Perhaps I am just plain out of touch with the reality of the modern world. Every day we seem to hear of people doing whatever with no social boundaries. The news tonight featured the story of Erykah Badu and her guerrilla videotaping of her singing and stripping in downtown Dallas in front of the Texas Book Depository in Dealey Plaza on March 17. For those of you too young to remember, this is where President Kennedy was shot in November of 1963. The area was turned into a national monument. Thousands of people visit the site yearly. It is almost always crowded. The day was slightly cool. I am sure there were dozens of witnesses. She claims she prayed that no children would be traumatized. In the video when she finishes stripping, a gunshot is fired and she falls naked to the pavement. Then she ran like hell.
She obviously did not apply for a permit. Unless the police can find a witness to testify to what she did, they cannot arrest her for this misdemeanor charge even though they showed the video on TV, blocking a few obvious areas of her body.
In her words, a guerrilla videotaping is “one take, no closed set, no permits, two minutes and run like hell.” This taping took place in the middle of the afternoon in front of children who were visiting the plaza. Supposedly she was making a statement against “groupthink” whatever that may mean.
It doesn’t matter what you thought about President Kennedy. The first wave of baby boomers were seniors in high school when he was assassinated. To many, the 1960s are ancient history. Some people today still were happy the day he was killed. That is not the point. My point is that I question, “Have we lost all sense of decency? Do we not hold anything worthy of esteem?”
In a similar act, the theater group at Tarleton State planned to perform a play, Corpus Christi, that portrayed Jesus as a homosexual man. This play was not meant for the public. It was an in-class project. The public was somehow informed, and it stirred up a controversy that caused the professor to stop the production. Before all the dust settled, there were even threats of bodily harm. It kind of reminded me of the cartoons of the Muslim Prophet in Denmark. Some people just don’t really know how to judge the depth of people’s feelings when it comes to straying from the Written Word in portraying Holy Men around the world. (edited 3/31…originally it was for viewing by more than just the class. When I became aware of it, it was to be a private showing. Please explore the link for more information.)
Tarleton State was planning to allow the play to be presented in the acting class. They stated free speech amendments as a reason to let the play continue. Now I’m all in favor of free speech but where does common sense come in? You just don’t play around with the image of Jesus in this overcrowded bastion of Christianity called Texas.
Texans have a motto, “Don’t mess with Texas”. An unspoken addendum in this neck of the states is “Don’t mess with Jesus”. I know first hand where that can lead. When the DaVinci Code was released, I was exploring the idea of Jesus being married to Mary Magdaline. To me it was an idea of interest. It doesn’t change my idea one bit about Jesus whether he was married or not, gay or not. I made the error of inviting a Baptist friend of mine to a workshop where the idea of Mary as the Holy Grail (mother of Sarah) was being explored. She went ballistic on me. She couldn’t even begin to entertain the idea. Unfortunately,I haven’t socialized with her since that conversation. She wrote my off as a friend after about ten years of friendship.
The same thing holds true for portraying Jesus as a homosexual. Some people just can’t tolerate that idea. In the name of Jesus, they’d just as soon smite those who might even suggest such, in their eyes, an abhorrent aberration.
Now in my opinion if certain Christians don’t cotton to that idea, they don’t have to watch it. It would have been over and done with in one day. All their protesting just raised the consciousness of the situation and showed them as the intolerant beings that they are. It was a private class. Even if it were a public performance, Jesus has been a big enough guy for 2,000+ years to withstand the slings and arrows of outrageous fortunes in the past. We’ve seen many such plays and movies come and go in the past and I don’t think many Christians were corrupted in the long run. It is more difficult to corrupt those with closed minds.
But when one is dealing with beings that are held sacred, and places that are revered, I think it is best to be conservative and consider the people around you. There are just some things you’d be better off not messing with in Texas. Jesus and Kennedy’s Dealey Plaza are two. The first is considered sacred, the second is revered. It is best to tread lightly. Namaste. Attic Annie