Wednesday, August 31, 2005
A PRAYER FOR HURRICANE VICTIMS FROM THE DEEP SOUTH TO KENTUCKY AND BEYOND:
Ancient Ones, Gentry of Sidhe, help push back the great waters.
Those who in Avalon rest, welcome your children home.
So might it be.
THE MERLIN OF BERKELEY SPRINGS
Tuesday, August 30, 2005
I've got a rare blood type, so I let the Red Cross rip the ol' veins open fairly often. Yesterday, during a routine blood drive, the volunteers were talking about hurricane duty.
I said they could have an extra pint of blood, but they didn't take it.
Anyway, these big Atlantic hurricanes are ripping up the Southlands regularly now, and in a future post we'll talk about what hurricanes mean for hillbillies. But today's topic is a little more of the moment.
WHO'S ON GUARD?
(With apologies to Abbott and Costello)
WHO = the National Guard
WHAT = the Army Reserves
I DON'T KNOW = Dubya
Q: Who's helping the residents of Louisiana, Alabama, and Mississippi keep their houses safe from looters?
A: No, Who's in Iraq.
Q: I don't understand. Who's policing the highways so opportunistic thieves and thugs can't dash in and take advantage of ordinary Americans caught in harm's way?
A: No, sorry. Who's in Iraq.
Q: Well then, Who's in Mississippi?
A: No, Who's in Iraq.
Q: I don't get it. What's keeping criminals from taking advantage of hurricane damage to plunder and terrorize hurricane victims?
A: What's in Iraq too.
Q: What is in Iraq?
A: That's right.
Q: No, you don't understand. What exactly is in Iraq?
Q: Wait. I don't get this at all. Who helps out with damage control when hurricanes strike?
A: Usually, but right now Who's in Iraq.
Q: Who's in Iraq?
Q: I still don't understand. Who is in Iraq, and What's going on there?
A: That's completely correct.
Q: Well, then, who's helping the hurricane victims, and what can help them?
A: Sorry. Iraq.
Q: I don't know what you're talking about! I don't know!
A: White House.
ANNE BLAMES BLOOD LOSS FOR THIS NONSENSE
THE MERLIN OF BERKELEY SPRINGS
Monday, August 29, 2005
Bad day in the Deep South. Begs a question:
How many more hippo hurricanes will it take before the handful of government lackeys, Texas and Saudi oil barons, and Intelligent Design scientists give up, cry uncle, and admit that global warming is a problem?
Can't blame the bored gods for this one, human race. See Poseidon's statement below, completely absolving him from any role in this or any Atlantic hurricane.
THE MERLIN OF BERKELEY SPRINGS
Saturday, August 27, 2005
First, a personal thank you to my reader Athana, who suggests I take up Ebay as a replacement for my lost goat judge income. That occurred to me too! I've been combing my house for stuff to list. So far I've compiled the following exciting stockpile:
1. A hamster that bites.
2. The cat that traumatizes the hamster.
3. One copy, Sensible Goat Breeding and Maintenance.
4. An oversized Tigger stuffed animal that leaps out and trips me just like the one in the movies.
5. Beanie babies that have been played with until they're all scuffed up and dirty.
6. Back issues of the National Enquirer.
7. A well-worn t-shirt for the West Virginia Mountain Bike Classic.
A promising lot, don't you think?
Seriously, Athana, thanks for the advice. I do have some items that I hope will bring in enough to produce a little nest egg for Christmas.
Today I'm at the library again, typing furiously and watching for other customers who want this machine. I've been asked by a bored god to make a statement.
STATEMENT FROM POSEIDON
Hello, I am the formerly powerful god Poseidon. You may know me as Triton or Neptune. Or you may have read The Odyssey. If you've done that, you know I used to be taken seriously.
At one time I crafted up nasty storms to blow ships off course. But since I got downsized, I've been living quietly in Atlantis. My days consist of counting the bubbles that ooze from a volcanic vent.
You may have noticed that Atlantic hurricanes are increasing in number and intensity. If I was still in charge, you might even be offering sacrifices to me to get them to stop.
Guess what, clueless moderns? The hurricanes are your fault, not mine.
We're sweltering here in Atlantis, and it's not from the volcanic vents. The whole earth is steaming up. And that's gonna get you some serious action in the hurricane department.
Who would know oceanic storms better than myself?
How to prevent hurricanes, typhoons, and tsunamis? Can't be done. Couldn't be done in the days when people prayed to me.
Still, you moderns could turn the thermostat down a little by burning less of that nasty coal and oil. A cold ocean is a happy ocean, if you know what I mean.
One last thing while I have the floor. Why the heck did the early Christians destroy all my nice temples and the statues of me? It's tough enough to survive on unemployment. But to crush all that nice art work? Bad form.
Thank goodnes for Walt Disney. He did me up swell in "The Little Mermaid." I even had a sweet little crab like that for a companion, but recently he fell afoul of a crab trap and wound up cooked and clubbed in a dockside restaurant outside Baltimore.
Okay, to recap. Don't blame me for the hurricanes. They thrive on heat, and you moderns are feeding them to the point of bloat.
