Everybody’s blood seems a little up today. We’re all in this together, we will survive, and prosper. Love your neighbor, as you would love yourself.
Here’s a picture of a happy squirrel. Enjoy your day!
Everybody’s blood seems a little up today. We’re all in this together, we will survive, and prosper. Love your neighbor, as you would love yourself.
Here’s a picture of a happy squirrel. Enjoy your day!
The tech freaks of Silicon Valley won’t be happy until they build either a fully functional human brain or at least Skynet in reality. I don’t care what any of them say, this is their goal. Their space rockets are neat, but expensive, and at the margins. These very bizarre, successful dudes want to create life.
When you build the first robot servant, then you get immorality, then you’ll be judged alongside Newton. It reminds me of the era where if you discovered a new turtle you could name it whatever you wanted and you would be renowned across the natural philosophy world.
The tech freaks, they’ll fail. They will all fail. All of them. The brain will allude them.
I wish I was more religious, but I’m not. I think most of it now comes from how my Dad somewhat lost his faith at the end. He was my religious bedrock and in the end he thought he provided him not many answers. But I was most religious where he and I were alone at the end. There was no priest, no time, there was just he and I. I guess I believed more then, but after he was gone I’ve had a hard time of it. I read a lot and have discovered this is a common reaction to such circumstances.
Why do I say this? I guess it’s because what I’m trying to say is the human brain, the mind, will take you across the most wonderful, baffling, and excessive journey’s of humanity. Whether you’re in a good spot or not (I’m not) you’re still in for one hell of ride. If you believe in religion, this is sacred to you. If you don’t believe in religion, or wish you did, or don’t care, either way, it’s still sacred to you. We are all uniquely special and sacred.
This is why I find the tech freaks efforts to recreate the human brain so offensive. Fuck them, they’re not god. Burn them at the stake.
This afternoon I went to the local fish market. I live in concrete land so the local fish market is a dive strip mall hovel that would qualify as a shooting gallery in most planetary zip codes. People are far, far too ready to buy straight from Generic Grocery Store #485 instead of going to the experts. I try when I have time to always shop at the experts.
I get in there and only after nodding to the dude cutting fish do I realize I forgot my mask. Fuck covid. I’m in there without my mask and I feel naked. I dash out of the store, go get my mask from my car, and then buy some tasty future swordfish steaks. If you don’t believe covid is real, you’re either an idiot or haven’t seen it. I’ve seen my relatives suffer.
So you better believe I wear my mask everywhere. But I legit forgot. But, my mind, my brain, my body reflexively reacted. I didn’t think about it, I just reacted. Muscle memory or whatever. A year ago this would have been unfathomable, my beautiful brain would have not understood the absence of a mask atop my face. But the mind adapts, it adjusts, and now when I’m in a store without my mask, I am naked. Whereas a year ago this concept would have been laughable.
Hug your brain, it’s a miracle!
Oh my, I have no life. How come I can remember a lunatic piece I wrote over four years ago but not when I last took mine doggy for a haircut? The BBC is (rightly) all over the Washington Post’s obit about how Baghdadi was just a misunderstood neighborhood religious tutor. But the BBC seems to have forgotten when it once referred to Hitler as just a poor failed struggling artist. Said this blog’s unhinged, dumb author (me) back in 2015:
I especially like how the BBC wraps their article with this one liner about Hitler:
“He went on to become Germany’s military and political leader from 1933 to 1945, launching World War Two and causing the deaths of millions.”
For some reason they wrote this line in a non-dominant, weak voice; like Hitler was just some disgruntled toll booth operator who spray painted his bosses’ car.
How about this instead, BBC:
“He went on to brutally acquire the title of Germany’s military and political dictator from 1933 to 1945, attempted to conquer Europe and committed cultural, physical, and emotional genocide against tens of millions. Nobody misses him.”
