Friday, September 13, 2013

Luck be a Lady

Today is Friday 13th.  Don't cross the path of a crack in the sidewalk or step on a black cat. Don't open a black umbrella in the house or throw your hat on the bed.  And for God's sake if you get one of those emails that says... "share this with 12 friends or you will have bad luck..." by all means share.
The reason that Friday13th is considered unlucky is because of the King of France in the 16th Century.
It was Friday, October 13th when the King sent his troupes to round up and arrest the Knights Templar.  The King was threatened by the Knights wealth, power and influence.  The raid only netted a few of the Templars and none of the gold they were supposed to possess.  Conspiracy theorist believe they were tipped off about the raid and the hierarchy fled with the treasure before the Kings men showed up.  Most people haven't even heard of the Knights Templar and don't even know that Friday 13th is considered bad luck because of them.  Templars and Kings fade from memory but a good superstition is evergreen.
So should it be an unlucky omen?  The Knights got away, went underground and are believed to have formed an even more secrete society that still controls world politics today in some form.  That would seem to be a pretty lucky day for them.
In modern times, if Friday, 13th became the starting point for Dan Brown to speculate on the Opus Dei subculture of the Knights Templar in his books the DiVincci Code and Angels and Demons.  Since both books have become best sellers and were made into feature films, I would say Friday 13th was a very lucky day for Mr. Brown.
Jamie Lee Curtis became a star from her performances in several sequels to the movie Friday the 13th.
One would think that she might be celebrating today. Not so unlucky for her.
In broader terms Friday 13th has become a marketing tool for the studios.  Since Friday is a good day of the week to open a movie, and Friday 13th is a date that sticks in our universal consciousness, many films will debut on a Friday 13th.  If that date is anywhere near a logical release date they will gage their marketing to coincide.  So the 13th would seem to be a day of potential rather than a day of disaster for the film industry.
Shakespeare said it best when he said, "Nothing is either good nor bad but thinking makes it so."  That would seem to be true when we think of a certain day as unlucky. According to Wikipedia "Every year has at least 1 and at most 3 Fridays the 13th, with 688 occurrences during each 400-year Gregorian cycle." So the odds on something unusual happening to you on a Friday 13th is a mathematical certainty. The odds on that experience being considered lucky or unlucky is 50/50.  So... if you are a person who sees a glass half full you will tend to believe that today is a lucky day.  If you are person who sees your life as a paper cup blown by the wind, you will tend to believe today is unlucky. 
Today is just another day.  An arbitrary number assigned to the calendar for this week day. And it is just that, a number.  Nothing has power over your day today but you.  Make it the best you can.
As for me... I'm not leaving the house unless I hear that the King of France is sending thugs over to arrest me. The odds on that happening are smaller than the odds that Friday 13th will be unlucky. I will however be carrying that lucky coin in my pocket, why risk it.
As you were,



It was pointed out to me that Jamie Lee Curtis starred in the Halloween series not Friday the !3th Movies. I stand corrected.

Pete Biro said...

I guess that's why the Dodgers lost last night