Friday, March 03, 2006

Animals in the Clouds

In today’s Sacramento Bee there is an article of compiled stories from the Associated Press called “Strange Stuff – News out of the ordinary.” One of the three included stories is of an image of Jesus appearing on a piece of sheet metal at a hardware store in Manchester, Conn. Hold on – it gets even stranger. That’s right, you guessed it, it is for sale on eBay. At last count there were 32 bids topping out at $1,025.

Here’s the point: First, seeing pictures of Jesus on everything from a piece of toast to freeway underpasses to a piece of sheet metal is akin to seeing animals in the clouds. An ordinary imagination can connect those dots, an active one… well, these recurring stories say it all. More amazing than the “visions” are the reactions to them, to say nothing of their newsworthiness.

The news should not be of yet another sighting, but rather of the irrational hype surrounding it. I try to be open-minded, to understand where another is coming from – indeed, to walk in another’s shoes, but I cannot fathom spending over $1,000 for a $15.49 piece of sheet metal with a little smudged oil on it. I tried, really I did. At least an image on sheet metal can be preserved for… whatever use it may have. A piece of toast will eventually grow into much more than an image of Jesus!

In the final analysis, perhaps the Associate Press should practice a little truth in advertising with their headlines. This is no longer “out of the ordinary.” It is an all too frequent occurrence of what is rapidly passing for ordinary. I can only assume that there are those who are so desperately searching for a sign, some sort of meaning to life, some kind of proof that they mean something that they will grasp at anything that even remotely acknowledges their existence. And of course there are those too that will capitalize on it.


Sadie Lou said...

I saw a grilled cheese sandwich on ebay that bore a resemblence to the Virgin Mary.
I'm not kidding.
It looked like a grilled cheese sandwich to me.
I also saw Britney Spear's underwear for sale. Apparently she took them off at a night club and through them in the trash.
People are fascinating, eh?

Saur♥Kraut said...

Oh good gravy. Another wacky sighting.

As I've always said, The Virgin Mary doesn't appear to buddhists or protestants.

Michael K. Althouse said...

sadie lou ~ fascinating is one way to put it!

Saur ~ Yea, in this story it was Jesus, but I include images of the VM in the same category. Same world!

Lee Ann said...

I agree, it has become too common!
People will buy and sell anything on ebay!
Have a great weekend.

BarbaraFromCalifornia said...

The image of Jesus has appeared inside of a grilled cheese sandwich, to clouds and all types of places. Is it the image that matters so much, or what the people think about it that counts!

Anonymous said...

I could never understand the mania behind sightings and/or representations of the VM or Jesus. I am secure enough in my relationship with God that I don't need a miraculous vision to reaffirm His supremacy in my life.

In the case of the sheet metal, I think, "cool," and then get on with my life.

Ellen said...

I don't need an image either. All I have to do is look out the window and I know that there is a higher being than myself.

I'm not sure what's worse: the
people peddling this stuff on ebay or the dummies who bid for them. It takes all kinds, huh?

By the way.... a little coincidence here in your story, I was born in Manchester, CT. before my parents moved us to the shoreline.

X said...

I hear there are likenesses of Jesus going around on this thing called paper....with markings from a writing tool called a pencil. They make big bucks on ebay! :S

Yeah the whole virgin mary thing was bit much, as is this one.

If any of you guys are interested in fun or "odd" headlines, go to I get a lot of stuff from there if I'm looking for lighter news to read in newscasts. Yahoo and MSNBC also have good weird news sections.

Snaggle Tooth said...

I went sight-seeing n saw the virgin Mary on an office building in Clearwater because my mother had to see it... She was impressed with the shrine effect around it more than the image... She passed away in '00- was very religious.

I'm not big on the images themselves, but with the phenomenon of the emotions they raise in those finding comfort in them; how hope is needed so desperately, that even the incidental, accidental icon reference becomes believed n cherished.
I'm all for more warm thoughts, but not big on worshiping at idols or statues...

WooleyBugger said...

I would think that if God was trying to give us all a msg; everyones morning toast would have the image.

Oh! That reminds me. I opened a nut yesterday and there inside was the image of George Bush.

Helene said...

I was driving in Rehobeth DE about 2 years ago and saw a sign in front of a church.

"This is a sign from God... I love you"

I still remember it. I am so NOT religious... and not Christian to boot... but I thought it was awesome.

I think the thing about the metal is that people have the money to spend and by it as a conversation piece. I dont believe that even they think it is a real sign, more like a piece of art. Just my opinion!!

ty btw for adding me as a link!! How very flattering!!