Saturday, March 31, 2007

Easter Candy

Chocolate Jesus
By Cosimo Cavallaro (click)

Was just too sweet for the Catholics who threatened the artist and gallery director with death. Here's a holy response well worth pondering.

David Kuo: That Chocolate Jesus

David KuoFri Mar 30, 8:01 PM ET

The public won't see that "anatomically correct sculpture" of a fully naked chocolate Jesus with arms stretched wide as if on a cross. That's a shame.

I am generally pretty laid back about such things - artists should be able to do whatever it is that artists want to do. I may object, I may be horrified, but art and art and art should be as free as art can be. As such, let this "artist" do what he wants.

If art is free to express itself, however, so to the public is free to declare judgment. And so with this piece of "art" I can freely say that I think it is absurd... but also that in some ways it is actually the perfect piece of art for holy week.

Why? Because it reminds all of those who follow Jesus of how he was mocked and ridiculed, how he was scorned and beaten, how he was humiliated... and all because of his love for us. Those are good things for his followers to remember.

Jesus' story isn't nice, it isn't neat, it isn't comfortable. It is the opposite of all of those things. In so many ways those of us who say we follow Jesus actually want a sort of "chocolate Jesus" of our own - one that is sweet, one that demands little from us, one that we can mold into our forms - perhaps politically conservative, perhaps liberal, maybe happy with just a few of our dollars given to the poor every now and again, perhaps content with those who simply say they love him and then lead lives little different from anyone else.

It is easy for some religious leaders to decry a piece of art and say - as some have (apparently with a straight face) - it is "one of the worst assaults on Christian sensibilities ever." (I suppose that genocide in Darfur is merely an "affront" to Christian sensibilities?) But instead of getting all amped up over this "art," Christians should be spending time facing the real and very challenging Jesus found in the Gospels and encouraging others to do the same. I know that is what I need to do.

Happy Easter (may your basket be full)


Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Streetcar named Scarlett

Latest on Atlanta Streetcars:

Today's letter in the AJC:

READERS WRITE: A streetcar desire

For the Journal-Constitution
Published on: 03/27/07

Responses to "Streetcar plan rolls today to next phase," Metro, March 26, and "Streetcars on Peachtree, y'all," @issue, March 26

An appealing plan

Is it possible that streetcars will bring the long imagined upgrade of Peachtree Street? Will a streetcar named Scarlett (after Scarlett O'Hara of "Gone With The Wind") make our premier thoroughfare grand once again?

The proposed look portrayed in the plan's sketch certainly is appealing. The wider sidewalks have already made a good start in the Midtown area. As springtime arrives in Atlanta, nothing is more attractive than the idea of strolling along a fine boulevard with flowering trees, enticing shops and cafes, and sleek light rail in the form of modern streetcars.

Let's keep this brilliant plan on track.


Dar points out that it was here at 13th and Peachtree that Margaret Mitchell was killed by an automobile. All the better to replace cars with streetcars named in her honor.

Graphic: See the blueprint

And also today: Atlanta's Mayor,

Franklin rings bell for Peachtree streetcars

Trolly Good, Jameson

Monday, March 26, 2007

Beyond the Yellow Brick Road

What better time to explore the Yellow Brick Road (click) than Elton John's 60th birthday. In Elton's bitter song, so harmonious, the yellow road is the road of howling celebrity dogs, of penthouses, of vodka tonics, the opposite of the John Denver Country Road. Elton longs for the horny toad and the farm--
Singing in Madison Square Garden, partying in style in New York, Elton certainly hasn't given up the howl of society dogs for the howl of the old owl in the woods. If there is anything beyond the yellow brick road for Elton, it seems to be the streets paved with gold.

W.W. Denslow's drawing of Scarecrow hung up on pole and helpless, from first edition of book, in 1900

The Yellow Brick Road for me has always been more than Hollywood and fantasy land. Over the rainbow, curving back upon itself, rather than going straight; twisting, turning, it has no automobiles, and takes us into the world of wizards and witches. Those in a hurry use magic to get wherever they are going. But it is best to linger, to meet the others who wander this enchanted way.
The yellow brick road leads into Pan's Labyrinth, (read the review) removed from but not immune to the horrors of Fascist Spain. It leads to danger, down the rabbit hole, into the forest of Hansel and Gretel, or the forest of Red Riding Hood. Perhaps this is where Elton's old Owl howls best.

David Furnish and Sir Elton John

Sir Elton (right) and his partner David Furnish wore lavish costumes to a pantomime-themed party to celebrate Matt Lucas' civil partnership to TV producer Kevin McGee in 2006.

I'd not say Goodbye to that Yellow Brick Road so quickly. Its scarecrows and cowardly lions are our best hope of reaching the Emerald City.

Amazing Trails,


Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Saint Patrick/ Savannah Encore

We March to Savannah Again:

We made a second pleasant weekend trip to Savannah, having brunch at the Firefly Cafe (click), visiting Johnny Harris on World Famous Victory Drive, Spending an evening at the usual clubs, including Blaine's and Chuck's (click) on Riverstreet.
We celebrated the Old Snake Chaser and all things Irish.

Here are a few photographs:

Savannah '07

Happy Vernal Equinox and St. Patrick's Day (click)


Friday, March 09, 2007


This weekend G.W. Bush is off to Latin America, supposedly to better our image there and to promote the use of ethanol. He has signed a deal, sweet as sugar cane, with Brazil (Rain Forest be damned). All the while, his visit raises the old debate: capitalism v. socialism.
On the eve of his visit, Bush invoked the name of Simon Bolivar (photo, left). Pres. Chavez holds Bolivar as a hero, and has claimed his socialism is based on ideals from Bolivar. Who is right? More importantly, which ideology has more to offer the people of Latin America?
Here is where history offers an answer. President Franklin Roosevelt understood how to combine socialist and capitalist principles into a working combination. Europe and Latin America have done so for decades. Roosevelt also changed our policy toward Latin America-- from one of intervention and imperialism to one of respect and cooperation-- the Good Neighbor Policy. Had we a president with the brilliance and insight of Roosevelt, we would be greeted not with protests but with cheers from the people of Latin America. We need leaders who don't name drop Simon Bolivar, but rather understand and believe in his ideals.

See also: Bush in Argentina (click)

Hasta Luego,


Thursday, March 08, 2007

Savannah Sojourn

March comes to Savannah

We made a pleasant weekend trip to Savannah, having brunch at the Firefly Cafe (click), visiting the Signature Gallery(click), Spending an evening at the usual clubs, including Blaine's and Chuck's (click) on Riverstreet. Dar dispensed
gold and other gifts from the Orient.

Here are a few photographs:

Savannah '07

Happy Vernal Equinox and St. Patrick's Day (click)