Thursday, October 15, 2009

In honor of one of my favorite holidays...

[before you read this, just know I don't mean to bash anyone, just pointing out some facts of history I think people should be a little more aware of]

First, I just want to point out that Jesus was not born on December 25th. He wasn't even born in 1 BC as is the claim. I'm not going to bother quoting shit to prove this, if you haven't learned this by now then google it, look it up, read about it, do your own research.

Now, I want to show some info on the very first recorded celebration of this thing we all now call Christmas. Yes, this is documented and not made up to bash anyone.

-----                Roman pagans first introduced the holiday of Saturnalia, a week long period of lawlessness celebrated between December 17-25. During this period, Roman courts were closed, and Roman law dictated that no one could be punished for damaging property or injuring people during the weeklong celebration. The festival began when Roman authorities chose “an enemy of the Roman people” to represent the “Lord of Misrule.” Each Roman community selected a victim whom they forced to indulge in food and other physical pleasures throughout the week. At the festival’s conclusion, December 25th, Roman authorities believed they were destroying the forces of darkness by brutally murdering this innocent man or woman.

        The ancient Greek writer poet and historian Lucian (in his dialogue entitled Saturnalia) describes the festival’s observance in his time. In addition to human sacrifice, he mentions these customs: widespread intoxication; going from house to house while singing naked; rape and other sexual license; and consuming human-shaped biscuits (still produced in some English and most German bakeries during the Christmas season).

        In the 4th century CE, Christianity imported the Saturnalia festival hoping to take the pagan masses in with it. Christian leaders succeeded in converting to Christianity large numbers of pagans by promising them that they could continue to celebrate the Saturnalia as Christians.[2]

        The problem was that there was nothing intrinsically Christian about Saturnalia. To remedy this, these Christian leaders named Saturnalia’s concluding day, December 25th, to be Jesus’ birthday.

        Christians had little success, however, refining the practices of Saturnalia. As Stephen Nissenbaum, professor history at the University of Massachussetts, Amherst, writes, “In return for ensuring massive observance of the anniversary of the Savior’s birth by assigning it to this resonant date, the Church for its part tacitly agreed to allow the holiday to be celebrated more or less the way it had always been.” The earliest Christmas holidays were celebrated by drinking, sexual indulgence, singing naked in the streets (a precursor of modern caroling), etc.

        The Reverend Increase Mather of Boston observed in 1687 that “the early Christians who first observed the Nativity on December 25 did not do so thinking that Christ was born in that Month, but because the Heathens’ Saturnalia was at that time kept in Rome, and they were willing to have those Pagan Holidays metamorphosed into Christian ones.”[3] Because of its known pagan origin, Christmas was banned by the Puritans and its observance was illegal in Massachusetts between 1659 and 1681.[4] However, Christmas was and still is celebrated by most Christians.

        Some of the most depraved customs of the Saturnalia carnival were intentionally revived by the Catholic Church in 1466 when Pope Paul II, for the amusement of his Roman citizens, forced Jews to race naked through the streets of the city. An eyewitness account reports, “Before they were to run, the Jews were richly fed, so as to make the race more difficult for them and at the same time more amusing for spectators. They ran… amid Rome’s taunting shrieks and peals of laughter, while the Holy Father stood upon a richly ornamented balcony and laughed heartily.”[5]

        As part of the Saturnalia carnival throughout the 18th and 19th centuries CE, rabbis of the ghetto in Rome were forced to wear clownish outfits and march through the city streets to the jeers of the crowd, pelted by a variety of missiles. When the Jewish community of Rome sent a petition in1836 to Pope Gregory XVI begging him to stop the annual Saturnalia abuse of the Jewish community, he responded, “It is not opportune to make any innovation.”[6] On December 25, 1881, Christian leaders whipped the Polish masses into Antisemitic frenzies that led to riots across the country. In Warsaw 12 Jews were brutally murdered, huge numbers maimed, and many Jewish women were raped. Two million rubles worth of property was destroyed.

Okay, that's Christmas, now let's take a look at this favorite holiday of mine that seems to get such negativity from so many people. Not to say your beliefs are wrong, but I've noticed a lot of people also have no idea what Halloween is (or Christmas for that matter).

-----                The Celts, who lived 2,000 years ago in the area that is now Ireland, the United Kingdom, and northern France, celebrated their new year on November 1. This day marked the end of summer and the harvest and the beginning of the dark, cold winter, a time of year that was often associated with human death. Celts believed that on the night before the new year, the boundary between the worlds of the living and the dead became blurred. On the night of October 31, they celebrated Samhain, when it was believed that the ghosts of the dead returned to earth. In addition to causing trouble and damaging crops, Celts thought that the presence of the otherworldly spirits made it easier for the Druids, or Celtic priests, to make predictions about the future. For a people entirely dependent on the volatile natural world, these prophecies were an important source of comfort and direction during the long, dark winter.

