As a mild, but boring – hence homeopathic – antidote to boredom, you can look in Wikipedia to find out what saints are attributed to any given day. (Today there is a preponderance of German saints, for example. Plus, it was Haile Selassie’s birthday.)
Somewhat appropriately, given the recent Biblical-style rain and floods – nay, Floods – experienced in parts of the UK, China and USA, today also appears to be the date of the Roman Nepturnalia – celebrations for Neptune (the Roman sea god, do keep up.)
While we are increasingly being brought to face the reality of climate instability, there are enough people willing to try to influence the weather by ritual means that the devotees of Neptune could fit right in unnoticed.
This was a really great news item and photo. As an inspired publicity stunt for the new Simpsons movie, a giant cartoon Homer, holding aloft a doughnut, was drawn next to the Cerne Abbas giant.
Rent-a-pagans were quick to get in on the story, for the sidestream publicity benefits. (They’ve got a district manager. They must need a serious revenue stream.)
Ann Bryn-Evans, joint Wessex district manager for The Pagan Federation, said: “We were hoping for some dry weather but I think I have changed my mind.
“We’ll be doing some rain magic to bring the rain and wash it away.”
She added: “I’m amazed they got permission to do something so ridiculous. It’s an area of scientific interest.”
(Yes, people who claim to believe that they can influence the weather by their magical actions are saying that the giant Homer is ridiculous.)
Well I think they can claim overkill success on this one. Although praying for rain in the current UK is like praying for continuing war in Iraq. I.e. your prayers are answered before you’ve got the first words out.
Most people who aren’t Native Americans might feel that conducting communal rituals to influence the movement of clouds and air and water is just an example of doing something/anything to feel less pathetically weak against forces that are more powerful than us by several orders of magnitude. It’s not likely that massive air masses are going to be swayed by a good ululation. It might make you feel better, but only if you suspend rationality.
(It’s obviously still more rational than praying for interference by the creator of the universe though. If there were such a being, and s/he shared human thinking processes about guilt or innocence, we’d be pretty far down the deserving-a-miracle list, having brought this on ourselves, despite having the Free Will gift. There must be beings in Alpha Centauri facing going down a galactic plughole to worry about first.)
The rational response to climate chaos is to change our lifestyles, en masse, at a social level and hope it’s not too late. Well, that doesn’t appear to be going to happen does it?
Well, Plan A, then. Pay loads of lipservice to the issue. Come up with “ecological” solutions that create new products for us to consume and new waste mountains. Devise carbon crediting ideas that noone can understand and that actually reward countries with ancient forests for ripping them down and replacing them with fresh young trees. Solutions that monetise everything then treat money as the key to the solution, so that the poor end up paying the most anyway.
This will let our societies carry on spending our resources like a drunken sailor in a new port, with 6 month’s pay and a terminal illness. As if none of us really expect to have any great-grandchildren. Bit of a short-term solution though.
In the meantime, better put either or both of Plans B and C into operation then. You start believing there’s a needy and insecure but easily-pissed off human being that’s bigger and stronger than the earth’s atmosphere who can smite it into submission or will beam us all up to heaven if you are just adequately sycophantic. I’ll start knocking up a really big boat and collecting a couple of samples of any life that come within my reach. It’s worked before, allegedly.