Il Papa Got a Brand-New Bag (and it’s not Gucci)…

popeEven if you’re not Catholic, it’s hard not to enjoy the Pope’s current visit to the good ol’ USA, home of Original Sin, the more original the better. The fact that we don’t even know that speaks volumes. The fact that the most righteous church-goers are the worst offenders speaks even louder. After all, our national ‘tude is the least holy of all the developed countries, and most of the undeveloped ones, too…

On the one hand we shoot up happiness into the main vein, like something from the corner drug store, available in pill form or capsule, cherry-flavored or chocolate surprise, the “pursuit of happiness” enshrined in our national Constitution, while the lesser happiness of pursuit goes unnoticed, the striving and the challenge inherent to survival superior in every way to the actual engorgement of carbohydrates and hydrocarbons into systems limited by design…

And on the other hand we’re stingy, niggardly and hateful, not only begrudging our poor a loaf of bread, but insulting them in the process, implying to their faces that they must be lazy or drug-addicted, when in fact the problem for the majority is that they’re saddled with more children than they can afford to support, dad got lost on the way to the oil-fields and who knows what happened to Grand-dad’s best intentions, and now Planned Parenthood is in danger of de-funding…

So we’ll bomb the rest of the world into a qualified submission, treaties of convenience, while insisting that they ‘change their ways’, assuming that ours are not only better but divinely ordained. God is on our side, because he told us so in perfect English slang, with no need for translators or middlemen, God available with free samples at the local Wal-Mart on Fridays…

So life in America is based on the amusement park model, roller-coasters and Tilt-a-Whirls and wide-open-mouthed smiles in exclamation of thrills and excitement and all-you-can-eat buffets at the suburban mall with ample free parking, our national pride and joy, one-stop-shopping and the credit card with no limit…

This level of inconspicuous consumption is so ingrained that it goes almost unnoticed. So when the liberal commentators on my favorite NPR radio station opine that maybe the Pope went too far in attacking consumption in general, when the liberal script calls only for fossil-fuel and carbon-footprint addendums to current anti-pollution laws, they’re missing the point. Gluttony is one of the Seven Deadly Sins! That’s Il Papa’s job, to expose sin where he sees it… remember?

But not even liberals are willing to go so far as to kill growth, or even limit its exponential expansion, at least not willingly. That’s anti-capitalist, and that’s anti-American. Of course, unwillingly, when they oppose the TPT ‘Pacific Trade Deal’, then they’re accomplishing the same thing, and that’s really the only way to reverse global warming, to save the planet, is to limit growth, incrementally to zero and below, ASAP, from what I can see, change the definition of ‘full employment’ to mean the access to garden space; i.e. if you’ve got a garden, then you’ve got a job, and food, and reason to get up every morning…

But the best part of the Pope’s visit, whose significance was lost on no one, I feel sure, was the Pope’s dinner with the homeless, rather than hang around and chew fat with our self-appointed money-elected ‘representatives’ in Congress, that even after a standing ovation and John Boehner’s self-inflicted auto-da-fe, in mind if not yet in fact. “The Son of God came into this world as a homeless person,” el Papa dijo a los desamparados. Amen.

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