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.
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.