Monday, January 21, 2019

An Open Letter to Nick Sandmann, Future Supreme Court Justice of America

Hello and welcome to "The Gods Are Bored," your Pagan pathway to paradise! You know what's good about bored deities? If they're warlike, they're just warlike. They don't pose as coo doves and then smite. That's hypocritical and dishonest, don't you think?

EXHIBIT A: Today's Poster Boy for the Modern Era



Y'all probably know this story already. The young white creature is Nick Sandmann, a teenager from private Covington Catholic School in Kentucky. He and his classmates (pictured in rear) got into an altercation at the Lincoln Memorial some time after the annual Right to Life rally in Washington, DC.

There was a great rush to judgment based on this photo, so I took the time to read the grinning white boy's version of events. And I must say, he would fit right in here in Haterville. He casts himself as a victim with a total lack of irony.

The story he tells says so much about him. As if you'd need to know more once you saw the MAGA hat.

Apparently these fine Catholic youth were minding their own business at the Lincoln Memorial when some African American men began to taunt them. In Sandmann's account, these Black men called the good, white Catholic boys all sorts of names. So, in response, Sandmann asked his chaperone if he and his buddies could chant SCHOOL PEP RALLY CHANTS, and the chaperone said YES.

Picture this in your mind. Especially if you're a school teacher.

So you have taunting on one side, and chanting on another (from white teenagers wearing MAGA hats), and then you get a drumming Native American who tries to diffuse the situation.

Well, you can't blame the drummer. Some fucking chaperone was inciting his or her charges to riot, instead of quietly steering them out of trouble.

This is what white privilege looks like.

I have absolutely no time or energy for these Catholic schoolboys who go into Washington, DC (population about 60 percent Black), having no respect for the urban environment or what they might encounter there. At a moment where a thinking student or chaperone encountered taunting, that student would turn and quietly walk away. Let's not even talk about what Jesus would do, because ... oh, just see above, first paragraph.

Any woman who has ever walked the streets of a city and has gotten taunted would have known what to do in this situation. But white men? White men don't know shit about this. It's never happened to them. Or to their fathers or grandfathers. It must never have happened to the chaperone, either.

White Catholic boy, your MAGA hat speaks for you. Wear it the wrong place, and you've got to face the music. You won't like the tune. But hear it with humility. You go to private school and are bound for a life of wealth and contentment. The men who challenged you at the Lincoln Memorial? Not so much. Not. So. Much.

But that brings me to the silver lining of this fable.

Nick Sandmann, given the political tenor of your home state (which I would never be foolish enough to visit in my car with its New Jersey plates), you have a bright, bright future! Someone will have to pick up the torch from Mitch McConnell, and you're just the fresh-faced Republican to do it. But why stop there? Everything about you just screams Supreme Court Justice. Are you doing your requisite beer parties with all those fine, young, white pep rally chanters you hang out with? Are you getting drunk and preying upon the fresh-faced Catholic girls in your circle? Oh good. Just checking. In that case, all is well! You're on your way to the big time!

Readers, I double dog guarantee you this sad excuse for an American will face no disciplinary repercussions for this at home or at school. Nor will his chaperone, who was either on some super strong mushrooms or was just a clueless rube. White boys get away with this shit. Always have.

And once again, we see the Catholic church at its finest. What a rotten God! It's disgusting.

Friday, January 18, 2019

Divide and Conquer

When the Orange Menace was inaugurated, women of all stripes (except the Republican stripe) took to the streets and marched in solidarity. Like, in the millions.

Here we are three marches later, and everyone is quarreling like ... well, like human beings.

Muslim women may feel that homosexuality and abortion are sins. Some cis women don't consider transsexual women to actually be women. Women who voted for Bernie in the primaries feel like he would have beaten Donald Trump. Women who voted for Hillary feel like Bernie voters caused all this mess and kept a qualified, dignified candidate out of the White House.

Some African American women feel that white women can't see past privilege. Some white women can't get past their privilege enough to understand the minority experience. Some Millennial women resent how Baby Boomer women were able to get good jobs with benefits, and some Baby Boomer women don't understand why Millennial women don't stop whining and go out and get a good job with benefits.

