A Faux Millennium

Next Friday night, men and women around the world will gather together in massive mobs, expose themselves to the nefarious plots of international terrorists, crack open bottles upon bottles of cheap champagne, scream, hoot, and holler, all in celebration of--mathematical ignorance! Yes, folks, The Crimson Staff has given this matter a great deal of thought, and as we all depart for winter vacation, we'd like to say that we are firmly and unequivocally opposed to the millennium.

This year's festivities do not mark any real turning point in world history. They are just an excuse for some folks to sell more alcohol, for others to drink more alcohol, and for still others to see if Anthrax really works as well as advertised. In fact, it's not even the year 2000. Our western calendar was concocted out of thin air by Dionysius Exiguus, a sixth-century Scythian monk, whose love of Jesus was eclipsed only by his inability to count accurately. Dionysius tried to estimate the date of his Savior's birth, and then tried to construct, on that foundation, a formal system of measuring time. Let's just say that mistakes were made.

Even if we were actually 2000 years removed from Christ's birth, the "new millennium" wouldn't begin until next year. If you don't believe us, take the word of Arthur C. Clarke. Clarke wrote a very interesting book called 2001: A Space Odyssey, so we have to assume that he knows something about this subject. He recently issued a press release explaining, "Because the Western calendar starts with Year 1, and not Year 0, the 21st Century and the Third Millennium do not begin until January 1, 2001. Though some people have great difficulty in grasping this, there's a very simple analogy which should appeal to everyone. If the scale on your grocer's weighing machine began at 1 instead of 0, would you be happy when he claimed he'd sold you 10 kg of tea?" Clarke is right. No one likes to be overcharged for tea.

Clarke is not the only prominent public figure who shares our opposition to the millennium. In 1997, Australian Prime Minister John Howard tried to convince his country that there was nothing to celebrate.

And, a United States Army veteran named Billy who has his own Web site (www.enigmar.com) also insists that we're all one year too early. Billy currently works as a computer programmer, psychic, magician and Native-American drummer. We say, if Billy isn't expert enough, then who is?

Ultimately, we realize that no amount of editorializing can convince the masses not to celebrate the millennium. Nevertheless, it is important that this newspaper have its opposition on record. After all, if at the stroke of midnight next Friday night, God's Kingdom does descend onto earth, many of us are likely to be banished to Hell. At least now we can say that we're political dissidents.

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