Wednesday, March 29, 2017

For a Beloved Grandmother from The Spare

Hello Gods are Boreders, it's me the Spare. It's been quite some time since I've last written anything on here. If I can recall, the last time I was a guest on The Gods Are Bored was when I was 18 and had just had my heart broken. Well I'm 23 now (or just three weeks shy of it), and I'm coming to you all with something much more important than a silly boy.

All my life, I've been told just how much like my grandmother I am. Growing up she had a real knack for entertaining. Readers, if you'll recall, I throw a mean party. More than that though, she dedicated all her life to taking care of the people she loved, getting almost nothing in return. This is where I see myself most in my grandmother. When I love you, you'll know. Taking care of people was what she wanted to do and when her heath declined, it's clear that this is what she struggled the most with. 

One summer I spent the week with my grandmother and I ate a whole box of strawberries in two days. I don't even remember really liking strawberries. I guess I was simply hungry and growing. Every summer for the next eight summers, the first thing she'd say to me when I got in the door was that she had just purchased a couple boxes of strawberries for me. She'd bake me strawberry cupcakes when she'd come to visit me. She'd always point out any recipes with strawberries in them. I love strawberries now. I love my grandmother. 

It was hard watching her struggle with her heath these past couple of years. The grandmother I remember who was once so vibrant and sassy molded into someone who was plagued by sadness. She's always been my hero. I'd say this after I heard her say something brash or unbecoming, but when I think back on it there's a deeper reason that she's my hero. My grandmother is the most genuine, selfless, and loving person I know. I will be lucky if I can ever become half the woman she is. 

Today my grandmother was put in hospice. I got the call at the end of my work day. They said it could be hours, days or weeks before she passes. She's going in an out of consciousness, My brave beautiful mother does not want me to be there to see her. She doesn't want me to remember her like this. She's smart - she knows my heart is hurting right now (I've just been dumped again, things never change readers). In truth, no boy could ever hurt my heart more than knowing that very soon my dear grandmother and I will no longer exist in the same realm.
Here is my call to action. Please pray for her readers. I don't care who it is to and I don't care how it is done. All I want is her to be comfortable right now and for her to know how much she is deeply loved. I have a beautiful vivid memory of singing George Gershwin's, "Someone to Watch Over" about 10 years ago on a night much like tonight's. I'd like it if someone could watch over her tonight. 

Please excuse any typo's. My copywriter is at a hospital in Baltimore. <3

Sunday, March 26, 2017

Sunday with Walt

March 26, 2017 is the 125th anniversary of Walt Whitman's death. I found out, recently, that he actually isn't dead at all. He just stopped somewhere, waiting for us. We need him again.

EXHIBIT A: PRETTY GIRL WITH GOOD TASTE IN POETRY



This is my daughter The Spare. She's more photogenic than me. We went into Camden today to a special reading at his tomb. And he was there. He gave us a few verses of his work. I think he would have said more, but it was a bitter cold day for the end of March. Death does not seem to have fazed him at all, which should be a solace to all of us.

EXHIBIT B: YOU THOUGHT I WAS NUTS, RIGHT?



Some people took videos of the event -- alas, I forgot my phone (I used Spare's to take this photo). Perhaps in a few days someone will upload a video so that you can all see the great, gray poet speaking to us.

In the meantime, here's a little bit:

Love the earth and sun and animals,
Despise riches, give alms to everyone who asks,
Stand up for the stupid and crazy,
Devote your income and labor to others,
And your very flesh shall be a great poem.

This week I will be teaching my students about Walt Whitman. They only know him as a bridge.

Friday, March 24, 2017

Vulture Psalm

A vulture psalm.



If you're feeling sick
It's really a bitch,
But you ought to have health care
Even if you're not rich.


Thursday, March 23, 2017

An Open Letter to the Jackass with the Donald Trump Bumper Sticker

(Apologies, y'all. I've been watching a lot of really, really terrific spoken word poetry. I'm not a poet, but I did steal the "open letter" concept.)

An Open Letter to the Jackass with the Donald Trump Bumper Sticker

Yes! I saw you in the east bound lanes of Route 70 Thursday afternoon! You pulled up parallel to me, honked your horn, and held up your TRUMP bumper sticker that you must have had handy on the passenger seat next to you.

It was handy because you had no passenger. No one to fill the empty seat in your snowy white Cadillac Escalade. No one to hold your tiny hand or your TRUMP sticker. Lonesome boy!

