Back after a long hiatus, to wish you a happy Easter.
Faithful readers of this blog, all 12 of them, may recall the 3 Weird Sisters classic, “Touchdown Jesus” Smited from several years ago, in which a monumental tacky Jesus sculpture erected by an Ohio megachurch was struck by lightning and burned to the ground.
Well, several months ago that church finished their new tacky monumental statue to replace the one that burned, and I have been saving the pictures from then until today just so I could use this headline. Behold the new, and one presumes, fireproof Jesus:
Which of course reminds me of this classic from the lamentably departed Poor Man:
This, however, is my favorite picture of the resurrection of the giant tacky megachurch Jesus statue:
Easter is, I must admit, about the most impenetrable holiday for me. The meaning, for those of us raised in homes that were at most religiously apathetic, extends to bunnies, baskets of goodies, and hunting for hidden eggs; in that context, it’s a holiday you outgrow in adolescence. It becomes even more confusing when you consider the way it moves around on the calendar. Then there’s the whole thing about breaking out the white shoes, buying new outfits, and celebrating by eating ham of all things, which Jesus as a Jew would not have eaten. Maybe the message there is that after he died for our sins and was resurrected, the reward was bacon. Well, as Eddie Izzard says in the clip below, you tell me.
Alternately, because wordpress apparently no longer supports youtube videos, see it here.
Also, because what would a religious holiday be without rightwinger outraged butthurt, the culture wars have erupted all over Fox News and the nutosphere, thanks to Google’s unconscionable recognition of the day as Cesar Chavez’ birthday, 20 years after his death. The offending doodle:
On Michelle Malkin’s Twitchy (or as I call it, Tweaker) conservative alternative to Twitter, it was suggested that Google could have used a more holiday-appropriate theme, such as eggs, which of course reminded me of the Eddie Izzard bit above. As I told one complainant in blog comments elsewhere, who insisted the doodle was a “slap in the face” to Christians and claimed that from here on out, he would be using bing as his search engine…”so, what you’re telling us is that Google, a private company, only recognized your portable religious holiday with a doodle on the date in the past 14 out of 15 years, but because they skipped one year, it’s a slap in the face and you’re going to switch to using an inferior product for conducting web searches as a result? That’s a pretty weak-sauce version of getting thrown to the lions, bro.” Funny how flexible that idea of a “free market” is when the actors in it don’t mindlessly conform to the religious preferences/prejudices of the conservatives who are its most ardent defenders.
Silly me. I should know by now that Easter, like Christmas, is meant to remind us of the untold suffering and oppression the Christian majority in this country has endured as a result of the fact that not everyone believes exactly the same things they do.
Recently an amateur artist tried her hand at restoring a century-old painting on a church column in Spain. The pictures below show the results of her attempt:
Over the years, the work began to deteriorate, as shown in the second image. According to the Centre de Estudios Borjanos, the unnamed amateur artist (without permission from the church, needless to say) thought she could improve the work and set to work with paints and brushes. The third picture is the result.
But wait…here comes the good part:
The BBC Europe correspondent described the painting’s current state as resembling “a crayon sketch of a very hairy monkey in an ill-fitting tunic.”
This reminded me of a classic from back in my college days, a book called Thrift Store Paintings by Jim Shaw. Thanks to Shaw’s deadpan descriptive titling of the works, I was able to find the book again on amazon, by googling the memorable title of one of the works, seen below:These works are bad, but at least they’re fun. I would consider hanging some of these in my house. Not so for our third subject, the Thomas Kinkade of the teabagger set, Jon McNaughton:
This is titled The Empowered Man, because as you can see, Joe Sixpack has just wrestled the sacred Constitution from the evil clutches of Black Hitler, as previous socialist presidents look on in alarm, while True Patriots™ (standing behind the man on his right, natch) applaud. This is from what McNaughton calls his “Patriotic” gallery; noted art expert Sean Hannity claims to be a collector of these fine works, which include others showing Black Hitler setting the Constitution on fire, standing on the Constitution, being showered with money while an audience in chains looks on, and etc. Dude’s about as subtle as a sledge hammer; in one painting he’s got Kim Jong Il standing in the background behind the Kenyan Usurper. His technical painting ability surpasses that of the two previous subjects, but not by all that much – check out the kneeling, praying man in the image above. I think that’s supposed to be James Madison, but it looks more like
Newt Gingrich Antonin Scalia in a wig to me, or maybe some TV preacher. Also note how he’s placed Dubya in with all the socialists (though he has given him the bloat appropriate for a guy who’s back on the sauce).
