Time Travel and the Red Shoes

When my daughter was in high school she was reading Stephen King novels.  Thinking that I ought to know what she was reading, I picked up one, Thinner, which has been made into a movie since.  I wasn’t delighted about her reading of sex (the guy hits and kills a gypsy because his wife is giving him a blow job while he’s driving, and he therefore gets cursed by the gypsies to be thinner), but oh well, she was a teen.  Recently I read his Under the Dome (also a movie), which pits good people against the bad after a town has mysteriously been covered by a dome, isolated from the rest of the world; interesting, but not written (or course) as well as Lord of the Flies with a similar premise.

I think I should read his 50th book, 11/22/63, its plot following an English teacher time-traveling back to 1963 to prevent the assassination of Kennedy.  I love the idea of time travel.  But I would prefer to have a portal back to the time (and place) of Christ.  At Christmas I’d like to send back “Christians” who glorify the presents under the tree.1  Right now I think it would be good to send all of the cardinals massing in the Vatican for the reelection of a Pope.  They are supposed to pray for a Divine Revelation.  As if.  It’s so much politics.  The Catholic Church is just a giant corporation, if tax-exempt.

 …the cardinals will be looking for a CEO type. I think the cardinals will also be looking for someone who is a great communicator. They need someone not necessarily who can speak eight languages like Benedict and John Paul II, but someone who can go onto that balcony and make an impression in front of the world’s media and in front of the world’s populations. They need someone who has a stage presence and someone who feels at home among crowds of people. 2

It is speculated that the Pope retired because of…

…a series of scandals — child sex abuse, mismanagement at the Vatican bank, the leaking of secret church documents (the book, The Vatican Diaries – a collection of accounts of doctrinal disputes, power struggles and personal scandals, in which everyone from diplomats to ushers share information and gossip) plus the [resignation of the] most senior Catholic leader in Britain, Keith O’Brien. The Cardinal is facing charges of unwanted sexual advances on other priests.  Cardinal Mahony in Los Angeles [has been] urged not to attend the conclave [because he] did not handle the sex abuse crisis very well early in his career.  [And] there are some pretty sensational reports emerging in the Italian press over the weekend about an alleged network of gay clerics inside the Vatican subject to blackmail because of their sexuality. The report suggested that Benedict decided to resign after reading a confidential report on all of this.3  

red-shoesBut the departing Pope has to give up his red shoes.  (!)  Talk about time travel…

The red shoes is a tradition that dates back to 1566, when St. Pope Pius V, a White Dominican, decided to change the papal vestment from red to white. The pope’s cap, cape and shoes are the only bits of red left from the pre-1566 days.  Since the former pope moves to his new role as Emeritus Pope Benedict XVI, he has to leave the red shoes behind. 4

Louis-XIV-king-of-france(A bit off topic, but the red shoes made me think about King Louis XIV’s shoes with the red high heels and Christian Louboutin’s trademark red soles.  Ah, fashion.)

Gotta Sing!  Gotta Dance!

Tuesday, in my Humanities Seminar class5, studying Cole Porter (the only non-Jew writing Broadway musicals at the time), from the movie Pennies from Heaven we had a great snippet, Let’s Misbehave with Chris Walken and Bernadette Peters.  You must watch this on your full screen.  Walken’s dancing is a kick!

A few weeks ago we studied Vaudeville.  This is the world’s first music video – a man singing with his duck.  Kinda funny.

Oh, and two weeks ago an elderly woman (= someone older than me) sitting across the aisle snored throughout George M Cohen song and dance.


A couple walking their two dogs – think they were Cavalier King Charles Spaniels, one with black spots and one with orange spots.  This is what I found on the Net.  They were really cute.


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2 Responses to “Time Travel and the Red Shoes”

  1. Price Says:

    As usual great “Notes”. The Christopher Walken clip is primo. Please send Bishop Mahoney back to about 65M BCE – just in time for the meteorite.

    • notesfromthewest Says:

      Are you acquainted with artist Maurizio Cattelan’s controversial wax sculpture “La Nona Oralso” (1999, translated as “The Ninth-Hour”), also known as “Pope Struck by a Meteorite”? See my old blog Visuals.

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