Monday, April 21, 2008

The Pope Rocks New York City

TV watching during lunch on Sunday occurred at the time the Pope was appearing in Yankee Stadium. This event was being covered live on all the cable news stations.

I'm not a Catholic. I belong to no organized religion. The only time I've been in a Catholic Church was to be a pall bearer. So, I've had very little personal experience with Catholic Pomp and Ceremony.

What I was seeing on my TV screen seemed sorta surreal, like I was watching some elaborate ceremony in some Sci-Fi movie set on a planet far from Earth. Prior to the Pope arriving hundreds of Cardinals, Bishops and, I dunno, I guess Priests, filed in. All garbed up in these elaborate outfits with really goofy looking hats.

As the Catholics filed in the fans in the stands cheered as if at a baseball game. The baseball field had been covered with a huge elaborate colorful stage.

And then, if it wasn't surreal enough, in came the Pope in his Pope Mobile, slowly making its way around Yankee Stadium to the raucous cheers of the crowd. The roars grew their loudest when the Big Screen TVs showed the Pope.

All during all this Pomp and Ceremony the Fox News people kept up non-stop chatter, as if they were describing a sporting event. Sheppard Smith promised that when the Pope finally spoke that they'd all shut up.

Eventually the Pope finished his tour of the Ballpark and got out of his Pope Mobile to walk to the Yankee locker room to change out of his Pope Mobile Pope costume into the Pope Vestments worn when giving a Mass.

After about 10 minutes the Pope reappeared in his new costume, carrying a specter and waving a big ball on a chain. The Pope wandered about the stage waving the big ball. The crowd was cheering as if they were watching the world's most popular celebrity, or like Elvis was suddenly back from the dead.

All the while Sheppard Smith kept narrating. And then the Pope finally spoke, briefly. And unlike he promised Sheppard Smith did not shut up! Sheppard Smith talked over the Pope! I don't know anything about religious rules but isn't this some type of cardinal sin that could get you banished to hell without hope of reprieve? I immediately switched over to MSNBC where no one but the Pope was talking.

I lasted through the Pope getting introduced by some high up Catholic Cardinal or Bishop or whatever, who during the course of his introduction named various cities, like Philadelphia, Baltimore, I forget where else, but each time a town was named their cheering section went nuts. I had no idea the Catholics were such a wild raucous bunch. I thought it'd be all solemn and church like. It was Sunday after all.

Finally, the Pope started in on his Mass. I switched back to Fox News to see if Sheppard Smith had shut up. He had. I did not last too long into the Mass. The Pope's German accented English was hard to understand. That and the whole thing started to seem way too much like being in church.

1 comment:

The Whited Sepulchre said...

Great commentary, sir.
Your frustration with Smith droning on during the Pope's droning reminded me of my frustration during one of the LiveAid shows.

Whichever network covered it couldn't believe that anyone would possibly have an interest in listening to the music, so they brought in some MTV-style Hair Farmers to yap while the musicians tried to make themselves heard.

Very frustrating.