(FORMER) GOD OF THE DEEP
Friday, August 26, 2005
Some of my many faithful readers must be wondering how I came up with the idea of allowing the bored gods to air their beefs (or is it beeves?).
This is how "The Gods Are Bored" began:
One night I couldn't sleep. I turned on C-Span hoping to catch a good Robert Byrd speech. Instead I got this lecture from some guy out in California. He was speaking at a very VERY liberal synagogue.
His topic was that God doesn't exist, and pretending He does only causes trouble in this world.
The guy used this example. He said: "Imagine picking up a dollar bill and seeing the phrase 'In Zeus We Trust' on it. Or imagine a t-shirt that said, 'What Would Hermes Do?' See how silly that sounds? People don't worship Zeus anymore. And some day they won't worship God either."
It was a compelling argument.
Except for one thing.
Why don't we worship Zeus anymore? Suppose Zeus exists, and his corporation has been the vicitm of a hostile takeover? Suppose he went from being the awesome god to which the magnificent Acropolis is dedicated, to being in early retirement, playing shuffleboard with Gilgamesh and Baal?
It's just hard for me to believe that no deities exist at all. You'd feel the same way if you had fairies hiding your glasses all the time.
Since this is a religious site, we don't need any hard science to prove that God exists. It's a given.
However, if God exists - meaning the God of the Bible, who also appears as the Allah in the Koran - then all gods exist.
It doesn't say anything in Judeo-Christian-Islamic writings about God killing off the other gods. It just says you should pick him to worship, because he's the one and only.
Okay, the Bible's god works for a whole lot of people. Fine and dandy. But some of us just can't buy the "one god" thingy, especially since that particular god is:
1. A man.
2. Somehow split into three parts, but still a whole.
3. A jealous, mass-murderer who fathered a son out of wedlock, allowed the son to be treated roughly, and who is still witholding pertinent information from said son.
4. A god who contradicts himself in his writings to the extent that anyone can justify almost any atrocity by quoting from his scriptures - especially but not exclusively the plunder of the earth and the murder of other human beings.
So Anne the goat judge created this site to give the bored gods a chance to rock on.
Just now I've been pretty harsh toward Yahweh, but truth be told some of the bored gods are worse even than him. Zeus doesn't exactly fare well in the harsh light of bold examination. But it just doesn't seem fair that every culture's gods and goddesses just went POOF!
Who knows? Perhaps in his boredom Zeus has done some soul-searching and decided maybe he shouldn't have taken the form of a swan and raped a pretty girl. Let's give him the benefit of the doubt.
I try not to play favorites in the god market. That's like living on a diet that consists of nothing but vanilla ice cream. So many gods and goddesses have so much to offer that it's like a flea market with fifty aisles!
Come walk with me and chat with the bored gods. September is "Save the Arctic Month."
We'll also browse through other favorite subjects, like The Madness of Rick Santorum, How George Bush Chooses Worthy Gold Star Moms, Rush Limbaugh and His Little Problem, The Norma Rae Revival, and of course ... fairies, fairies, fairies!
All posts are original to this humble goat judge who had the good sense to take secretarial courses in high school.
Could you type all this in 30 minutes?
IN ZEUS WE TRUST,
THE MERLIN OF BERKELEY SPRINGS
Thursday, August 25, 2005
We have been experiencing technical difficulties posting our awesome religiously-motivated texts here the last few days. Please be patient! We're sure some redneck who knows how to fix things will have us up and running again before you can say, "Save the Arctic Wildlife Refuge."
THE MERLIN OF BERKELEY SPRINGS
Monday, August 22, 2005
Fairies are just looking for respect, and perhaps a joke or two now and then. They especially love spontaneous puns. Shower them with spontaneous puns and you'll never lose those car keys.
First, I want to thank my wide readership for the outpouring of sympathy, job offers, and downright grants since I posted the news of a scarcity of goat-judging opportunities. I'm so touched! But don't worry about me. I just realized there's no Tarot Card reader in my little town! Opportunity knocks!
I've also been thinking. I know this sounds silly. But maybe I could be a writer. Seems like they have the good life, all right. Just sitting around banging on a computer all day. Does anyone out there know any writers?
Which brings me to the subject of today's little essay.
Every now and then, a quirk of DNA or a poorly-completed job of parental nurturing unleashes on the world a certifiable lunatic.
Mind you, I've got a soft spot for true lunatics. My mom had bipolar disorder in the pre-lithium days, and I can remember being dressed up for dinner because Queen Elizabeth was coming to see us.
Mom's problems pale, however, against the wild, weird life of Hunter S. Thompson.
Have any of you heard of this guy? He took every kind of drug on the planet (without reading the prescription inserts) and committed every kind of mayhem that leaves you one inch shy of the docket, and then he wrote all about it for bestselling books.
Hunter S. Thompson would be a good "Exhibit A" in Pastor Dobson's Hall of Shame. Alas, Thompson was straight, or he'd be the perfect demon for the Dobson corps. As it is, he ranks right up there.
Awhile back, for reasons unknown, Thompson shot himself through the head while his grandchildren romped in the other room. Now there's a fond old memory of grandpa to recall way down the line!
Thompson's will commanded that he be cremated and his remains shot out of a cannon.
