Posted by Nima On Monday, April 11, 2011 11 comments
April 11, 202 A.D. (After Darwin)
The Vatican, ROME* - Today His Pauliness, Pope Gregory Paul I, expressed dismay that his recent inspired addresses to the world regarding the consistency and autocracy of paleo-art have been taken out of context and misconstrued, in his words, to be an instrument of stifling the progress of art and science.
In a newly sealed and distributed Papal Encyclical signed immediately following Sunday's Tridentine Mass, the traditional form of the liturgy re-popularized by Benedict XVI, the pontiff made no bones about the steps that have become necessary for him to take in the regulation and enforcement of standards of the Pauly See's standards of paleoartistic supremacy in all matters black-and-white. Called "Assertio Sacrametorum ars Paleontographica", the encyclical laid bare for all Faithful to see the extreme hazards of not abiding by the conventions enacting the hegemony of the Paulian papacy in the rigid standards of originality in paleo-art. Anyone caught producing similar skeletal diagrams to His Pauliness, even in ecumenical matters as seemingly simple as pose, is to be excommunicated and his works seized or burned at the pontiff's displeasure. All those attempting to sell such work without having first purchased the necessary Papal indulgence, are sentenced to immediate burning at the stake. Those making rival interpretations of the Fossil Word completely from scratch were denounced as vain pagan revisionists and advised by the Holy Office on Sunday to "just give up".
"...When will you fools learn?"
"This is an extremely pressing matter," stated the Pope, the first American to be elected to the office and at 56 the youngest pontiff since Benedict IX in 1032 (777 Before Darwin), who was infamous for having served three non-consecutive reigns as Pope, and for selling the Papacy itself. "Not since the days of Luther, nay, of the Pornocracy itself, have we faced such besmirching festering threats to the Divine Order and righteous light of Archosaurian Truth!" Gregory Paul I reassured the public that this confusing state of affairs would not repeat itself: "We are in need of a guiding light to make sure that the future of knowledge, in particular, my knowledge of extinct animals, does not become diluted or copied without permission by heretics and intellectual doppelgangers. It is my Pauliness's sincere wish that age not be used as an accusation against me; for though I am a youth by the modern standards of my Holy Office, I aim to abide by the strict parsimonious doctrines of the mother Church, and avoid the past cold-blooded, bestial, and simonious excesses of Benedict IX, as well as the seizure-inducing Palpatinic stares of his recent frightening namesake, that dratted German - and no, I do not mean Heinrich Mallison."
Come and get me!
When pressed for an explanation of his recent stern policy for dealing with competing visual interpretations of dinosaurology, the pontiff had this to say: "In the days of Michelangelo, artists were bound to serve the Church as de facto servants of the Lord's glory. In fact, whether there be a Lord or not, the Church still set the text and regulated certain standards of accuracy and in the end it all became property of the Church and could not be reproduced without Church permission using any of the basal technologies available then. WE approved the science and poses, the artists followed. And relied on Our patronage. But now, with heretics of every hue, not just one or two but entire armies of them running amok in this secular globalist world of scanners and digital programs, our supreme authority over Paleotheology is under dire threat! These modern-day Luthers and Calvins, cursed blasphemers like Raul Martinvs and Fabivs Pastorivs, are threatening the financial stability (and thus ability to pray for the faithful) of My Pauliness and Darwin's True Church worldwide, and worse yet, loud-mouthed apostates like the notorious ex-novice Zacharias Armstrong, and independent hi-fi infidel freewheelers like that imperious Persian Nima Sassani, alias "Rex Palaeos", have been undermining the supremacy of the heavenly light of the Word of Paul everywhere from Brisbane to Isfahan, and what's more, making their rival creeds and depictions freely available on the internet without confession! Not that Our Pauliness ever had much of a presence in Isfahan, but still, one can dream, no?"
(....don't count on it.)
