Pizza With the Pope
So it turns out Pope Francis hasn’t watched TV since 1990. In his words, “it’s not for me.” In 1990, he made a promise to the Blessed Mother not to watch again. But in an aside, he also reveals that he misses going out to get pizza.
Anyone who enjoys a blog centered around poetry, music and the arts must be able to understand the Pope’s decision, even if he or she still enjoys a good show on TV. After all, in our contemporary society, we have so many shortcuts to seemingly grant us more time (dishwashers, automobiles, computers) that earlier generations did not enjoy, and yet studies show that we are more anxious and stress-filled than any generation before.
More and more I hear friends and family remark, “There’s just no time for anything.” How much more time would there be for other great pursuits (reading, cooking, inventing the next “big thing,” going to bed early, praying) if more of us cut out television? After all, the very process of watching it can sometimes make us more weary (the constant flashing and loud commercials, the degrading images of women selling everything from videogames to potato chips, the limitless and unending search for “what to watch” when there are too many choices, most of them not worth watching.)
We may not wish to forgo television watching altogether. After all, there is Masterpiece Theatre, Sesame Street, and the occasional reality show about buying a new home that might strike the fancy. But perhaps we might consider taking a page from the Pontiff’s book and choosing a night of the week (or more) to “fast” from television. What can we do instead? Go out for pizza. And remember, pizza goes really well with music, poetry and art (especially Italian art). A good antidote for the age of anxiety? Pizza (homemade or takeout), Dean Martin, and the undeniably silly and fun verse of the great children’s poet, Shel Silverstein.