This week has been a mixture of sex and death. Entrances and exits if you will. I was going to post something on sky burials but that got pipped to the post by this morning’s story of Paul Challis because it ties in so well with the Puerto Rican embalmed biker, David Morales Colón who was buried yesterday.
Paul Challis, pictured above, is literally, pictured. He died last year from cancer at the age of 38 and his adoring wife Maria had the life-size cut-out of him made for his funeral. However, afterwards she decided to keep the cut-out in their living room so that the children never forget him.
The story in the Telegraph is very touching and incredibly tragic as the couple seemed like a perfect match sharing jokes and banter about his impending death. Maria even took her husband’s cut-out to a friend’s wedding after his funeral but I am concerned that this is going to impair and undoubtedly prolong the grieving process; especially for the children.
I also know from my own research that pictures of loved ones are not simply pictures. Even if we know that a photograph is not the real object, adults can not easily destroy pictures of sentimental objects or spouses. We may consciously say that we can do these things but deep down we feel anxiety about damaging or disposing of representations. Imagine how difficult it will be for the Challis family to throw Paul out with the rubbish or burn him on the garden tip. I predict that the family will have to endure another funeral ceremony all over again for the cardboard cut-out dad.
What do you think?
He really should be wearing his safety helmet
Believe it or not, the young man in this picture is dead. David Morales Colón, 22, who worked as a messenger was killed by gunmen in Puerto Rico last week. It’s a violent city and no doubt the killing was gang-related but what makes this story unbelievable is that David asked that he be mounted on his favourite Honda motorcycle for his funeral. David is “on display” until tomorrow.
David does look pretty cool - stone cold in fact!
I think that this could start a really interesting trend. The funeral home that carried out the embalming, also struck an unusual pose for 24-year-old Angel Medina who wanted to be standing at his own wake two years ago. Here is Angel in the corner of his mum’s living room. Come to think of it – why bother with the burial? Could make for a very useful hat stand.
Angel in the corner of mum's 'living' room
Tuesday Lopsang Rampa AKA Cyril Hoskin
My Friday favourite Nurse Myra reminded me some weeks back about the supernatural consequences of a bang on the head. Apparently a number of individuals have acquired psychic abilities after concussions but none is more bizarre than Cyril Hoskin, a local man from Devon, who fell out of a tree in his garden only to regain consciousness as the reincarnated Tibetian monk Tuesday Lobsang Rampa (apparently Tibetan names begin with the day of the week they are born). Lobsang went on to write a book, “The Third Eye” in which he recounted his previous life growing up in a Tibetan monastory after being sent there at the age of seven.
Despite being ridiculed as a hoax, The Third Eye went on to become an international bestseller. The title of the book refers to an operation Lobsang claims to have had where a hole was drilled in his forehead to enable him to use his third eye to see people as they truly were. Even his publishers did not believe their author and at one point his editor tested him with some Tibetan language to see if he recognized his native tongue. When he was told that he had just failed to understand a single word of his “own language”, Lobsang Rampa threw himself onto the floor, writhing in agony claiming that he had been horrifically tortured by the Japanese in the war and had blocked out all knowledge of Tibetan.
Lobsang went on to write 18 books and enjoy a successful career as an author…. That’s what I need .. A damn fine bang on the head… and a hard neck!
Hmm... interesting window
The British Foreign Office apologised to the Vatican yesterday after a memo was leaked about the Pope’s planned visit to the UK in Sept. The memo suggested among other things that the visit would be a good time to launch a brand of “Benedict” condoms. It also suggested that he open an abortion clinic and bless a gay marriage during September’s visit. And given the recent scandal about covering up child abuse in the church, the memo proposed that Pope Benedict should sack “dodgy bishops”, and launch an abuse childline. My favourite suggestion is that Pope Benedict sings a duet with the Queen for charity.
I am sure that it has all been a misunderstanding – much like the stained glass window here. Apparently the memo was the result of a brain-storming session where civil servants were asked to consider “some blue-skies creative thinking about how to make the visit a success”, but their discussions had become “a joke that has gone too far”. I am sure that Father Ted would have seen the humour in it all, but on top of the demonstrations about child abuse expected to take place in September and the alleged plan by Richard Dawkins and Christopher Hitchins to have the Pope arrested, one wonders whether this visit will still go ahead.
Fancy a Nipple?
I have been blogging about our attitudes to human breast milk a number of times but discovered today that the issue is much closer to home than I realized. Local Clifton resident Abi Blake has been using her Bristols to good effect by making cupcakes with her own breastmilk that she feeds to friends and family and also sells at music festivals. Apparently she has also made smoothies with it! Abi claims, “I have managed to convert all my family who now adore my breast milk recipes and they all agree it tastes better.”
I think they must be ‘yakawow’
Jen McCreight gets it off her chest
I have just noticed that my last two blogs have been boob-related – one indirectly and one intentionally. Maybe I am coming under the influence of the forthcoming boobquake event which is scheduled to take place on Monday at noon. You may know that some Iran cleric has accused immodestly dressed women as being responsible for earthquakes. “Many women who do not dress modestly … lead young men astray, corrupting their chastity and spread adultery in society, which (consequently) increases earthquakes,” Hojatoleslam Kazem Sedighi was quoted as saying by Iranian media.
