Sunday, August 04, 2002

Okay, this may sting a bit...but please keep in mind, this is just the rantings of one person, not to be taken seriously. Please, no hate mail. I respect our differences. Let's just agree to disagree.

1) Too many teens. At one point, I was thinking they'd be hocking World Youth Day Barbie dolls. Most of the kids we met were cool enough, but I missed hanging out with grown-ups, especially when I was yearning for deep philosophical dogmatic conversations. I missed Marian, Karelle, John Y, Angela and Gratham especially at these times. The promoters of WYD were obviously catering to a younger crowd, and I felt a lot of WYD was dumbed down. I also got the impression that a lot of the kiddies weren't there by choice. I didn't need to be spoonfed Catholicism, nor did anyone have to make it fun or hip for me. I know what kind of person I want to be, and I am comfortable with my faith. You don't have to hook me in, I'm already hooked.

2) Clapping and hand motions during Mass hymns. As I said above, it was a kiddie crowd, so every friggin song was upbeat and bubble-gummy. John, Dave and Jeff were into it, so it was probably just me being an old fart, but I don't wanna go to Mass and do the Hokey-Pokey. I don't sing. I mediate on the words. The lowest point for me: a song entitled, "Our God is an Awesome God." Pass me the barf bucket, Dawson.

3) Protests. I don't care what you think about abortion, sex, etc. I felt that this was not a place to protest. This was supposed to be a gathering celebrating diversity, peace and love of your fellow man. Don't abuse it by soapboxing your issues. If the Palestinians and the Israelis can put aside their differences for 10 days in Toronto, you can too.

4) On that theme...those people who formed human chains and got mad when their precious Pope seats were walked on during the vigil for the Papal Mass. I was disgusted when groups of people stood in packs like goons and thugs and wouldn't let other people pass. The people who one day prior and then the very next day sang about love and brotherhood were very ugly and rude to their brothers and sisters as people were trying to find seats to the Papal Mass. I lost a lot of respect for a lot of pilgrims that day. I got sick and missed the Mass, but in a way, I was glad. I'd rather hang out in the hospital building with the cool hospital staff than to hang out with hypocrates. Shame on you.

5) The Chicken Dance and Ride That Pony. How old are we gang? Yeah, the Pope is pretty hip, but even he would say that he would have to draw the line at these circle dance games that cause 7-year-olds to wet their pants in excitement. But, again, John, Dave and Jeff were into it, so I guess I was being an old fart again. What bugged me the most was the fact that my boyfriend got bumped and grinded by prepubescent Britney Spears fans. I just wanted to get lost in the crowds when John came running up to me screaming, "I freaked a nun! I freaked a nun!" It's just plain wrong.

Question and Answer Session:
Did you have a good time? As you can see, some things were better than others.

What's with all the teen-bashing? I'm not a fan of adolescents. I like a select few: Brendan, Jeff, Meghan, Justin. I'm an old fart. I don't apologize. I didn't even like myself when I was an adolescent.

Did you see the Pope? Yes. On the Jumbotron. And it was wonderful. Unlike a lot of people there, I tried to be realistic. I knew I wasn't gonna get anywhere near the Pope. I found it pointless to push my way to the front. I thought it was stupid to try and I was afraid someone would get hurt in the mobs. I had to really put my foot down a couple of times and convey to the menfolk in our group that I was afraid for my safety. The guys were trying to convey a machismo so I'd calm down, but they failed miserably. Don't go to WYD thinking you'll pose with the Pope. Take a pair of binoculars, bring a small radio and consider yourself blessed and lucky.

Would you do it again? No.

Really? Yes. But the Better Half wants to go to WYD 2005 in Cologne, Germany. Chessie and I have made plans to support him...from our couch in front of CNN.

Would you recommend going to WYD to anyone? I recommend it to anyone who is interested in going. You'll meet people, get in touch with your faith and you may find out something special about yourself. Not just Catholics went. I saw Muslims in a corner of an exhibit hall facing Mecca for daily prayers. I met a group of Presbyterians from Scotland who were delighted to be a part of the festivities. I found interacting with these groups to be refreshing and fascinating.

Did you consider yourself a good pilgrim? I was the worst kind of pilgrim. I realized I am not about camping out in a field, not bathing, going to the bathroom in port-a-potties, and fighting for space with a huge mob. I would have been content to watch the entire thing on CNN with Chessie snuggled on my lap.

Did you have DEEP AND MEANINGFUL EXPERIENCES, like people said you would? Please see the section, WHAT WAS COOL. Those were my deep and meaningful experiences.

If you have any questions, send them to me. Please don't send hate mail, or tell me how much I suck because I said this or that. Entitle your email WYD Questions, and tell me whether or not you want your questions on the blog. I'll try to answer them as best I can.

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