You ever have one of those headlines on a news aggregator that just cries out to be clicked? I can ignore the latest Jamie-Lynn Sigler née DiScala breakup report, but a headline like Penis theft panic hits city calls out, nay, demands to be clicked.
At the very least I felt I needed to know which city. Guy up the road from me ate his girlfriend after all. OK allegedly. Case hasn't gone to trial.
Turns out the penis theft reports are from Kinshasa, which apparently stands alone in datelines at least in the Reuters stylebook. Fortunately I have Wikipedia.
It's in the Congo, where superstition is still strong. Word in that neck of the world has it that witchdoctors are using ¢0¢|<-shortening spells.
The rumor was touched off in the 8-million member city-- :-) OK the population is 8 million. I guess thear are give or take four million members.
So, the the rumor got started and people believed it, and it was DISCUSSED ON RADIO CALL-IN SHOWS. !?
Aliens in the outfield
To me, at first, that seemed kind of a weird juxtaposition. Belief in a strange superstition discussed via the miracle of 20th century technology. I guess even if it were being discussed via podcast that would still be 20th century, right? Because that's when we got the Internet. And radio. Or when did Guglielmo Marconi unveil his work?
Anyway, seemed a little strange, but then again in this country we have Art Bell and we believe that aliens with big heads and large eyes abducted Whitley Strieber.
Superstition persists though it may take on a slightly more scientific form, I suppose. Used to be it was faeiries that would abduct your loved ones and replace them with an exact duplicate. Now it's grey aliens.
I guess we haven't really gone through an age of enlightenment in all circles. I have a friends anecdote to prove it.
My friend reported a conversation overheard in a restaurant the other day:
Two guys at separate tables started talking about Obama. I'm not sure what sparked the discussion, but one guy revealed to the other guy that he harbored a secret supposition that Barack Obama is the Antichrist. The big one, upper case in the Associated Press Stylebook, Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse, moon turns to blood.
"I've been thinking that too," said the other guy. "But I thought I was the only one. I want to shake your hand."
How many copies did 88 Reasons the Rapture Will Occur in 1988 sell back in the day?