Corpus Christi

I got the following chain letter a couple of days ago:

Translated from Spanish: A movie in bad taste is coming out soon in North America. This film, titled "Corpus Christi" (Body of Christ), shows Jesus in homosexual relationships with his disciples. It is a repugnant parody of Jesus. Nevertheless, action from our part could probably change things. Would you accept adding your name at the end of the following list? If so, we could avoid the distribution of this mocking, untruthful film which doesn't contribute anything positive. WE NEED LOTS OF SIGNATURES.

"Everyone who acknowledges me before others I will acknowledge before my heavenly Father." (Mt. 10:32)

Unfortunately, I have to admit that I needed to correct some grammar mistakes, but the idea is there. The e-mail address of the person which will receive it after 500 signatures have been gathered is given afterwards.

First off: no such movie ... that talks about this topic ... has ever been in production. I don't want to seem to be anti-religious: I have a lot of religious friends and love them dearly. This rant is about the prejudgement some people (being religious or not) have over something that apparently they have no clue about, and this cannot be a better example of it. They are asking people to sign a petition over a movie that doesn't exist, only because it might probably deal with Jesus in a homosexual manner.

Apparently this rumor was started almost a decade ago, which relates to a play of the same name that talks about the life of a gay man called Joshua who is beaten up in Corpus Christi, Texas. He eventually flees the town and comes back with 12 friends/lovers just to be betrayed by one of them: Judas.

It didn't surprise me when I also found that they were also a group of a people that protested for that play too. Many of which didn't even see the play... what if Jesus would have been portrayed as an attentive and generous lover? I think that it is reasonable to believe that, given that he'd be homosexual and non-celibate (which is debatable, but not the point right now). But oh no:

Jesus was perfect. Jesus was always right. Jesus never had intercourse: how could he?

No, don't touch my Jesus!
Jesus was not human!

Is that the point? How disappointing: I would've thought that Jesus would've wanted for us to converse, to find a common ground through him about what it is to be human, to be flawed. Isn't that part of the Bible's teachings: find ourselves through him? Then why stop the conversation about what one particular person thinks about him?

What do you think about Jesus? I think that he was great! Good! Next? Good deeds all over. Ok. How about you? Interesting ideas, but I think he's a little over-hyped. How dare you not like Jesus? Get out now!

Mmm... maybe that's how all the religious confrontations started then: not listening the other side. And if that weren't enough, I found the following review about the play written by somebody that actually saw it:

Jesus and his apostles open the proceedings by explaining their roles. They are all presented as ordinary people in professions ranging from hairdresser and hustler to the usual doctor-lawyer-indian chief professions. The "real" story is all there -- Nativity, the Sermon on the Mount, the Last Supper -- but with substitutions to add the right degree of up-to-date relevancy. True to the title, Joshua is born in a motel room and grows up in the playwright's own home town of Corpus Christi, Tex. Sex while suggested is never graphic and the four-letter words should offer few surprises to today's theater goers. How original did the critics find it? Corpus Christi's originality came under universal attack. Ben Brantley of The New York Times launched into his review with "The excitement stops right after the metal detectors." After summing up the security procedures he went on to say "That's pretty much it for pulse-quickening drama. The play that brought an outraged chorus of protest even before it went into rehearsal is about as threatening, and stimulating, as a glass of chocolate milk."

CurtainUp Review

I wonder, though: what if the play would have been about a black man in the apartheid era? Or a woman during the Civil Rights movement? The protests would have been very interesting, don't you think?

Pink Ribbon Search

Quick post:

I found this organization (well, technically, they found me through Twitter) which not only is helping out in something that I think many women have to deal with in a very intimate way, but also doing it very innovatively.

Its goal is to raise $1 million dollars towards breast cancer research. The way that you can help is easy: want to search for something in Google? Instead of using Google's interface, use theirs. That's it. The results are going to be given by Google, so you won't lose any information, and you'll be helping out in the process.