Some women feel that the Democratic party should adopt a sensible, middle-of-the-road platform, and some women want to shake things up and fight for universal health care, free state college, and a basic minimum income. Some women love their guns, and some want to gather the damn things up and incinerate them.

Only a smattering of women are pro-organized labor ... and some of them voted for the Menace.

In Philadelphia on Saturday, there will be two women's marches in two different parts of the city.

HELLLLOOOOOOO.....

Are we forgetting something here? The evil afoot is worse than any single female agenda! Who is the enemy? Trump is the enemy! He and his ilk can only benefit if women fracture their solidarity.

Anyone who thinks this past election has put us in the clear should look at the voting results. My boy Andy Kim won by about 700 votes. That's what I call hanging by a thread.

We can't afford to squabble among ourselves. For the love of fruit flies! This is exactly what they want.

Therefore, without a sign and without prejudice, I, Anne Johnson, intend to travel into Philadelphia and march with whatever march I come to first. So what if I'm an old, suburban white woman? I'm a voter. I'm a worker. United we stand, divided we fall.

I want that horror of a human being out of office. That's all that matters.

Monday, January 14, 2019

Happy Birthday, Barbie!

Can you believe it? Barbie turns 60 this year. I actually think she looks younger now than she did in 1959.

EXHIBIT A: BARBIE 1959



To be honest, as a little girl, I found Barbie disconcerting. I didn't like her big tits or the fact that her feet were constructed so she could only wear high heels.

EXHIBIT B: BARBIE 2019


What do you know? Her tits are smaller, but she's still wearing those heels! Come on, Barbie. Eat some cake! You're too thin!

Actually I have some very good news for Barbie. I, too, was born in 1959. In just a few weeks I'll be eating a whopper of a cake -- and Barbie can help me polish it off!

Gosh, I can hardly believe it. I'm almost 60. I feel blessed to have come this far. Sure, there are aches and pains, but I'm hardy and working every day. All the same, 60 can make you a bit existential. Unless you're Barbie.

Readers, I have arrived at the age of 60 hardly having done any traveling at all in my life. So this Spring Break I will embark on an epic quest for my Thunderbird soul-mate. I'll tell you about it very soon!

Thursday, January 10, 2019

Destroyer of Worlds

Welcome to "The Gods Are Bored," brought to you from the Great Blue Northeast since 2005! We've got millionaire neighbors here now, but that only makes it more likely that we will flaunt our radical left-wing agenda. And possibly eat the rich.

I don't know if you've kept up with the alt-right and their symbol appropriation.  Long story short, this cute little frog has become the alt-right's mascot.


Poor little guy! My heart bleeds for him. (What else would you expect from a bleeding heart liberal?)

It seemed only a matter of time before the radical left responded in kind. An eye for an eye, and all that nonsense.

Last year, the Philadelphia Flyers unveiled a new hockey mascot who is so magnificently hideous that he practically melts steel. His name is Gritty.


As luck would have it, the very week the Flyers unveiled Gritty, Donald Trump visited Philadelphia for a fundraiser. Protesters gathered, and more than a few signs featured Gritty, telling Trump to get out of the city.

Don't ask me why the Flyers promotional team didn't match up the rhyme ... but they didn't.

Gritty caught on immediately as a foil to the alt-right's frog. From local origins he has branched out in all his tangerine glory. Even the New York Times made a snooty note of it. Now you can't go to a protest of any sort without seeing Gritty on signs or decals.



Don't mess with Philadelphia when it comes to being bad-ass.

The first time I laid eyes on Gritty, I thought he was what one might see if one watched Sesame Street while licking a cane toad or swallowing questionable mushrooms. But wow, did I warm to him quickly when he stepped into the political arena!


The title of this post, "Destroyer of Worlds," comes from the t-shirt my daughter The Fair gave me for Christmas.


All I have to say is, if Gritty can destroy the world our nation is descending into -- where we're held hostage by a lunatic narcissist and his venal flunkies -- then you go, Bearded Wild Thing! Have at them!

