star-struck pope

(documenting his own fabulousness)

I've been looking at pope-arama pictures for a couple of weeks now. Frankly however, since the more colorful elements of Vatican porn, the Medieval pomp and circumstance, have been severely cut back over the last few decades, there's really not much to look at any more. These old men are very happy going back to the heavy Middle Ages thing, but without the fun part.

Nevertheless I shouldn't have been surprised (although I really was) to see "the faithful" raising thousands of arms holding cameras aloft while various old relics pass in front of them (present reality isn't good enough; people today don't think they're really looking at something unless they manage to get their own snapshot of it). What really shocked me was seeing Ratzinger himself apparently seduced by his own fame in the same way.

Okay, the camera in his hand is just an illusion produced by a telephoto lens, even if it was fun for a second. But do we think Jeb Bush or Berlusconi took any pictures when they went up to kiss the guy's ring while he sat on his throne? Maybe I have to rephrase that: Can fans get away with just shaking his hand these days?

[image by Max Rossi from Reuters]