The Johnson of the Savior
For Palm Sunday I offer up above a lovely image of the Holy Family with the peepee pf the Infant Savior very much in evidence and causing no problems. It's unclear whether it was the chocolate or the visible penis that riled up that RC blowhard Bill Donohoe and his followers, but death threats and warnings of a boycott have shut down the art exhibit at the Roger Smith Hotel in New York that featured a crucified Jesus made out of chocolate. Details, images, and links available via Digby's Hullabaloo.
I hate so many things. I hate people who block the door in the subway for instance. I hate people who chew gum with their mouths open. I hate people who let their small children terrorize them in public. I hate people who are cruel to animals. I hate people who own Hummers. I hate news pundits most of all. The voice of those lying dolts, who are incompetent at the one thing that they do that is considered work -- if they were surgeons and performed surgery the way they make judgments and forecasts they would all be in jail and we'd all be safe -- when I hear them I feel a sort of panic of loathing. But it does not occur to me to make death threats to any of these malefactors.
The things I hate may annoy me to the point where my breathing becomes shallow and I am having a private one-sided inner Basil Fawlty conversation with them, "Can't get your great hog of a vehicle into the parking space? What do you call that monster anyway? Cadillac Nimrod? I suppose you feel safe, well, congratulations, you're certainly safe from easy parking, at any rate, but you look like a bloody idiot..." etc. etc. . But if I made a death threat to a pundit or to person blocking the doorway in the subway I would be doing a thing that is a whole lot worse than what they are doing. And I also understand that the irritation I feel will go away as soon as I get my mind off it. I don't believe that my hatreds should run unchecked. Not because they are mine, but because they are hatreds and therefore I should treat them with suspicion. My indulgence of my hatreds is confined to the inside of my head and to a few friends who listen to me whine. And oddly, that's all I ask of my hatreds, a little low private entertainment. My mother thinks even this is too much, and my better self would agree. I'm much happier when I don't think about hating anybody at all, no matter how deserving. That's why I carry a book and my iPod everywhere i go, and why I do not stay in any room where TV news is playing.
How hard is this, really?
Apparently it's hard for that Donohoe, who has led the very noisy charge against the exhibition. Well, who asked him? I do know this, though; I'd rather see a naked chocolate Jesus in every store window, with a big ole wang down to his knees if need be, than have a lot of people wondering around loose who think it's all right to make death threats and threaten people's businesses and livelihods because they don't like the way something looks. I mean, honestly, it should be like, "Oh, I see. You've given up on reasoning and you're on the threats now? Well, good, now your opinion counts even less. You don't need to think, you just need to threaten? Well, I don't listen to threats." Or maybe just start singing "I am the very model of a modern major general" really loud whenever they're talking.
My cousin was at a condo board meeting a couple days ago and a resident -- you know how there's always at least one loony and crank who turns up at every meeting and somehow makes the business of the meeting be all about the phantoms in her head? They always seem normal at first. They are friendly to strangers, let me tell you wherever I go these people find me, but maybe they just like the fresh meat, I dunno. Anyway this woman had a sort of eruption of anger at someone's not quite eager enough response to a proposal she had made to the board, and began reading out loud from the by-laws. My cousin asked her, after 3.5 minutes, whether she was going on much longer. (These meetings seem to go on forever under the best of circumstances.) The woman threw the book of by-laws at my cousin, I mean heaved it at her head. My cousin ducked and wasn't hit. And, she told me later, none of the board members or the other residents said anything. I mean, people are so timid and afraid of being conspicuous that they would rather let this woman rampage about and disrupt their meetings and throw things at people and bore the hell out of them and waste their time. Some of these folks are the sort of libertarian who thinks their sole moral responsibility is to get as much money as they can and hold on to every cent of it. Every man for himself is a coward.
I can't see where a chocolate Jesus is any worse than hot cross buns or chocolate Easter eggs or Easter bunnies.
And a chocolate sculpture of Jesus, no matter how lifelike, is just a symbol. It isn't the actual Christ and it isn't even a depiction of the actual Jesus because. We. Don't. Know. What. He. Looked. Like. The artists of the Italian Renaissance who gave Jesus the familiar look were studying 1) each other's work and 2) all this pagan sculpture that was being dug up in fields.
All we know of some things is what we imagine.
Imagine Jesus with his johnson or without it, it's still only what you've imagined. Imagine better.
Is there no change of death in paradise?
Does ripe fruit never fall? Or do the boughs
Hang always heavy in that perfect sky,
Unchanging, yet so like our perishing earth,
With rivers like our own that seek for seas
They never find, the same receding shores
That never touch with inarticulate pang?
Why set the pear upon those river banks
Or spice the shores with odors of the plum?
Alas, that they should wear our colors there,
The silken weavings of our afternoons,
And pick the strings of our insipid lutes!
Death is the mother of beauty, mystical,
Within whose burning bosom we devise
Our earthly mothers waiting, sleeplessly. (Wallace Stevens, Sunday Morning)