PS - He came to the Mummers Parade. Imagine that!

Yes, that's me hugging him. He was in my unit.

Tuesday, January 08, 2019

Interview with a Bored Goddess: Ma'at

Good day, and welcome to "The Gods Are Bored!" This is the site where we designate deities to duties that need to be done. Yes, reader, you too can become a Prayer Warrior -- just choose a God or Goddess who will heed your call, and then pray your heart out.

And boy, am I praying today! I've had the scouts out everywhere, looking for Ma'at, the sacred ancient Egyptian Goddess of Truth and Justice.

Used to be, I didn't have a bit of trouble getting such ancient and venerable deities to join me for a bracing beverage and a fireside chat. In these times, They are not as accommodating. My first message from Ma'at was: "Busy sorting wing feathers. Call me back when that lying sack of sated dung beetles is no longer your leader."

Can you blame her one bit? But I petitioned again, more urgently this time, and she has joined me for scones. Please give a warm, wonderful, "Gods Are Bored" welcome to Ma'at, Goddess of Justice!


Anne: Thank you so much for coming! You must be furious about the lack of justice in America right now.

Ma'at: Honestly, Anne? When was America ever a just nation? Just because Americans recite "and liberty and justice for all" every damn day doesn't make it happen.

Anne: You've got a point, o winged wonder. But Ma'at ... I've been searching high and low for you because America needs you, right now! It's a small but crucial assignment, and I sure hope you'll accept it.

Ma'at: Well, tell me what it is, and I'll check my Outlook calendar to see if I'm available.

Anne: Snap, I'm impressed, Goddess! I can't figure out Outlook calendar to save my life! Not surprised deities can do it, though.

Ma'at: So, what is it, and when do you need me?

Anne: It's this, and I'm about 10,000 times more serious than usual: Our great justice, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, is having health problems. She's 85 and still on the job -- trying to hold out for a sensible president to replace her, instead of the Orange Gibbon currently in charge.

Ma'at: 85, you say? That's advanced age, right there. Any kind of health problem or surgery can really take a toll on a person of that many years.

Anne: I know, I know! I'm worried sick! Ma'at, will you please, please, please drop whatever else you're doing and take up protective watch over Ruth Bader Ginsburg?

Ma'at: That's a pretty cheeky request, Anne! You think I don't have anything else to do? I'm busy all the time! I have a thriving praise and worship team, not to mention all the superior art work to supervise.


Anne: Dear Goddess, it is with the utmost humility that I approach you and petition you to protect Justice Ginsburg. I'll put it to you this way: Who cribbed your holy edicts and passed them off as original?

Ma'at: The Judeo-Christians, that's who!

Anne: Well, a good passel of them are praying that Ruth Bader Ginsburg dies.

Ma'at: Say no more. I'll put my other appointments on hold. Where can I find this Justice Ginsburg?

Anne: Washington, DC, I think. She works there, and if she's resting at home, I assume her home is there. Not sure, though. But you're a Goddess, Ma'at! You can find this person, can't you?

Ma'at: Consider it done! However, I require something from you (and whoever else reads this) in return. Please petition Me to do this important job. I want to be recognized for my contributions to *ahem* American "justice."

Anne: Trust me, Ma'at. I'm going to be praying to You daily. This is some serious shit here. I have children to think of -- daughters and students -- who need Justice Ginsburg alive and on the bench. To my three readers, I say (and I have never said this before) ... Please petition the Goddess Ma'at to preserve and protect Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg! We need her. Oh, please, Ma'at .....

Monday, December 31, 2018

Why the Mummers Parade Survives

I think this is the 118th year that Philadelphia has hosted a Mummers Parade on January 1.

Like many events in big cities, this parade began as a civic effort to curb public drunkenness on New Year's Day. But in this era of warm and cozy bars and restaurants, open museums, and a less tolerant attitude toward public drunkenness, why does this parade survive?

Mind you, as many as 10,000 people take part in the parade. And there's a simple formula to its continued existence (even though Philly's civic leaders would rather it just fizzle out).

