Friday, June 02, 2006


I'm fascinated by this story in Spiked (via Arts and Letters Daily) about how Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie essentially run Namibia. The Brangefetus was to be born in Namibia, and so the nation let the Brangentity decide who could and couldn't enter the country. Writes Brendan O'Neill: "It is as if two absolute monarchs had arrived for a state visit to Namibia, rather than a couple of actors who haven’t even made a good film between them for at least five years." Not to mention two actors who aren't, well, Namibian.

But, wouldn't you know it, the same thing totally happened to me. I am not bringing this story back to myself just to be a narcissistic blogger, but also because this really did happen to me. Just replace "Namibia" with "a few blocks on the Upper East Side" and "Brangelina" with "the pope," and that about covers it. I was trying get home from school, but I couldn't because the pope was driving (pope-mobiling?) around the area and the streets surrounding my building were blocked off. It's entirely possible I've told this story before on WWPD--it is one of my better ones, and it happened well before I started this blog--but it is nevertheless relevant here. There ought to be a limit to celebrity power. And in this context, the pope does count as a celebrity. In the Vatican or other specifically Catholic settings he is holy or something like this, but on the East 60s or 70s, he's a man like any other, perhaps with a few more bodyguards than most, but with no divine right to prevent atheist Jewish teenagers from getting home on time to watch "Designing Women."

Relatedly, I just joined a facebook group called "First-World Problems," the most notable of which is something like, my small dog finds the temperature in my apartment uncomfortable. There's a whole list of them, so check out the UChicago facebook if you're curious. Not being able to return to one's home on the Upper East Side as quickly as one would like, due to a visiting dignitary, has to be the best first-world problem of them all.


Anonymous said...

I mean, you are putting your audience in a bind here. On the one hand some wish you'd blog more about your personal life instead of stupid crap like soup in France. On the other, people think you're vain for posting pictures up of yourself. Maybe you should just stop writing this blog. At least you're hawt. *wink*

Nathan said...

To be fair, the Popel is the head of a foreign state—the Vatican . . . right? So he's like any foreign dignitary. It's not holiness that got you, but real politic.