Tuesday, November 08, 2005
Welcome to "The Gods Are Bored!" Ah, the abilities of humankind! Isn't this a beautiful piece of handiwork? Thank you, University of Michigan Football Web site!
Constructed in 1927, the University of Michigan football stadium is the second largest in America. It seats 102,501. (The one is reserved for the ghost of a coach from a past era.) "Standing Room Only" capacity is 106,000.
On certain Saturdays in autumn, this stadium ranks among the 200 largest cities in America.
Okay, okay, Anne! We know you love Michigan football! Get to the point.
I'm a goat judge, not a mathematician, so feel free to correct me if these calculations are bogus.
1. Given: Human beings produce a new generation every twenty years.
2. Given: The U of M stadium holds 102,500 people. (Sans ghost.)
3. Proposal: You, reader, sit down in Section 1, seat 1. Next to you sits your mother. Next to her sits her mother. Next to your grandmother sits her mother. Each successive direct generation, going back in time.
In ten seats, you will already be back to 1800. In twenty seats, your maternal ancestress will talk like the St. James Bible. In forty seats, assuming your ancetress was also English, her language will be incomprehensible. Remember, we're already back to 1400, almost a century before Columbus.
A mere 100 seats away from you, your direct ancestress will have been alive at the time of Jesus Christ. And, hey. She was! None of us spring from the ground like golems.
In the next section, you'll have relatives dealing with Wooly Mammoths and the Ice Age.
Hold the Presses! Two quick questions here:
Q: Why are you using all women here, Anne?
A: Can you imagine 102,500 men in a football arena? Even if they're blood kin, they're bound to start fighting. Especially if Michigan plays poorly and the Neanderthal Man next to them is an Ohio State fan.
Q: Isn't it true that God created the world in six days, just 6,000 years ago?
A: Hey. That doesn't even produce enough ancestresses to staff the school band! And one can hardly imagine Eve in the last seat, struggling with the bass drum.
So, for the purpose of this little excursion through the University of Michigan stadium, we are ignoring the fact that an Intelligent Designer spent six days creating this planet, 6,000 years ago. We are also depending on women to fill the seats, because most of them will be damned glad to see Grandma. (Anne included!)
Let's take a walk. Go get a beer and a coney (for you non-Michiganders, that's a hot dog) at the far end of the stadium.
Whoa. We are passing a lot of dark-skinned people here! Practically the whole place! Sorry, Idaho, but Africa was the cradle of Homo sapiens, and it's hot and sunny there. You might be blonde now, but that ancestress over there, the one who had an astonishing thirteen hardy children by six different men in the days before the species knew how to make fire, she is black.
Hey, honored ancestress! Want a coney? With chili and cheese?
Now we're strolling to the opposite goal post. Anne thinks her math is sound.
Direct ancestresses going back 2 million, fifty thousand years.
That's not counting standing room. Add another 4,000 standing, and some of them might not be standing quite as upright. And not because of that Stroh's beer. We're deep into Australopithecus territory, or at least back to the dawn of the Homo genus. We've certainly left sapiens behind.
Wouldn't you love to meet that grandma sitting exactly opposite you on the far side of the stadium? And all the ones in between? Which ones started this whole praise and worship thing? Or does religion flow over into the deeply ancient ones, the ones still out in the parking lot tail-gating because they didn't have tickets?
Think about this for awhile and it boggles the mind. How many bored gods are represented? Once again, instinct says the vast majority are female. Remember, if you only go back 6,000 years to the days of Yahweh, that's 300 of the total. In a stadium that seats 102,501. (The ghost is back.)
Now Anne's gentle readers are wondering if she's been spending less time with Thunderbirds and more time with that sect in Arizona that got government approval to use ayahuasca in their religious rites.
Anne's not nuts. She's just curious. About some really weird things.
Time to go feed the goats.
THE MERLIN OF BERKELEY SPRINGS
GO BLUE! (IN EVERY WAY)