Friday, December 31, 2010

Gazing at Buzzards and Navels ... in That Order

Welcome to "The Gods Are Bored!" We all have favorite haunts on New Year's Eve. This little spot is mine. Another round on the house!

This afternoon at 3:00, my daughter The Heir and I set out for Wenonah, NJ to do some buzzard-watching. Over 200 vultures descend on Wenonah every evening at sundown, there to roost in just a few trees. It's an amazing sight, and this was the first day of weather temperate enough to enjoy it.

The Heir went along with me on this trek because she enjoys my company. And that's a lovely thing for a mom of a 21-year-old. We had a serious heart-to-heart chat during what turned out to be a lengthy excursion.

You see, we arrived at the buzzard roost before sundown, and I forgot to turn off the lights on my car. This proved to be an issue for the vehicle; namely, its battery.

Heir and I watched the vultures pull into their roost for about 30 minutes. Then I tried to start the car. It wouldn't start. So I called Roadside Assistance for a hot shot, and Heir and I spent another 60 minutes at the vulture roost.

Thanks to a dead battery, Heir and I had ample opportunity to worship at the Shrine of the Sacred Thunderbird. Throw in a gorgeous sunset, and a good time was had by all.

This is what we added to our store of knowledge about the Sacred Thunderbird:

The sunset brought about a flurry of activity, as each bird sought the perfect nighttime roost. Two whole trees looked like they were exploding as the vultures vied for the best branches. Then, it started to get dark, and ... boom! You wouldn't have known there was a single bird in the tree. Perfect silence, perfect stillness. Awesome.

This is what Heir and I added to our  store of knowledge about people, after it got too dark to buzzard-watch anymore:

If you love someone, it really hurts to watch them do self-destructive things. You have to decide whether you'll stand by and watch, whether you'll try to bend fate, or whether it's better to detach and just let everything take its course. Heir and I did not come to an easy answer on this. And I have to say this sad fact shakes my faith in the Sacred Thunderbirds. Aren't they supposed to dole out easy answers to every tough question?

Oh, no no no! Am I questioning the power of the Sacred Thunderbird on New Year's Eve? Where's my flail?

I. Am. Not. Worthy!

If you didn't read yesterday's post, your opinion is sought and appreciated. And now I must prostrate myself before the Sacred Thunderbird and beg forgiveness for my inflated expectations of  enlightenment in the shadow of Their mighty wings.

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Do All Druids Act Like Me?

Welcome to "The Gods Are Bored," sister bickering edition! I'm Anne Johnson, sister to one and sister-in-law to several.

Starting with the "several," my sisters-in-law led my mother-in-law to believe that she would be traveling with them this holiday. Alas, they stiffed her, and Mr. Johnson is now bringing her here to Chateau Johnson for the remainder of the Christmas holiday. Oh well!

The bigger quarrel is with my natural sister, and it's not so much a quarrel as me calling her on some Facebook behavior that she says I haven't given her an opportunity to explain.

In the past 18 months my sister has adopted eight pets: two dogs, five cats, and a tarantula. She already had a dog and a parrot. She is soon to be 47 and wants to adopt a child.

A few days before Christmas, a dog fight erupted in my sister's house. The first dog she adopted got mauled by the other two. This sort of thing happens when dogs try to establish pack order, especially in close quarters. Sis posted a photo of her injured dog on Facebook. She also posted a picture of her hand, swollen from the bites she received trying to break up the fight.

I scolded her severely, first for putting up a picture of an injured dog, and then for posting her plans to curb further fighting (plans include shock collars and obedience school). This is not the sort of thing a person puts on Facebook.

What got under her collar was my suggestion that she ought to take a look at her overall behavior pattern and ask herself if it seems logical -- everything in her life at this moment, and all the plans she has.

This is all the detail I'll give on this, because all of this is already on record on Facebook.

Anyway, she left me a message on Facebook that my behavior is abusive, and she wonders if all Druids act like me? This is because I would not sit and listen to her rationalize the behavior of her pets.

