“Il Mio Papa”, The Fanzine For The Discerning Pollyanna.
“Il Mio Papa” (“My Pope”) has hit the newsstands on the 5th of March. The second number is already available by your favourite newsagent, and this being a creature of Mondadori, the biggest publisher in Italy (yes, Berlusconi-owned if you need to know) you can be sure they will wait a while before pulling the plug, even if the venture were not to work as hoped.
It will be great fun. I am sure at the “Eye of the Tiber” they are preparing themselves already.
I am eagerly waiting for the internet presence to go live, but the already announced http://www.miopapa.it is not live yet.
From what I have known by googling around on Italian websites, the magazine has the following features:
1. Lots of photos. Big ones. They have to fill 68 pages every week, you know. Ok, half will probably be advs for condoms and the like, but it’s still a lot of photos. The perfect barber shop magazine. Though I’d prefer a car magazine anyway. My bad, I know. You don;t want to compare with the entire photo sequence of hawk-attacks-papal- dove, surely?
2. Extremely profound content, in synchrony with the elevated degree of education of the target audience. There are two pages explaining how to make the sign of the cross. We are informed Lent has started. Wow. It might be good for converting Muslim immigrants, if Francis himself would not encourage them to “hold on to their Koran”…
3. Like the Cardinal of the movie “La Grande Bellezza”, “il mio papa” also deals with important theological questions like: what does the Pope eat at dinner? I am eagerly awaiting for typical Argentinian recipes; unless of course this should not be the object of a book written with his buddy, the pro-homo Rabbi Skorka. “About Salt and Pepper”, or “Cooking Kosher with Francis” might be two good title suggestions.
Summa summarum, it seems to me this magazine will be bought and read by that kind of people who don’t like a magazine with “too much to read”, and rather “prefer the pictures”; who don’t even know how to make the sign of the Cross, but at the same time know that Francis is such a good Pope that it is worth reading a magazine dedicated only to him; who have to be informed of what Lent entails, but can’t live without knowing the humble Pope eats verdure cotte and minestrina in brodo.
The worst is: there are a lot of these people around. “Francis? Great Pope? – “Care to say why?” – “Erm, ah, well, because… the bus… and the dove… so humble… one love… who am I to judge… you know what I mean…”
Still: I promise you, I will stoop so low as to visit the website, once active, and report to my readers.
I merely doubt I will make of it half as good a job as the “Eye of the Tiber”.