Notorious P.O.P.E.

Matthews says: "The Vatican’s plan to call the retiring pontiff Benedict XVI “Pope Emeritus” hit a snag today, in the form of a threatened lawsuit by an Oakland-based rapper who has been recording under that name since 2006." (It's a joke.)


  1. From the New Yorker’s Tynt tainted site:

    Andy Borowitz is a New York Times best-selling author and a comedian, and has written for The New Yorker since 1998. In 2001, he created the Borowitz Report, a satirical news column that has been read by millions around the world and for which he won the first-ever National Press Club award for humor.

    1.  I had to click back three articles before I was *sure* it was satire. Either I’m gullible or he’s pretty good.

      1.  He’s pretty good. (Although I found his generic gangsta rapper character in this one to be a bit lazy/dated.) For the most part, he seems to have a great sense for the rhythm of kinda-dumb news pieces. My dad forwards his stuff to me regularly, and I like that 1) he strikes a satirical tone that we can both find amusing, and 2) I often have to double-check the byline.

      2. He’s pretty good, but the last paragraph definitely should have tipped you off:

        According to a source close to the Vatican, Benedict is likely to choose another name for himself rather than risk a legal tussle with the aggrieved rapper: “The last thing the Church needs right now is another lawsuit.”

        That’s pure comedy right there.

    2. Oh, good.  So I can go ahead and print up those Discordian “Pope Emeritus” cards.  (They’ll be the AARP membership cards of Discordianism.)

  2. And now if there is any justice in the world the 2 of them should do combat to prove who is the biggest gangster worthy of the name.

  3. Phrases or words that are in common use can be “trademarkable” unless they are generic for the types of good or services being provided under them.
    Unfortunately for the Roman Catholic church, the past participle of emerere is generic for a retired Bishop and Pope is generic for the Bishop who is archbishop of Rome.
    So in the field of Rap Music, Pope Emeritus is quite a legitimate trademark, while in the field of religion it is not.

  4. I’m not sure people are picking up on zippy_monster’s meaning: the author of the linked post is a satirist. He’s often quite bitingly funny, though this post struck me as rather bland; the lack of a clear message may account for why so many people seem to be taking it seriously.

  5. This is the second time this month BoingBoing has fallen for the Borowitz Report. I’m looking forward to seeing Cory print an Onion article as news.

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