Is anyone besides me getting tired of the constant morbid stuff headlining the news lately? For something like the last two weeks (and probably more), the number one and number two stories on the evening news have been the Terri Schiavo death watch and the Pope John Paul II death watch, or vice versa. It seems kind of weird that for a "Culture of Life", we're awfully focused on death. (But then, an end to both stories will probably herald a return to Top Story Status of the damn Michael Jackson trial. Maybe it's time to just stop watching the news altogether.)
Anyway, James Wolcott and Matthew Yglesias point out that inevitably the passing of the Pope will be politicized -- in fact, James points out that FOX News already tried doing so, but had to stop the revolution seeing as how at that point the Pope wasn't, you know, actually dead. If the Right does seize upon John Paul II as a great fallen conservative leader, I wonder how they'll explain things like his steadfast condemnation of the Iraq war. Yes, the Pope was anti-abortion and anti-homosexual, but he had other beliefs that line up more with the Left than with the Right. So I guess we're in for a lot of cherry-picking from the man's life. I can't wait.
(For the record, I'm not Catholic and am generally ambivalent about John Paul II in particular and the Papacy in general. I dislike a lot of the positions he took, and I generally find the whole idea of the position of Pontiff to be a bit odd, especially after my readings of history which indicate that more than a few Popes weren't so much chosen by God as chosen by particularly strong European monarchs.)
Yesterday at The Store, the cafe TV was as always tuned to FOX News, and I caught one bit of hilarity while I was eating lunch. Some talking head was describing a time when John Paul II held a Mass at Shea Stadium in New York City. The FOX talking head went on to describe Shea Stadium as a baseball stadium, "but not the one where the Yankees play...there's another baseball team that plays there, uh...." Luckily for the FOX talking head, someone was able to lean over and supply him with the name of that other New York baseball team.