I couldn't help noticing that your Escalade, while painted snowy white, had a thickish coat of gray grime. You know why, jackass? YOU LIVE IN NEW JERSEY, the Smokestack State! Your tags give it away! Who buys a white car in New Jersey? My guess is, a racist.

And now I have another rhetorical question. Why isn't the TRUMP bumper sticker ON YOUR CAR? I have my RESIST sticker right where everyone can see it. That's how you knew to flash me your TRUMP.  You saw RESIST and pulled up beside me.

Holding your bumper sticker in your hand. In your Escalade. Where you were alone.

Could it be that you aren't proud enough of your candidate to put his name on your SUV? No, wait. It's not that. YOU LIVE IN NEW JERSEY. This state voted so blue that you can't tell the sky from the ground. This state is so blue that Elvis sings about it at Christmas time. It's so blue  it needs Prozac. This state is so blue it could be a Viking's eyes. In this state, Dorothy and Toto go to the Sapphire City. NEW JERSEY IS THE FREAKIN PAST TENSE OF BLOW.

So while I can tootle around in my decrepit Saturn with my RESIST bumper sticker proudly displayed, You, jackass, run risks putting TRUMP on your Escalade. Your prissy truck could get keyed at the mall!

But wait. There's more.

You moved into my lane and got in front of me. You have a Cadillac. And yet when we got to the exit for Snobville, I was the one who exited, and you kept going down Route 70 toward Cherry Hill and its eight large synagogues. Was that your destination? Jersey tags, you must live in the area. But you don't live in Snobville. I do! Tra la la, Snobville went 65% for Hillary Clinton! I used to hate Snobville, but since those election results came in, I've been quite happy in my snobby home.

Stupid conspicuous consumer in your ugly high-end gas guzzler! Drive on. Alone. Right to the end of the road ... and then into the ocean. Because you should be shark food.

Sincerely,
Anne Johnson

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Riveting Conversation

Hello again! It's me, Anne Johnson, and this is "The Gods Are Bored," a sort of deity diner. Yes, the bored gods are becoming restless and snarly again and are itching for me to return to my agenda. Today, though, I had a fascinating conversation with myself that I thought I would share with you.

ANNE TALKS TO HERSELF

Me: Anne? Anne?

Me: Huh? *yawn*

Me: Remember last September when you swore up and down that you wouldn't come home and flop down in your barca-lounger like some sloth on quaaludes?

Me: *mumble mumble yawn*

Me: Remember you said that you were going to embark upon vigorous housework and other heart-strengthening activities the minute you walked through the door? I do vividly recall that you vowed to visit Decibel's resting place twice a week or more.

Me: Leave me alone, Me! I'm exhausted!

Me: Whose fault is that? Go to bed at bedtime!

Me: I do, dammit! It's just the getting-up time that's ridiculous. Especially now, with daylight savings time. Feels like it's the middle of the night. *yawn*

Me: Whine Whine Whine! Look at this house! It's a mess!

Me: Well then, you clean it up.

Me: Me? Why? I'm tired too! I stayed up late too!

Me: Uh huh, you sure did! And let's not forget why you stayed up late. You were looking at fairy clothes again! You don't have a brass farthing for a new fairy outfit! Why are you even looking?

Me: Get off my case. I've been wearing the same shirt to Fairie Festival for ten years!

Me: And there's not one damn thing wrong with it. Besides, the coffers are low. You've been marching, remember?

Me: I'm too tired to remember anything!

Me: You should have thought about fairy clothes when you bought that Union Thugs t-shirt. News flash: Why don't you wear that to the Fairie Festival?



Me: I suppose I could glam it up ...

Me: ARE YOU FUCKING KIDDING ME? I WAS JOKING!

Me: How the hell am I supposed to know when you're joking? Do you think I'm a mind reader?

Me: Anne, you need a glass of wine.

Me: We gave it up, packed it in, vowed to live sober. You surely remember that.

Me: Yes, alas, I do. But it's okay, because to get a glass of wine I would have to move out of the barca-lounger.

Me: Which, under the circumstances, I would never ask you to do. I have an idea: Why don't we go to Etsy and shop for fairy clothes?

Me: I give up. Anne, you're right. In fact, you're always right. Everyone says that about you.

Me: I know. Thanks all the same.


