Monday, April 21, 2008
No Pope here
London, ON, April 2008 [Click to embiggen]
When you live in a smaller city, you accept that certain things will never happen where you live. You will not have a major league baseball team. Instead, you will have a succession of semi-pro clubs playing, virtually ignored, in really old and quaint riverside ballyard. Similarly, you will not attract Tier A musicians and bands. Instead, they will play your town 25 years after they were considered Tier A. Your mother will still think they're cool.
In a similar vein, the Pope won't be visiting here. Not that I'm terribly broken up about it, since to the best of my knowledge I've never been a Catholic. But it would have been cool to see him cruising down the hastily cleaned-up main drag in his popemobile, waving at the masses in ways that no rock star ever could.
The closest we've come to a papal brush with fame was when Pope Benedict's predecessor, John Paul II, came to Toronto in 2002. He left hundreds of thousands of happy people in his wake, as well as a few dozen businesses covered in raw sewage after inadequate maintenance on the site of the mass rally caused a huge, um, backup.
So as I walked past this large and lovely downtown church a few weeks back, I took a picture of it. I thought that Pope Benedict, despite the mathematically remote possibility of him ever setting foot in this building, would appreciate this oblique view of the brickwork.
Anyone have his e-mail address?
Your turn: Organized religion. Pro or con. Please discuss.
One more thing: I'm not much of a sports fan - I'd rather participate than watch - but while growing up in Montreal, I was privileged to be at the shrine of hockey, the Forum, many times to watch the Canadiens in action. After moving to London, I was forced to endure the catcalls of Ontarians who, upon learning of my hometown, lambasted me for not being a true blue Toronto Maple Leafs fan. Sorry, I just can't do it. Maybe when they win something for a change (nah!) But I digress: the Habs just won their first-round playoff series against the Boston Bruins in the do-or-die seventh game. It's kinda neat to see a city rally behind its team, even when you now live eight hours away. I guess I really am a fan when the team transcends the usually shallow world of mere sports.
Sorry, Toronto, maybe next lifetime.