Is the pope ironically Catholic?

The other cardinals elected Pope Lando because someone must have told them all about his little maneuver at the battle of Taanab. Also: because he came with his own gold cape.
The other cardinals elected Pope Lando because someone must have told them all about his little maneuver at the battle of Taanab. Also: because he came with his own gold cape.

People just can’t get enough of the new pope. Not since Pope Benedict the XVI retired and the Vatican rebooted the papacy with Francis, the first originally named pope since — I shit you not — Pope Lando in 913 A.D. (John Paul I doesn’t count because his name was just combined his two direct predecessors.’)

But they didn’t just give him a fancy unnumbered title and lens flare. With each news story, Francis acts a little more how each of us, Catholic and non, would like to see a pope act, which is usually not like any pope we’ve known in our lifetimes.

In fact, he’s so un-pope-like that … well, what if he’s being pope ironically? I’m not confident enough in my afterlife to outright call the holy see a hipster, but here’s evidence that, were it anyone else, would cause even the juicer at Whole Foods to throw their douche flag. (It’s dry quinoa wrapped in a keffiyeh, bound with old timey packaging twine.)

Judge for yourself … y’know, unless ye be judged first or whatever.

And he only wears those because you can’t go to church in Crocs.
And he only wears those because you can’t go to church in Crocs.

Going back to the beginning, the first headlines were about how he refuses to wear the designer red shoes that traditionally come with his office. Instead, he wears simple black dress shoes — basically the kind you look for at Payless before that big court date or second wedding.

When it comes to humility, this guy has it all the way down to his sole, amiright? (I have just been told that I am right, but also an ass.)

Or … did he spend hours picking out the exact shoes that say, “I’m the kind of guy who looks like he doesn’t care about what he wears on his feet?”

And then there’s his car.

First, he refused to ride around in the bulletproof Popemobile while visiting Brazil. Is it that he doesn’t believe in putting up barriers between people and their spiritual leaders … or, did he worry that looking at Rio through bulletproof glass wouldn’t be “authentic” enough?

Fortunately, this glass isn't bulletproof. Yet.
Fortunately, this glass isn’t bulletproof. Yet.
It's fuel-efficient, American and vintage.
It’s fuel-efficient, American and vintage.

Then, back in July, he gave priests grief for driving “latest model cars.” Could it be that he wants priests to adopt a more humble lifestyle …

Or, is he just jelly because he drives a 1983 Chevy Renault? Either way, he comes up smelling like roses, except when he smells like gasoline, but who knows if that’s from working on his car or dabbing some behind his ears so that he smells like a tinkerer?

He’s also big into the internet, granting some of his more participatory followers shorter times in purgatory, making retweeting the official new “Hail Mary.”

He’s also really big into some liberal issues. Well, big for a Catholic leader, anyway. And he’s not just liberal, he’s indifferent. Gay? Pfft, not for him to judge. Atheist? Meh, you’ll probably still get into heaven, but you’ll have to stand in line behind the Protestants. He cares and yet doesn’t at the same time!

But there are two liberal issues that he’s willing to dispense with irony for: poor people and being anti-war. Coupled with his modest apartment in Vatican City, and it’s clear that Pope Frank’s Occupying Apostolic Palace.

He even does the Occupiers' weird sign language up and down voting.
He even does the Occupiers’ weird sign language up and down voting.

OK, so maybe I’m grasping at straws here. After all, hipsters pretty much subverted genuineness by putting a silly fedora on it and making it walk backwards because that’s the opposite of what people expect.

But, there’s still one more piece of evidence.

Recently, people reported receiving phone calls from the pope in response to letters they wrote.

In one case, he called a divorced woman whose married boyfriend got her pregnant and tried to pressure her into an abortion. (The boyfriend, not the pope, obvs.) When she said she was worried about “running afoul of the Church,” Pope Francis said he would personally baptize her child when he or she is born.

In another, he called an Argentinian woman who had been raped by police, asking her to try to have faith in the justice system.

He even called a guy whose brother had been killed in a gas station robbery, just to tell him that his letter had made him cry.

That’s right: the pope uses his phone for talking. Isn’t that so retro?!

If the nerd frame glasses fit ...
If the nerd frame glasses fit …

And you thought the Internet was no good

Just like with the printing press and television, we knew that the Internet was going to change the way the world works. And by change, we meant destroy the very fabric of society, leaving those unfortunate souls who remain shambling around alone into signposts, staring into their pamphlet/portable TV/iPhone.

Good grief, I can barely drink and drive in a straight line as it is.
Good grief, I can barely drink and drive in a straight line as it is.

And, for the most, part, yeah, that’s the way things turned out. In fact, I’m writing this very post while I’m driving. (Calm down, I’m dictating it to my secretary. I can’t write, steer and hold this wine glass. That would be irresponsible — everyone knows how easily Chateau Lafite bruises.)

But, here’s the thing: while, yes, the Internet is a distraction at best and providing a platform to the worst people at worst, it’s also changed some of the old ways we do things for the better.

So, let’s ignore that I am, in fact, one of those worst people from the previous sentence and give thanks for what the Information Superhighway (remember that shit?) has done for us lately.