Tune in for another session of "The Gods Are Bored," where we'll go see Walt Whitman, or Decibel's ghost, or have Asherah over for scones. You never know.

Friday, March 17, 2017

Vulture Doesn't Want To Eat Cold, Starved Senior Citizens

It's a little known fact that the construction of the Great Wall of China led to a severe famine in the country constructing the wall. All the able-bodied people in the nation were called upon to help with the wall. Between the cost of it and the lack of workers to do other things (like, for instance, plant and harvest crops), the country plunged into decline.

So now our government has money to build a wall, but not to finance Meals on Wheels?

Get ready for it. VULTURE IS PISSED.



Vulture does not want to dine on emaciated senior citizens! Vulture would vastly prefer a diet of ultra-wealthy fat cats who are harvesting ducats on the backs of the rest of us! Vulture likes his carcasses to be brimming with the finest caviar-crusted entrails!

The Great God Vulture would like me to add that He (just like a person) likes His food squishy and fleshy, not rock-solid frozen.

Before you get the misguided idea that you should point out to Vulture that Meals on Wheels is state-financed, let me tell you that I did some due diligence here. Some of the financing for Meals on Wheels comes from federal Community Block Grants, which have been around for decades and are used to prop up the poorest, neediest communities in all kinds of ways. You guessed it. The block grants will be gone. They are "failing."

Vulture. Is. Pissed.

So, how do the starving senior citizens also become frozen? Federal money also props up state grant money that helps the poorest among us to keep their furnaces lit all through the cold months. This I heard on the local news radio. Our local LIHEAP office is afraid that they won't be able to help poor folks next winter, due to the budget axe being wielded by our Carrion in Chief.

What kind of heartless scoundrels prey upon the weakest and most vulnerable citizens? Vulture cries foul! Vulture is not a predator -- He disposes. He does not kill. Governments that cut social services while increasing the budget for weapons of mass destruction ... those are the killers.

Thus sayeth Vulture: Oppose the draconian measures that are being contemplated with glee in the halls of power!

Anyone who begrudges poor people nutritious meals and warm homes deserves to die and go to

MISER HELL

Where they will be helplessly obese and overheated, trying in vain to avoid being pelted by those heavy-ass rolls of quarters you pick up on your way to the laundromat! All the while, perfectly polished mirrors will allow these miscreants to view themselves being taunted by Santa Claus and his righteously indignant elves!

The word of Vulture for the people of Vulture. Thanks be to Vulture.

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Postcard Day

 Here we are again at "The Gods Are Bored," where the only Goddess joining us today is Sedna. She gets a kick out of the fuss we make in New Jersey whenever it snows. She has seen it all: No amount of sleet and freezing rain ruffles Her fur.

In our last installment I told you that Walt Whitman was joining me for dinner and an overnight stay. Fortunately I had a day off for stormy weather, so before the sun came up the next morning, I towed the Great Gray Poet into Camden on a Flexible Flyer sled. I deposited him at his home, which is now a museum. So as not to disturb him too much with our modern ways, I stayed along the Cooper River until we got into the heart of Camden -- and from there parts of it don't look much different, just way way more run-down.

I wish I had kept him handy, though, because I nearly forgot ... today is the Ides of Trump! I had to send my postcard to the White House!

With a deep sadness I unearthed one of my "Greetings from Asbury Park" postcards. And there was even greater regret when I had to affix a nice little "forever" stamp with a cardinal on it. Worst money I ever spent. But these things must be done.

It's important to be succinct on a postcard. There's nothing I hate more than getting a card from someone who has the money to travel someplace that I would like to go, and I'll never get there, and it looks so good in the picture, and how come I never have any money to travel? Wait. Emmm. Off topic. Re-direct: I don't like postcards where the person runs out of room at the bottom and writes extra small, or curves the text around the side. Pet peeve, you know?

I wanted to keep things short. And secular.

Drum roll ...

I'm not gonna cuss ya
You puppet of Russia,
But I want to know why
You put tape on your tie.

The beauty of this is, neither Walt Whitman nor Sedna helped me with this fine verse! I did it all on my own.

Monday, March 13, 2017

My New House Guest

Welcome to "The Gods Are Bored!" It's me, Anne Johnson, sitting here awaiting a Nor'Easter. I've got my bread, my milk, my candles, and my firewood. It's all good.

I also have a house guest, at least for one night. Let me tell you all about it.

