Wednesday, November 30, 2005
Welcome to "The Gods Are Bored!"
Whew! For once we don't have to think of a kicky opening statement! A picture paints a thousand words, doesn't it?
You know this guy, eh? Ol' Blue Eyes? Although he meets none of the criteria of this web site, he is considered a god by many.
So, what's Frank doing on a hillbilly goat judge's blog?
Some of you might have seen a film called "The Manchurian Candidate." In that film, Ol' Blue Eyes plays a normal dude who's been brainwashed to perform an assassination when he gets a command that's been programmed into his brain. He won't know who he's shooting, or why, and when he's done it, he'll either be killed himself or have no memory of the murder.
Science fiction, right?
Sorry. Art imitating life.
For years after World War II, the C.I.A. operated a number of over-the-top secret programs aimed at perfecting mind control. In effect, they were trying to create "Manchurian Candidates" or at least a practical aerosol spray that would neutralize attacking soldiers by numbing their brains. Conspiracy theorists believe that the C.I.A. even tried some of this mass mind control by showering San Francisco with a hallucinogenic aerosol, to see if it worked.
I guess the secret aerosol came to rest at the corners of Haight and Ashbury Streets.
In 1972, the director of the C.I.A. ordered all records of these mind control experiments destroyed. Know why?
Because the C.I.A. pulled "experiment subjects" off the streets of big cities, figuring, who's gonna miss a street person or two? These "experiment subjects" were called "expendables."
That's gettting right to the point.
Okay. So the C.I.A. doesn't do that kind of work anymore. Oh, no. Of course not. Never ever. Wouldn't think of it. Unethical and all that.
Actually, I believe that. It's easier to monitor what the Russians and Chinese are doing in this regard than to go around snatching bums that might be Uncle Harry to some hard-working urban homocide detective.
But the New World Order, that's another matter. They are all about messing with brains. They watch that old silent film, "Metropolis," and salivate. There they are, in their pleasure palaces, while the proles work underground, marching to their horrible jobs in perfect military lines.
What you gonna do when they come for you?
I say, why not volunteer?
If you volunteer for a "Manchurian Candidate" program, you might be able to name your own drug of choice and get the best bed in the bunker. And if, like this author, you couldn't shoot a moose accurately if it was standing in your kitchen, you needn't really worry about harming anyone.
Going through a whole brainwashing program would probably bring you a year's worth of high-quality hallucinogens, "three hots and a cot" (that's what we hillbillies call gainful employment), and then a fairly swell life back in the sweet air at the end of the programming.
So, bring it on, NWO! Looking for a candidate? I'm sure I could shoot a head of state every bit as precisely as that wino bum you snatched from Hell's Kitchen in 1952.
Some of you are a tad anxious. Didn't those secret C.I.A. experiments in brain behavior sometimes lead to madness and death?
True. But look on the bright side. If you're crazy, they'll give you Thorazine and keep you in comfort. If you die, you go to the heaven of your choice with a crown of martyrdom. There isn't a god around, active or inactive, who turns a blind eye to the suffering inflicted on innocent victims by the powers that be.
(We'll talk about that more next month.)
So I don't see a downside to the mind control experiments of the New World Order. If you have ever been stuck in traffic on the New Jersey Turnpike, you probably agree with me.
THE MERLIN OF MANCHURIA
Tuesday, November 29, 2005
Naaah. Religion was born from dual sources right here on earth:
1. Observation of others' mortality.
2. Use of hallucinogenic mushrooms.
The first one is a no-brainer, the second comes from Terrence McKenna, employee of the New World Order. (Laurance Rockefeller was T.M.'s boss and funded T.M.'s research.)
So we've got this big, bad entity out there called the New World Order that's composed of the intensely rich, who always want more for themselves and are willing to sacrifice other people to fulfill their never-ending needs. They want you to be either dead or willing to work like a Triangle Shirt Factory sewing girl, and by damn they're gonna see to it that you do.
What can you do to foil their intrusion in your life?
We here at "The Gods Are Bored" don't recommend building a cabin in the Montana wilderness and retreating into it. That's just catnip for the F.B.I. And you'll get lonely during those long winters.
Think about this for a moment.
Rich and powerful international robber barons have been around since the Fertile Crescent was first cultivated. And here you sit in the 21st century, reading this.
Ergo, your ancestors lived through a lot of exploitation.
How did they do it? By blending.
Think of yourself as an apple on the flood.
Bob along, mingle quietly with the crowd, excercise and keep your furniture clean. Stay away from addictive substances, especially opiates. Case in point: If you want to see a mindless tool of the New World Order, you need look no further than Rush Limbaugh.
This is much easier for calm people to do than a pissed-off hillbilly like Anne. But so far Anne hasn't had her house surrounded for a big-time shootout with the feds, and it has happened in her neighborhood.
Tomorrow: How to beat the New World Order at their own game.
THE SUBSTITUTE TEACHER AT NO PLACE IN PARTICULAR
Monday, November 28, 2005
Welcome to "The Gods Are Bored," where we offer the whole truth, nothing but the truth, so help us Thunderbirds.
Thunderbirds? What about God?
Sorry. Here at "The Gods Are Bored," it's "one nation, under the Thunderbirds, indivisible, with liberty and justice for the New World Order."
Ever heard that old slogan, "The rich are different from you and me?"
And "me" is correct grammar. We goat judges know our grammar.
Well, it's true. The rich are different. They are toddlers who never grew up from the "if I can grab it, it's mine" phase of life. They are Ebenezer Scrooge before the conversion. Their favorite slogan about proles like us is, "If they are going to die, they had better do it, and decrease the surplus population."
Enter the New World Order. Yep. They're all about decreasing the surplus population. They want just enough people to do their bidding, not one soul more.
Contrary to the popular opinion in America for more than one hundred years, these secretive grabbers aren't all Jewish. They aren't all American. In fact, a disconcerting number of them are Chinese. And frankly, the Chinese know how to decrease surplus population. While we bemoan Hitler and Stalin, the head count laid low by Mao absolutely dwarfs them both.
