Monday, March 05, 2018


There's been a lot of nonsense written about the Oscars, but Rod Dreher has surpassed everyone and even himself, through the agency of a "reader" "mail":
“The Academy used to play it safe with controversy, but now it’s moving the Overton window faster than in real life,” he wrote. “Who’d have thought one decade ago that the most prestigious award in the film industry would go to a film about bestiality, and casting it in a positive light?”
Yes, he's talking about The Shape of Water, which I told you about here -- but even if I hadn't, if you've had a halfway decent liberal arts education you'd recognize it from even a summary as a fable, like Ovid's Metamorphoses or Penny Marshall's Big.

But not Dreher. "I don’t pay attention to the Oscars, or Hollywood," he sniffs, "because I’m interested in other things' -- oooh he's an intellectual, look at his eccentric glasses! -- but though actually exposing himself to Hollyweird mindrot is beneath his dignity as a pedant, Dreher asks his readers to tell him about the movie -- and then he can’t even wait for that expedient before giving forth with the crack-brain hooey:
Could it be in this film, what happens at the Occam facility is Elisa, who works there as a janitor and first encounters the creature, learns to separate morality from matter, so that she can open herself to a sexual relationship with an aquatic creature? In other words, if there is no intrinsic meaning to matter, including humanity, then we can do with it whatever we want. Including submitting sexually to animals, or any creatures that give us pleasure and affection?
Here's another clue for you all -- the Walrus was Paul.

I don't know whether Dreher's gurus actually let him watch movies except to get something to yell about-- I remember him denouncing The Hours in 2003 as an "apologia for evil" -- but I like to imagine him leaping from his seat at A Midsummer Night's Dream when Titania makes love to the donkey-headed Bottom, screaming SACRILEGE, LIQUID MODERNITY! (I could go on like this all day -- e.g., Dreher sees Carl Dreyer's Day of Wrath and when it's over cries "I knew it! Witches are real!")

Imagine getting this far in life, and in a writing career no less, and having no fucking idea what art is nor what it's for. As I've said many times before: For these maroons, culture war is war on culture.

UPDATE. Dreher got mad because people made fun of him:
You guys, knock it off with “you didn’t see the movie so you don’t have the right to say anything about it.” I conceded early on that I hadn’t seen the film, and that my comments are based only on the Wikipedia description of its plot, and things both the director and others favorable to the film have said about it. Of course I could be wrong! If I’ve made a mistake in my description of the plotting, then I welcome correction. Nobody has yet said that I got that wrong...
It says right here in the review that she fucks a fish, so it's propaganda for fish-fucking -- because what else could it possibly be?

UPDATE 2. I saw a headline at Media Matters -- "Fox News keeps running columns from the same guy explaining, 'I'm a Democrat but [insert agreement with GOP]' -- and it put me in mind of two things: First, Harlan Hill; second, Rod Dreher, whose "reader" "mail" from Liberals Who've Had Enough is legendary. And he has a beautiful one today! Excerpts:
I read what you said about having spoken with four people recently who didn’t vote for Trump in 2016 but are considering it now because of the left’s recent behavior. I’m not quite in that camp, but am close to it; I suspect my progress on the issue largely resembles those of your friends and (I suspect) a substantial minority of other Americans as well.
Oh that's another thing -- all Rod's apostate liberal "readers" have their finger of the pulse of America.
...I’m certainly not a typical Trump supporter — I believe in climate change and America’s responsibility to take policy steps to reduce our contribution to it, I’m anti-NRA, pro-Obamacare to an extent, and detest the Republican Party generally. The day after Trump got elected, I posted a scathing denunciation of everyone who had voted for him, which got the millennial social capital gold: hundreds of likes and almost 40 shares, including by several people I didn’t even know.
This is where all the folks on the Mourner's Bench go "oooooh!" 'cuz they know a conversion narrative's a-comin'.
...But leaving the nuclear issue aside, the Left’s behavior in the last year has pushed me steadily more and more in the direction of being willing to vote for a sort of lower-key Trump (someone like Ben Shapiro)...
I wonder if Dreher owed Shapiro a favor; if I weren't quite sure he's humorless, I would suspect him of making a joke.

UPDATE 3. Just had to share Dreher's sputter-back in his Shape of Water comments section:

I wonder if Rod really means to posit the Ancient Greeks as his socio-sexual model.

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