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January 27, 1999

Random Thoughts

Here are some random thoughts of things that I have experienced over the past few days.

THE POPE'S VISIT TO THE UNITED STATES

I watched a lot of the coverage on EWTN of the Pope's first day in St. Louis. I was surprised at how rude the commentators were constantly giving their impressions of how sickly or feeble the Pope looked. It struck me as a bad skit on Saturday Night Live.

There was something very amateurish about it and kind of schoolboy in their commentary. Apart from that I felt sorry for the Pope as he had to endure what seemed like endless series of liturgical dance of young woman intermixed with young nuns (maybe they were all nuns though I couldn't tell).

I thought the Pope spoke well when he left his prepared text but seemed to slur when he read for any length of time. His message was the usual and it surprised me to watch the way the major networks covered his message on the news.

One example was the NBC's story, which focused entirely on the Pope's condemnation of the death penalty. What followed was a poll that found that 67% of American Catholics don't agree with that position (can you imagine the news reporting anything other than an anti authority position?). Next we were given three more people one an editor of a Catholic magazine, another someone who has lost a loved one to a murder and another your run of the mill Catholic. 100% of these Catholics disagreed with the Pope. Talk about Dead Man Walking why don't you?

Anyway one of the highlights of the coverage was President Clinton introducing the priest that the President said had taught him as a young man. The Pope spoke to this priest at length but I didn't' see him shake his finger at the priest.

THE IRL

The Indy Racing League is the main racing body of the cars that run the Indianapolis 500 now. They ran at Walt Disney Speedway last Sunday. I watched them practice last Friday for a couple of hours.

This series is doomed unless they attract some famous racers from another series. One driver Tony Stewart left the series last year to race full time in Winston Cup. There is something wrong when the series can't keep their stars but instead lose them to other series.

DAVID ALLAN COE

I saw David Allan Coe perform at the Citrus Festival on Friday night. This isn't the first time that I have seen Coe and in many ways it was like the others. He spent most of his time singing other people's songs.

He claimed at one point that he had written, "Are You Lonesome Tonight" and at another point "Please Come to Boston." I'm not sure if he was drunk or is suffering from Alzheimers. Anyway I have suggested via e-mail that he sing his own songs. He didn't like my suggestion very much.

WAKING NED DEVANE

I liked the message that I received from this movie which was basically that community triumphs over selfish individualism. Now I'm sure some people will get a more negative message but I think the one that I left the theater with is valid. A good movie it would help if you listen to some Irish people talk before you go in to see it so you can understand the first ten minutes.

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