JERK OF THE WEEK: Jerks of the Jersey Shore, 2015: Papal Visit 2015
I've written about this before, but it's astonishing how different news broadcasts are between here in Philadelphia and the middle of the state. I went to Penn State, and I used to laugh at the nightly news programming, since they'd lead off with a story like this:
"Breaking news tonight, Mrs. Johnson's cat is stuck in a tree. Firefighters and policemen are working diligently to bring Mittens down, but the feline is not cooperating. Let's go out to the scene with Sandy Strkdknmibalz. Sandy, what's going on there?"
"Hi, Rick, the entire neighborhood is on pins and needles right now as police officers and firefighters are collaborating to save Mrs. Johnson's beloved cat, Mittens. It seems as though Mittens climbed up the tree between 3 and 4 p.m. today, so it's been six hours since she's been stuck up there. Numerous tears have been shed here in Bellefonte, and many residents are wondering if this nightmare will ever end."
As you might imagine, things are different here in Philly. The top stories on the nightly news are always about how many people were killed in the slums. The sad thing is that many of the deaths go unreported by the corrupt police department, just to make Mayor Michael Nutter Butter look better. Neither Mrs. Johnson nor her cat would ever make the nightly news. In fact, Mrs. Johnson wouldn't receive any sort of help from the police, depending on which neighborhood she resided in. Poor Mittens would be stuck in a tree forever - or at least until some loser gangsta accidentally shot the poor thing while trying to either preserve a drug trade or show someone that punishment comes with disrespecting him. Because being disrespected is clearly the worst thing that could ever happen to a person.
If these a**holes ever went to a doctor, here's what it might sound like:
Doctor: I have some bad news, Wyatt.
Gangsta: Really? So you know why I've been angry this whole time? Is it cancer?
Doctor: No, Wyatt, it's not cancer. You... you've been disrespected.
Gangsta: What!? By whom!?
Doctor: By many people. Including myself. You demand respect for no reason. You've never accomplished anything in life besides sell some drugs to kids. Do you think you really deserve respect, Wyatt?
Gangsta: That's it, doc! I'm going to bust a cap in your a**!
Bang. Goodbye, doc. You should've just told Wyatt that he had cancer.
I tend to avoid the nightly news because I don't care how many people died in the city today. If it was a rare occurrence, I'd actually feel some sort of remorse, or compassion, or whatever bulls*** emotions many people pretend to have most of the time. But I've just become numb to the whole thing. If something happens all the time, it becomes old hat pretty quickly. Like, for example, if you lived in a town that didn't have a single pizza parlor, you'd be excited on the rare instance in which you got to have pizza. But if you live across the street from a pizza joint and could eat there anytime you wanted to, you wouldn't care as much.
However, the news changed briefly at the end of September. Rather than discussing how many people were shot in the North Philly slums each night, each news broadcast began with a 10-minute piece on the papal visit.
Yes. If you didn't somehow hear about it, the Pope came to town. He was actually in Washington and New York as well, and I'm sure he visited other cities in the I-95 corridor, though there's no doubt that he avoided the hell hole known as Camden, New Jersey. If the Pope set foot there, he would instantly be contaminated, and then he'd have to be replaced almost instantly.
Some people made the papal visit out to be a huge deal. Numerous idiots were interviewed each night on the news, and I was amazed at how dumb they all were. Every single person they spoke to was stupid. I'm not exaggerating. I'm going to give you three of my favorite examples:
1. Some teenage girl with weird braids had this to say:
"The Pope is famous; who wouldn't want to see the Pope!?"
Oh, cool, thanks. He's famous? And that's why everyone wants to see him? Justin Bieber is famous, but would anyone want to see him, except for 12-year-old girls and lesbian haircut connoisseurs? I don't think so. You wouldn't ever hear a grown man not infatuated with lesbian haircuts say, "The Bieber is famous; who wouldn't want to see the Bieber!?" Maybe Tom Brady would love a visit from the Bieber, but not regular dudes.
2. Some woman, who looked like she smoked some crack before talking to the news reporter, had this incredible declaration:
"He's not a Catholic popes; he the people's popes."
Umm... "people's popes?" As in, he's multiple popes at once? How is that possible? Unless he can somehow divide himself into two like some weird amoeba, I don't think you're very accurate.
Oh, and yeah, he's a Catholic pope. Ignoring the plural, what the hell does a "People's pope" mean? If you're trying to insinuate that all people see him as their religious leader, then you're sadly mistaken. I highly doubt Jews, atheists and Muslims care about him very much. No. He's a Catholic pope. Not Catholic popes either; Catholic pope. He's not a damn amoeba.
3. This was the worst one of all. I mentioned it in one of my podcasts, but this woman had the following to say:
"I can't believe the Pope waved!"
Uhh... you can't believe he waved? Why? Did you believe that he was incapable of swaying his hand back and forth? Is that an impossible task for a religious leader? She might as well have just exclaimed, "I can't believe the Pope breathed oxygen!"
