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Quo Vadis Quo Vadis
by Alexander Mikhaylov
2008-03-25 09:49:36
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Advertising is truly an amazing thing. For instance, only a few days ago I found under my door a leaflet that I mistook at first for a cinema program. Upon closer inspection however, it turned out to be an advertisement from the Catholic Church.

Speaking of the latter, religious campaigns nowadays are getting fashionably commercialized. On the other hand, utilization of a religious imagery for TV commercials is also turning into something of a fad. I recall one particular creation that I had seen in Czech Republic sometime ago, featuring God and a couple of his angels happily discovering the wonderful qualities of a new laundry detergent.

Gradually the idea of using spiritual imagery for commercials started to intrigue me so much that I one day I simply sat down and wrote a short script myself. Even though I am rather proud with the result, I sincerely hope nobody will find it overtly offensive…

‘Quo Vadis” or a script for a sports car commercial

(All rights are protected)

Frame one:

We see a long, dusty road under the blazing Italian sun… A gnarled road sign, tied to a withered pole by brown string, says ‘Rome’. An old man in a torn, discolored garb trots hurriedly along the bumpy road shoulder. He passes the sign and glances back. His heavily-bearded face looks frantic.

Frame two:

We hear a distant rumble of a car’s engine, and then we see a gleaming sports car (insert the brand name here) fast approaching. The old man freezes on the spot. The car comes to a spectacular halt. We see a mirrored glass of the driver’s door window with a reflection of the old man’s upturned face plastered on it. The glass starts sliding down noiselessly. A dazzling shine fills the entire car’s interior but we can also discern a gentle outline of HIS FACE.

Frame three:

The old man gapes in astonishment. His mouth falls open. He leans forward and utters in a raspy voice: ‘Lord? Is that you? Where are you going? Domini, quo vadis?’ A gentle but insistent voice answers: ‘Into Rome that you’ve abandoned.’ - the English version says ‘I go into Rome to be crucified’ (See here).

The glass slides back up to its place. We see a foot, dressed in gnarled sandal, stepping on a gas pedal. The car roars and darts off. The old man watches in astonishment as it speeds away then brushes off dust and perspiration off his face. The noise dies in a distance. The old man turns around and starts walking back to Rome.

Frame four:

A pleasant male baritone behind the screen announces: ‘NOW HERE’S SOMETHING YOU CAN BELIEVE IN AT LAAAST’. We see the car’s logo shining in the skies and hear a heavenly choir singing a long beautiful note: ‘Aaaaaahhhh…’

The End

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Get it off your chest
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Asa2008-03-25 09:51:02
I remember seeing this on a sign outside a church:
CH**CH - What's missing?
U R.


Sand2008-03-25 10:11:35
This is an imaginative extension of the recently popular question about some product or action as to how Jesus would act. It's nice to have a celebrity that doesn't demand royalties.

Asa2008-03-25 10:17:31
Buy the Jesus Party pack:

Two loaves, five fishes and instructions on how to turn water into wine.

BTW Do the shops sell chocolate crucifixes for Easter yet?

Emanuel Paparella2008-03-25 10:58:29
Carl Jung was on target: man is religious by nature and has to believe in something to lend some meaning to his life. If it is not the living God it will be his Lamborghini, or better still, his own image in a pond otherwise known as narcisism. Indeed, what the Enlightenment has failed to grasp about itself is that it has been worshipping an idol: its own cleverness. Having enlightened and subjugated what it alleges to be irrelevant and superfluous realities (i.e.,spiritual realities)it has still not enlightened itself. Dante describes the phenomenon via Bertran del Bornio in a dark cave doing light to himself with his decapitated head in the guise of a lantern (his cleverness). Let us give time to time. After all, Man is a late-comer on the world stage despite his cleverness.

Emanuel Paparella2008-03-25 11:01:59
P.S. The Englihs have an expression that expresses it all in three words: clever by half.

Emanuel Paparella2008-03-25 12:13:23
P.S. to P.S. Actually Madison Avenue advertisers are not Catholic, they are Platonists. It may be true that have understood precious little of Plato if they ever bothered to read him, but they have understood this insight of Plato: poverty has little to do with how much or how little one has but with how big are one's desires..." St. Francis of Assisi and Buddha had a better idea but nobody seems to like it much, especially in China aping the West in what counts: the bottom line and ignoring its own heritage. So, I am afraid that the advertisements will go on unabated for a while more.

Sand2008-03-25 13:25:10
Disdain is a delightful emotion towards the poor who are hungry and helpless for those who are well situated and can satisfy their desires in a wealthy country.

Emanuel Paparella2008-03-25 18:29:52
Bernano's question remains to be answered: are you really concerned with the poor or merely envious of the rich. There was no doubt about that with a Mother Theresa living among the poor and downtrodden. It is a little dobtful for those who go and live abroad in prosperous countries as "citizens of the world" with no allegiances and loyalties to anybody. Of course that is a general statement but if the shoe fits one can wear it "proudly." Most of that kind do thus revealing their true motives.

Sand2008-03-25 18:56:19
Paparella, when I know that you are spending your life sitting by the side of the road behind a begging bowl I will be convinced you are not a hypocrite.

Emanuel Paparella2008-03-26 04:23:56
You who undoubtedly consider yourself an honest and morally upright besides an "enlightened" man with compassion for the unfortunate poor must already be doing it what you advice others. Admirable, but be careful you don't catch a cold and get "deactivated."

Sand2008-03-26 05:04:11
I'm an ordinary guy trying to manage my life as best I can without advising people about the nobility of being poor, a tactic of the Catholic Church to ensure the rich and powerful minimum opposition in securing the wealth of the world for themselves.

Emanuel Paparella2008-03-26 09:54:51
Unfortunately Mr. S., if the Vatican wealth were to be sold off to be distributed among humble decent upright ordinary guys and the poor (in more ways than one) such as yourself, managing your life as best as you can, and the proceeding in fairness not given all to you (which would indeed make you filthy rich)but instead were distributed evenly among all the destitutes in more ways than one, I am afraid you that materially, which is what seems to count most with you, you would get a miserable hamburger to fill your belly with, hardly enough to save you from the cold and "deactivation," and the rest of us would not be able to go to the Vatican to admire the artistic treasures and the ancient manuscripts transcribed and saved from the rapacious hands of the barbarians of old and fill our minds and souls. I suppose that is just fine for the modern cultural philistine and neo-barbarian of our brave new world. It would give them a few more bashing points: that the Church is stingy and condescending toward the poor, that it does not appreciate art and that the whole selling operation was not worth it after all for a miserable hamburger which is anti-ecological and anti-animal and anti Gaia, since we ought to be all vegetarians in this new age. They could have kept the hamrburger. Oh, the profound stupidities of the neo-barbarism of the intellect! Cicero and Augustine must be turning in their grave .

Sand2008-03-26 13:34:46
Now, now, Paparella, let's forget the Vatican with all its ill gotten gains.It was you that disdains modern technology and all the delights of a commercial society. If you really believe in the absolute virtue of poverty, of ridding one's self of all the luxuries of the modern world and the delights of wandering the roads as a poor beggar it would seem, if you were not to be a total hypocrite,you must divest yourself of those two or more cars you own, dress yourself in rags, and seek the largess of other sympathetic Christians to stay alive and inspire them to do the same. That's a personal choice and not to be confused with what the Vatican may do. Put up or shut up.

Emanuel Paparella2008-03-26 18:10:29
Now, now, Mr. S., it appears that, true to form, you missed the point again. Let me try one more time:

"Poverty has nothing to do with how much or how little one has but with how big are one's desires."


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