She calls it abuse, I call it tough love. If you knew more about our family history, you would know that I'm not mad at her at all ... only worried. And I wasn't abusive ... only elusive. Because I had to kowtow to my mom, but I sure am not going to do it with my sister.

I wrote her back and said that if she is happy, then so am I. What's bugging me is this nagging feeling that she's not happy, that she's anything but happy, and that the hubub around her is her distraction from unhappiness.

Sis has not taken down the picture of her injured dog, and I'm wondering how those who judge people fit for adoption will feel if they see it on her Facebook. Maybe the rest of you Druids know more about this than me.

Asking, especially but not exclusively Druids -- did I overreact? Do you want to see the photo?

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

The Cailleach Shops for a Cell Phone

Welcome to "The Gods Are Bored!" Do you understand this new millennium? No? Well then, you're in luck! I'm Anne Johnson, the Cailleach, and I will explain all.

The day before Christmas, my cell phone broke. It was two years old, almost to the day, so of course it fell apart in my hands. Now, in the previous millennium, one could use a telephone for two decades without need of repair. But this is a new era. Things wear out much quicker. They are made to wear out quicker, so you need to buy a new one.

I had to go to the phone store to purchase a new cell phone. This is what I discovered there:

1. The price listed on the phones is not the price you pay. The price listed is a price after a mail-in rebate, which you need to fill out the paperwork for yourself, and which comes to you in the form of a Visa gift card.

Okay, I don't curse here much, but this is bulls@$@#. If I wanted to be royally scammed, I would go to a car dealership or a televangelist.

2. Buy one, get one free. Again after the same mail-in rebate, the same false prices, and the same Visa gift card, which -- trust the Cailleach who loves you -- is not the same thing as cash or a check or a money order, or a traveler's check, or even green stamps.

3. Get a phone with a keyboard for easy texting. My thumbs already ache, sales boy, and that keyboard doesn't look user-friendly. And just so you know I'm not withering on the vine, let me just say that I can see into the future, and within just a few years we'll have voice-activated texting. I'll wait for that.

4. The phone you're choosing doesn't take pictures. Cameras take pictures, not phones. If someone takes my phone, do I want them also to be able to see pictures of my beautiful young daughters?

5. Here's a nice feature: a button that calls 911 for you with one click. That feature sucks. Suppose you hit it by mistake? It's right there where it would be easy to hit by mistake. However, since this is the only @#$@# phone in the store with a real price on it, I'll just have to be careful how I use it, won't I?

6. Are you sure you don't want to take advantage of the special offers available through your account? Yes.

My daughter The Heir tells me that I just bought a "senior citizen phone." Screw that! I bought the only phone in the store with an honest, affordable price, with no features that I'll never use (except the bloody 911 button ... Gods willing), and which serves the purpose for which it was designed: urgent communication with others while abroad from home.

Free advice from the Cailleach: At the rate technology is changing, wait it out. Get all the life you can out of your current phone, then buy another affordable one, and in less than a decade you'll be able to shell out seriously for that voice-activated technological wonder. And remember, nothing lasts more than two years, so do not waste your money on a protection plan. By the time you need it, a better gizmo will be out there to tempt you.

Don't get me wrong, youngsters. Phone booths were gross. Cell phones are good. But, buyer beware. Even if you get the paperwork filled out right, and the Visa arrives in the mail, you may leave a few pennies on the card when purchasing something. That money adds up ... for them, not for you.

As always, this advice is given freely and with joy. 

Cailleach image one of many by the incomparable Thalia Took, see Sidebar.

Monday, December 27, 2010

How We Acquired a House Cup

Welcome to "The Gods Are Bored!" The wind outside is howling at 30 mph, there's a foot of snow on the ground, the telly is showing "Monty Python and the Holy Grail," and the sun is setting in blazing glory over the smokestacks of Philadelphia. I tell you, these are good times. Good times!

I have a cousin who was born on Christmas. I'll call her Sugar Plum.

