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Cerne Abbas Homer
Status: Publicity stunt
image A 180ft image of a donut-waving Homer Simpson recently appeared on a hillside in Dorchester, beside the famous Cerne Abbas Giant. The image is part of the publicity for the new Simpsons movie. However, the stunt has not pleased local pagans, who believe it to be disrespectful. Catherine Hosen, Wiltshire representative for The Pagan Federation, says, "I find it quite shocking and very disrespectful. It's just a publicity stunt for a film and we are talking about a monument which is definitely of great historical significance and a lot of people feel has important spiritual significance as well."

However, the pagans should keep in mind that the Cerne Abbas Giant may not be as old as they think. As I note in the article about the Giant in the Hoaxipedia:
the first written reference to the giant only occurred in 1694. This was not because early descriptions of the Cerne Abbas landscape were scarce. Quite the opposite. Many pre-seventeenth-century surveys of that region have survived, but none of them mention a giant. By contrast, the presence of the Uffington Horse was noted as early as the eleventh century... [Joseph Betty has] argued that a local landowner called Denzil Holles created the giant in the seventeenth century during the English Civil War. Holles harbored a passionate hatred of the puritan commander Oliver Cromwell. Cromwell’s followers often represented their leader as a modern-day, club-wielding Hercules. Therefore, what better way for Holles to satirize the commander, Betty suggested, than to plaster a 180-foot rude caricature of Hercules on a hilltop in the middle of England? But Betty noted that given the dangerous political situation during the Civil War, Holles would have been careful not to make his authorship of the figure too obvious or too widely known.
Categories: Advertising, Places
Posted by Alex on Wed Jul 25, 2007
Comments (8)
More from the Hoax Museum Archives:
What is rather cool is that for the first time in history a prophecy is made in public and widely published actually proofed to be right.
The pagans said they would pray for rain to wash the image of Homer away. And now England is flooded.
Of course this opens the way to claim any damage at a pagan church near you.
Posted by Unfairly Balanced  in  Earth  on  Thu Jul 26, 2007  at  04:05 AM
I wouldn't give the pagans too much credit - it's been raining in Britain for the last month and a half - I'm surprised they even managed to finish painting Homer brfore he was washed away..
Posted by Mangawitch  in  Wales, UK  on  Thu Jul 26, 2007  at  10:57 AM
Just be glad that the Cerne Abbas Homer is underwear-clad rather than naked like the adjacent giant... I'd hate to read people's opinions on the relative merits of their giant, hillside phalli... BTW, my giant hillside phallus is doing fine, thankkyewverymuch. Just so you know
Posted by Hairy Houdini  on  Thu Jul 26, 2007  at  12:55 PM
Biloxi Fire Department! So we now hear from another member of the Organized Mob of the Easily Insulted.
Posted by Christopher Cole  in  Tucson, AZ  on  Fri Jul 27, 2007  at  12:18 AM
Liverpool Cathedral's fairly new too, but you wouldn't paint Daffy Duck on the side of that.
Posted by Nona  in  London  on  Fri Jul 27, 2007  at  08:21 AM
The theory that the giant was an insult to Cromwell is interesting, but highly speculative. If the figure appeared around 1694, the British ruler at that time was William the Third, who was also fond of comparing himself to Hercules. The culprit would therefore have been a Jacobite. In that case, the modern figure must have been painted by someone who would rather be ruled by Homer Simpson.
Posted by Mr Henderson  in  London, UK  on  Sat Jul 28, 2007  at  09:04 AM
"Liverpool Cathedral's fairly new too, but you wouldn't paint Daffy Duck on the side of that."

Which would be a perfect analogy... except no one painted -on- the Cerne Abbas. And it's temporary. This is more akin to drawing semi-intellectual political messages on the sidewalk in front of the church with (ironic usage--) chalk. It will go away, and hopefully the idiocy surrounding it will as well.
Posted by KaT  in  US  on  Sat Aug 04, 2007  at  10:27 AM
So far I've heard, from three separate and unconnected people, that there is a new legend doing the rounds; that if you sleep the night on the hillside where Homer is painted, you will come down in the morning with a drastically reduced IQ, and an addiction to beer and donuts. Why anyone would want to do such a thing is of course another question. Could this be how folklore begins?
Posted by John Davies  in  Newport, Gwent  on  Fri Aug 10, 2007  at  03:06 PM
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