Dallas Cowboy wins, but hey. Can't get those from here, Gran! Luv u.

My luv bombs came from Beweaver at Weaving the Web, Sabrina at Pagan Dawn, and Livia Indica at Magic in These Hills.

If I got all this linking correct, I'm going to treat myself to a black-and-white milkshake.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Lucky Me


Welcome to "The Gods Are Bored" on this special day! Yes, every year August 23 rolls around. Recall that we at "The Gods Are Bored" are fond of that number.

And no wonder. August 23 is my wedding anniversary. Twenty-four years of blissful freedom from divorce lawyers!

Who says life can't be like movie sex? This is me and Mr. Johnson. Okay, well, it isn't of course. But that's how I feel about my dude. Just when you think he can't get any sexier, he comes home and tells you he's been named to his labor union's executive board. Wowsa!

Baby, you rock my world! Shall we go for 48?

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Friday, August 22, 2008

Her Noodly Master


Welcome to "The Gods Are Bored," praise and worship for deities old and new, lightly used and recycled! Waste not, want not!

Yesterday we dropped my daughter The Heir off at her new college. We could have left my daughter The Spare there too, because even though The Spare's only 14, everyone thought she was an incoming freshman. Especially the guys.

The Heir loaded our car with all kinds of stuff, her California Raisin collection, her musical saw, her pet rock, her pimple cream, on and on. And when we got there, she had no pillow for her bed. It had taken us 90 minutes to drive the 36 miles to her college, so we decided it was easier to go pick up a pillow at Target than run home and get hers. (Which proved true, as it also took 90 minutes to drive home. Could have walked faster.)

In the time it took Mr. Johnson and myself to go to Target for a pillow, The Heir did a little exploring of her new environment. She was thrilled to find, scrawled on a dumpster next to her butt-ugly dormitory, a likeness of the Noodly Master ... the Great Flying Spaghetti Monster!

As I hugged The Heir farewell, we both took solace in knowing that a fabulous deity will be watching her from the side of a dumpster. The Heir has Pastafarian leanings. It won't take much persuasion for her to embrace the FSM in a very serious way. Thank goodness for that, because she's heard enough non-noodly dogma this summer to gag a goat.

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Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Room for Rent



Welcome to "The Gods Are Bored," practical parenting and problematic parroting. Watch your fingers!

My daughter The Heir is leaving for her first year of college.

I know how colleges work. The students, left to run free for the first time in their lives, stain the upholstery with mad abandon.

All you can hope in these situations is that you've set a good example of proper furniture maintenance and quick clean-up of any unintended spills.

The Heir has her own taste in upholstery. I've encouraged her to have a big, broad, flexible outlook. Let other folks flock to La-Z-Boy. She can take the sofa less traveled. Maybe it once belonged to Aleister Crowley (notorious for spotless ottomans).

If anyone wants to leave a good-bye wish for The Heir, just pop onto the comment sheet. You need not restrict your advice to upholstery care. She already knows enough about that.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Me and the NRA

Welcome to "The Gods Are Bored," where we shoot (off our mouths) and ask questions later. Bang bang! What the f***?

Sometimes I wonder what kind of profiling is being done on me out there in the great beyond. When your name's Anne Johnson, just about anything can come for you in the mail.

Last week it was an invitation to join the National Rifle Association.

They sent me a membership card with a bald eagle on it, and a questionnaire to fill out, and a self-addressed stamped envelope to mail back my membership payment in.

I kept the card for the moment. After I scrape the cat box with it, I'll send it back to them.

As for those membership dues, well, gosh. I think I'll join the ACLU instead. Sorry, NRA. But you can have your questionnaire back, in your handy prepaid envelope.

I've written about gun ownership before, and I know some of my readers own guns. And I say, you go. The Constitution, as currently interpreted, gives you the right.


As for me and my house, nope. No guns. Our only protection here is Decibel the Parrot. He's pretty formidable, I must say. His motto is "Fingers: The Other White Meat."

You know why I don't own a gun? Because I believe in production for use. If I had a gun, I would shoot something with it.

Isn't it nice that I'm self-aware enough to keep clear of such temptation?

Here's a "for instance":

Bringing daughter The Spare home from a visit to Granny in Baltimore. Heavy traffic on I-95, slowed to a rolling backup. Some shit-eatin' creep in a black Honda cuts us off so blatantly that I gasp and throw my hands over my eyes. Then, the minute our lane is slower than the one next to ours, he jumps back into the other lane again. He's a well-groomed white guy about 60 years old, talking on a cell phone while driving so recklessly you just gotta wonder how he lived to have gray hair.

Then our lane speeds up a little, and we pass him. For a moment I am staring straight at his profile, which has "K Street Lobbyist" written all over it.

If I am packing heat at that moment, a dude is wasted. Toast.

So I don't pack heat.

As for self-protection, well, if I can't brandish my parrot, I guess I'm shit outta luck. I'll take that chance. Because this is one Anne Johnson who could never be trusted with an active firearm. I should know. I live with her.

