Friday, December 12, 2008
If Everyone Else Does It, It Must Be Okay
Connie Covert from Idaho Falls, Idaho, has come out of the closet. No, wait, she’s come out about her closet. According to this Local News 8 report, Covert first noticed an image of Jesus on this door in her home over 30 years ago but “was afraid to tell anyone fearing she would be called crazy.” All of the stories about Jesus and the Virgin Mary showing up in all sorts of places inspired Covert to make her secret public. Of the people she has shown, only about half see Jesus, while others see a hobo or a horse. I kind of see Macho Man Randy Savage.
Covert is not religious, but she interprets the face as a sign that something has been looking over her for decades, especially since her life is tragedy free: “Trailer hasn’t burned down or anything.” The article doesn’t establish any specific reason for Covert’s confession, though it does make clear that she has no intention of selling the image on eBay.
Attitudes change with the times. Sure, there is still plenty of bigotry and racism out there – all over the world – but it is fair to say that culture at large, as filtered through the media, has become more accepting of pretty much everyone and everything, even, apparently, how people will think of you if you claim to see Jesus, Mary or Mickey Mouse in a water stain. What once might have resulted in your neighbors inconspicuously whispering about you has become something of a status symbol, or at least a way to attract some attention and get your fifteen minutes of fame.
Maybe that’s the essence of this shift in perception, that getting noticed, being on the news, even for less than complimentary reasons, is the status symbol. Because if you read enough reader comments tagged on to the end of these Madonna of the Toast stories, plenty of people like Covert get ridiculed, pretty harshly at times. But, no matter what people write and say about you, if your story is out there, circulating all over the world, then you have arrived: I can be Googled, therefore I am.
Hopefully Covert doesn’t regret making her story known.