Seriously, could I make this up?
Apparently the celebrated cannonball of Thompson ashes recently sailed into the sky, viewed by an appreciative audience that included Johnny Depp and Sean Penn. I didn't get an invitation. If I had, I think I would have gone ... just to see Johnny Depp.
This is just my opinion, but having your ashes shot out of a cannon is not the most terrific send-off. When are we going to see a really great funeral? I mean one where the deceased is placed on a barge, floated out into a river, and then the barge set on fire by archers on shore, shooting flaming arrows?
Keep your cannons, and especially your Absolute Zero freezers, so you can be thawed out and go rocking on when medical science improves. But the barge and the flaming arrows, now that's a great goodbye. Not only that, but it's the favored send-off of the bored gods. You'd be sure to have a superb turnout of fairies for that one!
So Hunter Thompson died as he lived, a small thinker with a finite imagination, no religion of any sort, not the kind of bloke you'd want to cart home to meet the folks at a family reunion.
His post-human cannonball appearance does make you think, though. Like, I'm no spring chicken. Maybe I'd better get the old will out and review the specs.
Now, where do I find a barge?
REST IN PIECES, HUNTER S. THOMPSON
THE MERLIN OF BERKELEY SPRINGS
Hey! I just found my car keys!
Sunday, August 21, 2005
It's no easier for gods and goddesses to face this life-altering moment than it is for people, so we invite them to air their concerns here. It can get lively.
Today's topic is more personal, however. And I will try not to whine, because self pity just doesn't make anything better.
My goat-judging days are over.
Have you ever heard of a Web cam? I'll bet a good many of my wide and faithful readership know how to run one.
Works like this: Someone films something, zippo it goes into the Internet, and someone in, say, Morocco can watch the action as it unfolds.
Bet you can guess where this is leading. The international conglomerate that bought the corporation that bought out my original employer, Goats R Us, has figured out how to beam Web cam footage to goat judges in Morocco. The Moroccan goat judges are not only some of the world's most knowledgeable goat people, they'll also work for less than a third what American goat judges are paid.
The conglomerate, Amalgamated Goat, Inc., just instituted their new policy at the Missouri State Fair. They Web-cammed the goat judging to Morocco, where the judges evaluated the entries and made their decisions, ripped them into an email with a built-in translator, and bingo.
Two days later, pink slips got mailed to every goat judge east of the Mississippi. The goat judges in the West are running scared too.
We goat judges are already known for our high suicide rate and the many other stress-related syndromes associated with our profession. This will be tough on a lot of tough people.
So now I have to find a whole new line of work. Don't tell me to go to vet school. I've already inquired, and despite my stellar record from Billy Bob Agricultural University (BBAU, home of the Fighting Buzzards), I would have to shell out about $100,000 to get a vet license. Even for farm animals. Imagine!
Readers, this is hard for me. I love goats. I mean, I really love the little cloven-hooved milk-makers. I love watching earnest little farm girls drag stubborn goats around a ring, trembling lest their recalcitrant nanny refuses to move. I love eating all the pies entered in contests. I love watching young rednecks in love ride ferris wheels. I love cotton candy, dart games, honeybee displays, baby chicks hatching in incubators, and prize rabbits.
Goat judging is my life and my livelihood. Worse than that, I've got two kids to feed, and the husband's salary as a wrecking ball operator will only stretch so far.
Anyone have any ideas, work-wise? I've already prayed to the Thunderbirds and offered them a sacrifice. I've also taken my issues to the Celtic deities, especially Queen Brighid the Bright.
There must be some line of work a goat judge can do that'll keep her around dusty barns and polite 4-H youngsters. It's too soon to give up hope.
ANNE, THE UNEMPLOYED MERLIN OF BERKELEY SPRINGS
PS - The Thunderbird sacrifice did not involve killing any animal, as the sacraments used had already been killed for human consumption. I could have pulled in a road kill, but I drive an economy car and so must be concerned about nasty odors from the trunk.
Saturday, August 20, 2005
Hello, folks. My name is Morpheus, and I am a bored god. Alas, I am so unappreciated these days. The ancient Greeks and Romans worshipped me as the giver of dreams. In statue and artwork form I frequently appeared slumbering amidst a bed of poppies.
You know about poppies, don't you? Look what they did to poor Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz! Poppies are those pretty flowers witches use to put people to sleep. Actually, it's the sap that does the trick. And you don't need a witch to get some, just a dope dealer or a dishonest doctor or a phantom pharmacist.
If you just blunder into poppy use without my guidance, you're gonna wind up floundering in guano. Sorry, but the ancient Greeks knew that, and you so-called moderns don't.
Yes, I, Morpheus, gave opium poppies to humans. The gift came with an instruction booklet that was lost during the Dark Ages and has never surfaced again. Hey, that's not my fault. I got laid off and wasn't allowed even to clean out my desk and take the remaining poppies with me.
You may be wondering why I'm here today. Perhaps to discuss Eminem's chances at kicking sleep aids? Wrong, sorry.
I'm here because I happened to catch about five minutes of Rush Limbaugh on the radio airwaves the other day. It was the first time in about 2,000 years that I was glad I have no control over opiate use among you moderns.