It is very interesting how the Internet is being used nowadays, and I feel very proud of these people for coming up for a solution that not only is probably going to be very effective, but that it also is very easy for the user. I guess that Google is a big factor in this, so kudos to them too.

... I promised that it was going to be a short one this time, didn't I? Mmm... Ok, ok. Bye.

EDIT: (2008-08-12) I've taken down the Pink Ribbon Search logo because it apparently isn't in service anymore. If it comes back up, I'll reload the logo.

Peace in Writing

"Obra Poética (1935-1988) de Octavio Paz", edited by Seix Barral. Pg. 11:

Los poemas son objetos verbales inacabados e inacabables. No existe lo que se llama versión definitiva: cada poema es el borrador de otro, que nunca escribiremos...
All poems are unfinished and unfinishable verbal objects. There is no such thing as the definitive version: every poem is the draft of another, which we'll never write...

Destino del Poeta

¿Palabras? Sí, de aire,
y en el aire perdidas.

Déjame que me pierda entre palabras,
déjame ser el aire en unos labios,
un soplo vagabundo sin contornos
que el aire desvanece.

También la luz en sí misma se pierde.

Poet's Destingy

Words? Yes, of air,
and lost in the air.

Let me lose myself between words,
let me be the air in a pair of lips,
a stray breeze without borders
which the air fades away.

Light can also lose itself in itself.

Oh, Tavito, please guide my fingertips in these auspicious of times in which inspiration is a luxury. Please whisper the words that will create this mocking white into the orgy of blackness I long for. Stroke the back of my head oh so gently when I'm presuming of logic that oozes from this useless ink, when it is beauty that should ultimately stand anywhere a mind tries in mumbles to describe itself. Pat my back when the sentence here is undone, undoable, but, nonetheless, beautiful...

Dr. Paz...

I know you're here, somewhere. I know I haven't written to you, but you haven't either. We're both here: point me to where I left it back then, you know I'll keept it right, you know I'll bring it unsane. I'm not asking for a complete work, just a word, a letter, a dot of ink... the start of it all, the prelude to the waterfall of soft feathers that mask and reveal my children to those unfilled, unsatisfiable glasses. You're here and I can't hear you, can't feel you: alone as I suspect, as I've been always in this type of venture, in this my only true endeavor.

Fine, I'll ablige... I'll spread my hand like a caricature trying to simulate wisdom, and act as the gardener in a forest of weeds, trying to find the rose inside it. It works, and only seemingly when you stay mute; I know what you're doing, but I'll ablige. Trying to guide me by indifference like a youth playing poet: complimentary in a way, insulting in another... I deserve both, so I'll ablige.

Now you know: if it's undone, you're to blame.

La sabiduria no radica en la fijacion ni en el cambio, pero en la dialectica entre los dos.
Wisdom lies neither in fixity nor in change, but in the dialectic between the two.

If not now, when...

Anybody that knows me well knows that I get most of my revelations through comedians. And I mean good comedians, like George Carlin, Bill Hicks, Robin Williams, Doug Stanhope, Eddie Izzard, and Lewis Black.

I finished hearing the Audiobook of Lewis Black's book "Nothing's Sacred" a while ago; I'm not that much of a reader and it was read by the author which made it an intimate experience. Almost at the end, there's this little chapter after another one in which he tells about the time he went to the Yale School of Drama for his Masters (like I said, good comedian). He was going through a weird time because of some trouble with the head of the department and some teachers we're giving him grief:

Going to the Chapel
"And the Lord spoke unto Lewis, but it was too late."

Since my head was on a continuous spin cycle at the drama school, it made perfect sense that I would get married at this time. The wedding took place in the courthouse of Rockville, Maryland, with just my immediate family and her's.

Directly following the ceremony my brother and I walked out the door just as two officers of the law were passing by with a prisoner chackled between them. I looked at my brother and said:

When God sends you a message, he certainly makes it loud and clear.

