Here we go again. It’s Friday the 13th, and you know what that means? No? Neither do I. For many of us, it simply signifies the beginning of another highly anticipated and much needed weekend. But, for some of us, it is still a day filled with bad omens and evil portents. Now, before you go and mock these simple little human beings with their antiquated beliefs, you might want to take a good look in the mirror–and be careful not to break it, lest you incur 7 years of unwanted bad luck.
Superstitious: Praying for rain
What could be more superstitious than a good, old-fashioned rain dance? I mean, who doesn’t like to put on a costume, grab the glow sticks, and dance like there’s no tomorrow? But, the idea of doing that with a purpose is just outright cuckoo for cocoa puffs, right? (although, recent studies do seem to indicate that meteorologists’ predictions for rain fall somewhere in line with the rain dance in terms of being effective.)
Not Superstitious: Praying for touchdowns
Is there anything more absurd than the idea that with the billions of galaxies, hundreds of billions of stars, and trillions of planets in existence within our known universe, there also exists some higher entity who, across all space and time, at that given moment, must concern itself (or himself, for all of you self-assured males out there) with your all-important athletic contest? Yes, you say…there is something more absurd: the rain dance. Who cares about drought when Tebow is playing? The real question is, when a player is traded, does this all-powerful entity also trade allegiance? or, more importantly, what happens when both teams possess powerful wizards who can call upon this entity? I’ll tell you what happens…magical things.
Superstitious: Witches, witch doctors, and the monsters who love them
Yes, it’s the “Harry Potter is dangerous because he teaches our kids to believe in witchcraft” argument. Dragons, spells, witches…what is this, the middle ages? We all know that there is no such thing as magic…only miracles.
Not Superstitious: You know who
Who needs three-headed dogs, centaurs, and magical griffons when there are perfectly legitimate demons to worry about, right? Why, in my day, ‘he-who-must-not-be-named’ referred to the one and only fallen one, the master of disaster, the high priest of pain, the prince of darkness, the lord satan himself (admit it, you thought I was going to say Mayweather). Let’s face it, spirit circles and voodoo incantations are nothing more than the primitive games of the ridiculously superstitious, whereas demonic possession…well, that’s based on true events. If it weren’t, then we might have to start believing that we were in some way responsible for all of the terrible things we did. Unthinkable.
Superstitious: Everything old
The number 13, garlic to ward off evil, shamans and healers, oracles, powerful men with beards…
Not Superstitious: Everything new
Three 6’s (or were they 9’s?), crosses to ward off evil, prayer healing, priests, powerful men with beards…
You get the point. One person’s religion is another person’s superstition. Perhaps this is what prompted the Roman philosopher Seneca to write: superstitio error insanus est (feeling left out? learn Latin.) I wonder, though: if somehow, someday, we were able to break free from the confines of superstition, where would we find ourselves? To whom would we turn for guidance? To the scientists? Ha…bunch of charlatans.
-by giles judd