Tag Archives: Humor

Experiments in Nonconformist Blasphemy

One of the great truths which we learn from an early age is that words have power.

“Baby’s first words” are a much anticipated moment of celebration and achievement, captivating every parents attention.  And from there, their power only grows and expands, shaping the way we think, and molding the universe to our will, one small piece at a time.

“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God…,”

There are not many passages from the Christian Bible that I’ll agree with as wholeheartedly as those first few words from the Gospel of John, but even a broken clock is right twice a day.

The Word, however, is not any individual God, it is a power that WE share with the gods, it is that which makes them our kin, which draws their attention to us, and ours to them.

Language is the medium through which the human will finds its greatest expression.

Words are power!

Even, sometimes especially, the bad words.

Which is why our parents take such pains to make us understand that certain words are beyond us.

These are the naughty words.  Not to be used or even thought of.

Because we haven’t earned the right.  Because we don’t know enough, as children, to take responsibility for the power in those words.  And because it’s embarrassing to have children throwing around phrases that you yourself normally wouldn’t use in public.

But the children see, and they listen most intently, and they learn.

They learn far more than we adults might want to believe.

“Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me.”

And if you believe that, you were probably raised by wolves.

Words can and do hurt you, as every child knows.

Why else did they invent the counter spell?

You caught that, right?

“Sticks a stones may break my bones…,” seriously, think about it.

Think back on your childhood and say it out loud.  Feel the sing song cadence in the words weaving a web of protection around you, diminishing the power behind the curses hurled at you by those other kids.

Because they ARE curses you know.

As kids we called it “cussing” but to cuss is to curse, it’s the same word.

I guess most of us never realized that the schoolyard was a hotbed of magical combat.

“I’m rubber and you’re glue…,” is another common counter spell used among the kiddos.  This one is actually pretty sweet, as it is designed to not only shield against an offensive curse, but to reflect the power of that spell back upon the child who uttered it.

But as children we never realized what was going on beneath the surface.  We just steadily increased our personal arsenal of “mean things to say,” picking up more colorful phrases from our parents and friends and media, along the way.

And these come in a number of categories.

There’s a whole litany of racial slurs available to bigots of every stripe.

I am happy to say that over time I have fully excised these from my speech, and with them, that specialist subcategory which deals exclusively with sexual orientation.  I was never particularly comfortable with this branch of profanity anyway.

Then there are the “dirty” words, those of a specifically biological nature and frequently sexual.

Crude?  Yes.

Course?  Obviously.

Convenient?  As fuck.

This whole category of words exhibit tremendous versatility while still retaining their inherent shock value, this despite repeated use in modern media.  Judicial use of profanity is one of the rights and privileges of adulthood.  Whereas, tossing these words around lightly and frequently is typically seen as the juvenile behavior of someone trying to prove something.

And finally, there is Blasphemy.

And this is a category that I’ve been thinking about a lot lately.

“Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain.”

Here’s where we get into the real meat and drink of cursing.

“God Damn You!” – is a curse of the highest magnitude, essentially beseeching the Christian deity to cast your enemy into the pit.  As curses go, it’s both blatantly sinful and in most instances, extreme overkill.

This goes for most variations of that particular theme.

Even just uttering the word “God!” in either exasperation, disgust, or if you’re very lucky, extreme pleasure, is held as a sin of the first order by most of the modern monotheist traditions.

Now for those of us who don’t follow those traditions, it’s not that big a deal.

Atheists aren’t traditionally worried about offending anyone, particularly not folks they consider imaginary.

Polytheists, don’t typically believe in a hell to which anyone could be damned.

I usually just leave the damning business to the book thumpers.

“God” however, is just too ingrained as a part of speech for me to drop it entirely, so I just slap a plural on it and let the “gods” work it out amongst themselves who I’m talking to.

But now we come to the man himself.

“Jesus” – to his friends.

“Jesus Christ” – if you feel the need to be specific.

“Jesus H Christ” – on those particularly formal occasions.

“Jesus F*cking Christ” – if you accidentally drop a heavy weight on your foot or discover a family member listening to conservative talk radio.

What to do about Jesus, when you don’t believe in Jesus, but he’s stuck in your subconscious and pops out every time you’re stuck in traffic.

Well, for the longest time I tried not to worry about it.

Not my god, I thought, not my blasphemy.

But more and more, I’m thinking Moses got it wrong when he carved those tablets.

Any publicity is good publicity, and here I am, spitting out the name of a deity I don’t believe in, under my breath, and doing it with energy, with emotion, putting real energy behind the words.  It’s some kind of stealth proselytizing!

It’s doesn’t matter if I’m doing it with negative intent, I’m still evoking the name of “the Christ,” lending power to a spiritual construct that I firmly believe has been dragging our society down since the time of Constantine.

