Re: Mithrastime!

1

I ♥ "Just a Minute".


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 12-24-09 7:56 PM
horizontal rule
2

It doesn't seem quite right to call Mithras a Roman god, no matter how popular Mithraism was among the legions.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 12-24-09 7:57 PM
horizontal rule
3

Mithraic Mysteries

First datable manifestations look pretty Roman to me.

Modern theory says probably Rome itself. Paucity of Eastern sites compared to Western and Germania.

Roman.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 12-24-09 8:11 PM
horizontal rule
4

Fry's gone a bit overboard with the list: everything in there has been asserted by someone, but there's no evidence for the overwhelming majority of it. There's no mithraic holy book to consult. Some inscriptions and the iconography (which is heavy on apparent astrological symbolism) and not much else.

It's a very popular subject in England because of the Mithraum they found back in the 50's. And then a lot of people said a lot of stuff, and here we go. It's a mystery religion (if it was a religion) of the sort popular back at that time, and so it's a... mystery what the hell they were on about. It's a popular theory that Mithras is identical to Christ (except we lack the bit where Mithras is killed) with people down on Christianity. There's plenty of ways to bash Christianity (or the parent religion, or for that matter, the grandparent religion(s)) without that, but it sounds spooky when he puts it that way.

He's quite right though that large chunks of the Bible are less than original.

max
['Hardy perennial.']


Posted by: max | Link to this comment | 12-24-09 8:25 PM
horizontal rule
5

Okay, xmas thread, question: is it possible to buy mistletoe in the U.S.? I looked all over for it this year, and found only some half-dead stuff sold in boxes. In Germany, you can buy big branches of it, the way you can buy holly here. ???


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 12-24-09 8:39 PM
horizontal rule
6

Okay, xmas thread, question: is it possible to buy mistletoe in the U.S.? I looked all over for it this year, and found only some half-dead stuff sold in boxes. In Germany, you can buy big branches of it, the way you can buy holly here. ???


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 12-24-09 8:39 PM
horizontal rule
7

Okay, m-i-l's computer. Damned Safari.


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 12-24-09 8:39 PM
horizontal rule
8

Does mistletoe even grow in America?


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 12-24-09 8:41 PM
horizontal rule
9

Sifu's eggnog is baller, apparently.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 12-24-09 8:45 PM
horizontal rule
10

I have bought mistletoe here, but definitely only small doorjamb-hanging bits. The big giant boughs of the stuff is, per personal experience, a European thing.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 12-24-09 8:50 PM
horizontal rule
11

8: That's my question! I was all like, oh I'll just go down to the florist and and get some mistletoe branches. Noooooo! Not to be had.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 12-24-09 8:51 PM
horizontal rule
12

9: it does its job.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 12-24-09 8:51 PM
horizontal rule
13

Goddammit. That was me in 11.

(NOT the eggnog! I swear!)


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 12-24-09 8:52 PM
horizontal rule
14

12 to 13.2


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 12-24-09 8:54 PM
horizontal rule
15

Mistletoe

Apparently American mistletoe is very toxic, which is what I vaguely remembered. I , again vaguely, remember it being banned.

But I was really shocked about Mithras, and studying that.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 12-24-09 8:56 PM
horizontal rule
16

I guess I shouldn't be surprised that this has a corny flavor.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 12-24-09 9:07 PM
horizontal rule
17

Umm, but I also keep going back to the Mistletoe, because I have something that looks like growing on the ash in my front yard.

PS:First White Christmas in Dallas since 1926. Fourth ever recorded.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 12-24-09 9:09 PM
horizontal rule
18

16: nor this.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 12-24-09 9:12 PM
horizontal rule
19

That's more tacky.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 12-24-09 9:16 PM
horizontal rule
20

18: Note last

Thomas Kinkade Symbols of Freedom Wall Hanging Features:

Musical wall hanging with fiber optic lights with hanging pole
Measures approx. 26"W x 36"H
Art by Thomas Kinkade
Plays Christmas music
3-way switch; music, lights or music and lights
3 AA batteries, not included
Front: 50% cotton, 50% polyester; back: 100% polypropylene
Spot or dry clean
Made in China


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 12-24-09 9:25 PM
horizontal rule
21

I have no idea about the relation between NA and Euro Mistletoe, but that shit grows like the dickens in parts of the PNW, at least.