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Monday, August 18, 2008

Christianity Is Stupid


Welcome to "The Gods Are Bored!" On behalf of all the gods and goddesses out there who've been steamrolled by Christianity, we stand united to liberate you! Time to jam the gears on that steamroller and restore some sanity to the world!

Lately some people I love have come up against Christian fundamentalists who have used all the usual mind-control, fear-based tactics to win another convert to the faith. Frankly I am sick of this. You get that way when an over-zealous preacher uses your father's funeral as a chance to tell you that you're bound for hell.

So, we quote the immortal Negativland:

"Christianity Is Stupid."

Here's my personal view of how fundamentalist Christianity works:

You want to travel from Detroit to Tampa. There is only one route from Detroit to Tampa. It is Interstate 75. You may not take any other route from Detroit to Tampa. There are certain exits from the Interstate that you cannot take, because they may lead you to a store that sells fireworks or some such. Or worse, those exits might lead you to an alternative route to Tampa.

There is no other destination if you are leaving Detroit, except Tampa. No other city is as great as Tampa. Don't listen if anyone tells you that, say, Indianapolis is just as nice, or that you can actually proceed past Tampa to Sanibel Island. Or that you can get to Tampa by taking a little detour and winding up on the Blue Ridge Parkway, and maybe in comparison to the Blue Ridge Parkway, Tampa suddenly doesn't seem as appealing.

And here's another response to that Bible-thumping preacher who turned my father's funeral into a revival meeting. This preacher said that heaven was like a theme park. If you get to the turnstile, and you don't have enough money for a ticket, you can't get in.

Okay, I've arrived at the theme park with enough money to get in. But I don't like theme parks. I think they're phony-baloney. I'd rather go hiking or tubing. And now I hear that cats and dogs aren't allowed in the theme park. Well, I can take my trusty dog hiking with me. So shove your theme park, I'm going hiking!

We at "The Gods Are Bored" recognize that many, many Christians regard their beliefs as personal and not to be pushed on others. But lurking everywhere is a lunatic fringe few who want to fill their heaven to the plimsol line. They are well-trained to meet every resistance with practiced arguments. They can make people very uncomfortable indeed.

These stupid Christians can have their theme park in Tampa. As for me and my house, we'll go hiking along the Blue Ridge Parkway.
Our operators are standing by to take your call.

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Saturday, August 16, 2008

Deliver Us from Monotheism: The Purpose Driven Lie

Welcome to "The Gods Are Bored," drunk and pissed, and not necessarily in that order!

It seems that the two presidential nominees have gathered with Rick Warren, pastor of one of those sick-ass mega-churches (author of A Purpose Driven Life), for a televised address about their "faith."

Did you notice the headline to this post? There's an "F" missing. "F," as in why the fuck should it matter what religion the candidate has, or doesn't have?

This is seriously embarrassing, America. The last time a candidate crowed so loud about his religion was 100 years ago. That was William Jennings Bryan, and he fuckin' lost THREE presidential elections! The only thing Bryan has to show for his sojourn on this planet is everlasting belittlement for his role in the Scopes "Monkey" trial ... and the only college in America where you can take CREATION SCIENCE as a minor!

And so, I, Anne Johnson, am protesting this egregious assault on the U.S. Constitution by boycotting the television for the rest of the evening. I think I'll go slip on something silky, mist some Paris Hilton cologne twixt the ta tas, and see if Mr. Johnson wants to boycott as well. My guess is that he'll join me in my solitary protest.

Yep.

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Friday, August 15, 2008

Anne Scolds Anne

Welcome to "The Gods Are Bored!" Reality check on Aisle One, please!

I'm losing my grip on the big, broad, flexible outlook. Going nutso because daughter The Heir is going to college ... 45 miles of grueling freeway from my door.

See? There I go again! I'm driving The Heir crazy.

Just now I told her not to play her musical saw in public, because some serial killer might see her and befriend her and saw her to pieces.

If you have unused sedatives in your medicine cabinet, please send them to me. I'm acting like a kid who's about to be deprived of her blankie.

The Heir is taking a poetry class at college. For the love of fruit flies, if she keeps up that sort of thing, she'll be back under my roof in four years, drinking my TaB Cola and eating all my Hershey bars. So what's the big deal?

There I go again! She might be the next Sylvia Plath ... Ann Sexton ... someone please call the authorities, Anne has lost the few marbles she owned!

Yeah, and I still have daughter The Spare at home. I've been cleaning her room today, while she's out of town. You would too if your kid's room looked like this.


Anne. Get a grip. Stiff upper lip. Pip pip! Hey, Spare! Spare! Are you under there? Come and say farewell to The Heir!

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Thursday, August 14, 2008

White Magic Going Bad?

Welcome to "The Gods Are Bored," counting down the days until my daughter The Heir goes to college.... Seven. *weeps*

Okay. Enough of that. Self-pity ain't pretty.

