Tuesday, September 30, 2008

The Morons on Main Street

Welcome to "The Gods Are Bored!" Does anyone know what to do about the faerie in my printer?

Okay, so we all know about the government's attempt to bail out the rotten stinking thieves on Wall Street. We also know that public opinion was so squarely against this bailout that the craven masses in Congress voted it down.

Now we're going to have a Great Depression, the final bequest of our fearless leader, George W. Bush.

So today, we at TGAB thought we would explain the Wall Street mess in a way that any moron could understand. That is, a moron who can read. Here goes:

1. Your beloved granny has been giving you lots of money for years. You bet some of it on football games and lost, so the bookie's out to collect.

2. A dude with a gun shoots your granny in front of your eyes. But there's a problem. In his non-gun hand, he's holding a red button that will set off a Doomsday Machine if he presses it.

3. The dude who just shot your granny demands that you give him a new gun, warning of Doomsday if you don't.

4. You refuse because the rat just shot your granny.

5. Doomsday, preceded by having your thumbs broken by an angry bookie.

Now, Main Street, do you get it?

Probably not. I used big words.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Paul Is Dead

Welcome to "The Gods Are Bored!" If you're old enough to remember the "Paul is dead" conspiracy, then you recall that it wasn't this Paul they were talking about, but Paul McCartney, who is still alive.

Who among our 21st century crop of actors can replace this guy? I'm thinking....

Bamp! Time's up. There's no one, nada, not a single sexy young chappie who can hold a candle to Paul Newman.

If ever any modern person deserved to be placed on a barge and floated downriver while archers shoot flaming arrows from the shore, it is this fabulous, big-hearted, faithful husband of a person. May his way to the Summerlands be clear, and his welcome by the Gentry of Sidhe be warm.

Ladies, if you haven't seen Long Hot Summer (1958), rent it! Perhaps with your "divorce aid" close to your elbow.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Exclusive Interview with Sarah Palin!

Welcome to "The Gods Are Boards!" Today you are in luck ... it's me, Puck! Anyone who's new here, don't be wary. I'm just your typical badass faerie!

Yesterday I went over to Fox News and pretended to be an intern from Bryan College. I asked if I could interview Sarah "whiter shade of" Palin. I'm so blessed! They said yes! And here she is now. More moose than cow.

Puck: Welcome, future vice prescient! And don't worry about a single little thing. I'll ask real easy questions, okay?

Palin: Look, Puck. I can answer hard questions, all right? Don't lob softballs at me. I'm ready to be president of the United States, Puck.

Puck: Of coarse you are. So. Here's the first question. What happened to Humpty Dumpty when he sat on a wall?

Palin: He could see Russia.

Puck: What did Little Bo Peep lose?

Palin: Her virginity. But only after marriage, Puck.

Puck: Is it true that you opposed the Bridge to Nowhere because trolls don't like to live under bridges in Alaska because of the climate?

Palin: How did you know that, Puck?

Puck: Now, my deer. I'm posting the questions here! Finish the rhyme: "There was an old woman who lived in a shoe. She had so many children..."

Palin: "She had to hire three nannies."

Puck: What does a stitch in time save?

Palin: A snitch?

Puck (to himself) This lady seems like a fine national leader to me! (To Palin) What's black and white and red all over?

Palin: Puck, I know that one! Wait ... wait ... it's coming to me ... emmmmm. Oh golly. I'll have to get back to you on that, Puck.

Puck: Okay. Spell "potato."

Palin: That's not fair, Puck! I need a chalkboard!

Puck: Final question. What is the first thing you will do when you're sworn in as president? Because, let's face it, your running mate is so long in the tooth he might as well be a beached walrus.

Palin: Actually, Puck, I don't have any plans for governance. I'm going to turn it all over to God Almighty, and maybe a few Assembly of God preachers, and just let Armageddon take its course.

Puck: And where exactly do you see faeries standing when Armageddon gets underway?

Palin: Knee-deep in a lake of fire in hell, Puck.

Puck: Faeries in hell? (Methinks this doth smell.) Ms. Palin, your brain doesn't work very well.

Palin: Are you callin' me a moron? Where's my hunting rifle?

Puck: Here's the show-stopper. You left it in the chopper.

"Being able to pun, sing, or riddle will usually get you through fairy checkpoints. To deal with real fairies is to enter a realm of riddles and puzzle settings where what they punish is stupidity and what they love is intellectual cleverness."

--Terence McKenna

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Tag for Your Life

Welcome to "The Gods Are Bored!" Yes, as a commenter noted -- we are the Sam's Club of deities! No pantheon too great, no pantheon too small. Is there a Goddess living in your backyard, watching out for you and only you? What luck! You should be happy.

I can't link to save my life, but if you go to http://www.wildhunt.org, Jason's site, you can click on the footage and commentary about Sarah Palin's personal protection from witchcraft.

Pagans, are we going to allow a woman to become vice president who may actively persecute us -- who most certainly will revile and belittle us to her many, many religious followers?

I'm not suggesting that Mrs. Palin would erect stakes on the White House lawn and have us lashed to them and burnt. But rest assured that she will undermine religious freedom, personal choice, and non-Biblical lifestyles in every way she can.

And there are plenty of ways she can do it. For instance? Enforcement of laws against religious practices in public parks. Might cancel a few Christian weddings, but it would certainly squelch many a Pagan practice.

It is time to galvanize our spirits, to band together, and to call upon all of our deities to work against the election of a known witch-hater.

I am going to tag every Pagan blogger in my sidebar and hope that this begins a ripple of Pagan work against the election of John McCain and Sarah Palin. Please, if you get tagged, express your opinion of this ticket and then tag all the other Pagan bloggers you know.

Sarah Palin believes in witches. Do we? If so, let's show her, by nonviolent solidarity -- wishing no ill upon her or her family -- that we don't want her to be in a position of power.

I make this petition in the name of the Celtic Goddesses, most especially my Patroness, Queen Brighid the Bright.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Deliver Us from ????: Assembly of God, Part 4

Welcome to "The Gods Are Bored," your celestial variety store! Free shipping on multiple deity orders -- buy now and save!

I've been taking a stroll down memory lane to the time in the mid- to late-1960s when I attended an Assembly of God church not far from Antietam Battlefield. I've bothered to do this because our future vice-president, Sarah Palin, belongs to that denomination and, one assumes, accepts its tenets and practices.

