Just a place for random rantings and ravings.....

Friday, August 18, 2006

She's BAAAACK......

When I was a little kid, some news report that came on the tube saying that the image of the Virgin Mary had appeared in a tree stump and a crowd of thousands from far and wide had flocked to the site to witness the "miracle". On the screen, the reporters showed a clip of the purported image and I distinctly remember thinking to myself- even as a child- People travelled from all over the world to see THAT. Since I first took notice of the phenomenon of finding her face in stranger than strange places oh so long ago, I've noticed that it seems to be a recurring theme all over the world....and I ALWAYS happen to catch wind of it:

A door in Michigan

a leaky underpass in Chicago

a grilled cheese sandwich in Miami which "never bore a mold spore after being stored for 10 years" (anyone who has let bread sit out for a few days understands that mold doesn't grow on dry ass bread...)

It sold on EBAY for $28,000!

A brick in Wales

An office building in Clearwater, Florida

A half million people came to see this!

A mirror in London

That pesky little tree from my childhood memory......... OK maybe not the EXACT tree from that news report, but you get the idea!

Someone's photo in England

And finally the newest edition to the Travelling Maria Holy Moly Show, this small piece of dark chocolate from Fountain Valley, California.

Today apparently, an employee at the famous Bodega Chocolates found it under a vat while cleaning. She's an undocumented illegal alien from Guatemala and thought that by bringing this image public, it might help iron out the illegal immigrant issue in her favor. Considering the fact that we have such a "religious" president and that it's now "in" for politicians to tout their religion as a means to garner votes- it might actually work! OK not really, that was a joke- but you thought about it for a second didn't you! Honestly though, she did say that she thought it had a strange resemblance to the Virgin herself and she got VERY emotional when she saw it. Hmmmmm......

Now, I'm no Catholic so maybe the present and/or former Catholics out there can help me understand why these "sightings" are such a big deal. I've visited a mass or two and I understand that there is a lot of tradition and ritual that goes into the faith, and I can surely comprehend the severe importance of the Virgin Mother, but it seems to border on fanatacism at times. Maybe I just don't get it. Parker? Rock? Bob? hook me up with some info! It seems like I could view anything I wanted in these things. Anyone see a turtle sunning itself on a rock in the grilled cheese? Or a penguin in the overpass? Or an F-16 jet fighter in the tree? Or a crab in the church window? No? Look harder you lazy bums!!!! Out of respect for those people of the Catholic faith, I won't EVEN say what that damn little, brown, lumpy thing resembles! So, let's think about this for a second:

a. Who alive today- or at any point in the last two thousand years for that matter- knows what the real Mary looked like? Chances are she didn't look anything like a greasy sandwich or a pollution filled crack on an overpass, much less the pale, blue eyed, blonde woman we're accustomed to. If you've ever been to the Middle East or New York City, you'd realize that she probably looked a lot more like Selma Hayek than Cameron Diaz.

b. As I understand it, if there is a claim of an apparition, the Catholic church sends out an official to determine whether it's valid or not. If he (I said 'he' because women still aren't on equal footing with the men in Catholicism...or most religions for that matter) looks at it and determines that it's an apparition, then there's great celebration within the faith that the Holy Mother has shown herself again. If he was in a bad mood, had a little too much holy wine that day, or hadn't gotten enough sleep the night before, he might not see what everyone else sees and disappoint a whole lotta people. My question is what if she really DID show up and the apparition priest was pissed off because he didn't get the promotion he wanted. He just might be vindictive enough to keep it to himself!

c. Why is that anytime there's a femalesque figure that appears in an inanimate object, it's an apparition of the Virgin Mary? Sure these images may look feminine in a way, but why does EVERY single one have to be Mary? C'mon man, spread it out a little! When are Halle Berry, Vanessa del Rio and Michael Jackson gonna get some love?

d. Ask yourself, who's nuttier- the people who hear about the apparition, travel across the country to somehow see the images of the Holy Momma for themselves, light candles and pray, or the folks who write 20 page papers to deny that the image is there and/or vandalize the sites that people flock to. I think it's a little loony myself but who am I to denounce what someone sees? Is it THAT serious that you have to go piss on someone's "miracle"?

Left: The Chicago underpass vandalized by some dude with black shoe polish

Right: The same underpass after being painted over by a Chicago road crew

I guess it IS that serious....

