So we encounter once again the anodyne eulogies and the outpouring of grief for the death of the pope. The poxy pontiff died finally after a long illness and people take to the streets to mourn. He had a good innings living well into his 80s, more than can be said for so many catholics in this world. I am reminded in more ways than one of the days after Diana died. One of the principle links that connects the 2 for me was the sense of the undeserved nature of the adoration. I’m sorry if people feel it is disrespectful but the pope was a reactionary religious fundamentalist and in many ways did as much to subjugate people in countries like those across Latin America and Africa. The pope was the head of a church with its densest demographic in the world’s poorest nations. We are told the pope was instrumental in the bringing down of communism and was against totalitarianism in all its forms, was he, was he really? What better illustration of totalitarianism is there than the monolithic catholic church? Archaic, conservative, obstacle to progress, repressive, dogmatic the list goes on.

And yet I do not doubt the grief felt by many catholics is genuine just as the English grieved for their pampered overpaid princess killed whilst putting the lives of everyday Parisians at risk as her car sped dangerously thru’ the streets trying to avoid the paparazzi. “But she did a lot of work for charity” well bully for her, you take away all the day to day worries I have like accommodation, education for my children, utility bills, car maintenance, whether I can afford a holiday sometime this decade and I’ll fucking work tirelessly for charity. Of course she did, she’d have been flaming bored stiff if she hadn’t.

When it comes to mourning a death I am more inclined to mourn the great legend that was Tommy Vance who died earlier this month. His BBC obituary is here. If you had asked me 12 months ago who the most influential DJs of my life were I would have said John Peel and Tommy Vance. Where Peel gave me an appreciation for the eclectic and played things that you may never have heard anywhere else, Vance was the Rock DJ with the voice to match. The Friday Rock Show from 1978-93 was something that made such a profound impression on me that long after he had stopped doing it I did my own Friday Rock Show on a pirate station that we had set up at college. It was an homage to the great man tho’ I never did manage to perfect the voice. I heard the last show he did for Virgin Classic Rock and it was like a compilation tape of all the rock tracks I have in my record collection. With the passing of Vance and Peel the generation brought up on Radio 1 in the 1980s find themselves bereft of their principle figureheads and that is something we will only learn to live with over time. I will never forget that Tommy and I both shared 2 particular things in common, a love of rock and a good pint of Tetly, I guess it’s my round then Tommy.

Song Of The Day ~ The Cars – Just What I Needed

Original Comments:

haywood made this comment,
still here my friend, just lost the will temporarlily.
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comment added :: 6th April 2005, 05:37 GMT+01
A visitor made this comment,
Good post Baron.It’s about time someone wrote something like that about the Pope. Still Diana is begining to be seen in a new light these days, I’m pleased to say.

comment added :: 6th April 2005, 17:26 GMT+01
Diogenes made this comment,
Ironically, the Pope is praised for his work with Solidarity – but Solidarity now is so unpopular in Poland it virtually doesn’t exist…
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comment added :: 8th April 2005, 00:00 GMT+01
Jen Tate made this comment,
It scares me that some can have so much love for one and so little for others.
comment added :: 11th April 2005, 22:38 GMT+01