It's your boy, Yung Pope, surrounded by the world's 12 cheeriest vloggers and staring deeply into the infinite abyss of a locked and loaded selfie stick, welcome to two zero one six motherfuckers:
Can we look at this photo again, please? That's the Pope. That's the fucking Pope. The Pope looking like a lost uncle at a wedding who somehow got stuck at the young person table on the way back from the bathroom and they have mockingly adopted him as one of their own. You know what I mean: the best man is doing a speech and, distantly, at the back of the marquee, the young people are teaching the Pope how to nae nae. The Pope, fragile and glassy within the frame of a Snapchat filter, looks at the camera like a hostage chained to a radiator, pleading the words "cheeky Nandos" as the young people clap with delight. "Please," the Pope is saying, "my wife, I cannot find her". And the young people roar with laughter and say, "It's okay, the Pope, you're married to Marley now," and a young lithe model, absolutely sexually unthreatened by the Pope, sits on his lap and kisses him on the cheek. This is your life now, the Pope. You should never have got lost on the way from the bathroom.
Look at him!
Listen, I'm like you: I thought that vloggers were a phase, like Tazos or the AIDS crisis, that it would pass and we would forget about them and look back on them in a decade with a sort of detached nostalgic fondness, a sort of, 'Heh: what were we thinking?' type deal. But I am willing to admit that I am wrong, here, and vloggers are not only here to stay but actual usherers of a new world order with them at the tip of the pyramid. I admit that now. We all make mistakes.
Here's the Pope confirming this new blood pact, this weekend at the Vatican, where 12 YouTubers across six continents were invited to an education conference with the Pope where he told them that saying "hi guys!" into a ringlight was actively stopping war, or something. "I am glad that you carry out the type of work you said, following the line of beauty, it's a great thing," he told Sprinkle of Glitter/Louise Pentland, according to the Guardian. "To preach beauty and show beauty helps neutralise aggression."
Again, with feeling:
Going to have to make a few observations about this photo alone because there's a lot going on and we have to process it all before we can truly consider what it means for our lives now and in the future (but spoiler: it means a hell of a lot for our lives now and in the future) (I should not have just used the word 'hell' when talking about the Pope, sorry the Pope):
1. Dunno who this homeboy is – I'm not down on YouTube but I'm pretty sure there aren't any million-subscriber channels about a dude who looks like what would happen if Sepp Blatter and Nigel Farage fucked trying to contour his hair back on – but I'd like to ask him what he thinks he's doing with his right hand here and why he feels the need to do that in front of the actual Pope;
2. No way this dude is a so-popular-he-gets-to-meet-the-Pope vlogger. No way. Look at him. This guy was born to be in the first season of Lost, as one of the guys who you are sort of sus about at the start – why is he so good at finding coconuts and fresh water? Why is he so brooding? Does he have ulterior motives? Why does he wear a vest all the time? Does he want to claim power? – and then in the season finale he saves someone from an animal attack or similar and you go, "oh, okay, he's my favourite one, it's a shame he was dead all along";
3. If it is revealed one day that British beauty blogger 'Sprinkle of Glitter' turns out to be the Pope's abusive carer who rinsed him for hundreds of thousands of pounds in his twilight years and somehow got him to change his will to leave the Vatican to her then, on the basis of this photo alone, I would not be surprised. Tell me she isn't his Wormtongue, hissing "smile… you… Pope… bitch" through her teeth as he peers into the selfie. You can't;
4. No human alive is actually this happy, so unless vloggers have broken through into this superstrata of happiness – and I wouldn't put it past them, the vloggers, in this enlightened time of mental health being an open conversation they seem to be the only people left who are oblivious to misery, vloggers almost actively designed to provoke people who suffer from sadness – and I feel like this girl is either an alien or deeply sad, and smiling so much it hurts in front of the Pope is her way of crying for help;
5. I can just tell from this blurry snippet of a photo of this dude that I hate him, that I would hate to be trapped talking at a party with him – his party outfit is a v-neck T-shirt, a black waistcoat, a load of leather bracelets and the cheery insistence that people start dancing – and that this whole selfie thing was his idea, that he shucked that selfie stick out in one smooth practised movement and said "SEL–FIE!", I can tell already, I'm sorry vlogger Lucas Castel, but I want to fight you;
6. Someone put Joseph Gordon Levitt's face on Jose Canseco's strong square skull and the resulting vlogger just did the fucking peace sign in front of the Pope, which in terms of disrespect is up there with shouting "amen!" for him at the end of mass, I mean you do not rock up to the Pope and steal his whole 'peace on earth' schtick for a selfie;
7. I kind of respect the Pope's anti-pose here – this is one of the most revered and photographed men on earth, and surrounded by cheerily photogenic asexual Gap model types he just rocks the hands-dead-down-by-his-side,-chin-on-his-chest pose of any given granddad, and in a way it is that – not the fact that he is God's anointed voice on earth, or the holy bling around his neck – that is the ultimate flex, here, that he knows the camera is there but defies it, because fuck duckface, he's the Pope;
8. All of these collapsing vloggers look the same and I cannot actually be sure they are not the same face stretched over three young skulls;
I feel like we will look back on this photo in a few years and be like, 'Ah, so that's what sparked a new era of religious fervour across the globe," with the 12 vloggers across six continents acting as some sort of interconnecting preacher network, and we'll learn that teenagers watching 'Lush Bathbomb Haul April 2k15!' videos have actually all been being programmed to secretly love God, and this was all part of the Pope's plan, this was all part of his plan, that vlogging is a gift and a curse from God. You think I'm crazy, don't you? Ask yourself this: how many disciples were there at the Last Supper? How many vloggers are posing with the Pope? This is the beginning of the vlog testament, and the wise men and women will bow down and kiss the hem of our new overlords. Pray that Sprinkle of Glitter grants us mercy between her HD eyebrow tutorials. Pray for a swift death at the hands of these holy vloggers.
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