I have never once celebrated Easter. What I knew about it as a kid mostly boiled down to the Jewish tl;dr: Romans killed a Jew, then spent the next two millennia revering their victim and blaming his death on us, like an eternal sectarian version of a bully doing “stop hitting yourself.” This understanding of Easter did me zero favors, socially, at the predominately Italian public school I attended, but on that front, I was probably beyond help anyway.
Hell, I WANT ONE, and I’ve long since put my home through some brutal kitsch-purges. Sadly, it’s not contrived to make Jesus appear in your cheese, like the Virgin Mary Toaster. In fact, it’s functionality is limited rather sharply (only cheese pun, I promise) by the total lack of holes in much of the center so as not to obscure the redemptive and luminous visage of the Son Of Man—though honestly, if you told me it was a Bigfoot cheese grater, I wouldn’t look twice to check. The back of the packaging comes printed with this moving supplication:
Our Cheese in heaven, halloumi be your name.
Your tangy taste, we will not waste,
on Earth as it is in heaven.
Give us today our daily brie.
Forgive us our stilton,
as we forgive those who stilton against us.
Lead us not into cheese slices, but deliver us from cheddar.
For the glory of the dairy, the curds and the whey are yours.
Now and forever.
Fucking terrible, right? That’s OK, there will always be this:
Whether Bela Lugosi said that, I dunno, but I do know that in 1909, the young Bela was cast as Jesus Christ in a production of the Easter passion play. And doesn’t he look good? With his robe, crown of thorns and flowing locks. The young Bela thought so too, and had several studio portrait photographs taken of himself as Jesus. Whether he invited audience members to drink his blood or eat his flesh is unknown.
Proving once again how the Lord works in… um…. very mysterious ways, an Ohio man named Jim Lawry thinks he sees the face of Jesus in some… bird shit.
After visiting a McDonald’s drive-thru window in the town of Brooklyn, Ohio, Lawry noticed that a bird had crapped on his car windshield and that the mess resembled Jesus Christ. According to Lawry, the holy apparition, when seen from the outside of the car, looks like “regular bird poop.”
“A bird pooped on my car windshield and when I got inside the view was like Jesus looking down on Me,” he wrote on YouTube. “I had family + friends get in my car and they too were a bit amazed. Wanted to share this with you.”
Lawry videotaped the bird shit on his windshield and posted it to YouTube today, but then quickly removed it. I wonder why?
Alan John Miller AKA “Jesus Christ” poses with Mary Suzanne Luck, who believes herself to be the reincarnated “Mary Magdalene.”
Remember Alan John Miller AKA “Jesus Christ,” the smiling Australian cult leader who claims to be the son o’ God? Australian TV’s Today Tonight recently did an investigation of Miller and his flock and it’s fascinatingly strange.
Until I watched this, I was unaware that he’s predicting an impending apocalypse next year, but apparently if you’re with him in Queensland’s bible belt, you’ll be safe. But of course!
Dig “Jesus”/Miller in action at one of his lectures:
An Australian couple are claiming to be the reincarnation of Jesus Christ and Mary Magdalene. Alan John Miller and Mary Suzanne Luck have set up base on a huge property in Queensland’s Bible Belt along with a growing number of followers:
Followers joined forces in 2009 to buy a $400,000, 240ha property where they hold weekly meetings and plan to build a centre catering for international visitors.
In a bizarre coincidence, land clearing has created a giant cross on neighbouring properties that can be seen from space using Google Maps. Local residents insisted it was not carved deliberately.
Police are said to have been called to investigate screams in the area, only to discover members taking part in a healing exercise where they shout to help process “past soul damage” and ill feelings.
Mr. Miller was born in Loxton and has two children from a previous marriage, which he says ended after he “began to remember details” of his past life.
Tailoring his appearance to look like Jesus, he yesterday held a workshop in Albury, New South Wales, where he stood by his claims and said at least “30 or 40” people had bought blocks around Wilkesdale.
“Mary and myself haven’t ever encouraged people to move out there. Some of the people we don’t even know,” he said.
In one recording he said: “There’s probably a million people who say they’re Jesus and most of them are in asylums. But one of us has to be. How do I know I am? Because I remember everything about my life.”
You wouldn’t mess with Klaus Kinski. He had a look that said it all - a cross between Iggy Pop and a drug-addled psycho. His mental health had been an issue. In the 1950s, Kinski spent three days in a psychiatric hospital, where he was diagnosed as schizophrenic. In 1955, having failed to find any work as an actor, he attempted suicide - twice.
By the late 1950s, he had slowly established himself as an actor in Vienna, but the anger, the passions, that fueled his performances meant he was always labeled difficult. To overcome this, Kinski started performing one-man shows, reciting Shakespeare, Oscar Wilde and Francois Villon.
In the sixties he found some security as a bit player in Spaghetti Westerns such as For a Few Dollars More, but Kinski had an ambitious ego that inspired him to greater, more confrontational things.
