If you’re a Catholic on Facebook, or the internet in general, chances are Samer Noam has made you laugh. Or he’s made you angry.
If he’s done his job the way he wants, he’s done both.
Noam is the man, the myth, the legend behind the Catholic satire site, Eye of the Tiber. Catholic News Agency had a chance to sit down with the Californian writer and professional smart aleck to talk inspiration, excommunication (well, his nightmares of it), and of course all those people who think it’s actual news.
1: What first inspired you to start writing Eye of the Tiber?
I’ve loved satire for as long as I can remember. Unfortunately, anyone who loves the Church can recognizes that satire, like most everything else that’s good in this world, like literature, poetry, music, the sciences and so on has been secularized. Heck, even Judeo-Christian symbols like the rainbow and the thunderbolt were taken by those typically most hostile to the Church. The rainbow, of course, represents God’s covenant with Noah. The world now sees it as a symbol representing man’s covenant with another man. The thunderbolt, I understand, never really represented anything for the Church, but I kinda wish it did, because thunderbolts are pretty awesome, and I’d love an excuse to get one of them tattooed on me.
Where the heck was I? Ah yes, what inspired me? Love for the Church and love for good satire. The Onion is wonderful. Their ability to poke fun and to reveal truths with sometimes subtle, sometimes absurd headlines is breathtaking. But there was so many times I thought, and still do think, that they could tone down the sacrilege a notch or ten. And so, cue light bulb, and the idea of a Catholic satire site was born.
2: What is your goal for Eye of the Tiber?
To piss off every Catholic at least once. If you’re not happy with that answer, please delete and insert this: to shed light on the absurdity of some of the things going on in the Church while giving people an opportunity to laugh at themselves. And also not getting excommunicated. You think the last part’s a joke, but it’s not. I’ve literally had nightmares of being excommunicated because of an article. But the nightmare’s always followed by a happy dream about me being handcuffed and led to a tribunal during the Spanish Inquisition, and realizing that Toquemada is the Grand Inquisitor for my case, and he sets me free because Torqumada wasn’t as bad as he’s been made out to be.
Anyhow, that’s my goal for EOTT. Not the weird dream part per se, but letting readers know about random Catholic facts that I find interesting, while poking fun on important things like liturgical dancing and the other 7 Deadly Sins.
And check out the website itself right here.
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