“Oh I feel for you my child and, I’d like you help you . . . ahem.” – Rev. Lovejoy
There was some hubbub over the long holiday weekend because L’Osservatore Romano, an official Vatican newspaper, said some nice things about The Simpsons. This doesn’t particularly surprise me, Zombie Simpsons has become so institutionalized that even the world’s oldest surviving organization no longer finds it threatening. That kind of approval is a pretty damning indictment for a program that found its original popularity in an explicitly anti-authority message.
But I was curious as to what exactly the Catholic Church found praiseworthy and so I tried to find the original article. It wasn’t on the hilariously primitive (and incomplete) official website, but there was an e-mail link to request articles. So I wrote a very polite and friendly e-mail requesting either the text of the article or just a link to where the text was found. I figured that they had it easily available and would probably send it to me and that I’d have to say something nice about the Catholic Church for a change. My cynicism doesn’t fail me very often, but I do enjoy it when it does.
Instead of the article or a link I received . . . an order form – literally. The e-mail I got back told me that the article in question was only published in Italian, but if I would like a copy I could have one for the low price of just eight Euros (Visa and MasterCard most definitely accepted). Setting aside the fact that they want to charge me eight Euros for an article in a language I don’t read, there’s the bigger rip off of asking eight Euros for a copy and paste job. It’s not like some hooded figure will have to descend into the archives by torchlight to retrieve this, it was published (electronically!) a week ago. Pointing me to the article would’ve taken the exact same amount of time as copying and pasting the order form. And they’re not asking for some trivial amount of money either, eight Euros is half a week’s earnings for half of humanity.
I don’t care in the least whether or not anyone wants to believe in a higher power, but organized religion is humanity’s longest running scam and they give themselves away through sheer pettiness.