        To commemorate the event, Druids built huge sacred bonfires, where the people gathered to burn crops and animals as sacrifices to the Celtic deities.

        During the celebration, the Celts wore costumes, typically consisting of animal heads and skins, and attempted to tell each other's fortunes. When the celebration was over, they re-lit their hearth fires, which they had extinguished earlier that evening, from the sacred bonfire to help protect them during the coming winter.

        By A.D. 43, Romans had conquered the majority of Celtic territory. In the course of the four hundred years that they ruled the Celtic lands, two festivals of Roman origin were combined with the traditional Celtic celebration of Samhain.

        The first was Feralia, a day in late October when the Romans traditionally commemorated the passing of the dead. The second was a day to honor Pomona, the Roman goddess of fruit and trees. The symbol of Pomona is the apple and the incorporation of this celebration into Samhain probably explains the tradition of "bobbing" for apples that is practiced today on Halloween.

        By the 800s, the influence of Christianity had spread into Celtic lands. In the seventh century, Pope Boniface IV designated November 1 All Saints' Day, a time to honor saints and martyrs. It is widely believed today that the pope was attempting to replace the Celtic festival of the dead with a related, but church-sanctioned holiday. The celebration was also called All-hallows or All-hallowmas (from Middle English Alholowmesse meaning All Saints' Day) and the night before it, the night of Samhain, began to be called All-hallows Eve and, eventually, Halloween. Even later, in A.D. 1000, the church would make November 2 All Souls' Day, a day to honor the dead. It was celebrated similarly to Samhain, with big bonfires, parades, and dressing up in costumes as saints, angels, and devils. Together, the three celebrations, the eve of All Saints', All Saints', and All Souls', were called Hallowmas.

So in all honesty, the Celtic celebration doesn't excite me too terribly much (wearing animal skins? That's just disgusting and immoral) but that was a long time ago, and just about every religion was sacrificing animals (or had before). But wait, what's this? The Catholic church performed almost the exact same celebration? (minus the animal killing and such) THEY DRESSED UP AS DEVILS?!? Aren't they EVIL?! Um, NO! So what's the problem? Misinformation, that's the problem, as it often is in these situations.

So what am I doing for Halloween? Dressing up in a completely homemade Star Trek Science Officer Uniform that I am putting a lot of time, effort, and money into.

Only kidding...I'll be sacrificing a goat and drawing a pentagram on my driveway with it's blood, all while reciting spells from the Necronomicon


Tuesday, October 6, 2009

It’s hard to sit here and pretend like the worst of my problems is loneliness. The music helps, especially Ryan Adams. And I guess I would feel a lot better if I wasn’t alone, but it wouldn’t fix a thing. It’d be like a painkiller just numbing me to what ails me. Too bad I don’t know how to cure my disease, and all the “pills” I’ve choked down haven’t helped a bit. It just feels more futile with each failure.

I’d love to sit here and go on making stupid metaphors about my life, but I’ve already made myself sound like enough of a little bitch. And who gives a shit anyway.

Civilian out

/thought incomplete
I think it’s almost official, basically the only thing I need my internet browser is looking stuff up, which I do pretty frequently, but still. I can now check everything on Facebook from my desktop, new emails show up on my screen as I get the m(not as obnoxious as it sounds), I’m still using Tweetie for all things Twitter (except adding new followers), and I can upload to my blog from my phone and MacJournal (where this post is coming from incase it doesn’t say that somewhere).

Now that I’ve had an overload of technology this morning (shit, it’s 3:30 already?) it’s time to go do some yardwork...ooh boy.

In other news, check this out, especially if you’re a fan of the show’ll just be that much funnier.

Man I need some coffee and cigarettes.
Just making a test post to see if posting from MacJournal works

Hope this works, it’ll be totally awesome if it does.

Monday, October 5, 2009

So while attempting to do some writing on my novel (attempt at a novel, but I didn't want to use attempt twice...oh well) I can't help but continuously get distracted by thinking about superheroes, and comics, and the various ideas for superheroes I've had over the years, and (more specifically) writing about them.

I'm trying to be good, though, and keep myself from writing about everything that comes to my mind. I write down the ideas and some things that come to mind, but I need to focus on one thing at a time (or two things at a time, whatever). Having said that, if I only had a friend who could draw rather well, I would enlist their aid in the (attempt at the) creation of a comic book about two original characters I've been working on lately.

