Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Want To Become A Legend? Paint A Dome!

This was originally written 2 years ago, but I spruced it up a little. It wasn't that good to begin with, so I guess all I really did was put lipstick on a pig. Sadly, I may have blurred the lines of reality and imagination in it, but even sadder still, I can't tell. You be the judge (you were supposed to say that in a low mysterious voice, by the way)...

In November of 1512, Michelangelo’s artwork on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel in Rome was unveiled to the public. Other than “ouch, it hurts thy neck to look straight up at thine painting,” the thing most overheard that day was “woweth, how’deth he doeth thateth and is thee not wearing any pants in thy painting where thee toucheth God?”

There are many facts about the frescoes (I had one at Starbucks this morning actually, but they put too much cinnamon in it again) that adorn the Chapel’s ceiling which most people probably aren’t aware of. The real facts concerning the creation of the paintings have been kept from us for almost 500 years.

My research is a little sketchy, but I wanted to share the history I’ve uncovered with you all. What most folks don’t know is that Michelangelo (who preferred to go by Mikey, which is much easier to type than Michelangelo) wasn’t as much invited by the Vatican to paint the ceiling as he was told to paint the ceiling. I've had similar experiences at work. It turns out that Mikey had been chasing this hot chick around Rome named Mona. Mona (or Ms. Lisa if you're nasty. I know, that was a stretch) snubbed Mikey and chose to court this cat named Leonardo da Vinci. Leonardo got to paint her (well do a painting of her, not physically paint her, like they did to that girl in Goldfinger, because as we learned there, painting the entire body will kill you), which broke Mikey’s heart. To deal with his grief, Mikey took to tagging all public walls in and around Rome. Instead of facing inquisition, (nobody expects the Spanish inquisition, perhaps that's because this took place in Rome) Mikey accepted several hundred hours of community service by putting his artistic prowess to good use. His community service was being forced to look upwards for several years while painting the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel. A few years earlier, all of the white puffy and powdery 70's era (as in 1470s, of course) acoustic ceiling had been removed from the Chapel and it looked pretty bad, so the timing couldn’t have been better.

By painting the ceiling, not only did Mikey avoid jail time, he was also able to prove to his true unrequited love Mona that he too was a great artist. As Michelangelo was quoted as saying late in his life, “comeuppance is sweeter to thee than true love lost, especially when it is accomplished with thine own brush,” which I guess is much better than "taketh that, beeotch!"

Anyone who has ever bought paint at Home Depot on the weekend with thoughts of repainting the family room quickly can attest to what a phenomenal achievement Mikey’s painting of the Sistine Chapel’s ceiling really was. Heck, I can’t even paint around a light switch or door jam. Well I can, I just can't paint around it without accidentally painting everything near it that I should have taped off to begin with. Of course later in his life, Michelangelo was plagued by debilitating shoulder and neck pain and hundreds of people visiting the Sistine Chapel have been injured by walking into pews or other churchly objects while walking through the Chapel while looking straight up.

Sadly, there is talk of a major change to the Sistine Chapel’s ceiling. A Chapel official was quoted as saying, “You know, change is a good thing and since our patrons have been viewing the same thing for almost 500 years, we figure it’s time for something different to adorn our beloved ceiling. The fame of the Sistine Chapel has made it one of the world’s most popular tourist destinations but we are still seeing a decline in the amount of financial offerings to our church. Therefore we are taking advantage of the most popular ceiling ever, which is prime advertising space by the way, and replacing Michelangelo’s work with a large stadium-type TV screen and LCD text ribbon, similar to the one in New York's Times Square,” he added.

The new screen will be called Sistine-Vision and church officials hope it will raise millions per year in ad revenue. Major international corporations like Coca-Cola, Nike and McDonalds are already considering purchasing ad space. Paint chips of Michelangelo’s work will be saved and auctioned off on E-Bay and by Sotheby’s to fund Sistine-Vision’s construction. Plans are to have construction completed by 2009. Just think that 500 years from now we’ll be celebrating the anniversary of the unveiling of the Sistine Chapel’s ceiling all over again. It's like the circle of life, just without Elton John singing about it.

14 comments:

justrun said...

I sort of get lost when people start using words like "thine."

Patti said...

I like the Monty Python reference.

And I do remember this post, Michael!
Woo hoo! Still have some memory cells left.

Glad to see you posting, or at least updating.

Patti said...

Oh, wow.
No more X-ray of Homer Simpson's brain. I'm kinda sad about that.

Selma said...

Absolutely brilliant. 'Taketh that beeyotch,' is my new phrase of the day. Love it!

Mel Heth said...

I had no idea "woweth" was a word. Thank you for this very educational post! :P

Richard Whackman said...

That was a brilliant job of translating old Italian into King James Bible style old English. I, too, wonder why being seen naked would ordinarily be a crime but yet somebody or other has decreed a free pass for this as long as it takes place in something called a "work of art" - even if it's in a church! But your question still stands: Why isn't that guy on the ceiling wearing any clothes?

Since you ask, my email address is eaggallen@gmail.com.

Employee No. 3699 said...

Yeah! There's a picture of you...that is you, isn't it?!?

Community service? So that's why he painted it.

Anyhoo, with so many stadiums/arenas being given corporate names such as:

Minute Maid Park a/k/a Enron Field
Chase Field
3Com Park
US Cellular Field
Quicken Loans Arena
PETCO Park
Energy Solutions Arena
INVESCO Field

Why not give the chapel a snazzy new tagline to go along with the new ceiling? Tourists can crank their heads to view the new Listerine Sistine screen.

Just telling it like it is said...

I thought Mikey was gay?No? and that Mona boy she's hot!!!

Hannah said...

"taketh that, beeotch!"
That is just blogging brilliance.

meleah rebeccah said...

Updating is better than nothing...Ill take whatever posts I can get from you!

sharilyn said...

did somebody say 'cheese'?? http://heartrocklife.blogspot.com/2008/11/one-of-my-favorite-things.html

Tor Hershman said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Tor Hershman said...

Michael, things kept from us, The Sistine Chapel, here's an exposé of both, @ YouTube

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZzY2bVsZK5s

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sckuqPulRGk

Oh, and for Patti, check moi's Yahoo Group
THE QUEST FOR THE HOLEY TAIL
for more Pythonesque humor.

Stay on groovin' safari,
Tor

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