Archive for April 3rd, 2005

This Week’s Obituaries and Interesting Coincidences

Apr 03, 2005 in Current Events

It seems that this past week has been filled with one surprising (or not-so-surprising) death after another. As you all know, the Pope died yesterday. As his health declined this past week, he was put on a feeding tube — in an ironic contrast to Terri Schiavo, whose Catholic parents were fighting to get hers put back in. Both, of course, died within days of each other. Coincidence, or omen?

I picked up the Saturday Tennessean with the headline “Faithful Resigned to Pope’s Death,” and thought “You’d think he’d died already or something.” I got home and shortly realized that he had died within the hour.

Although I’m not a Catholic, I have to say that Pope John Paul II was probably about as progressive as a pope could possibly be. I thought it was very classy the way he apologized for the historical mistakes and atrocities of the Church over the years, such as the Holy Crusades and the Inquisition. It’s obvious that he’s made great efforts to try and bridge religious and political gaps during his papacy.

In any case, he was certainly a great and important man, and will be sorely missed by many. I can’t help but think, cynically, that the Pope’s passing at least pushed the Schiavo death off of the news. ‘Tis better to remember a great man than to milk that tragedy any longer.

The big point of discussion right now is, of course, who will be the next pope? The choice right now seems to be between an Italian or a non-Italian pope. I think if the church really wants to be progressive, they’ll appoint a South American pope of Hispanic origin. South Americans have been Catholic from the time of the conquistadors, and since they comprise a large percentage of the Church, it would be fitting to appoint one as pontiff.

In other semi-related news, Guitar Wolf bassist Hideaki Sekiguchi died this past Thursday from a heart attack at the age of 38, a week to the day that a Nashville crowd (including moi) watched him violently and thoroughly smash his bass guitar against the Exit/In’s concrete stage. (I thought that was an interesting coincidence too)

And let’s not forget comedian Mitch Hedburg, who also died of heart failure at the age of 37, most likely of a congenital heart defect. I’m not too familiar with his work, but it’s worth a mention. All this talk of dying young makes me think that I should take better care of myself.