Why does this modern newspaper writing style surprise anybody? It sure doesn’t surprise me. The modern elite (which includes the media) is all about the grey. Moral equivalency is a supposed virtue now. Good/evil, black/white, are for bigots and losers. Monsters aren’t meant to be hated, they’re meant to be understood.
It’s tolerance and understanding for all! Except, for those who voted for somebody they didn’t, or for somebody who says something online about [insert anything here] that they disagree with, or if they’re fans of the Houston Astros, and so on.
In the year 2176, Big Brother will murder one-billion people. The joint BBC/Post obit headline for him: “I love you.”
PS: goodbye false caliph, you piece of shit, nobody will miss you
I prefer my evildoers to be comical or true believers. These are the bad guys one can get behind.
On the comical end of the spectrum are Bond villains, Indiana Jones Nazis, or say Maduro (a bumbling idiot of a former bus driver who hangs onto power because his vice president and generals are addicted to drug trafficking money). There was actually a Venezuelan propaganda video where Maduro was driving the slums talking up his record and in the background is a building with graffiti calling for his downfall. Not only does Maduro fail to notice this, but they were actually stupid enough to leave this in after editing. Now that’s a level of comical dumb I can get behind in my bad guys.
On the true believer end of the spectrum I like my villains to mean what they say. This provides the clearest indication for the rest of us as to how one can conduct their lives. For example, Hitler shot his own wife and himself rather than be taken. Dude was pure evil, probably mostly insane, but at least meant what he said. Or take the currently popular Thanos (I don’t watch these movies but it’s hard not to know what happens) who follows through on his evil plans all the way to the end, and on multiple occasions, dies to the bitter end for them.
Contrast this to bad guys who are total losers, they neither provide comic relief nor the pleasure of a true bad guy. For example, take Stalin, for all his crimes (more bodies than Hitler) what he essentially boils down to is a coward. Granted, we must take the story with a grain of salt as the tale is from his daughter (who had a mixed relationship with him at best) but at the very end Stalin apparently dies in bed but as a broken man full of fear in his eyes at the prospect of death. Hey man, I get it, nobody wants to die, I’d be scared too. But when you clock a body count in the tens-of-millions, you’d better have more of a gut when your time comes.
Or take another example with our current human scum of the day in Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, who is apparently still alive after five years of war. For those who aren’t aware, ISIS is finished as a landholding organization. What remains is a true stateless terror cell. al-Baghdadi made his name calling for an apocalyptic vision of his false view of Islam where the end was near and the apocalypse would rebuild humanity in a new era, his world. I’m paraphrasing but that’s what this guy sold to the planet. It was this vision that brought tens-of-thousands of foreign fighters from across the globe to fight for ISIS.
But oh dear, oh so sorry folks, because I guess al-Baghdadi didn’t really mean it after all. Shocker. If al-Baghdadi really believed any of that, he’d be a corpse in Baghuz either dead by his own hand or any number of lethal means from the Syrian Defense Forces or their Western allies. Instead he’s slumming it up in some false tent / film set like a total loser. I mean, just look at this guy, he looks like a roadside panhandler. All he needs is a cardboard sign with third grade handwritten scrawling: “unemployed false prophet/jihadist – need money – homeless veteran – please help – God bless!”.
It’s like bin Laden. For all that dude was and claimed to be, he died in a purpose built cult compound mansion surrounded by his PlayStation and his (ultra large) porn stash. What a total loser.
al-Baghdadi’s time is coming, it’s just a matter of when. But like bin Laden he’ll go out as a complete fraud. An evil man for sure, but one who was never comical, serious, or even competent. It’s a testament to the flaws of humanity that such pathetic creatures manage to mayhem as much as they do.
What’s the real lesson from al-Baghdadi’s brief, violent reign? That he was good at it? Or rather, as I believe, that his foes (the criminally incompetent Syrian and Iraqi governments) were just even more incompetent / fraudulent.