Posted by: Turgid Jacobian | Link to this comment | 12-24-09 9:43 PM
horizontal rule
22

Do all your shopping...AT WALMART!


Posted by: Merganser | Link to this comment | 12-25-09 1:02 PM
horizontal rule
23

From the web I gather that a deranged person set off some firecrackers on a flight from Amsterdam to Detroit today, hurting a few people but causing no serious harm. From ABC News, I hear that it's a serious bombing attempt and we are all going to get increased security screening at airports because of it. Conclusion: TV news sucks, and the TSA is evil and looking for excuses to harass us.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 12-25-09 4:25 PM
horizontal rule
24

... and now all the news media seem to be converging on a version of the story involving some unidentified "explosive device" involving powder, and the firecracker version is disappearing. Maybe TV news wins after all.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 12-25-09 4:40 PM
horizontal rule
25

24: I heard powder first via ABC, but NPR had been and was still saying firecracker as of 30 minutes ago.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 12-25-09 4:42 PM
horizontal rule
26

Would Mithras have approved of airplane-bombing? I think not.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 12-25-09 4:50 PM
horizontal rule
27

This is fun and vaguely related-y.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 12-25-09 5:00 PM
horizontal rule
28

NYT says that the airline says it was firecrackers. During the descent. Don't they know that noise canceling headphones are just as dangerous?


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 12-25-09 5:37 PM
horizontal rule
29

I think I've socialized enough. Can I go home?


Posted by: Otto von Bisquick | Link to this comment | 12-25-09 5:37 PM
horizontal rule
30

I think I've socialized enough. Can I go home?

I had my fill by 1 PM. Luckily, I got to escape at 5.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 12-25-09 5:48 PM
horizontal rule
31

The gift exchange is going on. On the way over here tere was discussion of leaving as early as 45 min from now. We shall see.

There's a ritual of saying "Oooh!" with excessive enthusiasm with the opening of each Christmas present.

Well, it's actually been a much less stressful Xmas than I anticipated. I just need some quiet time after awhile, no matter how it goes.


Posted by: Otto von Bisquick | Link to this comment | 12-25-09 6:00 PM
horizontal rule
32

I escaped around 5pm. We eat "dinner" at 1pm, so I have a lovely "Well, it's gettin' dark out. Time to drive home." excuse that doesn't seem out of order.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 12-25-09 6:03 PM
horizontal rule
33

I'm anti-socially doing this while dessert proceeds apace in another room. My lips having been sufficiently loosened that no one is missing me really a lot. They're principled people for the most part, and I pretty much like them but sometimes they can all go piss up a fucking rope. Cheers.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 12-25-09 6:19 PM
horizontal rule
34

1pm is a traditional dinner time.

I went out to get ramen and then picked up some chicken karaage on the way home (why not?), read some Tom Jones, and took an unexpected nap. Not bad!


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 12-25-09 6:30 PM
horizontal rule
35

Skiing on Christmas Day: about as close as I can get to being Jewish. Was nice, too.


Posted by: Not Prince Hamlet | Link to this comment | 12-25-09 7:04 PM
horizontal rule
36

Welcome to the tribe, NPH.

We had dinner at 1, then presents. It was nice and fairly low-key.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 12-25-09 8:32 PM
horizontal rule
37

mistletoe grows here in america, in south carolina we we always get it down by shooting it out of an oak tree with a shotgun. great big clumps.


Posted by: alameida | Link to this comment | 12-25-09 9:00 PM
horizontal rule
38

Both families switched to "secret Santa" systems this year, theorettically to cut down on excessive consumption but more likely motivated as a way to allow the family that's in a financial pinch (read: my continued unemployment). All well and good, but then do not explode the fig leaf by dropping hundreds of dollars worth of stuff on us when we acted in good faith and spent $12 on you. Dammit.


