Wiki Commons--cuneiform script
I think that ever since people discovered writing and started pressing cuneiform shapes in clay, and chipping symbols into stone that there have been chain letters. Okay, perhaps not that long ago when writing and reading was something for an elite class, but by the time of the Renaissance and the Industrial Revolution I’m sure chain letters started to make their rounds. People would write letters to each other, perhaps adding an anecdote or recipe for good luck, riches, health. And then it became a game: if you want good luck you must send this on, you must send it to so many people to receive this much luck. Oh and there is the pyramid chain letter: if you sell this to two people, they will sell to four people, etc. and you get a cut of all of these and you’ll be RICH!
It’s interesting in all those years of chain letters that we’ve never heard any substantiated claims of amazing luck coming on the heels of such a missive. And of course the internet perpetuated the chain letter to a higher and more aggravating degree. They come in all forms; sometimes with jokes, a homily, pictures, a touching story, recipes, supposed messages to/from some rich guy, philosophies or other heartwarming messages. Gah! Seriously, folks, how gullible are people?
I started to get severely annoyed at this because it’s not just saying “good luck” to someone. What you’re saying when you’re passing these chain letters on is that “I wish you bad luck unless you follow my command.” If you do not do this stupid thing you will be cursed and if you do do this stupid thing, you will be given good luck, great cookies, a laptop, amazing karma or bags of money, which never ever ever materialize. Some letters threaten that if people don’t forward the letter they will suffer death, injury, loss of soul, paranoia, halitosis, you name it.
Sometimes the jokes/story/get rich/free stuff letter is good or funny. I’ll chop off the luck curse and send on the email. I don’t intend to guilt trip or badger people into more stupid antics or scare them into gullibility. Planes have not fallen on me, my limbs haven’t rotted and I have not died because of ignoring chain letters. The only true aspect of the chain letter is that it’s a chain, an albatross and big bag of BS. Otherwise, oh my, what would I do if my email crashed before I read the chain letter and could forward it. OMG! Cursed, cursed I tell you, with seven years, a life time of bad luck or no sex, or corns on my feet. Below is an example of a chain letter that was forwarded to me today, with my comments in italics. Notice there are several steps in the typical chain: denial of gullibility, validation of authenticity, credibility of threat.
Early 18th century chain letter--Wiki Commons
Not superstitious, but no need to start the new year on a bad note…… Happy New Year! Often the person sending doesn’t want to be seen as gullible so there’s that bit of denial. Not superstitious. Ah but you are. And in fact, let’s wish everyone happiness before we wish them bad luck.
a) Chris Angel showed how this worked on one of his shows, but it was still kind of surprising. Once you have opened this e-mail, there is no turning back. Below are true descriptions of zodiac signs. Read your sign and then forward it on, with your zodiac sign on the subject line. b) This is the real deal, try ignoring or changing it and the first thing you’ll notice is having a horrible day, starting tomorrow morning – and it only gets worse from there. What’s wrong with this paragraph? Oh so much. This is the validation a). Chris Angel is a famous goth looking magician or illusionist. How does he prove a chain letter? There is no evidence for this and it’s a vague attempt at making the chain letter look real as opposed to all those other fake chain letters. Oh, and let’s not forget this is the true descriptions of the zodiac signs. Wrong. It is one description of a horoscope or the personality attributes to a sign. True? By whose definition?
Then comes the credibility of the threat–b). It’s the real thing. Honestly. Not like those other fakes. And beware! If you don’t do this, you WILL SUFFER!
AQUARIUS – The Sweetheart (Jan 20 – Feb 18) Optimistic and honest. Sweet personality…. Very independent. Inventive and intelligent. Friendly and loyal. Can seem unemotional… Can be a bit rebellious.. Very stubborn, but original and unique. Attractive on the inside and out… Eccentric personality. 11 years of luck if you forward. Hmm, neither good nor bad luck for the first one.
PISCES – The Dreamer (Feb 19 – Mar 20) Generous, kind, and thoughtful. Very creative and imaginative. May become secretive and vague. Sensitive. Don ‘t like details. Dreamy and unrealistic. Sympathetic and loving. Kind Unselfish. Good kisser. Beautiful. 8 years of good luck if you forward.
ARIES – The Daredevil (Mar 21 – April 19) Energetic. Adventurous and spontaneous.. Confident and enthusiastic. Fun. Loves a challenge. EXTREMELY impatient.Sometimes selfish. Short fuse. (Easily angered…) Lively, passionate, and sharp wit. Outgoing. Lose interest quickly – easily bored. Egotistical. Courageous and assertive. Tends to be physical and athletic. 16 years of good luck if you forward.
