Bahama Bob's Rumstyles

Friday, November 13, 2015

Friday the Thirteenth: What is That All About

It's Friday the 13th, and millions of people are on edge, fearing a calamity with personal or global repercussions-a broken leg, a stock market crash, or the trigger pulled for World War III.
     Why all the anxiety? In short, because the fear is ingrained in Western culture,  "If nobody bothered to teach us about these negative taboo superstitions like Friday the 13th, we might in fact all be better off."   People who harbor a Friday the 13th superstition might have a fear of the number 13, and often pass on their belief to their children, he noted. Popular culture's obsession with the fear-think the Friday the 13th horror films and even this story-helps keep it alive, added Stuart Vyse, the author of Believing in Magic: The Psychology of Superstition.   Although superstitions can be arbitrary-a fear of ladders or black cats, for example-"once they are in the culture, we tend to honor them     "You feel like if you are going to ignore it, you are tempting fate."  

 
   There are some that say the it has its roots in the Bible.   There are several theories out their that give way to why the number 13 is such a problem for so many people.  Then there's Friday. Not only was Christ crucified on that day, but some biblical scholars believe Eve tempted Adam with the forbidden fruit on a Friday. Perhaps most significant is a belief that Abel was slain by his brother Cain on Friday the 13th.   More interesting is why people associate any Friday the 13th with bad luck.   The answer has to do with what is called principles of "magical thinking" found in cultures around the world.   One of these principles involves things or actions-if they "resemble other things in any way of resemblance-shape or sound or odor or color-people tend to think those things are related and in a causal way."     In this framework, there were 13 people present at the Last Supper, so anything connected to the number 13 from then on is bad luck.

     On Friday the 13th, some people are so crippled by fear that they lock themselves inside; others will have no choice but to grit their teeth and nervously muster through the day.   Nevertheless, many people will refuse to fly, buy a house, or act on a hot stock tip, inactions that noticeably slow economic activity.   "It's been estimated that $800 or $900 million is lost in business on this day in the United States because people will not fly or do business they normally would do," he said.
     I'll be at work making drinks all day today, so if you need a little courage to get through the day stop on by and enjoy a fun cocktail to take the stress of the day away.  ;o)