In 1971, Kinski hired the Deutschlandhalle to perform his own 30-page interpretation of Jesus Christ. It was no ordinary show, and the audience was a mix of radical students, religious followers and those intrigued to see the “mad man Kinski”. Even then, before his work with Werner Herzog, the public thought of Kinski as either mad man or genius.
Moreover, there was some confusion amongst the audience, who seemed to think Kinski was an evangelist, rather than an actor interpreting a role. This led to constant heckling from the spectators - both the happy-clappy Christians, who thought he was blaspheming; and those on the Left, who though he was soft-soaping Christianity. Kinski was doing neither. His Christ was part Kinski, part Anarchist-Revolutionary, and he repsonded fulsomely to the abuse, as Twitch Film notes:
For example, after someone stated that shouting down people who disagreed with him was unlike Christ, Kinski responded with a different take on how Christ might respond: “No, he didn’t say ‘shut your mouths’, he took a whip and beat them. That’s what he did, you stupid sow!”
In another scene, he brow beats the audience by saying “can’t you see that when someone lectures thirty typewritten pages of text in this way, that you must shut your mouths? If you can’t see that, please let someone bang it into your brain with a hammer!” The evening’s festivities also turned physical as an audience member is shown getting bounced from the stage by a bodyguard. Someone responds that “Kinski just let his bodyguard push a peaceful guy, who only wanted to have a discussion, down the stairs! That is a fascist statement, Kinski is a fascist, a psychopath!”
Kinski continued undaunted:
“I’m not the official Church-Christ, who is accepted by policemen, bankers, judges, executioneers, officers, chruch-heads, politicians and other representatives of the powers that be. - I’m not your super-star!”
The evening was filmed by Peter Geyer, who later assembled the footage together into an incredible documentary film Jesus Christus Erlöser (Jesus Christ Saviour) in 2008. It is a film well worth seeing for Kinski’s powerful, passionate and unforgettable performance, which gives an unflinching insight into the man, the ego and the mad genius that was Klaus Kinski.
But after reading Canadian cannabis activist Dana Larsen’s 2003 article on the apparent psychotropic and shamanic origins of Santa Claus and many other Christmas traditions, it made some deeper sense to me.
According to Larsen, the Lapps of modern-day Finland and the Koyak tribes of the central Russian steppes had holy men in their ranks who regularly imbibed the hallucinogenic red & white amanita muscaria mushroom (also known as “fly agaric”). These ‘shrooming shamen proved to be the model of the figure we now know as Santa Claus.
Larsen also contends that the Christmas tree was originally seen as a “World Tree”, typically a fir or evergreen, species under which the amanita muscaria mushroom thrived:
The World Tree was seen as a kind of cosmic axis, onto which the planes of the universe are fixed. The roots of the World Tree stretch down into the underworld, its trunk is the “middle earth” of everyday existence, and its branches reach upwards into the heavenly realm.
So, of course, the North Star around which all stars seemed to revolve was always aligned with the top of the tree—thus the star on top of the modern Christmas tree. These ancients also saw the magic mushroom springing up as “virgin births” seeded by the morning dew, which is symbolized by the tinsel on the tree. Trippy, eh?
In the highly stoned eyes of these shamen, amanita muscara-eating reindeer appeared to, well, fly.
Santa wears the red-and-white outfit of the original mushroom gatherers, his ruddy glow is an effect of the ‘shrooms, and like most shamen, used the central smoke hole (chimney) of his animal-skin shelter as an entrance or exit.
Oh and those mostly red, bulbous ornaments on the tree? Those symbolize the ‘shrooms red caps, which the ancients used to dry on the trees.
Below is the least campy video I could find that draws a bunch of the connections between Santa and the ‘shroom. Enjoy!
For centuries, various controversies (carbon dating, image creation) have dogged the Shroud of Turin. But Luigi Garlaschelli, a professor of organic chemistry at the University of Pavia, chimed in today with what he thinks is the final word.
An Italian scientist says he has reproduced the Shroud of Turin, a feat that he says proves definitively that the linen some Christians revere as Jesus Christ’s burial cloth is a medieval fake.
The shroud, measuring 14 feet, 4 inches by 3 feet, 7 inches bears the image, eerily reversed like a photographic negative, of a crucified man some believers say is Christ.
Carbon dating tests by laboratories in Oxford, Zurich and Tucson, Arizona in 1988 caused a sensation by dating it from between 1260 and 1390. Skeptics said it was a hoax, possibly made to attract the profitable medieval pilgrimage business. But scientists have thus far been at a loss to explain how the image was left on the cloth.
Garlaschelli reproduced the full-sized shroud using materials and techniques that were available in the middle ages. They placed a linen sheet flat over a volunteer and then rubbed it with a pigment containing traces of acid. A mask was used for the face.
The pigment was then artificially aged by heating the cloth in an oven and washing it, a process which removed it from the surface but left a fuzzy, half-tone image similar to that on the Shroud. He believes the pigment on the original Shroud faded naturally over the centuries. They then added blood stains, burn holes, scorches and water stains to achieve the final effect.
Images (above and below) from Garlaschelli’s recreated shroud are on the right.