St. Tweety

6 12 2010

Someone sent me this article about the saints venerated by Mexican drug smugglers. This one was a little out of the ordinary:

Traffickers also rely on good-luck charms, such as Scarface posters and pictures of Tweety, the yellow bird from Looney Tunes. Apparently traffickers find comfort in the idea that although Sylvester chases Tweety, he never catches the wily bird, Almonte said.

Next to their pictures of St. Jude and Santa Muerte can also be found pictures of a cartoon character. This is not surprising, as even back in Mexico, people would carry and “pray to” sea beans and heads of garlic for luck in such things as games of chance.

This perhaps is another chapter in the phenomenology of the divine: how does something go from being popular image or inanimate object, to being a saint, a demi-god, or a god itself. What is the difference between luck and Providence; a local manifestation of the preternatural and the metaphysical ens causa sui of philosophy?

Perhaps the “god of philosophy” or the “god of ethics” is just as much an “idol” as Tweety, and serves almost the same purpose.