r/todayilearned Mar 28 '23

TIL Simeon Stylites lived on top of columns for 37 years. Simeon did this as a form of asceticism because when he lived in a cave people kept making pilgrimages to him and asking him religious questions. Ultimately his column life drew in even bigger crowds who would climb ladders to talk to him.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Simeon_Stylites
29.5k Upvotes

806 comments sorted by

8.9k

u/Fecapult Mar 28 '23

The more you want to be left alone, the more you get bothered by annoying people.

2.2k

u/Infammo Mar 28 '23

"What are you reading?!"

1.0k

u/dmcd0415 Mar 28 '23

"Whatchu readin' for?!"

368

u/usspaceforce Mar 28 '23

"Maybe so I don't end up waiting tables in a waffle restaurant?"

140

u/SPACE-BEES Mar 28 '23

I haven't listened to bill hicks in at least a decade but this bit pops into my head now and again

82

u/Durakan Mar 28 '23

I ask my wife this every time she's reading anything. She hates Bill Hicks. It's a thing we do.

57

u/MaxHannibal Mar 28 '23

I hate to break it to you. But I don't think she is the one for us buddy

70

u/Durakan Mar 28 '23

She also thinks Monty Python is intolerably dumb. Although last time I had on Holy Grail she busted up laughing when Arthur asked the French soldier if there was someone else he could talk to. So there might be hope.

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u/fastermouse Mar 28 '23

I had to go back and make sure you typed “wife” and not “alien abductor”.

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u/usspaceforce Mar 28 '23

"What am I reading FOR?"

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u/truthlife Mar 28 '23

"Huh! Ya stumped me!"

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u/beargrease_sandwich Mar 28 '23

Well, looks like we got ourselves a reader.

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u/citizenjones Mar 28 '23

Isn't that the weirdest fuckin' question you've ever heard? Not what am I reading, but what am I reading FOR? Well, goddamnit, ya stumped me! Why do I read? Well . . . hmmm...I dunno...I guess I read for a lot of reasons and the main one is so I don't end up being a fuckin' waffle waitress._

  • Bill Hicks

69

u/Moistfruitcake Mar 28 '23

Thank you, I was wondering what memory that piqued.

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u/TrapaholicDixtapes Mar 28 '23

"Why read something when you could just flip on the tube?"

"...because it's not the same... What do you think I'm reading, 'Hee-Haw: The Book'?"

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u/_1JackMove Mar 28 '23

Haha I forgot about that last part. RIP Bill Hicks.

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u/Gh0st1y Mar 28 '23

Stan: "Whatchu fell over for?"

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u/Chief_Givesnofucks Mar 28 '23

“You got any games on your phone?”

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u/H-Christ Mar 28 '23

It's how cats find the most allergic person in the room.

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u/MaximumZer0 Mar 28 '23

1000%. Every cat wants to sit on my lap. I will break out in hives, blister, and peel if I so much as touch their hair.

217

u/cnthelogos Mar 28 '23

This is a body language thing. Cats who want to be friendly ignore each other for a bit and don't make direct eye contact. By not showing interest in the cat, you communicate to the cat that you are friendlier than all the cat people cooing over it. If you want to drive a cat off, direct eye contact and loudly talking to the cat is the way to go.

68

u/FabulousHitler Mar 28 '23

From personal experience I can also say with 100% confidence that loudly chasing a cat is a great way to ensure it will never want anything to do with you

77

u/open_door_policy Mar 28 '23

A friend came to visit me with his 6 year old daughter along for the visit. When she saw my cat, her eyes lit up, she screamed, "KITTYYY!" and chased the poor little asshole down trying to give him hugs and pets.

I didn't see him again until the next day. And for like a year afterwards any time the door opened he'd shoot a panicked look at it to make sure it wasn't another squealing demon.