Pope Gregory Paul's longtime representative and part-time horned nemesis, Cardinal Per Christiansen, vice-vicar of St. John Lateral, commented thus on the current state of affairs: "For many years his Pauliness has been content to let his divinely informed representations of dinosaurs and other extinct life-forms be the gold standard for the entire sphere of paleo-illustration without calling fraudulent practices into question. However with an increasing number of corporations and projects turning away from the Pauly Truth of the pontiff to embrace cheap and readily available alternative faiths and their top artists, he has decided to lay down the LAW. Those besides the pontiff have no right to pontificate - about things they do not know, and even things they do know, for whatever they know about cnemial crests and Lateral running profiles, Rome has established that His Pauliness has known these things earlier, and better, and therefore has exclusive international copyright and claim to them by way of Divine Authority and unaccepted unaccredited PhDs."
Assertio Regnus Retroactivus (curriculum vitae manus predatorium pronatum circa 1989 CE)
Assertio Regnus Retroactivus (curriculum vitae cervix cygniformus macronarens circa 1995)
In two accompanying and shorter documents, the Papal Bulls "Damnatio Paleontographica Extraneo Pontifex" and "Assertio Regnus Retroactivus Pontifex de morphus Cervix Cyngniformus Sauropodicum et Hadrosauricum et Manai Pronatatum Theropodicum", Gregory Paul I documented in bullet points the main abuses against his holy authority in the realm of scientific illustration. All current Gregory Paul skeletal poses, and in addition, all abrogated ones from previous years, are subject to postural exclusivity of his Pauliness. That means that to copy any body pose, or even any one of the classic though abrogated swan-necked macronarian poses or pronated hand theropod poses from the pontiff's output of the previous decade or before, is strictly forbidden just as is the outright reproduction of any of his work without first buying a writ of absolution for the sin.
It is rumored that as a result of all this, the price of an original papal masterpiece is now extremely high, as many rival artists can no longer afford the entirely reasonable absolution/indulgence fees and are leaving the paleo-art profession outright, the majority of them passing out on their couch at the end of the day bloodshot, shrouded in vodka fumes, and listening to endless playback loops of Enya interspersed with Kraftwerk. However by contrast, the situation at the Sauristine Chapel is said to be improving, with the Papal presses hard at work grinding out series after series of new indulgences for repentant formerly renegade artists seeking to reconcile with the Church and shed the shame of the heretical pasts. Famed illustrator and dissector of prehistoric corpses Scott Hartman set a precedent by making a solemn vow to change all the poses on his dinosaurs to avoid falling afoul of the pontiff's second Bull, the Assertio Regnus Retroactivus Pontifex. Other heretics still eking out their miserable living in the trade seem poised to capitulate likewise.
Which begs the question that has been on everyone's mind these days - is there going to be a revival of the Inquisition? Opinion is frantic and mixed. David James Marrs, maverick conspiracy expert and paraplegic ex-Paul plagiarizer of the last decade, claimed in a secret interview whose transcripts were obtained through legally gray means, that "there still is and always has been an Inquisition. The only difference is now they present One Eye and One Ring. Add the Roman cross in the center of that eye/ring and what do you get? Opus Dei. The modern Inquisition in disguise, waiting for their chance. I'm sure any free thinking person will see they have their fingers in something to do with it!" Others are more skeptical.
Rogue paleoartist Zacharias Armstrong, a wanted man with excommunication and the threat of inquisition hanging over his head, had this to say in an intercepted secret communique to his comrades in the underground:
"According to Pope Gregory Paul, you need to be able to "document" how you produced your restoration, then, in order to "prove originality". But the fact is that there are already so many people (even in his own circle) who use his skeletals as a devotional/inspirational guide, that in practice, he probably won't be able to torture or burn very many people. Also, the burden of proof is on him to prove the imitative heresy and/or apochryphal nature of the work.... So basically, as long as your outline or restoration doesn't look like it was simply traced from papal diagrams, you should be safe from the inquisition and its wrath. "
Others have taken a bolder stance still: Henricius 'Heinrich' Mallison, chief skeletal legate of Berlin, bluntly burned the papal threats and decrees in a huge bonfire outside Wittenberg and posted 95 stinging Dinosaur Mailing List responses to the papal bulls from the computer servers in the rectory of All Saints' Church. Within a few days, his objections had spread like wildfire across Deutschland and the entire blogosphere, and at the pope's orders he was summoned on Saturday by Luis XIX, Holy Gondwanan Emperor, to trek to Worms on foot and swallow said worms whole at the point of a spear. He angrily retorted: "So what? Now his Pauliness thinks he also has a monopoly on mastication?!?! I can do no other, Gott hilf mich!" In the shocked silence and disarray that gripped the guards as they attempted to digest his iconoclastic statement, Mallison fled the scene with live worms frantically crawling everywhere - even on the emperor's face. He has barely been heard from since.
