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February 13, 2013

Eastwood and the Pope Make My Day

Pope empty chair
Oh my gosh, this photo from Reuter’s social media gallery is hilarious. Being the first Pontiff to abdicate in forever, Reuters (surely with Eastwood in mind) hits the Pope with the empty chair.

Here’s the preceding shot.

(photo: Stefano Rellandini/Reuters caption: An empty papal throne lies in the Vatican’s Paul VI hall before Pope Benedict XVI’s Wednesday general audience February 13, 2013. Cardinals around the world began informal contacts to discuss who should next lead the Church through a period of major crisis and the Vatican said it planned a big send-off for Pope Benedict before he becomes the first pontiff in centuries to resign.)

  • GeorgeMokray

    And then there’s Daniel Day Lewis and his chair riff at the BAFTA awards:

  • black_dog_barking

    An empty chair, in context perhaps a 21st century update of Milton’s “blind mouths!” rail against 17th century clergy. Or a sly reference to the Holy Spirit if one is inclined to an old fashioned Christian outlook.

    For me this scrutiny of the aesthetic contained in a simple and very useful every day item brought a reminder of the Broken Chair, a monument to the victims of the scourge of landmines that we inflicted on ourselves in the last half of the last century.

    And, obliquely, the Marcel Duchamps sculpture. I’m thinking a Dada-ist would have no trouble appreciating this bit of news photography.

  • Michael Shaw

    But then, maybe there is a Poppa Bear/Baby Bear ring to this? That somebody needs to fill the big one because Ratz (in shadow of John Paul) never did.

  • Cactus

    My mind went to the big chair being the pope, with the
    small chair being his invisible past which he must carry with him wherever he
    goes. That past, in his ’service’ to the former pope as archbishop where he was
    specifically in charge of the ‘handling’ of the child sex abuses and scandal.
    In fact, he sent letters to bishops prohibiting them from reporting the rapes or
    in any way cooperating with civil authorities. Since he didn’t take steps to
    stop the abuse, that empty chair will always be with him. Indeed, his own chair
    is empty because — as pope — he continued to obfuscate, shuffle and outright
    lie about that very scandal, which should have been his #1 priority. On the
    trickle-down angle, this entire mess has a depressing effect on the entire body
    of catholics.

  • acm

    I dunno — I’m honestly not sure you need Eastwood at all to make this an interesting picture. That is, the noticeably large chair (next to a smalller one for scale), with mic, empty. “Large shoes to fill” sort of thing, with a pontifical throne overtone. That’s how I read it.

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