Lay off unionized American workers in favor of child labor in Vietnam?
New World Order.
Force profitable companies to generate more profit by laying off workers?
New World Order
Generate phony reasons to go to war in search of oil and rebuilding profits?
New World Order
Sponsor terrorism to keep the proles scared?
New World Order
Generate unreasonable demands for useless consumer products, big t.v.s, violent video games, paid for with high-interest credit cards?
New World Order
What can we do to keep these Masters of the Universe from knocking us off, draining our jobs and resources, anesthetizing us with useless gadgets and mindless entertainment?
Not one damn thing.
One caveat: The Illuminati are often credited with the schemes created by the New World Order. Not true. The Illuminati exist merely to expedite communication between humankind and extraterrestrial intelligent life forces. And the Illuminati are smart enough to know that our species is not ready for that moment (hence the Men in Black - they're Illuminati). However, the Illuminati try to bump evolution forward any way they can. Hence, Timothy Leary.
So, my solution to the New World Order is to give buzzards their due. Who are we to think we're at the top of the food chain? Even if we global warm this planet out the wazoo, the last large creature left will be a vulture.
We'll leave it to the Thunderbirds to settle with the New World Order.
GLOOMY ON A MONDAY
Friday, November 25, 2005
What fun to watch the National Dog Show yesterday! Made me wonder if I picked the right animal to judge. Those dog judges look like they're rolling in it (and I don't meen dog doody).
Bless my soul, the infamous Monkey Man was at the Wombats game! We are now friends. I am assured by other fans at the game that he's a lovable eccentric, a good Catholic (fine with me, we all need a god), and - get this - an extremely able poet!
I asked him what year he graduated from high school. Turns out he's quite a bit older than me - old enough not to have been able to miss Vietnam unless he was as eccentric then as he is now.
He gave me something to read, and I can vouch for it. You'd never believe this guy's a super writer, but there you go.
I was wrong about how much of the Lions game I'd get to see. I watched two whole downs.
Now it's Black Friday. My mother-in-law is walking a groove in the floor downstairs, itching to shop (at the thrift store), and I have to edit a goat protocol.
Gonna be a long day. Back to real topics soon!
SHOULDA GONE TO THE DOGS
Sunday, November 20, 2005
If you're just joining this post, we have been talking about a mysterious Monkey Man who rides through our town on his bike, entertaining kids with his monkey puppet. He's a gray-bearded gent whose age could range from old enough to be a Vietnam vet to young enough to be Anne's contemporary (Just shy of Vietnam, Anne isn't sensitive about it.)
Yesterday the Monkey Man arrived on our doorstep. Story below. He was wearing pajama pants and a jester hat, and of course had his monkey with him. He was happy as always.
After much thought, and many dollars spent taking Heir and Spare (daughters) to the newest Harry Potter movie, it dawned on me just who this guy is.
He's a wizard. He fits the entire profile.
One pictures him playing Quiddich in his youth. Of course as soon as he goes to the Wizard Sidhe, his monkey becomes a real monkey. It's only here in the Muggle world that the monkey is a toy.
Further proof: Once, at a Halloween parade, Anne and Spare saw the Monkey Man dressed like a wizard.
Case closed. Mystery solved. I hope no other wizard comes and washes his memory from my brain.
THE MERLIN OF BERKELEY SPRINGS
Friday, November 18, 2005
Guess that's the last place you'd expect to find a bunch of fairy-lovin' pagans, but they're more than welcome to come as tourists, or to live there, so long as they do their part and park a gutted car in the front yard.
So, I've been dealing with a bad wicked goat today, and I'm more put-upon than the Intelligent Designer at the end of a long Day Six.
I'm not sure I have the spelling of this guy's name right. Is it Murtha? We'll accept that spelling and move on.
This Murtha, a Democratic congressman, says it's time to cut bait in Iraq. We've got Saddam, there's no evidence of WMD, why send any more hard-working and good-looking young men and women into harm's way?
A fine sentiment. We here at "The Gods Are Bored" soundly applaud the brave congressman.
Except he's a bit late. One -- and we mean ONE -- brave legislator stood on the Senate floor and denounced this ridiculous war from its very inception. One senator stood up, in the face of ALL that HARD EVIDENCE of WMDs and ALL that HARD EVIDENCE of SADDAM COURTING AL-QAEDA. And that senator said, "This war is a sham, it's a hoax, and I will never, never never vote for it!"
That senator was Robert Byrd, senior Democrat of West Virginia.
Once again (sorry to be redundant), if you want to understand the world, take up Byrd watching.
PROUD TO BE A MERLIN
OF BERKELEY SPRINGS
Thursday, November 17, 2005
Welcome to "The Gods Are Bored!" We like to examine our culture in search of life-threatening organisms! Like this one, the infamous "strep." Why the heck did Noah take THAT one on the ark?
Anne's dear daughter, The Heir, suffers from Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder.
You know the condition. The victim is so obsessed with germs and sickness that he or she washes compulsively, walks around with a thermometer stuck in his or her mouth, slathers everything with anti-bacterial gels, and avoids situations where sick people might be. Even fun places, like raves.
Just an aside: An uninsured OCD patient can expect to spend $319.00 a month on the medication used to treat the disorder.
But we digress.
A helpful mother is going to read up on this condition in order to understand it better. And that helpful mother is going to learn that even normal people have a bit of obsessive-compulsive disorder.
It's natural to shun anything that might make you sick. The avoidance of filth and pestilence, and the recognition thereof, is seen as a positive genetic mutation, one that enabled the human race to grow and expand.
Okay. It's normal to want to avoid strep like the plague. It's not normal to spend your entire day thinking about getting strep. Subtle difference.
Perhaps the following would never have occurred to Anne the goat judge if she didn't have a daughter with OCD. But think about it a minute.