Rush is a good Christian man, which explains his difficulties with opiate derivatives. No guidance from ancient Greek deities to light the way through the OxyContin haze. He's had to rough it on his own, with the sorry assistance of the idiot medical community of your time.
In short, Rush is suffering like a dog every day. His jones will never go away.
Perhaps that's why he's so horrible.
I, Morpheus, could not believe my ears when I heard Rush bad-mouth a grieving mother whose son has been killed in war. He actually called the woman belittling names and berated her for holding an opinion counter to his own.
Not since the Visigoths sacked Rome have I seen such wanton disregard for the suffering of a mother, deprived of her son who was cut down in his prime. The Visigoths liked to make light of the suffering of mothers. Barbaric, that's what it is.
I've had many occasions to regret the loss to humanity of my publication, Morpheus's Guide to the Poppy and Its Pitfalls. But when I heard Rush, a person who has dipped freely into my products, spouting such hate and rage, I had a change of heart.
America, I decided, is a nation of the Visigoths, by the Visigoths, and for the Visigoths. You should rename your country Visigothia.
I'd like to offer one tidbit of solace to the few of you out there who don't belittle suffering moms whether they support a war or oppose it.
Rush will never be free of his opiate cravings. They will haunt him now and forever, and particularly if he gets a painful, wasting illness. He would know that if he'd read Morpheus's Guide to the Poppy and Its Pitfalls, but when was the last time you saw that in the bookstore?
I got pink-slipped in favor of school prayer, and I've watched generations of junkies pray fruitlessly to be free of their joneses. Rush is one of them. He may be clean as a whistle now, but he wants poppy. He'll always want poppy.
Will I ever lift a well-chiseled Greek finger to help him? Dream on.
MORPHEUS, GOD OF DREAMS
Saturday, August 13, 2005
Welcome to "The Gods Are Bored!" On behalf of Queen Brighid the Bright, we wish you peace and happiness abundantly!
Make a wand, bathe in a sacred spring, change your paradigm! Walk a mile with this goddess, you may see the world in a whole new light.
Gentle readers, I journey tomorrow to the lovely state of Maryland to judge goats at county fairs. I've asked Queen Brighid to charm this computer so that slackers like Mr. Applegate can't sneak in and post nonsense.
I'll miss you all. And please don't tell Senator Santorum that I'm a working mother. He'll think less of me.
All hail Queen Brighid, Mother Nature! Now here's a Mother who's never worked outside the home. Her home is everywhere.
What she once was, she will be again. Mark your calendar today.
THE MERLIN OF BERKELEY SPRINGS
Friday, August 12, 2005
My name is ... well, it's complicated. If you had to end every document with a moniker like Mephistopheles, you'd be in search of simplicity too. So just call me "Mr. Applegate." Sounds so all-American, like a slice of shoo-fly pie.
In previous posts, I've been trying to explain to you clueless Darwinian evolutionists that you're all wrong. This wonderful world you live in (and I live under) was created by Intelligent Design!
Heck, have you ever tried to put together a piece of furniture from Ikea? Imagine putting together an entire universe! Tab "A" simply has to fit into Slot "B." Otherwise you might get a little glitch, like bubonic plague.
Okay, so you Christians out there are puzzled. There are so many dinosaur fossils! What's the deal with them? God created dinosaurs, right? Then how come we don't have dinosaurs running around today, eating your favorite pet puppy?
It was a simple matter of logistics, my friends.
God (my boss) told Noah to build an Ark and take two of each animal on board to ride out a gigantic flood.
And Noah respectfully, with much genuflection and goat sacrifice, answered back: "Um, Great One, no boat will float with a pair of Tyrannosaurus Rexes, Stegodons, Brachiosaurs, and Hadrosaurs in the hold. And we're just getting started. My son Ham has catalogued more than 2,000 species of dinosaur alone."
No answer from Above.
So Noah thought about it some more. He did another major sacrifice of goats and said, "Well, maybe I could fit the dinos if I left off the insects. But that shouldn't be my decision. I leave it up to you, Great One."
In a thunderous basso profundo, the answer came back: "TAKE THE INSECTS!"
Well! Thank heaven for that! How would the crops be pollinated without bees? And the stunningly beautiful butterflies! Oh, how we would miss them!
Noah didn't question the Wisdom from Above, even though he wondered how he could keep the termites from gnawing a hole in the Ark.
So Noah took all the insects. The malaria mosquitoes. The leeches. The distant ancestor of the hornet that stung you yesterday. Lyme ticks. Ringworms and tapeworms. (These had to be taken internally, if you know what I mean.) Army ants. Well, an army of two at any rate.
Weevils, locusts, Japanese beetles, gypsy moths, wood boring beetles, tse tse flies, dog fleas. There was room on the Ark for all these Intelligently Designed creations.
Alas for poor T. Rex, he was just too big. And so was Mrs. Rex.
On came the flood, drowning all the dinosaurs and leaving them in cunningly crafted rock deposits that appear to be millions and millions and millions of years old, when really they're only about 4,270 years old. Now that's Intelligent Design at its zenith. Because Yahweh wants all you Darwinians to trip up over this stuff, so you wind up with moi.