Did you see Stuart Shepard from Focus on the Family ask his viewers to pray for a torrential rain on Barack Obama's acceptance speech? You did? Tell me how that is different from black magic. The dude is even holding a wand! (Actually it's an umbrella, but he uses it like a wand.)

You gotta be careful what you ask for, Stu. The family of four swept away in a Rocky Mountain flash flood may be your own.

Magic is very, very tricky. My two white magic projects are making me feel my amateur status quite painfully.

1. Spell #1: Saving the Small Stream

For several years I've been engaged in trying to save a small mountain stream from becoming the sewage sluice for a town of 11,000 people. That town doesn't exist right now -- the tract of land is free of human habitation. Attempts to keep it that way are still slowly grinding forward, a victory here, a setback there. You know how it is with developers. They never give up.

I asked the bored Goddess Cloacina to guard the stream for me. She is the ancient Roman Goddess of Cleanliness. Cloacina was eager to have the work. She paid her own transportation costs to the site. But in typical ancient Roman fashion, She has used every tactic in Her considerable power to git r done.

The proposed Appalachian Mountain development is called Terrapin Run, after the pretty little stream. Its developer, the shadowy PDC Corporation, has made the news lately for lapses in completion of other Maryland developments. These lapses have led to burglaries (because PDC did not install mandatory street lights), and automobile accidents (because PDC did not complete storm water runoff ponds). My source for this information is a July 24, 2008 article in Gazette.net: Maryland Community Newspapers Online, by Andrea Noble.

Has the bored Goddess I petitioned actually tried to scuttle the Terrapin Run project by allowing innocent folks in other suburban developments to be burglarized?

This is why I never, ever pray for rain.

2. Spell #2: The Enchanted Plastic Dinosaurs

My legions and legions of readers will recall that my daughters and I decided to liven up a local park that was dedicated to dinosaurs (but had only a boring plaque) by putting toy dinosaurs out for kids to play with. Of course we do this anonymously. And we've watched happy kids play with the dinos. This looks like a white magic slam-dunk.

Nope. While my daughters and I have always put out only larger dinosaurs that cannot be swallowed, it seems that other anonymous folks have taken up the cause, and some of the dinos they leave could be swallowed by a little kid. Now my family has to prowl that site vigilantly, removing all undersized plastic dinos. But are we vigilant enough? What sort of dangerous project have we unleashed here?

Can you tell I'm a little insecure today? Advice, anyone?

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Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Deliver Us from Monotheism: Necromancer, Burned

Welcome to "The Gods Are Bored," where we run from One! "Mono" isn't even a pretty-sounding prefix. Whereas "Poly" just rolls off the tongue. Example: mononucleosis .... polypeptide .... monotonous .... polly wanna cracker?

Oh. Sorry about that.

News just in my email box, from regular posts I receive through Charisma magazine. About once a week I get a little pep talk from a Christian preacher named J. Lee Grady whose column is called Fire in My Bones.


Remember that dude I told you about down in Lakeland, Florida, who was doing all those faith healings, even unto bringing dead people back to life? (An impolite Pagan would call that "Necromancy" and denounce it.) His name is Todd Bentley. Well, the 100-plus day heal-fest down in Lakeland has come to an untimely end, with Mr. Bentley separating from his wife and three young children.

I will grant you that there were Christians who already distrusted Mr. Bentley, his odd speaking-in-tongues, his tattoos, his whacking disabled people to the floor, all of that. But now that Mr. Bentley is having marital problems (unspecified), the entire corpus of Christian pastors has lined up to denounce him.

Here's a bit from J. Lee Grady's email:

"A prominent Pentecostal evangelist called me this week after Bentley’s news hit the fan. He said to me: “I’m now convinced that a large segment of the charismatic church will follow the anti-Christ when he shows up because they have no discernment.” Ouch. Hopefully we’ll learn our lesson this time and apply the necessary caution when an imposter shows up."

I'm not sure I follow you, J. Lee. If Todd Bentley was an imposter, what happens to the people who were healed by him? Do they seek to be sick again because what happened to them was the work of an imposter?

Quick. Somebody tell the zombies! "It's okay, you can go back to bed now. Just a false alarm. An imposter."

I'm not one to throw stones, but I think this is a picture-perfect case of an overworked god not paying enough attention to detail. When a third of the population of an overcrowded planet is some sort of Judeo-Christian follower, you're bound to stress the reigning deity to the max.

You gotta see it from God's point of view. He gets a memo that some young fella in tattoos is doing healings down Florida way, he sprinkles down a few healings like you quickly toss oregano into your pasta salad, and alas. Insufficient background check on the healer.

Now, some of you are saying, "Okay, Anne Johnson, it's easy for you to belittle necromancers from other religions. What exactly do Druids do if they want healing?"

1. Herbs and homeopathy, reiki and acupuncture. And if those aren't enough, then ...

2. Modern medicine, with all the accumulated knowledge of humankind at its disposal.

As for bringing dead people back to life, well, that depends on how long they've been dead. If modern medicine can't do the job, we at "The Gods Are Bored" say it's time to call in the Sacred Thunderbirds to dispose of the meat, and the faeries to beckon the soul.