Notre-Dame de Paris has stood for over eight hundred years. During that time, Paris has been sacked, occupied, or bombed four times. During the Hundred Years War, The Revolution, the Franco-Prussian War, and the Nazis. Notre-Dame had rough moments, but essentially stood firm. Now’s it’s gutted by flame. What society and culture could accomplish and protect over eight centuries, we cannot.
In separate but unrelated news, the Washington Monument’s reopening was delayed until this August. It was damaged in an earthquake in 2011 and has been mostly closed since. It took America less than four years to win the Second World War. It will take over twice that length of time to repair a single monument.
Here are two clear shining examples of the failures of modern society and government. We have fancy little smartphones in our pockets, we can access all the knowledge of humanity, but we can’t seem to do anything right anymore. This is more than just failed government, it’s society’s failure in general.
Does Notre-Dame even still matter? I think like probably 13% of French attend church each week. I wonder how many Americans beneath the age of 25 could write say one page about George Washington and why he’s important?
We’ve lost the big picture, we’re without purpose. Notre-Dame defined a civilization. The smartphone is ours: and it’s shallow, baseless, and ultimately nothing more than future environmentally damaging landfill.
In this sense, Notre-Dame matters because it reminds us of what we lost, and what we can no longer even protect. But in another more dark sense, Notre-Dame doesn’t even matter. Let it burn to the ground, and in the end sadly nothing about us is going to change.
If you’re like me and try to read the BBC every day you’ll realize that at any given time, probably 1/3 of the links on their News main page is pure clickbait. I’ve always found this weird and kind of shameful for what should otherwise be a professional news organization.
But I guess every website feels compelled to use clickbait now. There’s a charity that helps cure malaria in children, and on their web page front and center is a link that says: “You’ll never guess what job can increase your happiness this much!”. Hint, it’s undertaker.
Hey speaking of death, the BBC got me. I’m so ashamed. I couldn’t help myself and dove into this clickbait headline:
Essentially this dude had folks dig up a corpse and he tried to bring said dead body back to life:
Getayawkal Ayele had tried to revive the corpse of Belay Biftu by lying on top of him and repeatedly yelling “Belay, wake up”.
When this didn’t work (for whatever reason) the guy’s family started to beat up this false god. For his efforts, Mister Ayele got himself arrested for messing with a dead body, which is apparently a crime even if you received the family’s permission to do it.
We at TAP have a few conclusions to draw from this most consequential of today’s events. Please bear with us as we display only keen insight and brilliance. Your cooperation, as always, is truly appreciated. We truly desire to keep liquidation to an absolute minimum.
1) What did the family of the deceased expect to happen? I’ve seen some pretty crazy shit in my life, but I’m pretty sure there are some things you can bet your life on. For example, unicorns don’t exist. Did the family really expect that they would be the first folks to experience something that has never, ever happened before in all of human history?
2) What did Ayele expect to happen? Either he’s insane, was intoxicated, or what? But did this guy actually expect this to work? Usually a grifter has a backup plan. When he discovered that he could, in fact, not actually resurrect the dead what was his next move? Was he just going to run away in a puff of smoke ala the Roadrunner?
3) This is an arrest record one can be proud of. If you’re going to get wrapped up by the authorities, it should be something you can be proud of. “I got taken in for drunk driving”, makes you sound like a dick and a loser. “I got taken in for trying to resurrect a corpse”, instantly makes you the most popular dude in the bar.
4) Fuck Netflix’s The Frankenstein Chronicles. So bad.
5) This will not be the last time in your lifetime you see an attempt to resurrect a corpse. Soon, they’ll be growing human hearts in a lab. And a guy or gal will have a heart attack and essentially, well, die. Then they’ll rush that corpse to the ER and instead of calling it, the doc will try and put a new heart in the person and essentially bring them back to life. The social and religious implications of this are astounding, but it’s going to happen.
6) “My mum found my first grey hair at seven.” Hmm, that sounds weird. Maybe I’ll click on that, and so [eyes glaze over], no, No, NO! [waves hands around head as if shooing away flies]
7) The title of this blog post was intentionally clickbait. Did I get you? If so, I’m not sorry.