Gosh, if I keep helping out like this, you won't have to send your kids to science class at all. And think of all the quality time you'll have to spend together if Junior doesn't have to take biology!
Yours in the trenches,
PS - Anne left a post today too. I snuck in while she was in the shower.
Welcome to "The Gods Are Bored!" If you're just joining us for the first time, please take a number and have a seat. A god will be with you shortly.
August is vacation time for most people. Not for me. I'm a goat judge. Day after tomorrow I embark on a week-long odyssey through Maryland, where I'll be judging goats at county fairs.
Some people like to vacation in the Great Outdoors (what's left of it), and they use these little backpacking tents for sleeping. Ever spent the night in one? They are the most uncomfortable little devils. Not to mention the claustrophobia factor. And the lack of air conditioning.
George W. Bush is not spending his month-long vacation in one of these tents. He's at his posh ranch, golfing and dining with his closest pals in sumptuous, air conditioned comfort. Today, August 12, I understand he is going to a Republican fund-raising dinner at a neighboring resort called the Broken Spoke Ranch.
The Broken Spoke Ranch. Would I make that up?
Unfortunately, our Fearless Leader has a little problem at the vigilantly-patrolled perimeter of his vacation property.
A group of mothers who lost their children in the Iraqi War have set up a tent camp to try to wring from Fearless Leader his faultless rationale for sending their offspring to war in a desert far, far away. Remember, a good number of these strapping youngsters thought they'd be doing National Guard duty. And if you're as old as I am, you've been through a few hurricanes, a few floods on the Mississippi, a few riots. Occasions when the National Guard had to ... well ... guard the nation.
Anyway, who could possibly imagine that a bunch of godless, liberal working mothers who should be in the Caymans closing corporate deals over rum drinks would actually mourn the loss of their children enough to tent camp in the Texas heat? Do these cynical, liberal feminist mothers love their children that much?
Note to Dubya and his crony Rick Santorum: Moms love their kids.
Moms hate burying their children more than anything in the world.
If a mom has to bury her healthy, vibrant youngster, she usually wants the satisfaction of knowing one of two things:
1. That her youngster died in pursuit of a noble cause.
2. That the person who killed her youngster will receive the swift hand of judgment.
It's the first of the two items above that has mothers like Cindy Sheehan tent-bound in the Texas heat. Like so many of us, Mom Sheehan is trying to figure out how this nation went from looking for one guy, Osama Bin Laden, to mounting a full-fledged military invasion of a country that had no ties to Bin Laden and posed no threat to our national security.
And as of this post, Osama Bin Laden's still holding fund raising dinners of his own.
Our Fearless Leader gave a little impromptu press conference yesterday, after judging that all but his most rabid Far Right supporters would be appalled to see grieving moms tent camping in the hot Texas dust.
F.L. did not meet with the moms. That would be a sign of weakness. Remember, Herbert Hoover (another great Republican) never visited any tent cities either.
F.L. did say, however, that we have to press on with this bidness in Iraq, because "the enemy" has to be subdued.
Seems to me like we have more enemies in Iraq than we did a year ago. What are they doing, cloning each other? Or perhaps the citizens of Iraq are just getting tired of an occupation that has reduced towns to rubble, killed and injured civilians (including children - oh, there's that Mom thing again).
The Goddess Brighid the Bright salutes brave mothers like Cindy Sheehan who dare to question the decisions of the power elite. And in this at least, Mom Sheehan can derive a bit of satisfaction.
We know who killed young Casey Sheehan. It was the Commander and Chief of the Armed Forces of the United States, who ordered Pvt. Sheehan into a costly, unprovoked, and unproductive military engagement. So at least we have the perp.
I doubt if even Yahweh will protect his dewey-eyed Texas follower on that Great Day of Judgment. "Stupid mistake" will not be an adequate defense.
Judging the goats of government, I remain,
Thursday, August 11, 2005
Welcome to "The Gods Are Bored!" Send us your gods, they won't be ignored!
Gentle reader, do I come across as cynical to you? Do I seem to have a bad attitude about my job prospects, my government, my inability to end the week with a surplus in the checking account?
All of the above might make some people cynical. But that's not why I'm cynical.
According to Rick Santorum, the (junior) senator from Pennsylvania, I'm cynical because I'm a working mother who disagrees with his new book, It Takes a Family.
Apparently, anyone who has objections to the junior senator's book is cynical.
Gosh, I guess that makes me Ebenezer Scrooge.
ANNE ISSUES SOME BAH, HUMBUGS!
1. Sending copious numbers of National Guardsmen and Army Reservists to the sands of Iraq, thereby depleting the numbers who would respond to an emergency in our country, such as those presented by big hurricanes and planes flying into skyscrapers.
2. Sending copious numbers of National Guardsmen and Army Reservists into battle abroad, scaring off possible recruits who would protect this nation in the future against emergencies such as big hurricanes and planes flying into skyscrapers.
3. Allowing the rulers of multinational corporations to become explosively, excessively rich while destroying labor unions and shipping manufacturing jobs to Third World countries.
4. Damaging the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge in search of oil, a resource that will absolutely run out anyway within 100 years.
