Respectful Insolence

A very unique date in history is fast approaching. Indeed, if you’re Christian and religious, you probably already know what it is.

6/6/06.

The Date of the Beast. (OK, you have to ignore the “0″ to get “666,” the Number of the Beast, but everyone seems to be paying little attention to that little detail).

Not surprisingly, Hollywood is having a little fun with the date, releasing a remake of The Omen, a cheesy but nonetheless scary movie from the 1970′s about the birth of the Antichrist (named Damien in the movie) and the havoc he wreaks. (I still recall being disturbed by two scenes from the movie, one where a priest is impaled by the long metal pole falling from a church and another where a reporter is decapitated by a sheet of glass.)

Others, unfortunately, are taking it way too seriously. From The Sun:

PREGNANT Melissa Parker is battling to have her baby induced before June 6 as she is terrified of giving birth to the DEVIL.

Superstitious Melissa said her blood ran cold when told her child was due on 06/06/06 or 666 — the number of the beast.

The mum of two is a fan of the Omen horror films and immediately started having nightmares.

Now she vows to do everything she can to avoid delivering on the fateful day. Melissa, 30, said yesterday: “When I got my due date I thought ‘Oh God, I’m giving birth to Damien from the Omen’.

“Every day I wake up feeling something bad will happen. I’m terrified the birth will go wrong or the child will have evil in him or her. Even worse my beautiful baby could be the devil himself — the anti-Christ.

“I like The Omen and saw an advert for the remake. Now I’m even more worried.”

Melissa, who lives with road worker partner Lee in Caversham, Berks, has been told by Royal Berkshire Hospital that her due date cannot be changed.

She said pals LAUGH about it but insisted: “Any child born on that day will be marked for life. It’s a harrowing thought.”

This is utter insanity to try to subject yourself to a medical procedure and possibly put yourself and your baby at risk, all because of a superstition leading you not to want to have a child born on 6/6/06. It’s just a date. Had the calendar been defined differently, it would have little significance at all. For instance, you could use the Hebrew calendar, where June 6 would be the 7th of Sivan in the year 5766. That’s a nice, un-threatening date. Or she could use the Chinese calandar. Or even the Mayan calendar.

In any case, I think I’ve found a better way to celebrate 6/6/06: The National Day of Slayer! Consider:

6.6.06 isn’t a date that comes around very often (once per millennium, to be exact), and while plenty of stupid horror movies and terrible albums will be released for the hype value of the day that bears “the number of the beast”, we here at NDoS decided that this would be a perfect day for Hessians across the country to come together and engage in something upon which we can all agree – listening to Slayer! Also, do you really want those evangelical Neo-Cons to have all the fun with their “National Day of Prayer”?

Actually, the date 6/6/06 comes around once every century, not once every millennium but we’ll forgive the organizers that little slip-up, won’t we?

Regardless, here’s what you can do to celebrate:

  • Listen to Slayer at full blast in your car.
  • Listen to Slayer at full blast in your home.
  • Listen to Slayer at full blast at your place of employment.
  • Listen to Slayer at full blast in any public place you prefer.

DO NOT use headphones! The objective of this day is for everyone within earshot to understand that it is the National Day of Slayer. National holidays in America aren’t just about celebrating; they’re about forcing it upon non-participants.

Sadly, the part about “forcing it upon nonparticipants” is all too often correct.

Although in my wide variety of musical tastes, I never lost my soft spot for metal, I was never much into Slayer. I used to have a tape of Reign in Blood (back when we actually still made cassette tapes rather than burned CDs), but it disappeared and I don’t know what happened to it. It is a speed metal masterpiece, with brutal tunes like Angel of Death and Raining Blood. Indeed, it almost single-handedly inspired the death metal genre here in the U.S. It’s the sort of music that I have to be in just the right mood to want to listen to (when it comes to metal, I prefer Tool, for example), but there are times when you just need to turn up the stereo and let ‘er rip. Maybe I should get a copy of Reign in Blood on CD before Tuesday rolls around.

Maybe.

For me, it’s probably not really necessary, because I have a far more personal reason to be celebrating 6/6/06. That date just happens to be my 14th wedding anniversary. Personally, I think it’s rather cool. Too bad it wasn’t our sixth or sixteenth wedding anniversary, though. That would have been even more eerie.