I am in no particular hurry to offend my gods, but I really think that we polytheists and pagans need our own blasphemy.

Why should we keep sending all that excess energy into the opposing camp?

So I’ve been experimenting lately.

Trying things out, but with limited success.

“Jesus Christ” is just so ingrained at this point, and the cadence of the words, in English at least, is a perfect bit of marketing genius.

So, coming at it from an Irish Celtic perspective, I’ve been trying…,

“Nuada’s Hand!”

As an expression of anger or disgust, invoking a deity who lost his hand and his kingship in a single blow feels somewhat fitting.

And maybe…,

“Nuada’s Shining Hand!”  For when you need that little extra oomph!

I don’t know.

It’s the best I’ve come up with so far.

I’ve been trying to meditate on them, to find that spot in my head that Jesus occupies and to transpose one god for another, but it doesn’t quite feel natural to me yet.

And that in itself is irksome.

If anyone out there has suggestions for me, I’m open to hearing them.

9 Comments

Filed under Culture, Magic, Modern Life, Proselytizing, The Gods

City and Tower: A Prophecy Found

I had a moment of revelation recently, one that drove me into the pages of the Bible.

Don’t worry folks, this isn’t my “I found Jesus and renounced my heathen ways” post.

Not even close.

But I did find a Biblical prophecy that I feel certain is, even now, coming to pass.

And that’s kind of a big deal for me!

If you know me at all, or if you’ve so much as skimmed through any of my writing here, you have to know that I don’t put a lot of stock in the Bible, and even less in the so-called prophecies there-in.

That is not to say that I am unfamiliar with them.

I received many a heaping helping during my childhood in the Bible-Belt, and then later, as my interests turned toward the study of mythology in all its varied forms, I researched many of them on my own time.

And what I found, in almost every instance, was that Biblical prophecies are typically nothing of the sort.  Instead, they usually turn out to be descriptions of events that had already transpired when they were written down.

That these passages have been reinterpreted as representative of future events has, I think, more to do with the apocalyptic mindset of a later generation of Christian readers, than the intent of those who chronicled the myth-historical origins of the Hebrew tribes.

The core belief of Christianity, after all, is that the end-times are imminent.  Therefore, all prophecies must be happening in the now, the signs must be there, you only have to know where and how to look for them.

So imagine my surprise when I found one sitting there, out in the open where everyone can see it.  And it’s one that I’ve never once seen it listed, or had spouted at me by someone trying to prove that the Bible was inspired by the mind of God.

All the others I’ve been able to discount.  But this one, this one is just huge.

Let’s go through it.

Genesis Chapter 11:1-8

1 And the whole earth was of one language and of one speech.

2 And it came to pass, as they journeyed east, that they found a plain in the land of Shinar; and they dwelt there.

3 And they said one to another: ‘Come, let us make brick, and burn them thoroughly.’ And they had brick for stone, and slime had they for mortar.

4 And they said: ‘Come, let us build us a city, and a tower, with its top in heaven, and let us make us a name; lest we be scattered abroad upon the face of the whole earth.’

5 And the LORD came down to see the city and the tower, which the children of men builded.

6 And the LORD said: ‘Behold, they are one people, and they have all one language; and this is what they begin to do; and now nothing will be withholden from them, which they purpose to do.

7 Come, let us go down, and there confound their language, that they may not understand one another’s speech.’

8 So the LORD scattered them abroad from thence upon the face of all the earth; and they left off to build the city.

Everyone knows this story, right?  It’s the Tower of Babel, and what we are supposed to believe it that it explains why people all over the earth spoke different languages if they were all descended from the handful of folks that made it through the big flood on the Ark.

More The Confusion Of Tongues

But let’s take a moment and look at it with an eye toward recent events.

  1. Suddenly there was this thing called the Internet, and everyone everywhere could talk and share ideas with each other.
  2. Suddenly, all the important stuff seemed to be happening in one place: On Line.
  3. Apparently, building stuff with bricks and mortar was some cutting edge technology back in the day, so imagine instead a world built of data, a marketplace of ideas.
  4. They built for themselves a city and a tower, and they called it Social-Media and Facebook.
  5. And then God got bored one day and logged in to see what the buzz was all about.
  6. There he found groups devoted to Yoga and Cosplay and something called GrumpyCat, and discovered, to his absolute horror, that everyone wasn’t talking about him.  And when they did talk about him, it wasn’t always in the most complementary fashion.  New ideas were the meat and drink of this strange new land, and the potential broadening of experience and understanding was the hope of the dawning age.
  7. At this point, he closed the shades on his house, took his phone off the hook, and started hacking a bunch of his followers’ user accounts (‘cause hiding your passwords from an omniscient deity is kind of a bitch).  Once in, he started posting memes debunking climate science and claiming that president Obama is a Muslim.  He was always ready with poorly edited PlannedParenthood videos, and made up statistics on a thousand topics.  He started posting about “Keeping Christ in Christmas” before retailers were finished dumping all the unsold Easter candy, and whenever there was a shooting in a school he was johnny-on-the-spot to suggest handing out handguns like candy.
  8. Now this was stuff that no thinking person could believe, and yet they did, because they heard it repeated again and again from their friends and loved ones, and it was on the internet so it must be true.  Right?!  Fact-checking became something that only intellectual snobs with too much time on their hands bothered with.  The traditional meanings of words like “fact” and “opinion” were switched, and pretty soon no one could communicate with anyone else, because all appearances to the contrary, not as single one of us is still speaking the same language.