We have to assume a lot about her, don't we? Cuz she is as mum as Dick Cheney, if slightly better looking.

Back to the Assembly of God:

I think I attended for about 18 months, and for most of that time I was insulated in a Children's Church during the hours of adult church. However, I graduated from the kiddie ranks and moved to the main show, probably at about the time I started fourth grade.

If you read the post below, you know that I saw a group of girls older than myself savagely rebuked from the pulpit for wearing short skirts. I don't recall seeing any other group torn apart like this. But teenage girls are a vulnerable lot, for the most part. Easy pickins for humiliation.

I finally stood up to my domineering mother and refused to attend the Assembly of God anymore. The tipping point, for me, was an evening revival sermon. It so frightened me that I wouldn't have gone into that church again unless I was being chased by rabid hounds.

The pastor worked himself into a lather, but he usually did. What terrified me was the behavior of the congregants. Grown men and women literally rolled in the aisles of the sanctuary. Others sprang from their seats and spoke in tongues. A great many adults wept, staggered to the altar, threw themselves at God's mercy.

If you are ten years old and watching this, it leaves an indelible impression. And as a kid you can go two ways on it. Either you accept it as the way things are supposed to be, or you recoil from it as too frightening to handle.

I chose the latter. Put the little girl foot down and refused any more holy rolling. And I haven't set foot inside an Assembly of God since then. So I don't know for sure that they still do such stuff.

But ... here comes the controversy ... I do know this. What those adults were experiencing was valid religious ecstasy. That kind of ecstatic response is not unique to fundamentalist Christianity. It is widespread and takes many forms. Pagans sometimes have their own ways of expressing it.

Here's my opinion, and you sure don't have to agree.

I don't think children under the age of fourteen should witness adults engaging in religiously-motivated ecstatic experiences. Remember when you were a little kid, how large and tall all the adults seemed? How full of authority? When those authority figures throw aside their culturally-sanctioned daily behavior, it's way scary to a kid.

Around this time last year, my daughter The Spare and I attended a Druid get-together in New Jersey's Pine Barrens. The Spare had a wonderful time there. She got to make crafts out of clay. She met a boy her age, and they found plenty to giggle about. She loved the food. But when time came for the Ritual, she didn't want to participate. And I didn't push it.

I was glad I didn't. Because this particular Druid Grove practices a more ecstatic form of Druidism than my regular Grove -- and certain things were said and done during that Ritual that I considered too mature for a middle-schooler. I'm not talking about dancing, or nudity, or speaking in tongues ... There was none of that. But I believe that the Ritual would have spooked The Spare away from Druidism.

If you have a young child, and you engage in ecstatic religious events, Sister Annie suggests you leave the child at home, or at least back at the camp site. Too much too soon made me sour on the Christian faith. I'm fairly certain that I'd have had a similar reaction to a wild drum circle when I was that age.

No matter what religion you follow, keep it low-key in front of the kids. Otherwise they may grow up taking your genuine divine inspiration to unhealthy levels, or they'll just shrug off the religion altogether.

If you disagree with me, please feel free to leave a comment. Except for you, Billy. We all know you think religion is for monkeys. Don't risk carpal tunnel syndrome by typing it out again.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Deliver Us from Christianity: Assembly of God Part 3

Welcome to "The Gods Are Bored" as we move into the dark part of the year! A blessed equinox to all, and may you reap a bountiful harvest! Or at least hold onto your job and your house.

I've been sermonizing about the Assembly of God, a Pentacostal denomination that's been out on the charismatic fringe of Christianity for many decades. Our future vice president, Sarah Palin, is a member of this denomination. Which tells me she'll conduct her foreign policy with the goal of getting those Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse out of the paddock and onto the home stretch.

I attended an Assembly of God for two years in my formative youth. And I'm a better person for it ... but not for the reasons the church might endorse.

Most of my legions and legions of readers are way too young to remember the late 1960s. It was an interesting time to be young. The sand was always shifting every which way.

Of course clothing fashions changed in the late 1960s, just like everything else. Suddenly we had this new style called the "miniskirt." The name says it all.

My best friend's older sister was in the youth choir at the Assembly of God. One week her choir sang a peppy Christian song. They didn't have choir robes like Methodists. They just sang in whatever clothes they wore to church.

The following Sunday the pastor stood up to preach. But instead of beginning his usual fiery sermon, he just took his fist and slammed it onto the lectern as hard as he could.

These are his very words:

"This church is full of harlots and Jezebels!"

I was not yet ten years old. I didn't know what a harlot was, but somewhere in my Assembly of God education, I'd heard of Jezebel. Not good and female. I knew that much.

According to the pastor, the girls in the youth choir who had sung so sweetly the week before had raised lustful thoughts among certain members of the congregation ... because the girls' skirts were too short.

The pastor proceeded to name the offending girls one by one, and told them to stand when he said their names. He ticked off a half dozen girl-names, and finally he said my friend's sister's name, and she had to stand too. Once they were all standing, he ripped them each a third eyeball, promising them tough lives here on earth and a never-ending scorch-fest in the hereafter. He told them that if they ever came to church again with skirts above their knees, they would not be allowed inside the door.

My memory of this event does not extend to how my friend's sister was scolded by her parents after the fact. My guess is that the parents didn't want to fuss in front of me.

But to this day that preacher's venom remains fresh in my mind. How much more difficult would it have been to take each young woman aside and discreetly demand a dress code? Any of the church ladies would have been very willing to do this chore, trust me.

As an adult looking back on this incident, what strikes me the most is the fact that a bunch of teenagers were singing about God, and some of the men who were supposed to be listening were instead daydreaming about shagging the girls. And one, probably no more than one, of these men decided to confess his guilty longings. Giving the pastor a golden opportunity to put some vulnerable teenaged girls in their place.

Even as young as I was on that day, I remember thinking that it was the pastor who was out of line, not the teens in miniskirts. You don't have to be grown up to recognize injustice.

But this was not the incident that finally caused me to stand up to my domineering mother and renounce the Assembly of God.

