did you know that st. peters basilica in the vatican is one of the largest cathedrals in the world (some consider it the largest)? the romans sure know it. in fact, if you study the marbled floors in the basilica, you will find markings that show where other large churches would end, thus giving you a sense of how much larger st. peters is above and beyond these other measly churches. the roman tour guides squeal with delight when they point out the markings; they try in vain to hold it in. listen closely to what i am saying: the constructors actually went out of their way to scribe these lavish markings under foot -- and they update them over the years as new measly churches get built.
i got a good chuckle out of that. i honestly cannot think of anything more pathetic. so sad are the things that hold high the chins of men. the church is impressive to a fault; it's also silly, obscene, ridiculous, absurd. it's egoism, nothing more. for whom did they build the church anyway?
in fact, the whole of rome reminds me of Shelley's Ozymandias -- i love this poem because it cuts through the BS like a hot knife:
"I met a traveler from an antique land
Who said: Two vast and trunkless legs of stone
Stand in the desert. Near them, on the sand,
Half sunk, a shattered visage lies, whose frown,
And wrinkled lip, and sneer of cold command,
Tell that its sculptor well those passions read,
Which yet survive, stamped on these lifeless things,
The hand that mocked them, and the heart that fed,
And on the pedestal these words appear:
"My name is Ozymandias, King of Kings:
Look upon my works, ye Mighty, and despair!"
Nothing beside remains. Round the decay
Of that colossal wreck, boundless and bare
The lone and level sands stretch far away."