Our operators are standing by to take your call.

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Tuesday, August 12, 2008

My Blessed Druid Navel


Welcome to "The Gods Are Bored," beseeching peace from the Four Quarters, for without peace can no work be done!

What does one do with 24 unused water balloons?

That was the question facing me when my Druid Grove's Lughnasadh ritual had to be sandwiched between raging thunderstorm cells. We had our worship, but the fun and games had to be postponed. So, home I went with all the water balloons I'd filled for the day.

Yesterday I told my daughters, The Heir and The Spare, to invite a few friends over for a picnic. Guess I should have been more specific, because tonight the backyard was lively with a dozen college-bound or high school-bound youngsters, all learning for the first time what Lughnasadh is all about!

We didn't have a dragon to toss, so we made do with an octopus. Heck, they've made a tradition of this in Detroit, so I knew how it was done.

Then they did the water balloon toss ... twice ... and they all wanted more water balloons after that. Except for my boss's daughter, who took a shot to the face and got drenched. (Expecting pink slip tomorrow.)

We ate hot dogs and potato chips and watermelon. Then ... oh, great Sacred Thunderbirds! Along comes the Good Humor man, and everyone paid for their own dessert!

We retreated to the back yard. I had sent all the party-goers to the woods nearby to fetch home some kindling. We had a bonfire (small), and around it we had a traditional (at least for my Grove) round of toasts with sparkling cider.

Here's how it works. You offer a toast, take a sip of the sparkling cider, and pass it to the person next to you. They, too, offer a toast. This keeps going on until someone finally drains the cup. That person has to pay a forfeit.

Tonight's loser was my daughter The Spare, whose forfeit was to kiss the foot of my daughter The Heir. When I told the assembled faithful that they could have made The Spare kiss everyone's foot, they begged for another round of toasts!

Oh, readers. Such sweet toasts. Friends who have been together since sixth grade, now bound far and away to colleges ... fond memories ... silly comments ... the occasional "to my friends" and nothing else. And me, of course, keeping it all Celtic by saying, "May there be peace throughout the world."

Even Decibel the Parrot had a good time. Decibel likes noise and confusion. So do the faeries.

Speaking of faeries. I had left my faeries (Puck, Princess, Aine) up in my room. Dumb. Dumb. Dumb. After watching a picture frame and two bowls smash, I realized I'd better fetch them all into the action. No more glassware was harmed after that. Lesson learned. Again.

You would never know it, nor would the friends of my daughters, but I'm in constant pain with my bum hip ... sometimes it freezes completely ... but when there are two dozen water balloons just sitting in the trunk of the car, the hip is of no consequence.

The peace of the Four Quarters I send to you. The wisdom of the Salmon I send to you. We must all leap with our last bit of strength to ascend the top of the waterfall, but oh, what a joyous trajectory through the air!

FROM ANNE
THE MERLIN OF BERKELEY SPRINGS

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Fairy Nice Picture


Welcome to "The Gods Are Bored!" Clap if you believe in faeries!

Someone issued a dare. Do you have a photograph of your faerie?

As my legions and legions of regulars know, I have several unique pictures of my personal faeries. But I think this person wanted proof that faeries exist.

Do you remember that movie Miracle on 34th Street, where some old dude with a white beard was ruled Santa Claus in a court of law after he got all the Christmas letters from kids in New York?

Well, this works something like that. Our featured faerie today is so well known that there's probably not a single kid in America (save the Amish) who could not identify her by name. I imagine the same could be said for Europe and even the Far East.

Everyone knows Tinker Bell. I have at least six t-shirts with her on them. Loves it.

So, the universal recognition of Tinker Bell by name and exploits proves the existence of faeries. She's sort of their poster child in this day and age. Thank you very much, J.M. Barrie, with an assist from Walt Disney.

If you don't believe in faeries, who the heck hides your car keys?

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Monday, August 11, 2008

Deconstructing Genesis

Welcome to "The Gods Are Bored!" Ankh if you love polytheism!

My daughter The Heir begins college in 10 days. At her college, every freshman is required to take two semesters of this course called "Common Intellectual Experience." It's sort of a mini-Great Books, and I'm gnashing my teeth because my college (The Johns Hopkins University) didn't have anything that big, broad, and flexible.

At Johns Hopkins when I was there, we just learned how to deconstruct literature. And postmodernism was all the rage. Ick. I wonder if they're still teaching postmodernism?

The first two books on The Heir's reading list for CIE were the Epic of Gilgamesh and Genesis. The Bible book, not the rock band.

Gilgamesh is chock-a-block with bored gods and goddesses, sort of like the Iliad and those old Greek plays. Sometime we'll have to invite those Sumerian deities here to TGAB for an interview. Maybe we can find them a new praise and worship team.