Sugar Plum is at least a decade older than me, maybe more. So as I was growing up, she appeared only as a sort of beautiful princess who I rarely saw. I was still a kid when she left the home county for good, and I only saw her once after that. We have corresponded irregularly over the years.

One night I sat down to watch some old silent home movies of the family. The movies were shot before I was born, but Sugar Plum was in them, a darling little girl in crinoline and patent leather shoes. So the next day I wrote her an email, just to say that watching the home movies made me think of her and hope that all was well.

About two weeks ago I returned from work one evening to find a big box from Sugar Plum. Upon opening it, I found a note ("Dear Anne, this is called a 'butter keeper.'")

The object in the box was a round, symmetrical item about the circumference of a duckpin bowling ball. It is sterling silver, with a domed lid and a glass dish that sits down in a base that has legs. On the lid is a circular engraving with farm scenes, geese and milkmaids and such. There's a butter knife that fits into "arms" that extend from the base. The knife is engraved with the initials of my great-great grandmother.

Spare came in while I was staring at this odd and elegant item, and she summed it up perfectly:

"Who sent us a House Cup?"

For that is what it looks like -- an exotic silver relic reminiscent of a carefully-constructed background scene at Hogwarts.

In 1860, I'm certain my well-heeled female ancestors used this item to keep butter on their festive tables. But I am me, the purpose-shifter. The "butter keeper" is now a House Cup, its knife having been dipped in the waters of Berkeley Springs to bind it to me.

At present the House Cup does have some butter in it. We've been dining in during the holidays, and it's very posh to butter one's bread from a silver domed chalice. After the holidays, however, the House Cup will be dedicated to new and creative uses.

I draw the line at burning incense on the plate, but anything else is warmly possible. One possibility springs to mind: hiding essentials from the faeries. Car keys and cell phones, for instance. Great-great Granny would never have thought of that.

How kind of Sugar Plum to send me a House Cup that belonged to our mutual ancestors! May her year be bright, and may she wander into my path!

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Wren Day

Welcome to "The Gods Are Bored" on Wren Day 2010! Classy little bird, the wren. All hail!

Yesterday as family Johnson was engaged opening gifts, I looked into the dining room and saw a little wren hopping across the floor. It then took off and began flying around, landing briefly in the Christmas tree. (Fortunately, Alpha had found an empty box to snooze in, and Beta was nowhere to be seen.)

If this little birdie had been brought in by the cats, it was resourceful in the extreme, because it was completely hale and hearty. I doubt that the cats even knew it was in the house, because once a cat knows it has the possibility of bagging a bird, the cat will forgo all snoozing and noshing and all else in the glory of pursuit.

I opened some windows and the back door, and within moments the wren had rejoined its family outside. Where it is now shivering through the early stages of a Nor'Easter that is looking more fierce by the minute.

Could be that the faeries brought in the wren. Today is Wren Day, after all -- yet another celebration on behalf of the bored gods that is nearly lost to the mists of time. Long ago, the ancient Celts saw the wren as a symbol of the waning year, so when the daylight was at its shortest they sacrificed a wren to herald in the months of the robin (often confused with our popular robin here in America, though not the same bird).

Here's a little bit of Wren Day poetry:

The wren, the wren, the king of the birds,
On Stephen's Day was caught in furze;
Up with the kettle and down with the pan,
And give us some money to bury the wren."

 Before anyone gives me sass about the cruelty of killing a wren, I say to you: Wrens, doves, goats, people ... we live in the 21st century now, and few cultures kill living things for their deities. Religions -- all of them -- change with the times, some more quickly than others.

Wren Day marks the return of light and the expectation of spring. This is ironic here today in New Jersey. Our first winter storm has begun, and it is my aim to save wrens, not sacrifice them. Off to the store for bird seed!

Friday, December 24, 2010

Santa to Spare: Forget It!

Welcome to "The Gods Are Bored," Stimulate-the-Economy Edition! Buy now, pay later. After all, it's what our government does -- and who's to argue with Uncle Sam?

