Thursday, April 8, 2010


I’d like to thank Jesus Christ for once again inspiring a week of spectacular entertainment. It was as if Alejandro Jodorowsky, guided by the ghosts of Salvador Dalí and Luis Buñuel, had infiltrated the world’s news networks and planted bizarre inventions. Sometimes I think that J.C. is a closet hoodoo/surrealist/tricksterista.

This all goes beyond the processions of sacred figures out of a religious theme park, or even the crucifixions, penetientes, and flagellantes. It’s not even just a Latino thing -- the crucifixion reenactment that got the most publicity took place in Georgia.

There’s some cultural mutation going on here, in a big way . . .

The traditional Burning of Judas in Mexico is still often just a cornball big, red devil wrapped in fireworks in a lot of places, but some towns, like Toluca, make a hoard of colorful, psychedelic demons that look like a Toho Studios production based on Hieronymus Bosch’s visions of Hell, then light the fuses, and stand back . . .

And the Roman angle is taking on a life of its own.

There are guys who like to play the Roman soldiers, year after year. I wondered why at first, but then saw pictures of women treating them like rockstars. I guess it’s the allure of the uniform.

Then there’s chariot racing. I’ve found news items about it being done in both Mexico and the Philippines as part of the reenactment festivals. And even unconnected to Easter, the chariot race, with Roman costumes, is coming back.

How long before gladiatorial games are added to the mix?

But what else should we expect from a world that can drive a man to get himself crucified in a red dress?

And the Mexicali earthquake was an ending right out of Hollywood!

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