Actually I was more interested in the scholarly, texty-looking Genesis that The Heir had to buy, required. You've seen these books. An Introduction running to 50 pages on the nuances of ancient Hebrew and Aramaic, followed by three or four pages of acknowledgements of other diligent scholars. Then the text itself, consisting of maybe a quarter page of the actual Genesis and three quarters of a page of margin notes, usually more long-winded stuff about Hebrew verbs.

So what the heck? It's been awhile since I read Genesis from A to Z, so I did it. Here and there consulting the voluminous scholarly notes.

Regarding those notes: Did you know there's no archeological evidence for the use of camels in the Middle East during the supposed era of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob? I didn't know that either. And neither did the author of Genesis. Maybe we should ask the camels.

Having read Genesis before, I was not surprised by the stories therein. Like Clarence Darrow before me, I tried to imagine how the snake got around before God cursed it. But you can drive yourself to the brink wondering about stuff like that. Just dig up William Jennings Bryan if you don't believe such musings can kill you.

There is, however, a short poem stuck toward the very end of Genesis. The scholarly translator identified this poem as one of the most ancient texts in the Biblical canon.

Here are the most interesting lines from that poem:

A fruitful son is Joseph
a fruitful son by a spring
daughters strode on the rampart.
They savaged him, shot arrows, the archers did.
But taut was his bow, his arms ever moving
Through the hands of the champion of Jacob,
through the name of the Shepherd and Israel's rock.
From the God of your fathers, may He aid you,
Shaddai, may He bless you--
blessings of the heavens above
blessings of the deep that lies below,
blessings of breast and womb.

It is funny how all religions start to sound alike. Those last lines sound like the Carmina Gaedelica, don't they?

But what interests me is this description of Joseph, said to be one of the most ancient in the Bible. Where's Pharaoh? Where's that fancy jacket? Omitted. The picture we get is of a warlord in a fort, defending his family from archers. And far be it from me to suggest that God didn't help Joseph, because we're still reading about God and Joseph today. (God probably wasn't nearly as busy in those times as he is now. I'll bet he gets nostalgic about it at the end of a hectic week.)

The poem goes on to say that Joseph was singled out as special by his dad. What makes me think it's because of Joseph's ability on the ramparts and not his larger-than-life sojourn in Egypt?

There's a pattern here, whether it be Gilgamesh (who has been identified as a historical figure), Joseph, King Arthur, even George Washington. A dude goes out and kicks a little butt, saves his people, and the next thing you know, he's endowed with all sorts of special skills and actions.

So here's to Joseph and his taut bow. He got the job done, probably didn't have to sell but two or three of his daughters. I never thought he was really real, but after reading that poem I'd say he did indeed rock on.

As long as we're pondering historical heroes, let me say this about George Washington. I've seen places on the Potomac River where just about anyone with a decent arm could lob a silver dollar from shore to shore. So I believe George did it, and that's the gospel truth.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

The Big, Broad, Flexible Christian

Welcome to "The Gods Are Bored," where we're exploring the difficulties presented to those of us who want to raise good Pagan children in an increasingly Christian world! Keep the faith, fellow followers of the Ancient Ways! It can be done.

Sunday our Druid Grove held its Lughnasadh ceremony, undaunted by extremely bad weather. My daughter The Spare had never seen hail before. She got her chance. Our many fun games were scrapped, but our Ritual went off as planned, between huge, fierce thunderstorm cells.

When the elements are part of your worship, you worship within them. Drip drip, boom! ZZZZZt! Blessed be the rain.

One of our Druid Grove members is a lovely young woman named Melissa. Melissa is in her early twenties but seems older in terms of serenity and wisdom. She has an unusually fair skin type, so she can't be out in the sunshine for more than a few minutes, or else she burns badly. This condition has made Melissa look rather like a Raphael painting, her skin very soft and smooth against big, deep eyes.


The weather was so uncooperative after our Ritual that we had to seek the solace of a nearby public house. I was sitting near Melissa (a treat). She said the following:

"My birthday present to my mom is the same every year. I attend Christmas Eve services at her church."

I said, "So your mom's a serious Christian?"

"Yes, she's the head of Christian education at her church."

I said, "Well, how does she feel about your attending these Druid Groves?"

"She's just glad I believe in something."

Oh, what an eloquent word ... something. My fellow Pagans, take heart: There are many Christians out there who are just glad you believe in something! Ah, what a relief! I told Melissa her mom is awesome.

Melissa's mom joins a large group of Christians. People like the Masons, the Eastern Star, Alcoholics Anonymous, the Boy Scouts. These groups don't ask you to believe in Yahweh. They just want you to believe in a higher power.

Now, I can't speak for you, but as far as we at "The Gods Are Bored" are concerned, we believe in higher powers. Lots of them. Because if human beings are the highest power, then the universe has a lot of evolution ahead of it. We're talking mega-eons.

So tonight, we salute Melissa's mother as a role model for the big, broad, flexible Christian. Momma, your daughter believes in something. You should be proud.

