Saturday, October 17, 2009

THE CHURCH MILITANT. Self-contradictions are always rife at The Anchoress, but I was struck by this, in a post about how we're too nice to children or some other Catholic topic:
I don’t watch any “reality” TV shows. Buster has tried to get me to watch American Idol because “sometimes there are talented people auditioning,” and that may be -– while I sat with him last week, I did see a few kids who seemed talented –- but for the most part, I felt very uncomfortable with it.
Which seemed odd to me, as for a while The Anchoress was basically a Susan Boyle fan site. She has elsewhere shown a keen interest in the show ("A bit of a travesty, Gina being voted off while Haley remains. I think if the judges had done their jobs, the outcome would be different," "Melinda Doolittle made me cry," etc). She had previously declared American Idol "dead to me" after a 2006 episode, not on moral grounds but because she didn't like the episode and couldn't "wait for this silly show to end." But then came Boyle, Melinda Doolittle, etc.

The obvious rejoinder would be that she doesn't watch it anymore, but she doesn't mention her past fixation and repent. I doubt she sees the need; in the next season she'll probably be swooning over some other Idol, and reading portents into it. What's sufficient is that she's free of the sin of American Idolatry for the moment.

This is followed by an Anchoress post of a familiar sort, about how she sometimes struggles with hating her enemies, but Buster and the Bible pull her clear. A great victory, to be sure, but one that apparently never lasts. She was given to call Obama names like "a fraud on legs" during the campaign. Of late she has said that "President Obama himself has no clue who he is, not as an American man, and not as The American President," and that he's "more than a little cowardly" -- in the latter instance, also attacking others who are filled with "hate," presumably because they used riper language than she to describe opponents as un-American cowards. And in and among these always come the lengthy posts about how Democrats are the real haters.

In the whirlwind of criticism that comprises the non-Jesus portion of her blog, The Anchoress has her hits and her misses, just like any other gunslinger out there. But in the intervals she's always insisting that she serves another, higher authority that prevents her from being the sort of political operative she appears to be in her political postings. To those not similarly dazzled by her faith, it suggests a strong conflict between what she does for a living, even when it involves fun with TV tripe, and the way she likes to see herself, or be seen. It makes her more interesting than the sharks out there, but also, to those of us who were acquainted with the magic acts performed in confessional booths long before they went online, very annoying.

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