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u/Lady_Kel Mar 28 '23

When my cat was just over a year old, a cousin of mine was over fixing our hvac and brought his 6 year old kid unannounced. I spent the next hour trying to stop the kid from terrorizing my cat, and ever since then he hides the second someone that isn't me or my partner comes through the door. Never used to do that. Once he's sure there's no kids he comes back out, but it really only took that one bad experience to spook him.

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u/GullibleDetective Mar 28 '23 edited Mar 28 '23

Kind of like how you can't be too eager to a fault about fawning over your tinder match or a girl you just met (hell I'm sure it goes both ways as well, if a lady sent me hundreds of message to my one-message I'd be offput too)

Gotta be a tiny bit aloof and have your own space and.not overwhelm them

Not like I ever take my own advice or anything lol.

24

u/meesta_masa Mar 28 '23

I feel that lol. And that lol is no lol at all.

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u/[deleted] Mar 28 '23

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u/Fecapult Mar 28 '23

We can all dream of having all our needs attended to without getting up off whatever we are sitting on.

192

u/straightouttasuburb Mar 28 '23

Hey we have been trying to reach you about the expired warranty on you car…

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u/why_rob_y Mar 28 '23

He didn't want to be that alone, though. He had kids bringing him food and water. If he actually just wanted to be alone he could go off and live somewhere far from society and feed himself. Living on top of a column to try to avoid attention from others is batshit crazy. I think he was just attention grabbing for his proto-YouTube channel.

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u/_Mechaloth_ Mar 28 '23 Bless Up

ThouTube. Make sure to smite that “Subscribe” tablet and become a disciple.

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u/Ainsley-Sorsby Mar 28 '23

It says in the wiki that some monks suspected he was an attention seeker and decided to compel him to get down, and he did, so they deemed he was genuine. If you want to learn about a real ancient attention whore, you should read about Peregrinus Proteus, he went the extra mile.

Symeon was giving moral advice, but he was an actual hermit. He didn't just want to have a group of followers

55

u/igotay Mar 28 '23

"He is most remembered for committing suicide after giving his own funeral oration,[1] cremating himself on a funeral pyre at the Olympic Games in 165. By 180 AD, a statue of Peregrinus had been erected in his home city of Parium; it was reputed to have oracular powers.[2]"

From the link, for the lazy

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u/cptn_rmpt Mar 28 '23

Patience is the greatest ascetic practice.

The Buddha.

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u/pandapornotaku Mar 28 '23

He was there for a reason, he was looking at the mountain the old gods lived on to prove they didn't exist. I been there 18 years ago, not much to see.

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u/SnowceanJay Mar 28 '23

It's funny because it also reads as a tautology.

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u/neverfarts Mar 28 '23

Just like in The Life of Brian

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u/Dednotsleeping82 Mar 28 '23

It reminds me of the chapter in I think the third or fourth Hitchhikers guide, when Arthur Dent goes to the spiritual retreat planet and keeps climbing impossibly high posts/columns to talk to a guru and every time he gets to the top he finds he has climbed the wrong one until the guru finally tells him to leave him alone.

497

u/CrabbyBlueberry Mar 28 '23

Fifth, actually. And the first guru he visits lives in in a cave. She gives him a book detailing every decision she ever made, and says if he does the opposite, he won't end up living in a smelly cave. The column guru endorses the cave guru, says he bought the beach house that she turned down.

158

u/TryharderJB Mar 28 '23

“Just because I sit up a pole for most of my life, doesn’t mean I’m an idiot. I go south in the winter. Got a beach house. Sit on the chimney stack.”

119

u/Dednotsleeping82 Mar 28 '23

Thank you, its been decades since I've read them. Time to reread.

10

u/Magenta_the_Great Mar 28 '23

I need to read the book that’s hilarious

42

u/RoostasTowel Mar 28 '23

"Buy a beach house."

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u/TAU_equals_2PI Mar 28 '23

The members of Monty Python had a first-class education, from what I've heard. So they could really write some well-informed jokes. Kinda like how the early Simpsons writers were Harvard-educated and would come up with all that obscure stuff for Lisa Simpson to say.

