City Desk

Our Morning Roundup: The “Freedom Is Dead, Friday the 13th” Edition

ballchainMornin', y'all! Welcome to ex-Freedom Friday! As Mike Riggs, your favorite freedom-lover, reported last week, he is no longer doing City Desk's Morning Roundup on Fridays. And that means only one thing: Freedom is dead.

Actually, it means other things, too: You will not read in today's issue about Chuck Lane, how good an idea it is to legalize marijuana (complete list of links too long to provide here), or cheese dip. There also will be no chanting of USA! USA! USA! USA! USA! USA! USA! USA! USA! for any reason. There is no need for that anymore. Freedom is dead.

Do you really think it's a coincidence that the first day without Freedom Friday is Friday the 13th?

Speaking of Friday the 13th, Donald Dossey, founder of the Stress Management Center/Phobia Institute in Asheville, N.C., says that between 17 and 21 million individuals alter their routine in some way on this day because of superstitions. Irrational fear of Friday the 13th is called paraskevidekatriaphobia (actually, Dossey made this term up). "For some people it's just mild anxiety,'' says Dossey. "Some people stay in bed all day." (Should we call and check on Riggs?)

tolstI'm no clinician, but Franklin Delano Roosevelt seems like he might have been a classic case of someone suffering from that long word. Thomas "Dr. 13" Fernsler, a mathematician at the University of Delaware who got that nickname from his extensive study of that number, notes that FDR refused to leave on a train trip on the 13th. But that's not even the crazy part: He died in April 1945 on Thursday the 12th! He was so scared of Friday the 13th, he died!

There is a poem about paraskevidekatriaphobia, but I don't really recommend it, as one of the stanzas is "I think back to my mother/her winter boots capsized w/blood/& my tiny fists lit from within."

A "quirk" of the calendar means there have already been two Friday the 13ths this year. And on one of them, Congress passed the stimulus package! Coincidence?

One last thing: I have a black cat.

Be scared! And follow me on Twitter!

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  • Comrade Al Gonzales

    The superstition about the Friday 13th pales in comparison to believing a Jewish carpenter rose from the dead etc., or that a bedouin merchant became a prophet etc. Face it, peasants, there is no "God", there is no "Allah". There is nothing.

    You live, you die, you decompose & return to nothing. That's it. Stop believing in fairy tales.

  • J

    shouldnt your name go back to "angry" after that rant? =)

  • http://www.washingtoncitypaper.com/blogs/sexist Amanda Hess

    Erika Niedowski is taking away our freedoms.

  • Comrade Al Gonzales

    My doctor doubled my medical marijuana prescription. Wake & bake? I'm on my third bowl already this morning. It's been great.

    Thanks for all your kindnesses & courtesies.

    Oh, by the way, why would anyone want 70 virgins? Half of them are probably not into sex. In Marxist "heaven", you get 70 porn stars...they know what to do & how to please a person.

    In reality, we die & decompose. Eventually we're totally forgotten. Our lives have no more meaning than the lives of dung beetles. So have fun here & work to advance the cause of the proletariat.

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