Cesar H. Chavez

In response to How Google celebrates Easter:

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I can’t get too worked up over Google’s selection of Cesar Chavez for their Easter Sunday Doodle. They’re a private multinational corporation, after all, and Christians aren’t their only customers. I’m sure they had some anguished internal debate over whether a Doodle of dyed eggs and bunnies might open them to charges of theocratic propaganda, and chose the safe, secular PC route. Better to offend turn-the-other-cheek Christians than face the wrath of hysterical evangelical atheists (especially the ones you see at lunch in the Google cafeteria).

My primary reaction to the Chavez Doodle itself was amusement. Ironically, the artwork is reminiscent of the kitschy Jesus lithograph that hung above my devout Catholic grandma’s refrigerator – executed with the same gauzy, devotional, 1958 Clairol ad style seen also in black velvet Elvis paintings and Rolling Stone Obama cover issues. He is Risen! (from the grape fields.) 

Adding to the irony is the fact that Chavez – although an Alinskyite labor organizer – frequently leveraged messianic Jesus-tortilla mysticism in his organizing, before falling under the spell of the Synanon cult.  Maybe this beatific Easter Doodle was the artist’s wry joke about how the left appropriates and remanufactures religious iconography for its own purposes, but I doubt it; there’s just too much sincere feather-brushed reverence going on. 

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