It’s all right there in black and white!

And it has to be God doing it because no mortal could lay the bullshit down so think.

Errr…, maybe Trump.


There are those, I am sure, who will find these revelations offensive.

I understand that I seem to be reducing the almighty Abrahamic God to nothing more than a giant internet troll…, and if I am, isn’t that still better than taking a literal interpretation of the story, which has him (an omnipotent god) scrambling like crazy to muck up human language before the mortals figure out that by working together, there is nothing they cannot accomplish.

Nah, it has got to be the internet thing!

I found a Biblical prophecy that I can believe in.

Doesn’t mean I’ll be joining team Yahweh, of course.  I mean, however you choose to interpret the story, it is not exactly what I would call a ringing endorsement.  But it will definitely change the way I approach conversations on the internet.

A city and a tower with its top in heaven…,

It was a nice idea.

3 Comments

Filed under Culture, Modern Life, Mythology, Philosophy, Religion

Summon unto ye the Unholy Spirit of My Little Pony

Summoning My Little Pony

The best thing about the internet is not its ability to connect us over vast distances or the sheer volume of information which it puts at our fingertips.  These things are all very fine and good, it is true, but the very VERY best thing about the internet is its ability to regurgitate silly “news” items again and again, sometimes years after they first surfaced.

As a case in point, I bring you this meme I spotted the other day, warning against the next satanic plot to destroy our innocent youth…,

Pink Ouija Meme

Yep, that’s a pink Ouija board, the likes of which I had never seen before, but which it appears Hasbro started cranking out back in 2010.  How did I miss this?!

And this was apparently a big deal at the time.  With just a little effort I discovered several news articles about Christian groups protesting against Toys R Us for selling these things, and Hasbro for making them.

And all because little girls will be seduced by the pink cardboard and begin to summon malign spirits.

That’s the part that always makes me laugh.

Just how easy do these people think it is to conjure something up from the bowls of hell?!  I mean, if a couple little girls can do it, while fiddling with a bit of cardboard and plastic, an adult ought to be able to step outside and summon all sorts of uglies with no more than a good shout.  The skies above us should be filled with demonic energy like that scene in Ghostbusters after the containment grid is shut down.  And those of us who have actually studied magic should be able to bring the gods themselves thundering down from the heavens in all their wrath and fury.

I ain't afraid of no ghosts!

I’ve watched this movie dozens of times and never noticed that the spirits released over NYC are all pink. Maybe Hasbro is on to something!

But it doesn’t work like that, as even a casual glance at the world around us should make clear.

I believe in an inspirited world, I have been witness to the raw magical power of youth, but I think its a safe bet that no line of demons is queued up and ready to leap into our children through the vehicle of a $12 toy.

And what self respecting hell-wright would be seen in the same room with this thing, anyway.

The cultist spread his hands out over them and cried, “Go now children, take up the bright pink letter-board of damnation, and summon unto ye the Unholy Spirit of My Little Pony.”

Yeah, I don’t think so.

Oh, and parents…, don’t buy your kids a pink Ouija board.  Not because they might use it to summon something nasty, but because they’ll play with it once, and then it’s just going to collect dust in the closet.

Besides, everyone knows that all the most sinister of infernal spirits have been trapped, through fiendish sorcery, inside these unbreakable spheres of darkness.

Magic 8-Ball

From here, they will reveal, at our command, the very secrets of the universe.

Only, not right now…, try again later.

3 Comments

Filed under Magic, Modern Life, Religion

Salvation – with a shot of espresso.

My friends are all believers.

I see them daily, offering their praise, extolling the blessings and virtues of the one.

I walk past the holy place on my way to work, and I see them within, tithing their hard earned currency in the hope that they will find ease and comfort to take them through the day.

And what a comfort it must be, for the faithful, to see their brothers and sisters sharing in the holy communion throughout the day.  I find myself watching them with a certain envy.  They seem so very sure of a truth, which, while obvious to them, I am unable to share.

And it is not as if haven’t tried.