FROM ANNE
THE MERLIN OF BERKELEY SPRINGS

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Saturday, August 09, 2008

Belated Lughnasadh Celebration

Welcome to "The Gods Are Bored," a central clearinghouse for the big, broad, flexible outlook! One size never fits all -- in apparel, opinions, or deities!

I filled two dozen water balloons today in preparation for Lughnasadh 2008, Coille dhe Darach Dhubh, Grove of the Black Oak. I also updated the Ritual. And found this year's dragon for the dragon toss. (His name is Puff.) There will be a brand new faerie joining us who is about to begin its particular destiny. Marshmallows for roasting, incense, sea glass ... hmmm ... have I forgotten anything?

I'm sure I'll get out to Ridley Creek State Park and realize I forgot something important. Like maybe my daughter The Heir will be sitting in the driveway of the house saying, "Where are they?"

Lughnasadh is one of the dedicated Druidic holy days, and it's a favorite of mine. Our Grove is always merry, but we're particularly merry on this day, whether we've reaped a great harvest, a mediocre harvest, or we're actually going into hock (moi).

If there's any one thing that all religions have in common, it's celebrations. So on Sunday, thank the bored deities of your choice for helping you glean, reflect on how you're going to get through the dark days ahead, and ... hurl Puff the Dragon as far as you can! But only after he's roasted the marshmallows by breathing on them.

FROM ANNE
THE MERLIN OF BERKELEY SPRINGS

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Friday, August 08, 2008

Deliver Us from Monotheism: Our Bum Rap

Welcome to "The Gods Are Bored," fanning interest in downsized deities since 2005! And wow, we've had 6,000 profile views! Enough people to fill a minor league baseball park in the Blue Ridge Mountains!

Such vast popularity brings great responsibilities. And so, I, Anne Johnson, will now continue to bring you helpful advice on keeping your Pagan household free from Christian influences.

Why would I do such a thing? Well dear ones, just remember: Wherever Christianity lurks, so also lurks its dark alter ego, Satanism. If you're following the path of some other praise and worship team, then the Christian devil can't make your kids do bad things. Because Satan's not part of your Pagan package.

Many of the most hidebound Christians mistake all Paganism for "occult" or "Satan worship." Like, so not true!

Which religion is it, exactly, that's drinking human blood and eating human flesh? Mmmmmm hmmmmmm. And that's on the bright side of Christianity! Dearly beloved, don't get me started on the dark side of that faith, the moonlight desecration of gravestones, the slaughter of innocent kittens, the twisting of the peaceful Pentagram to evil ends.

You gotta keep your kids away from that stinkin' bad karma, yo. Word.

So, how do you do it? How do you maintain the faith of the Old Ones through the onslaught?

Here's Annie's first thought on this most crucial topic:

Certain sects of Christianity are giving the whole faith a black eye. You know which ones I'm talking about. The ones that go to the anti-abortion rally on Friday night and the gun convention on Saturday. The ones who support bombing foreign children to bits while demanding cutbacks in social welfare programs for needy Americans. The ones who find it more important to safeguard their 2,000 year old tract than to see to it that American children get modern science educations.

The ones who complain about free breakfasts for poor students because sometimes the students don't eat everything they're given. (Yeah, I got that in an email just yesterday.)

Let's ride this out together, my friends of the Old Religions. Let us seek sanity in this time of trial. So much is at stake.

Oh, doggone it, there I go again. Bad words, very bad: trial and stake. No gentle Druids will be put on trial here and burnt at the stake, right? This is America ... yep ... no one wishes us ill ... emmmm ... not really. I guess.

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Thursday, August 07, 2008

Deliver Us from Monotheism: Putting a Stop to Christian Influences in Your Home

Welcome to "The Gods Are Bored!" Are you a Pagan parent, concerned about the pressure your child may be under to experiment with Christianity or some other monotheistic religion? It would be handy to have a nice paperback you could read with strategies and suggestions to keep your kids out of trouble, wouldn't it?

Yeah. I know. Let's not hold our breaths until that one hits the stores.

So, in the absence of such a book, I, Anne Johnson, will be offering helpful hints on how to keep your precious children on your chosen Pagan path (or their chosen Pagan paths, if differing from yours). You can look to me for advice on how to steer your precious offspring clear of male-dominated monotheism ... the kind of religious philosophy that can and does lead to suicide bombings, spouse abuse, disavowal of sexual orientation, superiority complexes, narrow-mindedness, and voting patterns inconsistent with the general welfare of the citizenry. Readers, I am evoking bored deities to protect and preserve your children! So might it be.

Trust me, the monotheistic influence is pervasive in our culture. There's no escaping it. Politicians pander shamelessly to it, popular celebrities espouse it, and its adherents are constantly, and openly, trying to insert it into schools and other Constitutionally-protected institutions. Your beloved children can hardly leave the threshold of your home without having it shoved in their faces. Geezy peezy, half the time when someone knocks on your very door, they're peddling it -- right on your front porch!

How can you fight this tide without alienating your youngster?

