Cool Pope Francis has been edgy ever since he was named god's representative on Earth, but with a stylishly rebellious hand sign he flashed last week in the Philippines, he broke new ground. What devilish gesture is Francis displaying alongside Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle in the photo above? A gang sign? Satanic heavy metal horns? Let's investigate.
It's well known among racists and Minneapolis police officers that whenever a person of color is observed doing anything at all with his or her hands, that person should be accused of throwing gang signs, and if a white person is doing handy-stuff next to them, they're probably gang-affiliated too. (If white college kids are flashing signs by themselves, they're just having an innocent frat party. Nothing to see here.)
On the other hand, Cool Pope visited the Philippines as part of a week-long tour of Southeast Asia, making several stops along the way—just as Megadeth did when the veteran thrash metal band toured Manila and Jakarta last year. Coincidence? Maybe. But look at those outstretched index and pinky fingers; witness the unholy glint in His Holiness' eye.
Do we know for sure that the Popemobile's 5-disc changer isn't loaded with Ride the Lightning, Seasons in the Abyss, Diary of a Madman, Rust in Peace, and Vulgar Display of Power? We most certainly do not.
Filipino Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle, left, shows Pope Francis how to give the popular hand sign for "I love you" at the Mall of Asia arena in Manila, Philippines, Friday, Jan. 16, 2015. Pope Francis is on a five-day apostolic visit in this predominantly Catholic nation in Asia.
Our Pope Francis, sending such a facile and toothless message as "I love you?" He's much too cool for that.