His other stuff ain’t much better. He reveals himself to be a member of the Kinkade school with his “cottages” collection and his “temples” collection (yes, he is a Mormon). Maybe on Kolob this shit is recognized as fine art, but here on Earth, it’s just shit, and the people who buy it deserve to be fleeced even more than the people who bought Thomas Kinkade’s hobbit fantasy crap. At least Kinkade redeemed himself somewhat by pissing on Winnie the Pooh at Disneyland. It just makes me happy knowing that Sean Hannity is one of the rubes he’s fleeced, though of course Hannity lacks the self-awareness to recognize he revealed himself as a hayseed by publicly proclaiming his enthusiasm for this crap.
I’ll take hairy monkeys in ill-fitting tunics any day.
In an effort to move the unpleasantness of the last post further down the page, I’d like to revisit a bizarre childhood memory: The Goat Man.
People I’ve told about the Goat Man in my adult life have tended to be disbelieving, probably for the simple reason that the Goat Man spent most of his time on the east coast, so they probably never saw him when they were kids. But he was a regular fixture in Georgia where I grew up; I remember one time, aged 5 or 6, riding down US 41 and my dad saying, “kids, look – it’s the Goat Man!” Even to a young child, the sight was surreal – a ZZ Top figure in overalls walking alongside a rickety wagon piled with scrap metal, rags, and other detritus, all being pulled by a team of a dozen or more goats, with more goats behind.
I think this photo must have been taken in the late 40’s to mid-50’s, but since the Goat Man pretty much defied progress, the whole tableaux looks about the same as it did when I saw it in the late 60’s – except US 41 in those days had become a very busy road, so the Goat Man kept to the shoulder.
One other time the Goatman had pitched camp on the side of US 41; we begged Dad to stop so we could see the Goat Man, but he refused with some comment about how bad goats smell and something about the Goat Man being crazy. Dad had long familiarity with the Goat Man, who he said had travelled through regularly since he was a kid.
Those are the only two times I remember seeing the Goat Man; I mostly forgot about him until the late 80’s, when I was browsing through a book about southern legends in a bookstore – and there he was, in a chapter devoted to his life and travels. I don’t remember all the details or the name of that particular book, but do remember how surprised I was to learn that he had been married and had a child. According to this account, his wife didn’t like travelling but he found he couldn’t settle down, so she left with the child and he continued on with the goats. One phrase I remember, in a section where he talked about sleeping (in the non-Biblical sense) with his goats, was how he described cold nights as “two-goat nights”, when he would pull two goats on top of himself when he went to sleep. Reading that, I had no problem sympathizing with the former Mrs. Goat Man, who probably had no more love for the smell of goat than any of us do.
These days with the fancy internets and all, information about the Goat Man is a bit easier to come by, though much of it, cobbled together from Ches McCartney’s own accounts, seems quite fanciful. The way he told it, he ran away from his home in Iowa in 1915 at age 14, went to New York City, and married a Spanish knife-thrower a decade his senior. Then again, given the circumstances of his last travel, maybe it’s not so unbelievable. In the late 1980’s, he followed the well-trod path of both Jon Lovitz’ “the Liar” character and Pee Wee Herman and went to Los Angeles to woo Morgan Fairchild; once there he was mugged. He never did get to meet Ms. Fairchild – funds were raised to purchase a plane ticket to bring him “home” to Macon, Georgia, and his travels finally drew to a close.