A week or so ago, I posted a letter that my daughter The Spare wrote to Santa Claus in a shamelessly pandering attempt to demand request some Christmas gifts. Today Santa's response came, and it's starting to look like no Christmas is coming! I reprint Santa's reply below, in total:

Dear Spare Child,

I have received your letter of 12/15/10, sent by Tardis. My reply comes via the same route. I will address the pertinent points in your communication and make resolves and recommendations as appropriate.

First, your excessive flattery does little to incline me to grant your wishes. I happen to know that YOUR TRUE HEROES are all Internet geek nerd comics, not me. Don't you remember that I see you when you're sleeping and know when you're awake (in a totally tasteful, legal, and appropriate way, of course)? Do not think that you can spend hours and days watching Internet and television comedy shows, and then -- at the 11th hour -- come begging for presents! Why don't you ask those punks at College Humor to get you some t-shirts? Oh, I know! Because THEY are writing to me asking for a new t.v. show!

Now, let's look at your claim that you are good. Oh, pleeeze! Check out your Zip code! I don't even stop in Snobville! Everyone there is either a spoiled rich kid whose parents can buy everything they want, and then some, or a piano-trashing stoner party animal, discarding poppers while escaping the police. I save 16.2 seconds by ignoring Snobville, and in my line of work, it's all about timing. You want gifts? Move to Wenonah.

I don't mind your little fires all that much. But it has come to my attention that you are a terrible American. My reputation would seriously plunge if I rewarded terrible Americans. So get that patriotic piece together before you so much as ask me for a single strand of taffy.

As a corollary to your terrible patriotism, it has not escaped my notice (nothing does) that you are incapable of bestowing respect and obedience on people who have no respect for you. Do I need to name *cough French Teacher* *cough Drama Coach* *cough School Bully* names? Grovel or shovel (coal), Spare Child!

Last but not least, I wish to remind you that much largesse has already been bestowed upon you this year, principally in the form of numerous trips to thrift stores and flea markets. Why should I bring you new merchandise when you can find similar stuff at bargain basement prices elsewhere?

Therefore, I will bestow upon you the following:

*You will never have to clean the cat box.
*You will never have to attend youth group meetings.
*You can have 16 crickets and three stink bugs. Just look under the Christmas tree. They'll be there, bright and early on Christmas morning ... as long as it's just like every other morning in  your house.

As for the whole "Xmas" thing, just you remember -- Solstice is the reason for the season!

Santa Claus

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Beautiful Show on Solstice

The sky was cloudless, the air was brisk, and the lunar eclipse was fabulous! I built a bonfire in the back yard and began watching Luna at about 3:00 a.m. The Heir sat with me a long time, and The Spare came out to see the total coverage. But I sat there until the last of the shadow faded from the face of the Pale Goddess, alternately meditating on the vast universe and the return of longer moments of daylight.

Blessed be to all who await the return of the Sun, and blessed be to those who send the Sun back to us to warm our old bones.

Solstice is the reason for the season.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Lunar Eclipse on Solstice

Welcome to "The Gods Are Bored!" Stare at the sky? Why? Because it's there!

Tonight, smack dab on Solstice, there will be a total lunar eclipse. The bored gods have arranged this unusual celestial event to recognize the hard work of Pagans everywhere, toward the goal of re-establishing Divinity in all its fantastic pluralism.

And so, my friends, arise tonight in the darkest hours, wrap yourself in warm blankets, and behold a gift from Those Who Would Be Re-established!

Smile, Luna. All eyes are on You tonight. Blessed be Luna, now and forever.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Santa, Postponed by Republican Idiocy

Today I was going to post Santa Claus's response to The Spare's Xmas demands,  requests, as listed below. However, when I sat down to type the Jolly Old Elf's letter into this space, I saw a news story that explained how the Republicans successfully blocked a bill that would provide a citizenship status to upwardly mobile young people who came into this country illegally.

