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Sunday, June 20, 2010

Heathen Mythology: Now Defunct (Sort of...)

Rather than continue posting here very rarely, I will be importing all posts and comments from this blog to my main blog. Feel free to keep commenting here if you wish, but I will post all new content to my primary blog and leave this one only as an archive.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Neighbor Trouble

Pal S. Stein returns home one day to find his things on the street. His key does not work in the door. He looks in the window and sees an old buddy from school, Jacob, inside his home. He rings the bell.

“Um… hi, why is my stuff in the street? And why do my keys no longer work?”

“Oh, my family was murdered and I was buddies with the sheriff, so he gave me the deed to your house. We moved your stuff out for you and had a locksmith come and –”

“Wait a minute,” says Pal. “I had nothing to do with your family being murdered. Why did they take my house?”

“I grew up in this house,” says Jacob.

“Really? I thought you lived a few blocks from here.”

“I did most of the time, but my parents lived here when I was born and we lived here until I was about three.”

Pal blinks a few times.

“Is there anything I can help you with?” asks Jacob.

“Where am I going to sleep? My stuff is going to get ruined out here.”

“Well, I suppose you can hang around here for a bit and we’ll figure something out. You can sleep on the lawn for now.”

A few days pass. One morning, Pal wakes up to Jacob pointing a gun in his face.

“Get up, I want you off my lawn.”

Your lawn?” asks Pal, rubbing the sleep from his eyes. “This is my house, and my lawn, and frankly I’m tired of –”

“Who’s the one with the gun, here?” asks Jacob.

Pal gets up and slowly makes his way to the concrete curb, beside his things.

The next day, Pal wakes up to a loud commotion. Jacob is using a bulldozer to move Pal’s things further away, breaking most of it in the process. Pal shakes his head.

As days go by, Pal grows restless and angry. He sometimes throws rocks at the house, his own home. He stops when Jacob fires warning shots.

Pal decides to call the police, but they are no help. The sheriff, Ulysses Nuremburg, is old friends with Jacob. Nothing Pal says seems to sway law enforcement. “It’s all legal and legit according to us,” says the sheriff.

Pal is livid. “Well of course it is, you’re implicit in the crime of stealing my house. You wouldn’t go and admit now that it’s wrong, that would make you look bad.”

The sheriff thinks long and hard. “I have an idea, but I need to call Jacob and get him over here so we can discuss it.”

Jacob shows up and the sheriff makes his proposal. “How about a two-household solution? Jacob, you can have the first floor, and Pal can have the basement or the attic.”

“I don’t know…” says Jacob.

“Are you kidding me?” asks Pal. “That is my house, it’s mine. I lived there until you guys up and decided to move me out on the street with hardly anything, most of which you then destroyed. I’m not going to settle for living in the unfinished basement or the attic.”

Jacob sighs. “See, he’s so unreasonable. You know he throws rocks at my house?”

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Mythical Interviews: Hermes

GINX: With me today is Hermes, the messenger of the Gods.

HERMES: [sigh]

GINX: Is there a problem?

HERMES: Oh, nothing. My achievements include giving mankind writing, inventing the lyre on the very day I was born, not to mention on my first night stealing the cattle of my older brother, the all-seeing sun. I am the patron god of shepherds, poets, orators, sports, science, travel, merchants and thieves, though the last two are basically one in the same.

GINX: I’m sorry.

HERMES: It’s just… you do one job as an intern and you meet a lot of people while doing it… and they all associate you with that forever. I’m so much more than my father’s errand boy.

GINX: I didn’t mean to insult you.

HERMES: You know, I also escort souls to Hades. I meet everyone at least that one time.

GINX: Hopefully I survive the interview then.

HERMES: It hasn’t been an auspicious start.

GINX: Right. Well… I decided to interview you next because I’ve had a bit of writer’s block.

HERMES: Oh, I see. You didn’t want to bother going through one of the muses, so you figured talking to me might cure your creative constipation. You need a linguistic laxative, so you call on a god.


HERMES: I love how you people only pay attention to us when you need something.

GINX: Human nature, I guess.

HERMES: You don’t have to explain it to me. I was the one who had to explain to your race the concept of exchange.


HERMES: I am the founder of commerce, as well as thievery. I pretty much oversee all exchanges of goods. The French still honor me in this fashion, with the word, “merci,” which derives from my Latin name, Mercury. It usually translates as “thank you,” but it literally means, “paid.”

GINX: Huh, I didn’t realize.

