Short 'n Curlies #50 by Si Spurrier
All-righty-then. Let's talk POPE.
His pointy-headed Holiness descends upon these fair isles (there's got to be an "aisles" pun there, but this is SACRED and PURE and NO LAUGHING MATTER also I can't think of it) on Thursday 16th September. He'll be rattling-about in his funny little popemobile from Glasgow to London, spraying Blessings like sancitifed spaffmatter, and generally drawing The Faithful with him like a mobile guilt-magnet. Susan Boyle will be singing for him in Scotland, which just goes to show that even the pontiff isn't immune to the charms of a mentally-ill bulldog so long as it Sings Real Nice.
Many people — those aforementioned The Faithful, for starters (and you know you're being treated like a statistic when your collective noun starts with a "The") — are very very happy about the visit. Apparently we're overdue a Mitre-topped sindectomy in our drizzly little Archipelago, and Joseph Alois Ratzinger is the knifeman for the job.
Rather more people — and you'll be startled to hear I count myself among them — are A Little Bit Grouchy about the whole affair.
I have nothing against the man per se. If people want to believe that the bastard offspring of Skeletor and a Divine Satsuma is somehow the One And True emissary of the Trinity SkyGod — whose Divine Will intermingled with the man's lifeforce via the emissions of coloured smoke from a Vatican chimney (but which was curiously absent during his two "reluctant" years in the Hitler Youth movement) — then good luck to them. The world needs more zombiekin so the rest of us can continue to feel superior.
"Wait — but don't you willingly live in a country ruled by a "divinely-appointed" monarch, Si? And haven't you mentioned before that you quite like those creaky old Crown-Botherers? I call Hypocrite, Spurrier!"
Pah! I don't believe Her Sceptred Nibs was Hand-Picked By the Grand Exalted Beard any more than I believe an Abuse-Concealing Cardinal was filled with the divine essence of St Peter (a Glorious Apostle whose greatest feat was to deliberately break the legs of a man who could Actually And Manifestly Motherfucking FLY, go look it up) and elevated to the head of the Catholic Empire.
BUT, since you brought it up — while we're tripping the light tangential — it tells you a lot about religion and religiosity in general that we in England have a national church and associated Royal Lineage whose entire metaphysical authority is based on the whimsy of a philandering 16th Century psychopath.
[LAZY HISTORY: Upon marrying his dead brother's widow — Catherine of Aragon — Henry VIII discovers his missus is a hippo-faced Spaniard with the Power Of Pure Oestrogen and a womb made of Anti-Male Magic. The son-obsessed King realises, in order to dump the poor lass without breaking the Law Of God, that he'd have to rip-down the centuries-old system of belief and Divorce-Free constancy which infused every corner of his Kingdom, and set up a new one he'd just Made Up.
So he did.]
It takes a forceful sort of personality to unilaterally announce a) The Richest And Oldest Institution In The World Is Wrong On A Couple Of Important Things, b) I've Got A Better Idea, You Guys, c) Forget That Pope Dude My Doctrine Is The Real GodGame, and d) Free Divorces For Everyone!
It sort of makes you wonder how the earliest priests of the fledgling Church Of England felt about their previous system of worship — already 1500 years old at that point — being replaced/rejiggered because some fat fuck with Girly Gametes Felt Like It. Could they sleep at night? Could they look themselves in the altar? And — cutting forwards to the present — how is it that all our famously meek Vicars, Curly-Eyebrowed Canons and Archbishops continue to this day to feel remotely legit?
[LAZY YANQUI ILLUSTRATIVE ANALOGY: Imagine Obama deciding one day to abolish Footwear because he's got a really, really sore verruca. Then imagine, in 500 years, that America not only continues to be Confidently Shoe-Free, but that it proudly declares its Bootless Way is the True And Proper Way, and all other Ways are Wrong, and blah blah blah. And the American people believe it even though they know the story of the Presidential Verruca.]
In other words: Belief is weird.
Anyways, the royal family is entirely different to the Pope. I'm firmly of the opinion that if you want to demonstrate the utter idiocy of something, the one thing you don't do is abolish it. No: you rob it of all its power, dress it in a frock made of minced rodents, balance a ludicrous lump of metal on its skull and make it parade up and down to the command of Sinister Men In Suits. The British Monarchy, make no mistake, is a Performing Monkey, and the great thing about Queen Liz is that she not only knows it but respects it: willingly abasing herself. We love her for being so fucking ineffectual — so thoroughly and impotently ceremonial.
PREDICTION: the instant our famously-opinionated Prince Charles assumes the Big Seat, getting all uppity with Ideas Above His Station — wanting to Actually Change Stuff 'n all that — that'll be when the old Republican Sentiment gets yanked out of the drawer. That'll be when we all take a rather more sober look at the claim that, hahaha, this dynasty of quasi-krauts with more repeat-genomes than a Crufts Winner aren't just ludicrously wealthy and privileged, but believe they're actually and genuinely hand-picked by the Godhead of a millennia-old desert sect.
…and then it's guillotines in the streets, "comrade" honorifics and Funtimes For All.
All of which brings us back to the Pope.
No, I have no problem with the man — laughable claims of legitimacy or otherwise. My problem arises when the tax money I'm required to contribute to the Government of this fair, frugal, recession-crippled and (ahahaha) SSSSSSSSECULAR state, is used to fund an all-expenses-paid State Visit (£100 million is the current estimate, when you include Security Costs)…
…by the figurehead of an Institution which is at best misogynistic and at worst unapologetically homophobic, which equates birth control with AIDs and considers the Sin Of Female Ordination on a par with Paedophilia, which nonetheless wilfully covers the abuse of thousands of boys and girls by repressed sociopathic geekspawn in purple costumes, and which has chosen as its Divine Mission to bring the glowing light of deep and unbearable guilt into each and every one of our lives.
I can think of better things to spend my money on, ta.
So I'll be attending the Protest The Pope march on Saturday 18th. Suggestions for Placards warmly welcomed.
Currently I'm favouring:
"WOMEN DESERVE THE RIGHT TO BE MONOMANIACAL GUILT-SPREADING HOMOPHOBIC REPRESSION-JOCKEYS TOO."
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