February 9, 2010 2 Comments
While the holidays are over, perhaps the perfect gift for Valentines Day is the Caganer, a key figure in Catalan nativity scenes, and a kind of shameless Waldo. Caganer, if you couldn’t guess, means “shitter.” He appears elsewhere, as well: in Dutch, “the little pooper,” and, my favorite, “the breech loader” in German.
These friendly bum-barers symbolize fertility and equality. Wikipedia lists possible reasons for the Caganer’s placement in the manger scene (usually tucked away for kids to find), with this included in the list: “The idea that God will manifest himself when he is ready, without regard for whether we human beings are ready or not.” I have so many questions about this statement.
The Caganer also takes on the form of world leaders. While the Obama “Yes We Can!” model is popular, my favorite is the Queen of England, mostly because I have never considered her suits as two pieces (I figured them more as dresses with jackets).
I like the idea of these little memento cacares/viveres as V day gifts. Forget the hoopla and the romance: you give this to your friends and lovers, and they will take notice. They will thank you for this refreshing look at humanity, and digestion. They will probably say “fuck roses! this is awesome!” They might not sleep with you, and it might start a below par conversation about the time they lived in Northern Spain, blah blah blah, but, you win. You win the Valentines Day workshop!
Or, perhaps these little guys aren’t the soul of a valentine, as much as a perfect symbol for the doom that will soon be upon us all: the movie Valentine’s Day and it’s impending franchise. Maybe as swag for the movie they could offer caganers of the assembly of stars in the film. What strong thighs they would have from posing!
I leave you with this Catalan toast:
Eat well, shit strong and don’t be afraid of death!
PS: “Yes we can!” as new inspirational laxative motto?
PPS: While “Everybody Poops” is a popular children’s book, I encourage you to sing it to the tune of REM’s “Everybody Hurts.” It’s fun.
(Thanks to Bernard Rudofsky for bringing these heinies to my immature attention)