I, Anne Johnson, member of the Daughters of the American Revolution, am sickened by this.

Why do people pick up their belongings and leave the countries of their birth for a new, strange land where they don't speak the same language?

 Here's the scenario: "Kiss your abuela goodbye, Juan, we're leaving the Dominican Republic on a whim because we like Big Macs."

Oh, pleeeeze.

Then as now, no one packs up and leaves a native land for any other reason than desperation. This nation has always welcomed the desperate of other places, and those immigrants have made our country vibrant, interesting, and the envy of the planet. Now, even though our population is diminishing, the Republicans want us to deport people. Not just slackers, but serious young people who would not only become part of our intellectual pool, but who would also vote Republican, because so many of them espouse the values of the religious right.

Every year I teach persuasive essay-writing, and every year I get a student or two who writes about seeing a cousin, brother, father, deported. I remember one girl who wrote so hauntingly about a cousin of hers who had been accepted to college, who spoke no Spanish, who had been in America since she was eight years old. On the eve of moving in at her dorm, she was deported to the Dominican Republic, where she had no immediate family and no knowledge of the native language.

Just so you Red Ebenezer Scrooges know, you will be adding that poor would-be American to the long chain of sins you have visited upon the working class in America. I hope this vote comes back to haunt you. I hope that the growing number of Hispanic voters in this nation stay firmly in the Democratic ranks. You Red morons are sending "home" the very people who would vote for your conservative agenda -- good Roman Catholics who believe in the values of hard work and self-sufficiency. Oh yeah. Let's send them home to the DR and Mexico!

Do you Republican numbskulls know how hard I have to work to make absolutely certain my Pagan family values don't seep out into my classroom? The people you're deporting think the way you do. My students would be mortified to know they were being taught by a Pagan. They and their families are "God and country" all the way.

Go ahead. Send them home. The word "moron" does not begin to describe you. That foot you're shooting? *snort* It's yours.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Long Strange Trip Offer, Act Now

Yours free to the first person who comments: 1981 Grateful Dead t-shirt, size small. New, but has makeup stains on collar that will probably wash out in the first laundry trip.

Leave your address at luvbuzzards at yahoo dot com.

I'm going to the post office before noon on Saturday, so chop chop!

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Spare Writes to Santa

Welcome to "The Gods Are Bored!" Last night I found this letter written by The Spare, addressed to Santa Claus. I reprint it here as written. Santa's reply will be reprinted Saturday.

Dear Santa,

Hey ... How goes up in the North Pole. I guess it would be kind of cold right? Do you ever go on vacation to a warm place? Like the earth's core or are you actually just a polar bear dressed as a man like Al Gore & Hulk Hogan are (to be fair hulk hogan is actually a black bear). Whats your favorite bear? Anyway hows the Mrs? Hope you are keeping her away from those elves ... awkward ... Speaking of Eleves I hear they want to organize a union. If you need any advice on how to rip up a union, Just ask Chris Christie! Did you know that your name is Atnas spelled backwards. Its kinda like Atlas. I was never good with maps. But I guess you would have to be good with maps to get around the world? Or do you Just use M*A*G*I*C*? I love Magic, I'm a wizard you know. This year was my third year @ Hogwarts. Anyway I guess you could also use the tardis to get around on Christmas Eve ..... OHMYGEE! It all makes sense now... Your a timelord! Suh-weet!

Santa your my Hero, did you know that? Your Jolly and cheery. I wouldn't call you fat like some of the other kids, their mean. Nah, you're just robust maybe even big boned! Your also superfly for a white guy. I saw white because I think that the only time I've seen an african american santa was in a tyler Perry movie. Santa I have been totally awesome this year. I only set like 18 fires ... on purpose. But come on bro (can I call you bro) I don't use the fire to smoke so that should count for something right? No? OH COME ON! I'm so good! Look this paper is recycled that makes me an Earth Warrior! By recycling this I am stopping Global warming & saving the polar bears which, if you indeed are a polar bear, is saving you! So here is a list of my demands requests:

--Friends (real ones)
--Some busted Tee's shirts
--Converse shoes (black hightops)
--Ed Hardy perfume (in the pink bottle)
--good make-up brushes
--Ipod touch & Itunes gift card
--Super Mario Bros games for Gamecube (you can give to Heir to share)
--cute accessories i.e. Necklaces
--furry animal hat from Hot Topic
--a tardis (life-size lol) JK
--a pony
--and something unique!