Tomorrow I'll tell you about the nail in the coffin. You may find my conclusions controversial.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Deliver Us from Christianity: Assembly of God, Part 2

Welcome to "The Gods Are Bored," strenuously promoting the big, broad, flexible outlook when it comes to choosing a religion! I'm your host, Anne Johnson, the gal blessed with a unique name.

Yesterday I began to recount my experiences at the Assembly of God where I grew up. (Why? Because Sarah Palin belongs to that denomination, and I think you oughta know about it.)

Today we'll continue the sermon.

I guess I was between second and third grade the summer I attended Bible School at the Assembly of God. I went to the B.S. because my best friend's family was a member of the church, and she wanted me to go.

When Bible School ended, I thought I'd seen the last of the Freak Out for Jesus crowd. I was wrong.

One afternoon a knock came upon my family's door. I opened the door, and much to my surprise, there stood the two Bible School teachers from the Assembly of God, wearing their benign church lady faces and toting well-thumbed Bibles.

My mom was in the depressive phase of her bipolar disorder at that time, so she was lying on the couch, more or less detached from the here and now. But she sort of perked up when I introduced her to the Bible School ladies. And of course they showered Mom with kindness and solicitude. (Probably tried to smell Mom's breath for telltale signs of alcohol, which there weren't. Shock treatments yes, booze no.)

The reason for this visit from the nice ladies at the Assembly of God was that they wanted to follow up with me and be sure I was on the right track with my salvation.

Mom told the ladies that we went to the Methodist church.

The ladies hemmed and hawed. Methodism was fine, just fine, but ... well ... in these times (the mid-1960s) ... could a Methodist church provide the solid rock foundation of a Bible-centered congregation like the Assembly of God?

Cutting to the chase, the ladies said they would like to see me join the Assembly of God. They had already spoken to my best friend's family about bringing me every Sunday.

The ladies asked my mom to pray with them about it.

I watched in fascination as these two Assembly of God ladies bent over my mother and launched into a fervent prayer. Mom attended church every Sunday of her life, but only for the social outlet. And when she was in a manic episode, she would flirt with the men. Prayer was not part of her repertoire, no matter what phase of bipolar she happened to be in at the time.

But this prayer worked. Without asking my view on the matter, Mom said the Assembly of God would indeed be a more substantive immersion into Christian morality than our mamby-pamby Methodist church, at a time when there were so many bad influences cropping up everywhere.

The deal was sealed with another prayer.

The ladies hugged me, and off they went. Mom fell back into her daze. And I was just a kid. I figured one church was about like another, from Sunday to Sunday.

I was wrong.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Deliver Us from Christianity: The Assemblies of God

Welcome to "The Gods Are Bored," making a way in this world today for better gods and hosts of fae! Speaking of hosts, I'm Anne Johnson. Stuck inside recovering from surgery in the best of all possible weathers.

(Update from yesterday: Decibel the Parrot was brought indoors last night by the fine young neighbor fellow across the street and his pals from the basketball team. Remarkably, no fingers were bitten during the transfer.)

Some of you might have heard of the Republican vice-presidential nominee, a woman named Sarah Palin. But since you might not be as familiar with her church denomination (Assembly of God) as you are with her, let me catch you up.

I, Anne Johnson, actually attended an Assembly of God church for two years in my youth. I will now testify to my experience there and extrapolate from it, in that unsubstantiated way that becometh every blogger!

Right now I'm reading a book called The Age of American Unreason, by Susan Jacoby (Pantheon Books, 2008). One of Ms. Jacoby's arguments is that the political clout of the Christian Right had its beginnings in the 1960s, as fundamentalist Christian Americans reacted to the counterculture by drawing ranks and forging connections with like-minded individuals, even unto conservative Roman Catholics. Because the media focused on the counterculture in the 1960s, this upsurge in fundamentalist Church activity occurred off the radar, only to explode upon the scene with the advent of the first Great Republican Beast, Ronald Reagan.

Yep. Take it to the bank. (Well, then again, you might wanna bury it in your backyard or buy gold. Just saying.)

I think I'll spread this sermon over several days, so here's Part One.

When I was seven years old, smack in the midst of the 1960s, my best friend invited me to go with her to Bible School at her church. My mother was always looking for ways to get rid of me, so off I went with my pal.

The church was an Assembly of God. Bible School was held in the evening. It began the same way every evening. We formed a line and marched into the church singing "Onward Christian Soldiers."

Bible School ran through two weeks, and most of that time was what anyone would call "normal" Bible School. We learned memory verses and got rewards, just like in Tom Sawyer. We made crafts. We sang uplifting, kicky Jesus songs. We made our way through all those child-approved Bible stories, like "The Good Samaritan."

But on the next-to-last night, something happened. The previously benign Bible School teachers became terrifying Pentacostal preachers as they launched into a description of the Crucifixion in all its Mel Gibson glory. The teachers hollered at us. They fell on their knees and prayed loudly for us. They moved through our ranks with a crown of thorns and made sure each of us got our fingers pricked on it, so we could imagine what it would be like to wear it on our heads. They showed us pictures of Jesus drenched in blood.

This live horror production lasted ninety minutes. Then we were exhorted to make Jesus' suffering worthwhile by being born again in the spirit. We were told to kneel at our chairs, and someone would come around and pray over us.

The formerly benign but now fearsome Bible School staff moved amongst us like the Wrath of God, laying hands on every kid who had been terrified into submission.

I was one of those kids.

My family had always attended church, but we went to a staid Methodist place where no one raised their voices except the choir. I wasn't prepared for the Pentacostal way of doing things. My childish impulse was to follow the fold, if only to escape a scolding, a humiliation, or another round with the crown of thorns.

This was 1966, readers. Do you think it was any different in 2006, when one presumes the Palin youngsters probably attended their own Assembly of God Bible School?

Well, yes and no. In 1966 the enemy was Satan. Today the enemy is Satan ... and all Democrats.

More on this later.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Cry for Help










Thursday, September 18, 2008

Buzzard Blogging

Welcome to "The Gods Are Bored," dedicated to the Sacred Thunderbird even when it hurts! I'm your host, Anne Johnson. Excuse me while I heave this road kill into a field, so my beloved Thunderbirds don't get flattened during dinner....

Well now, we all know what vultures do, right? Something dies, and they dig in to the lifeless flesh, gorging themselves on the misfortune of the deceased.

