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Monday, January 21, 2008

Ilya, Dear, Your Slavic Soul Appeals to Me

Last week, Father Blake had a nice posting about religious procession in Manilla. We suffer for a general lack of public processions in southern California, and I think we are the poorer for it.

(Click here for larger version.)

A favorite painting of mine is by Ilya Repin, a Ukrainian, who straddled the 19th and 20th centuries. There is something wild, untamed and passionate about the Slavic soul which cuts right to the heart. Of all the broken threads in Christianity, the one between the Orthodox and Catholics pains me the most.

My favorite fellow in the above picture, is the one with the crutch in the foreground. The "authorities" are trying to keep the poorer classes from getting too close to the middle class folks in the official procession party. But this fellow has his "eyes on the prize" and is willing to risk being whipped.

(And Stephen, if you see this one, snaps for you -- or anyone -- who gets the musical reference in the title! Replace "Ilya" with "Joseph" and have a go.)


ArchAngel's Advocate said...

Lots of nasty things can be said about San Francisco, but the Hispanic people there do have a procession along a major street in honor of Our Lady of Guadalupe. They also have "pilgrimages" on other major occasions (like a special celebration at 1 of the parishes) in which they process to a number of participating Churches.

gemoftheocean said...

Yes, I have to agree that that's one thing the Hispanics do exceptionally well. If we do have religious processions you can always count on them to be a big part of it. Like the Italian immigrants of old they bring their fervor to the table in that way for the benefit and encouragement of all.

Stephen said...

Funny Face?

When I saw Ilya in the header, the first thing I thought of was "Ilya, Darling" - of which score I know nothing aside from the title, but never mind.

gemoftheocean said...

Stephen, Dear. BINGO!!!!

[I knew you'd come through for me, and I also suspected if I didn't mention to change the name to Joseph, you'd be tempted to mention "Ilya Darling" but then that would have been too easy!]

Stephen said...

Unfortunately, the mention of Joseph threw me off a little, because the first thing *that* put me in mind of was "Go, Go, Go Joseph" and amazing technicolor dreamcoats.

(No, I haven't seen the current London revival. And no, I will not be seeing it either, since the leading man was picked via a reality TV show.)

gemoftheocean said...

Grease, anyone?

[I know, jillions of really good actors trying to catch a break, and their going for some stupid 'yeah, but he's really cute' contest. Can't sing, can't dance, and especially can't act...and he's starring...."

Don't go there with me!


gemoftheocean said...

Ack "THEY'RE going ...." Honestly. When I'm ticked off my grammar goes to hell in a handbasket. I can feel the invisible laugh of Sister Kevin Mary, my 3rd grade nun who wouldn't have hit me but given me one of those "Karen, I'm SOOOOOOOoooooo disappointed in your red marks...."

Stephen said...


The Great British Public, it appears, unfortunately can't be trusted, with these shows, to vote for the most talented performer. You know, as opposed to the one with chiselled cheekbones and a six-pack. It makes me feel slightly nauseous. We've had three West End musicals so far cast via reality TV shows - "The Sound of Music", another "Grease" revival (entirely separate from the Broadway one), and "Joseph...", and of the performers picked thus far, the public really only got it right the first time, with "The Sound of Music". Connie Fisher is quite good, very young, and has a lot of potential. But the rest are... blech.

gemoftheocean said...

Stephen, I have a nasty suspicion about the "idol" way of picking theatre performers. The producers don't give a rip about the art form. They know the TV advertisers will make the production costs to put on the musical....they've got their money in hand and if it runs, that's all gravy. But they've made their money back before they set a foot on stage, I bet.


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