Saturday, March 12, 2016

Your Holiness, Your Movie Sucks

Today the Bear reviews the long-awaited Pope Video 3. It is an initiative of the Pope's Worldwide Prayer Network and produced by the La Machi Communications Agency, with offices in Barcelona, Rome and Buenos Aires.

Clients of La Machi include Aleiteia, a slick website that is heavy on video and features blogs by Patheos fixtures Deacon Greg Kandra and Simcha Fisher. It also serves the Argentinian Embassy in Rome, as well as various Catholic organizations. Interestingly, "Energía Distribución" in Argentina is on the client list. Argentina is not exactly a leader when it comes to the environment. It is addicted to dirty oil and gas. Clean, renewable energy is a non-starter. 4.3% of all deforestation in the world takes place in Argentina. Just a fun counterpoint to Pope Video 2, which was about how people are messing up the planet.

But you'll want to know what the Bear thinks of Pope Video 3 -- Rabbits Redux. Insidious, un-Catholic. Damnable. In its own way, this sweet little dram of poison may be the worst yet.

The Catholic Ideal -- the 1.8 Child Family

The most obvious feature of Pope Video 3 is that it not so subtly promotes "responsible" procreation. With two exceptions, there are never more than two siblings shown. (There is one picture of an alien family that might have several little podlings, but the Bear isn't sure. The Bear hopes the child who drew that gets counseling.)

It begins with the now-familiar montage featuring different races, this time of happy children. The soaring soundtrack is recycled from the last video.

Film critic interruption. With the exception of the carefully-lit and reliable star, Pope Francis, who slathers on sincerity like Elmer Gantry, this video looks like it was phoned in. Recycled production music, over-reliance on montages and tropes make Pope Video 3 look like Pope Video 1 and 2. Throw away the template, guys, because you've run it into the ground. Get some new writers and maybe bring in J.J. Abrams to save the franchise, like he did for Star Wars. 

Pope Francis, looking directly into the camera, says that the family is one of  humanity's most precious assets. (Somewhere behind polar bears and wind farms, the Bear supposes.)

But things quickly go sour.

Lipstick Girl, Backpack Boy, and Their Possessed Mother

A little girl, apparently well-cared for, not to forget the disturbingly heavy application of lipstick, nonetheless sits outside the door of her apartment. From within, we hear sounds of weeping and banging. It might be poltergeist activity, or someone in heroin withdrawal. Maybe demonic possession. But the Bear supposes we are to assume daddy is beating mommy. Whatever it is, the little girl seems used to it. Her (presumably only) sibling comes home from school. (Too bad there's no husky teenage son to deck his abusive father. He was contracepted 16 years ago.)

The Pope returns to observe that when families don't have enough money to take vacations to Aruba, it causes daddy to beat mommy. Actually, the Pope says the children are sad. Indeed, we see tiny hands of lipstick girl and backpack brother drawing a picture of two children apparently running away from home, which is in the distance.

Cue the Pope: my prayer intention is that families in need receive the necessary support and that children grow up in a peaceful environment.

There follows a rapid montage of children's drawings from all over the world, showing their ideal one or two-child families, although there are, the Bear thinks, a couple of three-child families shown.

Rabbits Redux

There's nothing wrong with the intention, of course. But once again we have a video that not-so subtly pushes an agenda that has nothing to do with the intention, or Catholicism. The norm for the responsible Catholic family should be one or two children. We are subjected to a criminal misrepresentation of Catholicism by whoever is behind these Pope Videos.

And, by the way, if you have more than two kids, Pope Francis has this to say to you: "You suck."

Of course, Pope Francis famously said Catholic should not breed like rabbits. As the Bear just had occasion to observe, Pope Francis likes one baby for a cute photo op, but as an eco-leftist, he actually hates babies, with their little carbon footprints.

Winking at Contraception

Your Holiness, how do you imagine Catholics managing these 1.8 child families? It's not going to be NFP. You are winking at contraception in this abominable video. The Bear calls you out on this with a loud roar. (If you are not familiar with ursine customs, you must respond in similar fashion, after which, we will grapple each other's jawbones until one emerges the victor. Non-response is an admission of the allegations, and forfeiture of your position to the Bear.)

