Monday, December 28, 2009

Like I hinted the other day, I'm a little pissed off about that incident at the Vatican the other day. I can't help but picture the poor, frail thing being slammed to the cold, hard ground. All because she tried to tackle the Pope.

See, I used to believe the Vatican. It wasn't logical. It was like being married to Charlie Sheen and believing him when he came home at four in the morning saying he fell into the perfume display at Bloomingdale's again. Every time somebody questioned the Pope, or argued with them, or God forbid tried to touch them, the same words were trotted out. "Mentally unbalanced," everybody screamed.

In the Christmas Eve case, the announcement that Susanna Maiolo was off her rocker came even before pontiff hit marble. Vatican spokesman Father Federico Lombardi scurried toward TV cameras, hat askew, Gucci scuffs slipping, robe fluttering in the wind, and declared, "A mentally-unbalanced woman has just attacked the Pope."

Minutes later, four thousand news anchors repeated those exact same words.

Oddly, the media avoids this kind of judgment about all the other newsmakers. The man who lost his house when his adjustable mortgage was adjusted isn't called unstable. The folks looking for Zhu Zhu hamsters at Toys R Us on Christmas Eve aren't called clinically insane. Heck, some guy even emails photos of his penis to Ashanti's MOTHER for two years and you know how they describe him? He's a fitness trainer. He's a fan. He's an "Indiana man." Yeah, like that explains it. Like in the future we'll know: give your email address to some dude from Indianapolis and you deserve what you freakin' get.

Let me repeat that: Devar Hurd "relentlessly emailed" Ashanti's MOTHER pictures of his penis. He thought she'd see the meaty thing and think, "My, that's a fine looking penis! I just love the length and girth, and the kooky way it curves to the left. I think I'll pass it along to my gorgeous millionaire daughter so she can hook up with this dude." And the dirty jokes that accompany the photos will really win her over. "Ashanti's been single too long," Mom will think, "and besides, I'm still laughing about that vagina that echoed."

Nobody called this guy crazy.

You'd think we'd have learned by now. Any time anything threatens the Vatican, they trot out the same old smears, and nobody questions it. A thousand years ago they said the same thing about Galileo. If he were alive today, on The View Whoopi Goldberg would say we should imprison him, and Elizabeth Hasselbeck would insist we cut off his head and put it on a spike outside the Mall of America.

The media blindly parrots the Vatican's announcements. OF course, they don't have any proof. Nobody says, "Here's the name of her psychiatrist," or "Here's the mental hospital where she lives." They don't offer the slightest bit of evidence, other than the fact that she attacked the Pope. She doesn't have forty cats. She hasn't written rambling letters to the Enquirer. She didn't look for a reasonably-priced apartment in New York City.

She just wasn't thrilled with a questionable world leader and decided to take it to the mat.

I'm sorry, but this doesn't necessarily mean you're crazy. Maybe you have anger management issues, maybe you shouldn't resort to violence, but there are motivations other than insanity. You watch the Pope on TV, and the adulation is totally removed from reality. The newscasters breathlessly report on his every move, like he's a German Jon Gosselin, and you wait for equal time that never comes. He's given free hour-long informercials with no dissenting opinion. After midnight mass the reporters don't head outside and interview some dude who says, "I think the Pope sucks!"

Sadly, there are some pretty good reasons for wanting to smack him. He's homophobic. He's obnoxious. He's continually spouting hateful remarks. There are a lot of people who'd love to wallop Eminem, and his Prada mules aren't paid for by their grandma's Social Security.

So sorry, I'm not going to believe the Vatican even if Brian Williams does. I want evidence. And when this same thing happens next year, I'll want evidence again. And the year after that, and the year after that. And maybe one day the rest of the world will wise up, and one day I'll pick up the newspaper and read a headline like this:


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