Alexei Zoubov,head with saxophone
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        An Alcoholic’s Dream and The Power of Faith!

        July 2nd, 2009 by Alexei Zoubov

        As I’ve already mentioned somewhere in this blog, five days a week I take a walk from my home to a music shop (The Horn Connection) where I work, and back. I’ve been doing that for more than four years now.

        It takes me from 12 to 15 minutes, and about a year or more ago I started taking my camera with me. One of the first picture I’ve taken was of a “homeless patriot“,¬† I even posted it on my blog.

        That gave me an idea of a little picture gallery that I hope to present soon, with a name “Sunset is their Home”, comprised of the shots of homeless people that I’ve taken on this eight-block stretch of Sunset Boulevard between La Brea and Gardner Street.

        There are several billboards that I pass everyday. There was one particular one that was there all the time, and I’ve been glancing at it every time I passed by without realizing what exactly it was about.

        So, let us have a look at the picture:

        “Got Faith?” obviously is a derivative from a popular ad “Got Milk?”. The main message is on the right part of the board and… well, you can see it by yourself – the water coming from the faucet ends up in a glass as wine!

        WOW!

        I understand that it is a reference to the first miracle of Jesus Christ when He turned water into wine at the wedding at his friend’s house. I’ve read the Bible quite a few times (although I’m 99.99999…% atheist), so I remembered the story pretty well. This time I googled “Jesus, water into wine, miracle” and read several comments and essays on the matter – some of them pretty amazing.

        Here are the high points:

        Jesus came to the wedding with at least 6 of his disciples and his mother.

        The guests turned out to be really good drinkers and finished all the wine provided in no time. As one of the commentators noted, the lack of wine at the wedding was a big deal then. It could be perceived as a disrespect towards the guests.

        So, Jesus’ mother asked him to do something about it (run to a liquor store, may be). Jesus pretty rudely advises Mary to mind her own business. Most of the commentators explain this as His desire to show that He follows the higher authority than hers (Bush also claimed that).

        It looks like Jesus did receive the instructions from higher authority, because he tells the servants to fill 6 jars with water and then turned the water in them into wine, which turned out to be extremely good (“heavenly” comes to mind).

        So the guests that, by the Bible accounts, were already quite drunk, happily got wasted (as I imagine).

        Now, for some commentators here comes the difficulty. For those who preach abstinence from alcohol as God’s will, the thought that Jesus turned water into wine is really disturbing. So, some of them are trying to assert that this was non-alcoholic wine! I don’t buy it – the Bible says it was really good wine, and if you ever tried non-alcoholic wine, you know what kind of crap it is!

        Sorry, I digress. Back to the message of “Got Faith?” billboard.

        Here is what I see in it: if you got real faith, you can easily turn tap water into wine. The message doesn’t list any exceptions. The easiest and cheapest way to get drunk is through true faith, period.

        It is now more than 24 years that I don’t touch alcohol or any drugs. But before that all my life was colored by everpresent urge to get the next drink. If I’ve only seen this billboard back then! I’d definitely try to get as much faith as I could. And why isn’t every drunk obsessed with this great idea?

        Posted in Faith, Ideas & Ideologies, Jazz, Just Stories, Musicians, Thoughts