Monday, September 18, 2006

Big Mouth

PopeBenedictI does it again.
Do I really want to comment on the latest "Papal Bull"?
It is not like Joseph Ratzinger has common sense. He knew what he was saying. You can tap-dance around and say he was quoting some medieval cleric, but that doesn't make it right.
It is not like the world of Islam is not overly sensitive. This is a largely illiterate people, led by unscrupulous clerics who like to get their people fired up. As if World War W is not enough, or the rape of the Palestinian people.
Christopher Hitchens (bless his heart) has a good essay on this sorry affair in slate. The Muslims and the Pope equally disgust him, as well they should. Mr. Hitchens seems to specialize in saying tacky things upon the demise of much loved celebrities, like Princess Diana and Mother Theresa. Maybe Mr. Ratzinger will give him an opportunity in this direction soon. ( It should be noted that The Pope lacks the fashion sense of both the Princess and Mother Theresa)

Translation Loss. David Warren has a few words, focusing on the role of the BBC in this putrid spectacle. Apparently, the BBC spread the word about an obscure speech in Germany all over the "arab street".
Given the academic nature of the Pope's remarks, and the ease with which he can be taken out of context, one can only wonder how this came out in Arabic, Farsi, Turkish, Urdu, and other languages. Could it be that the remarks sounded harsher than they really were in these other tongues? And how skillfully were they translated?
And the “apology”! It was just as slippery as the original statement. Is it any wonder things are worse now than before Pope Benedict I opened his big mouth?
There is a reason why they call these things "Papal Bull"


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