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A New Pope
February 28, 2013 12:43 AM   Subscribe

A grand ceremony from 6 years ago bearing some uncanny resemblance to activities on earth (SLYT)
posted by Captain Najork (43 comments total) 29 users marked this as a favorite

 
this is utterly brilliant
posted by dunkadunc at 12:53 AM on February 28, 2013 [2 favorites]


Absolutely hilarious and well done as usual by Buxton!
posted by Foci for Analysis at 1:42 AM on February 28, 2013


The dichotomy between Buxton's deadpan and non-venomous parody (it's just light-hearted mocking) compared to the pomp and overly adorned spectacle that the Catholic Church exhibits in promulgating their brand is perfect comedy IMO.

(Combined with the insight into the clever appropriation of real world stuff used in formulating the Star Wars mythology)

I hope this isn't deleted for being too thin for MeFi or too old, because it's a lesson in sympathetic razzing of the human condition... or something.
posted by panaceanot at 3:18 AM on February 28, 2013 [2 favorites]


I feel like I'm going to a special kind if hell for finding that ridiculously hilarious (especially at the part with the "nuns" recieving new data).

Hey, at least I'll have good company!
posted by littlesq at 3:32 AM on February 28, 2013


Also, my phone totally wanted me to use the word 'Luke' instead of 'like' just now.
posted by littlesq at 3:34 AM on February 28, 2013 [1 favorite]


Wow, the related videos will lead you down the wacky prophecy rabbit hole...
posted by Philosopher Dirtbike at 3:41 AM on February 28, 2013


brilliant, perhaps, but this was someone's funeral, so it's a bit shitty
posted by bitteroldman at 4:00 AM on February 28, 2013 [3 favorites]


I'd just go with this:
I'm Catholic-ish, and even though I can see the desire for humor in this - it is pretty mocking to something that well... shouldn't be mocked on a lot of levels. Sure, the Catholic church has a lot of issues, but if we put the same laugh track up against a Black Southern Baptist church, I'm pretty sure the tone-deaf offensiveness to those participating would only be slightly overshadowed by the calls of racism - setting aside this was at a funeral. Step it away from religion all together and put the laugh track over a gay pride parade and well, same deal - straight up offensive and definitely not the best of the web.

People have problems with the Catholic church (myself included, hence - my claim of Catholic-ishness). I'm honestly very open to some of the axe grinding and skewering the Catholic church regularly get here. While this is far more light hearted in intent - its a funeral, its a ceremony which people think is overly glamorous instead of closer to what it is (think of this as a Presidential or Prime Minister's funeral). It doesn't give people the carte blanche to be assholes about it.
posted by Nanukthedog at 4:13 AM on February 28, 2013 [4 favorites]


Two comments, one serious and the other a bit bean-plate-y:

1. I generally enjoyed this until we got to the speech by the dignitary "pleading for his planet" or whatever. The dialogue dubbed in sounded uncomfortably like a racist caricature of East Asian languages, which made the whole thing less funny to me.

2. Yeah, it is easy to take shots at the vestments and ceremony and everything, but this is that High Church vs Low Church ethic that has been driving religious struggle in Europe for some 500 years. While, yeah, it's very attractive to develop this to obsessive levels for the sake of humor (and everyone who does is pretty much soaking in Felini's bathwater), it's also true that mockery of High Church imagery has a long history of sectarian violence attached to it, so it's a bit of a tricky subject. Maybe I'm overly sensitive to this because I've been listening to Early Modern Europe podcasts lately, but the point still stands.

On the other hand, parts of this still made me laugh. I am large; I contain multitudes, and some of them are kind of jerks.
posted by GenjiandProust at 4:30 AM on February 28, 2013 [13 favorites]


I really wanted to like this, like its fart joke level humor and I love fart jokes, but ultimately the only thing that is really supposed to be funny here is a casual, Hey look at the funny foreign people dressed weird and foreign while doing things they feel strongly about at the funeral of someone they felt strongly about. Hell what is being mocked is actually pretty damn cool; this was the first time an Ecumenical Patriarch attended a papal funeral since the Great Schism, the Archbishop of Canterbury was present for the first time since the Church of England broke with the papacy in the 16th century, and for the first time ever for the head of the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahido Church was at one. I mean, we all get it, the Pope bears a passing resemblance to a super villain from a galaxy far far away if you think all old people look the same, buy into the iconography of anti-clerical bigotry, and squint a bunch, but a lightsaber coming out of a chalice is just missing the point and not really funny.

