likethebeer: (blasphemy)
Tierra Santa Buenos Aires: Where Christianity Meets Kitsch
By Ella Morton
If you missed the resurrection of Christ, don't worry — it'll happen again at 10 minutes to the hour.

Every 60 minutes at the Tierra Santa religious theme park in Buenos Aires, a 40-foot statue of Christ rises from inside a plaster mountain as Handel's Messiah blasts out the hallelujahs. When the robo-Jesus has completed his ascent — a process that takes about a minute — he swivels, closes his eyes, and rotates his palms as if to say, "Look ma, no stigmata." Then it's back inside the mountain to await the next hour's resurrection.

Is there really any other kind of icon I could have up here?
likethebeer: (blasphemy)
Art History class helped me to remember Leda, although I forgot she gave birth to Helen of Troy. But, really: those Egyptian gods were totally screwed up:
likethebeer: (Ceci n'est pas une peep)
This one is about the Bible, but I was hearing ads for one about Jesus. "Don't miss the resurrection!"

I thought - what? - are people sitting there wanting to see this miniseries about Jesus because they want to know how it ends?
likethebeer: (Ceci n'est pas une peep)
They talked about marshmallow peeps during Easter on the radio, so I thought I would do this instead of my "Blasphemy" icon (Jesus on the cross w/3 guys, spelling out "Y M C A"). Although Catholicism is so dug into my bones that I feel a little guilty just having "Ceci n'est pas une peep" as opposed to, I don't know, something with him on a cross, or comforting the women, or Simon Peter carrying his cross, or... something.

And, since it is Good Friday, I'll hyperlink to this story I told last year about my mom & the day. Aww, mom. I miss you, but you stuck Catholicism in my bones so I feel like I shouldn't miss you; that I should be thinking about Jesus being tortured and killed.

Oh, although the fact that I would gravitate immediately toward some icon that references Ceci N'est Pas Une Pipe The Treachery of Images is part of what makes me adorable as hell, isn't it?


Mar. 15th, 2013 08:00 am
likethebeer: (blasphemy)
Angel-Shaped Man Appears in Arizona After New Pope Is Announced

Weirdly, this makes me aware of a nostalgia for stupid news items.

... or, maybe, pictures of pieces of toast that have the image of Jesus on them.
likethebeer: (blasphemy)
Very strange times we live in, the last Pope having resigned in 1415 (Pope Gregory XII).

Part of me wishes I was more interested, but I think there's just a part of me that's been uneasy during all of Pope Benedict's papacy. The unease has had to do with my deep, old, love of Pope John Paul II - due to the fact that I was a good Catholic kid when John Paul II came into the papacy - as opposed to this other guy who was elected when I don't really care anymore. But obviously I've got stuff stuck way down in my make-up.

Well, and because I'm not a practicing Catholic, remembering even the name Pope Benedict is sometimes a stretch (and I can never remember what number comes after his name - 16?). And he's different than John Paul II, who seemed more cool (even though, behind the scenes, he was pulling conservative stuff).

But! This allows me to use this icon!
likethebeer: (blasphemy)
I can't help but feeling that it makes complete & total sense that a man with a history of philandering would be attracted to the Catholic church, which strikes me as a fleshy, messy, and gluttonous church, as opposed to the austerity of the Protestant side of Christianity.

I have a theory about the protestants: coming out of northern Europe, they lived with the cold, long winters which helped to solidify the concept of a hell. Because, obviously, you can't really enjoy the summer, because you know at the end, there will be the punishment of hellish winter. So you work and work in order to prepare for the winter, and you're thrifty, etc. The Catholics, though, mostly thrived in Spain & Italy, which are warmer, spicier, and redolent of sex & money.
(Ok, well I'm just picturing The Turkish Bath, by Ingres, when I write that, even though its subject is supposed to be Turkish & not Catholic. Though, really, Ingres called it the Turkish Bath, but it was just really an excuse to paint fleshy naked women in the mythical harem.

Anyway, that's the image I think of, unless you want to look at Titian and Raphael. And maybe I think of Raphael b/c Ingres painted a series of pieces with the figure of Raphael and, who was she called, la Fortorina, or something like that - his lover.... Ok, La Fornarina.)
likethebeer: (blasphemy)
Boy, sometimes I come across things that emphasize how far away I am from my Catholic upbringing: right now, there's a piece on NPR about a band called, Noah and the Whale.

I heard the teaser for the band profile, but when the announcer would mention the band's name, I'd think about this local guy named Jack Whaley.

It wasn't until the piece started Noah, being from the bible, and a Bible story involving a whale, came to my consciousness. Although, I just realized that the reason why I didn't make the intellectual connection is that the Bible story goes, "Jonah and the whale". That's good to get the explanation.

Although I guess it means something that it took me that long to remember Jonah.

