Tuesday, April 15, 2008

papal choice awards

Pope Benedict XVI is coming to the United States today for the first time in his papal career. The news here in New York City just can't enough of it. The plane the dude is on hasn't even touched American soil and everyone is atwitter.

(Bonus info: The Pope's plane is called Shepherd 1. Shepherd 1!? Isn't that hilarious? And those news casters don't even crack a smile! I'm also quite amused that it is commonplace to refer to the Pope's motorcade as the "Popemobile".)

I'm not sure what all the hulabaloo is about. Is it because the Pope is going to visit President Bush? If I were coming to the United States for the first time as Pope, I'd find better things to do than visit that whackjob. Once the Pope comes up to New York, apparently he's going to hang out with a bunch of rabbis at a synagogue for a few hours. And during Passover, wouldn't you know. Why is this news? Is it all that shocking that leaders of different faiths talk to each other? People, it's not the Crusades anymore.

Not only is the news jumping on the apparently sensational fact that this guy would actually speak to a Jew, they also keep "expecting" the Pope to address the sex abuse scandal that seems to be looming over the American Catholic church.... if the guy does have anything to say about it, it's not going to be terribly surprising that he'll condemn it. Does the press seriously expect him to support it? If anything, this is probably the best public opportunity of any importance to state that the United States is the master at demonstrating to the world to never underestimate the power of denial.

At least Benedict XVI is by no means as decrepit as John Paul II was. Despite how geriatric that guy got, he still paraded the planet like a Catholic rockstar.... no matter how much he grimaced in holy pain or how much baby food had to be spooned to him. The news keeps showing pictures of John Paul II hunched over and waving to people inside a bulletproof-glass box, like he's Eva Peron's corpse or something.

I'm curious though.... During the course of all this Pope-pourri on TV, it occurred to me that this guy goes by quite a number of titles:

--> Pope
--> Pontiff
--> Holy Father
--> His Holiness

....not to mention the endless Papal/Papacy conglomerates. How many synonymous titles does the Pope really need? In any case, the terms "papal" and "papacy" just make me think of the word papilla (which means something shaped like a nipple), or papule or pustule or pimple, or even polyp for that matter. I wonder if all these words have some sort of common etymological ancestor.

Maybe I should refer to the guy as His Papalness.


fitz said...

dude, while watching top chef and working on my new blog (i'm new to this whole blog thing) I stumbled across your site and i think i am going to be a regular. I have the same weird attachment to top chef and you pretty much cover most of the topics I consider important. and one of my roommates wants to be a writer, so there's that

Writeprocrastinator said...

"The news keeps showing pictures of John Paul II hunched over and waving to people inside a bulletproof-glass box, like he's Eva Peron's corpse or something."

That is Sedaris-worthy.