Also Santa, please keep my Family safe & Happy this holiday. Also help my mom remain stress free. Guide my Dad with the Book. Help my sister with anixety & help me be a comedianne. Good luck with XMAS (why is it with an X?)

Spare Child Johnson

Wednesday, December 08, 2010

John is the Signpost

Welcome to "The Gods Are Bored!" Can it really be possible that this is the 30th anniversary of John Lennon's death? Where has the time gone?

As it turns out, I recall vividly where I was on the night Lennon died. I had a date with a new fella, a young journalist I'd met while interning at a newspaper that folded many, many years ago. This fella and I went out to dinner, and back to his apartment, and we've been together ever since.

I wish I could offer you some ironclad advice on how to spend 30 years with a significant other. But alas, I only know what has worked for me and him. In this and this alone, I feel like my life is a fingerprint, never to be repeated by anyone else ever again. Not that we've been the only couple to last a long time, but that our particular circumstances are unique.

Ask me how to make a wand, how to handle a tame vulture, how to save a little stream ... I can tell you that. But how to spend 30 years with the same partner? Beats me.

I think I make him laugh.

Monday, December 06, 2010

Phoenixville, PA: I Love You, I Hate You

Welcome to "The Gods Are Bored!" Quick question: What bursts into flames and then regenerates?

Damn it, Spare! Shut up! I'm not talking about Dr. Who tonight. I'm talking about the Phoenix!

Ah, the Phoenix, the Phoenix! A supernatural creature that has never become bored! Sacred to the ancient deities, this bird that possesses magical powers, who dies by bursting into flame and then is born again from its own ashes, is immortality that would be bearable! All hail the mighty Firebird!

Way out on the western fringes of Philadelphia there's a little town called Phoenixville. As with many little suburban towns, it's always on the prowl for ways to bring in the tourist dollar.

One way that Phoenixville attracts the madding crowd is its summer Blobfest. Turns out the film "The Blob" was made there, and every summer the locals re-enact the famous "movie theater scramble" from the film. This is part of a weekend of Blob-related activities. And yes, my friends, this festival is already on the Johnson 2011 calendar.

On Sunday afternoon last, my daughter The Heir and I toddled over to Phoenixville from Heir's college, which is about six miles away. And what to my wondering eyes did appear, but a festival any Pagan would hold dear!

This coming Saturday, December 11, Phoenixville will host its 7th annual Firebird Festival. The citizens have erected a 28-foot-tall wooden Phoenix sculpture. Anyone who crafts a clay bird can place it underneath the sculpture. Anyone with a resolution for the coming year can place it in a box that will be put in the sculpture.

I'll bet you can guess the rest.

During an evening of music and drumming, this Phoenix sculpture will be set afire. The clay sculptures will be fired by the heat. And the resolutions will be transported to the bored gods. All of this a mere six miles from Heir's comfy college dorm room!

There's just one hitch. I have a long-standing reservation for a spa weekend in Berkeley Springs. Spouse and I have been planning this trip for four months. CANNOT CANCEL for a FIREBIRD FESTIVAL. @#@#$@#$@$#@$#!!!!!!!!!

Okay, Phoenixville, PA. Would you do me a favor? Would you spend a little more money advertising your calendar of events? Because this is not the first, but the SECOND festival I would have attended in your borough, my pockets stuffed with cash and my heart full of revelry ... but I didn't know! I was ignorant of your Firebird Festival until I happened upon it much too late! Now I'm sitting here staring at the fabulous agenda (after having ogled the magnificent wooden Firebird sculpture), and the long drive to Berkeley Springs now seems like a second-place finish ... and a lot farther away.