Businesses that offer health coverage to employees and their families will be cleaner environments in which to shop.
Businesses that provide inadequate or no health coverage to employees and their families will have germy goods on the shelves. Why? Because those shelves are stocked by sick people. Their hands touch everything.
Ponder this, reader, the next time you rush into Wal-Mart for a cake mix.
Now Wal-Mart's gonna sue me, say they do offer health coverage to some of their workers. Part-timers? Naaah. And how about the families of those workers? Naaaah.
So Lisa Jones, Wal-Mart "associate," spoon-feeds her cranky, feverish, uninsured tot and then comes to work. She's assigned the task of stocking the toy section with 372 brand new "My Scene" dolls, made by generally unhealthy Asian workers in sweatshop conditions.
Who wants a "Stella Strep," the newest "My Scene" doll created just for Wal-Mart?
And I hope to kiss a duck before I'd touch their pork chops.
"So," holler you slash-domestic-spending conservatives, "where do you shop, Madame Liberal?"
I buy my groceries at Acme (union). I buy my hardware at Eastmont Hardware (mom & pop). I buy my clothing at thrift stores, bring it home and wash it first thing. For everything else, there's always a slightly more expensive store that treats its workers better.
Sadly, Anne knows that many rural communities now must depend entirely upon the local Wal-Mart for their shopping needs. Take heart, America! That which does not kill you will only make you stronger!
If you come home from Wal-Mart with germ-infested merchandise, and you get sick, well, you have two possibilities. If you live, your immune system's had its workout and is rocking on. If you die, who cares anyway? Certainly not the owners of Wal-Mart.
You know what's lying on its deathbed right now? The union movement. Let's give that essential component of free market enterprise an antibiotic drip, electrolytes, and lessons on the languages of all nations.
United we bargain.
Divided we beg.
Remember that on Black Friday, when you go to Wal-Mart for plastic Santas and tinsel, and come home with scarlet fever.
SOWING THE GERMS OF A RADICAL UNION RESURGENCE
Monday, November 14, 2005
Last week, the goddess Asherah dropped by and told of her divorce from Yahweh (a.k.a. the Intelligent Designer, he's been outed). If you're a woman who's been told you "haven't grown" with your spouse as he departs for the Trophy Wife, scroll down while there's time!
Well, you know how it is with families. Mom has her say, then the son drops by.
Kind readers, please welcome Baal, son of Yahweh and His Asherah. A big wig in ancient Israel until a little cabal of priests decided that all this polytheism stuff is for primitives.
Baal: Hey, you're only making it worse. I've been in therapy 2000 years trying to get over the loss of my familial status.
Anne: Oh my, I can imagine. Divorce is so hard on children, no matter how old they are. What happened to the big golden calf you used to ride around on?
Baal: I hocked it for tuition payments. I've got a degree in Theatre Arts from Athens University. I mean, the Athens University. Sophocles was one of my teachers.
Anne: You must be an awesome actor.
Baal: I'm always cast to type. I never get to see just what I could do with a character role.
Anne: Cast to type? What does that mean?
Baal: I always wind up playing the disenchanted brother, gnashing my teeth over the accomplishments of the better sibling. (Sigh.) Is it life, or is it art?
Anne: Sorry, I'm running through every play I can think of, and I can't come up with one drama where that's a device. Current or past.
Baal: Pardon me, but you're a goat judge, not an English professor.
Anne: So true.
Baal: I've made a tidy living since the 1940s playing Jamie in "Long Day's Journey into Night." That's a Eugene O'Neill play, for you goat judges who don't know great theatre.
Anne: Wait. Wait! I saw that! Wow, it's been awhile, but I saw Jason Robards and Colleen Dewhurst on Broadway in that. Back when I made good money judging goats. Were you in that production?
Baal: Who, me? On Broadway? Oh, I hope I get there some day! When you're immortal, it's nice to have ambitions. Otherwise the time passes so slowly.
Anne: So, Baal, where do you perform "Long Day's Journey into Night?"
Baal: Summer stock, mostly.
Anne: Summer stock? You're kidding me. Summer stock? Isn't that for dreck like "Annie, Get Your Gun?"
Baal: Everything is more serious in Massachusetts.
Anne: Oh, you work in Massachusetts. Say no more. So, Jamie is your defining role, eh?
Baal: Afraid so. If the shoe fits. I also do Happy in "Death of a Salesman." And there's the occasional stunt work for movies. You know, human beings can't pitch head-first off a cliff and live, but you see that a lot in films. Usually it's me. Did you see the first Rambo?
Anne: I think so.
Baal: I did too. What a good movie!
Anne: Okay, we'll let that one pass. So Jesus Christ is your brother?
Baal: Half brother. You really are a goat judge.
Anne: Stupid mistake.
Baal: I'll say. Especially since Mama was just in here last week.
Anne: Stop me if I get too personal, okay? As I said, one of the side effects of divorce is that the children rarely get to see one of the parents. Are you ever invited to family events in ... heaven?
Baal: Nope. Black sheep and all that. I think the half brother would like to have me visit, but I've been playing Jamie too long. I would try to get him liquored up, make him a failure so I'd feel better about myself.
Anne: That shows deep insight.
Baal: Ought to. Spent the last of the Golden Calf cash on psychoanalysis with Freud.
Anne: So you never see Big Daddy, eh?
Baal: I'm okay with it. I've got steady work. I can even send Mama a little dough now and then, help her with the electric bill. My brothers do even better.
Anne: Oh, I forgot you have brothers! How is it that they do better than you?
Baal: They hooked up with humans and got themselves a family tree. So, even though they're 6,004 years old, they still get invited at Thanksgiving.
Anne: What do they do to pay the bills the other 364 days of the year?
Baal: It varies. They run seasonal Halloween costume stores, they work as stewards on cruise ships, they harvest oranges in Florida. I have one brother who's never worked out his anger at being ousted. He raises snakes for the pet market. Keeps a few cobras and rattlers for his own amusement. I beg him to get help, but he says, hey. He's immortal. So if they bite him, big deal. Who am I to judge? The half brother says, "Judge not, lest ye be judged."