If this thread survives to just turn into yet another five minutes of hate for people who look different from us, believe different things, dress differently and have some complex institutional issues that would be pretty sad.
posted by Blasdelb at 4:46 AM on February 28, 2013 [5 favorites]


Canadian prince now dipping his arms into the pudding. As is tradition. Princess will of course scrape the pudding off the prince's arms, thus symbolizing their union. What a glorious day for our country and indeed the world.
posted by DreamerFi at 4:57 AM on February 28, 2013 [1 favorite]


1. I generally enjoyed this until we got to the speech by the dignitary "pleading for his planet" or whatever. The dialogue dubbed in sounded uncomfortably like a racist caricature of East Asian languages, which made the whole thing less funny to me.

Good call, because the dignitary in question IRL was the late 김수환 (Kim Sou-hwan).
posted by L.P. Hatecraft at 5:01 AM on February 28, 2013 [1 favorite]


I didn't think the funny was directed at non-Westerners. I thought it was all about the pomp & circumstance of it all.

And frankly I think all events - gay pride parade, Sourthern Baptist, etc - are all game for being made fun of for any ceremonies they may do.

Again, to me the funny here is not on what Catholics believe, but how silly the whole ceremony looks from afar. (just like most formal ceremonies that seem like nonsense to outsiders - raise this stick, move this goblet, etc)
posted by evening at 5:17 AM on February 28, 2013 [4 favorites]


Interesting to hear the points being made here about offence caused. I have to say I had not thought about it from that angle (largely from not really thinking about it much before posting beyond enjoying the humour) so good to have it pointed out and apologies to those who feel offended. While it is obviously not for me to say what stays or goes I would understand a deletion on the basis of what's been said.

On preview - evening put it much better than I could have so I didn't even try but yes, it seemed like fairly good spirited mockery to me. I'm a fan of Adam Buxton though so probably infer good intentions on it from that basis!
 
posted by Captain Najork at 5:20 AM on February 28, 2013 [1 favorite]


There's a big difference between mocking the powerful and mocking the oppressed. The Catholic Church, and all the audience were of the former. Frankly though, mocking is way too kind.
posted by Steakfrites at 5:27 AM on February 28, 2013 [6 favorites]


To be fair, if any one gets to have all that pomp, it's the Catholic Church. Very few institutions have direct continuity for two thousand years. The pope is the pontifex maximus, meaning if you want to stretch a bit, he holds an office from the Roman Empire. I would take myself pretty seriously too.

What makes the Church a target is the impact they have on real people, not how silly a procession might look.
posted by spaltavian at 5:35 AM on February 28, 2013 [7 favorites]


. . . . Black Southern Baptist church, I'm pretty sure the tone-deaf offensiveness to those participating would only be slightly overshadowed by the calls of racism

Well, yes, the same would be said of a mocking video about a Catholic church whose members were mostly drawn from a particular racial/ethnic category. Catholics aren't a race, after all. Neither are Southern Baptists. I grew up a Catholic (full on until age 12 or so, complete with Latin and confirmation and altar boyhood) and have never found generic anti-Catholic humor offensive, so there's that.
posted by spitbull at 5:43 AM on February 28, 2013


While it is obviously not for me to say what stays or goes I would understand a deletion on the basis of what's been said.

Eh, I would not ask for a deletion or think you should feel bad for posting. I mean, I laughed at parts of it, and I get why all the ceremony is an attractive target. I just found my own amusement somewhat uncomfortable at various times during it. I think that discomfort should be a starting point for discussion (assuming others want to discuss) rather than removal.
posted by GenjiandProust at 5:50 AM on February 28, 2013 [1 favorite]


There's a big difference between mocking the powerful and mocking the oppressed. The Catholic Church, and all the audience were of the former. Frankly though, mocking is way too kind.

Sure, but....

The Catholic Church (and all those other churches (and governments) represented) deserve varying degrees of mockery and criticism for their principles and policies. There might be a case of criticizing (although mockery gets more problematic) doctrine. This video isn't really doing any of that; it is, to some degree, playing on the soon-to-be-ex-Pope's appearance (maybe that can get a pass for nerd humor, maybe not) and the Catholic church's religious ritual. Which is... awfully close to "let's mock these people for how they look and behave in the personal rituals." And that mockery, historically (and, sometimes, currently), has been used as a lead up to violence, which is not so great.