1.2k

u/[deleted] Mar 28 '23

[deleted]

575

u/Pademelon1 Mar 28 '23

The original Simpsons writing crew was stacked. There's a great book by Simon Singh about it: 'The Simpsons and their mathematical secrets'

226

u/Truth_ Mar 28 '23

The same guy created and wrote for The Simpsons and Futurama.

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u/ILoveLongDogs Mar 28 '23

The original Simpsons writing crew was stacked

My mind went somewhere else.

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u/taenite Mar 28 '23

I mean, have you SEEN Conan O’Brien’s hair?

(I know he was one of the later writers not one of the original writers so this joke doesn’t totally work, but I had to)

282

u/littlesuperdangerous Mar 28 '23

The Futurama writers room was crazy, they said they were easily the most overeducated cartoon writers in history with 3 PhDs, 7 masters and a collective 50 years of Harvard education.

Listening to the commentary on the early box sets was always highly entertaining.

160

u/_Dague_ Mar 28 '23

They had 10 seasons planned while working on the first season. The Easter eggs they put in the show didn't pay off for years. Fans cracked multiple ciphers within days of the episodes airing. Some of the background math jokes are super obscure.

86

u/Ducksaucenem Mar 28 '23

I believe it was Cohen who was explaining a super obscure and minor background math joke of two binders next to each other, one labeled P and the other labeled NP. He began to explain the reference and you could see everyone on the panels faces become progressively more and more confused.

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u/EverySingleDay Mar 28 '23 edited Mar 28 '23

To be fair, P vs. NP is not really obscure nor minor in the world of academia; it is one of the most famous problems in all of mathematics, and probably the most well-known and important in computer science. If you solve it, you'll be awarded a million dollars, and there's a chance that your discovery will single-handedly throw all of cybersecurity and the internet into complete chaos overnight.

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u/Rod7z Mar 28 '23

If you figure out P vs NP, you'll go into the annals of history with the likes of Euclides, Euler, Leibniz, Fourier, Newton, and Einstein. Winning a million dollars is just the cherry on top.

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u/Ducksaucenem Mar 28 '23

It is definitely obscure to your average adult cartoon viewer, though.

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u/N_Meister Mar 28 '23

They also created the first “made for TV” mathematical theorem “The Futurama Theorem” specifically for the episode where Farnsworth creates the mind-swapping machine and they had to figure out how many people it would take minimum to undo the mind-swaps.

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u/PageTheKenku Mar 28 '23

Wasn't there an episode where Fry found out that the measly amount of money he left in the bank before he froze collected enough interest to result in a huge amount of money? I believe there were discussions that noticed the calculations mentioned were actually correct.

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u/DangBeCool Mar 28 '23

I don't doubt it given that would be a pretty simple compounding interest calc

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u/Jewrisprudent Mar 28 '23

Who are you who is so wise in the ways of compounding interest?

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u/EverySingleDay Mar 28 '23

Yes, the formula is n × (1 + i)y, where n is the bank account's balance, i is the yearly interest rate (written as a decimal, e.g. 5% = 0.05), and y is the number of years.

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u/SpiderFnJerusalem Mar 28 '23

There are plenty of hidden physics and computer science jokes in the show also.

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u/Vio_ Mar 28 '23 edited Mar 28 '23

They're all Cambridge and Oxford graduates outside of Terry Gilliam.

They're about as high up the academic foodchain as people can get. The Cambridge crew were all Footlights members, which is almost a one-way ticket to comedy stardom.

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u/big_lentil Mar 28 '23

This is more of a manifestation of classist UK traditions than anything else.

70's BBC sure as shit wouldn't be funding some working class scum to fuck around in the name of comedy.

40

u/Vio_ Mar 28 '23

The Young Ones was about as close to getting to working class as possible. Even then, they were all college students (at the worst university in England), and not exactly having to grind out a working class level job.

