[Marxism] 52 Funniest Things About the Upcoming Death of the Pope

Louis Proyect lnp3 at panix.com
Mon Mar 7 13:56:30 MST 2005


Jeff Koyen’s Exit Interview

As FishBowlNY reported earlier today, New York Press editor Jeff Koyen has 
stepped down from his position in the wake of intense criticism for the 
paper’s Pope-mocking cover story from last week.

We caught up with Koyen as he cleaned out his desk and he told us he’d 
probably “hit the road,” maybe return to Eastern Europe, where he’d been 
before taking over the paper.

He also sent us this exit statement, which we’re reproducing in whole:

     In Friday’s Daily News, Rep. Anthony Weiner called on New Yorkers to 
“exercise their right to take as many of these rags as they can and put 
them in the trash.” Unfortunately for Mr. Weiner, New Yorkers don’t have 
that right. No one does. Interrupting the distribution of any 
newspaper—even a paid one, wherein you buy, say, 1000 copies and toss 
them—is against the law. Case law dictates that the right to circulation is 
to be held as sacred as the right to publish, as one is worthless without 
the other.

     My bosses apparently don’t believe in New York Press’ right to 
distribute. They refused to stand up against Rep. Weiner; they refused to 
condemn his call-to-action as immoral (and illegal). They also refused to 
stand behind me in the face of harsh criticism for publishing Matt Taibbi’s 
“52 Funniest Things About the Upcoming Death of the Pope”. On Friday 
afternoon, I went on the 3 different radio programs and even suffered 
through an MSNBC appearance with Joe Scarborough and the disgusting bigot 
Bill Donohue, head of the Catholic League. I did my best to show this 
battle to be one of free expression.

     This morning, I was told to accept a two-week unpaid suspension. 
During that time, I was to “think about what this paper should be.”

     Problem is, New York Press already is the paper it should be. We are 
iconoclastic, occasionally obnoxious but always intelligent. If you see 
through the nasty Pope jokes, for instance, you will see a well-reasoned 
political argument.

     Publisher Chris Rohland is a spineless alt-weekly weenie. I can’t 
blame him, really. He has a wife and kids, and a nice home in New Jersey. 
He wants nothing more than to punch the clock and get his paychecks. Owner 
David Unger, who is the paper’s ultimate owner, is similarly spineless. 
They want New York Press to be “advertiser-friendly”; they “don’t want 

     That’s their choice. But I don’t need to be party to such weenieness. 
And I won’t be sent to my room without dessert. Hence, I resigned this morning.

     It’s been a great run, and I have nothing but respect for everyone in 
the editorial department I’ve just left behind. Chris Rohland and David 
Unger, however, can blow me. Such weak-willed and lackluster men should not 
be in control of a newspaper, especially not in these times of editorial 
restriction by way of advertiser dick-sucking. They’re too vulnerable to 
the appeal of money.

So, there ya go. We might not’ve always loved Koyen’s version of The Press, 
but we did read it every week and we were often surprised and amused by 
what we found. It’ll be interesting to see who remains and who follows his 
resignation and what the former House of Mugger looks like in the next few 


NY Press, March 2-8, 2005


By Matt Taibbi

52.Pope pisses himself just before the end; gets all over nurse.

51.After death, saggy, furry tits of dead Pope begin inexorable process of 
melting away into nothingness, like coldest of Sno-cones under faintest of 

50.Pope survives just long enough to be acquired by Isiah Thomas for 
Stephon Marbury, 2005 #1 pick and cash considerations. "We feel like we've 
made ourselves younger and more competitive," Thomas says.

49.After beating for the last time, Pope's heart sits there like a piece of 

48.Whole world waiting until the last minute for a sudden improvement of 
his condition. Long lines of girls in the Philippines kneeling and praying. 
Catholics everywhere with ears pressed to radios, transfixed. Pope gives 
one last groan, spits, dies.

47.Upon death, Pope's face frozen in sickening smile, eyes wide open and 
teeth exposed, like a baboon.

46.Beetles eating Pope's dead brains.

45.Pope departs Earth at a time when Hitch is top-grossing movie in the world.

44.Gurgling sound during embalming process; real fluids in dead Pope's body 
sucked out into jars.

43.POV Dead Pope: Last glimpse of overcast Italian sky as coffin lid closes 
for last time.

42.Get used to that quiet sound.

41.Humming old Polish folk song in there. That kills three minutes.