PS, I really am sorry.
Lost amidst the fervent nationalism that’s now the norm in the Western Pacific is how longstanding and deep the ties are between peoples. From 1274 to 1281 the Mongols, alongside their Chinese and Korean vassals, conducted a series of invasions against Japan. All failed for a variety of reasons, not least of which was a series of typhoons and the emergence of what would become the samurai warrior class.
In 1282 to commemorate the victories, honor the dead on all sides, and to push forward Zen Buddhism in Japan, the then shōgun Hōjō Tokimune ordered the construction of Engaku-ji. He enlisted the help of a Chinese monk in Mugaku Sogen. Zen became a huge part of the ruling culture’s psyche and was integral in the emergence of the samurai and what they were.
In the sense, Hōjō got exactly what he’d wanted. He’s buried there. And while the days of the Kamakura Shōgunate long passed it remained a key feature in Japanese Buddhism throughout history. It’s a must see if you’re anywhere near Kamakura and it couldn’t be easier to get to via JR East’s Yokosuka Line which essentially drops you right at the temple entrance.
The Sanmon, two story main gate, looking from it’s back towards the entrance. As is typical for just about any ancient Japanese structure, fire constantly requires rebuilding. The current version was reconstructed in 1785.
Now walking up from the front of the Sanmon.
Engaku-ji is still a functioning temple. I didn’t get too close but there were folks practicing archery. Note the target in the distance.
Note the guy on the right with a typical Japanese longbow, as tall as a man (he is kneeling). Despite the reputation of the katana, I suspect the real killers on most Japanese battlefields were the archers.
I love the contrast in light on this shot.
Find the fishy.
The monk’s quarters.
The Great Bell, Ogane, cast in 1301. The largest temple bell in the wider Tokyo area.
I like to consider myself a fairly well read dude. But every once and a while I come across something insane, and yet I know nothing about it.
In this case it had to do with a big celebrity event. This explains my ignorance. Because I care not about celebrities or their lives.
But still, for whatever reason (I’m in idiot) I had to break this down in my mind. Please bear with us as we discuss this most inconsequential of topics.
Every year a bunch of very, very rich people go to an annual fundraising event called the Met Gala. It’s a charity (cue laugh track) event at the Met. It supposedly benefits the Met’s Costume Institute, a subsection of the Met that does clothing exhibits.
According to the BBC, this event “is considered the highlight of New York’s social calendar”. And they have themes, I guess.
This year’s theme was “Heavenly Bodies: Fashion and the Catholic Imagination, which showcases how Catholicism has influenced fashion throughout history.” Uh, okay.
So as best as I can figure, celebrities are probably 98% atheist. But for whatever reason all these people are going to dress up in a religious style. Sort of.
As an example, here is a picture of Rihanna dressed up like a pope.
Here is a picture of Katy Perry with angel wings.
Do you get it? You see, the pope and angel inspiration are like religious things. So that’s why they did that.
Here is Olivia Munn (who to me will only ever been known as Aaron Rogers destructive girlfriend) with supposed chain mail on her scalp. As in, The Crusades. DO YOU GET IT?
Here’s Tommy “The Ventilator” Brady doing his best impression of being a Redanian mage from The Witcher 3.
Here is a picture of Ordinary Average Gentleman Stan Winslow, he repairs cars for his neighbors and coaches his kid’s soccer team.
So all these folks show up. They get their picture taken. Then they go in and eat, gossip, do the rich person socialite thing, and they move on. Some amount of money goes to the Met to continue operations. Rinse and repeat annually.