It’s not as if I don’t want to believe.

Oh, how I wish I could.

Because it would be so much easier, when I am in doubt, or depressed, or in those moments when exhaustion threatens to bring me down, if I could simply bow my head and drink in the warmth and peace that so many others enjoy.

I have tried, I really have, but conversion is simply not an option.

And though my friends and neighbors, with naught but goodwill in their hearts, continue to proclaim the good news, I must find my salvation elsewhere.  For the Dark Goddess which they worship, always leaves a bad taste in my mouth.

The Dark Goddess

This weeks blog post brought to you by my new neighbors, who kept me up all last night with their loud party music.  If ever I wished I could abide the taste of coffee, it is right now, as I sit here trying my best to focus on the empty page before me.

4 Comments

Filed under Culture, Modern Life, Religion

Maybe I need a bigger sign.

The sign was there on the front door when I moved into the house.

NO SOLICITING

Since purchasing my home I have put a lot of work into improving upon many of the dreadful design choices made by the previous owners.  I have ripped up most of the awful carpeting they put down.  I’ve painted, re-wired, reinforced and trimmed wherever  I could in an effort to make the place more my own.

Yet, I’ve left the sign.  I like it right where it is.

Measuring about a eight inches long, the sign sits at the lower edge of eye level above the door knob.  It is aligned with the right side of the door just below the spot where a visitor of average height would be most likely to knock.  Sporting gold letters on a black background, it’s pretty hard to miss.

Knock-Knock-Knock!

I guess it’s true what they say: “No one reads anymore.”

Every few days, someone ignores the sign.

“Can I mow your lawn?” — No.
“We’d like to install a new security system.” — No.
“Would you like to buy some magazines to support my mission trip?No!

They traipse up to my porch, ignore the sign and try to sell me goods and services which I am perfectly capable of procuring on my own.  Typically, I allow them to get maybe three sentences into their pitch before I send them on their way.  I freely admit that I am sometimes a tad brusque in my dismissal.

The truth is that I would prefer to be more welcoming toward strangers.  In fact, one of the tenets of my spiritual path is hospitality toward visitors.

Celtic tradition suggests that a visitor, who arrives in good faith, should be welcomed into the home and provided with food, drink and possibly, even a place to sleep for the night.  While sheltering under the protection and hospitality of the host, the guest is expected to provide entertainment (usually in the form of music or storytelling) and must observe the rules and observances of the house.

It is my opinion however, that anyone standing on my porch trying to sell me something, has not shown good faith and has already broken a very clearly posted rule.

“I’m not interested, thank you very much, now go away!”

And I can certainly turn the RUDE up several notches if pressed, but it seldom comes to that.  Most people manage to take the hint.

And then there are the Jehovah’s Witnesses.

Their timing is uncanny.  If you isolated the one Saturday morning in any given month when I was rushing to get ready for work or in the middle of some time sensitive project, that is the morning you would find them standing on my porch.  I sometimes speculate about the infernal, time sucking clockwork that guides their visits to my home.

The morning quiet is broken by the sound of knuckles, gently but insistently rapping the glass directly above the NO SOLICITING sign.

I peek out the door and there they stand.

Always two there are.  No more, no less.  A Master and an apprentice.”
—Yoda

In this case the “master” is always a rather jovial old fellow in a suit, while the identity of the “apprentice” seems to rotate on a schedule that I haven’t quite worked out yet.  Sometimes it’s a freckle-faced little girl.  The following month it may be an older woman or a young African-American gentlemen.

The visit typically goes like this:

The older fellow will greet me by name and enquire after my health or some other perfunctory bit of small-talk.  On cue he will be given a copy of The Watchtower by his “apprentice” which he then hands off to me while providing a brief synopsis of its contents and assuring me I’ll find it interesting.

I take the booklet, assuring him that I’ll look it over, and then, wishing him well, I duck back into the house and get on with my frantic morning.

Later that evening, while looking through The Watchtower and trying to decide which is worse: the hopelessly outdated design and illustration style or the poorly supported theological arguments, I will tell myself that “enough is well and truly enough.”

It’s high time I told the Jehovah’s Witnesses exactly what I think of their mission to save my soul: “While I enjoy a good theological debate my time is precious to me and I’ve always found proselytizing to be a deeply offensive practice.  Save the tracts for someone less likely to bequeath them to the recycling bin and move along.  My soul already has plenty of gods looking out for it and I’ve no interest in adding your deity to the mix.  I am not interested in what you are selling, now go away!”

That’s what I should say.

Maybe next month, if I have time to do more than nod and smile while trying to ease myself back through the door, I’ll do just that.  Sometimes you just have to be rude.

If only they weren’t so damned nice.

9 Comments

Filed under Modern Life, Proselytizing, Religion, Traditions