Settled bets/shut up assholes

Some of you readers may not be old enough to have gone to a bar without the Internet in your pocket. If this was the case, then might I suggest queuing up Cheers on your Netflix account? I’ll wait.

OK, so you know how everyone rolls their eyes whenever John Ratzenberger opens his mouth the way we do when John Ratzenberger opens his mouth on Fox News?

“And you know what really grinds my gears? That nobody cared that my rutabagas looked like Richard Nixon.”
“And you know what really grinds my gears? That nobody cared that my rutabagas looked like Richard Nixon.”

That was every bar. In fact, the producers of Cheers weren’t even going to cast Ratzenberger until he suggested that the show was missing a know-it-all jackass.

The reason why he was able to turn what was probably a decent enough audition (he’s not a bad person or unfunny actor, just, c’mon, he’s not gonna beat out George Wendt for Norm) is because that guy exists, often in multiples, in every bar. And until you could pull out a newspaper, dictionary, IMDB page or Wikipedia or Snopes entry from your pocket, they could steamroll you into agreeing to disagree because they sounded authoritative enough.

That’s not to say that you’re going to convince a drunk, terminally- and chronically-factually deficient person that they were wrong. Just that you can have the satisfaction of saying, “Shut the hell up, Kevin,” and not wondering if you maybe fell asleep in civics class when they covered Reagan’s stated tax policies and what he really did.

Simplified giving away private information that no one cares about

“And, although this was the first year in a very long time that none of us won the Super Bowl, we were in several commercials that Tivo viewers forgot to fast-forward through.”
“And, although this was the first year in a very long time that none of us won the Super Bowl, we were in several commercials that Tivo viewers forgot to fast-forward through.”

Chances are that, if you still receive a Christmas letter, it’s from someone old enough to have considered switching to fax in the ’80s and then deciding that the grainy photo results meant that no technology could ever replace the U.S. Postal Service.

Thanks to the Internet — Facebook, in particular — you may still get the Christmas letter, but it’s already old news. You’ve already cried into a homemade mojito that you’re still childless and a career barista whereas the Komeski’s kid has a doctorate, twins and negotiates mergers in Japan — all in one year after graduating from Harvard. Ain’t nobody got time for that shit and the usual holiday depression around Christmas.

And now that we know that the government is already collecting and storing that info for you, whether it’s your tweets in the Library of Congress or your Tumblr posts expressing terrorist sympathies in the Utah Data Center, your trivial personal bullshit is already being examined by top men (top. men.) and being disseminated to people who actually give a shit.

Shortened your time in purgatory

When the Catholic Church isn’t inventing new ways to keep poor people up to their eyes in babies — and then molesting them when they get a little older — it’s also cranking out favors for the few people who lack the intellectual curiosity to ask why men who vowed never to marry are worried about gay people ruining it.

They did it for Irish Americans, allowing them to eat corned beef if St. Patrick’s Day occurs on a Friday during Lent. Or the Spanish on any Friday. And now they’re granting indulgences to Internet Catholics for following the pope on Twitter.

So, if you’re Bill Donohue, and your choices are to either leave your chat forum argument over Piss Christ or go to mass, now you can do both. This is the Internet that Jesus wanted. And it raises Pope Frank’s Klout score, making him more influential than McBournie, which is the ultimate Catholic good work.

“For forwarding that cute email about David not being stoned off his ass, you win one free sherbert in the kingdom of our lord.”
“For forwarding that cute email about David not being stoned off his ass, you win one free sherbert in the kingdom of our lord.”

And you thought the Internet was no good. For shame.

Your Week in Seriously Times: Dec. 9 – 15, 2012

This monkey almost single-foothandedly destroyed consumer confidence in a recession and ate all the meatballs in the cafeteria.
This monkey almost single-foothandedly destroyed consumer confidence in a recession and ate all the meatballs in the cafeteria.

Jacketed monkeys, murder sex, tweeting pontiffs, Christmas wars, coffee breath, and lawyers — and you thought the 12 days after Christmas were exciting! Also, they’re the topics this past week on SeriouslyGuys. Here’s the recap:

  • A monkey illustrates the absurdity of shopping at IKEA, making us wonder what the pursuit of incomplete material goods in giant warehouses says about humani — oh look! He’s wearing an adorable coat! (Dec. 10, 2012)
  • You say “homosexual,” U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia says, “homicide.” Homosexual, homicide … let’s follow the advice of a showtune — or “murder soundtrack” — and call the whole thing off. (Dec. 11, 2012)
  • RT ‏@Pontifex @catholicdude69 The Lord has heard ur confession and forgives u. Now retweet 3 Our Fathers and 10 Hail Marys. (Dec. 12, 2012)
  • Take it from Snee: I could be the Christmas miracle that Fox News deserves, but not the one it needs right now. (Dec. 12, 2012)
  • Making pots of coffee all day gives people with oral cancer something to live for. (Dec. 13, 2012)
  • We are officially one popped collar away from the nuclear douchepocalypse in Clearwater, Florida. (Dec. 14, 2012)