Saturday, February 23, 2013

For the new pope, tell your cardinal to vote for Chuck Lorre (pass it on!)


Chuck 'n' Charlie: Not to worry -- given the current state of relations between them, it seems highly unlikely that Charlie would be popping in at the Vatican (with or without "goddesses") to visit Pope Chuck.

"[D]on't get me started on the demographic potential of a TV show entitled 'Pope Chuck, P.I.' (Kiss the ring, or get punched by it!)"
- from Chuck Lorre's vanity card (#409) proposing
himself as an "outside the box" candidate for pope

by Ken

I was turning over ideas to maybe kick off a weekly series of musings on TV tonight when I got derailed.

As to the TV musings, I haven't done much writing about TV lately, I think because I've been feeling less and less confident that what I'm looking at (let alone looking for) has any relevance to anybody else. I'm not sure why I should be the only person in the world who seems to pay attention to this factor, but it's made it tough.

But for tonight I had this idea of writing about the purge I just did on my DVR "Series Manager," finally freeing myself from shows I've stopped watching anyway and finally got tired of deleting every week. (It can be really tough with the cable shows, because if you delete one "scheduled recording," the device will attempt -- helpfully, it thinks -- to substitute another showing of the same damned episode, and will keep doing it as long as there are other showings to schedule-and-delete.) So I wouldn't be so much "reviewing" these shows as explaining the decision to sever those DVR ties.

Meanwhile, while I was turning these ideas over, I was watching this week's Big Bang Theory, reflecting that you could take any two minutes at random from the show's entire run to date and that would represent a vastly greater achievement in terms of creativity, character insight, human empathy, intellectual seriousness, and entertainment value than the entire bloated corpus of these HBO and Showtime shows I've finally flushed. And then came the vanity card came on, and I realized I had to stop the presses, or whatever the blog equivalent of stopping the presses is, to spread the word about this bold proposal from the show's runner.

I myself have made my own suggestion for a new pope: one of those pesky nuns who have been causing such agita to outgoing Pope Cardinal Ratguts and the rest of his cadre of deviant sociopathic Church overlords. Of course I have no standing in matters papal, but surely it has occurred to you faithful Catholics that neither do you! You're just going to let the old cardinals bicker and come up with some other repellent scumbag and you can all pretend that this dingbat too is infallible.

(I was delighted, by the way, to see that my idea of one of those pesky nuns for pope also occurred to E. J. Dionne Jr. Sorry I can't find a link, but that piece seemed to me at the time to disappear when E.J.'s studiously fair-minded appraisal of Ratguts appeared.)

Anyway, I think it's time for you Catholics to start kicking up a fuss to make sure your cardinal knows that you're an interested party. (That's assuming you have a cardinal. As I understand it, you aren't automatically entitled to one. You get a bishop and very likely arching over him an archbishop, you lucky devils, but only the pope can determine if and when your archbishop is entitled to a cardinal's beanie. You folks in the L.A. area, for example, are still having to make do with just an archbishop. He will no doubt be elevated by the next pope, since it's unimaginable that L.A. won't have a cardinal. But for now, remember that you still have a conclave-eligible cardinal in the person of your former "ecclesiastical prince," that douchebag Mahony. So e-mail him; I'm sure he'll be interested in your views, just as he always was.)

Now Chuck L may indeed be an, um, unexpected candidate for Bishop of Rome. But I can pretty well guarantee you that he's a better prospect than any of the slugs who'll be handicapped as potential candidates between now and the day the white smoke blows.


I'm a big believer in the old maxim, "If you don't ask, you don't get." With that in mind, I'd like to throw caution to the wind and ask the Vatican's College of Cardinals to consider me for the job opening that recently became available. Now, before you say anything, let me be the first to point out the many reasons "why not." I'm Jewish. I've never understood the hoopla over the Old Testament, with all the smiting and begetting. I'm a twice- divorced sitcom writer with a shady past. And perhaps most importantly, I look silly in a hat. No argument, the cons are plentiful. But let's take a moment to examine the pros. First, I am completely untouched by the abuse scandal that is currently engulfing the church. I can stand on the balcony that overlooks St. Peter's Square and say to the adoring masses, with a straight, albeit Semitic face, "Folks, I've never even met an altar boy." With me as your pontiff you buy yourself some serious deniability. Next, believe it or not, I happen to be a very spiritually inclined guy. I would love a job where my primary thrust was encouraging prayer, meditation and acts of loving kindness. (Although in the interest of full disclosure, we would have to negotiate some common sense middle ground for any other thrusting I might want to do. It'd be a shame to waste adoring masses as long as they consist entirely of consenting adults.) And finally, there's the issue of my name. How can a billion true believers not smile and breathe a sigh of relief when the white smoke coming from the chimney is to announce the investiture of Pope Chuck? Cardinals, I want to assure you that while my papacy is a little "outside the box," you can rest assured that I would passionately carry the good word to all the poor and the downtrodden, beginning with a holy visit to Saint-Tropez, or maybe the Bahamas or Turks & Caicos. And just think of the marketing opportunities! How is "Pope Chuck" not the name of the next Adam Sandler movie? What's to stop me from busting a move on the balcony and starting a dance craze called "Pope Chuckin'"? And don't get me started on the demographic potential of a TV show entitled "Pope Chuck, P.I." (Kiss the ring, or get punched by it!) Yes, this transition represents an incredible opportunity for the church to be reborn. And at the end of the day, isn't that the name of the game?

Are you going to tell me Chuck L wouldn't look better than Pope Cardinal Ratguts in this new-style pope hat? I'm not saying he'd look great in this monstrosity, but he could hardly help looking better, no?

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