HERMES: I started out a thief, founded commerce, and now I am a socialist. I went from mercenary, to merchant, to merciful, all cognates of my name.

GINX: Plus you have a line of cars named after you.

HERMES: [sigh]

GINX: And a planet.

HERMES: A scorched rock? Thanks.

GINX: Oh, and an element on the periodic table.

HERMES: You named a poisonous substance after me.

GINX: Okay, fine. We as human beings have failed to recognize you and the accomplishments you gave mankind. Happy?

HERMES: I would be, if you lost the attitude.

GINX: You’re an all-powerful god, what do you care what I think?

HERMES: I’m not all-powerful. I can’t even get you to be polite.

GINX: Fine. How do I know you did all of these things?

HERMES: And now the accusations begin.

GINX: Am I to take you at your word, or do you have some sort of proof?

HERMES: What proof do you require? It’s not as though I had a camcorder. I was there, I did great things for mankind, and by Jove I deserve a little respect.

GINX: Okay, when did you teach man to write?

HERMES: A long time ago.

GINX: Let me guess, “… in a galaxy far, far away?” What is this, Star Wars? Give me some dates.

HERMES: We gods do not experience time as you do. I recall it was in the autumn.

GINX: Uh huh. You realize this is not a very compelling argument, right?

HERMES: Let’s put it this way: I have something you want, and you have something I want. We can trade and we can both be happy. Sure, we’re both taking a risk that one may be duping the other, but the mutual trust between us will facilitate the transaction.

GINX: Wait… what do you have that I want?

HERMES: How soon you forget… inspiration. Haven’t you been looking for something to write about? I can give you all that you need if you show me a little appreciation.

GINX: What am I supposed to do, get down on my knees and bow before you?

HERMES: I’d settle for a literary reward. Make your next mythical interview about me.

GINX: Metahumor, very amusing. How could it not be about you?

HERMES: You could be like one of the monotheists, and claim it was an angel or Yahweh. You could neglect to give me credit.

GINX: Well, if I’m going to interview you, I should ask some questions.

HERMES: Go ahead.

GINX: How about… why do the gods eat humans?

HERMES: Well, actually we subsist on human experience. We don’t exactly “consume” you, nor do we obliterate your soul in the process. Though to be fair, you are never the same again. As for “why” we do this… what would you have us do? Would you prefer we all die out?

GINX: Perhaps.

HERMES: Look, I know you think you have to disgrace the divine at every turn, but the truth is that the gods are at the core of human knowledge. Your ability to conceive of our existence indicates you are creatures capable of abstract thought. You are also the only earthly beings capable of sustaining the deities.

GINX: Can we cease to… “sustain” you?

HERMES: It is in our nature to reveal ourselves again and again, often taking new forms, new names. I am fairly certain that the only world without gods is a world without humans.

GINX: Okay. I have a final question, this one ethical. Is it better to do good works or to avoid evil deeds?

HERMES: To be perfectly honest, there is no good or bad. I interpret what you say to mean, “Is it better to actively comfort others or attempt to abstain from causing suffering?” Does this seem accurate?

GINX: Sure.

HERMES: In that case, it is far greater to strive “to do good” rather than “to avoid evil.” Though it is good to minimize the suffering you cause to the best of your ability, it is also impossible to live without inflicting some suffering upon others. However, the comfort one can provide others is limitless. Therefore, I advise one to give freely and encourage people to busy themselves with good deeds, which will in itself prevent one from doing harm.

GINX: I appreciate you taking the time to chat with me, Hermes.

HERMES: I hope your… blog… thing… goes well.

GINX: Thanks.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Mythical Interviews: Dionysus

GINX: Since God was drunk during my last interview, I figured I’d contact the Greek god of drunkenness, Dionysus.

DIONYSUS: I am actually the god of wine and ecstatic ritual.

GINX: Is there a god of drunkenness?

DIONYSUS: Yeah, ever since Ted Kennedy showed up.

GINX: When gods drink, do they develop sense of humor?

DIONYSUS: When don’t we have a sense of humor? What did Yawā say when you talked to him?

GINX: Yawā?

DIONYSUS: You know, “God” with a capital G.

GINX: Oh… He actually turned the interview around and asked me questions.

DIONYSUS: How’d that go?

GINX: I’m a pretty boring person, so there wasn’t much to talk about.

DIONYSUS: Boring person? I doubt that… Let’s pull up your bio here… well this is interesting, it says you were born in misery.

GINX: It’s pronounced “Missouri.”