So based on my meticulous research, I have some conclusions and some recommendations to improve the event for next year.
a) It’s almost like the theme is irrelevant and a bunch of fashion folks just use it as an excuse to come up with wacky costume designs. If the theme was say, whales, Katy Perry would have had a big whale fin on her back. DO YOU GET IT?
b) The rich and powerful and celebrity are happy to absorb any excuse to dress up, get their picture taken, feel important, talk to people like them, and so on. The most comical idea is this is somehow a charity event. I doubt the Met is hard up for cash.
c) I mean, it’s not like all these people are going to say go with the Catholic theme and raise money for the Society of St. Vincent de Paul in the City of New York, a Catholic charity that helps New York City’s criminally destitute to eat, have a roof over their heads, etc, etc.
d) The fact that this event was international front page news is yet another mark that our culture is bound for the crypt and/or justification for an alien race to conquer us to save us from ourselves.
1) Return next year to the Catholic theme.
2) Demand accurate costumes to reflect the true history of Catholicism.
3) 100% of the proceeds go directly to Society of St. Vincent de Paul in the City of New York.
4) Cameras are not allowed.
5) The rich will be made to sit on wooden benches and eat sludge ala a Catholic monastery Circa 1284.
6) Monks will chant Bible verses focusing on the parts where that weird Dude helps the poor and describes how the meek will inherit everything.
7) Rihanna will dress in authentic full 8th Century papal garb, and be subjected to the full breadth of assassination attempts, Roman intrigue, obscure Holy Roman Empire politics, and baffling disagreements over minor esoteric spiritual interpretations.
8) Katy Perry will dress as a true avenging angel of the Lord God. From her chain belt will hang on a meat hook the severed head of Abū Bakr al-Baghdadi, former Overlord and Servant of Satan.
9) Olivia Munn will dress as a Knight of Jerusalem and be forced to engage in actual live battle axe fights with the current girlfriend of one Aaron Rogers for the honor of her knight’s house.
10) Tommy will dress as an alter boy. His wife has to wear the most basic of black shirt and slacks priest garb.
11) The Clooneys have to sit barefoot outside the door and beg for money to buy an Indulgence as a forgiveness for their sin of being born.
12) Please, help me. No really, please help me. They made me do this post. I didn’t want to. Why on earth did I have to write this? I don’t know why I did this. I don’t know where they put the key. I can’t get out of here. I threw out all the phone books so they couldn’t keep using them. And more just appeared the next day. Where the HELL do you even get a phone book nowadays!
This whole Valentine’s Day story is quite baffling because there’s a whole bunch of weird history behind it. It turns out the Giant Octopus of the Vatican doesn’t even really know who Saint Valentine was. This is an organization that professes it has a hotline to God via the Pope guy who happens to be in the chair at the time. Or something like that. So if they say they don’t have any solid info on Valentine’s connection to Valentine’s Day or love? Then you’d better believe they don’t have anything at all in the archives where they also keep the plans for the fusion device. But it’s okay, because we at TAP already know the true answer.
We heard tell at the Bankers Hill Bar & Restaurant located in San Diego International Airport Terminal 1 from a man wearing a Tony Romo jersey and drinking red zinfandel. He swears on his soul that he was vacationing in Bucharest in 1985 at the height of Ceaușescu’s brutal power. He spied a dark cloaked man giving chocolates and flowers to random women at the hotel bar. Thinking this man a dangerous threat and rather drunk, he armed himself with a rolled up Leninist newspaper and followed the cloaked man into the grim night. He made it twelve feet from the hotel door before being accidently knocked unconscious by a nine year old girl on a bicycle. He awoke weeks later deep in the Transylvanian Hills.
There, he proceeded to conduct a hasty forced interview with a vampire. The vampire stated that in fact Valentine’s Day originated as an excuse for vampires to drink more blood then during the other 364 days of the year. The seduction, the lust, the red color, the focus upon bleeding somebody dry, was all an excuse for vampires to consume their extra fill. The man, petrified, demanded meekly to know if he too would die that day. The vampire chuckled, and said no. For the original Valentine’s Day traditions were long gone. Instead, vampires had transformed into vicious corporate shills. They made such a killing on cocoa and flower farms that they were able to bankroll the invention of synthetic blood to sate their appetite. In particular, this one vampire confessed to working for Goldman Sachs Business Development Branch and had a supposed “killer” idea on this thing he kept calling “see, dee, oohs.”