Anne: You're exactly the kind of god brotherhood we like to hear from at "The Gods Are Bored." One can only imagine the comedown of being a deity one day and a fruit-picker the next.
Baal: It's not all fun and games being a deity. I had to ride that damned golden calf into battles. Trust me. It was a pleasure to melt that thing down and get enough largesse for a first-class education.
Anne: You're lucky you went to school in Ancient Greece. If you tried to stretch that golden calf today, it might pay for a year or two of community college. Forget the psychiatry.
Baal: All in all I can't complain. People read the Bible, they figure I'm dead and gone. So I never get recognized in public, even when I do Jamie fifteen nights in a row in Salem.
Anne: Here's your chance to make a pitch to regain a praise and worship team, Baal.
Baal: Oh, hell no! Even from Massachusetts I can see how it's tearing my half-brother apart! Pastors calling for assassinations and natural disasters, soldiers seeking revenge, his so-called followers grubbing in the cash by the fistful. Even church suppers tick him off. Wrong use of holy buildings, you know? So I'm just as happy (pardon the pun) playing Bad Brother in serious dramas, and occasionally pitching head-first off a cliff.
Anne: Most of us ordinary Americans can understand that, Baal. We're all facing diminished expectations as the cash flows into the hands of the wealthiest, while the rest of us cringe for our jobs. Or lose them.
Baal: I'm glad I've got a skill. And thanks for your time. I've got curtain in an hour, and it takes a long time to make myself look like a worthless, drunken, womanizing, jobless twentieth-century American.
Anne: I've got you there. Except for the womanizing, I could be ready for that curtain in about five minutes.
BEST WISHES FROM THE BORED GODS! If you haven't seen or read "Long Day's Journey into Night," you're missing a classic.
THE MERLIN OF BERKELEY SPRINGS
Welcome to "The Gods Are Bored!" We thought this title was kickier than "Jesus Is Embarrassed by His Followers."
The bored gods assure us that we need not worry that the Christian Heaven, and only the Christian Heaven, looks like West Virginia. In fact, I have it directly from Tiki of the Marquessa Islands (wherever they are) that even his heaven looks like West Virginia! One hundred bad songs by John Denver can never blunt the beauty of West Virginia. Case closed.
Today's Topic: God, Out of the Closet!
Some of you might have been following the court case in Dover, PA, where religious school board members were trying to have a caveat about "Intelligent Design" read before biology teachers began any unit on evolution. This innocuous little statement was supposed to encourage students to go looking for a book called Of Pandas and People that offers "scientific evidence" that the universe was created by an Intelligent Designer.
Ever looked at these books, gentle reader? Most of them just criticize Darwin's theory, carping on the defects thereof and completely overlooking the many cases of natural selection at work on our Intelligently Designed planet (bird flu being Exhibit #1 for the Defense).
But the big push lately has been to take the God part out of Intelligent Design and just say, "Hey, there was an Intelligent Designer. Whether or not it was God we can't say."
Because to give God the credit would be religion. Right? Right? Right?
Last week the good citizens of Dover mounted a School Board election. Nine out of ten members of the Board were deep-sixed in favor of new candidates. The winning candidates to a man and woman expressed the view that religion should not be taught in science class.
Encouraged, a female wolf spider took up residence on Of Pandas and People and laid a few eggs in its spine. The only kids taught with that daft tome are Rick Santorum's brood, and they're home-schooled. (In Virginia, not Pennsylvania).
Enter Pat Robertson, Grand Poobah of the "Jesus Is Embarrassed" Movement in America. Robertson denounced the citizens of Dover, warning that if a terrible disaster befell their city, they'd better not pray to God about it.
Um, excuse me, Mr. Robertson?
Is the "God" to which you refer the Intelligent Designer that all those Discovery Institute scholars insist isn't necessarily the Intelligent Designer?
Okay, did He ... or didn't He?
If God is NOT the Intelligent Designer of this marvelous universe, then why would the citizens of Dover need to stock quantities of dried beans, antibiotics, spring water, and sand bags? If the Intelligent Designer isn't God, why are the citizens of Dover suddenly "un-Godly?"
But if the Intelligent Designer is God, that's religion. Not science. Religion operates on faith, and you don't need Einsteins out there trying to back up your faith with empirical evidence. In fact, it's bad form. Insulting to your deity, if you get my meaning.
I think the good Pastor Robertson "outed" God as the Intelligent Designer of the universe. And not a moment too soon, because don't think for a minute that students in Shanghai are reading Of Pandas and People in science class. Even though pandas are Chinese!
Geez. Another entry on Intelligent Design. Anne is losing her originality.
Stay tuned, Dover. Tomorrow we look at what God did on Day Eight in his Intelligently Designed universe! We have a special guest arriving who will talk about 1500 years of psychotherapy and how he has learned to live with an indifferent dad and a vastly superior younger brother.
Join us, won't you?
WEST VIRGINIA IS FOR THE BYRDS
THE MERLIN OF BERKELEY SPRINGS
Thursday, November 10, 2005
Well, yeah. Zeus got pink-slipped. So did Ishtar. They have a very difficult time getting health insurance. But that's no reason not to be reverent toward them. The folks who built Babylon and the Parthenon weren't just merry mythmakers.
Every now and then Anne has to go "take the waters" at Berkeley Springs, a very spiritual little town in West Virginia. So the gods will be bored until next Monday.
We're sure glad Sedna got in under the wire.
Time to go see those awesome Thunderbirds. Majesty in flight.
Peace to all,
THE MERLIN OF YOU-KNOW-WHERE
Welcome to "The Gods Are Bored!"
Oh, the weather outside is frightful...
IN THE ARCTIC NATIONAL WILDLIFE REFUGE!
