It’s bad enough that it’s Monday, but after what happened at the Vatican on Sunday, I’m feeling especially blue on this Monday.
You’ve probably seen the pictures and/or the video: Pope Francis punctuated his plea for peace in the restive Ukraine by having two youngsters release a pair of snow-white doves from a window overlooking St. Peter’s Square.
Unfortunately, what came next was straight out of “Mars Attacks!”
First, a crow attacked one of the doves. Then, a seagull took after the other one. Feathers flew. One of the doves apparently escaped. The other? Uh, maybe not.
Now, I’m not much on tea leaves and tarot cards, but as a Groundhog Day-type omen, I have to say that when it comes to prospects for peace in Ukraine, expect six more weeks of well, not winter perhaps but, uh, darkness?
Still, if you want a scientific explanation for the incident, head on over to National Geographic’s website, where writer Mel White explains that the crow and the gull were really just doing what comes naturally: Trying to kill and eat something tasty. And that is what prompted some animal rights groups Monday to ask the pope to quit releasing doves, saying it was akin to a death sentence — kind of a Daniel Dove in the Crow/Gull Lion’s Den, if you will.
Which, frankly, strikes me as an excellent idea. Because it seems to me we have enough signs of the apocalypse these days without creating ones.
I mean, do you really think it’s coincidence that the day after the attack on the doves, reports surfaced that the NSA is using the smartphone app Angry Birds, among others, to snoop on users’ age, sex, location and even sexual preferences?
And how about the fact that hundreds of passengers on a Royal Caribbean cruise ship have been taken ill? Or that Quentin Tarantino is suing Gawker Media and its Defamer website for leaking a copy of his script for the movie “The Hard Eight”? Or that there’s a ghost ship sailing the seas filled with cannibalistic rats?
That’s right. Might be time to bone up on that Bible: The Rapture may be closer than I thought.
Still, there was at least one news story Monday that gave me pause in my doomsday musings: Stephen Glass, the infamous journalist who was drummed out of the profession for being a chronic liar and serial fabricator of stories, lost his bid to get a license to practice law in California. Here’s what the Supreme Court had to say:
“What is at stake is not compassion for Glass, who wishes to advance from being a supervised law clerk to enjoying a license to engage in the practice of law on an independent basis. Given our duty to protect the public and maintain the integrity and high standards of the profession, our focus is on the applicant's moral fitness to practice law .….
“[Glass has failed to] establish that he engaged in truly exemplary conduct over an extended period. We conclude that on this record he has not sustained his heavy burden of demonstrating rehabilitation and fitness for the practice of law.”
See? Miracles can happen.
But not often enough. So, just in case, Pope Francis, no more feeding birds to the birds of St. Peter’s, OK?
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