Today I'm feeling decidedly buzzardish.

A dear old friend of mine passed last week, leaving behind a youngish widow. I cried when I got the news, because the dude in question was of high quality and should damn well have gotten more than 55 years in this sphere.

As you might expect, a 55-year-old married dude who dies suddenly leaves behind a workload. I, who have been scraping rock bottom for four years, have been asked to shoulder that workload.

I have to do it, of course. But what a way to find work! It's like plucking the eyeballs out of an old pal's corpse.

In times like this it's helpful to remember the central tenet of Sacred Thunderbird praise and worship: Clean up the mess. I don't suppose a hungry buzzard licks its chops over the remains of a dead skunk, but the world smells better after the meal.

Now I've gotta go pick at a carcass. What a way to make a profit.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

It's Hitting the Fan

Welcome to "The Gods Are Bored," where we follow weather reports for approaching hurricanes and financial reports for approaching economic catastrophes. How convenient when both make the news in the same week!

Mr. Johnson has had several job offers in the past few years. And even though we're constantly under the threat of plant closure here in the Great Blue Northeast, he hasn't changed jobs.

Why? Let's examine the list:

1. One job offer was in his home town, and the prospective boss asked him to take a "hometown discount" on his salary. In other words, can we pay you less because you love Baltimore?

If he'd gone to Baltimore, Mr. Johnson would have taken a pay cut, and he would have been laid off this year.

2. The next job offer was at the most cutting-edge and famous plant in Mr. Johnson's line of work. And Mr. Johnson is eminently qualified to work there. But while he was interviewing down in Washington, DC, I was looking at the real estate listings. A two-bedroom bungalow in Chevy Chase was $450,000 -- and it looked like it hadn't been taken care of since the Eisenhower era. I told Mr. Johnson, "You'll be taking a whopper of a pay cut if we move, because the houses are too expensive in DC."

Mr. Johnson did not get the job. If he had, he would have been laid off last year.

3. Periodically Mr. Johnson hears from a plant in Los Angeles. And he just plainly loves that California weather. But when a job offer came, we looked at the real estate listings and could hardly breathe. A two bedroom bungalow in suburban LA was $750,000!

Mr. Johnson did not take the job. If he had, he would have been laid off this past summer.

We are clinging to the cliff by our fingernails. This latest round of financial ruin on Wall Street may do us in, even though Mr. Johnson is a senior employee in a union plant. But you know what? Shit happens, it doesn't matter what deity you worship.

At times like this it's helpful to remember that your ancestors went through tough times too, and died from them often enough. But somehow they gave birth to another generation, and that generation survived to be mowed down in its hard time, after having birthed another generation.

Somehow you got here, where you are today. I did too. And that's miracle enough for me. Thanks be unto the bored gods!

I'm Anne Johnson, and I approved this message.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Home Sick

Welcome to "The Gods Are Bored," faerie-friendly since birth! Lead on, guiding sprites!

A physical therapist has been visiting my home to help me recover from surgery. Today he told me to try, if at all possible, not to walk on wet leaves.

Now I'm sitting here thinking of my beloved Polish Mountain, of the deep, sweet smell of the fallen leaves after a hard rain. They are slippery, but if I could just grab a handful of them at this moment, I'd crush them to my face and not stop inhaling until my lungs burst.

I'm thinking of a place called Sweet Root Gap, where the tumbled rocks are slippery all the time, either with moss or water, or both. The gap is so steep and rocky that it has never been timbered. It does not have a trail. You jump or crawl from rock to rock overtop a stream so clear that the pebbles in it look like diamonds.

Silly me. I thought I'd grown used to living in the flatlands, where the water runs uphill each time the tide comes in. Nope, it hasn't happened. I want to go home. I want to walk in the wet leaves. I want to take my chances on the slippery rocks. I'm not ready yet to say, "Those were the days."

Take my hand, Queen Brighid the Bright. Let us go together to the land of my birth. Help me make a staff and watch my step, because sometimes leaves get wet. And I want to walk.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Barrier Islands

Welcome to "The Gods Are Bored," the mall of the gods! I'm your host, Anne Johnson. I believe all deities exist, but not all of them deserve your praise and worship. And you can choose which ones you like. It's none of my business.

Isn't this a beautiful picture? It's a barrier island.

Barrier islands exist in many, many places where the ocean meets the land. Some barrier islands, like Assateague (pictured) function exactly as the Flying Spaghetti Monster intended: They buffer the mainland from the ocean's wrath.

The vast majority of barrier islands serve another purpose. This, too, is a barrier island, perhaps only 150 miles north of Assateague. Looks like a fun place to hang, yes?

Bamp. Wrong, wrong, wrong!

With ever-increasing fury, the bored god Hurracan, sacred to the native peoples of Mesoamerica, is venting his rage on those who live upon barrier islands.

Ocean front real estate? BAMP! Why would you pay top dollar just so Hurracan can come tear you to shreds? He's not a nice deity. And this global climate change has really riled him up extra-nasty.

You might think that if you live in northern climes you're safer in that condo on the barrier island. Sorry, nope. One of these days Hurracan is gonna get his whole back up and come roaring toward the Great Blue Northeast with just as much wrath as He vented on New Orleans. You live in the Hamptons? Think twice. (And send me money. I'm broke.)

Now, my dear coastal resident: Go back across that causeway bridge and buy yourself something on higher ground. Leave the barrier islands to the fiddler crabs and the piping plovers, the Spartina and the wild ponies.


Sunday, September 14, 2008

What the Polls Won't Show

Welcome to "The Gods Are Bored!" It's me, Anne Johnson, emerging from a morphine fog slowly but surely. Glad of that.

Our house gets the Philadelphia television stations even though we live across the river in NJ. So, stuck as I am in an easy chair, I've gotten to see a lot of t.v. commercials from both the Obama and McCain camps.

Last night I saw one that just featured Barack Obama talking straight into the camera. And I had an odd thought. A question, really.

It's tought to put hard numbers behind the groups of white extremists who not only won't vote for Obama, but who (all the bored gods forbid) might actually pose a true threat to him. How many real Klansmen or Aryan Nations skinheads remain today in America?

I ask because I wonder if we Pagans have outnumbered them.