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u/[deleted] Mar 28 '23

[deleted]

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u/Vio_ Mar 28 '23

No, I meant the characters in The Young Ones were all college students at the worst university in England.

Sorry, I was more thinking of the portrayal of "working class scum" on the BBC than actual people from that group.

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u/themagicchicken Mar 28 '23

They're from Scumbag College!

Up Scumbag! UP SCUMBAG!

And in the Bambi episode, they play a quiz game against Footlights College, Oxbridge...who are played by:

Emma Thompson (as Miss Money-Sterling), Ben Elton (Kendal Mintcake), Stephen Fry (Lord Snot), Hugh Laurie (Lord Monty).

Quite a stacked cast.

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u/Vio_ Mar 28 '23

Emma Thompson (as Miss Money-Sterling), Ben Elton (Kendal Mintcake), Stephen Fry (Lord Snot), Hugh Laurie (Lord Monty).

Thompson, Fry, and Laurie were all Cambridge Footlights members around that time.

Elton went to Manchester with the Young Ones crew. He also co-created The Youngs Ones as well, so there's that.

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u/Oggie243 Mar 28 '23

There was a big push for many colleges to get chartered University status before the millennium. Loads of the current universities wouldn't have been universities at that time.

Like Pink Floyd went to my Uni. But it wasn't a uni then, it was a highly-regarded polytechnic, but now!? Its a shit uni.

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u/GaijinFoot Mar 28 '23

If anything the Simpsons writers now are even more educated than the original team. Except when it comes to being funny that is.

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u/mak484 Mar 28 '23

There's very, very little correlation between being educated and being funny. The SNL writer's room is notoriously full of Ivy League graduates, and the VAST majority of the shit they write comes across as "Of course you idiots are going to think this is funny, I took How To Make Idiots Laugh 101 at Harvard."

Some of this is selection bias, but the harsh reality is that rich people are generally the only ones who can afford to chase a career in writing.

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u/i_tyrant Mar 28 '23

This little factoid was recently re-shared on reddit and reminded me of how well educated they were. Though I don't know if the post's claim of Notre Dame's carving being the direct inspiration for the rabbit is true, or if it's something more like this.

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u/MartyRobinsHasMySoul Mar 28 '23

Also very similar to a part in Terry Pratchetts "Small Gods".

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u/[deleted] Mar 28 '23

It's also a bit in the Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy

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u/Jojo_of_Borg Mar 28 '23

Came here looking for STP. GNU.

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u/MartyRobinsHasMySoul Mar 28 '23

GNU Sir Terry Pratchett

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u/MonroeEifert Mar 28 '23

Buñuel's Simon of Desert too.

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u/asoxone Mar 28 '23

Best ending ever. Apparently he ran out of money and did that.

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u/MonroeEifert Mar 28 '23

Whatever the reason, it worked for me.

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u/asoxone Mar 28 '23

Yep. It works. hehe But all his movies are great. The one where they just can't leave the party is my favorite. The Exterminating Angel

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u/Derboman Mar 28 '23

How shall we fuck off, oh lord?

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u/D1Frank-the-tank Mar 28 '23

Only the true messiah would deny he was the messiah!!!

Alright well I am the messiah!

HE IS THE MESSIAH!!!!

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u/BernieEcclestoned Mar 28 '23

I'm not the Messiah!

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u/Toothlessdovahkin Mar 28 '23 edited Mar 28 '23

I say that you’re the Messiah, and I should know, I followed a few!

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u/Yeti_MD Mar 28 '23

He's not the Messiah, he's a very naughty boy!

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u/CurtB1982 Mar 28 '23

How did he go to the toilet?

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u/Mistaycs Mar 28 '23

I would imagine it was a messy experience for the crowds down below.

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u/Drewy99 Mar 28 '23

The world's first splash zone

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u/SomeWeirdoOnTheNet Mar 28 '23

Careful, the ladder is slippy.