There is plenty to criticize that Catholic church, both doctrine and hierarchy -- treatment of women and GLBTQ people, the shameful coverups of sexual abuse, interference with secular government to name a few -- but this video doesn't grapple with that. It's more "these people are funny for the way they dress and worship" (with an overlay of "real life is as weird as science fiction," which is a more charitable reading). So saying "The Catholic church does bad things so any mockery is justified, even mockery that doesn't address those bad things" is rather disingenuous.
posted by GenjiandProust at 5:50 AM on February 28, 2013 [3 favorites]


"To be fair, if any one gets to have all that pomp, it's the Catholic Church. Very few institutions have direct continuity for two thousand years. The pope is the pontifex maximus, meaning if you want to stretch a bit, he holds an office from the Roman Empire. I would take myself pretty seriously too."

The title of Pontifex Maximus actually significantly predates the Roman Empire and stretches back to the very beginnings of the Kingdom that existed before the Roman Republic. It literally means the Great Bridge Builder and the standard understanding is that it originally referred to the head of the High Priests who built the bridges on the sacred river Tiber, which was revered as either a God or a metaphor for one, though ancient writers had a sizable collection of alternate etymological interpretations. The metaphor, it turns out is not only kind of a neat one, but really really durable and adaptable.
posted by Blasdelb at 5:54 AM on February 28, 2013 [6 favorites]


I enjoyed it in the spirit intended, see how it can be uncomfortable for others in myriad ways.

Reminds me a bit of this, actually. African anthropologists visit Darkest Austria.

I'm surprised that the dubbed in languages sounded east-Asian, I didn't get that at all. To my ears it was a pitch perfect Star-Wars type language. However I am not familiar with the sound of languages beyond Mandarin, Japanese and Korean.
posted by wires at 6:33 AM on February 28, 2013


brilliant, perhaps, but this was someone's funeral, so it's a bit shitty

Anyone wants to have fun with the footage of my funeral I hereby grant permission and only regret I won't be around to see the production.

I think if you're to the level where the Pope is conducting your funeral...ah, never mind. I'm not offended, but then I don't get the point of that many people turning out to turn one's death into what looks like a state funeral or a carnival. Give me my friends and some beers when I die. Again, my regret is I won't be there to drink.

Man, now I want to have my funeral before I die. Make it into a beer and film fest, and fuck it, the Pope is not invited.
posted by cjorgensen at 6:34 AM on February 28, 2013 [1 favorite]


This is the most Metafiltery thread I've seen in months. Here's a funny video! It contains Star Wars references and pokes very mild fun at the Catholic Church! Here's a deconstruction of why the video is actually racist and sectarian and basically everything that is wrong with the world! You are a bad person and should feel bad for having chuckled at it! Also, here is an obscure history lesson!

Thanks for posting, Najork! I liked it. Metafilter, don't you ever stop being Metafilter.
posted by echo target at 6:34 AM on February 28, 2013 [9 favorites]


I think I've got a simple way to express my sentiment...

Know who also mocks funerals? The Westboro Baptist Church.
posted by Nanukthedog at 6:50 AM on February 28, 2013


The dialogue dubbed in sounded uncomfortably like a racist caricature of East Asian languages, which made the whole thing less funny to me.

Maybe it's because I am East Asian and actually know what East Asian languages sound like, but I didn't get that impression at all.

believe different things

Really? This old anti-progressive dogwhistle? When the different beliefs are on your favorite band, your favorite flavor of potato chips, or even your God or lack thereof, I don't care. When the different beliefs are on the equality of women and gay people or the seriousness of sex abuse, that's when I start seeing red.
posted by kmz at 6:53 AM on February 28, 2013 [7 favorites]


Metafilter: it's a lesson in sympathetic razzing of the human condition... or something.
posted by Danf at 6:54 AM on February 28, 2013


The title of Pontifex Maximus actually significantly predates the Roman Empire

Yeah, but the title arguably didn't "transfer" to the Pope until the later Empire. (Of course, it wasn't actually a transfer, and although "Pontifex Maximus" appears on inscriptions in the Vatican, it's not an one of the Pope's official titles.)

Interstingly, the title "pope" is actually even older, originally being a Greek term.
posted by spaltavian at 7:05 AM on February 28, 2013 [1 favorite]


Know who also mocks funerals? The Westboro Baptist Church.

