Thursday, April 1, 2010

Shrd f Trn

Yes, I admit it, that crossed the line, about Ricky Martin and his celebration of himself. He sings his body electric. I'm obsessed with the anal aspect of homosexuality. Can't it just be about the love? Love of course is not sexual, so homosexuality then would be the wrong word. Homoagape? English is insufficient to deal with the phenomenon. There must be a language that could deal with it. French? I don't know. Something extinct, no doubt, having depopulated itself through elective infertility.

But then later that evening I was profoundly depressed. No reason, just a thing. It's not so common anymore. I must be through my menopause. I have been quite angry about my father. The stupidity, the narcissism. I find myself just wishing I'd been born into almost any other family. For a generally not physically abusive family, it was pretty bad. Something about quiet desperation. My brothers were scum. Never missed an opportunity to invalidate me. I'm told older brothers are generally like that, so I can't lay it on them. Well, yes I can. Because I would have been a loving older brother. No matter. What's the difference between wishes and futility? There isn't one.

I saw a History Channel thing on the Shroud of Turin last night. Very good. I think it's authentic. There's no invalidating evidence. The C14 test from the 80s is methodologically unsound. The corner they cut the sample from was the very corner that centuries of greasy priests had held when holding the Shroud up for public display. Lots of exogenous carbon to confound the results. Artifacts predating the C14 dates exist that corroborate authenticity. The provenance of the Shroud is not perfect, but a reasonable path can be traced. Pollen and textile evidence and conformity with 1st century Jewish custom and so on are consonant with its being genuine. And there's the image itself.

That's what made the show so good. Upshot is, a usable 3D computer image was pulled out of the data encoded in the fabric. Some very smart things, like dropping out the noise of the herring bone pattern, and increasing the red/yellow contrast, so the figure and the blood were separated. With virtually no additions to the existing data, they pulled out a virtual statue. Graphics put on textured skin and colored in the hair, gave eyes and lashes, and there he is. If not Jesus, then someone. Someone, we see when the blood information is put back in, who looked like he'd fallen down a rocky mountainside. "Beaten to hell," someone said. "Like a car accident," someone said. Honestly, honestly, it brought tears to my eyes.

As for the face, yes, not comely. But somehow beautiful. An artifact of the artist's skill, perhaps. But I really do feel that I've seen the face of God. So thank you for that, History Channel. It doesn't stop me from being depressed, or from being stuck in a broken past. But blessings need not be infinite to be valuable.

I notice you don't come by so often. Well, neither do I. I thought it would be your love for me that cooled and grew dim. Perhaps it is my need for you. But maybe it will be a blessing. Maybe the fantasy of friendship I manufacture here will be supplanted by living, breathing flesh, some authentic friendship, something and someone real. We need blessings beyond those which computers can generate. But let's stay in touch. If you've ever bothered to greet me, that is, as I have greeted you. It's nice when shadows, when murky images step out and add beauty to the world. Haven't we just been talking about that?


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