CONGRATULATIONS! YOU HAVE STUMBLED INTO "THE SHALLOW ZONE." WATCH OUT FOR THE ROCKS. SOME OF THEM ARE SHARP.
If you're looking for a blog with meaningful content on the important issues of the day, you've come to the wrong place. This is the shallows, my friend. Nothing but shallowness as far as the eye can see. Let someone else make sense of things. I like it here.

About Me

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I love my grown children, miss all the dogs I ever had, and I cry at the drop of a hat, I believe in true love, destiny, fairness, and compassion. If I could be anywhere right now, it would be the ocean. My favorite city is New York, but I am always longing for London and craving more time in Copenhagen. I'm drawn to desolate places, deserted buildings, and unknown byways. I don't care how society perceives me as long as my gut tells me that what I'm doing is right. I am interested in paranormal things, spiritual things, historical things, and things that glow at night. I like to drink, I smoke when I write, I can't stand small talk, and despite my quick temper, I would rather kiss than fight. I'm selfish with my writing time, a spendthrift with my love. My heart has been broken so many times that it's held together with super glue and duct tape. The upside is that, next time, I won't be tempted to give away what I no longer have to give. But I will let you buy me a Pink Squirrel.
MY SHALLOW MISSION STATEMENT

MY SHALLOW MISSION STATEMENT

MY SHALLOW MISSION STATEMENT
Not that there's any weight to it...
IN A WORLD FILLED WITH COMPLEX POLITICAL ISSUES, SOCIAL INEQUALITY, AND FINANCIAL UNCERTAINTY, I CONSIDER IT MY GIFT TO YOU, MY READER, TO OFFER THIS SHALLOW LITTLE HAVEN, WHERE NOTHING IS TOO SHALLOW, TOO INSIGNIFICANT, OR TOO RIDICULOUS TO JUSTIFY OUR ATTENTION. IN OTHER WORDS, IF IT'S NOT IMPORTANT....SO WHAT? NEITHER WAS MARILYN MONROE'S BRA SIZE. AND THAT STILL SELLS MAGAZINES, DOESN'T IT?
VIDEO OF THE MONTH

Thursday, February 28, 2013

MY FIVE FAVORITE POP CULTURE PONTIFFS



Well, it's official...as Rachel Dratch's "Debbie Downer" character used to say on SNL. This afternoon at 2 PM (Greenwich Mean Time), Pope Benedict XVI officially became only the second pope in six centuries to resign from the job instead of waiting for a heavenly escort to the Pearly Gates. Even if you're not Catholic, it's hard to ignore the papal buzz surrounding the historic event. Did Pope Benedict resign of his own volition or was he forced out for political reasons? Was his resignation really foretold in the prophecies of St. Malachy? Who was St. Malachy? And, most important, who the hell will be the next pope?


As much as I would love to explore those and other questions, I can't....at least, not in a blog dedicated to the concept of shallowness. Not only would it be unethical, it would take too much damned time, and, unlike the now former Pope Benedict XVI, I still have things to do in the real world. So, instead, as my way of marking the historical moment, I offer the following list of my five favorite pop culture depictions of popes. As always, they're in no particular order. Ready? Good. Let the psuedo genuflecting begin...


REX HARRISON IN THE AGONY AND THE ECSTACY (WITH CHARLTON HESTON, 1965)

Let's face it. When it comes to casting the role of a pope in a major motion picture, you really couldn't do much better than an old school alpha male like Rex Harrison. Especially when the movie co-stars the equally old school alpha male Charlton Heston as an overwrought Michaelangelo. Never mind that Harrison, as Pope Julias II (aka "The Warrior Pope"), is supposed to be celibate and devoted to God and Church. Based on the novel by Irvin Stone, The Agony and The Ecstacy is basically a variation on My Fair Lady with Harrison reprising his role as Professor Henry Higgins except that, instead of giving Eliza Doolittle elocution lessons and inadvertently falling in love, as Pope Julias II, he spends his time fighting wars and slave-driving Michaelangelo into completing the famous fresco on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel. Hilarity does not ensue. Neither does love. But as far as playing a 16th-century pope is concerned, Harrison has it down pat...except for the accent, that is. In the true tradition of historical films made in the mid-20th century, Harrison speaks with an English accent. But, then, Heston, as Michaelangelo, speaks in an American accent, so what the hell? What the movie lacks in historical accuracy, it more than makes up for with its grandeur, 90 percent of which comes from Harrison's performance. Just don't expect anyone to break out in a chorus of "I've Grown Accustomed To Your Grace."


"VATICAN RAG" BY TOM LEHRER

Tom Lehrer, the brilliant mathematician, satirist, songwriter, and pianist famous in the 1950's and 60's for his wry musical takes on political and social themes of the day, wrote and recorded the "Vatican Rag" in 1965 as a response to the Catholic Church's attempts to make itself more accessible to the masses (the human kind) by ditching the traditional Latin Mass (the other kind) and replacing it with simple English. The times may have changed, but somehow, all these years later, many of the issues Lehrer addresses in the song are surprisingly in keeping with the times. And the melody is still catchy as all get out.


POPE SOAP ON A ROPE

For most of us, it would probably take more than a bar of soap to wash our sins away, but it can't hurt to try, especially if the soap is in the shape of the pope and dangling on a pope robe-red string around your neck. Of course, at a whopping price of ten bucks, you might be better off just displaying your Pope Soap On A Rope the wall next to the shower and using a bar of Irish Spring instead. Unlike the selection of the next pope, the choice is entirely up to you.


POPE ART

Andy Warhol may have invented "pop art" (he said he did, anyway), but China-based artist Michael Tsaturyan takes it to a new, altogether heavenly level with his "Pope Art" depiction of the retired pontiff. While some might call it sacrilige, I call it "really cool", and would take it over a Warhol screenprint of Marilyn Monroe any day. It's not that I don't adore MM, I do, but there's just something about a man in a mitre that I can't resist, especially when he comes in so many different colors.


FATHER DOUGAL MCGUIRE AS POPE MEME

Okay, so it's not really the pope. But so what? "Father Ted" may have been off the air since the late 1990s, but I still crave a fix of Father Dougal McGuire every now and then, and seeing him dressed up in papal finery strikes a nostalgic chord in my heart. If loving this photo-shopped image is wrong, I take great pleasure in resisting the opportunity to be right.

Well, that's it for now. See you when the smoke from the Vatican blows white, if not before. Until then...skol!

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