Yes, fans! Thanks to your bold petitions to the bored goddess SEDNA, the measure for drilling for black gold in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge has been STRIPPED from its hiding place in the congressional budget bill and DEEP SIXED OUT THE TEXAS WAZOO!
Accepting this reprieve on behalf of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, Sedna simply wiped away a tear and said, "You love me! You really love me!"
In gratitude for all your prayers and attention, the bored goddess Sedna invites you to join her in a 90-day period of feasting on pecan pie, onion rings, Swiss chocolates, and -- for the Wolverine fans -- CONEYS!
(I'll bet you thought she'd offer beef jerky and whale blubber. Not on this occasion!)
We here at "The Gods Are Bored" will keep you informed if any stinkin' politician tries some slick move, like shoving that bad idea back into a bill that otherwise protects homeless kittens and mandates maximum crab catches in the Chesapeake Bay.
But for now, let's celebrate! Gee! Haw! Where's my coney?
FROM ANNE and SEDNA
HUMBLE MERLIN, AWESOME GODDESS
Tuesday, November 08, 2005
Welcome to "The Gods Are Bored!" I'm your host, Anne Johnson. That's my real name. And don't forget the "e" on the end. Sign of class.
Today we have a real treat! A visit from a bored goddess!
Now, everybody. Get out your Bibles ...
Uhhhh. Don't have one? Weren't you ever in third grade?
Okay, then. Share with the person next to you.
Actually, we don't need the Bibles, except as evidence for the defense. So you can put that dusty thing back on the shelf, and try not to disturb the spider sleeping on it.
Today's guest is the goddess Asherah, known in some cultures as Astarte, and by dozens of other names too. She's an ancient goddess of the Middle East. Let's get the ball rolling!
Anne: Asherah, are you at all related to Queen Brighid the Bright?
Asherah: No, but I see her sometimes at the hairdresser.
Anne: I'm hardly believing these notes my producer gave me for this interview. It says here you were married to Yahweh? Wow, Asherah, that's a bold assertion!
Asherah: Archaeologists have found documents from extremely ancient Israel that leave no doubt as to our former marital status. One tablet clearly says "Yahweh and His Asherah." We had sons, too!
Anne: I am flabbergasted. No one told me about that in Methodist Sunday School.
Asherah: Well, you know, once a god gets the Immaculate Conception thing ironed out, why keep a spouse around? Especially one who was as popular as I was.
Anne: You were popular in ancient Israel?
Asherah: You think that picture of me you loaded into this entry was done by Picasso? I was huge. Especially among the ordinary folk. But I also had temples and priests and the whole works. It was a rare ancient Israelite woman who didn't have a small altar to me right in her home.
Anne: And this was fine with Yahweh.
Asherah: Yes, at first.
Anne: What happened? I mean, I don't want to pry if it's personal...
Asherah: There was nothing personal about it! Politics, pure and simple, ruined my marriage.
Anne: That's novel. Never heard that one before. (Just kidding.)
Asherah: A king named Amon got snuffed in a coup d'etat. But the folk didn't like it, so the palace insiders put Amon's son on the throne. His name was Josiah. He was only eight when he got the crown. And things went along as usual for awhile. But then Josiah grew up, he got cocky. A gifted writer named Hilkiah caught his ear. Then Hilkiah invited King Josiah to a scruffy little temple for Yahweh. My time was up.
Anne: I don't get it.
Asherah: In that temple, Hilkiah showed Josiah the long-neglected, spiderweb-covered, completely overlooked Ark of the Covenant. It had been sitting ignored for so long that the priests thought it was a box of socket wrenches.
Anne: Wait a minute. The Ark of the Covenant, neglected and overlooked? How could that be? It was the most important item in the Yahweh lexicon! And it was just sitting there like a piece of Mom's ugly furniture?
Asherah: Can I speak frankly?
Anne: We here at "The Gods Are Bored" offer you and yours a forum for just this sort of thing.
Asherah: All right, then. Here's the scoop. Hilkiah wanted the inside track, the position with bennies and a seat at the head table during banquets. He "discovered" the Ark of the Covenant and conveniently found that all the sacred Torahs inside were written in his handwriting.
Anne: Are you suggesting that Hilkiah wrote the entire history of the Hebrew people off the top of his head? All that stuff about Adam and Eve, Noah, Moses, and the begats?
Asherah: He was a veritable Leo Tolstoy. Yes.
Anne: And he had a political agenda.
Asherah: Yep. Deep-six the polytheism in favor of his deity, Yahweh. The rest of the story is set down in the Bible. Josiah ordered all the temples to me and Baal, and all the other gods, torn down. He ordered the priests in those temples to be burnt alive on their altars. And of course he forbade all worship of me in private homes (although it continued for awhile). Call it what you want. I got divorced. Tossed out.
Anne: At least there wasn't another woman involved.
Asherah: True. But in those times Yahweh wasn't as popular as he is now. Not by a country mile. So the terms of my settlement weren't very generous. I've had to work my keister off, cleaning Turnpike bathrooms and telemarketing and doing night shift at Wendy's. It's been tough.
Anne: I am so sorry to hear that, Asherah. You know, a great many American women share your burden. They ought to erect shrines to you in their homes.
Asherah: That would help my morale, I must admit! And you know, there's a new book out about me. Maybe it'll get picked up by Lifetime and made into a t.v. movie!
Anne: Don't hold your breath on that one. But I could see Charlize Theron playing you. Can't imagine who'd do Yahweh.
Asherah: Why, Mel Gibson, of course!
Anne: That would work. So, Asherah, as a bored goddess, you're allowed to make a bald pitch for support on this site.
Asherah: I just want to stop being seen as some second-class, harlot, evil wicked witch. It hurts my feelings. I was respectable, and I resent the revisionist history.
Anne: As well you might. I'll ask Queen Brighid the Bright to put you on her "A" list for parties.
Asherah: Oh, would you do that? She does have lively ones!
