Joseph Ratzinger, the World War II hero who miraculously became the pope even after his army lost the war, is jumping on the Twitter bandwagon—if by “jumping” you mean “having his handlers announce, two months in advance, that a papal Twitter account will be launched at year’s end.” Also, the pope will not actually be typing crazy tweets about Obama being a Kenyan and gay people not being able to get married because they are infected by Satan. (Just kidding, the latter position is actually Vatican doctrine.) What kind of elderly sociopath right-wing public figure doesn’t type his or her own insane observations on Twitter? Somebody doesn’t understand Twitter is all about the entertainment value.
“It’s going to be nice having the Pope up there,” a Vatican press officer said, because he apparently believes Twitter is “up there,” maybe on the side of a blimp? Also, look at how the Vatican attacked the talents of the greatest musician of this or any other generation: “If you look at the top 10 tweeters in the world, those with the most followers, I think eight of them are entertainers—Lady Gaga, actors and singers.” (Lady Gaga fans should definitely protest in Vatican City until the pope’s flack renounces this ambiguous and possibly mistranslated insult. #OccupyVaticanCityGaga or something catchy. Work on it, Lady Gaga fans!)
But the important thing about this announcement is that Pope Benedict plans to use Twitter in a way that violates all Social Media Norms and Best Practices. It is like he wants to screw everything up.
According to the Vatican, the pope will not tweet anything interesting or personal, such as “A great new pizzeria has just opened in my neighborhood,” which is the actual example provided by the Vatican, or “Just had my Swiss Guards kill another gay-love-triangle double-agent spy within the papal manservant staff,” which is not only a funny example but also an actual real, ongoing criminal event/investigation in Vatican City.
But because the pope will not write his own tweets, the world will be denied the terrifying hilarity of Jack Welch/Donald Trump-esque outbursts about socialism, abortion, renegade nuns, etc. When the rich and powerful fail to reveal the true levels of their psychoses on Twitter, we are all a little less safe.
What else? The Pope will not retweet or favorite or reply to anyone, because he’s a jerk, and also the Vatican is telling everyone not to tweet stuff to the Pope, because … ?
“Let’s hope his followers are re-tweeting rather than engaging, because I don’t see the Pope sitting down and answering replies to tweets.” Umm, then, who cares. Why not just skip Twitter? Get a Bebo or MySpace or something, maybe a Bing? There’s probably already a “Christian Social Network,” but Catholics would probably not be welcome unless it was during GOP primary season, and that’s still two-and-a-half years away. Also, there is only one God on Twitter and it doesn’t appear to be the one the Pope is always talking about.
Let’s all re-dedicate ourselves to using Twitter the right way, and let’s have the pope try to set an example for all of us, instead of once again being on the wrong side of history and the criminal justice system. OH BUT WAIT, the pope did his “first tweet” on a crappy old iPad way back in June 2011, so this is just a scam to distract us from what’s really going on. Also, is this his account? If not, lamest parody Twitter account ever.