Wednesday, April 06, 2005

State of things

From reading the Google front page....

One thing I will not about the Pope in all honesty, is that he was by far one of the more tolerant Popes in history. I suppose growing up in a Jewish neighborhood in Poland had this affect on him and this was quite fortunate for the rest of us.

The Pope apparently institutionalized "mass production" of saints... it's quite a good PR move that follows the master strategies for public relations taken by the church milennia ago (i.e. holy relics, adoption of pagan celebration dates as Holy Days (holidays), you name it). Canonizing saints in Asian and other countries certainly does give a more diversified face to the Catholic church, but then the Yoruba descended slaves in the Portuguese colonies were doing this on their own and in secret hundreds of years ago. Instead of praying the the Holy Virgin they were actually praying to the godess of the sea Yemanja, and the pantheon of their gods was assigned to various Catholic saints. When I was 16 I had the good fortune to witness the festival of Yemanja on the beaches of Rio de Janeiro. Thousands and thousands of candles burned on the beach and in the hands of the devoted as they launched a flotilla with her effigy surrounded by flowers into the ocean. If only the services I had attended as a child held so much power and intrigue, but alas I was exposed only to the hippy-folk stylings of the church musician/minstrel who had an excessive fondness for the Prayer of Saint Francis. The song itself isn't bad. I just didn't enjoy experiencing a loop of it in mass after mass. We were lucky if we occassionally got to break into the "Great Amen," which was the closest we got to a gospel spiritual type song.

I joked with my mother once that if Vatican II hadn't rolled around the Mass would still be in Latin and I would still be Catholic, not because of the mystery and ceremony that remained in the body of the Mass, but because I would be able to understand what they priest was saying or have to listen to the musical selection. It was bad enough that I had the entire service memorized and once or twice when I was very weary, I actually started speaking with the priest on his cues. I don't even think we used incense at our church. It was all pretty new age and hippy-dippy, just not appeal to me even as a seven year old who had just started parochial school.


Now do we need yet another singing blonde bimbo with a reality show documenting her marriage? I've come to believe that there is something wrong, I mean clinically - DSM WRONG with people who want to share their intimate and private lives with people all over the country/planet (most people in other countries I'd hope have the good sense not to tune into this pile of steaming refuse called programming). If I was a newly wed I think that I'd have better. It's all just another example of individuals prostituting themselves for fame. I've said my piece on Brittany for the whole year now, I'll never mention her again (for in reality, she's not worth mentioning at all and if it wasn't for US and People, and all the other publications she so vehemently attacks, she wouldn't have a career). She's just pissed that Michael Jackson is getting all the attention as of late.


Ehhhh, Saul Bellow is dead. I walked past him once or twice on campus in Chicago. Actually, I didn't enjoy reading Seize the Day.

All this talk about Brazil has made me hungry for feijoada....

For those of you who wish to find out who their patron saint or birthday saint is:


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