So in a scientific test of this supernatural belief, 80,000 women will expose their breasts at noon EST to determine whether they can trigger an earthquake. The plan is the brainchild of Jennifer McCreight who is a “liberal, geeky, nerdy, scientific, perverted atheist feminist.” What a gal!
I miss Bill Hicks. Some of you may not know who this comic genius was – and I do not use the word genius lightly, but he was one of the sharpest, funniest stand-ups ever. He died too young and before this modern era of fanaticism and terror but would have been the perfect antidote to this time of madness and paranoia.
Anyway, I recently saw this ingenious “Saint B” MP3 crucifix player for sale and I immediately thought that this would have made a perfect present for Bill Hicks who would have appreciated the supreme irony of combining a symbol of horrific torture and suffering with the modern convenience of mobile groovy tunes. After all, one of his more memorable gags was, “A lot of Christians wear crosses around their necks. Do you think when Jesus comes back he’s gonna want to see a fucking cross?”
Holy Mp3 Player
I, for one, intend to buy one.
This still gives me the creeps
Following Rebecca Watson’s highlighting of the amazingly stupid, yet highly entertaining Insane Clown Posse, I was reminded how scary clowns are to many young children including my own girls when they were both young. I have no explanation for why adults think that guys in greasepaint and grotesque make-up would be remotely entertaining let alone likable for most children – a point so brilliantly portrayed in Stephen King’s “It.” I still remember that terrifying scene where the child victim looks down the drain and sees “It.”
Your friendly birthday entertainer
So I was somewhat surprised to discover that parents are hiring Swiss actor Dominic Deville to terrorise their own children as a birthday treat. He taunts the child victims with phone-calls and texts telling them that he is going to get them and smash a pie into their face. For crying out loud.. what kind of parent would do that to their own child. Is it because the Swiss are neutral that they are so weird? Dominic assures us that, “It’s all in fun and if at any point the kids get scared or their parents are concerned we stop right there. But most kids absolutely love being scared senseless.” If he turned up at my birthday party (which I never have coz I don’t do birthdays!) I would deck him.
Sugar Weasel- A Real Ladies Clown
However, for some warped adults, clowns are a bit of a turn on. Take Sugar Weasel who services the adult needs of Austin Texas from $300 to $1200 an hour. He dances, strips and offers the full escort service. Of particular note is clown domination of women or alternatively women domination of clown. Frankly I would like domination of clown with a baseball bat. They just creep me out.
Anyway this gets me back to the Insane Clown Posse who have taking clown terror to a new high. The extent of their scientific ignorance is beyond belief and they think all scientists are lying “motherfuckers.” Maybe it is a brilliant mickey take by two highly intelligent rappers, but I fear not. Alot of people think like this. Check out their “Miracles” video which is beyond scary… after all how do magnets work if not by magic?
What do you think? Would you hire a clown? Or vote for one?
You know those street artists who will draw you a caricature for £20/Euros/dollars? Well I am so tight that I would never knowingly pay for this humiliation but unbeknownst to me, the wonderful Neil Davies and witty Crispian Jago have delighted me by my inclusion in their skeptic top trumps series. Go and take a look. Apparently a full top trumps deck contains 60 cards. Drop them a line with suggestions for the remaining set. I am hoping they will turn them into a real deck of cards so that I can buy them at discount and give them away as presents. Should save me a packet at Christmas and being skeptic cards, thus kill two birds with one stone.
You know how Beelzebub is often depicted as part goat with cloven hooves and horns? Well I have just seen this picture of a 101-year-old Chinese woman who has grown a horn from her forehead.As the article reports, she is now growing a second one that will definitely put her in the rent-a-devil market. She has no intention of having them removed as many visitors bring her food and gifts.
The horn is made of keratin, the same material that makes up finger nails and hair and apparently the condition is not that rare. I wonder if this may have contributed to the demon myths of old. Also if there are any evo-developmental biologists out there, is this a possible residual mutation from a long-gone shared genome? Come on Armand Marie Leori, give us an answer – I am curious.
Usually, Catholics see him in pizza slices, cheetos or even the backside of a dog (though the last one is considered sacreligious). However, this time the tables are turned and Oklahoman parishioners are seeing something else in a ten foot image of Christ on the crucifix that hangs over the main alter in St. Charles Borromeo Catholic Church in Warr Acres.
Is this anatomically correct?
Janet Jaime, the artist who was commissioned to make the piece, copied a 12th century icon of Jesus known as the San Damiano Cross that is a Franciscan icon kept in Assisi. The abdomen in the original is supposed to be a depiction of Christ’s distended stomach as he suffers but as you can see, the image on the Oklahoman Jesus is decidedly phallic.
The original San Damiano Cross in Assisi
Monsignor Edward Weisenburger of the Oklahoma City Archdiocese said he has no problems with the crucifix. He said the archdiocese has received no complaints about it. However, it would appear the some of the more senior members of the church have come over all queer by the sight of Jesus with a stiffy.
Parishioner Seanene Smith said, “I was horrified. I believe in freedom of expression. I believe in artistic freedom. I believe that a church is a holy place, and I certainly don’t want people telling anyone how to worship, but I was shocked, stunned, and if I hadn’t been prepared already, I think I would have just been ill.”
The Church seniors can’t see what the problem is. There again, with the recent revelations about Catholic Priests and pedophilia, maybe they don’t see anything at all.