There's been an explosion of Pagan activity since the Internet helped people to find fellow seekers. I don't think that anyone would argue that Pagan groups are gaining numbers. My question is, do you think we've gained enough numbers to offset the White Power voters?

Mr. Johnson gives a nod to the Pagans. But of course we live in New Jersey, where a proposed Klan rally was stymied by a park ordinance against bonfires (!).

Pagans, can we trump the white supremacists? I'm not telling y'all how to vote. (Don't think I have to, do I, choir?)

No poll will ever be able to reveal how many Pagans there are in the U.S., partly because some Pagan groups don't like being lumped in with others. Nor will any poll reveal the scope of organized white supremacist hatred (or solitary practitioners thereof).

We can only hope that the pendulum of American society has swung away from hate and towards positive Paganism, and that in some small way it will be reflected in the upcoming presidential election.

And as long as that pendulum is swinging, let's be really optimistic. In the 1920s, the Klan had upwards of four million members (*cringe* I trusted Wickedpedia for that number *cringe*). Can you foresee a day when four million Americans list their religion as Pagan?

We would have much nicer parades, I think.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Better a Gram than a Damn

Welcome to "The Gods Are Bored!" It's me, Anne Johnson, recovering from surgery with the help of legally-prescribed painkillers.

In other words, I'm stoned.

This picture of the bored God Morpheus (recumbent) and the bored Goddess Isis (luscious) about sums it up.

I'm told I have to take these mind-numbing pharmaceuticals in order to control pain. As Aldous Huxley put it, "Better a gram than a damn." But frankly, I'd much rather cuss. Know why? Because when the pain starts to ebb and the scrip runs out, then I'll be a cranky, anxious, nasty, nervous, sleepless jerk with a rotten, depressed attitude.

How did Rush Limbaugh do it? One little pill turns my day into a fog. He was taking about 60 of those suckers every day!

O mighty bored God Morpheus, please don't be offended, but can I ease out of your seductive presence now?

Ouch! Damn!

Maybe not just yet.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Open Brain. Release Fog.

Welcome to "The Gods Are Bored," September 11, 2008. I'm the regular host, Anne Johnson. ("Anne Johnson" is my real name.)

Mindful of today's date, here is some of my fabulous free advice, offered free as always. So take it for what it's worth.

1. If you find yourself in a religion that advocates blowing up bad people, change religions.

2. If you can't change your religion because you're scared that the people arround you will shun, ruin, or kill you, change religions.

3. If a whole lot of people follow one religion, that doesn't mean that the religion is right for you. Change religions.

4. If you don't like the way your religion treats people of the other gender, change religions.

5. If you don't like the way your religion interferes with the science education of your children, change religions.

6. If your religious leaders are telling you how to vote, officially or unofficially, change religions.

7. If you have no religion, please respect those who do. If you do have religion, please respect those who don't.

8. If your religion puts a great deal of time and efforts into fancy trappings, which you can't afford, change religions.

9. If you've never found a religion that fits you like that great old sweatshirt you always wear to rake the leaves, don't stop looking. It's out there. You'll find it.

10. If you're happy and you know it, clap your hands.


Tuesday, September 09, 2008

NerdinessWarning -Skip if you have no tolerance for nerdiness!

Howdy and good evening to y'all!

Here at GAB we feel that whenever we make two heavy posts in a row, we'll take a step back, lighten things up and give you readers a curve ball. So here is a bit about Comics! (YAY! Nerdiness!)

So, I thought I might take a few moments to write about comic books and iconic imagery. What place does this have in the greater scheme of things? Pop culture's influence in the greater world we live in, the collective unconscious AND multi cultural mythological reciprocity aside, comics books are just a great hobby. Nerdiness, yep. Yah, comics!

Over time so many people with whom I talk comics ask about deeper meanings and from where the mythos borrows its leads? Here are my answers, find them insightful, flawed or just nerdy, and there you go. Lets start with the big names:

Superman (He has to be listed first, regardless of my favorites) He is THE big icon in the comic world for one reason, and one reason alone. Hope. The big red "S" is the image of hope and good to which the well adjusted person aspires. His heritage is that of such greats as Hercules, Prometheus, Samson, Moses, the Early pulp heroes like "Doc Savage," even Judeo-Christian imagery is thrown into the mix. They drop hints about the basic nature of the character everywhere in the mythos they create, even naming his planet "Krypton" which essentially means "alien." Why? It made for compelling story telling in the 1930's. He is alone, a refugee, come to this planet to live out his life as one of us, and what does he do with the grand abilities granted by a fluke of his alien nature? Saves us over and over, showing us all that to which we can aspire. The two men who created the character were both Jewish sons of immigrants to this country who fled the growing intolerance in Europe. Moses...anyone? Anyone?
(Shuster and Siegel originally wrote the Superman stories with him as the villain, based loosely on Nietzsche's "Ubermensch." But when they tried to get their characters published to a larger audience, they had to revamp the whole idea to suit the target audience. An Icon for the world was born.)

Wonder Woman...WOW what a weird road this character had. She was created by William Moulton Marston...you know...that guy who invented the lie detector! Whacky!

Created during WWII, the character was initially depicted fighting the Axis forces, as well as an assortment of super villains and villainesses. In later decades, some writers and their editors preferred to retain the World War II setting, while others updated the series to reflect an ongoing "present day." Wonder Woman has also regularly appeared in the team books Justice Society(from 1941) and Justice League (from 1960). Arguably the most popular and iconic female super hero in comics, she is informally grouped with Superman and Batman as one of a Trinity of DC characters who are regarded as especially important, both within their fictional universe and without.

Her powers? She was a physical match for Superman, an intellectual match for the Batman and had an arsenal of weapons magically powered by the Greek Gods to help her bring balance to the world. She was a warrior, and fought hard battles against the worst the world of men could throw at her.

Originally, sadly, she was given the thinly veiled trappings of a bondage queen. Her weakness? She would lose her powers if she allowed any man to "bind" her...And oh, yes...the images of this skirted the edges of comic book values. In the 1980s our heroic Dianna was given a make-over ostensibly to make her "more relatable to modern female readers." How did they do this? They put her in a disco pant suit, and took away her powers...thankfully it didn't last; and this icon of female strength, the Amazon Warrior of myth, is back to the power levels that made her a foil for the testosterone driven tales of her male counterparts.

