Thursday, June 26, 2008

Jesus Ultrasound, Virgin Mary Breastfeeding

I don’t see it, but that’s not important, because according to this WESH 2 report, Joaquim Garcia sees the face of Jesus staring back at him from this ultrasound of his child. That’s pretty much the long and short of it – amazing what passes for news – but I couldn’t resist in light of the recent decision out of the Vatican reversing a trend that has been in motion since the 17th century: censoring portraits of the Virgin Mary breastfeeding. What was once seen as too carnal has now been condoned, according to the UK's Telegraph. As one advocate of the decision says: “The Virgin Mary who nurses her son Jesus is one of the most eloquent signs that the word of God truly and undoubtedly became flesh.”

Take that idea and splice it into the ultrasound tidbit and somewhere there’s a good metaphor for our contemporary cultural condition. Flesh becomes light a la Marshall McLuhan, maybe? Images mistaken for objects, like Plato once opined. Any other thoughts?

Friday, June 20, 2008

Freezer Burn is Better Than a Heart Attack

Well, the news has been quiet on the surprising iconography front – must be all the tomato salmonella scares (I’m just glad this isn’t happening at the peak of the tomato season). So, I’ve decided to take a stroll through the aisles of eBay. Look what I found:

That’s a fried clam and its owner believes it resembles Christ on the cross. The story goes like this: the battered bit was served up on a heap of other battered bits at a restaurant. The person usually just scarfs them down because they’re so small, but upon seeing this deep-fired shape, “stopped cold in [her/his] tracks.” That was over two years ago. Ever since, the morsel has been bestowing luck on its owner from the freezer. Like how she/he made a full and fast recovery after a quintuple bypass surgery (which was necessary because “all the major arteries were blocked to my heart”).

Some might say that is was all the fried food that caused the condition, but this person is clearly in the rosy “glass half-full” camp when it comes to life.

If you buy this thing – and there is no reserve price so you can get it for a song – it will be delivered in dry ice, which is always kind of fun. I bet that this fried clam will spend the rest of its days in its freezer, jealous of all the frozen pizzas and Hot Pockets that get to warm up.

Friday, June 13, 2008

There's Always More on the Inside

Straight out of Kansas City, Missouri, we have this Virgin Mary rock. According to this KMBC 9 report, rock collector and jewelry maker Randy O’Kane found this stone while canoeing on an unnamed Missouri river. It was only upon splitting the stone that O’Kane discovered this recognizable form. Probably too big and heavy to make into a necklace, the stone may be on its way to eBay.

This is the first time that "The Show Me State" has come into play here in Madonna of the Toast land – although what had to be shown was hidden.

No word about what attracted O’Kane to the stone in the first place.

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Paging Dr. Phillips

Just outside of Orlando, Florida, according to this Local 6 story, Jesus has been appearing every night on a tree, thanks to a streetlight’s shadow. Dr. Phillips resident Joe Lewis noticed the form one night and has seen it since. Lewis says that he is “not really hardcore religious” but the shape is something he couldn’t ignore.

Here’s his take on it: "The face forms where the knot is . . . Then, when you come down, there is texture. There are waves in the tree and that forms the knees and the feet. Then when the sun goes down, the street light that is right above the tree casts shadows across it and forms something that looks like Jesus."

Curious about the suburb’s name? Apparently, Philip Phillips revolutionized the production of orange juice, which resulted in him becoming a citrus barren. According to this, he was also a medical doctor, with a degree from Columbia University. He bought his first citrus farm in 1894, but a brutal 1895 freeze decimated what trees had existed. He left Florida, returning in 1897, when he began his empire. Seems like he was quite a philanthropist. His tombstone reads: "Under His Hand the Wilderness Bore Fruit."

What would Dr. Philip Phillips would have to say about this Jesus tree?