The last month or so as been a bit problematic for me. Some people will know that Iíve had a bit of a rollercoaster time at work these last few months. To cut along story short, given the amount of stress that simply being there engendered and the fact that this looked unlikely to improve, I decided that for the sake of my sanity I should leave. I was fortunate that the Principal was accommodating of my wish and as of the start of 2010 I will be out of work.
Now, you might consider this sort of thing to be the height of folly in the midst of a recession but I have, with my usual cold logic, analysed the situation and I actually think that itís for the best. Firstly, I was absolutely shattered each night as I got home- with varying degrees of lateness- from work. I was seeing the Spawn for his evening meal and for a short period around bath-time and then he was in bed. I donít think itís right for a child to grow up with one parent barely there so something needed to give. Secondly, once Spawn was safely abed, working or- if I decided that I should forego the work in favour of relaxing with my loved ones- worrying about the work I was not doing prevented me from enjoying my free time and prevented me from spending time seeking employment in an establishment where the work regime was less pressurised. Thirdly, we have enough squirreled away so that I need not work until the Summer, so I can take my time to relax and search for gainful employment. Lastly, I am in the fortunate position of teaching a subject where there is a very real shortage of practitioners and I have an excellent record demonstrating a wealth of experience. So, if I am to switch, now is the time to do so. May the Lord help me if my analysis has proved faulty.
That sentiment, the wish for divine intervention, brings my mind to remembering an online class that I took a few years ago about Greek Mythology and in any online community, the need for divine intervention is never far away. Taking the class seemed like a good idea at the time, after all, if I will go marrying a Greek woman, the least I can do is to make some effort to understand the mythic basis of her society. So we learned about the Olympians and various other personages and one assignment was that I should decide upon which sort of deity I should be, were I to be offered a place in the ancient Greek pantheon. Here are the results of my deliberations, which I found over the holiday while clearing out the crap from my hard drive.
I suppose, if I were to be a god of something, I would become a god of the internet. After all, Zeus, Hera, Poseidon et cetera have all of the traditional roles sewn up. How could I, a putative neonatal godling, even hope to compete in, say, the field of water? Poseidon's in charge and then has all of the good jobs already delegated out, so what would be left? God of morning dew? Now that's not really that impressive, is it? No, if I'm going to do the god thing at all, then it had better be modern and up to date.
However, were I god of the internet- I doubt that's been got yet- I could really carve out a really good... er... business. Now, when you think how often computers crash or DSL modems go on the fritz,you can see there is a definite vacancy there. Of course, I'd need to get a suitable name, I don't think Neroon will be quite up to it; it doesn't have the right cachet of rakish divinity that I hope to inspire. So I will become Buggerup (I think the name matches the concept of the internet quite well), which will enable me to draw the benefit from countless prayers. Just think of the number of times computer users will utter, "Oh Bugger," as something goes wrong; that counts. More power to me!
As Buggerup, god of the internet, there are many items I could pick for symbols: a mouse (for a computer, not the grey furry thing), a computer itself, a modem or a telephone cable. All of these items would make sense. However, I choose another item entirely, a rubber hammer.
Now it might seem to be a bit obtruse to choose a rubber hammer for the internet god's symbol, when such worthy items as computers could serve, but there is a very good reason for doing so. Divinity is a matter of faith, and not proof. Such things as mice and modems are all tools through which people access my domain, the internet that is. If their connection goes down, and they fiddle with their modems and the connection is restored, can they be said to be placing their faith in my divine self, or are they placing faith in the reliability of electronics? I would say the latter, and so such things give me, Lord Buggerup, no glory at all.
As the internet god, I occasionally test the worthy, with inexplicable failures of the internet and the occasional actions of the various demigods that work for me: the mischievous Yahoo and the reliable but unimaginative MSN (a being so unimaginative that he has yet to imagine vowels). I ensure that the best efforts of the worthy candidates (be they technicians or merely a users) fail. Their mice might click on whatever they might please, but they will click in vain. Unplugging and replugging the modem or router will be to no avail. Nothing they try will work, until they utter the words, "It's really buggered up" and then, in desperation, hit it. At this point, I will relent and the connection will suddenly work as if (in contravention of all laws of electronics) hitting the monitor (for some reason it's always the monitor they hit) has cured the problem. Now that's faith!
So to protect the hands of my followers as they carry out their "percussive maintenance" I will adopt the rubber hammer, so that they may worship me without hurting their hands.
Buggerup would most likely be linked to Hermes, the messenger of the gods, for is not the Internet a form of messaging? Where Hermes has his Caduceus, Buggerup has his rubber hammer, where Hermes had his winged sandals (see later on for an explanation), Buggerup would have a winged modem.
So, if as a lucky mortal, you ever get the chance to pass the Gates of the Sky and visit Olympus, then you might just see Buggerup at work. Of course, it is easy at the moment to get into Olympus, for the three guardians of the gates, the Orai are busy at the moment attending science fiction conventions, having been the baddies on the last couple of seasons of Stargate SG1. In these non-spiritual times, a godís got to make a living somehow. Perched atop the left hand gate post is a satellite dish, so that the other gods can watch the channels and plan how they can make it big in TV land. Itís not so easy as it was in the sixties, when gods made frequent appearances on TV in such shows as the original (and dare I say it the best) incarnation of Star Trek. Indeed, Apollo still keeps his copy of William Shatnerís autograph framed on his desk, a memory of those heady days when he held the Starship Enterprise in the palm of his hand and what's more, beat Kirk in the race to shag the episode's eye-candy.
Of course, Buggerup has no such problems at the moment, being very much a god of the moment. As you sneak past the Gates of the sky, take a moment to peruse the homes of the Olympian gods and soak up that sense of immanence. Now, Iím not entirely sure what immanence is, but Iím pretty sure itís high up on the list of godly attributes all first rate immortals should have, along with near omnipotence and ineffability. Of course, my lack of knowledge shows me to be particularly effable- after all, in my role as Buggerup, I hear the phrase ďEffing internetĒ more times than youíd care to mention, and Iíve only been at it since the end of September!
The pavilions of the gods are, of course, neoclassical in design. I would say classical, but the various modern additions would spoil the authentic classical look. Zeusís palace is, of course wonderful, although the removal of the asbestos a few years ago has led to him having to nip outside the back door when he needs a quick thunderbolt. Similar restrictions are placed on the other gods and goddesses, Hephaestus can no longer bring his work home due to the sprinkler system installed in all of the homes by the Health and Safety regulations and Aphrodite keeps getting fined under indecency laws for all of the comings (and, occasionally, goings) at her place.
Lastly, if you look carefully, youíll see a fast moving character, speeding by on a second hand pair of winged sandals- Hermesí cast offs when he traded them in for some far more fashionable winged trainers from the goddess Nike- a hassled godling noticeable more by his colourful language than by his large rubber hammer. Here, at last is Buggerup, god of the internet, in whom our hopes reside, rushing to get things working again in that place where our fates (despite what Clotho and the other Moirae, or Fates in the vernacular, think) are truly decided. Where is this I hear you ask? The answer is simple, in the Laptop of the Gods.
Yes, I think the internet is the way to go, in the godding business. It'll bring deity into the 21st century!
Caveat Lector and other Legal Stuff
Of course, as far as any complaints go, they should be directed to my patron deity, Hermes the Messenger, who as a god of communication, thievery and male fertility, has oversight of the spam, online scams and porn that has made the internet what it is today.
No supernatural beings were harmed in the writing of this blog and the details of the main character and his role are entirely the products of the author's imagination. Any resemblance to any actual deity, living or otherwise, is purely coincidental.