5. Cutting timber in national forests to build new homes, more homes than there are people in need of shelter.
6. Expensive commercials for medicine that costs so much that ordinary citizens can't afford to buy it.
7. Demanding that women with children get off welfare and go into the workforce, and then saying that all children should have a stay-at-home mother.
8. Bringing democracy to Islamic Middle Eastern nations while curtailing rights to privacy at home.
9. Fighting a War against Terrorism abroad instead of beefing up border security and taking closer scrutiny of those wishing to emigrate.
10. Teaching "scientific evidence" that is in truth unprovable, because it is based on religious views.
ANNE'S BIGGEST HUMBUG IS RESERVED FOR........
The notion that Americans will voluntarily help the poor, support medical research, police themselves routinely, and think beyond their personal desires toward a concept of wider community.
There you have it, Senator Rick. I am a cynic as charged. I think I'll go bite the head off a live chicken and stalk menacingly up and down Main Street, grimacing at the little kids who pass me by.
WITH GNASHING OF TEETH AND BARELY SUPPRESSED GROWLS
THE CYNIC OF BERKELEY SPRINGS
Sunday, August 07, 2005
A developer wants to build 4,000 homes in a mountainous county that would become the ultimate ex-urb for Baltimore and Washington, DC. The land where these houses would go is now forest, sparsely populated by genuine hillbillies and lots and lots of wildlife.
If you read this, will you please send this link along to all your friends, no matter where they live, and ask them to oppose the "Terrapin Run" development?
Can't we leave a few mountains alone?
Here's the link. What you need to do is participate in the poll (watch the crafty wording), and OPPOSE the "Terrapin Run" development.
I like the name of the development, because it sure will send the terrapins running. In that at least it's accurate.
THE (WEEPING) MERLIN OF BERKELEY SPRINGS
Saturday, August 06, 2005
Welcome to "The Gods Are Bored," where we remember gods and goddesses who've been let go in revised head counts.
This is the goddess Sedna. She is sacred to the Inuit people. As you can imagine, she has few concerns these days beyond the health of the Arctic.
Sedna tells us that she has a temper, and that she will not take lightly the continued melting of her homeland due to global warming. She will also be alarmingly miffed if a bunch of beer-swilling contractors arrive to punch holes in her permafrost, in search of black gold (a.k.a. Texas tea).
Politicians, take note. It's one thing to tick off a bunch of environmentalists who wear hemp clothing and drink organic green tea. It's quite another to get on the bad side of a bored god. Your next ski trip may turn into a ... well ... a trip.
This blog will be traveling to Washington, DC on September 20, 2005 to participate in a march on behalf of the Arctic Wildlife Refuge. I don't even ski, but I know a powerful goddess when I see one, and if she's bored and restive, I wouldn't cross her for all the oil under the entire Great Arctic North.
Don't say you weren't warned!
THE MERLIN OF BERKELEY SPRINGS
Friday, August 05, 2005
Welcome to "The Gods Are Bored!" Who wants to dig up oil in the Arctic, pipe it to Biff so he can run his SUV back and forth from his ex-urb to his job?
On behalf of the bored gods, I remind everyone that Lebanon was once a forest and is now a desert. Don't believe me? Read the Bible.
A vote for windmills is a vote for polar bears. Oil is a non-renewable resource.
THE ABOVE STATEMENT PHRASED SO DUBYA CAN UNDERSTAND IT:
Oil will run out.
Wind will never run out.
America has much wind.
Use wind to make power.
Tell your friends they are rich enough.
Failure to heed this messsage from the bored gods will inflict further bad karma on Amerika.
Heed the bored gods!
"They create a desert and call it progress."
And that comes straight from the druids.
A PUBLIC SERVICE ANNOUNCEMENT
THE MERLIN OF BERKELEY SPRINGS
Welcome to "The Gods Are Bored!" You might not love our gods, but we love yours!
I thought this was a good day to re-acquaint my legion of readers with the good old picture of home, drawn by my uncle Foggy. Foggy Johnson is his real name. That's him on the right. He's an independent contractor specializing in micro-brewery.
I loaded up this picture again in honor of the theatrical opening of "The Dukes of Hazzard," another shameless Hollywood attempt to wring humor from hillbillies. Sorry, Hollywood, you'll never get it right. Hillbilly humor is entirely insider's jokes. And they are funny. But you got to be a hillbilly to get them. The rest of the people out there are clueless.
Hillbilly humor is based in the moment. It's usually a one-liner in observation of someone doing something. Like, a hillbilly will see a tourist bellying up to a bear for a photo opportunity, and the hillbilly will turn to his companions and say, "There's someone with a first-rate health plan."
Hillbilly humor often turns put-downs on their heads. Uncle Foggy got his name because someone was teasing him. The person said Uncle Foggy was so tall it must always be foggy around his head. Instead of being insulted, Uncle Foggy just adopted the name. I am truly serious when I say you can mail him a letter that says "Foggy Johnson" and his zip code, and he'll get it.
You know what the funniest insider joke is in Appalachia? That we're smarter than the rest of y'all. Look at where we live. And look at where you live. I rest my case.
