Sniff around and there’s always a news story to illustrate just how stupid and irrational human beings can be. Today, it’s got to be this one. We can probably expect a lot more of this nonsense in the coming weeks, what with there being a new pope and all: it’s probably pushed some over-active imaginations into hyperdrive. Apparently, to commemorate the passing of Pope John Paul II, the usually reclusive and enigmatic Virgin Mary has decided to appear in vision form as a message to Catholics everywhere. “But where?” I hear you ask. Not in the sky, where it would be visible to all, nor anywhere of any religious significance either. Nope, apparently the best place to materialise in such a way is a subway in Chicago, replete with graffiti and the requisite stench of urine, no doubt.
Thousands of idiots have visited this place so far, travelling all that way to look at a water stain on a wall of an underground walkway which, in certain conditions of light, if you tilt your head and squint slightly, if you’re wearing a blue shirt on a Tuesday evening at about 7 o’clock, has an outline approximating that of the Madonna. A “miracle” apparently.
Depressing, isn’t it, that in this age of technology and unfettered information, when the greatest intellectual achievements of mankind can be accessed at literally the touch of a button, there are still swathes of people prepared to waste their time (and police time – people are turning up in such numbers a police presence is required) visiting a blurry outline on a wall, under a leaky pipe, in a subway that stinks of piss and old tramps.
“We have faith, and we can see her face” said Elbia Tello. No. You can’t. You’re an idiot.
Meanwhile, “. . . I’m seeing a rosary which is a powerful prayer in our church,” says Frank DePaul. No. You’re not. You’re an idiot.
“These things don’t happen every day,” says Jim Dwyer, spokesman for the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Chicago. Actually, damp patches appear in billions of places every day throughout the world. So it’s not a miracle, it’s water meeting surface. Sometimes, this can make shapes that bear similarity to a 2D image! I saw a cloud once that was the shape of a dog. Was that a miracle too? Was it a message from St Francis of Assisi? Even more strange, there was a leak in my bathroom a couple of months ago which, heavens be praised, was the shape of a water stain. I didn’t get it repaired; I interpreted it as a message meant for me from Neptune, Roman god of water and the seas.