Tuesday, May 29, 2007

It Came From Above

In the Madonna of the Toast epilogue, trying to sum up all of these visual manifestations and their stories, I wrote: “It doesn’t matter if you grew up with a religion or an always turned-on television, the iconography of both cultures has a roaming ability to effect all of us as they coexist and commingle, and that’s what this book samples. There are countless more examples of these phenomena out there in the world, and plenty more are destined to crackle through a fried egg or splatter in a plop of bird droppings.”

Well, I haven’t found an egg that resembles a famous face, yet, but here is a Jesus bird dropping.

Reported by MySA.com late last week, this divine doo-doo was discovered by 78-year-old Toney Guerrero, on the driver’s side window of his Mercury Grand Marquis. A resident of Floresville, Texas, Guerrero “hasn’t always had a strong walk in faith” though he spotted the face as soon as he noticed the bird dropping. The splatter conjures tears as he points out the hair, eyes and nose, the darker patches in the otherwise white blotch.

Now the car is covered up so rain won’t wash the face away. Guerrero still needs to process his discovery, but he says, “Jesus is right there. You can get whatever you want from that.”

He's right . . .

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Yogi Bear In Argentina, Me in Florida

Yup, I'm back. Had a great time in Argentina, and I even spotted my own visual manifestation of a secular icon -- none other than Yogi Bear! Found this peeled-paint shape in the San Telmo neighborhood of Buenos Aires.

Everyone's favorite picnic basket thief is a popular figure in the world of pareidolia. He even makes a cameo in Madonna of the Toast, in potato chip form.

I'll be talking about potato chips, cows and grilled cheese sandwiches this Thursday at 6:30 at Books and Books in Miami. I'll also be joined by Diana Duyser, which should be a hoot. The Miami press has blurbed the event, so if you don't want to take my word for it, check out Flavorpill or the Miami New Times.

Tuesday, May 8, 2007

New News, and Some Old News Made New

This will be my last post for a couple of weeks, folks. I'm off to Argentina for vacation. If you've been visiting here regularly and are worried about not getting your fix of strange and sacred sightings, you can always check out the book, Madonna of the Toast.

Or, if you're in Miami, Florida, on Thursday May 24, I'll be reading at Books and Books in Coral Gables. All of the readings I have done over the last few months have been fun, but this one promises to be extra special because of Diana Duyser's presence. Yes, the woman who made the $28,000 Virgin Mary Grilled Cheese will be joining me for a chat. We'll talk about the impact one half of a sandwich has made on her life, from the money, the celebrity and her tattoo of the toast, which she received on the reality television show Miami Ink. The Duysers always draw a crowd in Florida, so this event may turn into spectacle. And, no promises, but there is a chance that the famed sandwich will also be on hand.

Lastly, and appropriately, in looking for a new visual manifestation to share with all of you, the only noteworthy tidbit I found had to do with none other than Diana Duyser! On May 7, Local10.com reported on Duyser's tattoo, and then the story got picked up by other news services. It's strange because she got the tattoo last summer, long enough ago for me to include it in the book! I don't get it, but I think it bodes well for an interesting time down in Florida.

Okay, that's all for now. I'll be on the look out for recognizable faces down near the bottom of the world . . .

Thursday, May 3, 2007

No More Wafers, Just Chips

The other day, I blogged about an image of Jesus purportedly spotted on a Google satellite map. Today, I bring to you the face of Jesus in a flash memory chip, as rendered by transmission electron microscopy. Some of the people who have chimed in about the face at Engadget.com think it more closely resembles Gandalf or Rob Zombie, both recognizable cultural icons, I guess.

In my last post, I touched on my fascination with how several of these visual manifestations are linked intimately to our high-speed technological landscape. This example takes it to a whole other level, however. An online map is an interface, while this flash chip is a part of an infrastructure that is becoming as natural as our biological makeup. That I can even string together "Jesus" and "transmission electron microscopy" bowls me over, though I really need to stop being surprised by any of this, as it clearly indicates the extent to which technology influences how we understand the world and our place in it.

At the Last Supper, Jesus told the disciples "This is my body" and gave them bread. Today, it seems that technology sustains us more than food. I wonder if Christ would have handed out iPods had then been now.