Mary Hasson, a fellow at the Ethics and Public Policy Center, reacted to a 2013 NCHS study that found the Total Fertility Rate in America was 1.87. See the immediately preceding article for a detailed discussion of TFRs and what they mean, but a TFR of 2.1 children per woman is necessary just to replace a population. No country has ever recovered from a TFR lower than 1.80. In other words, Americans are a dying breed.

"Our culture sees children through a warped lens," Hasson said, "where children represent loss and burden -- lost 'freedom,' lost privacy, lost wages, lost opportunities to travel, independence, even sex." According to Hasson, sex is disjointed from procreation. We are facing a "triple whammy" of "my pleasure, my timing, my choice."

In other words, we have a culture of pure selfishness.

And Pope Francis, with his devotion to the progressive agenda of Ban Ki-Moon, is pushing it on the Church.

Your Holiness, Your Movie Sucks

Finally, this deserves Roger Ebert's greatest line ever. After a reporter for the LA Times panned Deuce Bigelow: Male Gigolo, actor Rob Schneider took out ads alleging that the reporter had never won a single award. Enter Roger Ebert.

"As chance would have it, I have won the Pulitzer Prize, and so I am qualified. Speaking in my official capacity as a Pulitzer Prize winner, Mr. Schneider, your movie sucks."

Speaking in my official capacity as the world's only Catholic Bear ephemerist, who was the personal friend of Pope St. Gregory III: your Holiness, your movie sucks.

Now go here for the Pope Video 3 parody, quick before the Pope makes him take it down.


  1. THE

    The Bishop of Rome
    He lives not at home
    I’m sorry
    I have to say

    He’s here and he’s there
    He’s up in the air
    Flying this
    And that way

    He gets on the phone
    Waits for dial tone
    To comfort a man
    In his sins

    But mothers of seven
    Who put faith in Heaven
    “Don’t breed like a rabbit”
    He grins

    And how the boys chuckle
    And how the girls laugh
    And gender-benders
    Can trust this man’s staff

    But only the mothers,
    The big family breed,
    Deserve condescension…
    They believe in the Creed!

    1. LS, You captured both the absurdity and the sadness of this Pope' s tenure.

  2. Good one, LS. It made me laugh at first, but at the end, not so much.

  3. So according to the Pope, we can solve domestic violence by giving the family more money so that daddy won't be compelled to beat mommy. This is a nice try at subtlely endorsing Marxist redistribution of wealth. No, the solution is called "law enforcement" to lock daddy's a-- up in the slammer until he can be prosecuted. Even little lipstick girl or backpack boy could do the right thing and call 911 to save their mommy. But maybe that's not how it's done in Argentina. Really, these videos are all condescending, un-Christian, and attempt to induce undeserving guilt in the viewers. I know it's Lent, but this penance is really too severe

  4. Great analysis. I missed the obvious thing about there only being two children.

  5. Possessed mother? LOL!!

    One of your best!!

    Seattle kim

  6. Oh my! Where to begin? My first reaction was, in a word, vapid. But it is so much more than just shallow and simplistic. It is wrong! The family is vulnerable, yes. Because of the real problems we are not addressing: artificial contraception, abortion, divorce, co-habitation, samesex 'marriage,' legitimizing adoptions to homosexuals, surrogacy, IVF, pornography, infidelity...these are real problems and real sins. Are the serious problems families face today money and illness? These are age old problems and will never be eliminated. We call them facts of life- life on life's terms.
    This is why families are sad? Really? Does being poor mean a life of sadness? Should families not have to face difficulties? Is this a horrible injustice? Jesus was poor. Mary & Joseph were poor.
    Families MUST have enough money to not be sad! They must not have health problems or difficulties! Support families.

    1. = nanny state transfer of wealth + Obamacare

      My father and mother and everyone they knew, likewise grandmother and grandfather and everyone they knew were dirt-poor coal miners. When the strike was called every year, they would have a big garden and fish to put food on the table.

      I had a great-grandmother who had a cat that would drag in squirrels and rabbits.

      They were far happier than most people are today.

    2. That makes sense. For this pope, being poor is the best thing in the world and the worst thing in the world. Come to think of it, that's sort of the Marxist view.

  7. The "intention" was good, the video BAD bad bad worse than bad.


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