Seriously, why is this remarkable? I wish I had DVRed that news broadcast so I could look this woman up on Facebook and ask her what she meant. The Pope is a human being like the rest of us. He eats, drinks, sleeps, sh**s, watches TV, likes statuses on Facebook and downloads porn just like everyone else. And yes, he waves his hand and breathes oxygen, too. He's not some enigmatic alien entity sent here from a flying saucer to govern us. He was a normal dude who grew up and became very interested in religion, and then rose through the ranks of the Catholic Church, and was ultimately elected to be the leader of the organization. There is absolutely no reason to think that he couldn't possibly wave his hand or breathe oxygen.
I seriously have a headache right now trying to comprehend this level of stupidity. It should be clear to you by now that most Philadelphians are dumb. That, of course, includes the local government, which screwed up big time trying to organize the papal visit.
Our corrupt city government, led by the money-laundering Mayor Nutter Butter, came up with a brilliant plan: They decided to shut the entire city down upon the Pope's arrival. Thus, all places of business would be closed. Major roads would be so well blocked off that even the Onett police would be impressed. And for those who live in the city, they were completely screwed. Now, they did this to themselves by living amid cockroaches in such a horrible place, but the city of Philadelphia effectively told these people that they'd have to move their cars to make room for the Pope, and that they couldn't go anywhere during his visit. So, they fled their homes, with some even renting out their houses/apartments/holes in the ground for people who wanted to come see the Pope. This, however, led to numerous scams, prompting lots of people to get ripped off.
The only thing good to come out of this whole ordeal is that people who worked in or for the city had some days off. My girlfriend, for instance, works downtown at a law office, so she didn't have to come into work on that particular day. Not that she could, anyway. You see, riding the train during the papal visit wasn't allowed. SEPTA, a corrupt and incompetent organization that runs all the public transportation in Philly, began selling these things called Pope Passes. They expected to sell one million Pope Passes.
They ended up selling just 75,000. Whoops!
The problem was created by the city itself. By shutting the entire city down, people who went to see the Pope couldn't do anything else. No one could say, "Let's go see the Pope and then get a bite to eat or go to the Art Museum." They couldn't, because everything was closed. So, you could go downtown to either see the Pope and... uhh... see the Pope, or you could avoid that mess all together.
The smartest people stayed home. We didn't get to see the Pope wave or breathe, but we at least didn't have to deal with all the B.S.
Anyway, from what I heard, the whole thing was a disaster. People who went downtown in certain areas couldn't go anywhere because the police restricted their movements. Many of them didn't even get to see the Pope, and their entire day was ruined because they A) couldn't do anything else, or B) go home because SEPTA screwed up its train scheduling, as usual.
I don't feel sorry for these people, though. The local news channels broadcasted the papal visit on TV anyway, and chances are, watching it on TV gave everyone a better look at the Pope from what they saw in person.
My girlfriend and I caught the Pope telecast while sitting in some restaurant that Saturday night. We watched Urethra Franklin sing to the Pope, who appeared as though he was trying not to fall asleep. Mark Wahlberg then gave some sort of speech that we couldn't hear, though I did learn later that he finished it with a "Go Eagles!" at the end. The Pope probably thought Wahlberg meant "bald eagles," as in our national bird. It'd be funny if he visited New York or Washington and mimicked Wahlberg by chanting, "Go Eagles!" He'd be the first Pope to be booed by the masses.
Seeing Franklin and Wahlberg on TV made me wonder, what the hell was the Pope doing in Philly, anyway? Seriously, why did he come here? Downtown Philadelphia is disgusting. It's packed with bums, trash and hippie douche bags who hang out at Starbucks in our version of SoDoSoPa, Northern Liberties. The city officials did at least round up the bums and move them elsewhere, but still. I don't get why the Pope would ever want to visit this place. A friend of mine joked that he was in town for the local NAMBLA meeting. His joke; not mine, so don't yell at me.
I did listen to the news broadcast on clues for the reason why the Pope visited. The one thing I know he did was meet with some woman who was fired from a Catholic school for being in a same-sex marriage. I couldn't believe my ears. A religion that preaches acceptance attempting to ruin a person's life because their beliefs didn't match their own? How could this possibly happen!? God is the only one who can judge, from what I've heard, so people in that religion would never, ever hate on someone who didn't conform to their agenda. Not in a million years!
Nevertheless, if this happened to be the Pope's sole reason to visit, he could have just Skyped right after he finished downloading his daily porn (just like us other normal humans). And he could have Skyped in for whatever other meetings he was supposed to attend. And then he could have blessed Skype, or whatever else he does.
At any rate, we somehow all made it. The Pope came and went, and things are back to normal. Downtown is open for business, the hippie douches are back to spending tons of money at Starbucks, and you can ride the crappy train again without a Pope Pass.
Even the nightly news is back to its regular programming. I'm watching it right now, and three people were murdered tonight. Oh, and there's still no mention of Mrs. Johnson's cat. Poor Mittens.