I think my ideas are pretty good, but superheroes never really worked for me in books...not for the most part anyhow. Seeing as how I cannot draw, it must be a joint-venture. I only need someone else as bored and interested as I am, and I'll be in business XP

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Decided weekends will be my brainstorm days for writing, will continue actual writing on weekdays.
Unless a great idea i need to write down comes to me on a weekend, never restrict your creativity.

On an entirely unrelated note, been using Twitter alot more. Specifically, using Tweetie alot more to do my tweeting as opposed to my BlackBerry (it's been fucking up and pissing me off). For some reason, this makes me want an iPhone very badly...fuck you Verizon and your shit selection of phones and just your shitty....everything.

Done venting.

Eating homemade indian food and it's fantastic...I want some chocolate milk.

Listening to Justin Timberlake, woo. Love that guy.

Now I'm gonna go tweet random shit and make chocolate milk...what an awesome day.

Friday, October 2, 2009

So I didn't write today...dammit

Saw Zombieland though....and it was AWESOME
Nothing absolutely fantastic and groundbreaking, but it was enjoyable all the way through

Thursday, October 1, 2009


Chapter 1

Spiders are harmless. Someone told me that once. Then, a few days later, I woke up with a great big infected spider bite on my face. There’s no real moral or life changing metaphor here, I just wanted to say that so people will stop telling me not to freak out when I see a spider. People tell me a lot of things, though I’ve never really been one to pay attention to every word a person says. I’d much rather watch their facial expressions and they way they move when they talk. I was once told that 70% of communication is how you look, 20% is how you sound, and only 10% is what you say. I think those percentages may be a bit off. I couldn’t guarantee their accuracy as I wasn’t really listening to what the guy was saying. The way his eyes darted around and grew wide and narrowed as he spoke was far more interesting to observe, and it was made somewhat easier by his copious amounts of eye shadow.

It’s morning and I am laying on my back in my small bed, staring at my drab ceiling. Pretty typical morning for me. I manage to roll out of bed, literally, and go through the motions of getting ready for work. Luckily, I’m able to set my body on autopilot for the majority of the routine and put my mental faculties to more productive uses, like trying to recount the adventures of Sherlock Holmes as if they were my own. Only flossing manages to distract me from my fabrication. As soon as I’m satisfied my teeth have been thoroughly run through with a bit of string, I return to my previous subject of concentration and begin to contemplate what kind of pipe I should purchase.

People tend to complain about their work, and I do on occasion, but I look damn good in a pair of slacks and that helps. Office work isn’t as bad as people say. I work at one of those large banks, the kind that serve lots of people and who’s CEOs get paid a fairly substantial sum of money. I get to sit in a small cubicle that’s all mine, do work that helps the people, spend most of my day not doing any exhausting physical activity, and allow some guy in a big mansion to make enough to afford only the highest quality hookers.

As I make my way to the bus stop I think to myself, “This is the life.”

I take my seat at the stop on one of the small benches that force strangers to grind each others hips. Today I notice that I share the bench with a stereo, the kind you would’ve seen anyone with street cred carrying around on their shoulder in the early ‘90s. It sat unattended, playing a recognizable symphony composition by Strauss or someone quite like that, and I was somewhat surprised no one had absconded with it yet. We waited there together, enjoying the repetitive classical masterpiece till the bus came and split us up, sending me on my own separate path to my place of work.

The bus was a long ride, it seemed to be taking a new route that went far out of my way, making me wonder if I hadn’t boarded the wrong one. I observed my fellow passengers fiddling with BlackBerrys and iPhones, headphones that wouldn’t stay in, and unruly magazines all made even more difficult to manage thanks to frequent potholes. In so many words, it was a really boring trip and I’m pretty sure I passed out more than a few times. Normally I’m not too exhilarated about catching some shut eye on accident, but wandering the land of Nod while standing up in a large moving vehicle felt like a pretty big accomplishment. I hadn’t even gotten to work and I was already getting things done, this was going to be a good day.

So the bus arrived, I got out, and made my way into the bank and up to the office area. Strangely, I managed to get all the way to the copy machine before I was harangued by one of my fellow coworkers. The walk to the elevator, the ride up to the office floor, and the following journey through the maze of cubicles to the one that was my personal place of work was usually made a long one by the efforts of my co-workers to cram it full of celebrity tidbits, worthless trivia, and comments about the higher-up’s secretaries.

This time, the culprit who committed the crime of filling my head full of useless nonsense was a middle aged man who’s name I didn’t care to remember. He managed to ramble on about some celebrity bullshit the whole way to my cubicle, which was going way out of his way just to waste our time. I could’ve been thinking about how best to pretend to work today, or how to suck up to the suits. I’m not one to kiss ass, but I make an exception for anyone who decides how big my bank account is.