Batman (Still, not my favorite, but better known, and more influential to the culture) Originally written as a dark foil to the bust of sunlight and hope that is Superman, Batman is, on the surface, the image of what one determined man can do to make the world a better place. He is sacrifice, and gritty determination. Beneath this top layer we see echoes of older tales. Sherlock Holmes, the Shadow, Doc Savage, even Zorro! But if we take a moment to look even deeper, we see the older mythic figures who have gone into the underworld to save lives and souls, Aeneas, Pericles, Perseus, Annua, Samhuinn. All tales that show us how to relate to the darker side of our natures to find the strength to fight on against those who would do us wrong. His rogues gallery of villains are fractured and fragmented images of the hero himself, showing the reader what dangers lie ahead for those not willing to take the harder road.

Green Lantern (BINGO!) It's all about the willpower! Humanity can, and has, moved mountains, rerouted great rivers, built walls that have spanned continents, gone to the moon and sent our eyes, ears and thoughts out into space. With willpower. Most heavily influenced by the tales of Aladdin and the Magic Lamp, the original Golden Age Green Lantern was a modern look at this classic Arabian tale. Martin Nodell, who created the golden age character, told an odd story about the creation of the character. Nodell had wanted to name the character Alan Ladd, to hint more ham fistedly at the idea of the magic lamp. He said that the editors thought Alan Ladd was a silly name for a character, and the Aladdin reference was unneeded...the actor, Alan Ladd's star didn't actually rise to popularity until '42, two years after the character was created. Whacky...) As the character changed over time, and the times called for a revamp of the title character, writer John Broome and artist Gil Kane envisioned a whole squad of GL's that patrolled the whole universe. They were employed by an ancient and alien race of wise (and infuriating) immortals called The Guardians, who where based on the planet at the center of the universe, called Oa.

The revamp kept to the basic premise: ring, lamp, willpower. The idea that a single person could, with willpower, change the universe was at the core of the book. The Green Lantern was given as much power as he could force to his/her will for 24 hours every time they recharged their power ring on the battery (A lantern shaped artifact...).

Spider-man is the everyman of the comic world, created by Stan Lee and Steve Ditko to be the flawed super hero teen to which the average schmo reading the funny books could relate. The point of Spider-man is often confused with his rallying cry, "With Great Power Comes Great Responsibility." While that is a great ideal to keep in mind, the point of poor old Peter Parker's life in fiction is that even heroes have their own problems. Under that mask they may not be the most handsome, might even have acne, they may be awkward around the girls. They have homework, and bills, and bullies in their lives just like the rest of us. But they still try to do their part to help, not because of the hard driving forces of frustration, but in spite of all the rest. Some folks may harp on the idea that Marvel comics is saying you don't have to aspire to something better, like Superman or Green Lantern; they miss the point. Spider-man aspires to be the "Superman" idea in spite of his failings. He is not perfect, but he does not give up. It's almost two in the a.m. now, and I have a busy day tomorrow. So, I'll stop here and leave you with these to mull over while I compose mental notes on more comic nerdiness for your pleasure later.



I think I'm more centered now, so I'll just give it a wirl and let fly.

Here goes.

I've been a Druid for so many years now that some days its hard to remember the time before. I was introduced to the faith by people in my family, my paternal grandparents, in fact. My father is a devout atheist, much to the frustration of his late parents.

In recent years I have gone farther and farther into the realm of Celtic Reconstructionism. Mostly due to my personal gnosis, if that makes any sense to you. Actually...whether it makes sense to you or not...

What does this have to do with why I'm here writing today?

I'lllllllllll tell ya!

Recently I've had the displeasure of dealing with people who feel a deep seated need to attack me. Not for being a Druid...but for being a Druid with C-R leanings. There is a weird feeling in the greater pagan community of late. One that is bound in hostility and suspicion. The talk in the local gatherings, on-line in the forums, and at even in the local Seed Groups and Study Circles is one that is more angry and hostile than I have ever seen it. And I've seen a lot!

Many self proclaimed pundits for the pagan community have spent too much effort lately decrying the C-R movement as everything from "silly" to "elitism in its worst form." There have been scathing articles written, and nasty comments made.

One assumption I've seen all too often is the charge that C-R lacks moral fiber...WHERE do they get THAT?

On line and in person...It's like the zeitgeist of the immediate era. Angry Pagans. Gnashing teeth and stomping hooves!

And what really gets me is the rhetoric that some of these folks use to press their arguments. Not the fact that they have a different way they do things than I would...but the fact that they react SO poorly to others not doing things THEIR way. Honestly it is starting to look like a Sunni vs. Shia, Catholics vs. Protestant, Burger King vs. McDonalds kind of thing out there in a community that is usually known for its diversity and freedom of eclecticism.

Now I know we all have our pet peeves, and pagans are no less likely to have them. Many people react this way when you force them out of their comfort zones. But come on people! Why are you so afraid of doing a little study? Will learning something new KILL your faith? Will finding out that ancient Druids never cast circles nor "called the quarters" make life too unbearable for you?

If so, than you have no real faith to begin with, if it can be tumbled from you so easily. You have a game of dress-up you do eight or so times a year.

I feel no need to dictate how you practice and express your faith. If you want to live in Gnostic Pagan splendor...do so. If you prefer C-R...do that, and more power to you. Masonic Paganism? All you buddy! Do what you feel the Light pulling you toward, and be blessed! Any combinations in between, even unmentioned? DO IT! I love my personal revelations AND the knowledge I've gained from C-R study to put them into a context beyond myself. You don't do it that way...fine with me.

But don't practice the hypocracy of telling me how to practice and express my faith when it strays form yours.

But be warned, as well...When the community of pagans out there begins to form up ranks and sling arrows at one another...you only help our enemies do their job for them. A pagan holy war will gain us NOTHING!

And if you feel the need to sling more than verbal arrows at me, you better start to practice catching them.


Monday, September 08, 2008

I am...

I had intended to let fly my anger and rage here on this lovely page. I've had a rough few days, and today put a capper n the whole thing for little ol' me, my del-i-cut self...But instead, I decided to work through the anger, until I found a better and more stable ground from which to relate the reason my ire has been roused.