In the midst of writing this post, I've learned a few valuable lessons:
1. People will see what they want to see, regardless of whether everyone else sees it or not.
2. People will see what they want to see, even if they don't think they see it.
3. People will say they see what others want to see, and make a whole bunch of money! (ain't that a bitch!)

Today I took Naimah with me to the market to picked up a few things, and among them, a box of animal crackers. Don't ask me WHY animal crackers- it may be a post partum fatherhood thing, who knows? As I munched through this box, I happened to pull out a fairly large cookie and as I took a closer look, I thought I happened to see something special. It's not my opinion that matters however so tell me- what do YOU see?


Anonymous micki said...

Very valid observations. Religion is tricky;there are those who live by what they believe in;there are those who vehemently denounce any belief other than their own (those are the most dangerous);we cannot disregard "Our History" religion is what allowed our ancestors to survive the vile inhumanities relentlessly perpetrated on slaves. While I get your point on the oddity of what people see in the strangest places, I cannot discount what they "see"; I know there are a myraid of charlatans, leeches, opportunists, etc. preying on whatever weaknesses they can take advantage of. love, micki

Mon Aug 21, 08:09:00 AM

Anonymous igor said...

people see what they want to see

very true!

Mon Aug 21, 04:45:00 PM

Blogger paz y amor said...

I'm glad I could FINALLY get Igor to agree on something! Just kidding my man, we tend to think alike on a few things. Thanks for tuning in....

Mon Aug 21, 08:02:00 PM

Anonymous igor said...

c'mon, paz,

reading thru your blog I can say I am with you at 90%.

our differences are more a matter of quantity than quality or direction.

also, being a russian with background in physics, I am more blatant and I don't give a shit to your american political correctness, when it comes to seeing a discussion through...

Tue Aug 22, 02:38:00 PM

Blogger Kiyotoe said...

People don't just see what they WANT to see, they see what they NEED to see.

Crazy sightings and apparitions lend credibility to their faith in what is typically unseen, unheard and intangible.

One man's "crazy" is another man's "miracle". Just like our differences in music, movies, women and just about every other thing in the universe. Doesn't make either of our tastes less valid.

Tue Aug 22, 03:02:00 PM

Blogger paz y amor said...

Oh my dear brother.... You missed the point again. I'm acknowledging the fact that people's faith needs to be respected- I'm merely implementing the human element into the whole phenomenon- perception, fallible perception. I'm sure I can look hard enough at the floor and find a feminine face and call the Catholic archdiocese claiming that the Virgin Mary has shown herself in my house and it's a "miracle". If they come and tell me that it's NOT her, does that eliminate my "miracle"? Do I then become "crazy" because I saw something the priest didn't? I can't fault the 500,000 people who came to look at a window, or the person who spent the equivalent of my car on a ten year old cheese sandwich- that's their business, but MY perception tells me that these objects are just that, objects- not signs from the almighty to bring people back to the church- something else with fallibly human elements.

Tue Aug 22, 04:46:00 PM

Blogger paz y amor said...

Igor, maybe I had a poor choice of words. I meant to say we agree on MORE than a few things (which is definitely true) so let me apologize....By the way, I agree that political correctness needs to take a hike, however, rhetoric should be tactful rather than tasteless.

Tue Aug 22, 04:49:00 PM

Blogger paz y amor said...

You're not tasteless, but there are a lot of folks who are...

Tue Aug 22, 04:53:00 PM

Blogger Rock said...

paz y amour, once again I get a little time and I come to your site, and I am floored. Great site, keep it up. I don't have time to make a pertinent comment, so I just will say that I enjoyed the post very much. Plus, I responded to you guys commenting on my site, but want to make sure that you, and igor, get my invitation I've given to three of you--you, igor, and Lynn. Here it is, as I've stated on my site:

I have an idea. I'm going to propose this to each of you, since you guys are some of the most intelligent commentors I've had, and you each have differing points of view. How about from time to time, one of you takes a turn at being the guest blogger on my site? You send me your copy for a post, and I'll post it. It doesn't have to be deep or profound, just something important to you. It doesn't have to be heavily researched or take a long time--just something you are passionate about. Then, we'll all comment on it, and the public can comment on it too. It can either be a set piece that we decide on, an idea of your own, or you can respond to a question I'll pose.

Of course, I'd be willing to "guest-blog" on your blogs too, if you have one, and only if it's appropriate, and only if it's desired. Anyway, I'd like all three of you to apply yourselves as you do so well in your comments to an occasional political blog on my site.

Let me know.

Tue Aug 22, 09:14:00 PM


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