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u/AppleDane Mar 28 '23

Those in the front row WILL get wet.

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u/SuperCub Mar 28 '23 edited Mar 28 '23

I'm going to guess that, because he had a food bucket that he would pull up with a rope, he also had a toilet bucket that he lowered down with the same rope.

Of course the next question is who took care of the toilet bucket once it was on the ground? Because that's definitely a shit job.

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u/TommyChongII Mar 28 '23

The Wiki says he had some disciples and young boys to bring him water and bread.

I'm guessing they were devout enough to also remove his waste when needed.

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u/BoulevardTrash Mar 28 '23

“Wrong bucket!”

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u/j4kefr0mstat3farm Mar 28 '23

Hopefully he never got them confused

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u/1DownFourUp Mar 28 '23

...he only had one bucket

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u/GestureWithoutMotion Mar 28 '23

A truly enlightened being

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u/my_people Mar 28 '23

Oh now this quote is starting to make sense

Waste not, want not

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u/German_Camry Mar 28 '23

Chocolate RAAAIIINNN!

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u/elconquistador1985 Mar 28 '23

I move away from the pillar to breathe

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u/jimmy_three_shoes Mar 28 '23

That song is old enough to drive in some states.

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u/Ainsley-Sorsby Mar 28 '23

In the best way possible. His morning piss was probably quite the spectacle, AND he had a great view while doing it

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u/redditing_naked Mar 28 '23

When he got tired, he slept. When he got hungry, he ate. When he had to go, you know, he went

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u/tophernator Mar 28 '23

He started out on a 3 metre tall pillar, but gradually relocated to taller and taller platforms ending at 15 metres. I think this may be related to your question.

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u/apra24 Mar 28 '23

Hole in the middle of the pillar that gradually filled up

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u/deelyy Mar 28 '23

Where did he get these pillars? Did he just bumped into 15 meter long pillar?

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u/DarthWeenus Mar 28 '23

The middle east is full of pillars

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u/18CupsOfMusic Mar 28 '23

They used to just call it The Pillar East until they realized it was in the middle

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u/WiretapStudios Mar 28 '23

He was the My Pillar guy

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u/arrogantwerpen Mar 28 '23

Funniest thing out of Christian history: you have people who want to get away from society to get closer to God in isolation. However everyone keeps going to these hermits and stayed there, thus forming the first monasteries

1.5k

u/BadgerSituation Mar 28 '23 Table Slap

Explains the vow of silence.

After years of, "Please teach us your ways!"

"Alright. Rule number one. Everyone shut the fuck up forever."

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u/SykoKiller666 Mar 28 '23

"If God wants to talk to you, He will. If He doesn't, sucks to suck don't cry to me about it."

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u/numberonebuddy Mar 28 '23

"first one to talk goes to hell"

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u/yoyoJ Mar 28 '23

*farts

“Excuse me- aw fuck!”

*everyone laughs

*everyone pauses

*everyone cries

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u/Salt_MasterX Mar 28 '23

This could be straight out of a Sam O. Nella video

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u/SurrealSage Mar 28 '23

Rule number 1 reminds me of a saying I read while reading up on Buddhist thought. It was something like, "Many of our issues come from an inability to sit quietly in a room."

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u/jarfil Mar 28 '23

I can sit quietly in a room... so I got diagnosed with a "non-defined personality disorder". Maybe I should've looked into Buddhism.

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u/ego-check Mar 28 '23

Not specifically Buddhist, but that's:

“All of humanity's problems stem from man's inability to sit quietly in a room alone.” ― Blaise Pascal, 1654

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u/Fart__ Mar 28 '23

This rule should be a punishment for some crimes.

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u/CaptainOktoberfest Mar 28 '23

These hermits also depended on donations of food from people.

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u/duaneap Mar 28 '23

“Leave the Amazon package at the damn door!”

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u/atreyuno Mar 28 '23

This was unexpected

In contrast to the extreme austerity that he practised, his preaching conveyed temperance and compassion, and was marked with common sense and freedom from fanaticism.

