Sunday, June 04, 2006

What The ____ ?

Yep! You guessed it. Any excuse for a party.

In this case, it is all about the dark side for Hell, Michigan with the "Gates Of Hell" to be installed at the childrens play area just in time for the festivities!

This from AP via Yahoo! News -

Hell, Mich., heats up for 6-6-6 party
AP - Sun Jun 4, 7:04 AM ET

HELL, Mich. - They're planning a hot time in Hell on Tuesday. The day bears the date of 6-6-06, or abbreviated as 666 — a number that carries hellish significance. And there's not a snowball's chance in Hell that the day will go unnoticed in the unincorporated hamlet 60 miles west of Detroit.

Nobody is more fired up than John Colone, the town's self-styled mayor and owner of a souvenir shop.

"I've got `666' T-shirts and mugs. I'm only ordering 666 (of the items) so once they're gone, that's it," said Colone, also known as Odum Plenty. "Everyone who comes will get a letter of authenticity saying you've celebrated June 6, 2006, in Hell."

Most of Colone's wares will sell for $6.66, including deeds to one square inch of Hell.

Live entertainment and a costume contest are planned. The Gates of Hell should be installed at a children's play area in time for the festivities.

"They're 8 feet tall and 5 foot wide and each gate looks like flames, and when they're closed, it's a devil's head," Colone told The Detroit News for a Saturday story.

Mike "Smitty" Hickey, owner of the Dam Site Inn, wasn't sure what kind of clientele would show up Tuesday.

"We're all about having fun here. I don't think we're going to get the cult crowd, the devil worshippers or anything like that," said Hickey, whose bar's signature concoction is the Bloody Devil, a variant of the Bloody Mary.

Colone, meanwhile, has been in touch with radio stations as far away as San Diego and Seattle that are raffling off trips to Hell in honor of 6-6-6.

The 666 revelry is just the latest chapter in the town's storied history of publicity stunts, said Jason LeTeff, one of its 72 year-round residents — or, as the mayor calls them, Hellions or Hell-billies. But LeTeff wasn't particularly enthused.

"Now, here I am living in Hell, taking my kids to church and trying to teach them the right things and the town where we live is having a 6-6-6 party," he said.

According to the town's semiofficial Web site, there are two leading theories about how Hell got its name.

The first holds that a pair of German travelers stepped out of a stagecoach one sunny afternoon in the 1830s, and one said to the other, "So schoene hell" — roughly translated as, "So bright and beautiful." Their comments were overheard by some locals and the name stuck.

The second holds that George Reeves was asked after Michigan gained statehood what he thought the town he helped settle should be called, and reportedly replied, "I don't care, you can name it Hell if you want to." The name became official on Oct. 13, 1841.
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UPDATE 6-5-2006:

Excerpts from The Washington Times -

Apocalypse tomorrow? 666 arrives
By Seth Borenstein - ASSOCIATED PRESS - June 5, 2006

Is tomorrow's date -- 6-6-6 -- merely a curious number, or could it mean our number is up?

There's a devilishly odd nexus of theology, mathematics and commercialism on the sixth day of the sixth month of the sixth year. OK, it's just the sixth year of this millennium, but insisting on calling it 2006 takes the devil-may-care fun out of calendar-gazing.

Something about the number 666 brings out the worry, the hope and even the humor in people, said the Rev. Felix Just, a professor of theology and religious studies at the University of San Francisco. A Jesuit priest, Father Just has taught both apocalyptic theory and mathematics and maintains a "666-Numbers of the Beast" Web site that contains history, theology, math and precisely 66 one-line jokes about 666.

One can even make sport of it, betting online if the apocalypse will happen on that date. The good news is that one online oddsmaker has made the world a 100,000-to-1 favorite to survive tomorrow -- something that Father Just said is supported by theology.

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It all started with Revelation 13:18 in the Bible: "This calls for wisdom: let him who has understanding reckon the number of the beast, for it is a human number, its number is six hundred and sixty-six."

The beast is also known as the Antichrist, according to some apocalyptic theories.

Many scholars, such as Father Just, say the beast is really a coded reference -- using Hebrew letters for numbers -- for the despotic Roman emperor Nero, and 616 appears instead of 666 in some ancient manuscripts. The Book of Revelation isn't prophesying a specific end of times but "is about the overall cosmic struggle of good versus evil," Father Just said.

But for some more apocalyptic theologians, the end of times is coming, even if not specifically tomorrow. The evangelical Raptureready.com Web site puts its "rapture index" at 156, calling that "fasten your seat belts" time.

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"I don't think that people understand that 666 is not a good time," Mr. LaHaye said. He said he sees signs of an upcoming "tribulation period" that leads to the Antichrist's arrival in a movement toward one-world government, a single economic system and single religion.
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So people have looked for -- and found -- 666 in all sorts of places. Believers in the number's power have used a biblical letter-numeric code to convert the names of countless political leaders, including many popes, to come out 666, marking them as that generation's Antichrist. That includes Franklin Delano Roosevelt, John F. Kennedy, Ronald Reagan and Bill Clinton.

The math of 666 is also open to biblical interpretation and manipulation. Father Just points out that 666 is the sum of all the numbers on a roulette wheel. Other oddities include variations on pi and products of prime number multiplication.

There's also something special about the number 6, which in the Bible stands for man, said Brian C. Jones, a religion professor at Wartburg College in Iowa.

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