Tuesday, March 10, 2009

2009: Unluckiest Year Ever?

Despite of the on-going global economic downturn, will 2009 be remembered as the unluckiest year ever for containing the most number of Friday the 13th s?

By: Vanessa Uy

As a concept of time - which has a less rigorous definition that it even deserves classification under descriptive time, nothing raises more irrational mysticism and awe than the superstitious aura behind Friday the 13th. As years go, 2009 probably qualifies as the year that contains one of the most number of Friday the 13th s. On average, a typical year contains a single or a couple of Friday the 13th s. But 2009 contains three of them. We had one last February 13, 2009 – which is Friday the 13th. Those that are yet to come are March 13, 2009 and November 13, 2009. But what is it about Friday the 13th that almost all of us find fascinating?

Though not a part of official Christian canon and doctrine, it was widely believed that the Fall of Man – i.e. when Adam and Eve were driven out of Paradise for disobeying God’s first commandment – happened on a Friday the 13th. During Medieval times, The Inquisition believed that practitioners of black magic, sorcery, and other form of the black arts find Friday the 13th as an auspicious day to practice their “evil” craft. Thus making Friday the 13th, together with a black cat crossing your path, the ace of spades, and walking under a ladder one of the prime examples of bad luck signs or an unlucky omen. Given that we had progressed so much, can the superstitious mysticism behind Friday the 13th really give us bad luck?

Older acquaintances of mine used to tell tales that back in the days when teen-agers used to covet the Ibanez electric guitars endorsed by Steve Vai and Joe Satriani. A computer virus known as the Friday the 13th computer virus was wreaking havoc during the infancy of the Internet every time Friday the 13th rolls around – especially during 1992 when there was a couple of then – March 13, 1992 and November 13, 1992. Now in the era of Web 2.0 the Friday the 13th computer virus – or any of its 21st Century incarnations – seems almost unheard of. Given that the global economy has been in dire straits since the last two weeks of July 2007, the three Friday the 13th s of 2009 still awaits to be used as a convenient scapegoat for calling this year the unluckiest year ever. Friday the 13th could be one of the contentious subjects of descriptive time.

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