I sit watching the Pope's Funeral on NBC/ABC/FOX/UPN/CBS - whichever network has no annoying commentary at the given moment.
Who told Katie Couric she was a journalist anyway?
KC: "Wow. Listen to all of them clapping. That's not something we do at American Funerals!"
Most Americans are self-centered fools, especially those involved with the Media (though not my media, only the other stupid old-fashioned, bad media...)
An American Journalist: "What does it mean that three US Presidents are here today? This is a first in both the history of the Church and the history of the US. I think this is a political message, perhaps having to do with the religious ramblings in our country of late."
Another journalist, speaking to an American Bishop (on Wednesday, but it comes to mind now): "They stopped the line of people for an hour or so in order to do some maintenance. What exactly does that mean?"
Bishop: "Well, the Pope's body has not been embalmed. They do not do that here the way they would in the US.:
Journalist: "Most Americans would find that offensive I am sure."
Why did I set my alarm to get up in the middle of the night to listen to a bunch of idiots discuss what it all means to America? I expected, foolishly, to be a witness to some Dan Brown-esque event steeped in centuries-old tradition and shrouded in mystery. Something that would be slightly moving and perhaps inspiring in some way. A palpable translation of the works of Michelangelo or Da Vinci and the other Renaissance Masters. A common connection to all of those Popes and peoples who had gone before. I hoped to hear the Italian and Latin words of the choir and the mass. I thought this event in time would transcend Americanisms or Europeanisms, or any other isms for that matter. I wanted it to be more Romantic. But it wasn't, it didn't.
Instead I got Katie Couric making high school cheerleader caliber comments while Isabella Rosallini and Michael Bloomberg took turns translating the mass (not really, I don't think, but sounded awfully close, unfortunately). I got no information about the beautiful voices of the Sistine Choir, the arrangements they sang or the tradition behind any of the continuous music that was part of the service. Where did that tapestry over St. Peter's basilica door come from? How old was it? Had it been used in this manner before? How about some information about St. Peter's itself?
It was difficult to feel moved. I didn't have the opportunity to become engrossed in the scene because I was too busy flipping channels to escape the US Political Agenda booming from my set under the pretense of Papal Honor. And the breakaways to the crowd of people which lingered momentarily on carefully selected men and women who were either extremely good looking or extremely pious looking, seemed so contrived it was almost laughable.
Will American Media, or the general American populace, ever understand that America is not the center of the Universe? This one universal event that brought people together of all races, religions and nations was not even enough to drive that point home. If we let go of some of the burden of creating a world culture based on our own, or our expectations that the whole world should be like it is in Suburbia, we might all be much more at ease and less stressed out.
I found the most acceptable broadcast to be on Fox, believe it or not. I think NBC was the worst, sorry Katie.
The Vatican has an official web site (YES!). This is probably where those of us interested in true historical meaning can satisfy our questions. And for the others of us who prefer a different historical perspective there is always this site .
Now I must go get another cup of coffee. Watching 2 1/2 hours of television in the middle of the night is no easy feat when one must work the following day...maybe some Divine spirit can help me stay awake until 6:30 this evening....