My interest in Shinto practice continues to deepen. I love a religion that brings the rice harvest to the city, and instructs men to go pants-less in public. Certainly there are many particularities I am still unfamiliar with. The repetitive flute and metal percussion music puts me in a trance, and opens me to the possibility that these gods inhabit my neighborhood and are responsible for my daily meals. But ideas and concepts would be nothing without the flagrant masochism and exhibitionism central to the rituals.
It’s like the Catholic Easter passion, but better because of its multiplicity. There is more than one suffering man, and more than one god. If this is pagan, I am unable to resist. I will ask the gods this year to decontaminate the rice harvest.
Who knew you could offend the Catholic Church in just 10 seconds? And just in time for Easter Sunday, my favorite Jesus holiday. I also heard that Lady Gaga will be releasing her video single Judas on that special day!
Wow. Watch this Catholic priest, arrested for drunk driving, alternately threaten and proposition police officers while chained to the holding cell. Sweet baby Jesus, video is priceless. (Via JoeMyGod).
And now for some Western spirituality. This video was noted by both Dan Savage and Joe.My.God. Dan taunts, “Bill Donahue! To the Batshit Mobile!” But I am not sure Catholic extremists care about salt-n-soda makers the way they care about the gays.
Walking in the back streets of posh Omotesando, I stumbled upon this simulacra of a Gothic cathedral, named Saint Grace. Apparently it is famous in Tokyo. Apart from the bunches of electric wires on the street out front, and the partial miniaturization, it is the splitting image of historic France.
Of course, this being Japan, there are no religious services at Saint Grace. Its function is purely theatrical: Weddings, Receptions, Party and Events.
I love Japan’s entirely surface approach to religion and use of foreign styles as backdrops. None of the unpleasant dogmas of Catholic religion, and with all the fun and exoticism of foreign forms.