Friday, 10 September 2010

In Which We Decide Whether We Are Fans Of The Pope's Visit, Or Not

So the Pope is coming in a few days time, and the nation is split in 3 - the 'fors', the 'againsts', and the 'mehs', the latter being by far the largest group.  The Masses are organised, the list of Things You May Bring To The Mass compiled, the shelves stocked with tat (won't someone please buy me a popener?), and the Saints-to-be are waiting expectantly in their graves.  Or Purgatory, if that turns out to be true.

It only remains for WhyNotSmile to decide which camp to join, and to set the tone for any coverage which may or may not happen here on the blog.

Clearly we're not going to decide to be 'meh'.  We will plump for one side or the other, perhaps at random, but vociferously and enthusiastically.  To remove some of the randomness, we will attempt a cost-benefit analysis of the visit, and use this to determine whether we're big fans of the 'Vicar of Christ', 'Servant of the Servants of God' and 'Patriarch of the West' (those are all titles for the Pope, by the way; we haven't suddenly changed topics), or strongly opposed to the arrival of 'The Antichrist'.

Apparently this whole thing is costing British taxpayers somewhere between £8 million and £12 million (between them all, obviously, not each, although based on some of the reactions, you'd wonder).  It's quite hard to get an actual figure, but as far as I can tell, it works out at about 50p each.  It amounts, in other words, to a couple of Curly Wurlys.
Now, for the purposes of this analysis, we are going to assume that WhyNotSmile is a taxpayer (ha), so the question becomes, do the benefits of the Papal visit outweigh the joy of 2 Curly Wurlys?  Because Curly Wurlys are extremely nice, and I don't want to deprive myself without good cause.

So what do I get for my Curly Wurlys?

1. Some waving from the popemobile.  Probably quite a lot of waving, although not waving at me.
2. The joy of new tat.  We have previously discussed the vast contribution made by the Catholic Church to the global supply of religious tat, and the visit of the Pope does not disappoint in this respect.  If you did not check out the link above, please do so now.  It's ok.  We'll wait.
3. It really, really fecks off Richard Dawkins.  It's not hard to feck off Dicky D., of course, but the Pope's visit is a source of particularly pleasing shows of frenzy, and for this we are truly thankful.  This point alone is worth at least one and a half of the Curly Wurlys.
4. Something on TV that isn't Friends.  Because, believe it or not, we're still watching Friends, here at Smile Towers.  Even though we have the box set, and we can watch that without adverts, we are still paying £140 per year to watch it on tv, with adverts.  But next week we can watch the Pope instead.  Not that we will, I'm guessing.

So I think, on balance, that we are going to opt for being Big Fans of the Pope's visit, and we will discuss it further as events unfold.


Virtual Methodist said...

Deeply insightful as ever... But sadly the cost-benefit analysis based upon curly-wurly's passed this diabetic by... And anyway, curly-wurly's ain't what they used to be... which might also be said re the general interest in Papal visits, or indeed anything to do with any church!

Jonathan said...

Hmm... If it was only a packet of cheese and onion crisps each, I'd have no problem. But two Curly Wurlys? One, certainly. But two? Really? Much to ponder ;)