For my money, the story of the day is the discovery of Richard III’s corpse under a parking lot in Leicester, England. That the rudely stamped king, whose (literary) last words are among the most famous in Shakespeare’s canon — “A horse! A horse! My kingdom for a horse!” — should end up with thousands of their modern equivalents parked on his bones for years upon years? That’s what you call irony.
I’m the least-sensitive person in the world when it comes to human remains. Treat them with respect, surely. Treat them according to the wishes of the deceased and survivors, yes. But if someone wants to be carved up for dog food? No problemo, dude — once the lights go out, we’re mainly a waste-disposal problem. But I hope Richard III gets a comfortable place with a proper marker. He got one of the great plays, and I’ve always counted him among the top two or three villains on my bookshelves.
I’m watching Alex Gibney’s latest film, which debuted on HBO Monday night — “Mea Maxima Culpa: Silence in the House of God.” It’s about priestly sex abuse, of course, a story that no matter how many times it’s told, only becomes more awful to hear. The crux of this narrative is about a long-time abuser at a residential school for the deaf in Wisconsin, and the details are both uniquely horrible and entirely, depressingly familiar — the church’s dithering and inaction that allowed offenders to operate for years. One of the many villains is the Pope himself, whose office handled all these cases and, again, did little to punish, deliver to secular justice, or even take seriously many of them.
A worldwide, decades-long criminal conspiracy. That will never be punished.
While we’re tearing down the once-elevated, let’s finish with this snarky riposte to that Paul Harvey “so God made a farmer” commercial at the Super Bowl:
God said, “I need somebody willing to get up before dawn and call his state senator to complain about expensive new slurry pit legislation, spend all day with his ag lobby board strategizing about more laws against private raw milk sales, take that state senator out for steak and wine at dinner, and then go to town and stay past midnight at a meeting of the school board at the school he wants to eliminate with a voucher program.” So God made a farmer.
Oh, and you Beyoncé haters out there? Silence! She was fierce. One of my Facebook network was whining about how the rich cultural tradition of New Orleans was ignored, blah blah blah. I say, you want a show? Hire a show woman. And we got ourselves a show, even though the singing was a little breathy. Eh, happens.
Tuesday. This week is feeling long already.