The marriage was finished in less than a year.

I'm not saying anything bad of getting married (if you love each other, go for it). This post's more of divine 'messages'... and, yes, when He speaks, He absolutely grabs your attention.

Ignorance's Bliss

Take a close look at this painting:

What do you think? Not bad I would say: good use of color (a little bit too gray, but I like it); the sky's weird but nice (good blueish, reddish color). It's a depiction of Laon, France, by the way, and it's author is Adolf Hitler. You can see his signature on the bottom left.

Now what do you think of the picture? ... eery, don't you think?

What changed, though? The author, yes, but what difference does it make? Is a person that is supposedly 'evil' (which, my mother would say, is debatable; weird parents, I know) ultimately cursed in such a way that everything he/she touches is doomed to be flawed? What would happen if history would have portrayed him as just a puppet of his generals (ejem...)? Would this picture be now seen as 'lacking of artistic maturity'? Painting and leading a country are two different things (I can't believe I just wrote that): how come one influences the other?

I've gone through my years absorbing art pieces, specially in music and photography, and every time I come around to something that for me is new, there's somebody else that says "mmm, that sounds/looks like something from such or such person". "Is that good or bad?", I usually reply. "Well, such or such person did this hideous thing!" or "He/she's considered to be a great musician/photographer!" The thing is that I still don't get it: "So?" The conversation usually ends there.

I've talked before about dealing with an argument in such a way that the reputation of the speaker of such an argument doesn't influence the veracity of it. A close-to-passing-out drunk may tell you that drinking like he does can kill you; it will be hard to believe him, I know, but his statement is still true. Ironically, in this case, it may even help the argument along...

However, now I'm looking at it in aesthetic way, in the artistic sense. The way our mind works, for some reason, does not only take in what our five senses are dictating from the piece of art, but filters it by way of what we know about the piece of art. We arrive to such pre-judgmentalism to the point of changing what we feel about a painting just because of who painted it, not because of what is painted and/or its artistic quality. That could very well be what Picasso meant when he said "The quality of a painter depends on the amount of past he carries with him." just instead of 'amount', is 'quality'.

I guess that is why I like about not knowing that much about art or music history. It, in some way, hasn't vaccinated me with such pre-judgment. I'm not saying, however, that I don't pre-judge, I'm human after all: I don't care much for Iggy Pop (put on a shirt, man!) and Nelly Furtado's music at one point wasn't as attractive as it is now that I've truly listened to it. But, at least is nice to know that if I hear The Killers playing Shadowplay in this year's NME awards I won't immediately turned to a bystander and say "these Joy Division wanabes don't know what they're doing". It would be more like "God, that guys sings horrendously!", just to later found out that it was Ian's words all along and that, yes: he may have written the lyrics of the soundtrack of our lives back in the day, but, boy, was that some ugly singing! Yeah, that's right, you read correctly, and I'm not too happy about The Doors' music either... comment away!

Anyway... what I've come to realize is that ignorance's bliss. Not too much though, just enough to have an open mind about the whole thing, and hear/see it with the ears/eyes of a child who doesn't know better, who doesn't know worse... just tries to know from his/her everknowing gut, and just simply likes or dislikes judging from what his naive little heart determines... the mind is way overrated in these kinds of things.

The Noose

He woke up one day, like any other day. Turned on the radio and waited for the always-present news of his one-man hunt. He had been turning live beauties into hanging dead stacks of meat; it was plenty fun, the feel of blood combined with the dripping of tears was an amusing job that took all day to do. He liked to hang them with his favorite knot; he liked to swing them, gagging from the neck, while he was raping them. The smell of the resulting pulp seem to always have his alcoholic smell and of whatever girl he slashed up... it was probably the only way he knew how to connect with them, how to join together his and their essence.

