Tuesday, June 06, 2006

666: Hexakosioihexekontahexaphobia

C'mon, you didn't really think I'd get through today without posting about today's date, didja? With a nym like mine, it just wouldn't be right to neglect the, uh, blessed occasion. Even if the nym's origins were sort of pseudorandom at first (see the link on my profile if you care.)

The fun word in this post's title is simply the fear of the number 666, as noted here. And some people really are afraid of it. If you take all that Revelations crap literally, it's just supposed to be the number of the beast, which is the number of a man, or something. It's not 100% clear what this means, since we're reading some random person's 2000 year old, multiply (and poorly) translated, fictional, bipolar blatherings. But the verse in question didn't say anything about the date being accursed, or tell believers to panic if something rings up as $6.66 at the grocery store. But people do anyway, because they're superstitious, poorly educated, ignorant, gullible, and stupid.

One possibility that's occurred to me is that the number just refers to the Romans generally. Roman numerals would've seemed weird and alien to the locals in Judaea at the time, so using them to represent the Romans themselves isn't a big stretch, sort of like how the French sometimes call the English "rosbifs" (roast beefs) due to their, um, distinctive eating habits. 666 in Roman numerals is DCLXVI, which uses each numeral symbol once, other than M. I've never seen this discussed anywhere, probably because it's a bit on the mundane side, and there's no fancy math to play around with. On the other hand, here I explain how to derive the number 666 from the string "George Walker Bush".

A few more 666 links

  • Seeing the Forest has a piece about the wingnuts going nuts. Actually today it's mostly not them freaking out, it's us making fun of them. Which is ok, of course, because fundies are evil and they deserve it.
  • The Sydney Morning Herald also pokes fun at the fundies. Somebody has to do it, and it's safer if there's a huge ocean between you and them.
  • The local paper in Austin, TX, also has a funny article about the date, which is pretty brave. Of course, people from the rest of the state already know everyone in Austin is going to hell, so this latest business won't come as much of a surprise.
  • A fun little blog posting about the date.
  • There's a lively discussion over at UltimateGuitar.com. If you decide to join in, it's wise to be aware that Cradle of Filth is black metal, not death metal. This has already tripped up at least one hapless poster, to his infinite sorrow.
  • A nice rant over at Tholos of Athena titled Christian Psychopaths.
  • There's a new "Left Behind" book out today, this one titled "The Rapture". And in another sign of the apocalypse, Ann Coulter's new book is out today as well. Yech.
  • A columnist at the Palm Beach Post has an amusing post about the date as well, with lots of fun Photoshopped photos. Don't miss the comments thread while you're there.
  • In other news from the infantile, superstitious end of the religious world (i.e. most of it), the woman who "discovered" an image of the Virgin Mary on her cheese sandwich has a new tattoo of the sandwich. I guess because it was her big 15 minutes, and because she sold the original to an online casino.
  • SFGate's Culture Blog makes fun of the whole fad of seeing Jesus or Mary on unlikely objects. No surprise here. It's the culture blog in the San Francisco newspaper. You were expecting what, exactly? But they do link to a bunch of stories about instances of the fad. It really does happen, and people really are like that. Making fun of them is almost too easy. Anyway, now you can buy a pan so you can make pancakes, omelets, or whatever with Jesus images on 'em, as many as you like, whenever you want. I'd call that a real advance in technology.
  • And a fascinating look at Ave Maria, the new theocratic village in Florida planned out by Tom Monaghan, the Domino's Pizza creepozoid. The author looks at the town plans from an urban design perspective, and the closer you look, the more hair-raising it gets.


I'm going to run by the local record shop later today and buy some offensive CDs. It seems appropriate. I'll either update this post later or compose a new one, whichever seems more likely to boost my sitemeter hits up to the 2666 mark today. :)

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Updated: Ok, I picked up a pile of heavy metal CDs, including Slayer's classic Reign of Blood, which I inexplicably did not own yet. I've actually never been a huge metal fan, but it just seemed appropriate today.

I've been informed that today is a huge event in Hell, Michigan. Which I guess is true considering the name and all. But it's the upper Midwest, so somehow they'll find a way to make the whole thing wholesome and family-friendly. I'm not sure they really get it. If there was, say, a Hell, Louisiana, then we might really be on to something.

I already mentioned Ann Coulter's new book. There's a great post about it over at Pharyngula:

Coulter: "Liberals subscribe to Darwinism not because it's science, which they hate, but out of some wishful thinking. Darwinism lets them off the hook morally."

Pharyngula: "Actually, I use the Nernst equation to justify my immoral behavior. I reserve Darwinism for those nights I need an excuse to go dancing."

2 comments :

The Daily Tattler said...

My birthday is the 6th of the 6th and I LOVE the conection with the devil, so no more disbelief from you my friend!

atul666 said...

Happy evil birthday!!!