As for "The Dukes of Hazardous," well, the t.v. show stank, and it wrecked a whole lot of good, useful cars. I'll bet the movie does the same. Jessica Simpson a hillbilly? Get real. You take one look at that girl, you see a mama and two grandmas can't cook worth a damn.
And speaking of cooking, I've got a bushel of home-grown tomatoes downstairs that need to be canned. Like certain movies.
Drop by and set awhile.
Listen to the whipporwill.
Feel that sunset breeze.
Yep, I would like another piece of blueberry pie. Thank you.
"Dukes of Hazzard?" Haven't seen it.
THE MERLIN OF BERKELEY SPRINGS
Wednesday, August 03, 2005
Welcome, welcome to "The Gods Are Bored!" I promised my faithful readers a picture of what I really look like. Here's Norman Rockwell's pencil sketch. Thank you, Norman. Now get along with you, back to that dark room where demons gore you with pitchforks all day!
Just kidding. My name may be Satan, Azrael, Lucifer (forgot that one last time), Beelzebub, the Devil, Mr. Scratch, or Mephistopheles (what a mouthful!), but I'm really a softy at heart.
As Mr. Mark Twain noted, what do you know about me anyway? All you have to go on is the evidence for the prosecution.
So nice of Anne to go for a rest cure and leave her computer unguarded, so I can educate you fine people on the ins and outs of being The Great Satan.
First, as you recall, I prefer the name "Mr. Applegate." It's user-friendly, easy to spell, and catchy.
Some of you might be wondering how I survived that recent Performance Evaluation (July posts). Good news! We had the Lake of Fire going full force, and I didn't even break a sweat.
The Big Guy, my boss, sent the Archangel Gabriel to evaluate me. And if Gabe's pinpoint pupils hadn't given him away, the fact that he spent 4 hours in private, earnest conversation with William S. Burroughs sure did the trick.
A quick memo to the boss, a random drug test at the home office, and Applegate is off the hook. I even got a pay raise and an official commendation!
But today I want to talk about a subject that's burning holes in newspapers and keeping radio commentators blabbing all across America.
The topic is: INTELLIGENT DESIGN
And it's bad news for all you Darwinians. There is indeed an Intelligent Designer of the universe. I've never met him, but I've heard of him.
His name, as close as I can get to an English translation, is Thing #1.
Thing #1 is headmaster of the Great Intergalactic God Academy (GIGA). Needless to say, he's an outstanding scholar, the admiration of the entire universe. He has presided over the training and accreditation of all the best gods. Let me just tell you, I absolutely yearn for GIGA accreditation. It's a permanent ambition.
Thing #1 designed the universe. Actually he's designed several of them, but he's still working on the entropy glitch. He really though he had it beat this time, but alas, the center does not seem to be holding. And you know what that means. Things will fall apart.
None of this affects Thing #1's standing in the god community, because it takes a mighty keen mind to design a universe. If you compare the human mind to Thing #1's mind, it's like the difference between a crumb that flicks off a hamburger bun vs. all the hamburgers ever sold by McDonald's. Including Super Sizes.
I know, I know. This is deeply disappointing to all the geologists, paleontologists, anthropologists, biologists, zoologists, entymologists, and even dentists out there. (A lot of dentists follow human evolution in their spare time.)
Also, I wish I could offer you hope, Human Race, that your place in the Intelligent Design is secure and progressive. Unfortunately, I hear from the goddess Brighid the Bright that her many letters to GIGA have failed to bring any meaningful change to the basic momentum of this planet. I know for a fact that she's sent three stridently-worded telegrams on the peril posed by the accumulating magma under Yellowstone National Park.
It's frustrating, because she's sent twice as many communiques on the subject of Sumatra and the plate tectonics in that region. And didn't we go and have a tsunami there less than a year ago?
Well, folks, the staff at GIGA are just busy. That's why Intelligent Design doesn't seem very intelligent when you belly up to it and get personal.
If a GIGA-accredited professor ever does review our case here on earth, he or she is likely to deem the human race Insufficiently Evolved for Major Planetary Adjustment. Yellowstone will blow, and if there are people still left, they'll have to cram on those faulty Space Shuttles and high-tail it for Mars.
I hope this clears up any doubt about the existence of Intelligent Design in the mechanics of the universe.
If I can be of any further assistance on this or any other matter, drop me a line care of this site. Please. PLEASE don't slaughter baby animals in pentagrams or conduct any of those idiotic Black Sabbaths. They're inspired by the Evidence for the Prosecution. Not by sweet lil' old me.
SEE YA WHEN I SEE YA,
Tuesday, August 02, 2005
The clock has turned to August, and all we self-centered liberal feminist mothers know what that means. The tots are getting restive, the nannies are going back to college, and we self-centered liberal feminist moms just want to close big corporate deals and jet off to a conference in Aruba, where we drink rum punch and have extramarital affairs.
But we can't. The kids are at home, instead of in the godless, liberal public school getting a sub-standard education, heavy on the anti-Christian brainwashing.
Quick, Senator Sanatorium: What do you get when you take a 96 degree day, add humidity, disruptive home improvements, and two young teens stuck in each other's company with nothing to do?
