Animal House

This is the second issue of the New Millennium, a time period which, I believe, has way too many consonants. But overlooking that for the moment, this issue of the magazine provides a unique opportunity to establish a record for those historians who, a thousand years from now, will dust off the Sojourners archives from the year 2000 and try to get a better understanding of why, for example, we didn’t outlaw telemarketers when we had the chance. (Year 3000 audio-clip: "Good evening Mr. [your name]. We are telepathically interrupting your thoughts to announce important vinyl siding news!")

By "jumping ahead" and imagining what the Year 3000 celebrations would include, we’re certain that host Dick Clark would want to know more about what we did in the Year 2000, besides drinking all that extra water we thought we’d need. What seeds did we plant for the next thousand years? What lessons did we want to impart to our descendants who, at the beginning of the next millennium, will probably still be going through the toilet paper they inherited from us.

WE UNDERSTAND this quest for historical knowledge because, in the year 2000, we likewise wanted to look back and appreciate the important milestones of the First Millennium, such as the invention of scurvy. ("Yorik...dude, you don’t look so good. I’d loan you my leaches but I had to pawn them. The wife’s got a birthday coming up.")

Sadly, records from that time show little evidence of intelligent life—such as early humor columns—even though historians agree that impoverished laborers toiling under uncaring feudal masters probably could have used an occasional joke, not to mention work gloves. (Actual serf quote: "Excuse me, would somebody please hurry up and invent the weekend?")

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Sojourners Magazine March-April 2000
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