Signs of the Times

At the shop I noticed one of the tabloids has printed a shock provo horror picture on its front cover of Steve Staunton being attended by a security guard with a logo on his jacket commemorating the 25th Anniversary of the Hunger Strikes.

Sinn Fein later issued a statement denying any involvement with Steve Staunton.

Anniversary celebrations of this type -25th, 30th, 50th- have always struck me as silly. What makes 25 more important or interesting than 24 or 26? The fact that it’s a multiple of 5? Well then, what makes 5 more important or interesting than 3? Someone explain, please. Ideally a numerologist or a tarot card reader.

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3 Responses to “Signs of the Times”


  1. 1 fearganainm March 29, 2007 at 11:36 am

    I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but we have five digits wriggling at the end of each limb, so i’s possible that we are hard wired to bunch things in fives, without really knowing why. It may just be ‘nice’.

    Personally, I’ve always considered three to be the magic number, but I don’t know why …

  2. 2 hughgreen March 29, 2007 at 3:16 pm

    There’s a rather ribald rhyme in Spanish which goes (I’m paraphrasing) ‘I have ten on my hands, and ten on my feet, one item of one category and two of another, and it all adds up to twenty-three’.

    But yes, you’re right. There may be some universal tendency to bunch things in fives, but also twos, hence the liking for multiples of the product of these two integers, as in the decalogue, or twenty questions.

    Three is of course a magic number, certainly in Christendom. Why, I had an O’Brien’s Shambo today (a toasted focaccia in the shape of a shamrock), and it was divine. Apparently the founder of O’Brien’s sandwiches is running for election for Fine Gael. Let’s hope he’s canvassing with a van full of his sandwiches.

  3. 3 fearganainm March 30, 2007 at 8:56 am

    Not sure about the Sweeny’s Shambos, but I think the magic of ‘threeness’ predates xtianity and has some pagan provenance. Hence, Irish pagandom’s alleged predisposition to Paddy’s farfetched story of ‘three for the price of one’.


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