The “goat years” of his travels for which he was known took place from 1930 – 1969, and the wife who briefly travelled with him was his second. He claimed to be an ordained Pentecostal (what else?) minister, and apparently preached whenever a crowd showed up at his camp – which solved for me the riddle of why Dad wouldn’t let us stop to see the Goat Man. From various internet accounts, he also seemed to have some rather novel ideas about other things, like race war, which probably would serve him well in today’s paranoid teabagger crowd. He mostly travelled the east coast between Maryland and Florida, typically going south in the winter and travelling back north the following spring, so any of you old farts reading this who grew up anywhere in the Southeast during that time period might have seen him.
Whatever else he may have been, he was an original, an eccentric throwback to the hobos of the Depression, and clearly someone who managed to live life on his own dirty, smelly, goat-ridden terms.
This comes courtesy of John Cole at Balloon Juice. I don’t recommend watching the whole thing, but there is one bit that’s almost inspired in its lunacy at about 10:30 into the clip. This comes from the floor of the Oklahoma House of Representatives, which should come as no surprise to anyone who knows anything about Oklahoma – a state which, I have long averred, would be where God would stick the tube should He decide in His infinite wisdom to give the United States an enema.
Of course, I was reminded of this:
Not surprising that Oklahoma bellies right up to the part of Texas featured in True Stories; folks in more enlightened lands might not have realized it when the movie was made back in the late ’80’s, but it was a very accurate representation of that part of the country. In the 25 years since, the views of the majority of people in this area have not moderated; if anything, they’ve only grown more extreme. Oklahoma and west Texas rival South Carolina for the title of most reactionary area of the country.
I’ll admit – I’m drawn to inflammatory speech and positions. That said, I am capable of recognizing it, and usually come around eventually to a more balanced position. I’ve let my little toy from the last thread stew for over a day now, and finally have decided what it needs to say:
It reads as less of a direct threat than as an admonishment to remember the lessons of history. And, it’s undisputably true.
I can’t tell you how thrilled I would be if I saw this image popping up on posters at protest rallies! If you borrow it, please be so kind as to include our web address.
I’m looking into the shirts and can do them for the price indicated in the last post – these will be Hanes Beefy-T’s or tagless Ts (same weight as the Beefys) because so many folks fussed about those “cheap American Apparel shirts!,” which totally derailed my plans to bring you a completely made-in-USA product (the AA shirts, though perceived as being “cheap,” actually cost more than the imported Hanes shirts). Just do me the favor of letting me know if you’ve said you want one but you’re really NOT serious about purchasing because I don’t want to be stuck with a dozen T-shirts. Plan for now is to accomodate all of you from the last thread & will be ordering 3 size XXL, 1 small, 1 large, and 7 XL, which hopefully will cover all bases. These will take probably 2 – 3 weeks to reach you, so make sure you’ll still want one then!
Also, too: novelty item I’d most like to see, covet, and have: Nerf guillotine.
Inspired by the Wall Street protests and the smart-ass investment bankers/brokers who apparently thought it would be a good idea to taunt the protestors with this:
… I put together a nice little T-shirt design. I think I’ll go back and re-draw it in ink to sharpen it up, but this is the basic idea. If there’s enough interest, I’ll have some printed up for sale – probable price, $15 + shipping (hey, Made in USA costs more, you know). Feedback in comments would be appreciated.
*Updated above, for great justice, per actor212 & other suggestions. I had originally tried splitting the original text to top & bottom of the image and it didn’t work so well; with this text it does. I actually didn’t have to re-draw it; copying on high contrast did the trick. Appreciate those of you who have weighed in elsewhere saying you’d like one of these – but if you would, please put your name in the hat in the comments along with the size you’d like. AFAIC, there is only one size for t-shirts – XL – but not everyone likes walking around in a big baggy oversized shirt. So if you’d like something different, name your size. I think the XXL and bigger run a couple of dollars extra. I’ve got another design coming later today for those who swoon at the sight of a guillotine.
*Updated again for MOAR FATCAT BANKER HEAD.
*One last update (maybe) – this one is for those who faint away at the sight, sound or thought of the word “guillotine;” you know who you are. What I like about this one is how it echoes a teabagger not-even-veiled threat from one of the rallies where they WEREN’T packing heat.