DIONYSUS: What’s the difference, really? Hmm… you moved to Rochester, Michigan. Hey, you went to the same grade school as Madonna.

GINX: Yeah, I know.

DIONYSUS: Boy, that school produced her and a stalwart atheist like you. Catholic schools ain’t what they used to be, let me tell you. Not too long ago, those places were full of ruler-wielding nuns. Now… well, I might send my incarnation to one. The skirts the girls wear…

GINX: Easy, tiger.

DIONYSUS: And it’s great how all the girls do anal.

GINX: Okay....

DIONYSUS: You know, so they keep their virginity.

GINX: Alright, if we could just—

DIONYSUS: You’re not boring at all! Wow, you used to do –

GINX: Whoa whoa whoa, just that one time… for five months.


GINX: I have got to learn to keep better control of my interviews.

DIONYSUS: Can’t you just edit this later?

GINX: And ruin the integrity?

DIONYSUS: True. Can’t tamper with divine inspiration. How are you doing this, by the way? Is your head in a hat like Joseph Smith?

GINX: I’m sitting at a computer.

DIONYSUS: That’s the problem with you modern people. There’s no… romanticism, no theatrics, no mystique. You lack a certain… joie de vivre.

GINX: I’m not a prophet, nor am I trying to start a religion.

DIONYSUS: So why do you talk to gods and write about it?

GINX: Boredom.

DIONYSUS: There’s nothing else you could be doing right now?

GINX: No, not really.

DIONYSUS: You could spend more time with your wife.

GINX: Yeah, I could…

DIONYSUS: Women are so needy.

GINX: I didn’t say that.

DIONYSUS: I know, but they are. They can’t help it. They don’t derive joy from being alone, the way men do. Most women like to be surrounded by people. Even worse, they want you to “take them out.” Nowhere in particular, just away from the home they make you fill at great expense with all their token knick-knacks and superfluous comforts like throw pillows and duvets.

GINX: I guess I’m just not that cynical about it. Besides, my wife doesn’t like going out that much. It’s just not fair because she gets to use her laptop while we watch TV, and my desktop computer is in the back room. So, when she puts on something to watch which is so incredibly mindless and boring that not even she has any interest in it, she just opens up her laptop and surfs the internet. And I rarely get to decide what we watch, otherwise I wouldn’t have missed the last three years of “Mythbusters.”

DIONYSUS: Oh no, the horrors of your life… if only you had been in Haiti and had a roof collapse on your head, ending it all.

GINX: You were the one who brought up women being irritating, I was just stating the one minor thing my wife does that I find annoying. I was trying to relate to you rather than think of you as petty.

DIONYSUS: Uh huh, try explaining that to her when she reads this.

GINX: She won’t.

DIONYSUS: Your own wife doesn’t read these?

GINX: These interviews are really Christo-centric anyway, and she was raised Jewish. I’m not even sure if she’d really enjoy these. She reads my other blog. She says she’s too busy to read this one.

DIONYSUS: Too busy not watching mindless sitcoms?

GINX: I’m not interested in pressuring her to read this.

DIONYSUS: Well sure, not now!

GINX: She wouldn’t even be angry about this

DIONYSUS: All women hate when you talk about a dispute you’re having in public. It’s just human nature.

GINX: You mean woman nature?

DIONYSUS: Men hate it too.

GINX: Choose your words more carefully, then.

DIONYSUS: What are you, the male feminist?

GINX: Well, I let this interview get completely out of hand again.

DIONYSUS: Was there something you planned to ask me?

GINX: I don’t even remember.

DIONYSUS: I tend to have that effect on people.

GINX: Hmm… okay, I know. God mentioned that He eats souls.

DIONYSUS: We all do, sort of. I don’t think of them as “souls,” I call them “psyches.” We consume them, so that nothing is left of most people after they die.

GINX: That seems kind of barbaric.

DIONYSUS: Well, what do you expect us to eat?


DIONYSUS: I’ve never heard of “Um,” does it taste good?

GINX: I don’t know, it just seems cruel.

DIONYSUS: Cruel would be letting you people live forever. As rotten as you people are, as awful as the things you do to each other… you ought to be eternally grateful that we devour the last vestiges of your imperfection after your bodily death.

GINX: But Ted Kennedy is still around?

DIONYSUS: That’s the hitch: you guys make gods all the time. We can’t eat those.

GINX: What about Hitler?

DIONYSUS: Yep, he’s up here.

GINX: You’re kidding me!

