Images of Heaven
Mariana Torres and her worshippers
Something posessed me
An image of you my love
That play on my mind
Recently, I was looking for information on a Mexican soap opera called
Como en el Cine (roughly translated: "Like being in the movies").
Performing a Google search, I found myself on a web page which a fan set
up for one of the actresses, whose name happens to be Mariana Torres.
The pages were the standard fare which I have seen countless times on the
internet; someone with one of those hi-tech TV catpure cards videotaped
some programs and made images from those programs available on the web for
everyone's enjoyment. The words on the web page, though, ended with a
personal dedication from the person who made the web page to the actress
It was interesting that, of all of the actresses in this particular soap
opera, that this one was chosen to be the object of someone's adoration.
I need to describe Como en el Cine to explain.
To make a complicated, well, soap opera simple, the story has two main
parts; one part consists of some grown-up women who alternate between
singing and dancing for the audience of an imaginary club, and hang out
and argue over love in said club. These women wear far less clothing than
any sane latina would be caught wearing in public. I would expect
that the object of one's affection would be one of these women; they are
quite attractive. In fact, TV Azteca's (the network that makes Como en
el Cine) home page links to a photo gallery of these actresses,
labelled "Look at our Jewels".
In addition, there is another subplot which involves girls at a private
prepatoria (roughly the equivalent of a high school in the US);
being a Catholic school, the girls are almost always wearing conservative
school uniforms. These girls, like the girls in the club, at times
perform songs and dances for the television viewing audience; just before
Christmas, for example, they were performing Christmas carols.
I would expect that the girls in the club subplot would get the most fan
web pages; however, it was an actress playing one of the girls at the
imaginary Catholic high school that got the one and only fan page I have
found for Como en el Cine.
This fan page also has a guestbook, opening up the guestbook, I found a
number of impassioned pleas for this actress' love. People wrote things
once had the oppertunity to go to the TV station ... I had the great
fortune of meeting her in the elevator; I have stayed in love with her
"I think she is
the most beautiful girl ever to be on TV ... P.S. Mariana, I love you;
"I just want to tell you that I'm your #1 fan ... My
deepest wish is to one day get to know you"
"You are the most beautiful girl I have ever seen in
my entire life"
"You are the
most incredibly perfect actress"
"You are the most beautiful girl in the
"Know, Mariana, that you are
beautiful, that you are a princess, that you are a goddess, that you are
the very essence of beauty; I hope one day you send me photos which I
shall forever carry with me"
"I loved her before even knowing her name"
"What an incredible
this princess appeared on my TV"
"I do not know how to
tell you that you are so amazing . Words can not describe how crazy
I am for you"
awesume and I never miss your soap opera ... I hope that one day you email
The number and intensity of pleas from her fans was incredible, I could
not believe that an actress so minor as to not even be found when doing a
search at tvazteca.com for "Mariana Torres" could obtain such a following.
Nobody blessed me
with power to reach my love
When you're an illusion
You can still be divine
These impassioned pleas continued for a couple of months until somebody
posted the following:
Mariana Torres is my girlfriend. Nobody mess with her!
A few short hours after this posting, someone responded with shock:
I belive that I have calmed down a little, but only a little. I don't know
what more to do anymore with you here; it's a little disorienting! I
believe that we have things to talk about, who knows when because you're
probably really busy. But it's all good.
At this point, I grew tired of lurking. I posted to the guestbook. I
told the alleged "boyfriend" that it is easy to lie on the internet; we'll
have to see a picture of him with Mariana before we can believe him. I
told the other people on the board that I found it strange to be declaring
love to somone that they do not know. I also said that I would write up a
web page in English describing this phenomenon. Hence, the web page that
you are reading.
Peter Godwin's classic new wave hit Images of Heaven , the source of the
poetry which I quote above, very well describes the situtation Mariana's
fans are in. The very impersonal mass media can produce fantasies in the
imaginations of people who yearn for true contact in today's often
times very dehumanizing society.