Comments

  1. #1 Dr. Free-Ride
    June 3, 2006

    Early anniversary tidings! Will this make it easier to make excellent celebratory dinner plans (since everyone else will be cowering in fear somewhere)?

    Here, 06/06/06 is election day. I’m stoked.

  2. #2 afarensis, FCD
    June 3, 2006

    I’m terrified the birth will go wrong or the child will have evil in him or her.

    Based on this quote I really feel sorry for the baby – no matter when it’s born. The latter part of the quote doesn’t bode well for the child…

  3. #3 William the Coroner
    June 3, 2006

    Orac

    Many people are trying to get married on 6/6/06, too. The prime spot is 6 pm. (OK, that’s really 1800 hours, which is your point.

    A minor nitpick, you say “A very unique date is approaching.” Unique means “one of a kind”. It’s a binary, it’s either one of a kind or it’s not. Perhaps “unusual” would be a better choice? (Yeah, I have language Nazi tendencies, I know.)

  4. #4 Mike the Mad Biologist
    June 3, 2006

    Orac,

    I hate to tell you this, but the number 666 is an incorrect translation; most scholars think the number is actually 616.

    Have a happy anniversary anyway (and listen to Slayer as loud as you want to).

  5. #5 theRidger
    June 3, 2006

    I’d just like to disagree and say that “unique” is perfectly capable of being modified. The notion that absolute adjectives cannot be modified is a shibboleth, resulting from an attempt to force language to be rigorously logical – which it is not. Absolute adjectives such as “Jurassic” or “iron” or “double” are possibly impossible to modify (“This fossil is more Jurassic than that one?” Might work, in some contexts). Ones such as “round” or “perfect” are and have been modified for centuries, as in “a more perfect union”. These are understood to mean “more nearly perfect” or “very nearly unique”, since (especially with adjectives such as “perfect” or “parallel”) nothing in real life is perfect, etc. As for “unique” – well, a red zebra with black stripes would be unique, but a blue one with alternating yellow and green stripes and a silver and gold and scarlet mane would be … even more so.

    Sorry – but this is one of my buttons….

  6. #6 Kev
    June 3, 2006

    Ah, the Sun – beloved by boobie fans everywhere.

    I’m a massive Slayer fan (Dead Skin Mask is on my MP3 player right now) so feel duty bound to be pedantic and point out that Raining Blood (“from a lacerated sky!”) is not the stand-out track of the album…that honour goes to Criminally Insane.

    I was a huge Thrash fan back in the 80′s and worsihpped the Big Four (Metallica, Slayer, Anthrax and Megadeth). Indeed, one of my claims to fame is chatting to Lars Ulrich (well, he talked, I listened) at Donnington.

    Nowadays I’ve turned into my Dad and regularly shout ‘turn that bloody racket down!’ in the direction of my kids.

    Rock!

  7. #7 Bob C.
    June 3, 2006

    For those scholars concerned that 6/6/06 doesn’t quite add up to the number of the beast: recall that zero wasn’t known to be a number until several centuries after the text was written. So, leaving it out seems reasonable, unless you believe that divine inspiration should have anticipated this, and included zeros for our benefit.

  8. #8 Duane
    June 3, 2006

    Congratulations. That day will be our anniversary also, our 42nd. And 4 plus 2 is 6. Does that make it better or worse?

  9. #9 dogscratcher
    June 3, 2006

    Something I find odd is that in the movie “The Omen,” the “mark of the the beast” is three sixes (666), but when all this stuff was prophesized, arabic numerals hadn’t been invented yet, so wouldn’t the mark of the beast more likely be something like DCLXVI ?

  10. #10 DonS
    June 3, 2006

    Mike the Mad Biologist beat me to it, but everyone please note that the proper translation of the scriptures describing the mark of the beast is actually 616.

    Somebody hurry and call this Melissa Parker moron and let her know so she won’t kill her baby and/or herself. In all seriousness, somebody needs to keep an eye on that idiot or her kid will not survive to adulthood regardless of his or her birth date.

    I noted this story on my blog over a year ago.

    Not that anyone reads my blog. If you’d like to participate in not reading my blog either then go directly to the “Papyrus Project” web site describing the translation work.

  11. #11 mythusmage
    June 3, 2006

    Dogpile,

    The number is not six hundred and sixty-six, the number is six, six, six. It is a variant of numerology and a form of divination or fortune telling. Technically speaking it’s in violation of Leviticus, a supplemental commandment against consulting with fortune tellers and the like.