DIONYSUS: It’s not based on how good someone is, only their fame. Honestly, you have a better chance if you’re a true wretch on an epic scale. I think the last decent divine ascendency was Mother Teresa. And even then, Princess Diana showed up within like a week to sully that arrival.

GINX: So heaven is a collection of dead celebrities and tyrants?

DIONYSUS: More or less, but the tyrants keep mostly to themselves.

GINX: What about hell?

DIONYSUS: You’re in it.

GINX: You know… I always suspected we were reincarnated on Earth.

DIONYSUS: Sort of. It’s a little more complex. You think of yourself as a single being, which is only natural in your given state, but the truth is your body is like a glass and the eternal you is the water. Once the glass breaks, the water that filled the vessel of you disperses, never to be together as a whole again. Your “water” will come back, but in many different bodies… most of them not even human. You’ll probably never be yourself again.

GINX: Weird. So how do famous people avoid that?

DIONYSUS: Well… I guess to keep up the analogy… their water freezes, which allows it to keep shape. But that’s not exactly how it works. I’m not that good with analogies, honestly. This is all stuff I gleaned from listening to Plato and Socrates argue for millennia.

GINX: I appreciate the… revelation, as it were.

DIONYSUS: No problem. You should have me back sometime. No one ever talks to me sober anymore. This is the first conversation with a mortal I’ve had in centuries where they didn’t end up shouting or crying by the end of it. That or calling their ex-lover on the phone and making romantic promises they won’t even remember in the morning.

GINX: Yeah, I’m not a big fan of alcohol.

DIONYSUS: I can’t say I blame you.

GINX: Would you come back to do a panel discussion? I was thinking of getting all the gods who Satan is modeled after together to discuss evil.

DIONYSUS: And you think Satan is partially modeled after me? If anything, Christianity borrowed elements of my cult to use as their own. The only thing about me that is even remotely devilish are the satyrs that follow me and my merry band of revelers. And trust me, you don’t want to interview one of them. They truly are devils.

GINX: Hmm…

DIONYSUS: But that doesn’t mean I can’t be on the panel!

GINX: Well, I’ll figure something out.

DIONYSUS: Okay. It was nice talking to you, and even nicer to be recognized.

GINX: Actually I have one more question: Why do the gods have such low self-esteem?

DIONYSUS: What do you mean, like how we crave human attention?

GINX: Yeah.

DIONYSUS: Our very existence as gods depends upon human memory of us. If we are forgotten… we cease to exist.

GINX: So then why aren’t the gods actively trying to get our attention?

DIONYSUS: We really have no power in the world, only in the minds of mankind. We can only indirectly act in the world, and it must be through human beings… and occasionally animals. In this sense, we do expose our existence through the intangible human psyche. I think we’ve been quite successful at getting your attention, even if so many of you attribute all of it to Yawā.

GINX: Well, thank you for talking to me, I appreciate you taking the time.

DIONYSUS: Call on me whenever you wish. Don’t be a stranger.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Old Stuff

Working on some other Mythological Interviews (including a possible round-table discussion). In the mean time, I thought I'd post links to the other fiction I wrote on my other blog. I thought about reposting it here, but I think I would rather just link back to the original posting on ABT.

Old Man Ramblings

Parable of the Yankees Fan

An Atheist's Footprints In The Sand (poem)

Open Letter to God

From the Outside (poem)

Friday, January 1, 2010

Mythical Interviews: God #2

GINX: Please welcome back…[glances at card] God.

GOD: *cough*

GINX: Fine… [staring at card] All hail the supreme creator of all things, the prime mover, from whence all of existence flows, and who certainly has no parents.

GOD: Hello, Ginx.

GINX: It was hard to get a hold of you the past couple weeks.

GOD: Well, you know… holidays.

GINX: What were your plans?

GOD: I went bear hunting with Sarah Palin.

GINX: Really?

GOD: Yeah. The Pope was pissed I wasn’t there to stop that crazy lady from tackling him.

GINX: Well, he seems fine. He’s a pretty robust pontiff.

GOD: All that exercise sure did wonders for the Hitler Youth.

GINX: Wow…

GOD: Come on, admit it. He’s in much better shape than Pope John Palsy.

GINX: Just… wow… I don’t remember you being this… jolly the last time I saw you.

GOD: Christmas tends to have that effect on me. I get drunk on the Christmas spirits. Loosen up a bit!

GINX: Interesting.

GOD: Hey, you know what?

GINX: No, what?

GOD: I got a question for you, Mister I-make-fun-of-God.

GINX: Shoot.

GOD: Why is it that atheists are more interested in religion than most religious people?