Have no fear, precious reader! I, Anne Johnson, am here to help you! In future posts we will meet happy Pagan families and talk to them about how they keep their children strong in the big, broad, flexible outlook. We'll search for secret signs of budding monotheism in your child's life ... and we'll give you answers to the questions your kids will pose when you intervene!

Oh, we do have a lot of work ahead of us, don't we? Thank goodness for blogs! Because nothing is more serious, more consequential, and more essential to your life than raising an offspring steeped to the plimsol line in such essential Pagan concepts as acceptance of cultural differences, government assistance to the needy (through taxation if necessary), separation of church and state, and respect for sexual orientation.

My friends, stick with me as we place polytheism where it so richly deserves to be -- in your hearth and home. And especially in the tender minds of your vulnerable loved ones.

Their future is at stake ... emmmm ... maybe I ought to re-phrase that. We don't want to use the word stake, do we?

It's important. Now I'll pass the plate. Dig deep.

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Wednesday, August 06, 2008

This Works on Every Level

Welcome to "The Gods Are Bored!" This morning we're finding religion and social justice in up-ended junk stock cars! Pinch me on this one, I think I'm dreaming.

An Ogden, Utah farmer found his life transformed when a developer put in a subdivision at the edge of his farm.

The newly-built "luxury homes" sold pretty quickly, because everyone likes to gaze out on a peaceful farm scene as they gulp their coffee in preparation for a long commute to work.

But then reality set in. Because the farmer really does farm. He has cows. They eliminate waste, and the product does not smell nice. He also makes hay, which makes dust, which rises through the air and lands on upholstery. And all that machinery! It's noisy!

The farmer's neighbors complained. He offered to split the price of a privacy fence. They declined, saying that they didn't want to ruin their view of his pretty property.

So the farmer evoked the bored gods. He went out and got a few junked stock cars, fired up the backhoe, and upended those suckers in the ground, in a nice array, at the edge of his property.

Ladies and gentlemen, I give you

REDNECK STONEHENGE



That's what this inspired farmer called his creation.


I remember sitting in the breakfast nook of my sister's new "luxury home," staring down upon a pair of unhappy Old Order Mennonites as they did their farm chores with full knowledge that they were being gawked at. I thought to myself, "Gosh, if I suddenly found myself surrounded by monstrosities of vinyl siding on every boundary line, I think I'd just shuck my clothes and start doing my work buck naked."

Oh, my lack of imagination! Why work naked amongst horse flies when you can erect a henge? Heck, you don't need old cars. You could use just about anything stiff enough to stack. Like laundry baskets. Or junked computers. Or random pieces of furniture, trash-picked from sidewalks.

Of course, all of that pales in the presence of a Car Henge, but we can't all operate back hoes.

If you need a henge in your life, beseech the wisdom of the bored gods. They will help you with your creation. And those pesky neighbors deserve just what they get.

Our operators are standing by to take your call.

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Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Fundamentals of Necromancy


Welcome to "The Gods Are Bored!" Seen any good zombies lately? Stick around.

About a week ago, I ran into a former neighbor who is ruggedly fundamentalist. She noticed I was limping and asked what was wrong. I told her about my hip, and how I had surgery scheduled for September.

She said, "Cancel that surgery and book a flight to Lakeland, Florida instead. There's a healer down there who will get the Holy Spirit to fix your hip."

She started telling me all about this guy she was watching every night on the God Channel. The dude is a charismatic healer from Canada, name of Todd Bentley.

And then she said: "He's brought fifteen people back from the dead!"

Whoa. Hold the phone. When did bringing people back from the dead become a holy thing, and not some fright-fest fit for a horror flick?

It's taken me awhile, but I finally got around to checking out this Todd Bentley and his claims. You can see him live streamed on the God Channel's web site. Also, Todd has his own site called Fresh Fire Ministries. More about that in a moment.


This is Todd Bentley. If we Pagans claimed him as our own, we'd get a bad rap for it.

Among the testimonials about Todd Bentley on the God Channel's web site was this one:

"Praise God for healing but we're still praying for God to Complete. My sister Ruth's husband, Chris, had a massive heart attack and was diagnosed clinically dead. The family were called in to spend the last day with him before they switched off the life support the next day. After much prayer, the next day he was sat up in bed and talking to his family. There's still a long way to go but what a miracle! Praise God."

Okay, you could argue that the guy probably wasn't really and truly across the bar. But wouldn't Christian doctrine at that point want to shove him toward the bar and not away from it?

Please note that I have nothing against faith healing (except that it usually doesn't work and only leaves people more depressed). Bringing people back from the dead, though. That's xtreme.

I told Mr. Johnson about this, and he and I began to wonder how long people would have to be dead before Mr. Bentley would no longer be able to resuscitate them. For instance, would Mr. Bentley have a shot at revivifying William Jennings Bryan, the great Democratic reformer of the late 19th century who was simultaneously a devout Christian and a progressive, pro-labor, pro-women's rights presidential candidate?

Maybe it would be neat to shove Mr. Bentley into Westminster Abbey. He could wake up Chaucer, Isaac Newton, and Charles Darwin. But maybe that would be counter-productive to his ministry.

