Two thousand years ago at this time of year, Druids would gather on the Hill of Tlachtga in medieval Ireland to light a bonfire that began a ritual throughout the country. The light would call on other people to light their own bonfires. It was the start of the season of darkness, and people celebrated with dances and feasts around the fires. The fires were to honor Samhein (pronounced sow-in), the god of Darkness and Winter. Many of the rituals associated with the celebration in America of Halloween can be traced back to these Celtic ones. You can learn more about all of these at Smithsonian Magazine.
Personally, I don’t play dress up games. I spend the entire year trying to make people believe I’m somebody I’m not (just like everyone else) that I don’t feel any desire to add a costume to it on one particular day of the year. Not that there’s anything wrong with that. It’s just not for me. Then again, I’m kind of anti-social in a lot of ways like that. I don’t go along with what everybody else is doing, often because I see it as silly and pointless, or possibly even dangerous. (Pokemon Go has already gotten some people killed.) I realize it’s just a diversion and people can find them fun, but sometimes they can become too pervasive and counterproductive to a functioning society. Is it really a good idea that young people gather together in public to stare at their phones? But I suppose the rituals of American Halloween aren’t too terrible. It’s just a good idea that people understand them, and how they compare to one’s own beliefs, especially where Religion is concerned.
For example, if you acknowledge the observation of Halloween, then you acknowledge the existence of other gods since this was a celebration of one of them. For many Conservative Christians, this is against their belief in God as the only God. I hesitate to point out to them that this is not correct at all, and even the God they worship said so. His First Commandment was to have no other Gods before Him. That doesn’t mean to deny the existence of other gods, but just not to put any of them ahead of this particular god (on account of his constant problem with the deadly sin of Jealousy.) But since they celebrate the holiday anyway and perform the pagan rituals, it’s just another example of their religious hypocrisy. I just hope there aren’t too many kids dressing up as Donald Trump. It would indicate a generation of kids totally lost to the idea of sense, reason, and logical thinking.
Lastly, I wouldn’t be me without a little nerd joke once in a a while, so…
Why do programmers confuse Halloween and Christmas? Because OCT 31 = DEC 25.
This is our daily open thread. Feel free to discuss ancient gods you’ve worshiped, or any other topic you wish.
Bernie Sanders, one of the Democratic Presidential candidates for 2016, made his debut on Saturday Night Live last night. He appeared in a Titanic skit with his twin separated at birth, Larry David. Naturally, Bernie always gets his message across!
Sanders shouted, “I’m so upset with the one percent getting this preferential treatment,” before making a suggestion: “Enough is enough. We need to unite and work together if we’re going to get through this.”
“Sounds like Socialism to me,” David said, dismissing him.
“Democratic socialism!” Sanders countered.
“What’s the difference?” David asked.
Mimicking Donald Trump, Sanders replied, “Yuuuuge difference.”
Pretty damn good timing, Bernie!!
This is our daily open thread — What makes you laugh?
The “Phony Express” clip seems most appropriate here…dunno why…
If there’s enough alcohol on the planet, a couple people might take on the Alternet GOP drinking game, but — FAIR WARNING — if you do, you will die.
You have been warned!!
Here’s the deal: All y’all are on your own for watching the Clown Car Clusterfuck, but please feel free to leave your in-the-moment thoughts and impressions in the comments section. Sarcasm, temper tantrums, and snide comments are welcome — in fact, they’re encouraged!
Do your worst, my Critters and Zoosters, cuz you know the GOP clowns will be doing the same.
Bernie Sanders, in his first campaign speech, spoke volumes concerning details of the course this country MUST take to enable its return to those long-past days of prosperity, and in the process he said absolutely nothing with which I do not unanimously and enthusiastically agree. He is absolutely the 180 degree-opposite of the entire of the Republican clown car occupants, both announced and not yet announced, and I suspect his IQ is greater than the aggregate sum of . . . well, you know.
I do find it odd that this prime candidate for President — standing tall in these, my “old timer” years — is every bit as inspiring to me as the POTUS on my date of birth, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, became in my growing-up retro view. Curious too that both Roosevelt and Sanders popped up at times of parallel turmoil. Roosevelt overcame it and changed America in the most positive way imaginable, and now Sanders is proposing to do the same.
Here’s his speech. If you’ve not seen it, I strongly suggest you find the time to do so. It’s a minute or two short of 40 minutes in length, but suffice to say that he lays out more substance in those few minutes than all Republican candidates since FDR — combined — have managed.