Episode 117: Pope Christianity and Comedy, Life in the Hate Church, Dorner Fugitive Hero and more

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** Papal Humour ** Chris Dorner: Folk Hero ** Harlem Shake Explodes ** Keystone and PR ** Rise of the Celebrity Creative Director ** Inside The Westboro Baptist Church **


pope drink_publish.jpg"The pope and the ex-pope walk into a bar..."

Catholics will soon have a new pope and as part of the bargain they're getting an ex-pope too, which could be a situation that creates great comedy.

When Pope Benedict announced unexpectedly this week that he will be retiring, the memes and jokes came fast and furious.

Heretical? Disrespectful? Father Jim Martin says they're not. He's the author of the book Between Heaven and Mirth and he thinks Jesus made more jokes than he gets credit for.

So we asked him if there might be mirth in Pope Benedict's bombshell. Christianity and comedy this week up on Day 6.

dorner_publsih.jpgDorner = Hero

The manhunt for alleged killer Christopher Dorner culminated in a dramatic seige this week, much of it unfolding on live TV. Dorner died on Tuesday, holed up in a cabin that burned to the ground as police waited outside.

He is suspected of murdering four people. He threatened to kill even more. Dorner's manifesto, published online, is a rambling and unwieldy screed but it contains - along with his murderous threats - his account of how he lost his job with the LAPD in 2008.

Dorner saw himself as a victim of injustice and a surprising number of people agreed with him.

Facebook pages like this one proclaimed him an American Hero. We wanted to understand why the support for an apparent murderous fugitive was so widespread.

Journalist, hip-hop historian and community activist Davey D. shares his insight.

Harlem Shake_publish.jpgHarlem Shake Goes Viral

Move over Psy.

A new viral video exploded online last week inspiring millions of views and some ultra-clever imitators.

Harlem Shake is a video phenomenon, a drama performed over a short excerpt from a music track by Brooklyn producer Baauer.

When the video opens, there's a tableau, usually sort of static, maybe one character dancing or doing some kind of slow grind, everyone else motionless. 

Then, the music changes... and BAM!

Crazy mad bedlam breaks out, everyone moving, wild costumes, flopping extras, a huge kinetic surrealism. And then... it's over.

Tens of millions have watched the vids, thousands have uploaded their own all in the space of about two weeks. What do you think happens at the offices of YouTube when something starts going viral like Harlem Shake?

We meet YouTube's trend manager Kevin Allocca to find out.

Keystone_publish.jpgKeystone's PR Problem

On Sunday, a climate change protest at the White House promises to be the biggest yet.

The Forward on Climate rally comes on the heels of Wednesday's protest, which saw the arrest of some 50 activists, some of them high profile.

The rallying point for many of the demonstrators is the Keystone XL pipeline, the delayed energy project that was supposed to move Alberta crude across the U.S. border to under capacity refineries on the Gulf Coast.

Keystone's future is far from certain. But right or wrong, activists been able to link Keystone to future energy policy in North America, and as a result it seems to be bearing a huge burden.

Has the PR war already been lost? We ask David MacLean, oil lobbyist with the Alberta Enterprise Group.

JT_publish.jpgTimberlake and Bud Light Platinum

Justin Timberlake has a new cd, an elegant new video, a distinguished acting career, a long showbiz resume and some interesting ex-girlfriends.

Now he's got something else: a creative directorship for a new brand of beer.

I know, JT and brew. Weird. Especially when his latest musical incarnation is so champagne.

But it's happening a lot these days. Big brands are hiring cool celebs to tap into their creative ability to tap into young people's wallets, hoping- in Justin's case- they will finally tap into a Bud.

Alex Molotkow looks on and marvels.

lauren_publsih.jpgLife on the Hate Frontline

When Lauren Drain was a young teen her family moved to Kansas to join a church. Her Dad was attracted to the ideas of a particular sect and decided unilaterally his family should also belong.

That church was Westboro Baptist, the fringe, hateful anti-gay group known for picketing military funerals.

Lauren was indoctrinated right away, joining the picket lines and becoming part of the bizarre spectacle of hate that brought Westboro their fame.

Now excommunicated from Westboro, Lauren's trying to understand her life on the fringe. Her new book is called Banished: Surviving My Years in the Westboro Baptist Church. She talks to us about her family and the path they took.

That's Day 6 for another week. Hope you have a Harlem-Shaking weekend and we'll see you back here in 7 days.

Bye, y'all.   
 
Brent Bambury, @cbcday6

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