Oh my, of course! You put them to their home-schooling, get them up to speed on their Theory of Intelligent Design! You lead them lovingly into the kitchen and guide them as they bake cookies from scratch! You get out the button box and let them string together a necklace!
Wow. That senator and his wife must be buying the stairway to heaven.
Do I have to be a godless communist feminist bra-burning kitten-killer to not want to spend every waking moment with my children? Because I do love them, but just lately they are making me want to play "Runaway Bride."
I guess Mrs. Sanatorium never has this problem. She has six children and home-schools them all with expensive cyber-programs from the Great State of Pennsylvania. (The Sanatoriums live in Virginia.) I'll bet every last little Sanatorium Jr. is two grade levels ahead academically, emotionally sound, Biblically disciplined, and well prepared for Dad's run for president.
My kids, conversely, are impatient, emotionally unpredictable, nearly nocturnal, completely convinced that I am an idiot, and embarrassed to be in the same county as me.
Wow. Sounds like a normal pair of siblings. Did I mention that they try to outdo each other in full-contact warfare?
Why does it make me an evil, liberal, feminist, godless, kitten-killer if I don't want to be around these two hormonal teens? Do I have to feel guilty if I'd rather curl up with a book for an hour than drive the teens to the mall and walk around looking at all the extravagant corporate products, fabricated by foreign labor, lavishly laid out to maximize cravings?
I tell you what, Senator Sanatorium. I'm not Mama Walton. I think women should work to support at least themselves. And I'm not some brood mare, either. Six children is an absurd drain on the earth's precious resources! Bad enough to produce an Heir and a Spare.
Maybe all this family togetherness works for the senator. But one wonders. Having spent some time in Washington, DC in August, my mind boggles at the thought of six little Sanatoriums cooped up in the fancy suburban home. But perhaps they're on the road with Dad, pushing the good ol' bestseller and lining up support for next year's campaign. One happy family in a series of hotel rooms in such sunny locales as Johnstown, Altoona, Bethlehem, Montrose, Uniontown, Breezewood, and Chambersburg.
They'd never go to Intercourse, of course. Nothing about that place in the home-schooling curriculum.
I'm not going to turn my awesome site here into a daily gripe about child-rearing. But in August it's hard to concentrate on fun stuff like United Nations appointments and Roman Catholic Supreme Court nominees.
For sure we'll be back into that stuff when good ol' September rolls around, and the godless sub-standard public school reopens.
In the meantime, pass the Valium.
U.S. CHAMPION IDIOT MOTHER
RUNNER-UP, MOST EMBARRASSING MOTHER OF THE YEAR
(Got beaten by Angelina Jolie.)
Monday, August 01, 2005
Welcome to "The Gods Are Bored," where as you can see our taste in gods is absolutely impeccable.
Please do not use this image for your personal financial gain. The artist will not be happy, and the god will be affronted and blast you with bad karma.
We have here a picture, and quite a fetching one at that, of a god that every little girl in America has heard of. But before we reveal her name, we have to look at the whole concept of names.
Are you old enough to remember a time when African Americans were referred to as "colored people?" I'm that old, and to boot I grew up in Appalachia.
Today it would be insulting to call African Americans "colored people." But they don't mind being called "people of color."
The difference lies in how elegant the latter sounds. "Colored people" sounds like some kind of alien race with chartreuse skin and three or four eyeballs. Whereas "people of color" accents the "people" part of the equation, and you get the picture that you're not dealing with Martians.
Here's another switcheroo: Mother of God vs. Godmother.
What's the difference?
A Catholic would tell you that the Mother of God is the B.V.M. (Blessed Virgin Mary), and a Godmother is someone who stands up and pledges to help care for a baby.
Pretty clear. Cut and dry. Not all confusing like that "colored people" business.
But wait a minute. The gorgeous god depicted above is the Fairy Godmother. Adding that word "fairy" puts a whole celestial spin on Godmother. All of a sudden it's not your sister or best friend standing up to protect your delicate infant, it's a goddess. With an accent on the "fairy" part.
The Fairy Godmother is a bored god. She's not as bored as Zeus or Thor, because she's so prominently featured in fairy tales. However, she does wish that more people would recognize her as she really looks (see above) and not as some doddering old lady created by Walt Disney.
If you're in a tight spot, and you need a Fairy Godmother, this gorgeous goddess will come to your aid. Just remember that old adage: Be careful what you wish for, you just might get it.
I didn't wish for the Fairy Godmother. I think she wished for me. First, as part of the spouse's Great Summer Renovation Phase III, I painted the bedroom walls a lovely shade of lavender. And then - what are the odds - in a "quality time" moment I took my daughters, the Heir and the Spare, on a shopping trip, and a merchant actually sized me up and went into a storeroom for a print of the above picture! Seriously, you cannot imagine how good it looks against the lavendar background.
Mother of God, God Mother, I don't care what you call her. She is awesome and worthy of reverence. You can attach Jesus if you want to, she doesn't care. She's a universal mother, even of mystical creatures who are hiding in her wake, keeping free of Man the Destroyer.
All hail the Fairy Godmother!
THE MERLIN OF BERKELEY SPRINGS