Anne: Goddess Asherah, thank you for being our guest today on "The Gods Are Bored." I wish you the best of luck regaining a praise and worship team!
Asherah: Thank you. Are you going to finish that Pop Tart?
Anne: Help yourself. There's a whole box downstairs. Take as many as you like!
Sources for Information on Asherah:
God. The Holy Bible, 2 Kings 21-23. Israel, Middle East: 1032 B.C.
Hadley, Judith M. The Cult of Asherah in Ancient Israel and Judah: Evidence for a Hebrew Goddess. New York, NY: Cambridge University Press, 2000.
Walker, Barbara C. The Woman's Encyclopedia of Myths and Secrets. New York, NY: Harper & Row, 1983.
THE MERLIN OF BERKELEY SPRINGS
Welcome to "The Gods Are Bored!" Ah, the abilities of humankind! Isn't this a beautiful piece of handiwork? Thank you, University of Michigan Football Web site!
Constructed in 1927, the University of Michigan football stadium is the second largest in America. It seats 102,501. (The one is reserved for the ghost of a coach from a past era.) "Standing Room Only" capacity is 106,000.
On certain Saturdays in autumn, this stadium ranks among the 200 largest cities in America.
Okay, okay, Anne! We know you love Michigan football! Get to the point.
I'm a goat judge, not a mathematician, so feel free to correct me if these calculations are bogus.
1. Given: Human beings produce a new generation every twenty years.
2. Given: The U of M stadium holds 102,500 people. (Sans ghost.)
3. Proposal: You, reader, sit down in Section 1, seat 1. Next to you sits your mother. Next to her sits her mother. Next to your grandmother sits her mother. Each successive direct generation, going back in time.
In ten seats, you will already be back to 1800. In twenty seats, your maternal ancestress will talk like the St. James Bible. In forty seats, assuming your ancetress was also English, her language will be incomprehensible. Remember, we're already back to 1400, almost a century before Columbus.
A mere 100 seats away from you, your direct ancestress will have been alive at the time of Jesus Christ. And, hey. She was! None of us spring from the ground like golems.
In the next section, you'll have relatives dealing with Wooly Mammoths and the Ice Age.
Hold the Presses! Two quick questions here:
Q: Why are you using all women here, Anne?
A: Can you imagine 102,500 men in a football arena? Even if they're blood kin, they're bound to start fighting. Especially if Michigan plays poorly and the Neanderthal Man next to them is an Ohio State fan.
Q: Isn't it true that God created the world in six days, just 6,000 years ago?
A: Hey. That doesn't even produce enough ancestresses to staff the school band! And one can hardly imagine Eve in the last seat, struggling with the bass drum.
So, for the purpose of this little excursion through the University of Michigan stadium, we are ignoring the fact that an Intelligent Designer spent six days creating this planet, 6,000 years ago. We are also depending on women to fill the seats, because most of them will be damned glad to see Grandma. (Anne included!)
Let's take a walk. Go get a beer and a coney (for you non-Michiganders, that's a hot dog) at the far end of the stadium.
Whoa. We are passing a lot of dark-skinned people here! Practically the whole place! Sorry, Idaho, but Africa was the cradle of Homo sapiens, and it's hot and sunny there. You might be blonde now, but that ancestress over there, the one who had an astonishing thirteen hardy children by six different men in the days before the species knew how to make fire, she is black.
Hey, honored ancestress! Want a coney? With chili and cheese?
Now we're strolling to the opposite goal post. Anne thinks her math is sound.
Direct ancestresses going back 2 million, fifty thousand years.
That's not counting standing room. Add another 4,000 standing, and some of them might not be standing quite as upright. And not because of that Stroh's beer. We're deep into Australopithecus territory, or at least back to the dawn of the Homo genus. We've certainly left sapiens behind.
Wouldn't you love to meet that grandma sitting exactly opposite you on the far side of the stadium? And all the ones in between? Which ones started this whole praise and worship thing? Or does religion flow over into the deeply ancient ones, the ones still out in the parking lot tail-gating because they didn't have tickets?
Think about this for awhile and it boggles the mind. How many bored gods are represented? Once again, instinct says the vast majority are female. Remember, if you only go back 6,000 years to the days of Yahweh, that's 300 of the total. In a stadium that seats 102,501. (The ghost is back.)
Now Anne's gentle readers are wondering if she's been spending less time with Thunderbirds and more time with that sect in Arizona that got government approval to use ayahuasca in their religious rites.
Anne's not nuts. She's just curious. About some really weird things.
Time to go feed the goats.
THE MERLIN OF BERKELEY SPRINGS
GO BLUE! (IN EVERY WAY)
Monday, November 07, 2005
Welcome to "The Gods Are Bored!"
When you were young, did you question all the answers?
If so, rock on!
If you're still young, it's time to start.
Seriously! Seventy-five percent of Americans think God created the universe in six days and then took a nap! The same percentage think God destroyed the world in a flood and only let one family, and assorted pestilential insects, survive.
I wonder how many of these godly Americans have ever seen a Thunderbird glide silently through the sky, guiding itself by judging the air currents through its wing-tips.
Divinity at the highest, gentle readers.
I'm a goat judge, not an Intelligent Designer, but I think someone or some thing created the earth not for people to dominate, but for Thunderbirds to enjoy. Many Native American cultures (who, by the way, knew the healing powers of vulture down) would agree with me.
Growing up in West Virginia, I had ample time to study both the ways of God and the ways of the Thunderbird. I choose Thunderbird.
Superb parents, Nature's custodians, non-aggressive, will only kill in mercy, and abide the presence of others of their kind.
An observant human will see a superior species, so superior as to be ... yes ... godly.
Later this week I journey to commune with the Thunderbirds. Yes, Carl Jung, there are indeed Varieties of Religious Experience, and this is my very favorite.
Would you like to learn more about Thunderbirds and what they can do for you? Perhaps you want to change your life. You want a fresh start. Forgiveness of all your sins, and the joy of knowing Thunderbirds!
