Being There

Now that the die has been cast, and the “presumptive” GOP nominee–in the guise of Donald Trump–has been anointed, I’m going to offer up my picks for a preferred nominee. I was moved to write this after learning that artist Illma Gore, who created a nude portrait of Trump,  was assaulted by a group of his followers. She has also received death threats and is unable to show this piece in the United States, but it has been displayed at the Maddox Gallery in London. priced at $1.87 million.

illma gore

(google – Ilma Gore / “Make America Great Again”)

My picks:

(1)  Chance, the protagonist from the film (based on the Jerzy Kosinski novel) Being There, brilliantly portrayed by Peter Sellers.

Chance is a simple-minded gardener who tends the garden of a wealthy old man in Washington, DC. When the old man dies, Chance is forced to leave the old man’s house and makes his way into the “real” world for the first time, ending up at the home of an elderly business mogul who is also a confidant and adviser to the president of the United States. Chance unwittingly becomes enmeshed in politics but has no real awareness of what is going on around him.

I think Chance would be a better Republican nominee for the simple reason he has no malice or guile, and could do no harm.

(2) Bernie the Cat.

Bernie 1

Bernie is a five-year-old domestic shorthair feline. He believes in equal rights for all, particularly the abused, homeless and disenfranchised  (very un-Republican) and is fervently against fat-shaming. He himself weighs 24 pounds and is currently on a diet. He feels the abuse suffered by the overweight in our society is cruel and not based on science. He would like his future constituents to read this New York Times article on the plight of the obese, citing former contestants from the TV show The Biggest Loser who regained much of the weight they lost after leaving the show.

(3)  Your next-door neighbor who is not a psycho.

I’m certain that many of you have neighbors who are hard-working, decent people grounded in reality. I know it would be a sacrifice for them, but perhaps we can ask our neighbors to run for office. Being independently wealthy or having lots of wealthy friends would help.

(4)  Lucy.

We need more female warriors.



Who are your picks?



Jesus Was a Surfer

Last night I watched King of Kings on the Turner Classic Movie station (TCM). I hadn’t seen this 1961 film since I was a kid–it was one of many religious films we used to watch at Easter time, along with Barabbas and The Robe. My mom always remarked at what a handsome Jesus Jeffrey Hunter made. Being a very pious child–I wanted to be a nun for all of third grade–I took these films very seriously.


(google image)

Watching the film was a surreal experience. Narrated by Orson Welles, the performances ranged from wooden to campy. But most remarkable was Jesus’s appearance – dark blonde with piercing blue eyes. Kind of like a surfer dude. Rip Torn who played Judas Iscariot was also surferesque. I kept waiting for Jesus to say, “Gnarly waves, dudes.”

White Jesus isn’t anything unusual, as the role in most films has been portrayed by Caucasian actors, including Robert Powell, Max von Sydow, Christian Bale, Willem Dafoe, Jeremy Sisto and Jim Caviezel.

Sarah Griffiths wrote an article in the Daily Mail entitled “Behold the Face of Hollywood Jesus: Artist merges images of actors who’ve played Christ to reveal the ultimate look of the messiah.”  According to retired medical artist Richard Neave, Jesus probably looked more like this:

real jesus

Daily Mail

Sarah Griffiths goes on to say:

Dr. Neave’s team studied first century artwork from various archaeological sites, created before the Bible was written.

From these works, they hypothesised Jesus had dark eyes and likely had a beard, in keeping with Jewish traditions at the time.

The Bible also offered a clue as to how Christ wore his hair – short, with tight curls, unlike many Renaissance depictions, for example.

This comes from a Bible passage by Paul, who wrote: ‘If a man has long hair, it is a disgrace to him,’ suggesting Jesus did not have this hairstyle.

When I was a kid, I didn’t question the omnipresent blond-haired, blue-eyed Jesus. But it seems odd now. As recent as 2015, Ewan McGregor was cast as Jesus. Why not an actor of color?

I enjoyed watching King of Kings in spite of the casting, but it seems high time we start diversifying.