i leave it to radikalchick to respond to the world-class self-centered bigoted douchebag (in the words of carlos celdran) and his ilk who insist on their narrow shallow fallow takes on mideo’s art and censorship and the ccp. but this letter to the editor from ernie lapuz of sto. tomas, batangas, calling out the inquirer on its “tunnel vision” and disconnect with reality, deserves to be shared and taken to heart (and mind).
A fictitious literary character, Dorian Gray, kept a special portrait of himself. Dorian never aged a day and remained handsome through time. His portrait aged instead of him, and with every detestable sin he committed his portrait became more and more hideous.
“Poleteismo,” by Mideo M. Cruz, is a hideous portrait or artwork. It is so hideous and disgusting that it is being bashed over TV, radio, newspapers, and in the streets. And it’s quite understandable why people are angry, but this anger may have given even the Inquirer a bit of tunnel vision when its editorial on the artwork said, “If all this does not constitute sacrilege, blasphemy, or attack on religion, we don’t know what does.” Come on, surely the Inquirer knows of worse things than “Poleteismo” that constitute blasphemy and sacrilege. The paper writes about it every day. For instance, it has written about an absurd game show host who promotes mendicancy while idiotizing and exploiting the poor by making them salivate over thousand-peso hand-outs while he earns millions for himself. Doesn’t he make Christ look like Mickey Mouse or a clown every time he makes fun of the poor and declaring “All I want to do is help the poor”?
This paper writes about the abuses of the government and the Church. Can’t it feel in its hearts and guts that to call a cheating and utterly corrupt former president, her “First Plunderer” and their cohorts “devout Catholics” is more disgusting than a diseased male organ stuck on a crucifix? And when “Princes of the Church,” filthy rich “Evangelists,” “Ministers” and “Anointed Sons of God” ask and even demand favors (SUVs, a new superhighway along their vast prime property, special appointments, etc.) from government in exchange for their “constant support” of leaders who “steal from the poor,” they actually prostitute religion. Translate this reality into artwork and we may behold a full cathedral ceiling mural of Jesus Christ being held down by “most reverend” clergymen while being sodomized by hordes of “honorable” political leaders. Such an utterly sacrilegious, blasphemous, disgusting, offensive and hideous cathedral artwork will surely be despised, condemned and vanished.
Now what about the reality that is faithfully reflected in that virtual cathedral artwork? Do we see our reality as perfectly normal, acceptable or even handsome as Dorian, or should I say Juan? What kind of infernal gall have we in condemning people who hold up a mirror to us to show us bluntly the true state and configuration of our nation? “Poleteismo” is a reflection of the reality of Juan de la Cruz. And I thank God for the art that serves as our mirror. We can’t banish our collective ugliness reflected in the mirror by bashing that mirror. Surely, God’s mysterious ways are at work here as He Himself is holding that mirror to us. Art as a mirror reveals that it is us who actually commit the sacrilege. It is the reality of our nation, government, churches and ourselves that we need to reform.
Biga, Sto Tomas, Batangas