Has it only been a year since TV news went All Dead Pope, All The Time? Apparently so– April 8 marks the first anniversary of Pope John Paul II's funeral. Interestingly enough, April 8 is also when many in East Asia (particularly in Japan) celebrate the birthday of the Buddha, who, of course, had a rather different view on birth, death and what happens in between than the pope. Given this coincidence, which piles even more otherworldly significance onto the generally looming holiness of the season (Passover, Easter, Hilaria, etc.), as a public service I direct the reader's attention to an online shop featuring hard to find religious items: Jesus Christ Superstore (motto: Putting the fun back into fundamentalism and laughter into sectarian slaughter).
At the superstore, those nostalgic for a more dynamic pope can find a pope action figure that's more dynamic than any pope since the bloodthirsty Julius II. 7.5 cm tall, poseable , His Holiness comes complete with Holy Cross Kali sticks, a "Meek and Mild" Walther PPK handgun and is wearing his blood red Vatican Assault uniform. And despite its name, Jesus Christ Superstore is truly ecumenical, so if you're looking for a Buddha's birthday gift with a lot of firepower, look no further. There's a Buddha action figure featuring a Fighting Staff of Meditation, a Magnum 66 automatic Nirvana pistol, and an Invincible Holy Orange Cape of Enlightenment.
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Unfortunately, it's been years since the superstore site has been updated, and according to the site's FAQ, the creators of the merchandise were at that time still trying to find a manufacturer to mass produce the items. Fortunately, that shouldn't discourage the devout– after all, the religious are used to waiting endlessly to have the promise of a long ago offer fulfilled.