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Vicky Mochama: The voice of Metro News.

Pope fails to bring the thunder in TED Talk: Mochama

If the Pope really wants to reach out to diverse audiences, how about a mixtape?

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Now that everyone is a thought leader, even the Pope is getting in on the inspirational slideshow business.

This week he gave a pre-recorded talk at the annual TED Conference in Vancouver.

It’s a shrewd move for the Pope to join the thinkfluencer crowd. Last week, Metro reported that more and more religious groups are getting into the digital game, from a church that live-streams its services to an American imam who is popular on Snapchat.

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Ex-Pope Benedict XVI joined Twitter in 2013 but the Vatican has since expanded the social media outreach. Pope Francis joined Instagram last year, which he announced by tweeting, “I am beginning a new journey, on Instagram, to walk with you along the path of mercy and the tenderness of God.” It’s mostly inspirational quotes and sunsets but sure, why not.

Speaking as someone who once took a nap after the arduous journey of picking an Instagram filter, I’m a little embarrassed that Pope Francis is better at this than I am. I still think, however, that he could do more.

If he really wants to reach out to diverse audiences, how about a mixtape? I can see it already: Pope Franci$ presents “What A Time To Be A Believer” with tracks like “Big Rings (For Kissing)” and a freestyle Latin Mass. While he has already released a progressive rock album (yes, really), I think he could get more mileage from a collab with DJ Khaled.

Because, let’s be honest: the Pope’s TED Talk was underwhelming.

TED Talks are all about show-stopper moments — cool science or key data points or emotional life stories — and this is the man who has an advantage over everyone. Instead of being a senior researcher who is trying to talk about visually resonant statistics and make people cry, the Pope has GOD.

The God I remember from vacation bible school — I had a thrilling childhood — doesn’t do anything less than a full Las Vegas show.  

And in the 18-minute long speech, not once does he call upon the greatest magician’s assistant one could call upon. He just chills behind a desk and asks us all to be better people. Who do I have to pray to for a talking burning bush?

For example, in his TED Talk, he spoke directly to powerful people: “The more powerful you are, the more your actions will have an impact on people, the more responsible you are to act humbly. If you don’t, your power will ruin you and ruin the other.”

It’s all good and well to tell people about humility but, in my humble opinion (See, I learned), a thunderbolt would have ensured that the message struck the audience.

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