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Saturday, January 06, 2007

Epiphany! Eureka! Egad - I think I've got it!

If I have seemed a tad caustic or irascible in the past few days - it is all but your warped view of things, most certainly! Yeah - that's the ticket! Had a shot too many of some unholy concoction amalgamating the merits of egg nog, rum, vodka, tequila and scotch? Don't let that lead you to the wrongest of conclusions when it comes to... moi! Heaven forbid that! And if Heaven does not Forbid it, I shall! Hey - my blog, ny rules - right? ;)
I am a happy-go-lucky guy - in the worst of times too! Especially then - since it keeps me from losing control and going on a rampage! Hence - you've got nothing to complain about and nothing to fear but fear itself! Or your imaginary version of it!

So then, today we remember that the three wisemen finally reached their destination!
Three wise men - three Magi - three kings - and none of the three is George Clooney! Yay! Rejoice, indeed, or this festive day would turn out as messy as "Batman & Robin" was - or as obsolete as Ocean's Eleven - The Remake and Ocean's Twelve ultimately were (you've guessed it - I don't want to see "Ocean"s Thirteen" - unless it guest-stars Jason Voorhees, is released on a Friday the 13th -of course- and has Jason killing them all! It's either that or a "dream match-up movie you thought you'd never see" - in this case it would have to be "The Dirty Dozen Versus Ocean's Eleven" - with the same result... Jason kills them all! *LOL* But I digress...)

How execrable of me to dignify pop culture "anti-icons" such as Bats, Robs, George & Jason with mentions today, alongside the Three Wisemen and He Whom they visited on this day we think of today - The Son Of God, of course.
Wasn't it enough already that James Blunt bluntly dared to demolish the three wisemen's reputation with his "anthem" devoted to them last year...? Sheesh... I made that funny before, didn't I? Let's move on...
I could have done worse - mentioned the other George, the worst George of all-time, Dubya, instead...!
Oops - I just did... :(
Now let's really move on then...!

My favorite wiseman remains Balthazar.
I always thought the name had a lot of... oomph? Pizazz?
I forget what he brought... Gold? Frankincense? Myrrh?
No diapers in those days...
Let's not go there though...! :(

Always good to check out the source material...
Matthew 2:1-12 ~ New International Version (NIV)

The Visit of the Magi
1After Jesus was born in Bethlehem in Judea, during the time of King Herod, Magi[a] from the east came to Jerusalem 2and asked, "Where is the one who has been born king of the Jews? We saw his star in the east[b] and have come to worship him."

3When King Herod heard this he was disturbed, and all Jerusalem with him. 4When he had called together all the people's chief priests and teachers of the law, he asked them where the Christ[c] was to be born. 5"In Bethlehem in Judea," they replied, "for this is what the prophet has written:
6" 'But you, Bethlehem, in the land of Judah,
are by no means least among the rulers of Judah;
for out of you will come a ruler
who will be the shepherd of my people Israel.'[d]"

7Then Herod called the Magi secretly and found out from them the exact time the star had appeared. 8He sent them to Bethlehem and said, "Go and make a careful search for the child. As soon as you find him, report to me, so that I too may go and worship him."

9After they had heard the king, they went on their way, and the star they had seen in the east[e] went ahead of them until it stopped over the place where the child was. 10When they saw the star, they were overjoyed. 11On coming to the house, they saw the child with his mother Mary, and they bowed down and worshiped him. Then they opened their treasures and presented him with gifts of gold and of incense and of myrrh. 12And having been warned in a dream not to go back to Herod, they returned to their country by another route.
Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society
[NIV at IBS] [International Bible Society] [NIV at Zondervan] [Zondervan]

Hmm... No indication who brought what there! But it's okay - we need only the essential about THAT episode, anyway...
Significance and additional layers of meaning have been added throughout the years by exegetes and other experts alike... Such as the following symbolic and true value of the gifts brought:
Gold: a gift fit for a King
Frankincense: burnt in worship of God
Myrrh: a sign of mortal human-ness - it was used to bury the dead

Balthazar, Gaspar and Melchior were truly given names after the fact - kids of all ages will enjoy this site about them, I think! :)
I prefer "Gaspar" over "Caspar" - just to further differenciate from the friendly ghost AND the Greek Castor (you know - of Castor & Pollux fame?)... Although Gaspar always makes me think of an old forgotten cartoon called "Gaspard et les Fantômes" (think Scooby Doo rip-off! Gaspard was French for... "Goober"!) but that is my own personal itty-bitty-tiny infinitesimal problem...! ;)
And, speaking of French, the temptation was never there for me to clamor "Melchior est le meilleur!" - nope, never!
But I digress again...

To end with the genuine articles now...
They were grandiloquently played by three of the best actors of all-time - Portugal's Fernando Rey, USA's James Earl Jones and England's Donald Pleasence in 1977's landmark Jesus of Nazareth by Zeffirelli.
Well, okay, Rey is truly a native of Galicia and died of cancer in Spain, back in 1994. But he was closely identified with Portugal due to his participation in 1951's well-noted Portuguese film La Senora de Fatima, his subsequent co-starring role in Mision Lisbon - and, besides, Galicia should have belonged to Lusitania/Portugal since day one! I should know - my ancestors have ties to Galicia! ;)
Right, Benny?
Don't be shy now - comment, one of these millenniums!

Nowadays, the best casting coups for three TRULY Wisemen would be... Portugal's Joaquim de Almeida and... uh... No, not Obi-Wan Kenobi! I'd take two former Bonds to round up the trio before I pick Ewan McGregor or -worse still- Liam Neeson, his Star Wars or should I say Phantom Menace mentor... But that is another story... So, how's about Roger Moore and Sean Connery as Gaspar and Melchior, hmm? *lol*
Oh, that's right - already back then, visible minority visibility (that sounds redundant) was a priority... So then, let's have a Black king played by Bernie Casey and an Asian king too - Yun-Fat Chow, of course! ;)
Everybody happy now?

And since uma imagem vale mil palavras...



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