Tuesday, April 19, 2005

when catholic geeks go bad

Rogers Cadenhead has, for reasons that Are Not Clear To Me, bought the new pope's domain name, BenedictXVI.com. Weeks ago.

When a candidate receives at least 77 votes, a two-thirds majority of cardinals, he'll be asked, "do you accept your canonical election as supreme pontiff?" If he replies "accepto," he becomes the pope and can immediately choose a new name.

As I understand the process, he can select anything -- Pope P. Diddy I, Pope Atrios I, and Pope Jurassic Park IV are not out of the question -- or simply keep his own first name. But for 15 centuries the new pope, like rappers, bloggers, and actors, has adopted a nom de pontiff.

In most cases, the name is chosen to give props to a past pope, as John Paul II did for John Paul I.

My money's on one of these six names:
  • Benedict XVI
  • Clement XV
  • Innocent XIV
  • Leo XIV
  • Paul VII
  • Pius XIII

I mean this literally. I registered all six of these as dot-com domain names earlier this month...

The Irish betting site Paddy Power has Benedict as a 3-to-1 favorite, trailed by John Paul at 4-to-1, Pius at 6-to-1, and Peter at 8-to-1.

Update: A few news reports suggest that I might have popesquatted BenedictXVI.Com to sell it to pornographers. For the love of God, people, that's not going to happen.

I think the new pope missed out on some major marketing opportunities here, given the timing: imagine the boost to both Catholicism and geekdom that would have arisen had he chosen the name Pope Star Wars Episode III.

I think he'd have done it, too, but he was worried that Lucas would fuck up the ending of this trilogy as bad as he did the ending of the last one. I mean, sure, he's got God on the red phone and everything, but the dumb side of the Force is strong with Jar Jar and apparently nothing short of divine intervention will stop him, if that... and no Pope wants to call in all their favors in the first year.

"I hereby grant absolution to whosoever shall find the most ingenious method of killing the serpent Jar Jar. And if you manage to take out the Ewoks while you're at it, a candle will burn in your name in saecula saeculorum, amen."

»his holiness Pope Star Wars Episode III