Posted by: Chopper | Link to this comment | 12-25-09 9:59 PM
horizontal rule
39

Quiet time is essential on holidays. Taking quiet time is the only reason I haven't killed my sister yet.

Also, mistletoe grows extensively in California. It is quite easy to harvest your own (well, so long as you enjoy climbing trees). It may be more common in the valley than the coast, but you can find it if you look. Most of the trees around me are completely colonized by it.


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 12-25-09 10:26 PM
horizontal rule
40

Yeah, quiet time is key. I'm very glad that on this trip I'm staying in a hotel room with my cousin instead of at the family house with my mom and sister. I love them, but being with them all the time would drive me crazy. And my cousin is very chill.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 12-25-09 10:30 PM
horizontal rule
41

My brother brought Up to my parents' house to watch today. Jesus christ. I thought this was a children's movie. The first ten minutes made me cry so hard that I had to leave the room. I still have a headache. I couldn't watch the rest.


Posted by: jms | Link to this comment | 12-26-09 1:17 AM
horizontal rule
42

It gets much funnier after that. My kids love it.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 12-26-09 4:57 AM
horizontal rule
43

41, 42: For some reason that was what was watched here last night as well. I found it it to be quite an odd mix of a movie. Maybe there are some "funny" bits, but in the end I found it pretty reprehensible. But drink apparently turns me into the world's oldest petulant teenager (see 33), so don't listen to me.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 12-26-09 5:55 AM
horizontal rule
44

Our Christmas went off smoothly and boozily (tapped a little keg of Buck's mead, which went down very nicely). Now in the car heading to my inlaws, which should also be pleasant-I've got a great-nephew I haven't met yet. (And I got my great niece a fisherprice truck, which I thought was discreetly subversive, but I am told will be noticed as distinctly weird. One does what one can.)


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 12-26-09 6:37 AM
horizontal rule
45

A helpyfamily Christmas.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 12-26-09 6:54 AM
horizontal rule
46

BBC News first reported fireworks. Since upgraded to teh bombz, presumably after the TSA press release hit the wires.

Resolution for 2010: Hit the press harder.

Meanwhile, does anyone need radio valves/vacuum tubes? Or jars of nameless, laundryesque fluid? (Been cleaning out Grandad's workshop. We may yet have to get the council hazmat team.)


Posted by: Alex | Link to this comment | 12-26-09 9:34 AM
horizontal rule
47

46

Resolution for 2010: Hit the press harder.

What's your point? You still believe it was fireworks?


Posted by: James B. Shearer | Link to this comment | 12-26-09 9:42 AM
horizontal rule
48

46: what kind of vacuum tubes? Some of them can fetch a neat sum on eBay.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 12-26-09 9:58 AM
horizontal rule
49

I got my great niece a fisherprice truck, which I thought was discreetly subversive, but I am told will be noticed as distinctly weird.

My 5-year-old nephew got a doll (from his parents), which he adores.

I got Free to Be You and Me for my 2-year-old niece. One likes to inculcate feminism early. (Her mother, i.e., my sister, was delighted. We grew up on that album.)

If you're too young to know what I'm talking about, hearing Rosie Grier sing "It's All Right to Cry" is an important life experience.

Also! Michael Jackson when he was still black.


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 12-26-09 10:02 AM
horizontal rule
50

"Free to Be You and Me" has a weird title. There. I said it.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 12-26-09 10:03 AM
horizontal rule
51

49: Brando's finest role.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 12-26-09 10:04 AM
horizontal rule
52

Sifu: we've got a whole range of Mullards, Mazdas, Osrams, and Tungstrams. A lot of EF series and some PT/PCL. A giant battery charging rig (still works - recharges a car in no time), 1950s multimeter that weighs six pounds (it would be nice to keep it, but you'd have to bring anything you wanted to test to the meter rather than bring the meter to the problem).

47: don't forget to be afraid, very afraid, and believe every damn terrorism story in the press. did you miss the last ten years? merry christmas! fuck you! and have a happy new year while not speaking to me in any way if you please!


