Movies are a great source of entertainment, but more than that they teach and nurture us when parents, loved ones, and educators fail. Who needs real-life attention when The Avengers are always there to take you on an adventure? But, alas, not all movies are honest -- some are willing to fill your head with utter garbage for the sake of a few moments of filler dialogue, or what Michael Bay calls "wordplosions."
4 Suicide Rates Increase Over The Holidays
According to the CDC, half of all articles written during the holiday season of 2009 and 2010 that mentioned suicide also let you know that the suicide rate is at its highest during that time of year. And why shouldn't it be? People are spending time with loved ones, happy music is playing everywhere, you get gifts from friends and family. My God, how do any of us stand it?
Well, surprise of surprises, you're not alone if you feel like living to see New Year's. Most people do. In fact, suicide rates plummet during December. Why? Because that may be the one time of year clinically depressed people actually spend time with loved ones. Rates peak during fall and spring, but December is a pretty safe time for everyone.
Nonetheless, dozens of news articles have reprinted a similar story, and it seemed to peak in the mid 2000s. I'm willing to bet, however, you'd find almost no stories claiming high suicide rates during the holidays before 1984. And it wasn't until about a decade later that they started picking up. And it's all Phoebe Cates' fault.
Fast Times at Ridgemont High
Ask your dad.
In 1984's phenomenally awesome and always timely and relevant holiday classic Gremlins, Phoebe Cates, who may have turned you into a man the first time you saw Fast Times At Ridgemont High, plays the girlfriend of the Gremlin-owning Billy. She's also a bit of a sack of neuroses best left untouched since every monologue she has in the film is a depressing diatribe about something terrible, from her dad getting stuck in a chimney pretending to be Santa Claus to the terrible tale of ... increased holiday suicides. It's mostly just a throwaway line, but it was even easily verifiable back then as being untrue.
About 10 years after Gremlins came out, it started being played in heavy rotation during the holiday season. It was an "alternate" holiday movie for those of us who couldn't give two shits about Miracle On 34th Street or any sappy holiday crap. We wanted little green monsters that drink heavily.
That's all any of us want still.
Nowadays we have classics like Bad Santa and Krampus to get us through the holidays, but for a time Gremlins was the top of the heap, and I would wager most people who are genre fans have seen that movie multiple times. Everyone watches Christmas movies multiple times. In fact, the movie A Christmas Story is so popular they literally play it for 24 hours straight on one channel around the holidays -- 12 times in a row. So you're going to see these movies enough times that you get stories stuck in your head, like how suicide rates increase over the holidays. And it's been in your head for years, and you hear it every Christmas but can't remember where it's from. And by the time you're old enough to be a journalist for ABC you don't give a shit about fact-checking this one because you've known it your whole life.
3 The Origin Of "Sabotage" Is Wooden Shoes
First and foremost, "Sabotage" is a badass song by the Beastie Boys, and if you don't know it, take out your No. 2 pencil and a lunch pail because it's school time.
Fuck yeah. Anyway, that aside, "sabotage" as a concept is a general sort of mayhem one can cause to ruin something. It's a crazy word, though, so where did it come from? According to Sex And The City's character in Star Trek VI, this is the origin: "Four hundred years ago on the planet Earth, workers who felt their livelihood threatened by automation flung their wooden shoes called sabots into the machines to stop them."
But we know better than to trust Kim Cattrall with Vulcan ears. Of course she screwed it up; she's not even human. How's she's expected to know human history and word etymology? In point of fact, she got the word relationship correct -- "sabot" the shoe and "sabotage" come from the same root. But "sabotage" comes from the 1890s, coined by Emile Pouget, an anarchist, in his writing to a fellow anarchist as they mused over ways they could cause anarchy.
Yep, that Emile Pouget.
Pouget suggested the word as an alternative to the British "ca'canny," which means "to go slow" and basically slack off. His "sabotage" came from the French "saboteur," which meant to make loud clattering noises with your shitty wooden shoes. And how does that equal any kind of sabotage? Because they considered the workers in the loud wooden shoes to be clumsy idiots fumbling about in their dumb shoes; they'd go slow and get nothing done. So "sabotage" literally means "wooden shoeage." And it means you're dumb for wearing wooden shoes.
Where throwing shoes into machines as a form of protest came from is anyone's guess.