Anyways, who or what, precisely, is the dreaded Giant Octopus establishment? To those who voted for Hilary it’s Trump’s business buddies in NYC, the 1887 KKK, etc, etc. To those who voted for Trump it’s the people in the media, DC, etc, etc. If you voted for neither of them the establishment is one of sixteen different Giant Octopi that occupy your darkest dreams. Like vampires. Or employees of Citibank. Or celebrity award shows.
Did you know the Grammy’s and the BAFTA’s were both on last Sunday? They’ve got so many award shows they have to cram two major ones into one night on different continents. How many awards can celebrities give to themselves? Don’t they know that celebrity awards are the pinnacle of the Giant Octopus’ many magical apples!? Don’t eat it, dear God, don’t eat it! The apple causes the downfall of us all! It laced with haughtiness.
Hey speaking of apples, and love, and whatever else, what does it say about humanity that the original Valentine’s Day love story ends with the downfall of all humanity for an eternity?
Anyways, but if you’re me, the Giant Octopus establishment is everything that tries to remove coherent thought from your brain for any particular purpose that benefits anybody not you. Whether it be an attempt to get your vote, your support, your time, your eyes, or more often than not, your straight cash.
America will spend $20B on Valentine’s Day this year. Or twice what the NFL makes in an entire league year. Or three times the national cancer budget. Why? There are 365 days in a year. Yet this is apparently the day that if you don’t get your mate candy, flowers, or whatever, it means you’re apparently cheating on them, or are possessed by the devil. Which is a mean thing to say, because even the devil is all about this day. It’s why he always dresses in red velvet. Go watch the Japanese anime cartoon.
Anyways, there’s certainly no connection between the Valentine’s guy and love. And yet there are references as far back as Chaucer and Shakespeare associating Valentine’s Day and love. So somehow this thing happened. Somehow humanity has a centuries long tradition of picking this one day over the other 364 for the purposes of affection.
I don’t get it, but I’ll accept it as reality. And that, as always, there just might be something wrong with me in that I wish this day didn’t exist. But even if you accept this as cultural reality, what I cannot wrap my mind around is the Giant Octopus having it’s claws in the 2/3 of Americans that probably shell out substantial gold for this event.
Folks who won’t eat genetically modified crops and recycle their used pencils are all of a sudden all too comfortable paying a 600% markup to Mars Brand Incorporated, or some faceless hedge fund LLC that owns a series of flower mills in Columbia and Kenya paying 3 cents an hour minimum wage. Nobody has a gun to anybody’s head making them buy candy this one single day. Why not buy candy on April 17th? Or cut some fresh wild flowers from a field on June 3rd?
Don’t give in into the Giant Octopi! Don’t give into the vampire! Do something different for your special person. Don’t let the vampire be your valentine instead. I don’t know what that different thing would be, you know your mate, you just find a way to make it happen. But I’m guessing, a good starting point is to try and do something that doesn’t involve spending any cash. That’d be a good start.
When you travel in groups compromises are always necessary. When the group disagrees you can sometimes divide up or sneak off on your own for a while. Other times you just have to deal with it. When you share hotels, cars, buses, trains, and meals with your companions, it’s generally not a good idea to fight all the time. I’ve been on trips where this happens and it truly kills everything.
Being in Turkey I had about five-hundred things I wanted to do, history being at the top of my list. So when we were headed to Ephesus I was fired up. We only had one day there. I could spend six days in Ephesus and not get bored. But then, other members of the group wanted to take most of that one morning and visit the supposed House of Mary which is near Ephesus. I hear this and I’m like, “Oh, uh, …” [checks watch] (I did indeed wear a watch then, which seems strange now.)
