The World Wide Conspiracy that is ARTURO VASQUEZ!!!!!!!

6 01 2010

Who is Arturo Vasquez? Why does he act like such a royal a@#hole on the Internet? Some say he is some bald headed Mexican guy who has taken a liking to Cajun boudin and Saints’ football. Those in the know have figured out that Arturo Vasquez is not who he says he is. He is an imposter, a charlatan, and a con-artist. Some say he is more than one person, some evil creation of a bunch of anti-religious computer science majors who have very little to do and even less taste. But three main theories have surfaced to compete for supremacy in explaining just who this phenomenon is:

1. Arturo is the Fifth Column of Protestantism in the Catholic Church: Just like the provocateurs of the 1930 picket lines, he is throwing rosaries and holy water all over the place to make Catholicism into the caricature that Protestants say it is. Because Protestantism is “Biblical” and “perfectly modern”, ya’ know. He is using the accoutrements of Catholicism against the only real thing that matters in the end: the Pope, his slippers, and everything he happens to write. How dare he be Catholic because he likes Catholic things! Doesn’t he know that Catholicism is more than just home altars, saint statues, and old grandmothers saying questionable prayers over you? “You’re airing our dirty laundry out in public! This isn’t the stuff you see on EWTN: the clean, technicolor, crypto-Protestant theology with certain words taken out and Catholic words put in. How dare you try to turn back the clock to Catholic things that we have long since thrown into the dustbin of history! How dare you apply ‘private interpretation’ to defend the things ‘you like’! You must be some secret Lutheran who reads Chemnitz under the blankets at night and whistles Ein’ Feste Burg in the shower!”

2. Arturo is the Fifth Column of Radical Traditionalism in the Church: This one is actually closer to the truth. But there he is, writing for Inside Catholic, interspersing rad trad phrases everywhere to unsuspecting readers loyal to the Magisterium. Actually, if you read some of his Neoplatonic posts backwards, you will find that they are all really just Archbishop Lefebvre’s sermon of 1976 (that long hot summer of conflict with Paul VI) written in code. Even if he posts a bunch of videos of Koranic recitation, passages from the Bhagavad Gita, the Orphic Hymns, passages of letters from Vladimir Lenin, make no mistake about it: Arturo Vasquez is a closed-minded, intellectual troglodyte who is a hack for bitter old ladies in mantillas who would cut the Pope a new one if given the opportunity. Even when he criticizes the traditionalist movement, calling it out on its contradictions and theological provincialism, we are not fooled. Besides, all that he writes is so confusing that it is easier to label him a ‘rad trad’ than to actually engage what he is trying to say. After all, they don’t really teach reading comprehension in school these days, and if they do, they teach it very badly.

3. Arturo Vasquez is a witch: We are surprised that people don’t make this accusation more often, because this is the one that would stick the best. “Behind all of his piety, and pretensions of traditionalism, Arturo uses his large basement for spells and other dark works. That is why he posts all of those questionable prayers, pictures of folk saints, and essays on Renaissance magic on his blog: to promote his business as a Tarot card reader and curandero.” “Yeah, I’ve seen him. Arturo was hustling on a street corner and offered to read my palm and put a curse on my ex-boyfriend for dumping me for my best friend.” “Arturo said he would cure my kid of the evil eye but instead made his skin turn purple. And the poor child can’t stop singing Prince songs.” “Arturo turned half of the members of the Ladies Altar Guild Wiccan.” And so forth. If there was still an Inquisition, he would be the first burned at the stake if his critics were Dominicans with a huge axe to grind.

Then again, there is no way of knowing. A runner-up theory says that he isn’t a Mexican-American man at all, but some megachurch pastor named Todd Smith who wants create a “Catholic site” that would make Jack Chick salivate. The experts, however, are still indecisive.





…that you see yourself in seeing me

6 01 2010

Estados de ánimo

A veces me siento
como un águila en el aire.

-Pablo Milanés

Unas veces me siento
como pobre colina
y otras como montaña
de cumbres repetidas.

Unas veces me siento
como un acantilado
y en otras como un cielo
azul pero lejano.

A veces uno es
manantial entre rocas
y otras veces un árbol
con las últimas hojas.
Pero hoy me siento apenas
como laguna insomne
con un embarcadero
ya sin embarcaciones
una laguna verde
inmóvil y paciente
conforme con sus algas
sus musgos y sus peces,
sereno en mi confianza
confiando en que una tarde
te acerques y te mires,
te mires al mirarme.

-Mario Benedetti