Some of you old-timers might remember that I had a parrot named Decibel. Poor Decibel keeled over from heart disease a little more than a year ago, and I buried her near a pond that lies just behind my house.

With a storm approaching, I thought I would go by Decibel's grave and spend a bit of time before it starts snowing.

Decibel's grave overlooks the pond (it's a smallish number, home to some snapping turtles and a fractious mallard or two). As I stood there I looked toward the water, and I saw a man standing on the bank.

At first I thought it was my friend the Monkey Man, done up in his Walt Whitman attire. But the Monkey Man never grows his beard as wild as this guy's was.

Doing Walt Whitman impersonations is popular around here, so I guessed I was looking at one of those sorts of people. I'm softhearted for reenactors. You see truckloads of them in Philadelphia. So I climbed down the bank and hailed the guy.

"You called me," he said. And damn, he was the best all-time Walt Whitman reenactor I ever, ever saw! He looked just like -- I mean just like -- the last photo taken of him.


This is the guy. Except it really is the guy.

I've watched a little bit of Doctor Who, enough to know that he has some kind of time machine and he changes faces conveniently every few years. Must say I felt a little bit like I'd stumbled into an episode. Walt Whitman was standing there, along the pond, staring at me.

"I heard you calling," he said, "but I'm a trifle lost. Is this Camden?"

"Camden's about three miles to the east," I said. I was genteel enough not to add, and your mausoleum is right on the edge, I go there all the time.

He took off his hat like a gentleman, extended his hand, and said, "I'm Walt Whitman. Maybe you have heard of my poem, 'O Captain My Captain.'"

"Oh yes, I've heard of it," I said. Then, just because I can, I said

The spotted hawk swoops by and accuses me
He complains of my gab and my loitering.
I too am not a bit tamed, I too am untranslatable
I sound my barbaric yawp over the roofs of the world.

And this is how I knew it was really Walt Whitman. You say that to a reenactor, you get a knowing nod. You say that to Walt Whitman and you get a hungry look, like, "Has this person bought my book?"

"You've read my work!"

"I've got some of it by memory, too," I said. I wondered if I should tell him about this:


Then I decided against it. No predicting how an old dude is going to react when you tell him a major steel bridge linking New Jersey and Pennsylvania across the Delaware River is named after him.

He said, "I heard you calling, but I didn't know you would be a reader."

Except I didn't call him. I was just standing by Decibel's grave, looking for him under my boot-soles.

"What can I do for you, Miss ... Miss ..."

"Johnson. Anne Johnson. Really."

"How can I help you, Anne Johnson? You can see, I suppose, that I'm not in a shape to help anyone with physical labor."

Okay, now I was skeeved. But I soldiered on.

"I'm not sure why I hailed you, exactly," I said. "It might be because of your great, unbridled optimism for this land and its people."

He shook his white locks at the runaway sun. "I lost much of that optimism during the War."

"I know," I said. "Somehow, some way, I want you to keep America out of another civil war. We need to hear America singing Her great, varied carols. We need to celebrate the body electric. We need to believe that every hour of the light and the dark is a miracle."

"By my soul, you really know my writing," he said.

"Everyone knows your writing. You've wandered into the future, Mr. Whitman."

He looked stricken. "Am I a ghost?"

"You sure don't look like one."

He seemed doubtful, then mournful. "How did I die?" he asked.

"You aren't dead," I said. "You are as alive as Sophocles, as Shakespeare. Name ten famous poets of your time, and I can honestly promise you that you are more famous than any of them. Don't dwell on death." I started steering him toward Chateau Johnson. "Here now. Come home with me. I'll make you some dinner and take you home in the morning. Please tell me you have your house key."

He fumbled in the pocket of his ragged great coat and produced a key. It perked him up.

I'm so forgetful," he said. "It's good to have this."

Damn right, I thought. Because I have no idea how I'd get you in that museum otherwise.

Well, reader, there you have it. Walt Whitman is up in my book room, holding two separate editions of Leaves of Grass in his hands and staring at one, then the other. Wait until he reads the learned analysis in the front of the paperback! It will go right to his head.

At the height of the Nor'Easter, I'll use the old Flexible Flyer to pull Walt Whitman into Camden. I'll take him to his home, which is right across the street from an incarceration center. Then I will call on him, frequently. We'll walk together. Maybe he has some words for us in these dark and dreadful times.


