This blog is defunct! Check out my new music blog at Sonicrampage.org.
With the Pope seemingly at death's door, Robert quotes extensively from a London Review of Books article by Terry Eagleton that attempts to pre-empt the coming beatification of the John Paul II. I'm not Catholic myself, so I view all this stuff a bit remotely, but I think there are many important points raised, particularly in terms of the Pope's disastrous stance on contraception in light of the African AIDS epidemic. One area where I think Eagleton is being a bit unfair is in dismissing the Polish Church from which John Paul II emerged as "one of the most conservative institutions on the planet, awash with maudlin Mariolatry and ferociously anti-Communist." Anti-communist? My God! The Pope's role as moral figurehead of anti-Communism and opponent to the cold hand of Soviet imperialism in Eastern Europe was undoubtedly his finest achievement, and will undoubtedly play a huge role in all the obituaries to be written in the coming days.
In other news, I've done a review of an album by the Manchester crew Virus Syndicate which can be seen here.