The Passing Parade: Cheap Shots from a Drive By Mind

"...difficile est saturam non scribere. Nam quis iniquae tam patiens urbis, tam ferreus, ut teneat se..." " is hard not to write Satire. For who is so tolerant of the unjust City, so steeled, that he can restrain himself... Juvenal, The Satires (1.30-32)

Saturday, May 20, 2006

THE CODE, YOU'VE GOT TO PROTECT THE CODE: A specter is haunting Christianity, a specter promising to undermine the very foundations of the Church and permanently damaging the deeply held faith of over a billion Christian believers. For millennia, the hierarchy of the Roman Catholic Church has kept this secret, using every method foul or fair to prevent the faithful from learning the truth. Even with this murderous diligence, however, some of the most brilliant minds in human history, and one or two of the not quite so brilliant minds in human history and some of their friends, and at least three dogs that I know of, have deduced the truth, and one of them, Jackson Pollock, and by Jackson Pollock I mean the artist Jackson Pollock and not a dog named Jackson Pollock—it seems to me that you could a little confused there about whether or not I am talking about artists or dogs—surreptitiously encoded the secret in his painting, Lavender Mist. Yes, the revelation of the secret is at hand, and it will rock Christianity to its very core and might even cause the collapse of the Roman Catholic Church. The lights have been on at the Vatican well into the wee hours of the morning all week long, if for no other reason than it is hard to see in the dark, as worried church leaders try to develop a strategy for dealing with the upcoming disaster. But truth is always better than deception, and the time has come to reveal…

Before we do any revealing here, let me just say that this revelation is not the one that is getting all of the publicity these days. That whole Knights Templar, Holy Grail, Mary Magdalene as the wife of Christ sort of thing is all pretty dull stuff, on the whole. I mean, who cares, really? In fact, the notion is kind of silly once you give it any real thought, and the notion that Christ married into the French royal family is just too ridiculous for words, a feeble attempt to explain away why French waiters treat the tourists like crap. And when you think about it, why on earth would Christ want to be a Frenchman in the first place, and if he were, would Bill O’Reilly call for a boycott of Catholic churches throughout the world as part of his boycott of France? The world can only wonder.

But enough of this; let us turn to the great secret encrypted in Pollock’s great masterpiece, which strikes me as being more than a little redundant, since by definition all masterpieces are great, greatness being the salient quality of most masterpieces, the masterpieces of modern dance being an exception to the rule, as well as any recipe that calls for the use of liver, asparagus, or eggs, either scrambled or fried. Sorry, but modern dance goes right by me, as does ballet. I know I should like things like Swan Lake and The Nutcracker; they’re crowd-pleasers and The Nutcracker is practically synonymous with Christmas anymore, but the fact of the matter is that ballet looks pretty silly to me. For me, there’s nothing especially artistic about watching Russians, anorexics, and gays, or some combination of the three categories, jumping around a stage in their underwear. The music is nice, though. Now if someone could get the Lollipop Guild munchkins from The Wizard of Oz to sing opera they’d be on to something. I’d pay good money to hear dwarves sing the Anvil Chorus from Verdi’s Il trovatore, but that’s just me, I guess.

…THE POLLOCK CODE!!! My apologies for this somewhat abrupt return to the end of the first paragraph, but if I didn’t forcibly shove this thing back to the subject at hand then I’d waste all my time in digressions having nothing to do with what I am allegedly discussing here. Digressions are always dangerous in a piece like this, but I suppose we will all have to get used to the concept as hyperlinks make digression the norm and not the sort of Shandyesque exception to the literary rule…okay, well, let’s try this again.

Yes, the Pollock Code, the secret key to a key, in a sense, although I don’t think that metaphor really makes a hell of a lot of sense, now that I think about it, since you don’t unlock keys with keys—you don’t unlock keys at all—so let me explain just what it is I am trying to say here. If you look closely at Pollock’s Lavender Mist, and you can do this without straining your eyes, but not without thinking that someone is trying to pull your leg here, you will notice down in the lower left hand corner near the brown the brown splotch that symbolizes man’s inhumanity to man, the pink dot that symbolizes the plight of poor industrial workers crushed to pieces in the insatiable maw of modern capitalism, and the lavender spot, which is an advertisement for Lucky Strike cigarettes. Beneath these three splotches there are two other squiggles, one of which represents Pollock sneezing—he had a cold that day—and the other squiggle, which is the same color as the robes St. James the Lesser and St. Thomas the Doubter wear in Leonardo da Vinci’s great painting, The Last Supper.

Why is this significant? Because, as I’ve mentioned previously, the two men are looking in horror at a plate of brownies in which you can clearly see the faces of the ill-fated Sbaglio brothers, who were put to death in 1478 for their part in the Pazzi conspiracy against Lorenzo (il magnifico)de Medici, the ruler of Florence and her sister, Sally, a conspiracy that left Lorenzo’s brother dead and Lorenzo himself seriously wounded, and it is at this exact moment in the painting that Jesus has revealed the darkest secret in the entire history of Christianity: that the faithful should cook their brownies with cashews instead of walnuts. The horror on the faces of the Apostles is self-evident, with one apostle clearly pointing out that there is only one type of nut on a kosher brownie and that walnuts are that nut and cashews aren’t.

That the Roman Catholic Church would go to any lengths to prevent this fact from becoming general knowledge is easy to understand once you know that the Vatican, through the Jesuits and their stooges, the Freemasons, the Jews, the Illuminati, and the Boston Red Sox, control four fifths of the world’s supply of walnuts. No single event since Lorenzo Valla proved that the Donation of Constantine was a load of toads’ gonads in the fifteenth century has anything threatened the Vatican’s hold on temporal power so completely. In terms of the Church’s spiritual credibility, this revelation proves finally that the Church deliberately suppressed those parts of the Gospel that threatened its control over the believers’ brownies. There is little or no doubt left among Italian historians today that the Church lured the Sbaglio brothers into the Pazzi conspiracy for the express purpose of eliminating them. The brothers learned the secret from a Senegalese peddler selling fake Rolexes and maps to the movie stars’ homes outside the Duomo in Florence (the Duomo in that so? You know, that’s a lot like saying the Empire State Building in New York City; where else is the damn thing going to be?), and they paid for their new knowledge with their lives, unless it was a different secret; the Sbaglios had a recipe for bundt cake that a lot of people were willing to kill for, so that might have been the cause of their unfortunate demise.

That’s always a possibility, you know; Renaissance Italy was chock full of secrets no one gives a rat’s backside about nowadays, and it may well be that the majority of Christians will not abandon their faith just because they’ve been using the theologically incorrect nut for all these millennia, although my guess is that this might cause some splits in the more fundamentalist churches; we won’t get to the end of the decade without their being Baptists, Southern Baptists, and Walnut and Cashew Baptists. I also suspect that the Catholics might get out of this whole thing unscathed. Nothing much seems to faze them these days, now that the Inquisition can’t burn people at the stake anymore. I guess when you hit the two millennia mark you start to mellow a bit.


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