Our operators are standing by for your call. We love you and want to help you share our joy in the sacred custodians of our sickly planet!
FUN, FUN, FUN, DADDY DOESN'T TAKE THE T-BIRD AWAY!
THE MERLIN OF BERKELEY SPRINGS
Sunday, November 06, 2005
Hey, you don't have to shoot up to be brain dead. If you watch Fox News, you're high on hate, stoned on the status quo.
This just in from those Pharisees of the Christian Right: A hit list of left-leaning senators who should be removed from office in the interest of expanding Jesus's mighty work in the world.
At the very top of the list: Senator Robert Byrd of West Virginia. Mr. Byrd is running for re-election next year.
Now, Mr. Dobson, you take this little bit of advice from a card-carrying hillbilly like me. Take fistfuls of money, whole cartloads of cash, whole wagon trains of bullion, and shove it into West Virginia in an effort to unseat Senator Byrd in favor of some "Politician of Faith."
Because you might as well be whistling "Onward, Christian Soldiers" into a stiff wind.
Senator Byrd has been serving the people of West Virginia since Anne was a little girl.
Numerous decades have passed since Anne was a little girl. Gosh. John F. Kennedy was still alive when Anne was a little girl. So was Martin Luther King. Ed Sullivan was rocking on. Had some group named The Beatles on one night. Anne remembers.
Anne has some mileage. (But she still has her girlish figure, yes indeedy!)
Senator Byrd has even more mileage than Anne. He's served in the Senate longer than any other member. Know what that means in real terms? He is POWERFUL.
The guy chairs the Appropriations Committee. And will do so as long as he sits in the Senate.
Know what that means, Mr. Dobson? It means that, for every cartload of money you send into West Virginia to defeat the senator, he will funnel an aircraft carrier full of government pork into his state to employ people and build bureaucratic projects! There's a $7.5 million federal installation going in two miles from my sister's comfy home in Falling Waters. And that's small potatoes.
Perhaps I shouldn't use Sis as an example. She'll be the one person in West Virginia who votes for Dobson's candidate. She likes those family values white men.
Far be it from me to offer advice to Dobson and his "Focus on Fatality." But there's a far more vulnerable senator who sees things just Dobson's way, but who lives in a state full of liberals, poor people, unemployed union laborers, and working mothers without health insurance.
That senator's name is Rick Santorum.
It's early to offer political endorsements, but we here at "The Gods Are Bored" have this to say:
1. Robert Byrd for Emperor.
2. Rick Santorum should stay home and raise his children. Full-time.
So might it be!
THE MERLIN OF BERKELEY SPRINGS (GUESS WHAT STATE?)
Friday, November 04, 2005
Just kidding. But we bet that title drew you in, eh?
Okay, if it's sex you're looking for, turn on the t.v. About the only channel that doesn't offer scads of it is ESPN. Oh, yeah. I forgot about the Catholic Network. Now that is fascinating viewing!
Here at "The Gods Are Bored," we try to be reverse missionaries.
Missionaries work like this. They arrive in some fine country that has its very own religion. They offer the people of that country goods and services the citizens might not have. In return, missionaries try to win souls for the religion they represent. Sort of a financial/spiritual quid pro quo.
One need only think of those shining examples, the United Methodists, who fly sick Africans to hospitals in light planes. Who's going to turn that offer down, even if it means deep-sixing Chonganda?
We at "The Gods Are Bored" would rather it worked this way. The missionaries arrive, they dole out their goods and services, and then they say, "Hey. Tell us about Chonganda! We want to learn about your awesome god! Convert us! And the missionaries go home to America or wherever with a richer view of the human race and its many ways of approaching the divine.
Oh no. This doesn't happen. Missionaries are fired with zeal for their true religion. They would never admit it, but they think the Africans they help are stupid and backward and in need of salvation.
Way too many gods and goddesses (especially goddesses) have been mown over like so much dried cornstalk by this sort of missionary activity. What have we lost? Untold spiritual wealth. Respect for others.
What have we reaped? Nut cases flying planes into tall buildings in return for virgins and shade in their male-run heaven.
What have we reaped? Christian churches that look and run like arenas, where pastors tell their flocks how to vote and encourage their faithful to mess in the lives of others (who are stupid and backward and need to be saved).
We here at "The Gods Are Bored" think this world needs a Revival.
We want to revive the rich cornucopia of religious views that once animated our ancestors and the ancestors of others. One True Religion? Okay, which one is it? What if it's Chonganda, and if you don't believe in Chonganda you go to hell?
Religion should not be run like warfare, where the missionary with the most money and services advances while the natives submit. It's just wrong. It's like allowing animals and plants to go extinct.
So there's the Missionary Position of "The Gods Are Bored." Variety is the spice of life ... and the afterlife.
THE MERLIN OF BERKELEY SPRINGS
Wednesday, November 02, 2005
Welcome to "The Gods Are Bored!" If it's time for a change, look to us. We'll find you a god or goddess, or both, to fill your needs.
Think of us as a Celestial Geiko.
Even Michelangelo couldn't resist the Delphic Oracle. Here, thanks to Wikipedia, is the great artist's rendering of that elusive fortune-teller of old. Isn't she stunning?
Would you have the courage to march up to her? Even to ask for the winning Powerball numbers? What if she said in return, "Here they are, but you are going to get snuffed by a savage Pathfinder on your way to the convenience store."
My dear husband and I are shivering with the prospect of complete job loss. But we don't want the Oracle to tell us what's ahead. We aren't that bloody brave.
However, barring the work of a savage Pathfinder, the Delphic Oracle predicts that "The Gods Are Bored" will cover the following hot topics in the month of November:
* Ahhh. A new month, a new Supreme Court nominee. We'll look at the positive ramifications of a completely conservative court, laden to the plimsol line with Judges of Faith.
*The goddess Asherah made a good point in our last entry. We have been meaning to visit with her and ask her about her husband, and how the divorce came about.