  12. #12 TheSquire
    June 3, 2006

    Not surprisingly, Hell’s throwing a party on 6 June 2006.

  13. #13 Stentor
    June 3, 2006

    It doesn’t say much for the Devil’s evil powers if the birth of the Antichrist can be foiled by an early C-section.

  14. #14 Nathan Williams
    June 4, 2006

    I am reminded of my high-school friend and metal fan who was declining to jump on the CD bandwagon because, as he said, “you can’t tell the difference between CD and cassette with metal anyway, so why spend the money?”.

  15. #15 Socialist Swine
    June 4, 2006

    I’m pretty excited about Slayer Day as well. I’m definitely going to take a moment and “Slay-Out”. I think I might put South of Heaven on repeat for the day.

    …an unforseen future nesseled somewhere in time. Unsuspecting victims, no warnings, no signs. Before you see the light, you must die!

    Oh, so very good…

  16. #16 Graham Douglas
    June 4, 2006

    It happens every hundred years, doesn’t it?

    Anyway, if the number is really 616, then Europe and the US will be panicking on two different days, about 5 months apart.

    People like Ms. Parker (not to mention The Scum) tend to make me ashamed of my country.

  17. #17 bonticou
    June 4, 2006

    Since our calendar is a purely arbitrary invention with no intrinsic significance, there is no significance in any date such as 666. And if there is any, surely it occurred on the date of the Hebrew calendar, not the Gregorian.

  18. #18 frumiousb
    June 5, 2006

    If Royal Berkshire Hospital says her due date can’t be changed, I bet that means she is already scheduled for an induced labor, and I am thinking that she is not the one who picked the date. I wouldn’t be harsh on her for inducing labor since it was probably scheduled at the doctor’s or hospital’s convenience. They should be the ones who receive the scorn for unnecessary medical procedures.

  19. #19 Orac
    June 5, 2006

    If Royal Berkshire Hospital says her due date can’t be changed, I bet that means she is already scheduled for an induced labor, and I am thinking that she is not the one who picked the date.

    How on earth did you come up with that conclusion? While it’s true that such things sometimes happen, there’s nothing in the article to suggest that this is the case with this particular woman, other than your speculation.

  20. #20 Deacon Barry
    June 5, 2006

    Interesting fact. DCLXVI uses all the roman numbers once and once only. Oh, except for M, so if you stick that at the beginning, you get MDCLXVI which is 1666 which was the date of the Great Fire of London. This infernal conflagration which did not result in great loss of life, cleared the centre of the city of a swathe of unsanitary wooden housing, allowing Sir Christopher Wren to rebuild St Paul’s Cathedral, and redesign that part of the city with beautiful buildings. Also, by dispersing the rat population it brought an end to the bubonic plague. All in all, a lot of good came out of the events of that year. So maybe the Devil just hadn’t got his act together. Never mind, just wait until MMDCLXVI (2666), or even better, MMMMMMDCLXVI (6666)!

  21. #21 Gray Lensman
    June 5, 2006

    The disappearance of the Slayer tape was not an accident.

  22. #22 Magic Spider Man
    June 5, 2006

    I have had a horrible nightmare…Mark my words this world will have its last sun rise today!
    People will burn and the world will be no more.

  23. #23 Marc
    June 5, 2006

    Poor kid; he’ll just have a boring normal birthdate.
    I would KILL for the 6/6/6 DOB.
    (My personal regret is that my parents gave me a normal name instead of my Dad’s first choice of ‘Thor’.)
    My personal choice would favor ‘Hell Awaits’ over ‘South of Heaven’ BTW; I prefer the title track, ‘At Dawn They Sleep’, and ‘Necrophiliac’ over ROB’s ‘Dead Skin Mask’ and ‘Angel of Death’. BTW, there’s a String Quartet Tribute to Slayer album out and it is really good. ‘Dead Skin Mask’ in particular sounds great that way.

  24. #24 Jurjen
    June 6, 2006

    Those of you concerned for Ms Parker’s mental health, and the physical health of her baby; I wouldn’t worry too much if I were you. The Sun is notorious for… embellishing stories to make them more entertaining for the readers. I suspect the only part of the story which is actually true is that her calculated due date was 06-Jun, and that the Sun writer and/or his sub-editor sucked the rest out of their thumbs.

  25. #25 Julia
    June 7, 2006

    Congrats a day late on the anniversary!

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