Saturday, March 11, 2017

Human Conceit

Welcome to "The Gods Are Bored," dedicated to deities as old as dirt! This is another entry in Vulture Saturday, highlighting a sacred, totemic creature whose stature has fallen at the hands of modern American conceit.



Most people, if they think of vultures at all, think of them as ugly and disgusting. It hasn't always been that way. Some Native American cultures still venerate Vulture,

One thing Americans do brag about is being at the top of the food chain. It's all about us.

I'm sorry to disabuse random morons about this, but the actual pinnacle of the food chain is the vulture. By definition, the food chain is organized by what you will and won't eat. Aphids don't eat ants, so ants are higher on the food chain. Ants don't eat anteaters, so anteaters are higher on the food chain. And so on.

People don't eat vultures. Vultures will eat people. Therefore, vultures are higher on the food chain. They are, in fact, at the top. (I'm talking about complex organisms here, not the tip-top organism, the bacterium.)


Of course, the human race is all about, "What's in it for me?" What can vultures do for people?

Quite simply, they keep the country clean.

Just ask the citizens of India how it's going for them since their farmers used an anti-inflammatory medication called diflocenac to keep cattle alive. When vultures consumed the carcasses of animals treated with the drug, it killed the vultures. A huge die-off of native vulture species has led to rampant rabies among animals (big uptick in cases in people), an explosion of dangerous wild dogs, and garbage reeking everywhere. It will be decades before the vulture population regains its numbers, as they breed slowly.

Here in America, vultures serve the same purpose. They consume carrion. Rabies has no effect on them. Salmonella has no effect on them. They remove from the environment toxins that are dangerous and disgusting. In return, how do we treat them? Shabbily.

Vulture the Sacred joins all American citizens who care deeply about the environment we are creating for future generations. Future generations of people also presupposes future generations of vultures. Restoring forests, reducing CO2 and other pollutants, and designating wild areas will help not only our children, but those baby vulture chicks being hatched this spring -- who, in the absence of lead in their food -- could live 40 years.


The next time you see a vulture, think humbly about it. Promise it you will do what you can to keep it safe. Then notice the grace and, indeed, beauty of this apex creature. How can we humans claim any kind of superiority?

The word of Vulture for the people of Vulture. Thanks be to Vulture.

Thursday, March 09, 2017

Ben Carson is a Total Disgrace

 How in the name of all that is holy did Ben Carson earn an advanced degree in anything? I've never heard one educated person say so many boneheaded things.

According to dictionary.com, an immigrant is "a person who migrates to another country, usually for permanent residence."

The definition seems to imply personal agency. As in, a person who chooses to get in a boat and go live somewhere else.

When a hostile power puts you in a boat and forcibly moves you to another country, for permanent residence performing slave labor, that hardly (to me) suggests "immigrant." Is there a word for this kind of profound and soul-stealing dislocation?

I got my DNA done by Ancestry.com. Spare gave me the little kit for Yule. Turns out each and every one of my ancestors was an immigrant to America. The vast, vast majority of them came willingly. Maybe one or two were sent here penal-style. (They all came hella early.) But yeah. They chose to come to America. The ancestors of my students did not.

Someone who can sugar-coat slavery as if it's just another steamboat full of hopeful Italians should be consigned to the basement of some dusty bowling alley and left there to set the pins.

Tuesday, March 07, 2017

Day Without a Woman

Welcome to "The Gods Are Bored!" I'm Anne Johnson, and last time I looked, I was a woman. So I guess I still am..Give me five seconds to confirm ... yes. Still female. This makes me eligible for March 8 Day Without a Woman protest!

Sadly, I must decline this opportunity to sound my political voice.

It's one thing to put on your pussy hat and go march in Washington, DC on a Saturday. It's another thing to participate in a general strike and call out from work. I'm a school teacher. I have 66 students, and it's my job to teach them to read and write.

I'll be wearing red, though. And I won't buy anything. I've got to save my money for future marches.

Speaking of marches, I was in a parade this weekend! It was so much fun.

EXHIBIT A: ANNE IS A TWO STREET STOMPER


If you think I look good in this satin, you should see it on the men! Oh, wait! I can show you that!


Back to a Day Without Women. I think this is a bridge too far.

Asking women to step away from their jobs for a day implies that their work is just a job, with no intrinsic value. I'm sure there are a lot of people (both genders) who just put in their eight hours every day, but I don't quite look at my work that way.

