Pope Sixtus Will Not Lie To You

Unlike the Sardine, I will not be shy writing about topical issues. I dove into the Cosby cesspool a few months ago. Hell, I might talk about politics eventually.

(“Who’s Cosby?” A voice echoes from the Grand Canyon of Celebrity History.)

Wait! Wasn’t that “echo” thing tried in the previous Sardine blog? Am I supposed to acknowledge or comment on what is essentially a plagiarizing of my colleague’s literary device?

(                                             )

The parenthetical dead space is what was said to me by a “higher authority” and I am not permitted to repeat it.

In any case, I didn’t need to be reminded that Cosby I no longer a hot item, though a few more accusers have come forward. Apparently, these women haven’t stopped the Coz from appearing in public. He’s either the gutsiest or most deluded man on the planet. I wouldn’t mind being privy to the lies he’s telling himself. For example:

“They should feel privileged that I turned my attentions to them.” Or:

“I didn’t force them to come to my apartment or home.” Or:

“Who got hurt, really?”   Or, especially:

“I’m the real victim in this entire thing. Those women are trying to destroy one of the greatest legacies that an African-American has created.”

Bill gets further wrapped in his ego after each accusation, now near thirty. This will be his legacy. Bill Buckner only needed one error to destroy the memory of his baseball career. And, occasionally, just when you think you’ve overcome the naysayers, perhaps by constructing a chapel that becomes an enclave for Western Art’s greatest masterpiece, historians will unearth every damn thing you’ve done wrong.

It’s not easy, either, to find subjects to pontificate on. I’m ready to give Brian Williams advice about lying to the public when his story goes cold because the anti-journalist Bill O’Reilly was found out to be an exaggerator. I guess it depends on who you work for. Fox News seems to care about ethical standards like the Mafia: first, “stars” like O’Reilly must be rallied around and defended at all costs (slander the accusers); second, the internal values of Fox News are not available for public scrutiny; and third, if you don’t like it, screw you. My kind of people.

Thank God I didn’t have to deal with journalists in the 15th century. A Pope had a license to lie. Catholics believed I could never be dishonest, immoral, or a liar. Just what the audience of Fox News believes about O’Reilly and the rest of that right-wing brood.

The real difference between the Williams and O’Reilly brou-ha-has is that Williams is being punished for being a celebrity when he should have stuck to journalism, whereas O’Reilly is untouched because he’s a pure celebrity. His non-celebrity past is irrelevant. Williams tried to be serious and celebrated simultaneously. His one mis-step revealed many other flimsy stories – funny how these other tall tales never mattered. Supposedly, Williams was angling for an entertainment gig like The Tonight Show. Had he crossed over into the Entertainment Promise Land, established himself in the land of milarky and money, Williams could have said that he parted the Red Sea.

I just don’t get it.

What is it with Americans? They don’t like to be lied to.

They go after politicians not when they’ve done something egregious but when they lie about the egregious act. Isn’t it simple good sense that you want to hide what you’ve done wrong? Was I going to admit, at the time, that I had wanted the Medici brothers dead and put an assassination plan into action?

The same Americans who can’t stand liars also listen religiously to all forms of huckstering (Deepak Chopra and Tony Robbins) and advertising (synonym for lying), not to mention propaganda (your favorite news programs, local and national). They eagerly list their favorite Super Bowl commercials, never failing to like horses and babies selling them something useless.

Manipulating and confusing the public is not considered lying. What can be expected from a nation that believed (and some may still believe) that their first President never told a lie.

I’m not saying the Church and its popes have been above this mentality, but we opposed the capitalist idea (by not allowing banks to charge interest) for over a millennia, which should make up a bit for our bad behavior.

This blog is my way of ‘making up’ to a public that has judged me guilty of being a bad pope. I cannot lie to you here. I may not be allowed to, but I really don’t want to. I’m even refraining from selling you anything, except for the occasional book that a certain author has written.