We at "The Gods Are Bored" go on record as being against necromancy. To us it's kind of like having your vacation flight to Jamaica re-routed back to the departure airport. Where there's life, there's hope, but where there's not life ... toodle-oo. Anything else is kind of creepy.

Further research on this young charismatic, tattooed, pierced whirlwind of a Christian preacher reveals that he has his own school. It's called The Supernatural Training Centre. When you go there, amidst a great deal of Christian preaching and praying, you're taught to perform miracles.

I guess the place differs from Hogwarts in that they don't use owls to deliver the mail.

Monday, August 04, 2008

The Vampire Edward Cullen

Welcome to "The Gods Are Bored," where we've never been keen on blood-sucking parasites ... until now.

Every year the dreaded summer reading assignments come pouring in from over-zealous Language Arts teachers in the Borough of Snobville. And this summer was no different. My daughter The Spare, about to become a high school freshman, was slapped with two reading requirements. One is an assigned book, The House on Mango Street. According to the assignment instructions, she has to deconstruct the work paragraph by paragraph, using Jacques Derrida's methods as her rubric.

Slight exaggeration, that. But only slight.

The other assignment was a self-chosen novel. Spare has to write a three-paragraph summary of that one.

There was one catch. Spare hates to read. If she peruses her Facebook in the course of the day, she figures she's done all the reading necessary to her life.

Our ballerina friend Cassie has been reading this series of books called Twilight. She had become so obsessed with the lead character that she stayed up all night for three nights in a row so that she would be conditioned to all-nighters. It was her intention to read the final installment in the series the minute it came out at midnight last Saturday and not stop until she'd done it.

Spare and I spent almost two hours in a Barnes & Noble last week trying to find a novel that would be as captivating as Facebook. I loathe big-box stores of any kind, and with a hurting leg this was a hellish afternoon. Finally, in desperation, I suggested that The Spare try this Twilight thing. It's long -- over 500 pages -- but we did the math and figured we could git r done with time left over for the Derrida project.

Spare brought the book home and opened it with all the enthusiasm you feel when you get your electric bill. And within two hours I could not pry the book from her hand. She read a 500 page novel in less than a week and begged for the sequel. Right now she's sitting downstairs, reading.


Twilight is about a normal high school girl and her love for a sexy vampire dude she meets in her classes. The prose is horrendous, the pace makes a sloth look lively, but apparently this ill-fated love story is candy to the teenage taste buds. Twilight is the "it" series this summer, and the movie will soon be in theaters near you. Here's the leading man. Not my cuppa tea, but everybody can't be Cary Grant.

So, what's your favorite book-to-movie? Mine is the recent version of Pride and Prejudice.

Oooops! What do I hear downstairs? The Spare is lending the first installment of Twilight to her friend. How come I'm the one who had to pay for it?

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Friday, August 01, 2008

Lughnasadh 2008


Welcome to "The Gods Are Bored" on Lughnasadh, 2008! Let all disturbing thoughts be set aside!

August is a month in which many praise and worship teams of the northern climes celebrate harvest by setting aside a holy day. We thank the gods and goddesses for creating bounty. And if the harvest is slim -- if there's been dark weather or disaster, or even rising gas prices -- we politely request the help of our deities to see us through the dark times.

Harvest in the apparent world means fat tomatoes off the vine, big ears of sweet corn and bulging ripe watermelons. It's time to can peaches and make jam and freeze pints of blueberries for the winter.

But harvest is also a metaphor. Have you stored enough wisdom to see you through rough patches? Have you canned enough patience to last out an illness? Have you saved all the love you'll need to shower it abundantly on the people who mean the most to you?

If so, blessed be! Advance to the dragon-tossing round! Let the Lughnasadh Games begin!


If not, pray for rain on that dry old ground you call your life. Don't be too proud to petition a deity for Her or His help. If you were sitting around with not enough to do, and you saw your neighbor struggling to get the lawn mower started, wouldn't you go and help out?

Well then, why are you hesitant to ask Mannanan MacLir to send healing rain? Why would you not swim in the pool of the Salmon of Wisdom until you filled the gaps in your learning? Why not put your parenting issues before Danu and Bile, your mercantile concerns before Queen Brighid the Bright and Cernunnos? Is your life in peril? Surely The Dagda and Morrigan will walk with you.

One of our least appreciated harvests is the abundance of bored deities among all the peoples of the world. Deities, bursting out of your shrubbery at a moment's notice -- not with terrible swift swords, but with the Divine Wisdom of the Ages. Ancient Ones who were sacred to your ancestors. Go chat with them. Can't hurt, unless you're afraid of someone who's smarter than you are.

Bored Gods, give us rain on this dry old ground. Water the tomato and the termite alike. Make us wise, patient, and loving. On our part, we'll try to put your names out there, where they deserve to be ... in big, bold lights.

FROM ANNE
THE MERLIN OF BERKELEY SPRINGS

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