Wednesday, April 01, 2009

Superstition Ain't The Way

One of the Spanish conquistadors' main objectives in Mexico (aside from looting the country's precious minerals and enslaving much of the population) was to convert the native savages to Christianity - to force them to abandon their silly superstitions in favor of the One True Faith. Thanks to the very effective government-sponsored "Convert or Die" program, this was largely successful. Which is why, five centuries later, when Hillary Clinton wonders aloud who painted the magnificently detailed portrait of the Virgen of Guadalupe that hangs in the Basilica, she manages to touch off an international scandal.

"God!" replied the Monsignor, in what's widely being reported as an "Oh, Snap!" kind of moment. Because, yeah, that's exactly how the image got there, silly girl! Now, admittedly, Madame Secretary could have been better briefed on the native superstitions by her staff, but we just see this as further proof that she gets most of her Mexico information from Burro Hall. We'll just point out that her predecessor didn't know how many political parties Mexico had, and that, really, as Secretary of State gaffes go, it's kinda hard to top this one, you know?

But Semana Santa is coming up, and right on cue, the "miraculous" Easter trees are blooming purple (apparently the official color of the Resurrection) all across Querétaro. We could try to explain that these miraculous jacaranda trees are, um, trees. And trees bloom in the Spring. Which is when Easter is. Etc. But for the sake of getting along with the neighbors, we'll just agree, for now, that God painted them.


4 comments:

Anonymous said...

Even a cynic like you has to admit that the trees really are spectacular. Purple is an unusual color since most trees bud in either pink, white, yellow or green.

M

Burro Hall said...

Well, sure. And we have trees back in New England that actually give forth pancake syrup, but we don't run around screaming "It's a miracle! It's a miracle!" every time the sap runs.

Anonymous said...

Sure we do!

M

Anonymous said...

Very strange. I am from Mexico and I have never ever heard that someone thinks these trees are Easter trees or something. They are so common in Mexico city. They are called jacarandas and I have never heard of that superstition that their color is associated to Easter. That must be a Queretaro thing, either that or your neighbors are picking on you.