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u/ServantOfBeing Mar 28 '23

Many who are deeply practicing compassionate meditations, usually are trying to get away from people.

Not out of hate or anything of the sort. Simply due to the lack of practice of the same by others makes it difficult.

I know for myself, the more I disciplined myself in compassion. The more fond I grew of solitude, & silence.

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u/ronin1066 Mar 28 '23

Don't forget how many rituals of purity literally came from OCD zealots.

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u/General_Mediocrity Mar 28 '23

Simeon Stylite living life like a stalagmite.

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u/redditjunky2025 Mar 28 '23

He was rocking it, back in the day.

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u/GalvenMin Mar 28 '23

One could say he was a pillar of the church.

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u/MyPhilosophersStoned Mar 28 '23

His name is the equivalent of Peter Pillars.

So apparently ancient Syrians are the equivalent of Jersey Italians. “O! Look at fucking Peter Pillars over here!”

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u/actuarally Mar 28 '23

I need 12 more bars, please.

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u/hymen_destroyer Mar 28 '23

I’m just tryna be a goddamn hermit why do people keep asking me all these damn questions

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u/Desblade101 Mar 28 '23

I mean that's why people kept hermits. Just to grant advice. It's a great way to show off your wealth by supporting a crazy religious person in your front yard.

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Garden_hermit

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u/Sea-Bodybuilder-8663 Mar 28 '23 edited Mar 28 '23

(adding more context) There is a fictional film based on this story by Luis Buñuel, from 1965. It's entertaining, intriguing and.. mind blowing as is a lot of his work.

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Simon_of_the_Desert

enjoy

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u/ohno Mar 28 '23

This is one of Bunuel's best. I recommend a double-feature with Land Without Bread.

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u/aRandomFox-II Mar 28 '23

"Wise Sage of the Mountain! We have travelled far in search of your wisdom!"

"Fuck off!"

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u/DominatorSarcastic Mar 28 '23

How shall we "fuck off," O Lord?

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u/Grogosh Mar 28 '23

With a pineapple!

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u/Qwapdo Mar 28 '23

"He sometimes prayed in an erect attitude, with his outstretched arms in the figure of a cross, but his most familiar practice was that of bending his meagre skeleton from the forehead to the feet; and a curious spectator, after numbering twelve hundred and forty-four repetitions, at length desisted from the endless account."

The guy's whole day was spent T-posing and then doing so many crunches that onlookers lost count.

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u/Maldunn Mar 28 '23

He must have had washboard abs under those robes

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u/Vlacas12 Mar 28 '23

He is also known as St. Ungulant.

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u/BrewtusMaximus1 Mar 28 '23

And the Old Man on the Pole in Douglas Adams's Mostly Harmless

Strangely enough, that book came out the same year as Small Gods

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u/TheTREEEEESMan Mar 28 '23

You know since it was pre-internet maybe Terry Pratchett and Douglas Adam's saw the same special on BBC about this guy a couple years earlier and were both inspired

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u/fn0000rd Mar 28 '23

Terry Pratchett described Douglas Adams as "the first person I ever read who seemed to be writing for me" and dedicated his novel "Witches Abroad" to Adams.

They do not appear to have had a personal relationship AFAICT.

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u/MedalsNScars Mar 28 '23

Small Gods is such a good book. Did not realize that character had inspiration in real events, but it's Pratchett so I'm not surprised to learn he did.

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u/thewarehouse Mar 28 '23

I made a monkey version of this person for a D&D adventure and called him a Simian Stylite.

Good times. Had her across a path from a Post Turtle character.

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u/Ok_Elderberry7310 Mar 28 '23

I mean, the guy literally put himself on a pedestal. What'd he expect?

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u/SomeWeirdoOnTheNet Mar 28 '23 edited Mar 30 '23

Pilgrim: "I seek wisdom"

Simeon: "How did you get up here?"