I was raised Irish / English / Sicilian Catholic, so you know it’s seriously in my blood. But I was also raised with a light touch of it. My own Grandmother would frequently talk with us about this or that doctrine, Pope, etc, that she disagreed with, alongside her own take on life. It’s a very liberating American take on religion. Nowadays, depending on the barometric pressure outside, I can either truly believe or am an atheist or whatever. A lot of it depends on my mood. So basically I would not consider myself very religious, but I really do try. In this Turkey travel group though were several ultra-hyper religious types. So they wanted to go see the House of Mary and were very set upon it.
Given how much of Ephesus was on my brain I could have protested. I let it go in the name of cohesion. This was the right choice. I figured it would be nice to see the mountains, maybe say a prayer, and generally just enjoy the ride. This was exactly what happened. I don’t regret it.
The full titled House of the Virgin Mary sits atop Mount Koressos which is a few miles from Ephesus. It’s a small house and religious shrine. By which I mean it’s a religious shrine that reminded me a lot of the shrines in Asia, specially Japan. As in, it’s a commercial tourist destination. There’s very little religion about it. In say Japan, sometimes you’ll be walking around temple grounds and there’ll be these people hocking Hello Kitty fascism toys from stalls. I always found this odd, to me a dead quiet church is my pinnacle of prayer. But in many cultures it’s not a big deal to meld commercial and religious ideas on the same site. This is the case with Mount Koressos.
It’s like going to the Mary exhibit at Disneyland. There are several cafes, a wishing wall, tourist buses everywhere, magic water, it’s quite the atmosphere. And this place has quite the crazy tale as well. My first thought was, “There’s no way Mary was there.” I mean, what do I know? But still, it didn’t seem quite likely to me. I get it, Popes have visited this place, but still. Feast your brains upon this tale of discovery:
– Anne Catherine Emmerich, German nun, mystic, and later saint, has a bunch of visions which she imparts to the brains of others.
– Clemens Brentano, author, writes books based upon her visions about Jesus, etc, etc.
– In 1852, Brentano provides a rough description from a vision of a house near Ephesus that John supposedly built for Mary where she lived out her days.
– In 1881, French priest, Indiana Jones copycat, and lunatic Julien Gouyet uses this book’s description to find and identify the house on top of Mount Koressos. Nobody believes him.
– But by 1891 at the urgings of Sister Marie de Mandat-Grancey, folks get onboard with this idea and the house is made a shrine and taken under management. The first Pope shows up within a decade. Half-a-dozen other Popes have also visited.
So is one to believe this tale of visions, translated through a kook author, and a bunch of people wandering around the 19th century Ottoman countryside with a book in their hand? I’d have to say I don’t. I’m pretty sure that whatever Mary was that she died close to her birthplace and is buried out there. But whatever, it’s all good, people can pray anywhere. That’s the cool part about prayer.
And whatever the house is, it is indeed neat to visit. It’s very old and probably a good example of the style and architecture of ancient dwellings in this part of the planet.
Side of the House of the Virgin Mary
When there, I kind of separated myself from the group and puttered around. When you go inside the house it’s a converted chapel, very small. I didn’t take a picture inside as it didn’t seem right. I prayed for a short bit and then was on my way. It was a nice moment, but not what I would call any kind of religious experience.
Not my shot, taken from Wikipedia. Note the very ancient hallowed c-grade velvet rope, two Apostle endorsed codex plastic information placards, and Papal holy water blessed exit sign
Outside there is a wishing / prayer wall that folks can leave notes on. There are thousands of notes. There is also a water source that is said to heal or grant wishes or whatever. I did not drink the water
For me, the ground was the better experience. This was my chapel visit. This was my Mount Koressos:
I’ve got dozens of various shots of nothing but the woods from all across the world. Two of my favorites are on my desk, one from American and one from Japan. I’m always struck by the differences and similarities between them. Wherever you are, the woods are always similar enough that you can recognize ideas, feelings, trends that join you to that remote location. In the sense that the woods near your own home and country do much the same. It’s that spark of fellowship and belonging that most closely identifies us as part of one human race and planet. It’s only there for a moment, but it’s a good feeling. Nature, God, whatever, does that to you. Amen.