Friday, January 30

The Friday Random Ten+5 embarks on its latest futile enterprise: trying to make sense of the Catholic church.

This may not be of interest to anyone but us Catholics, and even then it may not be interesting to Catholics in the United States, but last week Pope Benedict XVI rescinded the excommunication of four ultraconservative bishops. And at least one of them, Richard Williamson, is a bit of a head-scratcher. He's vehemently anti-woman and anti-gay, which sadly are not the least bit rare in the modern church hierarchy, but he's so anti-female he doesn't even think women should wear pants, he's a 9/11 Truther, and -- the piece de resistance -- he's a Holocaust denier. Yahtzee!

Now why, pray tell, would the Pope go out of his way to bring a douche like that back into the church? The NYT article says it was to "[reach] out to the far-right" of the church, but there have to be less embarrassing ways of doing that. No, there's got to be some deeper (or perhaps not-all-that-deep-at-all) motive here, and I'm gonna find out what it is. Thus this week's +5 is Five Reasons Pope Benedict Might've Lifted Richard Williamson's Excommunication:

Williamson has a PlayStation 3 and Benedict wants to use it
The Vatican has a Wii, which is pretty awesome, but you can't play Guitar Hero or Guitar Hero II on it, and Benedict doesn't have the instrument attachments anyway. But Williamson has all that stuff, and as someone who's played Rock Band with all the peripherals, I can attest that it's pretty awesome. And I can see how it would be tempting, even to a spiritual leader who's supposed to be above all that stuff.

Williamson has a hot cousin
Again, I can see the temptation here, celibacy notwithstanding. This has been a staple of sitcom plots since the beginning of time, and it's not like anyone in North America cares what the Pope does in his private life to begin with, as long as he's not molesting kids. But she better be real hot to let a Holocaust denier back into the fold is all I'm saying.

Benedict likes Williamson's British accent
Say "I believe there were no gas chambers." Now say it in a British accent. Still sounds crazy and anti-Semitic, but now at least you sound like you were well-bred before you went off the deep end, doesn't it? Maybe that's what reeled Benedict in. If that's all he was after, though, I'd still rather he just start hanging out with Keira Knightley or Catherine Zeta-Jones or something.

Williamson works at a Starbucks so he has an employee discount and he promised Benedict free Starbucks
I dated a Starbucks barista for a (very brief) little while, and during that time I could walk into my local store and get a cafe mocha for fifty cents. A venti mocha, son. So again, I can see the temptation here. Supposedly you can't get a decent cup of coffee in the Vatican to save your life, and this is smack in the middle of espresso country, for crying out loud.

Williamson has pictures of Benedict doing something embarrassing
This is the obvious explanation, of course. But what would be embarrassing enough to warrant something like this? I mean, we already know Benedict was in a Nazi youth organization when he was a little kid and that he favors bright-red Gucci shoes. But what could it be? Certainly with all the controversy over pedophile priests in the last few years, if Benedict had been caught with a boy, we'd know about it. Maybe it was with a girl? Maybe . . . no.

Williamson caught Pope Benedict with Sarah Silverman. It all makes so much sense now.

As Denis Leary once said, "I'm goin' to hell for that bit. And you're allll comin' with me." On that note, the Ten:

1. Dr. Octagon, "Dr. Octagon"
2. Nancy Griffith, "Lookin' for the Time (Working Girl)"
3. OMD, "Electricity"
4. David Holmes, "My Mate Paul"
5. Sting, "All This Time"
6. Dead Milkmen, "Takin' Retards to the Zoo"
7. Pet Shop Boys, "West End Girls" (DJ Hell remix)
8. Richard Cheese, "Sunday Bloody Sunday"
9. OMD, "If You Leave"
10. Pet Shop Boys, "Psychological" (Ewan Pearson vocal remix)

I believe that's the first recorded instance in Internet history of a Friday Random Ten with two OMD songs in it -- mark it down in your diary, folks. But first, throw your own Random Tens (and Pope Benedict conspiracy theories, if you have any) in the comments.


Josh M. said...

I wasn't aware there was another OMD song besides "If You Leave."

Anonymous said...

Hmmm. I saw that in the news and was a little baffled, too. In my view, the Church wields the excommunication sword way too freely, and I doubt that Benedict was feeling guilty about it, even if he was the Dick Cheney who was behind it in the first place. On the other hand, and in total fairness, he has made similar kinds 'olive branch' extensions to a wide variety of interests not in full communion including Orthodox churches, both Greek and Russian. So, maybe it really is just an effort to unify. No easy task, that.

acg said...

I just love the idea that pants lead to abortion. I mean, I'd have thought that if anything, pants would be a hindrance to anything that would result in an unwanted pregnancy. I guess that's why he's a bishop and I'm just a cafeteria Catholic.

Oh, and this:

This may be least true of the long "culottes", trousers most closely resembling a skirt, and at best mistakable for a skirt, but insofar as "culottes" establish the principle of dividing woman's outward apparel from the waist down, they merely disguise the grave disorder.

EmotionalFescue said...

"Don't you hate pants?" - Homer Simpson

As a veteran of 12 years of Catholic education and someone who now goes to church as often as I go to Ace of Base concerts, I enjoy bagging on the church as much as the next guy. I enjoy hating Notre Dame as a Southern football fan, laughing at the absurdity of molestation cover-ups, and reading articles where the leader of the church feels the need to defend Grade A dingdongs. However, I have to thank the Catholic Church for the following:

-Catholic School Girls
-Matt Ryan
-Saving arts, literature, and language during the Dark Ages
-Pancake Dinners (I mean c'mon, pancakes? For dinner? Awesome!)

What I also think is funny if you google "famous Catholics" a site comes up that lists famous Catholics and it has in parentheses if they've lapsed, converted, etc. The best is after Dennis Kucinich they have (Vegan) like that's some kind of affront to Catholicism. Yea! Intolerance!

SpartanDan said...

Dammit, I thought we'd left that lunacy back in the Stone Age. (Or at least the Victorian era.)

1. Pink Floyd - Run Like Hell
2. Megadeth - Scorpion
3. Radiohead - How Do You?
4. Foo Fighters - End Over End
5. Carl Orff - Dies, nox et omnia (from Carmina Burana)
6. Papa Roach - Time Is Running Out
7. The Troggs - Wild Thing
8. Van Halen - Dreams
9. Radiohead - There There
10. Blue Man Group - Shadows

Holly said...

There's "head-scratcher", and there's "I'd like to scratch his head with my fist".

Anonymous said...

Ah, the Catholic Church . . . always good for a laugh, or a fork in the eye.

1. Rolling Stones - Shine A Light
2. Sonny Landreth - Congo Square
3. Outkast - Ms Jackson
4. The Pretenders - English Roses
5. The Neville Brothers - Saxafunk
6. The Specials - Ghost Town
7. AC/DC - Thunderstruck
8. Bonnie Raitt - Love Letter
9. INXS - Suicide Blonde
10. John Hiatt - Your Dad Did

Robert said...

"Culottes?" So does this make the Catholic Church sans-culottes?

jkelsofarrell said...

Don't forget Wagner who said that New Orleans got what it deserved when God sent Katrina to wash away the sins of the city. These are some classy guys.