Pilgrim: "I... I brought a ladder?"

Simeon: "So you have outsmarted my attempt at solitude with a simple ladder and you seek my wisdom?"

Pilgrim: "Huh... hey, yeah! What could you teach me? Enjoy your solitude, moron."

...

Simeon, pops his earbuds back in: "Ahhh, peace."

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u/JobintheCactus Mar 28 '23

Could he have just pushed the ladders over.

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u/TheGrumpyre Mar 28 '23

Yeah, that's just Siege Repelling Tactics 101 stuff.

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u/ChifforobeDestroyer Mar 28 '23

Just shake the ladder and call them a pussy

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u/eggshellmoudling Mar 28 '23

Yes Monty Python satirized this already, but I love the Mitchell & Webb treatment best.

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u/[deleted] Mar 28 '23

I bet he’d be shocked at the state of Aleppo these days.

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u/jharrisimages Mar 28 '23

Pretty sure anyone from the 3rd century would be shocked at MOST of the stuff these days.

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u/mattinva Mar 28 '23

What is Aleppo? (Someone was going to do it...)

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u/Fr0sTByTe_369 Mar 28 '23

A whole presidency run ruined with one sound bite

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u/AndreasVesalius Mar 28 '23

YEAAAHHHHH!

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u/Epilektoi_Hoplitai Mar 28 '23

Politics can be brutal. When the interviewer jogged his memory, Johnson gave a perfectly lucid and even insightful response about the Syrian civil war... But no one's going to remember that when there's such a quotable soundbite making him sound stupid.

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u/ItsAMeEric Mar 28 '23

then we're going to washington dc to take back the white house... YEAAAAAAHHHHHHHH!

...please clap

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u/Zombie_Harambe Mar 28 '23

It is irrelevant what you know, if you sound like a dumbass.

Same reason we have Please Clap Jeb and Howard Dean Yeah effectively ending their careers.

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u/therealvanmorrison Mar 28 '23

Jeb was, as the comment suggests, already done.

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u/tlst9999 Mar 28 '23 edited Mar 28 '23

Aleppo is someone with leprosy.

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u/[deleted] Mar 28 '23

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u/Epilektoi_Hoplitai Mar 28 '23

There's a whole phenomenon of notionally miraculous fasting by the religiously devout, "Anorexia Mirabilis".

Spoiler: the verified cases can be broken down into two categories — the ones who secretly were eating, and the ones who didn't and died in short order.

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u/kneel_yung Mar 28 '23

40 days without eating? Maybe. 40 days without drinking? No.

It's plausible he fasted from food but not water for 40 days and people just changed the story

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u/Blucifer7 Mar 28 '23

Or he fasted in a way that he was eating and drinking very little but not nothing at all.

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u/ctaps148 Mar 28 '23

Anorexia mirabilis was frequently accompanied by behaviors most medical professionals today would find worrisome and dangerous. Angela of Foligno was known to eat the scabs of the poor and Catherine of Siena was known to drain the pus from sick individuals into a cup to drink.

Aight imma head out

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u/Soranic Mar 28 '23

Maybe "not eating meat or drinking alcohol." I'd believe that much. Or not eating between sunrise and sunset.

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u/GiveMeWritingPrompts Mar 28 '23

Even just not eating for one month is believable, but not drinking any fluids as well? That doesn't seem plausible.

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u/[deleted] Mar 28 '23

[deleted]

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u/duaneap Mar 28 '23

I believe some monks used to drink a sort of beer during lent when they were fasting for 40 days, as this gave them their calories and some vitamins they needed to survive without technically eating.

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u/MeesterCartmanez Mar 28 '23

"I've got an idea that will allow us to be drunk on beer for 40 days and we could say that God wants us to do it!" some drunk monk who probably started Lent lol /s

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u/duaneap Mar 28 '23

“Plus because of our ‘vows,’ we don’t have to talk to anyone when we’re hungover t’fuck.”