TAURUS – The Enduring One (April 20 – May 20) Charming but aggressive.. Can come off as boring, but they are not. Hard workers. Warm-hearted. Strong, has endurance. Solid beings that are stable and secure in their ways. Not looking for shortcuts. Take pride in their beauty. Patient and reliable. Make great friends and give good advice. Loving and kind. Loves hard – passionate. Express themselves emotionally.. Prone to ferocious temper-tantrums. Determined. Indulge themselves often. Very generous. 12 years of good Luck if you forward
GEMINI – The Chatterbox (May 21 – June 20) Smart and witty. Outgoing, very chatty. Lively, energetic. Adaptable but needs to express them s elves. Argumentative and outspoken. Like change. Versatile. Busy, sometimes nervous and tense. May seem superficial or inconsistent. Beautiful physically and mentally. 5 years of bad luck if you do not forward. Notice that the emphasis towards bad luck changes here.
CANCER – The Protector (June 21 – July 22) Moody, emotional. May be shy. Very loving and caring. Pretty/handsome. Excellent partners for life. Protective. Inventive and imaginative. Cautious. Touchy-feely kind of person. Needs love from others. Easily hurt, but sympathetic. 16 years of bad luck if you do not forward.
LEO – The Boss (July 23 – Aug 22) Very organized. Need order in their lives – like being in control.. Like boundaries. Tend to take over everything. Bossy. Like to help Others.. Social and outgoing. Extroverted.. Generous, warm-hearted. Sensitive. Creative energy… Full of themselves. Loving. Doing the right thing is important to Leos.. Attractive. 13 years of bad luck if you do not forward…..
VIRGO – The Perfectionist (Aug 23 – Sept 22) Dominant In relationships. Conservative. Always wants the last word.. Argumentative. Worries. Very smart. Dislikes noise and chaos. Eager. Hardworking. Loyal. Beautiful. Easy to talk to. Hard to please. Harsh. Practical and very fussy.. Often shy. Pessimistic.. 7 years of bad luck if you do not forward.
LIBRA – The Harmonizer (Sept 23 – O ct 22) Nice to everyone they meet. Can’t make up their mind . Have own unique appeal. Creative, energetic, and very social. Hates to be alone. Peaceful, generous. Very loving and beautiful.. Flirtatious Give in too easily. Procrastinators… Very gullible. 9 years of bad luck if you do not forward. Interesting that it was a Libra who forwarded it to me.
SCORPIO – The Intense One (Oct 23 – Nov 21) Very energetic. Intelligent. Can be jealous and/or possessive. Hardworking. Great kisser.. Can become obsessive or secretive. Holds grudges. Attractive. Determined. Loves being in long Relationships. Talkative… Romantic. Can be self-centered at times. Passionate and Emotional. 4 years of bad luck if you do not forward. Scorpio, you must have been especially bad. Only four years of luck and an emphasis on bad for you.
SAGITTARIUS – The Happy-Go-Lucky One (Nov 22 – Dec 21) Good-natured optimist… Doesn’t want to grow up (Peter Pan Syndrome). Indulges self . Boastful. Likes luxuries and gambling. Social and outgoing.. Doesn’t like responsibilities. Often fantasizes. Impatient…. Fun to be around. Having lots of friends. Flirtatious. Doesn’t like rules… Sometimes hypocritical.. Dislikes being confined – tight spaces or even tight clothes. Doesn’t like being doubted. Beautiful inside and out Oh my, poor Sagittarius. No luck for you either good or bad. What’s that about? You better complain to the powers that be. Whether that’s God, a genie, a fairy or an internet demon; well that’s up to you to find out.
CAPRICORN – The Go-Getter (Dec 22 – Jan 19) Patient and wise. Practical and rigid… Ambitious. Tends to be Good-looking. Humorous and funny. Can be a bit shy and reserved. Often pessimistic. Capricorns tend to act before they think and can be Unfriendly at times. Hold grudges. Like competition. Get what they want. 20 years of good luck if you forward. Oh, can I change my sign? Twenty years of luck! I should be a multi-millionaire far before then. But wait there’s more. Perhaps even this was a blend of two chain letters. Not only do you get a number of years of good luck but if you send it to the numbers of people below you can increase your luck by a minute up to an hour. Wha–?
Send away!!~ Ready, set, go!
1-3 people= 1 minute of luck
4-7 people= 1 hour of luck
8-12 people = 1 day of luck
13-17 People = 1 week of luck
18-22 people = 1 month of luck
23-27 people = 3 Months of luck
28-32 people = 7 months of luck
33-37 people = 1 year of luck
So there you go. Luck, good luck, bad luck and multiples of luck. And it’s all bogus luck. Good luck with the new year. 😀