The below posted article is something that we completely detest. People with no intellectual prowess to actually research and educate the readers are now columnists in newspapers.
The only reason we carry this article is because we want the world to know how wrong the article is. Please read it with a pinch of salt and if you also disagree as I do, write to the columnist at firstname.lastname@example.org and give him a piece of your mind.
Some Christmas â€˜magiâ€™ may have done a disappearing act
By Nin Privitera OBSERVER Community Columnist
12/10/2006 – Itâ€™s that wonderful time of the year again when many of us celebrate the birth of Jesus of Nazareth. In case you had forgotten, that is the origin of the holiday, not the birthday of Sam Walton.
At least, thatâ€™s what Christmas used to be about before retail gross sales from Wal-Mart superceded the divine birth of the Son of Man; the one who changed time, space, and eternity.
One of the more intriguing legends surrounding the birth of Jesus was the story of the mysterious visitors from the east. Matthew 2:1 simply states that they were magi. Other sources suggests that they were Three Kings. Some believe they were wisemen, which is a difficult concept for us to grasp, being that we are daily witnesses to the vaudeville act that poses for Washington politics today.
Whomever these visitors were, their gifts to the Christ child initiated the tradition that we carry on to this day. Without their bearing gifts to the newborn, who knows how Uncle Bob would ever have the opportunity to fake the thrill of receiving a new tie. â€˜â€˜Ooh, now thatâ€™s a smart looking piece of neckwear. You know, I donâ€™t think I have a charging Buffalo Bill smashing into Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs tie.â€™â€™
For the sake of Mary and Joseph, one hopes that these eastern visitors werenâ€™t the â€˜â€˜magicianâ€™â€™ magi. I doubt that their presence wouldâ€™ve been welcomed in that cold dark manger. With the lowing of stable animals and the crying of a baby, who needs an annoying guy in a funny robe telling you, â€˜â€˜Hey, Joseph, you can feed the donkey later. Right now, how about picking a card, any card and show it to the audience.â€™â€™
These magi were followers of an eastern religion founded by Zoroaster who was the prophet that originated Zoroastrianism. Undoubtedly, this religion would have been followed by Madonna and many other Hollywood disciples except that itâ€™s too difficult to pronounce. Just saying the word Zoroastrianism one time and you can end up on the injured reserve list with a pulled tongue muscle.
You have to admit that Zoroaster was burdened with a pretty cumbersome name. If I had my choice for a name, Anthony would not have been on the top of my list, but thank God my parents loved me enough not to name me Zoroaster. Thatâ€™s a name that is guaranteed to get you beaten up in school at least once or twice a week. Youâ€™d lose your lunch money to playground bullies everyday and no doubt, he left the locker room many times for social studies class with an atomic wedgie.
If this is the name that his parents chose, it makes you wonder what names they rejected. According to the Book of Aster found in the Dâ€™Agostino Archives, it is written that Zoroasterâ€™s parents once considered calling him Bumpmasterzillywot but they decided it sounded too Babylonian.
In concert with his silly name, the history of the prophet found in the Book of Zo is quite entertaining. We donâ€™t have a picture of him but heâ€™s envisioned as a rather tall man with a pointed beard, wearing a pointy hat, carrying a wand with a cape draped over his shoulders, and a flamboyant robe with a starry motif.
He probably said the magic word â€˜â€˜Shazamâ€™â€™ as he sprinkled fairy dust on various items which didnâ€™t make the meticulous housekeeper Mrs. Zoroaster terribly happy. Actually, his prophetic skills were not all that impressive. The only prediction that he ever hit out of the park was picking Syria over Lebanon 21 to 20 in the Sand Castle Bowl .
One of the more tragic events in the life of Zoroaster happened when he carried on with his wizardry image a bit too far. It all happened when Zoroaster insisted on coming to the dinner table in his robed-splendor once too often. Youâ€™ll find in chapter 3: 8-12 that his wife Zora Zoroaster strongly objected. â€˜â€˜Do you have to wear that ridiculous outfit to the table every night? Iâ€™m sick of it. Whereâ€™s the cardigan that I got you for your birthday?â€™â€™
Zoroaster was one not to take criticism from his non-prophetic wife with grace and humility. He unwisely replied in verse 9, â€˜â€˜Oh yeah, well, Iâ€™ll change this so-called ridiculous outfit when I get a change in the menu around here. Night after night of camel nuggets is too much. Iâ€™m developing a case of camel breath.â€™â€™
This criticism led Zora to fire a nasty retort in verse 11, â€˜â€˜Well if youâ€™re such an all-mighty prophet, why donâ€™t you turn those nuggets into a juicy prime rib with your magic wand? All you do is stand around the corner with your sign,â€˜ â€˜will prophesize for food.â€™â€™
This was followed by the tragic concluding events of their dinner that came to be known as the Smashed Pointy Hat, Broken Magic Wand, and a Lap Full of Camel Nuggets.
Well, so much for Zoroaster, the leader of the magi who also have a story that is larger than is commonly known. The first surprise in the Book of Zo is discovering that there were originally five magi that began the trip to Bethlehem but, of course, only three of them got their picture taken at the manger.
The Book of Zo names Winnebago as the fourth magi who had a unfortunate ending to his journey. Winny, as he was known in magi circles, took great pride in his astronomical knowledge of the night sky. In fact, he is credited with the rather obscure discovery of the constellation known as the Medium Dipper thatâ€™s appropriately found between the Big and Little ones. The 14th chapter of the Book of Zo describes the Great Astronomical Meltdown that occurred between Winnebago and the magi Balthazar. They got into one nasty rhubarb over which star was the legitimate Star of Bethlehem. According to magian scripture, there was much shouting and pointing with regards to the star that they should follow. The argument occurred one night at Osamaâ€™s Oasis and Grill when Winnebago, after a few too many Scorpions, exploded with the final dismissive, â€˜â€˜Balthazar, you donâ€™t know an asteroid from a meteorite.â€™â€™
Well, as you can imagine, that brought an irreconcilable break in their relationship. Winnebago decided to follow his star towards the northwest but he was never to be seen in Bethlehem or at subsequent magi conventions ever again. His failure to show up at the manger denied the Christ child his gift of pine tar which would have come in quite handy if Jesus ever played baseball.
Not much is known about the 5th magi who was called Larry the Dropout. Magian scholars believe that he made the fatal miscalculation of filling up his camel with water measured in quarts rather than liters as directed by the camel limited warranty. All that was ever found of Larry and his camel was a perfectly intact gift fruit cake for the Holy Family. Its presence in the manger would undoubtedly had led to a chapter in Matthew entitled Joseph Makes The First Christmas Gift Exchange.
Former community columnist Nin Privitera is a Fredonia resident. His column appears on the second Sunday of each month.
Original article here