Posted by: Alex | Link to this comment | 12-26-09 10:06 AM
horizontal rule
53

Very sorry to read about yr grandad, Alex. My dad seems finally old and frail this xmas: he enjoyed it I think, esp.the presence of his hilarious new adoptive grand-daughter -- my niece -- but was quickly exhausted by all stages and rituals. We are three generations again, but I fear not for many more winters.

It's definitely true that Mithras was considered a big deal in the UK in the 60s and 70s -- featured in kidlit about the romans in Britain and I recall a lesson in comparative religion where the teacher explained that the Mithrian hermetic rituals contrbiuted to its failure as a faith, in contrast to Xtianity's public accountability. Tho of course Xtianity has never quite taken in the UK: we are a pagan people underneath the careful etiquette.


Posted by: tierce de lollardie | Link to this comment | 12-26-09 10:08 AM
horizontal rule
54

Very sorry to read about yr grandad, Alex. My dad seems finally old and frail this xmas: he enjoyed it I think, esp.the presence of his hilarious new adoptive grand-daughter -- my niece -- but was quickly exhausted by all stages and rituals. We are three generations again, but I fear not for many more winters.

It's definitely true that Mithras was considered a big deal in the UK in the 60s and 70s -- featured in kidlit about the romans in Britain and I recall a lesson in comparative religion where the teacher explained that the Mithrian hermetic rituals contrbiuted to its failure as a faith, in contrast to Xtianity's public accountability. Tho of course Xtianity has never quite taken in the UK: we are a pagan people underneath the careful etiquette.

Mazda is also a pagan god!


Posted by: tierce de lollardie | Link to this comment | 12-26-09 10:09 AM
horizontal rule
55

My new year's resolution is to post cumulatively rather than serially.


Posted by: tierce de lollardie | Link to this comment | 12-26-09 10:11 AM
horizontal rule
56

Yes, and Mullards are a kind of duck especially keen on getting you to believe things!


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 12-26-09 10:17 AM
horizontal rule
57

In Nigeria, a prominent banker told the Asssociated Pres that he was meeting with security officials there because he feared his son was the suspect.

The jokes write themselves.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 12-26-09 10:58 AM
horizontal rule
58

Mithra is depicted as Scythian or Parthian in the images Bob linked to -- you can tell by the cap.


Posted by: text | Link to this comment | 12-26-09 2:38 PM
horizontal rule
59

Mithra being the multiple of Mithras


Posted by: text | Link to this comment | 12-26-09 2:39 PM
horizontal rule
60

Then there's the fact of all the Parthian kings being named "Mithradates" -- "Given By Mithra" -- so no, I don't think he was Roman in origin.


Posted by: text | Link to this comment | 12-26-09 2:41 PM
horizontal rule
61

This is where mithra actually comes from


Posted by: tierce de lollardie | Link to this comment | 12-26-09 4:05 PM
horizontal rule
62

58-60:Dude, go "discuss" at Wikipedia

"Apart from the name of the god himself, in other words, Mithraism seems to have developed largely in and is, therefore, best understood from the context of Roman culture."[30]

I could start a new cult of Amun here in Dallas, based in small part on the ancient traditions, but my new religion would be Texan, not Egyptian. Even if I followed the ancient traditions as best I could, the context is so different, the participants so alien, that claiming identity would be nonsensical.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 12-26-09 7:39 PM
horizontal rule
63

I belong, for example, to the Texan mystery cult of Amon Duul II.


Posted by: Criminally Bulgur | Link to this comment | 12-26-09 7:52 PM
horizontal rule
64

If you were a real cultist you'd call them Amon Düül II.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 12-26-09 7:59 PM
horizontal rule
65

And I got my great niece a fisherprice truck, which I thought was discreetly subversive, but I am told will be noticed as distinctly weird.

I was reminiscing today with some friends at work, and one of my happiest memories was a dump truck that I played with as a child. Trucks are fun for everyone!


Posted by: winna | Link to this comment | 12-26-09 8:12 PM
horizontal rule
66

If you were a real cultist could figure out the accent macros on this keyboard, you'd call them Amon Düül II.