So instead of a self serving venting of my frustrations I give you a riddle I wrote...

I am...

...The darkness you try to banish,
the increase of your heart beat,
the pain you refuse to name,
the sweat above your lip,
the shadow in the cave's mouth,
the glint at spear's tip,
the last startled gasp,
the first light of dawning,
the scent of burnt hope,
the congestion in your throat that will not clear,
the red stain on the snowy field,
the pink rush in the dark water,
the second shadow in the empty room,
the wet shine of long teeth,
the stripes that don't match the tall grass,
the flash of evanescence at the corner of your eye,
the taste of blue at the back of the tongue,
the cracking sound on the lake of ice,
the breath that does not return,
the music you cannot hear,
the tune you dance through the rings with,
what is waiting beneath the calm waters,
what you hear that can not be,
what makes you scream,
why you cry alone,
why you stay,
why you cringe,
why you whimper,
why you rail,
why you fail,
why you fall,
why you seek light.

What am I?

How Did You Become a Pagan?

Welcome to "The Gods Are Bored," open to this and all other dimensions! Free luggage check and cocktails ... we don't scrimp.

I just sat down on this hard chair for a second to look at my email. And it turns out that one of my very best friends up and keeled over, off to the Summerland ... just like that.

My friend's name was Tom Wiloch, and he lived in Michigan. We worked together back in the 1980s. He put me on the path to Paganism.

Tom never intended to do that. He wasn't a guru, just a co-worker. But he was into science fiction and mysticism. He lent me some books by a writer named Robert Anton Wilson. After I read those books, I never looked at the universe the same way. Tom handed me a couple of paperbacks, and I took my first few steps down a whole new highway.

I'm crying now. The world has lost a wonderful man. But some other world has him now, and I hope that world is full of faeries who play tricks, because they have earned a new companion who will enlarge their tool kit -- as if it needs more ammo.

What started you on your path? For me it was the nice dude a few cubicles over. The one with lots of paperback books.


Sunday, September 07, 2008


OMG guess what!!!!!I got call backs to Our town, at my highschool!!! Okay so i went to the auditions and i thought i did really good...untill....sadfaace.... i didnt get an email from the director!!!! i was sooo sad....UNTILL!!!! dun dun duuuuuuu I RECIEVE AN EMAIL!!!!! WOOOT!!!!! i was like omg omg omg omg omg omg..!!! Sadly its not a lead role...but thats okay cuz thats a first..not to sound egotistical (spelling) its a small part but at least its a part...i mean im a freshman so what do u expect...speaking of freshman i started my first day of school a few days ago...i only got lost once!!! and yeah i wasnt afraid to ask an upper classmen were to go!!! cuz im not a scaredy kitty!!!! I have a few great teachers!!! of course im already loaded down with homework but you know...it happens!!! Im almost finished the third book of twilight called Eclispe...read it...its delicous...or if you have a teenage girl..or boy at home tell them to read it...im not much on reading and i cant put this book down...again its delicous!!! and edward omg yummalicous...and jacob ahhh sooo yummy lol!!! speaking of hott..OLD GREGG anyone????

Watch it...you'll love it...Its by the Mighty boosh who are awesome british comedians check it out!


Any ways....everyone has to go see Twilight in theaters November 21!!! its gonna rock...just look at these too actors

-----Jacob Black

opps edward isnt working now i will show him to yall later!!!
BUT YEAH to recap...OUR TOWN YAY! i love edward cullen and jacob black! old greg rocks! and oh yeah and go to http://www.thatguywiththeglasses.com/ he is hilirous!
With love,
Mrs. Edward Cullen!

The Babe Is Back

Welcome to "The Gods Are Bored and Faeries Hate Catholic Hospitals!" The last part of that is a public service announcement.

I'm Anne, I'm back from the hospital with a brand new titanium hip. They shoved me out of there as quick as they could, which means I should still be there. So I'm inviting Muin to continue as my guest blogger for awhile. Maybe we'll tag team.

To Dean, the great poet of Detroit ... send coneys.


Friday, September 05, 2008

Anne is well

Anne has just called to tell me she is home, and seems in fine spirits. She still does not know quite when she will return here; so until then she has sentenced you all to more of me.

Here are some jokes to help take the sting out of your day.

When I got home last night, my wife demanded that I take her someplace expensive.... so, I took her to a gas station..... and then the fight started.... ************************************************************************
After retiring, I went to the Social Security office to apply for Social Security. The woman behind the counter asked me for my driver's license to verify my age. I looked in my pockets and realized I had left my wallet at home. I told the woman that I was very sorry, but I would have to go home and come back later. The woman said, 'Unbutton your shirt'. So I opened my shirt revealing my curly silver hair. She said, 'That silver hair on your chest is proof enough for me' and she processed my Social Security application. When I got home, I excitedly told my wife about my experience at the Social Security office. She said, 'You should have dropped your pants. You might have gotten disability, too' And then the fight started..... ***********************************************************************
My wife and I were sitting at a table at my high school reunion, and I kept staring at a drunken lady swigging her drink as she sat alone at a nearby table. My wife asked,' Do you know her?''Yes,' I sighed, 'She's my old girlfriend. I understand she took to drinking right after we split up those many years ago, and I hear she hasn't been sober since.' 'My God!' says my wife, 'Who would think a person could go on celebrating that long?' And then the fight started..... ***********************************************************************
I rear-ended a car this morning. So, there we were alongside the road and slowly the other driver got out of his car. You know how sometimes you just get soooo stressed and little things just seem funny? Yeah, well I couldn't believe it.... he was a DWARF!!! He stormed over to my car, looked up at me, and shouted, 'I AM NOT HAPPY!!!' So, I looked down at him and said, 'Well, then which one are you?' And that's how the fight started.....


Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Perspective and Karma

Life is never as bad as you think it is. It's all perspective.

