Monday, February 11, 2013

On the Papal Resignation: Words of Comfort

...because what the world needs is another blogger posting her two cents. Still, here I am.

After the initial shock of this news resided, I looked back over papal/curial decisions in recent months and could see that some of these may well have been Papa Benny preparing for his own departure (for I am certain this decision was long-discerned).

And then I felt ashamed of my lack of virtue. My fear betrayed that my great love for and trust in the holy father laid not in the Vicar of Christ nor in the Holy Spirit but in Joseph Ratzinger. Surely this great man has been an inspiration to me personally, and has had great impact on my life, but ought I not to have more faith in the Holy Spirit Himself!? At the very least, should my unshakable faith in our dear Papa not extend to trusting his decisions?

I readily admit that the sorrow at the loss of such a wonderful pope has not sunk in yet at all. But it is natural to look to the future, and in this vein, I offer a few thoughts of comfort.

-The Church has had a possibly unprecedented string of holy (arguably saintly) popes in the past hundred years or so. This seems to be something that most Catholics value (save those who take it for granted).

-That doctrine your friends/family/co-workers are hoping will be changed with the next pope? No danger of that happening.

-You know that cardinal whose name people keep mentioning, but you think he'd be a terrible pope because of XYZ? You can be sure that other cardinals, who are paying much more attention to each other than you are, have noticed said character flaw (or whatever) in his person, even if your Catholic friends or well-known journalists don't. I wouldn't be too concerned.

And even if the next pope is a man whose election concerns you, perhaps you can take some comfort in this legend I heard in a lecture in grad school:

Back in the heyday of the Arian controversy, there was an influential queen who reeeeeally wanted Church teaching changed to the Arian position (because obviously her opinion was the correct one). So she schemed and whatnot, and sure enough, when the pope died, and her right-hand man, a prominent Arian bishop, was elected to be his successor. which time this devoted Arian pulled a complete 180 and supported the true doctrine of Jesus' divinity.

Pope St Celestine V, pray for us, for Pope Benedict, and for the man who will be our next pope.
Holy Spirit, increase my trust in you.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

On Super Bowl Commercials and Sexism

This is not meant to be a full-blown post. Just my two cents on a discussion that, this time, confuses me as much as it frustrates me.

This Audi commercial is one that I enjoyed, though not enough to rank it in my top ten yesterday:

The internets* are all incensed because of this commercial, which is apparently about a high schooler going up to a girl he doesn't know at all and forcing a kiss on her without her consent.

I don't know about you, but that's not the story I saw.

I saw a self-conscious kid who finally got up the guts to announce his feelings to the friend he's had a crush on for months (or years)... a kid to whom his new black eye doesn't matter at all, in the exhilaration of a long-awaited risk finally taken, and in the excited hope that it might have paid off.

And you know what? I'm okay with that message. Sure, I think a kiss is not the ideal way to open such a conversation, but he manned up and made his intentions known, leaving the decision in her hands. Some days, that sounds like a dream come true!

This video leaves a lot to be inferred, much of which reflects more on the viewer than the directors. For those particularly sensitive to misogyny, I can see how this could be upsetting. But I simply cannot believe that their read of the situation is the more plausible one.

*Or at least the corner of the internets that I've been inhabiting lately...

Monday, February 4, 2013

Top 10 Super Bowl Commercials

So... I've been failing miserably at my plan to blog... but as I usually enjoy the Super Bowl commercials as much as the game itself, I present to you a Special Edition! My favorites from last night's game. The best ones are, of course, at the bottom, so if you have a limited attention span, skip down to the really good ones rather than wasting your time on pretty good. :)

Most Honorable Mention: Gangnam style pistachios: Well executed, and smart, even if it wasn't one of my favorites. You know someone had to do it.

10. - I'll be honest, half of why I'm listing this is because it was a clever commercial in and of itself, but half (or more) is because GoDaddy actually managed to produce a non-smutty commercial. I think that actually deserves some appreciation in light of their history.

9. BlackBerry could use the product makeover, and the good press. As a former BlackBerry user, I appreciate this commercial, and wish them the best of luck with their new product.

8. Mercedes's Deal with the Devil idea well cleverly executed, down to the actual Latin on the contract!

7. This pair of Century 21 ads had great potential to be stupid and annoying; I was rather surprised to find them entertaining!

6. The ending just makes this Tide commercial. All's fair in love and sports, eh?

5. Continuing on the theme of sports fan commercials, these Bud Light ones tied in the New Orleans voodoo tradition. While I don't recommend the practice of voodoo, I know just enough crazy sports fans to see that these are pretty spot on!

4. I can't even remember the last time I saw a Milk Moustache commercial! This was fun.

3. An M&M singing Meatloaf, with pictures to match. Keepin' it classy, M&M.

2. Oreo Whisper Fight! Remember how everyone listened to the librarian when she shushed us as kids? Well played, Oreo.

1. But the favorite? Taco Bell! A great idea, well executed, and memorable (even if perhaps more memorable for elements other than product placement).

Bonus! This one technically didn't count as a commercial, since it was just a CBS spot, but my family enjoyed it. Sadly, the image preview spoils the surprise, but it was still well done.

In case you have desire to see more, I also give honorable mentions to Audi, Sketchers, Best Buy, Axe, Pepsi Next, Kia, ToyotaVolkswagen, and Hyundai.

Hope y'all had a fun Super Bowl Sunday (even if you spent it avoiding the game itself)! Back soon, I promise...
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