As I gaze out across my classroom, taking in the bored-stiff visages of my students, I feel that I am not making one damn bit of difference in their lives. I could leave tomorrow, and they wouldn't even miss me. Half of them forget my name or call me some other teacher's name. They would much rather look at their phones than at me.

But if I stay home from teaching on a general strike, then I become the kind of teacher that the creature Betsy DeVos claims all public school teachers are. To hear the voucher pushers tell it, we public school teachers are just in this profession for the paycheck and the tenure and the health insurance. Taking a day off on a whim is just the sort of thing we would flock to do.

So I'm not doing it. Red shirt, yes. Day off, no.

Spare is going to be disappointed, but I think even the thrift store counts as shopping. Maybe not? Your thoughts? I do need some new candles.

Friday, March 03, 2017

Vulture is PISSED

Welcome to First Church of Vulture, Apostolic and Unreformed. Hear the voice crying out in the wilderness for the family of Vulture!

The great God Vulture has learned that a minion of the Satan with False Hair Growth has, with the stroke of a poison pen, re-instated the use of lead ammunition in the nation's wild lands.

Vulture deems this an abomination.

Lo, Vulture has spoken unto me the curse He will visit on those who propel poisoned metals into the flesh, fields, and waterways of our land. Hear the word of Vulture!

VULTURE CURSES HUNTERS WHO USE LEAD BULLETS

1. Your spouse and children will not respect you.

2. You will worry about making enough money for all of your days.

3. Your private parts will be the smallest and ugliest in any locker room.

4. Your descendants will wait eagerly for your death, so they can have your stuff, yea most especially your guns and ammo.

VULTURE CURSES CABINET SECRETARIES WHO LEGALLY ABET THE USE OF LEAD BULLETS

1. The horse you came in on will shit on your shoes.

2. Your private parts will be the smallest and ugliest in the entire Western Hemisphere. Babies will laugh.

3. You will have the boss from Hell. He will torment your days, and even when you no longer work for him, your former people will remember. And hate you.

4. You, and all of your lead-loving buddies will die and go to

LEAD BULLET HELL

Where demons in the guise of Disney Princesses will make rude jokes about your private parts while pelting you with molten base metals, the more pustular skin diseases, and the ragged remains of Remington rifles.

Thus sayeth Vulture: READ THIS WHILE YOU STILL CAN, AND REPENT! The fate of the California condor is at stake!

If the California condors don't survive this wretched setback, I can double guarantee and promise you that Vulture will lay a SMITE on this wretched nation that will make us all beg to become carcasses.

The word of Vulture for the people of Vulture. Thanks be to Vulture.


Wednesday, March 01, 2017

Can't Even Joke about the New Job

All hail, and welcome to "The Gods Are Bored!" Put on your best frown, because there's nothing funny here tonight.

Today I was in a teacher's meeting with a few of my colleagues. After lunch as we were settling in to yet another wrestling match with curriculum, I turned to them and said, "Well, I won't have to do this much longer. I got a new job, $1500 a week to be a paid protester."

Their jaws dropped.

"Yes," I continued. "It's $1500 a week, and all I have to do is march in protests and go to Congressional town hall meetings and disrupt them."

And my colleague, holder of a master's degree, said, "Really?"

And the young student teacher, working on multiple certifications, looked at me and said, "Really?"

They believed it.

Sorry, but that is scary.

My colleague said that she believed me because I am trustworthy. I've never told a lie before, so why would I start now?

Then the student teacher took out his phone and started punching in numbers. "That's $71,000 a year," he reported.

"Yes!" I said. "Now multiply that by all the other people who have been 'hired' after the Women's March: 500,000. Not even George Soros is that wealthy."

Tonight I was going to come into this space and tell you readers all about my "new job." I know you wouldn't have believed me, because my job description would have gotten more outrageous on here. But I'm so shaken by the belief I saw in my colleagues that I can't even joke. They believed that such a job, at such a salary, could be possible.

Oh my goodness, this is a hard time to be funny.

I was also going to write a blog post about how Donald Trump tortures puppies. Again, satire. But have you heard that federal records on animal welfare were deleted from the USDA web site?
How can I joke about something that might be true?

When the situation becomes sufficiently grim, satire is no longer possible. It could very well be that we are reaching that point.

Oh, and I might as well add that it was 75 degrees here in Snobville today, and my forsythia is blooming. This is not satire.