GINX: Maybe you have it backwards, and the more you know about religion, the more full of shit it appears to be.

GOD: Naw, I think it’s something else. I think you guys are looking for something.


GOD: Like, if you keep digging through every single piece of esoteric theology that ever existed, maybe one day, at long last, you’ll find the proof you need to believe. That’s why you keep learning about religions even after you claim to disbelieve, yet keep immersing yourself in things you say anger you.

GINX: I don’t think so.

GOD: So why are you interviewing a being you claim doesn’t exist?

GINX: To get attention?

GOD: Yeah, you’re probably right.

GINX: Are you done? Because I have a few questions I wanted to get to.

GOD: Alright. Whatever.

GINX: Why do you need so much praise?

GOD: I don’t need it. You openly admitted attention is nice to have.

GINX: So, that’s one thing you have in common with us, a need to be recognized?

GOD: Recognition is a part of it, but I prefer it if you don’t struggle.

GINX: Struggle?

GOD: Never mind. Next question.

GINX: Okay… what are the limits of your powers?

GOD: Why would I tell you that?

GINX: Because I can smell the booze on your breathe from here?

GOD: Hmm… well, now that you mention it, there is one thing I wish I had power over: human action.

GINX: Interesting. So there is such a thing as free will?

GOD: Very much so. It’s quite a hassle getting people to do what I want them to do if they lack obedience.

GINX: Well, that’s good to know.

GOD: Don’t get me wrong. People will do what I tell them to do. The Bible is full of the stories of what happens when you ignore my will. I can be very… influential.

GINX: Any favorite examples?

GOD: I’d have to go with Jonah.

GINX: So, do what You say, or a giant fish will eat you?

GOD: Oh please, that isn’t how the story goes at all. The fish saved Jonah. Ginx, you know better than that.

GINX: Okay, so listen to what You say, or You’ll send a storm to destroy the boat you’re on, killing innocent people in the process?

GOD: There you go.

GINX: My mistake. What are your thoughts on Israel?

GOD: Considering the fact that I have not blessed their return with peace, what do you think?

GINX: So you oppose the nation of Israel?

GOD: No, I just wasn’t ready to give it back to them yet. Muslims are so much more… pious.

GINX: You like Muslims more than Jews?

GOD: I love all my people, you can’t ask the Father to choose which of His children He loves more. You’re trying to put words in my mouth, and I won’t say what you want me to say.

GINX: I’m not sure what you mean, but I’ll just move on.

GOD: Please do.

GINX: What about abortion?

GOD: What about it?

GINX: Well, many people on Earth claim you oppose it.

GOD: I do.

GINX: Really? Why?

GOD: I have no use for such immature souls.

GINX: So, it’s completely based on your utilitarian needs?

GOD: I suppose you could put it that way.

GINX: And what are those needs?

GOD: Let’s just say… pre-natal souls taste awful.

GINX: Wait, you eat our souls?!

GOD: Perhaps I’ve said too much…

GINX: Come on, admit it, you devour the souls of dead people.

GOD: Why wait until their dead? Have you heard of “Alzheimer’s,” or “vegetative comas?”

GINX: You know, I always suspected…

GOD: What tipped you off? All the “fishers of men” or “God’s Shepherd” stuff in the Bible?

GINX: Actually, it was the “become one with me in eternity” concept.

GOD: *laugh* Yeah, that was a good one.

GINX: Do you eat everyone’s soul, or just the souls of the religious?

GOD: I pick and choose. The rules I give the religious to live by are designed to make them taste better, but they so rarely follow them. I can count on the Mormons to give me a decent crop, Muslims too, but most Christians taste awful, especially around the holidays. Many of them are drunk and it gets me all tipsy.

GINX: Are you going to sober up and regret this interview?

GOD: Oh please, like anyone would take anything you have to say seriously.

GINX: You got me there.

GOD: Look, I have to go soon.

GINX: Okay, one more question.

GOD: I’m listening.

GINX: What’s the meaning of life?

GOD: The meaning of your life, or all life?

GINX: How about both?

GOD: I’ll give you one.

GINX: I suppose it’d be pretty selfish to ask about just mine, so tell me the meaning of all life.

GOD: To entertain me.

GINX: *sigh* Now I wish I had asked about my life.

GOD: Whose to say the answer is any different?

GINX: Well, thank you for taking the time during this busy holiday season. I hope you don’t get a hangover.

GOD: All of mankind ought to hope I don’t get one. Peace be unto you, my child.

GINX: Take it easy.