It's May 1

May. 1st, 2009 08:07 pm
likethebeer: (blasphemy)
I am no longer Catholic, but I fondly remember May Day at my Catholic grade schools, when we'd parade a statue of the Virgin Mary into church, crowned with flowers. I liked it because it was a happy time, the songs were pretty (can't remember them anymore, but anyway), it was spring, and it smelled nice w/all the flowers. Yes, I know now that (a) it was a pagan ritual that was taken over by the Catholic church, (b) it's kind of creepy that you'd be venerating a statue (but, really, that weirdness is part of why I have a soft spot in my heart for the Roman Catholic Church), and (c) the ritual was to counter the May Day parades held in the then-Soviet Union; but I still have fond memories of it.
likethebeer: (Ceci n'est pas une peep)
It is interesting to me that I am so out of the Pxian loop that I don't think much about Easter anymore (and not being in the kid loop, I don't have to think about baskets, plastic green grass, or chocolate eggs). It's interesting, having grown up in a Catholic culture, that I cannot remember Easter itself, aside from colored eggs, chocolate bunnies, and jelly beans. I don't remember the mass at all. I do remember the dyeing of the eggs, so I suppose my mother, for all the hell it caused us, did a good thing in our Good Friday mandate that we were to be silent from noon to 3 every Good Friday: because it gives me (a) the memory of how long those 3 hours were (longest of every year) and (b) the memory of dyeing eggs (which we always did at 2 on Good Friday - an hour before the silence ended).

Of course, I also remember other rituals related to Lent: ashes on the forehead, and Benediction (of the Sacred Sacrament). I'd not known Benediction before we moved from NJ to PA. The Catholic school I'd gone to in NJ was quite liberal. The Catholic school I went to in PA was the most conservative (according to my mother) in the most conservative parish in the country (Saturday night masses didn't occur until about 25 years after Vatican Council II). Anyway, I get plunked down in that school, and every Friday in Lent was Benediction: a recitation of the Stations of the Cross, with the priests and the alter boys going up the aisles and swinging incense, and lots of Catholic aerobics (kneel, stand, sit, stand, kneel, sit, stand, kneel...). As spring got closer, I always counted on at least 1 girl fainting in the church at Benediction - the warmth & the smell of the incense did that.

I went to a few Good Friday services growing up, I know. That's a strange service, as I recall. The congregation became the people calling for Jesus' blood, saying, "Give us Barabas" (the other person put up as a person that Pontius Pilate could set free). And that "give us Barabas" was just the beginning. I can see now what the purpose was - to remind us, in a way, that we are all responsible for sin; and to remind us that we are all capable of the hive mind. But reciting what's written on the page isn't as visceral, I suppose. It's still kind of creepy. Yes, I think that the Good Friday services were my least favorite. A real downer. Even as you knew that Jesus would rise in 3 days.

I do wish that I could comment to that nun of mine in (what?) 2nd grade? 5th grade? SHe told us that it was always cloudy on Good Friday from noon to 3, because the earth was remembering Jesus' time on the cross. It was blue skies yesterday. I'd like to pounce in front of that woman every Good Friday that's sunny and say, "See? You were WRONG, lady!" I do have to say, though, that I think about the weather every Good Friday. Crazy old nun lady.

So that's pretty much it for Easter/Lent. I do have to say that one Lent I gave up being critical of my sisters, and I think it actually did some good. So there.
likethebeer: (blasphemy)
I'm not Pxian any longer, but I thought this was a good article on why Easter has never been commercialized like Christmas. This is the crux of it, more or less:
Despite the awesome theological implications (Christians believe that the infant lying in the manger is the son of God), the Christmas story is easily reduced to pablum. How pleasant it is in mid-December to open a Christmas card with a pretty picture of Mary and Joseph gazing beatifically at their son, with the shepherds and the angels beaming in delight. The Christmas story, with its friendly resonances of marriage, family, babies, animals, angels, and—thanks to the wise men—gifts, is eminently marketable to popular culture. It's a Thomas Kinkade painting come to life.

On the other hand, a card bearing the image of a near-naked man being stripped, beaten, tortured, and nailed through his hands and feet onto a wooden crucifix is a markedly less pleasant piece of mail.
likethebeer: (blasphemy)
2 Pxians1 just came to the door (they weren't Jehovah's Witnesses - no Watchtower), and talked to me very nicely about creationism, etc., even though I told them politely that
1.) I believe in evolution (3x)
2.) that I don't believe in the stories of the Bible (2x), and
3.) that I didn't want to waste their time (2x)

The 2nd time I said, "I really don't want to waste your time," they finally went away.

So glad he didn't have to talk to them. They were nice, but it would make mda want to rip all his hair out. Either that, or he would pull out his copy of Richard Dawkins' book (or Darwin) and start schooling their shit.

1"Pxians" is my abbreviation of "Christian", taken from a combination of the Greek letters X (chi) & P (rho), which form the beginning of the word Christ (although I suppose then that I should write Xpians, but in handwriting, you write "P" first, w/the "X" over it; hence the reason why I type P first, then X--plus Xpians looks like some kingdom in the Narnia series).

The "Chi-ro" was used in writing & sculpture to stand for "Christ", apparently from the Emperor Constantine's time, once Christianity became the official Roman religion.

I picked up this abbreviation in Catholic school (all those religion classes means that you write the word "Christ" a LOT while taking notes - yes, we had textbooks, homework & tests in religion class), but I have learned that not everyone on lj has encountered this before. Plus, it gives me an opportunity to put a link to the explanation in one of my posts (I'm sure I'll forget, but whatever).


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