Scott Hartman, widely regarded by reformists (as well as the British) as a much safer alternative to the Papal skeletal hegemony, has carefully worded his own address to the Pope during this very sensitive time:
"I suspect the utility of your pose as any sort of standard is now severely compromised, as most artists are controversy-averse and will acquiesce to your request. Since the use of that pose as canon is no longer tenable, I am willing to put in the (not insignificant) amount of work to alter mine as penance, out of deference to the work your Pauliness put in to benefit the field of skeletal reconstructions conceptually, and out of a sincere (thought not optimistic) hope that it will improve the financial situation the Papacy finds itself in.
That doesn't mean a standard pose would not be of use. But more importantly, I feel a similar level of courtesy needs to be extended by your Pauliness (and others) in these threads to those trying to contribute to the conversation. Yes, not all comments are equally useful, but it's important that all that have a stake in it participate. I'd also note that you and I don't have a perfectly overlapping notion of who is making valuable contributions. To be sure there have been several "instigating" sources of heresy, but at the least some people I know and respect have received undeserved abuse for participating in the discussion."
No word yet on the Vatican's response to this message.
It has been rumored by some flying pigs in Alaska that across the Atlantic, the legendary deceased American Paleo-artist Charles R. Knight has risen from the dead to proclaim Pope Gregory Paul as the true savior of paleontography, devouring a creationist in the process and disintegrating into dust upon hearing the mighty Word of Paul. So far the Vatican has yet to endorse or verify this miracle, though a team of priests has reportedly been sent to examine the remaining corporeal dust that allegedly was once Knight. Knight himself, though unlikely to be canonized, was ironically and rapidly awarded a posthumous, post-decompositus Papal Knighthood, the Holy Order of the Golden spur, a distinction awarded to Mozart, Casanova, and many other illustrious though only marginally Catholic figures whose outrageous talents in some area or other flat-out flabbergasted the other 99% of humanity.
At the end of his Easter homily, the Pope concluded the speech by exposing the danger behind giving even the softest platform or credence to criticism of his policies:
"It is a common tactic (often used by biased media reporters) of setting up a false argument by making a false and remarkably outlandish claim. I did not come close to saying that I should be the only one doing dinoskeletons. I would never do that. I said that it is a SIN for a paleoartist to miss building up their own distinctive brand by patterning their images after someone else’s. Yes, all homages are pure evil and all who do them should die! As for others' current dinosaur work I admit I am really biased towards my stuff. I am so not ashamed."
Finis expositus quod dixit pontifex megalomagnus supercilious.
Finis expositus quod dixit pontifex megalomagnus supercilious.
* L'Osservatore Romano takes no credit or responsibilities for the content, authorship, or any potential distortions real or imagined arising from this article. This article is for humor and entertainment purposes only and not meant to offend. The statements of real people and people based on real people have been comically distorted for gag value only. If you are a hard-core Catholic or a Greg Paul admirer (never thought I'd say those two things in the same sentence, did you?), or one of the persons mentioned above, don't take any of this personally. Read the archived DML posts on the Greg Paul controversy (if you haven't already done so, then absolutely do it!) and then sit back and laugh a little at how the author dragged his feet for 10 days after April Fool's.