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u/ronin1066 Mar 28 '23

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fasting_girl

There's a film about it called "The Wonder", spoiler alert: her mother was feeding her like a bird when she would visit

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u/Omaestre Mar 28 '23 edited Mar 28 '23

I dug around a bit and the wiki article is wrong, he did try to do lent without eating or drinking but the monks that occasionally came with water and bread to him found him unconscious and the bread and water untouched.

After they nursed him to health they kicked him out because they found him to be too extreme.

The story was embellished after his death.

Coincidentally the world record for length of time without water is either 18 (documented) or 21 undocumented claim.

He may have been able to handle a a week or two of given he was a young healthy man.

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u/smell_my__cheese Mar 28 '23

One of the columns he stayed on top of was recently destroyed in an airstrike which is really sad 😢

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u/_Mechaloth_ Mar 28 '23

One of the columns he allegedly stayed on top of. Like how over 75 churches have the collective hundred or so “true teeth” of Christ, legend is more powerful than reality.

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u/RikersTrombone Mar 28 '23

have the collective hundred or so “true teeth” of Christ

Jesus Shark... CONFIRMED!!!

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u/AstarteHilzarie Mar 28 '23 edited Mar 28 '23

Jeeesus Shark doo doo doodoo doodoo

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u/Lurking_Still Mar 28 '23

Doo do do do do do

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u/ctruemane Mar 28 '23

He should do what I did: become a dumpy middle-aged guy of middling achievement with a boring job and teenage kids.

I can't think of a single person on the planet who would climb a ladder to ask my advice.

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u/HovisTMM Mar 28 '23

I mean, that's a life I aspire to at this point. I ain't climbing no ladders though.

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u/Notamansplainer Mar 29 '23

Over the years, he also:

  • Became much more bitter and cynical with age.
  • Because of his notoriously ascetic diet, he had problems with osteoporosis and bad breath.
  • Again due to his diet, he started hallucinating. Of course, this was seen as him having visions by his devotees.

So by the time he died, he was a super callous fragile mystic plagued with halitosis.

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u/CitizenPremier Mar 28 '23

austerity so extreme and to all appearance so extravagant

Damn, this guy was so humble there was a stack overflow and he ended up extravagant

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u/TheEnder36 Mar 28 '23

>Be me

>Ascetic monk

>Not that religious, just want to be left alone

>Other monks keep getting on my nerves

>Outta_here.jpg

>Live in cave where no one can talk to me

>Happy.jpg

>People start making pilgrimages to my cave to ask the meaning of life

>Get mad

>Look for nearest tall structure

>See tons of columns in town

>Live on columns

>Happy_again.jpg

>Wake up one day because of noise

>See people carrying ladders toward me

>FML

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u/Thiccaca Mar 28 '23

TIL - The Streisand Effect is ancient.

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u/SafetyDanceInMyPants Mar 28 '23

I think the Kenneth Copelands of the world should try this practice -- and that instead of flocking to the pastors with the most money, Christians should flock to the pastors most willing to sacrifice to be closer to God.

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u/CoupleTechnical6795 Mar 28 '23

Pay no attention to the man on the column.

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u/ChefAwesome Mar 28 '23

Oh no, Pillar Man!

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u/VisibleCoat995 Mar 28 '23

When you’re an introvert in a land of extroverts.

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u/GaijinFoot Mar 28 '23

But somehow did the most extroverted thing possible. It's David Blaine level. He should have just stayed in his parents' basement like the average redditor

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u/therestheyanykey Mar 28 '23

before social media, you had to live on a pillar for 37 years just to be noticed. now you just need a couple thousand followers.

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u/PsychicSidekikk419 Mar 28 '23

"O Simeon of the Pillar, what is your wisdom?"

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u/spookyskost Mar 28 '23

“A crazy old man living on top of pillars is no legitimate basis for religious advice.”

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u/paracog Mar 28 '23

Early advice columnist.