*Shhhhhhh! More conspiracy theories! More Knights Templar! Hidden treasure, undercover manipulation, who's pulling the strings? More positive press for the Knights of the Rosy Cross and their modern counterparts, the Masons, who started a country based on some radical principles...
*Intelligent Design. A Pennsylvania trial is winding down. As always, we'll find the little flaws in the Great Intelligent Blueprint. This month: How did Jesus get a Y chromosome?
*Focus on the Family. How one discerning teenager is reacting to the mega-church movement in America.
*Shop till You Drop - for heating fuel! We'll take a stroll with the Ghost of Christmas Future and see if the struggling Johnson family will have a goose for their Yuletide table ... or health insurance for Tiny Heir and Tiny Spare.
*A long-time favorite fantasy of Anne's: We'll fill the University of Michigan Stadium, capacity just about 100,000, with direct ancestors of Anne, generation by generation, in each seat. Then we'll visit various sections and chat with the ancient great-great-great-great-great to the 25th power grandmas. See what they have to say about bored gods, curing headaches, and fixing what's broken.
*READER RESPONSE TEAM: If you want us to engage our intellect on a topic, just ask! Thirty days has November, and that's a lot of time. Rock on with a comment!
FROM THE DELPHIC ORACLE
THE MERLIN OF BERKELEY SPRINGS
Tuesday, November 01, 2005
Welcome to "The Gods Are Bored," where we celebrate diversity and invite people everywhere to re-connect with the gods and goddesses of their ancestors! Who knows? Maybe your ancestors had more sense than you do. Don't think knowing how to drive a car makes you smarter than the folks who built Stonehenge.
Wow! It is a veritable God-fest here today! There are so many bored gods here I can hardly move my fingers! Gods and goddesses from every culture, ancient and modern. From all parts of the world. From every conceivable deity conglomerate!
Why the sudden multiple visitation? We'll let Quetzalcoatl (shown above) explain:
Quetzalcoatl: First let me say I'm honored to be able to explain anything. I'm tired of being a pretty image on carved stone.
Anne: Take it away, honored Aztec.
Quetzalcoatl: A minister of the United Methodist Church, beloved by her congregation (and, I hear, quite adept with casseroles) was DEFROCKED because she told the truth and admitted that she was gay and in a "covenant relationship" with a woman. This dear pastor is OUT, in more ways than one. The Methodists claim their Rule Book prohibits practicing homosexuals from being ordained pastors, and changing the rule would alienate their conservative base.
Anne: Their conservative base? Oh, you mean the people who tithe big sums.
Anne: So why the big turnout of bored gods today? And excuse me, but Ixchel is supposed to bring ayahuasca when she comes. She forgot.
Ixchel: Sorry. I was in a rush, and I couldn't do a thing with my hair.
Quetzalcoatl: We bored gods are here to offer Beth Stroud alternative praise-and-worship teams that will accept her without discrimination. We hope she'll take us up on it, because how can she continue to serve a god who says in his writings that she's unfit for the task?
Anne: So we're having a Bored God Roll Call on behalf of Beth Stroud. Take it away, all you righteous deities!
Asherah (Ancient Israel): She can work for me. And by the way, Anne, when are you going to get around to my story?
Anne: Real soon, sweetie. Because your existence poses some big questions for the Judeo-Christian crowd. On with the Roll Call, please!
Rashnu (Ancient Middle East): I vote YEA.
Tiki (Marquessa Islands): Absolutely. Beth, come on down!
Chuchulainn (Ireland): Hey, what do you think? I'd like to have Christian Missionary on a Stick for breakfast every morning.
Tuatha-de-Danaan (British Isles): Beth, we offer an awesome heaven. Think about it.
Jade Emperor (China): You like the food, you like the god. Let's talk.
Ishtar (Ancient Babylon): No one has prayed to me in thousands of years. I'd welcome the attention.
Chonganda (Congo): Come along, Beth, and bring my African people with you.
Faro (Mali): Beth, you're brave. I like that in a person.
Eingana (Australia): Oy, mate. Down Under now, or Down Under later. Get my drift?
Quetzalcoatl (Mexico): I'm already on record as wanting Beth Stroud in my congregation.
Isis (Egypt): Those people who commissioned the Pyramids weren't in it for myth-making, dearie. Stop by!
Akka (Finland): There's nothing cold about my team.
Inti (Peru): Live high in the sky, look the birds in the eye. Welcome, Beth. Welcome!
Ixchel (Guatemala): Sorry I forgot the hallucinogens. But don't let that scare you away, Beth. You don't have to drink tea to see me!
Freya (Norway): All right, my pantheon argues a lot. We could use a sensitive mediator. How about it, Beth?
Sedna (Arctic): Save my Wildlife Refuge! You can do it, Beth!
Thunderbird: Sssssssssssssssssssss. Woosh!
Anne: Oh, god (pardon my phraseology). Even Zeus wants a word.
Zeus: I'll take her if she's cute.
Queen Brighid the Bright: You'd think he'd learn something in 2000 years. Beth Stroud, I have jars of jam older than Jesus. Come home to Mama, darling, and take comfort in my embrace.
Zeus: Hey, where's my hurricane? It's no fair! Alpha and Beta my ass!
Anne: Stay on topic.
Beth Stroud, the same kind of mindset that used the Bible to condone and expand the enslavement of Africans is now being used to keep you out of the pulpit. And sorry, but it's based on the scriptures in that perpetually perplexing Bible. Oh, woe to the Pharisees of the United Methodist Church! They face a reckoning.
Mr. Applegate: I'll see to that.
PEACE TO YOU ON ALL GODS DAY,
THE MERLIN OF BERKELEY SPRINGS
Thanks to mundodesconocido (a Jesus site) for the portrait of Quetzalcoatl.
Thanks to the hilarious http://www.godchecker.com for alerting the bored gods! Don't stop reading me when you see this site!