the pope of pop culture

This might be really tasteless, and you know, half the reason I was so sad last night was reading Douglas Brinkley's excellent tribute to Hunter S. in Rolling Stone:

"Once the reality struck Juan, he thought about what Hunter would have wanted him to do. Carefully, Juan wrapped his father's body in gold scarves. He then walked outside, in a state of sadness and anger, and fired a nickel-plated 12-guage shotgun into the Western sky. Eventually Sheriff Bob Braudis - one of Hunter's closest friends - was called and the coroner arrived. The official time of his death was 5:42 pm."

Wrapped in gold scarves. Isn't this what everyone wants in life, to have someone who will intuitively swaddle you in beautiful things, even as you expire?

But, before I get too deep about death - I was thinking, I used to be Catholic, and if I could vote for the new pope, who would I choose? My first thought was Bjork, because she could bring the formality and ritual into a glitch-filled modern era, and would look great in gold filigree.

Then there's Sufjan Stevens, who would issue an era of musical understanding unto the world. Rome would just add another state to his list though, so he'd have to rule from one of his test sites.

Ozzy? He's got the kitsch, and just think of the ratings for THAT reality show. But, like the pope this year at Easter, I doubt he would be able to make it through the Latin mass.

Then there's Sinead and Bono, the obvious choices. So far, she's been too lusty and well, he'd have to take a pay cut.

Thing is, this is an important, world-affecting regime change with no democratic input and the potential to lead to further conservative standpoints (on women in the priesthood, family planning, gay-rights, celibacy etc), or even brutally regressive stances that will no doubt curry favor with our charming right-wing 'culture of life' and conservative social systems in Catholicism's worldwide followings. In other words, I'm not one for praying, but I today I pray for a new, liberal and progressive hand driving the Pope-mobile.

UPDATE: the ny times looks at the spectacle of JPII as a rock star

My biggest hope for the search process is that it will inspire at least one rapper to use "papabile" in a rhyme.

(From my very limited knowledge) Tettamanzi and Ratzinger seem like the least palatable, so I'm assuming one of them will win..

hmm, palatable papabile.. I gotta go find my rhyme book.

The next Pope better know how to work the mic - as if the Papacy was immune from the media svengalism inherent in his position. Finn would be excellent for this!

Some thoughts on your post.

1. I will never like Sufjan until he changes his name to Surfjam because that's what I always think it says on first glance.

2. I think David Alan Grier would be a good choice.

3. Even if Bono is not elected pope, all future popes should be required to wear those bug glasses from achtung baby.

-large marge

it would seem that diongi cardinal tettamanzi, of italy, is the current favorite to succeed karol wotjyla, at least according to this betting site that i won't link to for fear of unleashing popups.

there's another italian candidate who apparently has been recently big-upping the 'culture of life.' ...

I think Craig Finn would make a swell pope.

speaking of Catholicism, have you listened to the new Hold Steady record yet?