Sometimes you get a second chance to rethink your decisions

I got an e-mail from a dear friend in Minnesota which, among other things, deals with Dario Fo’s execrable play The Pope and the Witch which the University of Minnesota (a landgrant school) Theatre Department has been producing.  Here is part of the e-mail:

We are in the midst of yet another horrible snowstorm, the 2nd to hit in less than however many days it has been that we keep trying to get shoveled out – everything shut down early today and no word on what will happen tomorrow – probably close to 18" total in 48 hours.  The packed snow from the driveway plowing here is now past my waist, it should be up to my shoulder height tomorrow.

However, on a on a brighter and really funny note, see below:

From the (St. Paul) Pioneer Press:

"The University of Minnesota said it would close at 2:30 p.m. while Metro State University and Century and Dakota County Technical colleges have decided to close Friday as well. Tonight’s debut of the controversial University of Minnesota Theatre play "The Pope and the Witch" also been canceled."

God really has had the last laugh on this one.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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  1. Janet says:

    Fr. Z.,
    I got a good chuckle out of God’s snowstorm cancelling the play, until I remembered that from the same stormfront that sent the snow up north, we in Alabama have almost 20 people dead from tornadoes. 15 high school students from Enterprise High School in south Ala. are dead, from a Thursday afternoon tornado that hit their school head-on. And others were killed elsewhere in the state.

    I guess it brings out another truth, that often the good must suffer with the bad. But still, the irony of the snowstorm cancelling that horrible play is gratifying and amusing.

  2. Janet says:

    That 15 should read 5. Sorry. Still 5 is alot when it’s kids…

  3. Fabrizio says:

    More evidence of Global Warming and of its nature of cosmic, CO2 spreading theo-con offensive against the proletariat’s rights! Bush lied, Dario Fo’s play died!!


  4. Paul says:

    Poor God. As a theatre critic he’s not much good: when he doesn’t like it he just turns out the lights. As God of the storm he’s apparently a bit inaccurate, no precision bombing here, all scattershot, friendly fire, collateral damage, and rising body counts in other states.

    Accurate translation makes me happy, but I’d be happier if there were more signs it was teaching us all a theology that has advanced beyond the worldview of the Greek myths.

  5. billsykes says:


    Huh? The more abstruse the better, I guess.

  6. The play is on for tonight. However, I still rejoice that they could not open last night. The lack of revenue from one whole performance is a pain the U Theater Dept can, surely, understand since it seems they don’t understand ours.

    Did this friend tell you that you were quoted, from your blog, in the Pioneer Press yesterday?

  7. Cathy: I heard about that. Thanks. Too bad he didn’t quote the best part.

  8. Paul says:

    OK, billsykes, I’ll try again. I was quite disturbed to read the above exchange. We are advised (“on a brighter and really funny note”) that a storm resulted in the cancellation of a play we don’t like (I don’t know too much about it, but I’ve no doubt I wouldn’t like it either). God is said to be behind this, and he is now having the last laugh. Unfortunately on the way to the theatre the storm seems to have killed 25 people in Alabama, but “the good must suffer with the bad”, and getting that play cancelled is “gratifying and amusing”. This seemed to be considered an unremarkable exchange.

    I think of Zeus, but not the God of Jesus Christ. And so I say, Poor God! that we imagine him like this.

    And as a person who wandered in on your group because of a respect for the historical texts that enshrine our Christian heritage, and a conviction of the worth and necessity of studying the Latin language in which so much of it is expressed (I’ve been doing it for 40 years), I have to say I was deeply dismayed. I wondered if this was pretty much the outlook of this group, and I thought I’d join the conversation (apologies if I was abstruse) to find out if it was.

    And I’m still asking myself, What, in the end, is the point of more accurate translations if they don’t lead us away from our false images of God and towards charity to one another?

    I don’t believe that God turned out the lights in the Minnesota Theatre because some play is no good. I don’t believe God in heaven laughs when people die in storms. Do you?

  9. Melody says:

    Paul- Saying that “the good must suffer with the bad” is a reference to Job, as well as several psalms–the real meaning of which is difficult to explain. It has to do with trusting in God’s will.

    Job 2:21
    Naked I came forth from my mother’s womb,
    and naked shall I go back again.
    The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away;
    Blessed be the Name of the Lord!”

    I don’t live near Alabama and also do not watch TV, so I laughed when I first read the article, unknowing of the other effects of the storm. You should note that not everyone reads the other comments before making their own, so the expressions of amusement are not so sadistic as you might guess. The cancellation of a play–which has been protested against by many (including the author of this blog) and fought by everyone from the Catholic League on down–by what can only be termed an ‘act of God’ is still undeniably ironic.

    I looked up an article about the death of those poor kids. It’s really sad, but apparently there was a failure on the part of the school. They had a three hour notice to get the kids to safety. I wonder, why does the school not have a emergency shelter located on or close to campus?

  10. Okay… this has become ridiculously way off topic. Let’s move on.

    I cheerfully impose the prestigious Sour Grapes Award for getting the sour ball rolling here.

    The Sour Grapes Award for pretty much obliterating an entry

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