Is there a name for this specific type of rhetorical fallacy? And better yet, is there a Greasemonkey script that can make it so I never have to see one again?
posted by rocket88 at 7:41 AM on February 28, 2013 [10 favorites]


The idea that this is "mocking" seems to be an assumption to me, and not a particularly good one.
posted by Flunkie at 7:48 AM on February 28, 2013 [2 favorites]


Perhaps because the other night I was talking to someone about how the original Star Wars imitated so many previous movies, I found the idea of a video imitating Star Wars amusing. Then again, it's not my religion. Whether or not the video is humorous or insensitive seems to pale, however, beside GenjiandProust's wonderful phrase "soaking in Fellini's bathwater," which this thread has elicited — not only genius but completely relevant. (Another terrific example from Fellini's bathwater, of course, would be his helicopter Christ being delivered to the Pope, at the beginning of La Dolce Vita.)
posted by LeLiLo at 7:50 AM on February 28, 2013 [1 favorite]


"Is there a name for this specific type of rhetorical fallacy?..."

It would be a False Analogy if Nanukthedog had then said something like 'and therefore anyone who likes this video must hate the gays' or even 'and therefore anyone who likes this video must be exactly as loathsome as the WBC' but Nanukthedog did not say that. Mocking people's funerals is indeed a loathsome thing that the WBC does and would be loathsome whether they were the WBC or not. Similarly, mocking this JP-II's funeral is pretty inherently loathsome even if he was the leader of a religion you don't like.

"...And better yet, is there a Greasemonkey script that can make it so I never have to see one again?"

Yes, indeed!
posted by Blasdelb at 8:00 AM on February 28, 2013


Man, I was hoping this would be funny. (I like the part about the enemies in the black uniforms, though not the light saber part). I like a good funny picture of the Pope. And naturally funny stuff happens in liturgy just like in other parts of life. This didn't really seem to be working from the position of knowledge neccesary for good humor.
posted by Jahaza at 8:01 AM on February 28, 2013 [1 favorite]


evening:Again, to me the funny here is not on what Catholics believe, but how silly the whole ceremony looks from afar. (just like most formal ceremonies that seem like nonsense to outsiders - raise this stick, move this goblet, etc)


Agreed.
It's an important distinction - or should be - that what is being sent up by the video commentary is the lavish spectacle of public piety - not the piety itself.
posted by Jody Tresidder at 8:26 AM on February 28, 2013 [1 favorite]


The ability of people to find offense in almost anything is impressive.
posted by schwa at 8:59 AM on February 28, 2013 [4 favorites]


Oh common schwa, you're just being sensitive.
posted by Blasdelb at 9:11 AM on February 28, 2013


Sensitivity is one of the primary traits of the common schwa...
posted by Navelgazer at 9:16 AM on February 28, 2013 [2 favorites]


Now THIS is hillarious: "Oakland Rapper Pope Emeritus Threatens Lawsuit"
posted by Jahaza at 10:05 AM on February 28, 2013


(To me, from the Catholic perspective, rappers might be offended, I suppose.)
posted by Jahaza at 10:06 AM on February 28, 2013


I should've been calling Pope Benedict P. Biddy for years now.
posted by echo target at 12:18 PM on February 28, 2013


Blasdelb: "Is there a name for this specific type of rhetorical fallacy?..."

It would be a False Analogy if Nanukthedog had then said something like 'and therefore anyone who likes this video must hate the gays' or even 'and therefore anyone who likes this video must be exactly as loathsome as the WBC' but Nanukthedog did not say that. Mocking people's funerals is indeed a loathsome thing that the WBC does and would be loathsome whether they were the WBC or not. Similarly, mocking this JP-II's funeral is pretty inherently loathsome even if he was the leader of a religion you don't like.
I see what you did there! You're begging the question. Very witty.
posted by IAmBroom at 2:07 PM on February 28, 2013 [1 favorite]


Know who also mocks funerals? The Westboro Baptist Church.

They also believe in God. Missing the point here. I wouldn't use the WBC as an example of anything good or bad or you'll finding yourself questioning your need for oxygen, since they too require that to live (though the jury is still out on Shirley Phelps-Roper).
posted by cjorgensen at 6:22 PM on February 28, 2013


brilliant, perhaps, but this was someone's funeral, so it's a bit shitty

Aw, now I really do feel shitty knowing that now. I was mostly laughing at the thought that in millions of years, future anthropologists might see a video like that and trying to decipher it and have no idea what the hell was going on.
posted by littlesq at 8:38 PM on February 28, 2013 [2 favorites]


Did Pope Francis really say that socialism causes misery, and that America is heading towards a form of communism?
The best government was created by the Americans, in which they admitted that people are “endowed by their creator” and most of the administration of society was left to the relationship between God and man. However, slowly that has been eroded by the atheists on the left, who would replace man’s relationship with God with a new relationship with an opportunist like Hugo Chavez.
posted by Golden Eternity at 9:48 AM on March 24, 2013


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