Water Into Beer?

Houston is a sea of billboards. They are ubiquitous–along the Interstates, dotting main thoroughfares…everywhere and one in particular has gotten plenty of attention.

Nestled in a clearing amid a clump of tangled, nondescript Southeast Texas trees, in the shadow of downtown Houston, is a billboard that defies Madison Avenue’s tried and true methods of advertising, branding and marketing.

McMann and Tate, I swear, could’ve done no better.

The billboard, owned by the oh so godly Clear Channel Outdoor Media is one that has commuters taking one look at and thinking, “Huh?”

This is what’s creating the controversy.

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Officials say this is actually the handiwork of some very sophisticated graffiti artists. They made the poster themselves, then under the cloak of darkness climbed atop the billboard, then turned whatever was originally advertised into what you see above.

So, who are we to say that Jesus doesn’t like a cold one every once in a while?

Do I have any complaints about this billboard? Sure, I suppose it could be construed as offensive to certain Christians, but I take offense to the image of Jesus that was used . This is the same ridiculous artist’s rendering of Jesus that I grew up with in South Texas. The one in which he’s depicted as being light skinned and fair eyed.

Uh…..Jesus was Jewish. And not just a little Jewish. He was waaaaay Jewish.

His facial features would’ve reflected those specific ethnocentric characteristics. He would’ve been darker skinned and more than likely, his eyes would’ve been brown and a bit closer together. His features would’ve been sharper; his probascis more pronounced. He would’ve looked more like what we’ve come to know as a Sephardic Jew. Like one of the original Twelve Tribes of Israel; you know–one of Jacob’s boys.

At the very least, he would’ve certainly looked more like veteran character actor and practicing Jew, Ron Silver.

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As opposed to the way actor/singer and practicing Irishman, Richard Harris looked around the release of his only single “MacArthur Park”, circa 1968.

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Is the billboard still up and offending some and making others laugh? It was as of a few weeks ago, but wait—the “Jesus was an Anglo” controversy doesn’t stop there and one of the biggest, most embarrassing gaffs regarding this fact, also happened right here in the Lone Star State.

It wasn’t one of Texas’ proudest moment, either.

As the story goes, there was a hot argument in the State Capital in Austin in the mid 1920s—one that’s still going on in several states, particularly in California—about whether Spanish should be used in the classroom to teach kids who came from Mexico, or whether only English should be permitted.

Miriam “Ma” Ferguson had become the state’s first woman governor, after her husband, Governor “Pa” Ferguson was impeached. She ended the debate quite quickly when she held up a Bible and proclaimed, “If the King’s English was good enough for Jesus, it’s good enough for the school children of Texas!”

Good lord!

And that my friends, is why you can thank this brilliant political and cultural observation as the reason why this Texan is writing her blog in English and not in ancient Aramaic.

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6 comments

  1. Hah, that’s Houston for you. Hey will y’all get some zoning? It’s confusing me, driving down Bellaire Blvd. The nursery next to the church well I suppose it makes sense there.

    Then there’s Shell, and just down the street a grocery store. Oil and food there’s a mix.

    Best quote I’ve ever heard about Houston, “The biggest, small town in the country.”

  2. I am both a Christian and a recovering alcoholic and I don’t find this billboard offensive. A bit infantile, perhaps, but not offensive.

    It’s hard to get me offended about my faith. I’m cool with just about anything short of a crucifix in urine.

  3. Well Pistol, I am a Christian too…and I am offended, irate, incensed and apoplectic. The image of my Lord and Savior holding a beer is extremely insensitive and it enrages me to the point that I feel like rioting and burning things down…

    And further, I am sure Laurie has a violent judgement coming to her for further blaspheming my Lord and Savior. She should be stoned and beheaded.

    (This is the way I am supposed to react, right Achmed?)

  4. I need new glasses. I could have sworn you described Ron Silver as a PRANCING jew, not a practicing jew… I went off on my own tangent at that point… do jews prance? Is that supposed to be a pride thing? Or a reference to one of those dances that they do? Then I re-read it… never mind.

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