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Microsoft Hates Jews?

Every morning, I go through the same routine. My alarm goes off, I get out of bed, careful not to disturb the many supermodels who have spent the night, and then I walk into the other room. I put on Mama Cass’ “Make Your Own Kind of Music,” turn on my computer, and start to make breakfast. I have the same thing every day: a garlic and anchovy omelet. I like to start my day angry.

As I eat this culinary delight, I usually check up on the news, read my email, perhaps peruse a few comics, that sort of thing, but today was different. For some insane reason, I decided to search for conspiracy theories about September 11th. I was expecting to read the regular tripe about the government, the devil, space aliens, and so on, but I found something that, to be entirely honest, I wasn’t ready for: it turns out that Microsoft was the real hand behind the September 11th attacks.

I was stunned. So stunned that I almost choked on a half-eaten anchovy. It turns out that Microsoft was clever enough to take responsibility for the terrorist attacks by inserting secret codes into their popular word processing software, specifically, in a font called Wingdings. Wingdings replaces regular-looking letters and punctuation marks with symbols; when you type out the alphabet from A to Z, it’s first a series of sign-language drawings, then a couple of miscellaneous warning signs, and then religious icons. If you type out the letters NYC in the Wingdings font, you get this:


Apparently, to all of the kooks and nutjobs in the world, this means “New York City: Killing Jews is okay.” This font has been the subject of rumor and conspiracy theory since around 1992, when a number of newspapers discovered this diabolical code. Since it was, apparently, the slowest news day in the history of mankind, articles began appearing about the anti-Semitic codes hidden in Microsoft’s software. It got so much press that the people who created the font had to take time out from their busy day to defend themselves. My understanding is that they’re nice people, don’t even remotely hate Jews, and claim that this whole NYC business is a coincidence.

But is it? There are 255 characters in the Wingdings font. If you’re going to have these three characters in that set, what are the chances that they will appear in this order? Well, according to the chapter in a statistics book that I read in the twenty minutes between writing that last sentence and this one, the odds are one in 16,581,375. One in sixteen million. And if you don’t care about the order, that is, whether you get NYC, YNC, or CNY, etc, the odds are just a little over one in two million. The New York Post, one of the first “newspapers” to jump on the Microsoft-hates-Jews bandwagon, claims that the odds are less than one in a trillion. That is to say, one in 1,000,000,000,000. Shame on you, New York Post. Learn to do some math.
But to think in this manner is to go about things in the wrong way. Trying to use statistics to fight doofuses that believe in this stuff is absolutely pointless. No matter how you crunch the numbers, they’ll claim that this kill-Jews message was placed intentionally. Mind you, they have absolutely no proof that Microsoft hates the Chosen People other than this combination of letters in a certain font. That’s it. There’s nothing else. There’s certainly no reasoning with them.
Therefore, I think it’s time to take a different route. I’m not a statistician; math is not my strong point. However, being a smartass is. So here is a list of other words that seem to send hidden messages if you type them in Wingdings.

After September 11th, the average person received more conspiracy theory emails than they did solicitations for new credit cards, devices to increase the size of their genitals, and cheap medication combined. One of them stated that the call numbers for one of the four planes destroyed on that day was Q33NY. Type this into wingdings, and you get:


To some, this is interpreted as “an airplane will hit the twin towers so as to kill Jews.” If you’re the sort of person that really enjoys conspiracy theories, by the way, you’re likely to believe that the only people working in the World Trade Center were the Jews that have a shadowy stranglehold over America’s economy and government. Just to make things clear, that’s not true. Anyway, to me the symbols representing “33” look like sheets of paper with writing on them. That is because they are; if you look at the numbers 2, 3, 4, and 5 in sequence, you see that they are represented by a dog-eared sheet of paper, a sheet of paper, three sheets of paper, and a filing cabinet, respectively. I think this message could be better translated as “we are flying instructions on how to fight pirates to Israel.”

And, of course, I shouldn’t forget to mention that Q33NY is not the call sign of any plane involved in the terrorist attacks. Or, for that matter, any plane, anywhere, ever, as far as I can tell.

If this conspiracy business is true, think about what that means: a solid ten years before September 11th, 2001, the Microsoft Corporation knew the call number of an airplane that would be used in an attack on the World Trade Center and, for some reason, decided to encode that message into a font. I don’t care if you have a doctorate in statistics-ology, you have got to believe that this whole thing is a coincidence.

Anyway, let’s start with something related to the subject at hand. If you type in the numbers “911”, you get:


Possible translation: the computer from 2001: A Space Oddessy is reading the files on your computer. I hope you like pornography, HAL. If you type “9/11”, the common abbreviation for the date of the attacks, you now get:


Oh shit! Now HAL is reading your regular mail, too! I hope he doesn’t fill out any credit card applications. But why should New York City get all of the attention? “USA” gives us:


I guess it’s true what they say: the blood of Christ really was spilled for hippies. And if we type in PHL, the airport abbreviation for my home city of Philadelphia, we are shown this deeply conspiratorial message:


“That knight down there is really bummed out.” But now I’m just being silly. What do we get if we spell out the word “Pentagon”, the site of the third terrorist act?


I had to think about this one for a while. But, suddenly, like a flash of lightning, it came to me. The symbolic representation of the word “Pentagon” is a transcript of the following phrase, which, according to the internet, is what a security guard at Logan international airport told one of the hijackers as he approached a flag while going through security: “That flag is a pirate flag. Freeze, beatnik! Put your hands up! Oh! That flag is made out of poison!”

Look. The point is, if a person wants to believe that Microsoft is sending anti-Semitic messages through its word processing software, they’re going to believe. There’s nothing we can do to change that. I hope that those of you who haven’t already made up your mind, however, can see that a) coincidences happen, and b) anyone can make any word, when typed in the Wingdings font, look like a secret communiqué.

Below, I’ve left you with a bunch of words, what they look like in Wingdings, and possible translations. If that doesn’t convince you that coincidences happen, and that people can read too much silly crap into things, then you certainly won’t be convinced by the likes of me.

Be seeing you.

“Give this poison to the druids.”

“Flags make me unhappy. Boo flags!”

“I disapprove of hippies. Bomb them to death!”

“Flood the church until all of the patriots are dead.” (Yes, that’s a little out of order. Look, if you’re going to see crazy messages in innocent fonts, you’re going to see them. The end.)

“Be sure to leave the catholic skeleton outside in the cold.”

“Make hippies bleed!”

“To win victory over global warming, we must bomb Israel.”

“Poison Dalton Trumbo, Christians, and Jews.” (Don’t get the Trumbo reference? Look at the cover of a copy of Johnny Got His Gun.)