If you live in the Delaware Valley and are inclined to praise and worship the Sacred Firebird, by all means take my tip and biff on over to Phoenixville, PA, 4:00 p.m. until midnight, December 11. (One of the most compelling aspects of this fest is its complete and utter lack of any Christmas symbolism.)

And mark my words: Next year ... if there is a next year ... I will be in Phoenixville. Blobfest in July, Firebird Festival in December. This town is chippin. It needs better publicity. Oh, if only I had known!

Saturday, December 04, 2010

Spare's Night Out

Welcome to "The Gods Are Bored!" It's rip-roaring around here tonight! Heir is at college, Spare and Mr. J. are in Manhattan, and I'm here at home. You know what that means -- bored god party! Bring on the lively music and the fatted parrot! Let's dance and sing the way they did in the days before yore!

Spare has gone to New York City to see a comic troupe she's been watching online for about a year. The troupe is called College Humor (sums it up), and they're giving a live show. Our family is gifted with a beautiful young auntie, still on the young side of 30, who lives and works in NYC. Spare and Auntie are off to the show, while Mr. J. enjoys his second favorite pastime, browsing the shelves of the celebrated Strand Bookstore.

Spare wants to be a comedienne. Trouble is, no one thinks she's funny. It is often thus with prophets in their own home towns, yes?

So, in honor of the Spare's night at College Humor Live, I'm posting "Jabberwocky" (below), even though the sound is funky.

If you watch this and think Spare isn't funny, let me know so I can steer her to her second choice career, taking toll money on the Pennsylvania Turnpike's Northeast Extension. Please hurry, because the dues will soon need to be paid to Future Toll-Takers of America, and we want to get the exact change lane discount.

I must hurry away. Loki is smashing the stemware.

Jabberwocky for the Spoutwood Fairie Festival

Thursday, December 02, 2010

A New Creature Crawls from the Swamp

Welcome to "The Gods Are Bored!" It's nice to see you. I'm sorry I haven't written this week, but my eyes are giving me trouble. Too much staring at spreadsheets in this era of data-driven instruction.

I'd like to think New Jersey has a monopoly on moron governors, but oh please. It seems that many states require people to flunk basic IQ tests before they can move into the statehouses.

Having said that, our latest foul, putrescent excuse for a hominid, Chris Christie by name, is attempting to tame New Jersey's high taxes with ham-fisted Republican politics that would do Louis XVI proud.

At a time when our sitting president is deploring the national test scores, Governor Fat Bastard has slashed the state education budget and promises to crush the teacher's union and put an end to the "evil" known as tenure. GFB is also out to get all other state unions that have negotiated and paid into pension plans. He's a dip-your-lance-in-your-opponent's-blood kinda guy.

But his latest conceit moves him out of the realm of ordinary political moron and into the rarified atmosphere of a salaried menace to society.

Chris Christie plans to cut Camden, NJ's police force in half.

Yes, this is the notorious Camden that perennially ranks among America's murder capitals. It's the same Camden from which most of my students come.

I can't think for this statehouse ape. But from my point of view, it seems as if he really doesn't care if the citizens of Camden live or die. Could he look into the eyes of my students every day, the kids from upwardly mobile immigrant families who just want to get a little bit ahead in the world? Could he read what I read every day -- sad tales of friends killed in gang violence, poorly-spelled vows to stay out of trouble, tributes to family members lost forever?

Go ahead, Chris Christie, you fat bastard. Take my pension. Make it impossible for me to achieve tenure. But by all the deities of all the pantheons both known and unknown, may They all reign forever, do not make Camden's streets more dangerous for my students.

At least don't do it without looking them in the eye. Straight in the eye as you say, "Well, the billionaires in Fort Lee are tired of paying taxes to subsidize your police force."

I evoke the Threefold Law upon Governor Chris Christie. Go ahead, Governor Girth. Make my day.