Posted by: Criminally Bulgur | Link to this comment | 12-26-09 8:20 PM
horizontal rule
67

I got Free to Be You and Me for my 2-year-old niece.

I hate that album so much. Even as a child I knew adults were full of smiling lies.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 12-26-09 9:36 PM
horizontal rule
68

So it turned out to not be OK to cry?

What I think is more dubious is the "crying gets the sad out" assertion. The sad's typically still there after the tears leave, I've found.


Posted by: Otto von Bisquick | Link to this comment | 12-26-09 10:05 PM
horizontal rule
69

67: Didn't you make that assertion before, and then when pressed, you backpedalled? I'm not archive-worthy, but it's somewhere in there.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 12-26-09 10:06 PM
horizontal rule
70

Aw, heebie, I think you're archive-worthy.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 12-26-09 10:09 PM
horizontal rule
71

Although I suppose Fake Accent is really the one to consult about such things.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 12-26-09 10:09 PM
horizontal rule
72

Crying gets the sad out if what you were sad about is stupid.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 12-26-09 10:10 PM
horizontal rule
73

I'm live-action!


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 12-26-09 10:10 PM
horizontal rule
74

Crying gets the sad out if you were sad about your dry, dry face.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 12-26-09 10:11 PM
horizontal rule
75

Ah, that must be it, then. I'm only ever sad about profound, important things.


Posted by: Otto von Bisquick | Link to this comment | 12-26-09 10:12 PM
horizontal rule
76

Don't you cry tonight. There's a heaven above you baby.


Posted by: Axl Rose | Link to this comment | 12-26-09 10:14 PM
horizontal rule
77

I was crying when I met you. Now I'm crying to forget you.


Posted by: Steve Tyler | Link to this comment | 12-26-09 10:15 PM
horizontal rule
78

I got a bit teary-eyed about this earlier, which felt weird.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 12-26-09 10:15 PM
horizontal rule
79

I have never backpedaled in my hate for Free to Be Hostage to the Morals of the '70s.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 12-27-09 12:24 PM
horizontal rule
80

62: The name is a pretty big part, no? I mean it's undisputed that the Parthians worshipped a god named Mithras who killed a bull, etc., before the Romans did, and that the Roman depictions of Mithras were of a person in Parthian/Scythian garb. The argument here is that the Roman "mysteries" were a distinct religion, apart from the name/story that they clearly adopted from elsewhere? Seems like a stupid exercise in artificial line drawing. Of course the Roman customs would difer from the Eastern ones, but that is both an obvious and small point.


Posted by: text | Link to this comment | 12-27-09 1:18 PM
horizontal rule
81

And there's an obvious distinction to be made between the Mithraic religion practiced in Rome and your Texan cult of Amun, which is that Mithras worship in Parthia occurred at the same time as Mithras worship in Rome. The more direct analogy would be the rather common place exercise of religions in places where they did not originate in the modern world. If you converted to Hinduism -- assuming that you haven't already, and even allowing for your local variation of Texan worship -- it would be rather silly to claim that you had invented a new religion.


Posted by: text | Link to this comment | 12-27-09 1:25 PM
horizontal rule
82

At our house we sing "Its all right to cry/ but do you have to cry so loudly."

"Its all right to cry" may have some bad psychology, but it was meant as a corrective to the image of macho cowboys who don't express emotion, which was very much needed.

I also found a great version of Free to Be You and Me from the 80s which features The Fat Boys.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 12-27-09 1:38 PM
horizontal rule
83

The truck went over great - she lugged it around all night, sat on it and rode, said "vroom", and was generally delighted and delightful. Great kid.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 12-27-09 2:51 PM
horizontal rule
84

81: Au contraire. I would claim that California Buddhism is a religion distinct from the Buddhism found in Asia.

Aspiring Hindus in Dallas are in luck, though, since there is a Hindu mission in Dallas.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 12-27-09 2:54 PM
horizontal rule
85

I would claim that California Buddhism is a religion distinct from the Buddhism found in Asia.

Do you imagine that, in so claiming, you would not be making a non sequitur?


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 12-27-09 3:34 PM
horizontal rule