Pope Media Coverage Continues; Local Band 'The Popes' Quietly Changes Name

As media coverage of the Pope's public viewing -- and soon to come Friday Mass, burial, and Fox's live coverage of the Pontiff's body sitting in the ground -- continues with no sign of diminishing, even after Vatican officials officially ended the public viewing Thursday evening, the three members of the Quakertown, PA indie rock band "The Popes" officially decided to change their name, according to a statement from 16 year-old guitarist/frontman Dave Schwartzman.

"We considered keeping it around to make us even more ironic than we already were, mostly because we're still alive while the Pope is now dead," he said, reading from prepared remarks to an audience of the other two band members and their girlfriends. "But we took a vote and unanimously decided that we just don't need that kind of publicity right now."

Matt Cordis, bass player, agreed.

"At first I thought this whole thing would blow over, but I guess I underestimated the media's obsession with celebrities," he snorted cynically. "Yeah, people try to play the religious card, but really this is no different than Paris Hilton's leaked Sidekick or Britney Spears possibly being pregnant."

Cordis indirectly brings up a possible positive to the name change: while the band has been forced to abandon their moniker, which is now "The Ghost Of Charles Bukowski", the experience may provide inspiration for new, "more focused" songs, says Schwartzman.

"Our older material, while technically sound, has been said by some critics, such as my Dad and my neighbor Bob Sammich, to lack direction," he explained, referring to songs such as "The Empty Emptiness" and "Swimming In An Ocean Of Society". "This event could really give us an opportunity to begin a fresh start and really comment on today's modern world, starting with the appalling insensitivity about the Pope's death."

"The media," Cordis added, shaking his head in disgust. "Is nothing sacred to these bastards?"

Dwight Klimer, drummer, says the Pontiff's death could also translate into higher popularity for the group since it signifies their "superiority" over the religious leader.

"It's like, we outlasted the Pope," he said. "Some people might think that that means we're better than him, so they'll buy a demo instead of a Bible."

Still, the name change is not without its detractors; Cordis' girlfriend Kelly Oswald says that the group has, in a sense, "sold out".

"I mean, no, nobody paid them to change their name, but they paid something: their souls," she said. "They conformed to believe what society wanted them to believe, which is that the Pope was beloved, and is now dead."

When asked if she believed the Pope was not beloved and/or actually still alive, Oswald shrugged and said cryptically, "I don't know, man. It just makes you think."

The group will still retain a few of its ties to the old name, such as Cordis' penchant for wearing a Pope costume during local shows.

"Of course, it won't be about the Pope anymore," he said. "Now it'll just be this goofy costume, and it'll be a statement against both 80's bands, who wore all kinds of stage outfits seriously, and the 90's bands, who also wore outfits to mock those 80's bands. Fucking lame."

Cordis added that he was considering swapping the recognizable hat portion of the costume for a baseball cap "just to be safe".

But is the name change truly permanent? Schwartzman claims that there could come a day when "The Popes" is acceptable to use again, possibly even "cooler" than it once was.

"Maybe if we wait a year or two and the hipsters start wearing Pope t-shirts, then we can be The Popes again," he revealed. "It's sort of the same idea as us being called 'Falcor And The Neverending Stories', which was our second choice in case The Ghost Of Charles Bukowski was taken."

"The Neverending Story," scoffed Cordis. "That movie was so lame, it was cool...or, I mean, so cool it was...lame?"

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