Wednesday, April 26, 2006

More Questions

I don't want to stray too far from annoyances here, but I do like airing out these longstanding questions I have about life. Like how come in old movies, casinos have these blocky, rectangular chips? Is that how it really was? And if so, why?

I was watching Nova the other night. I love that show. Nova is like an old man you sit next to on a park bench. At first, you're like "Aw man, why is this old guy talking to me? Is he lonely?" But then, despite yourself, you start getting drawn in to his story. You never, before that moment, had even the slightest, smallest curiosity about the history of gasoline, you could never have even imagined giving a shit about it. But maybe it's his soothing voice, maybe it's the way the old man puts it all into context, maybe it's the clear, lucid presentation of his supporting evidence, but by the end you're on the edge of your seat - tugging on his collar - saying "So what happened to Rudolph Diesel??? Tell me!"

That's Nova for you. So I start watching it, and it's about a cave that some Syrian Jews used to hide in during the Roman persecution of Jews around 150AD. And how modern excavation of the cave has uncovered pagan bronze artifacts that may have been used in the famous "Second Temple". And of course, half an hour later, I'm hanging on every word. And it got me to thinking about a question I've had about the Romans for a long time.

The Romans ruled the entire civilized world, right? For what, around 600 years? Undisputed? The United States has been around for about 230 years, and only been a superpower for the last 60. Compared to the dominance of Rome we have a long way to go. And every Roman in the empire believed in the Roman pagan religion. Athena, Apollo and the rest. There were Jews and Christians on the fringes, but think of how many people worshipped the Roman Gods. Millions. For how many centuries? And now, who worships the Roman Gods? No one.

Which means, bear with me, that somewhere, sometime, there was "The Last Guy". I am so fascinated by the last guy. The last guy who worshipped the Roman Gods. Who was this guy? Was he frustrated and depressed all the time? Did he walk around saying "C'mon guys! Zeus! ZEUS! You know what I'm talking about!"

"Doug, your dad was into Zeus, right? Oh, he died? Well c'mon, you want to help me with this burnt offering? Aw, c'mon! Someone! It's for Zeus!"

So if Nova wanted to help me out, they could try to get some history on that guy for a future program. Which brings me to the next question, which concerns Roman numerals and the Superbowl.

Basically, I'm concerned about the superbowl's continued use of roman numerals. I mean, for a long time it's basically been an excuse to throw a lot of X's and V's around the word "Superbowl", and let's face it, X's and V's are big, macho, cool, manly letters. Who wouldn't want to be able to put XXIV after their name, or maybe XXXVI? It just makes you seem cool. But now, you've got X and V - which are cool, the "I" is pretty much neutral, and then you've got C, D, and L - which, I'm sorry, are just pretty gay. And the problem (highlighted this past year) is that we're about to enter an L-rich era of superbowls, and then ultimately, in the distant future, a lot of C's and L's. And I just don't think there's been a lot of foresight about what to do when we enter this 'gay age', which will last hundreds of years. I mean, "Superbowl CLI"? That's not cool at all. It's time to start the conversation.

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