Sunday, 7 December 2008

9. The Land Before Time?

CAUTION: Yen's blog contains harsh lanugage and even harsher notions of propriety. Reader discretion is advised.

If you buy a newspaper today or tomorrow, have a look on the date on the front. If you buy anything that warrants a receipt, have a look at the date on it. And when you've got to write the date, have a look at what you're writing.

If you do this within the next month, you'll be seeing "2008". Think about that, why that number?

2008 years since what? The birth of Christ, obviously, but are you a Christian? Was the person that sold you the paper or gave you the receipt a Christian? Maybe you're a Satanist and you're being served by a Muslim, and yet the Christians are telling you what the date is. I'm not overly religious myself (as you know), and I try to be as fair-minded as I can (Karma and all that - don't think that counts as a religion), and I was thinking the other day:

Doesn't it seem a little selfish of the Christians to get to choose what year it is?

Maybe the Muslim calendar has a completely different year-number, which is on the front of their papers. Don't they get a little gutted every time they've got to write a cheque or sign for a washing machine..?

So I was thinking, what did they call the years before Anno Domini? At the time, I mean.

Quite obviously, they didn't call it B.C. on account of them not knowing that the birth of The Saviour was going to happen in X years time. What about when they had to write a cheque, or sign for a new Sky+ box?

Leaving those fripperies aside, they must have had a system for knowing what year it was, otherwise how would they know when they were born and when their birthdays were? How could they talk about the past?

"You remember that year we went to Gaul for our holidays?"
"What year was that, year X?"
"No X was when we went to Rome"
"Oh hang on, EVERY year is called X"

Maybe they gave the years names, like the Chinese calendar (dog, rabbit etc), but with a non-repetitive system. So they called them, Bob, Terry, John, Paul, George, Ringo, Mark T, Mark J, Augustus, etc?

So assuming they DID have a year-numbering system (logically, they did), what was it based on? Apparently, each religion sets their year 0 at the arrival of their chosen one or messiah. So who was the big deal before Jesus? Weren't his followers a bit hacked off at suddenly having to write "33AD" on their cheques?

I'd be fucking livid.

Is it time we reset the date again and gave it to another religion? Not one of the big-boys, give it to some small, just-starting-out one. Like Christianity was 2000 years ago.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not having a go at the Christians;
I just don't like that smug look they've got when they're writing a cheque...

• ^^^ That's dry, British humour, and most likely sarcasm or facetiousness.

• This is a personal blog. The views and opinions expressed here represent my own thoughts (at the time of writing) and not those of the people, institutions or organizations that I may or may not be related with unless stated explicitly.

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