This is an enjoyable and partially successful effort to deride the church in its current (and cyclical) state of decadence while lampooning the paranoid conspiracy theories that throughout history have "missed the point" (overemphasizing the occult over corruption, child-rape) while at the same time keeping church leaders rightfully on the defensive. Fun and provocative!
At the same time, some of this is gratuitous and uncreative ("cosplayers at a Renaissance Fair") and some of the ecclesiology is imprecise ("speaks for Jesus"), although on this latter point, these fuzzy notions are so widely believed (or held in disbelief) that your point is still fair.
I'm curious, though, to know what you think to be the cause of growth in the Latin American and African congregations that puts their rise into conflict with "powerful old European and North American protectors of the child rapists." Is it that the church in the global south is inclusive and dedicated to social justice, free of corruption and scandal? Are Catholics everywhere flocking to a liberal church that Cardinal Turkson or Cardinal Arinze will try to bring about? What would you say are the stakes within church politics today, and what are the substantive disagreements that different election outcomes might raise or resolve?
And do you think that Mahony is being invited as a theological, political ally to Ratzinger? Or to shore up the "white" vote?
Anyhow, I don't think it's a stretch to say that Ratzinger's resignation is a good move for the church and the world, since his sinful handling of scandal after scandal and tragedy after tragedy (not to mention autistic levels of cultural insensitivity) renders mute his outspoken progressiveness on immigration, economic justice, and environmental stewardship. It would be nice if the church could prioritize those things again over anti-homosexual propaganda, though I'm not holding my breath. A new CEO at least opens the possibility.
I needed this so bad - was getting ready to quit Drynuary so close to the finish line! As a bonus: I just brought home a bunch of blood oranges from California. Crimson Glory sounds unpleasantly euphemistic, though . . .
I have been working at a university for more than a year, and this - THIS - finally made me want to figure out how to use the library.
I'm reaching back through time to hug/warmly congratulate my teenage self for having had such a grand and faultless crush on Glen Phillips in the All I Want Video. What good taste and old-soulish feelings I had. Sigh.
I thought part of the reason the vampires located to Forks is because it's supposed to be dismal and grim so they don't sparkle too much? (Correct me if this is wrong, it's all hearsay.) This Forks looks sunny and cheerful!
(Also: Twilight Troopers, hell-lo!)
Can't wait to see who gets curated into this next! (rim shot)
But seriously, I think the next step is a Choire-led travel service to all the world's most obscure (and hottest) biennials. It could maybe be called OMG (Obrist-Mad Groupies?)
I just went back and read from the beginning - this is brilliant and so fun! For the several years I lived in NYC I was a geohistory nut, and if I'd stayed longer I would really have enjoyed to walk around with you, Robert!
Every summer on the occasion of the dragon boat races in Flushing Meadows, I used to drag friends on the 10ish-mile hike from downtown Flushing to the Lower East Side via Grand Avenue all the way, noting the way the hills and roads and streams and villages fit together.
And, I so share your feeling about the Narrows from Day 1 of this series - the bridge always seemed to me much more of a gate than a bridge. My first summer in New York, crossing it by bus felt like the most magnificent experience.
I'm relieved by your skepticism about the Lincoln story - I definitely got a weird smell off of that, and have been changing the subject when it comes up. Where else but the Awl could I admit that?
I need a continually updated registry of anti-gay assaults that I can forward whenever someone calls me bitter or tries to use the civil rights movement as a rhetorical foil.
Ugh, the Edmunds St. John Gamay is my favorite wine in the world right now, and it's going to be impossible to get after this. Stupid Times.
I just can't believe how old this reveals you are . . .