April 03, 2005

Karol, Karol, Karol: KPOPE, 99.9

Good goddamn, the radio is all Pope all the time up in this piece. I mean, I suppose the music stations are playing music, but I usually listen to the comforting Sunday morning blather on RTE1, and they've been poping it up since 8 o'clock last night. What does the Taiosech think of the Pope, what does the President think of the Pope, what does Mary Harney whose title I can't remember think of the pope, and now a word from the Pope's official biographer, and then a word or two from cardinals so-and-so, (one from each continent), followed by the remarks of some of the more prominent archbishops, then we begin with the roll call of world leaders and leaders of other faiths, and....there's more and, I'm sure of it.

I must say, I was impressed with the articulateness of the Irish politicians, on the whole, particularly Mary MacAleese. To remark upon someone's articulateness is generally a backhanded compliment, but I think anyone who bothered to compare and contrast with the rather stilted and obviously scripted (albeit perhaps heartfelt) remarks of Mr. Bush would be impressed by it. I couldn't say how off the cuff their comments were; foolish indeed would be the politician who gave a radio interview who hadn't bothered to think about what they were going to say first. But however much they may or may not have prepared, it was obvious that they weren't scripted, and it they gave pretty clear defenses of their own opinions wherein they differed with the Pope while still being respectful of his memory and compassionate for those who grieved. It was rather impressive.

Of course, I'm sure an Irish person reading the above paragrah would be snorting about now, and I suppose in that case it's a comment on the level of political discourse in the States...

Speaking of which, I wonder if the coverage there is as wall to wall; I suppose it must be on the cable news channels, but being here I can't help but wonder if the deference which the state-run RTE is showing to this issue is a sort of, "Oh, right! We're Catholic," kind of a moment, wherein the purported secularism of modern Ireland is revealed to be in some ways skin-deep. Or maybe better say it's like the Christmas and Easter Catholics --- they only come for the big ones, obliged out of nostalgia to show deference.

Posted by Diablevert at April 3, 2005 04:23 AM

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