You can't really say he was doing this out of ignorance of morality: he knew it was wrong. He was aware of the pain of not only what he did to them while they were alive, but also the shame produced of whatever he did to them after they stopped breathing. He was evil and he knew it; it was liberating, it was fun. The sensation he felt when he heard on the radio that he was now the most-wanted man in the country gave him a hard-on that signaled him what he needed to take care of... again. "A never-ending cycle, I kill and they celebrate it as if they want me to do it again... morons, beautiful morons."

He stepped outside and began wondering as he'd always done years before. He's surprisingly patient, as this is the foreplay of his endeavor. He was putting his hand in his pocket to stroke himself, to maintain his erection, when she caught his eye. "Next meal up ahead", he moaned to himself. He followed her with a difficult step, ironically caused by his earlier stroking; he was accustomed to it by then. He took her hand from behind when they were passing through a dark alley, making her scream slightly before his other hand covered her mouth. A passer-byer heard it and recognized his face from the profile paintings uptown.

He began undressing her from behind, feeling her smooth body and soft breasts. He turned her around and... her eyes... his eyes... the similarity was unignorable. He had done this for so long, he remembered that at first he didn't killed them -he wanted them to tell the tale- and this girl was right about the same age as he had begun... could it be? Could she be the fruit of his loins?
She, half-naked, did not scream as she understood what was going through his head. She touched his cheak, producing a calm in him never before felt. "She can't be... she's... too beautiful", his legs started to numb up, "I couldn't have created something this... angelic." His reputation as a demon, as a diabolical being, was beginning to shiver away from himself. The girl began to dress up, and he, without recognizing it, without believing it, stood there letting it happen.

"There he is", whispered one police officer to another. "Do we shoot? The girl's there, we could harm her." "Doesn't matter. The chief has given clearance to shoot to kill, no matter what." "Yes, sir... Ok... SHOOT!"

A hive of bullets began flying towards the couple. He grabbed her, and for the first time... for the last time he hugged her... protecting her.

Him... protecting... who was he becoming?

She embraced her father and cuddled in the rain of lead. He felt a joy that overcomed him more so than any of his killings... so more, that he began crying, completely forgetting the pain of the bee stings in his back.

The storm drained and both fell to the ground... she layed there with the dead stack of meat smelling of her and him, and she smiled... his father swan song was as beautiful as she was.

The divine jury had him in court for a millennium, not knowing what to do with him. He hadn't repented, he was a killer, he was evil... but you can't ignore that last act, that last do of his good will, if there was any. He couldn't speak for himself in the hearing, and if even he could, he wouldn't had done so... Finally, the judge came out: "We have here our statement: you shall go back, and show us what you have become. Another judgement will be given after your second return."

He found himself in a womb again, to begin living again. Comfortable, yes, but something was wrong... a voice came over him:

So glad to see you well, overcome them, completely silent now.
With heaven's help you've cast your demons out.
And not to pull your halo down around your neck and tug you off your cloud, but I'm more than just a little curious how you're plannin' to go about makin' your amends to the dead.

Recall the deeds as if they're all someone else's atrocious stories.
Now you stand reborn before us all.
So glad to see you well.

And not to pull your halo down around your neck and tug you to the ground, but I'm more than just a little curious how you're plannin' to go about makin' your amends to the dead.

He had acquired a millennium of thought... of remembering and feeling what he had done to others. No, the divine judgment was wrong, he needed to go down and bad.

He looked up and his umbilical chord invoked in him a weapon that he had used so much before...

With your halo slippin' down (I'm more than just a little curious how you're plannin' to go about makin' your amends)

He wrestled, tugged, and moved along in his water-filled hub for weeks to accommodate himself, as his hands weren't completely developed. Until one day, he produced for the last time his favorite knot... he slipped his head in and let the chord do his last will.

With eyes closed, he stopped breathing again, hanging from his life source and a smile in his face: he stripped his halo and faced his punishment...

Your halo's slippin' down to choke you now