Have you ever gone to a family reunion? My dad's people used to have them every year on the Fourth of July, in a little creek-side park near Chaneysville, PA. Upwards of a hundred people would come, and the event consisted of eating, talking, playing horseshoes, a few kid's games, and ... not much else. And it lasted all day.

Now imagine if your family reunion had a goal in mind: marching in a parade as a family, with matching costumes and a theme. Yes, you would need to get together a little more often to practice and make costumes and props. But it's your family. You wouldn't really mind (mostly), would you?

Mumming persists in Philadelphia because many Mummer groups are basically big, extended families whose members have been in parades since they were tots. My club, the Two Street Stompers, was formed by a family whose parents, aunts, and uncles had marched with other clubs. Some members of the Stompers who are well into mid-life have been marching on Broad Street since they were too young to walk. (They were carried.) Now they are carrying their kids.

Every year at our Two Street Stompers practice, there are young parents bringing their babies and toddlers for the first time. And there are also esteemed elders -- some in their 90s -- who come to watch, and then stand up to strut a little at the end. It's a touching sight.

The number of participants in the Mummers Parade has dwindled over the past 20 years or so. Still, if you go to a Mummers practice -- any club of any size -- you'll see multiple generations of the same family, carrying on a family tradition. That's what keeps this thing going.

As far as curbing public drunkenness goes, well, emmm ... People are going to imbibe on a holiday, no matter what else they are doing. Judge not, lest ye be judged.

Sunday, December 30, 2018

A "Weird New Jersey" Hike To Remember

Nothing fills me with gratitude and joie de vivre quite like hiking.

You see, I gave up hiking for years -- actually decades -- and then re-discovered it because the government of Atlantic City put up a sea wall that blocked all the sea glass from coming ashore.

Before the sea wall, I was content to spend a sunny day in winter looking for sea glass in Atlantic City. Who can blame me? Look at this view.

EXHIBIT A: THIS BEACH IS GONE


EXHIBIT B: THIS VIEW IS GONE TOO


I could have met the loss of the beaches with a sad, old lady sigh. Instead I shook my fist at the fickle finger of Fate and decided to collect waterfalls. This requires hiking.

EXHIBIT C: A VALUED PIECE IN MY NEW COLLECTION


In the process of hiking to waterfalls, I made a discovery that made me shake my fist at myself. Within a 2-3 hour drive of my home in Haterfield are miles and miles and miles of amazing hiking trails! Me, with my "I'm from Appalachia, I don't have time for the Poconos" attitude ... I almost blew it. I could have gone to my grave without ever bonding with my own back yard.

A few days ago, my daughter The Heir and I went on a hike to a rock formation that was once featured in Weird New Jersey magazine. Even though we got lost on the way to the park, we still got there in two hours. In other words, we could do a hike as a day trip ... a hike in the mountains.

EXHIBIT D: TRIPOD ROCK


Heir and I hiked to this rock. It's called Tripod Rock because it's a glacial anomaly. As in, you can't believe the sight of this freakin rock.

EXHIBIT E: OTHER SIDE OF TRIPOD ROCK


Yes, you're seeing that right. One big rock, balancing on three little rocks. This actually could be the work of some bored deity. Hard to imagine a glacier being that precise.

The hike to and from Tripod Rock was not even strenuous, and I only fell two times. Heir and I had a swell afternoon together, and we got to the rock before the steady stream of hikers who came in our wake. You see, Tripod Rock is only 30 miles outside New York City.

How did I get to be a woman of a certain age without knowing about all the hiking trails in the New Jersey Highlands? Why did I sneer like a snob at the Poconos? Alas, some time has been wasted.

On the other hand, I'm still fairly hale and hearty, and there's nothing like a bracing hike to make you feel hale and hearty. There is still time. I have found new mountains to climb.

EXHIBIT F: LOVE THE ONE YOU'RE WITH


The bored gods uprooted me from the mountains of my birth and dropped me in a state that is the punch line in a million jokes. It has been up to me to make the best of this fact. It's getting easier all the time. All the time.