Monday, May 08, 2006

Sometimes a cigar is just a piece of plastic

Spotted in a shop window in Boston: Matching 5-inch plastic action figures of Jesus and Freud. The mind boggles.

I wouldn't have recognized Freud without the help of the package labeling, but I knew Jesus right away, which seems curious since I have seen actual photos of Freud while there are no contemporary portraits of Jesus with the possible exception of the Shroud of Turin, which didn't help much in this case. But who else could it have been but Jesus, with his long, light brown beard and hair, creamy white skin, and white robe? It was dark and his eyes were too small to see if they were blue, but I wouldn't have been a bit surprised. Freud was dressed in a three-piece suit with a cigar in his hand (Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar ...), but he didn't have the trademark dark round glasses you see in later photos, so maybe that's why I didn't recognize him.

Unfortunately (or maybe fortunately?) the store was closed, because if it had been open I'm sure I would have marched in and purchased both figures on the spot. I found myself trying to imagine what kind of imaginative play the person (one can hardly suppose it would be a child) lucky enough to own both would engage in. Would Freud and Jesus accuse each other of being responsible for screwing up a significant portion of population of our world? Would Freud inquire about Jesus' relationship with his mother? Would Jesus boast that, being all knowing, he could answer the Freudian question, What does a woman want? (and perhaps add a little dig that it isn't really so very different from what a man wants)?

I took a closer look at the little statues to see what gave them “action” status. Turns out their arms--held slightly away from their sides, with the front of the elbows facing forward--are jointed, so they can raise their forearms in a gesture of bemused wonder; I imagined them exclaiming, Momma mia! or words to that effect.

Poor Jesus; what we make him into.


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