Thursday, December 09, 2010

Man, people are stupid.

Monday night on Jay Leno's "Headlines" segment, he showed a newspaper photo and the caption was something like First Graders Build Replica of France's Leaning Tower of Pisa With Toothpicks and Marshmallows. There was barely a titter of laughter from the audience. Jay looked disgusted and didn't even bother to explain it and moved on to the next one. I guess the audience thought the marshmallow and toothpick picture wasn't that funny. I guess the audience didn't realize that the Leaning Tower of Pisa is not in France. It was sad. Good on Jay for not explaining it. If they don't know by now, well, sucks to be them.
Someone posted a rant on Facebook the other day about using "Xmas" for "Christmas." Her problem with the whole thing, according to her was "There would be no Christmas without Christ!" Well, yeah there would be. It would just be called something else. There have been winter solstice celebrations since ancient times. National geographic has a great article about it. The picture above is the magalithic tomb of Newgrange in County Meath, Ireland. It is older than Stonehenge and lines up perfectly with the winter solstice to send a beam of line well inside to light up a decorative floor. Seriously, the winter solstice is something to celebrate. I do.
I did a paper in college years ago on the history of the Christmas carol and that's where I learned that Christians co-opted nearly every pagan festival, as well as pagan songs (they changed the lyrics, but kept the tunes). That's where the Christmas tree as well as the bunnies and eggs of Easter come from.
Yeah, people are stupid. I should be used to it by now. And by the way, I do not like "Xmas" either. I even spell it all the way out in phone texts with my lazy fingers. I just think it's stupid. I also wouldn't type "I'm doing The New York Times Xword puzzle." And Steve Martin didn't say, "Well, Xcuuuuuuuse me!"


Anonymous said...

Hell yeah, people are stupid. According to a friend of mine, in the order of 85%. She figured 95% but I talked her down. Sometimes I wonder if she wasn't right.

- Jazz

PS: your internet is back!

Mr. Jazz said...


Anonymous said...

that's funny about the Pisa tower. :)

Carole said...

Gee, maybe you can send this to the Facebook ranter:

"This abbreviation for Christmas is of Greek origin. The word for Christ in Greek is Xristos. During the 16th century, Europeans began using the first initial of Christ's name, "X" in place of the word Christ in Christmas as a shorthand form of the word. Although the early Christians understood that X stood for Christ's name, later Christians who did not understand the Greek language mistook "Xmas" as a sign of disrespect."

So the Xmas was not originally meant in a disrespectful manner at all!

Also, I must respectfully disagree with you on one of your points however.

You would not have Christmas without Christ. You would perhaps have other seasonal holidays, the Winter Solstice or Festivus celebrations, or even Hanukkah for the predecessors to Christmas, but it would not be "Christmas". Unlike the Winter Solstice or Festivus celebrations, Christmas is a "religious" celebration that signifies an event, not a season; just like Hanukkah signifies an event to the Jewish religion. Christmas to me is a day I hold singularly in reverence to God, unlike some of the secular holidays which I just think of as fun days. I'm just sayin... :D

As for the ranter on Facebook, some people pick up those catch phrases and use them to death which is terribly annoying.

OldOldLady Of The Hills said...

Well, one wonders--for that matter--why there are all those short-cuts in texting in the first place--Because it saves time??? Who cares??? So it takes a little longer to say what you want...I have never understood that!

Many many years ago,(35) someone chastised me for writing 'X-mas' for exactly the same reason as you said---there would be no Christmas without Christ. I didn't want to offend anyone and hadn't realized that it might and I have never done that again since that time.

geewits said...

~~85% is not good. But it explains alot.

~~And also with you! ;)

~~Now that I think about the picture with the toothpicks and mini marshmallows, I believe they meant the Eiffel Tower.

~~I have too much to say to say here, but I'm glad you cleared up the X thing.

~~Since you don't text you don't realize how irksome it can be especially with older fingers like mine. It really is easier to use things like:
U for you
R for are
and things like 2day and 2nite
Besides it's the language that most of the people I text speak (like my daughter). You just have to go with the flow sometimes.

Anonymous said...

Actually Xmas is quite legitimate from a Christian viewpoint because it comes from the Greek 'Kristos' for Christ. It's not just a cheap shorthand. Otherwise, you're absolutely right. Virtually all our so-called Christian Christmas traditions were ripped off from the pagans.

geewits said...

~~I would tell the facebook person all about that, but I'd rather not engage her.

Big Brother said...

It’s a wonder how stupid the average person can be, but what is really frightening is that half of humanity is even more stupid than the average. ;o)
As for Newgrange, Mrs BB and I visited it when we went to Ireland and I must say that it is awe inspiring when you consider the people who built it did it with no computers, heavy machinery or even metal tools. It was built by the Neolithic people using wooden, bone and flint tools and it probably took more than a generation to build. The fact that they could figure out exactly where the sun would rise on the solstice and be able to angle the tunnel so the rays would follow it and illuminate the burial chamber just as the sun left the horizon is really extraordinary.
Other places to look up if you get a chance is the Avebury Stone circle which is so big that a village was built in the centre of it.
There are also the Stones of Carnac in France
And that old favourite Stonehenge. :o)