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“The early favorites were Cardinal Dionigi Tettamanzi of Milan and Francis Arinze of Nigeria, both listed at 11-4 odds. That means a winning $4 bet would pay out $15.”
— Shawn Pogatchnik, AP Writer
“‘The money I lose on this I’ll make back on the British election,’ predicted Hegarty, 49, who says he simply had to place a bet on someone so that he could maximize his enjoyment of watching events unfold from the Vatican. ‘I’ll be doing a Mexican wave every time the news is on the telly,’ he said.”
— from Irish Bookmakers Take Bets on Next Pope
The Roman Catholic conclave to choose the next Pope is a disgusting affair, but since we can’t stop it any more than we can stop mawkish mourners from filing past the Big Stiff (or cocooned couch potatoes without a life from consuming it), I say go over the top with it all…and put the U-2 Senseless One in The Chair.
After all, the L.A. Times made it very clear recently that they were quite serious in offering him up as a candidate for President of the World Bank. In such heady company (with such headless approval), why shouldn’t we put the Nominee for this year’s Pulitzer Peace Prize in an even better position to wreak havoc?
For that’s what we clearly need, for everything to come tumbling down. Before we can advance one iota toward what the pontiff claimed to have stood for (long before he could stand no longer).
One can’t read the transcript of Amy Goodman’s conversation with Dopey Pope Watchers without acknowledging the truth of what I’m saying here. For all of their positive credentials, including that of the Democracy Now! hostess, one searches in vain for a straight-up damning of The Damned Genuflectee. (1)
Anyway, my sources tell me that the 117 cardinals have no intention of obeying the rules. “None of the church leaders with the momentous duty ever discussed a successor to John Paul II while he was alive. The restriction once was aimed at keeping a pope from naming his own replacement,” says an AP Religion writer. Right. Some say he’s been dead for a week…to allow for political schmoozing. (2) In such an atmosphere why not Bono?
Just like with Schwarzenegger, he Him-2 has his own $$$ to win over the voters…with the notion that he’ll be beyond influence. Though maybe not free from being Under the Influence. The biggest negative on Bono, I’d say, is that he is too much under The Influence. (3) All the cardinals with I-Pods belie the notion that it’ll be unacceptable for Bono to conduct a covert campaign for the position.
The race further favors Fat Face by the fact that the College of Cardinals has its largest crop of voters in history, and the most varied, hailing from 52 nations. Well, who has traveled more than the Bonster? He’s probably touched down in person on most, if not all of their homelands.
‘Member when he was traversing the African continent with Paulie? ‘Member how he was able to speak the lingo of the Washed Out Washington Establishment AND the natives? And, hey, let’s not make believe that having a Celebrity Member doesn’t count for anything among the Holy Members. Remember all of those scandals?
Clues to emerging front-runners will be hard to come by, though modern technology may offer a little bit of help. And if that’s true, Bono’s recently acquired contacts in Silicon Valley can’t hurt.
The 2005 election will draw the most massive media corps ever for a conclave, creating enormous pressure on the cardinals to grant interviews ó once a rarity.
I begin to close by posing two questions: Who’s better at bullshitting in an interview than Bono? And who’s proved better than him that wilting under pressure is not an option?
He’s the guy who managed to create a new wrinkle for his name off of World Bank African deaths, whilst creating a South African clothing line with his wife, and creating a (timely) self-serving profile for himself and the boys in the band.
C’mon he’s a real Creator, in competition with the Creator Himself. And he’s Dead Right. (4)
RICHARD OXMAN is in Los Gatos, California NOT listening to U2*, while writing his opus From Boniface to Bonoface. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Most of his recent writing can be found at the Cultural Politics section of www.selvesandothers.org.
*He trusts readers won’t take the piece as the waste just another Bono put-down would be.
(1) Is that a word? I know I don’t want genuflector here, but I couldn’t find a legit word for someone who one genuflects to/for/in front of. Rather than do research on this, perhaps the reader’s time could be better spent by reviewing the negative parts of the Democracy Now! segment (http://www.democracynow.org/article.pl?sid=05/04/04/1336240) and absorbing the definitive take by Michael Dickinson’s “It’s Too Late Now for John Paul II to Repent“.
(3) Which can be read as God or Bono himself.
(4) My partner suggests that the reason an old candidate is likely to run away with the honors is that The Powers don’t want anyone staying around long enough to do too much damage.