The Washington Post

Beware the Ides of March?

Et tu?

Before Caesar’s assassination, the word ”Ides” was just a calendar term to mark the full moon. But after he was murdered by a group of conspirators led by Marcus Brutus, the day took on its new, portentous meaning — a day when prophecies of doom are realized.Will today be that kind of a day?

A look at the Post’s homepage could support the theory that Bad Things Happen Today: The Taliban has suspended peace talks with the U.S., the Republican primary is becoming a full-out brawl, the situation in Syria is only getting worse, and HBO canceled the racetrack drama “Luck” after a third horse died on the set.

But bad things happen every day — we just notice them more on days of heightened superstition, like the Ides of March and Friday the 13th.

“People will come to believe a date is ‘bad’ or unlucky and will focus on anything that goes wrong on that day,” wrote Benjamin Radford of LiveScience. “In that way, it becomes kind of a self-fulfilling prophecy: You assume you're going to have a bad day, and so you do.”

So, don’t worry about the Ides of March. Unless you’re Ryan Gosling, of course.

Maura Judkis covers culture, food, and the arts.


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