Saturday, April 15, 2006

Passion Plays

My favorite story from Friday's USA Today concerns the various worldwide commemorations of Good Friday. Here's an item that leaped out:

"In Mexico City's working class Iztapalapa barrio, nearly 5,000 people participated in a Passion play in the baking sun. In the role of Jesus was 24-year-old Cristian Ramses, who dragged a 210-pound cross for three miles while other actors jeered at him. Earlier, he was whipped by actors in Roman military uniforms."

Afterward, he fired his agent.

And in the same story:

"Catholics marked Good Friday with other rituals, including one in San Pedro Cutud, Philippines, where at least seven Filipino devotees were nailed to a cross, organizers said. The Lenten ritual is opposed by religious leaders in the Philippines but it has persisted to become one of the country's most-awaited summer attractions."

Why would I want go all the way to the Philippines to watch people nailing themselves to a cross, when I can go around the corner leather bar and see the same thing?

You know what they say: To someone with a hammer and a cross, everything is a crucifixion.

And speaking of summer attractions, what could beat a ride on Mission: Space, the Disneyworld attraction that simulates a NASA rocket launch? Well, don't tell that to a family of a German tourist, the second person within a year who died after a spin on it. This woman apparently thought she was Werner von Braun and could withstand the ride, which subjects its willing victims to twice the force of gravity. We yawn at global warming, terrorism, and nuclear proliferation, but please, will somebody or something please SCARE us?

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