One of my favorite anecdotes on the topic of perspective is about my high school friend, Jason. (If you know me and have heard this one, skip to the next section...) Jason had the worst facial acne I have ever seen outside of the special effects in a horror movie. Really. And he knew it. He knew exactly how bad he looked and it chipped away at his self esteem every damn day I knew him. One day when we were walking down Duke street in Norfolk (we went to high school in Va Beach...GREEN RUN! Okay...that blast of school spirit was a lie, totally faked...sorry.) As we headed down the street, he wallowing in self pity, I trying to pull him out of it and failing miserably...we came up to a guy begging on a corner. He had no legs, from the mid thigh down...nothing. Zip. Nada. It was a total void...legless...Jason stood staring at the guy for a few moments before taking out a twenty, handing it to the guy, mechanically turning and walking away. He said to me simply "Wow, my problems don't mean jack..." I thought he had finally won. But then Jason and I heard 'Ol Legless behind us say to the other beggar sitting next to him, "Jesus CHRIST! Did you see that guys FACE?"

Saturday I saw a kid (neighbors had a birthday party for their eight year old...) go up to another kid and push him down. When the downed boy tried to stand up, the aggressive kid pimp smacked him back down. I was about to intervene, along with several other parents; but then he got shit on by a HUGE bird. (Might have been one of the many raptors we have in the neighborhood...) This kid looked for a moment like Carrie on stage at the Prom...all covered in runny bird poo instead of pigs' blood. And all the kids at the party started laughing at him. Three kids said, almost in unison, "Serves you RIGHT, CJ!"

I've never been a big believer in Karma; but coincidence will only take me so far.

Enjoy your day!

Monday, September 01, 2008

Me am Bizarro! Goodbye!

A hale and hearty Howdy-do all;
I'm Anne's friend Muin. And while she is away I was asked, much to my blushing astonishment, to be one of the fill-in bloggers. She is so kind to me.

I'm not a very tech savvy man, I must admit. Most high tech items tend to die if left in my presence for too long. Hope she remembers that...but anyway, as you may have guessed by this point, I hope, I'm not Anne.

Not even Anne "through a Mirror Darkly"...though I do have the requisite facial hair that someones evil twin from another dimension seems always to need. But be not swayed by such follicular imaginings! Anne will be back soon enough, most likely with many a great rant about her treatment at the hands of these Papal Idolater Witch Doctors. Or...PIWD's as they shall be referred to henceforth. (Huzzah!)

But now that we know whom I'm not...lets move on to the ever more dreary subject of who I am...

I'm called Muin by my friends, though Don works as well. I grew up being tugged from one Navy base to another every two years, and while I generally consider myself "Southern" I now live in Pennsylvania with my wonderful wife an two fantastic sons. I spend most of my time raising the boys (and have major issues with the "Mr. Mom" movie and all the damage it and others like it have done over the years to the credibility guys like myself...Michael Keaton owes me BIGTIME!) I am a jeweler and a metals artist. I love to read, cook, eat, and generally have fun. If you REAAALLLY need to get an idea of what I look like/sound like, I'll see what I can do about a picture. A sto my voice, as you read these posts, try to imagine them in the voice and tone of Foghorn Leghorn. It doesn't really match what I sound like, but its a funny thing to do to ANY blog you read.

Some of my failing traits...well, I'm sure I'll let them slip as I write more entries, and y'all feel free to tag me, and call me out in the comments section when you see them/are offended by/amused by them. 'Kay? (I'm sure you have spotted one or six already!)

Like Anne my faith plays a huge role in shaping who I am. I'm a polytheistic Druid. I'm into CR (Celtic Reconstruction-ism...wow that's a long word...) as well as personal gnosis. I feel the two NEED to work together, as antithetical as that may feel to some out there. I've heard the phrase "Snowflake Catholic" and while the image amuses me, it also saddens me. Why? Because I know there are 'Snowflake Druids" out there as well. I'll assume Every religion out there has its share of 'Snowflake" members, though the idea of a "Snowflake Hindu" or a "Snowflake Shintoist" does make me smile a bit...silly image? Anyone? Anyone?

Now I'm getting off track here...My apologies. To sum up...I gots me some mad faith on, yo!

So. That is me, and here I am. I'll be jumping in here from time to time, hoping to NOT drive the regular readers away. If all else fails, you nice folks will be so happy to have Anne back. Wont that be a nice side effect of all my blather?

Cheers! And remember, and that 'Ol womanizer Ben Franklin was fond of saying..."Do good to do well."

Muin, Arch Druid of the Oaken Shield Circle, member of the Grove of the Black Oak...friend to this particular Anne Johnson, whom we all wish well. (And SOON! Oi! The pressure is already killing me...)
Hi Blogger world, its me the spare...(as my mother makes me go by i prefer Coolest Cat in town..or Ms. Edward Cullen)...and im just dropping into to say Howdy...Since my mommy is going into the hospital tommorrow, ive offered to fill in for my wonderful dedicated mama, because well, she has spent 14 years taking care of me..and i think she has earned my undivided help and attietion for the next month or so. Now one thing i ask of you all is to be patient with me...as you can tell my spelling is not soo..great! So im starting school tommorrow...well more like freshman orientation.And im nervous that i wont be able to pay any attietion to any of the important stuff that will DEFINE MY WHOLE HIGHSCHOOL CAREER, because i will be soo nervous for my dear old mom. Because me and my mom are best friends and i know that sounds lame and all but its true...If you've ever seen the show "Gilmore Girls" it is that relationship between Lorlie and Rory...except im more like Lorlie and She is more like Rory...which doesnt make sense in the mother daughter situation...if you lost right now dont worry...your not the only one...im lost too..and im the one writing it haha! Anyway, i do recemend "Gilmore Girls" because not only is it my favorite it is also...a great show for eye candy guys..such as a the guy who plays jess...ill attach a photo thingy of him..if i can..im still trying to figure this all out...Well im gonna go spend the whole night trying to sleep but having a panic attack because im entering Snobville Highschool!!!!
The Spare...eh.hem....*Clears throat* excuss me..Ms. Edward Cullen

Guest Bloggers

Welcome to "The Gods Are Bored," the religious road less taken! Fewer potholes and no toll booths. Enjoy the ride!

I will be gone for an unspecified number of days or weeks. In the meantime, I've invited two guest contributors to this space:

1. My daughter The Spare. She's just beginning her first week of high school. She loves ducks, drama, and fictional vampire men -- not necessarily in that order.

2. My friend Muin. He'll tell you what he thinks you should know about him.

Please don't desert us here at "The Gods Are Bored!" Your patronage is valuable to us, and to the wide community of forgotten faiths that are yearning to be freed!

Cheerio, my pets.