Urban Ideas


It caught my eye early this morning. Every day, I get an email about the “historical” events of that date. And I noticed the headline: “Pope Urban II preaches 1st Crusade.” This happened on November 27, in the year 1095.

The actual event didn’t interest me so much. But Pope Urban’s name made me wonder. How did he acquire that name? What did Urban mean back then?

Today, in Webster’s, and I just looked it up. Urban is defined:

1 in, relating to, or characteristic of a city or town: the urban population.
2 (also urban contemporary) denoting or relating to popular dance music of black origin: a party that features the best in urban music.

According to Webster, the word didn’t originate until the early 17th century. From Latin, from Urbanus. So. What in the world Pope Urban? I wonder if he played sports. Urban always seems like a good sports name to me.

Anyway. By this matter of twists and turns I began reading about his speech. His preaching of the Crusade. I guess it was a big dang deal at the time. According to historians, old Urban-Boy gave( perhaps ) the most influential speech of the Middle Ages.

He was really pushing the “start” of those bloody Crusades. Which, essentially, was a big bunch of Christian people, storming around, killing people in their path. Mostly killing Muslims, but not necessarily.

So yes. Urban gave a big whomping Pep Rally in order to reclaim the Holy Land. To “reclaim” Jerusalem, and the Middle East. To quote the guy, “God Wills It.”

Well, I’ll tell you here and now a little secret about me. And I could be wrong. But. The God I would like to believe in is a source of goodness, love, and kindness. That Higher Power doesn’t seem like the type to me, to go around, slaying people. Or even willing it.

So right there and then, I question Urb’s Divine Revelation. Today, I question some people’s views about God, and what God “wishes” and “doesn’t wish.” I may not be as Holy as the rest. I don’t have a direct phone line to God, nor has he/she “Friended” me on Facebook. And the voices in my head are clearly from another source, as they speak of “Footy Pajamas” and “Soft Little Bagels” with Garlic Cheese mishaps.

Back to the Crusades. The rest of the story is sad. I could give you the horrific details about their campaign, their battle, their Holy War. But they killed each other. For three centuries. And, it started with Pope Urban’s call. His was the first crusade. Of eight.

This day is a little down trodden on other events too.
It is Jimi Hendrix’s birthday. (1942 – 1970)
It is also Bruce Lee’s birthday. (1940 – 1973)

Two extremely talented individuals, but both of them died young. Not in a Crusade, mind you. But by “Drug Overdose,” and “Death by Misadventure,” respectively.

There is a lot of controversy over Lee’s death. But most agree he had a cerebral edema. His wife gave him medicine and he had an allergic reaction, which killed him. So his Death Certificate truly reads “misadventure.” In my mind, all deaths are a misadventure. A very big setback from life as we know it.

And another downer on this date. Harvey Milk died in 1978. He was assassinated. Milk was the first openly gay person to be elected to public office in California. He had won a seat on the San Francisco Board of Supervisors. So yes. Another misadventure. This one, an all-out assault.

I feel somewhat regretful that I’ve delivered so much bad news today. So. On an up note. Today is Anders Celcius’ birthday. He did a lot of things, but is most famous for introducing the Centigrade / Celsius temperature scale in 1725.

A great reminder for all of us, about our personal temperatures. No matter what or where we find ourselves, we should always chill. Yep. Take a deep breath and chill. Be at Chillin’ Peace.

Whether you do it in Celsius or Fahrenheit makes no difference. Because God probably thinks it is a good idea, no matter what scale you choose.


“To die will be an awfully big adventure.”
― J.M. Barrie, Peter Pan


“Would you tell me, please, which way I ought to go from here?”
“That depends a good deal on where you want to get to.”
“I don’t much care where –”
“Then it doesn’t matter which way you go.”
― Lewis Carroll, Alice in Wonderland


“Nobody who says, ‘I told you so’ has ever been, or will ever be, a hero.”
― Ursula K. Le Guin