The NatioALEXaminer Stories

The following is an actual news story.  As always, my comments are in bold (or dark chocolate, if you prefer).

Chocolate Jesus show canceled
By LARRY McSHANE, Associated Press Writer Fri Mar 30, 2007, 4:59 PM ET
NEW YORK - A planned Holy Week exhibition of a nude, anatomically correct chocolate sculpture of Jesus Christ was canceled Friday after Cardinal Edward Egan and other outraged Catholics complained.  [Ironically, the original all-beef version of Jesus was nixed by the artist out of concern that Catholics might not be free to have meat during Lent.]

The "My Sweet Lord" display was shut down by the hotel that houses the Lab Gallery in midtown Manhattan. Roger Smith Hotel president James Knowles cited the public outcry for his decision. [Also, they needed to cannibalize the messiah for chocolates on the guests' pillows.  Eat of his flesh?  Hmmmmm...]

The reaction "is crystal clear and has brought to our attention the unintended reaction of you and other conscientious friends of ours to the exhibition," Knowles wrote in the two-paragraph cancellation notice.  [Among the objectors was New Orleans mayor Ray Nagin who worried that New York might use the piece to usurp the title of "Chocolate City."]

Matt Semler, the gallery's creative director, resigned in protest.  [Meanwhile, the chocolate icon shed tears of nougat as its wounds seeped caramel.]

The six-foot sculpture was the victim of "a strong-arming from people who haven't seen the show, seen what we're doing," Semler said. "They jumped to conclusions completely contrary to our intentions."  [And they're probably in a bad mood from having low blood sugar.]

But word of the confectionary Christ infuriated Catholics, including Egan, who described it as "a sickening display." Bill Donohue, head of the watchdog Catholic League, said it was "one of the worst assaults on Christian sensibilities ever."  [...narrowly beating out the Crusades and the Holocaust of the Jews for that title.]

The hotel and the gallery were overrun Thursday with angry phone calls and e-mails about the exhibit. Semler said the calls included death threats over the work of artist Cosimo Cavallaro, who was described as disappointed by the decision to cancel the display. [He is expected to return to his factory and allow in only visitors who find the handful of Golden Tickets he has hidden in other religious icons around the city.]

"In this situation, the hotel couldn't continue to be supportive because of a fear for their own safety," Semler said.  [Fire marshals said that the torches of the rioting villagers could have melted the Jesus, thus creating a deluge of chocolate that may have drowned countless hotel guests and left scattered diabetics comatose in its wake.]

The sculpture was to debut Monday evening, the day after Palm Sunday and just four days before Christians mark the crucifixion of Jesus Christ on Good Friday. The final day of the exhibit was planned for Easter Sunday.  [...after which it would be marked down to half price to clear the gallery for other seasonal items.]

The artwork was created from more than 200 pounds of milk chocolate, and features Christ with his arms outstretched as if on an invisible cross. Unlike the typical religious portrayal of Christ, the Cavallaro creation does not include a loincloth.  [One smartly-dressed observer described Jesus' cock as "Sweet."]

Cavallaro hoped the sculpture could go on display elsewhere, according to Semler.  [It was hoped that a venue might be found where the pitchfork-wielding ignoramuses might be turned back by more cultured fondue fork-wielding lovers of both art and chocolate.]

Cavallaro is best known for his quirky work with food as art: Past efforts include repainting a Manhattan hotel room in melted mozzarella, spraying five tons of pepper jack cheese on a Wyoming home, and festooning a four-poster bed with 312 pounds of processed ham.  [...the last of which suffered similar persecution from... you guessed it... the Jews.]


Copyright 2007 "The NatioALEXaminer"... except the article, of course.
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