40.Humming it again, this time getting the words right. Another three minutes.

39.Can't move. Can't reach penis.

38.Somebody taking my job. My job!

37.Getting a little stuffy.

36.Naming all the different types of fish. Flounder, halibut, perch, 
goldfish, basking shark...no, do the sharks separately...really stuffy in 
here, gar, swordfish, manta ray, eels... No, don't think about eels. Eels 
are scary. Boy, is it dark in here. Four minutes gone by.

35.Doctor applies fingers to neck to check expiring Pope's pulse. Pope's 
ear falls off.

34.In heaven, Pope keeps wrapping cars around telephone poles.

33.Silverfish pops out of dead Pope's vestment for a moment, immediately 
ducks back in.

32.Priest who administers last rites to Pope excitedly calls mother 
afterward to tell her how well it went.

31.Dead Pope, still with baboon face, wheeled through corridors of Gemelli 
Polyclinic in Rome, learns answer to Great Mystery.

30.Michael Jackson too broke to buy Pope's bones.

29.New Pope inevitably ambitious cleric burning with earthly vigor and 
secret desire to undo dead Pope's legacy.

28.Bears everywhere shitting in woods.

27.We'll never get to hear his hilarious post-tracheotomy rendition of 
"Come on Eileen."

26.Pope recovers and survives until 2009; New York Press columnist Matt 
Taibbi beheaded by passing garbage truck, March 2, 2005.

25.LexisNexis search on phrase "the inner workings of the Vatican are 
shrouded in mystery" temporarily crashes system; Eric Alterman unable to 
search for press references to "What Liberal Media?" for 37 consecutive hours.

24.Pope spends last hours surrounded by cardinals who stand glaring at him 
with folded arms, silently reminding him of the political necessity of 
clinging to life.

23.Doctors examining the body discover that the Pope was not only a woman, 
but also Hitler.

22.Mankind scrambles to choose new leader of inflexible, sexually morbid 
institutional anachronism; heretofore anonymous bureaucrat will instantly 
be celebrated as world's holiest man as he travels to AIDS-stricken Africa 
to denounce the use of condoms.

21.Telltale white smoke emitting from Vatican chimneys announces a) choice 
of new Pope, and b) the fiery death of the 5000 back issues of Manscape and 
Hung Inches that had accumulated in the Vatican lobby.

20.Hall and Oates mulling comeback.

19.To the end, the Pope could only think of the poor and the downtrodden.

18.When he died, he stopped thinking of the poor and the downtrodden, and 
his face was frozen in that baboon smile, and he thought of nothing at all.

17.In his last days, the Pope was in tremendous pain.

16.NBC Nightly News intern pulls wrong tape from drawer full of long-ago 
archived video obits; world thinks Boris Yeltsin has died, wonders why 
Brian Williams is calling him an "inspirational spiritual leader."

15.Williams, after broadcast: "Who's Boris Yeltsin?"

14.Matt Lauer to Williams: "He wrote the Contract for America."

13.Just before death, Pope sits up in his bed, shrieks, his body bursts 
into flames; everyone runs from the room.

12.Sequoia, birch, maple, willow, palm, oak, pine, fir, maple—No, wait, I 
said maple already...

11.Hello my baby, hello my honey, hello my ragtime gal...

10.You dirty rat. You dirty, double-crossing rat... Proxima estacion: 
Tibidabo. Tenga cuidado de las puertas deslizantes... It means woods and 
blanche means white, so the two together mean white woods... L'état— c'est 
moi! Don't think about eels, don't think about eels...

9.Bush on the tragic event: "Our thoughts and prayers go out to this great 
man and all of his many children."

8.Bush continued: "He touched all of us in places no one else could reach."

7. According to ancient tradition, the slamming shut of the Bronze Door in 
St. Peter's Square announces the death of the Pope.

6.Normal Vatican schedule closes that door at 8 p.m. every night and 
reopens it in the morning.

5.According to numerous reports, if the Pope dies at night this time, no 
one will know what to do. (This is not a joke.)

4.In 1958, reporters paid off Pope Pius XII's physician to throw open the 
hospital room window when the Pope died.

3.When a monsignor threw the window open to get some air, the Pope's death 
was erroneously reported all over the world.

2.This is what happens when weird old men in dresses communicate with the 
world with doors and chimneys.

1.Throw a marble at the dead Pope's head. Bonk!



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