Showing posts sorted by date for query dreher reader. Sort by relevance Show all posts
Showing posts sorted by date for query dreher reader. Sort by relevance Show all posts

Wednesday, September 02, 2020

IF IT WEREN'T FOR MOTIVATED REASONING, HE'D HAVE NO REASONING AT ALL.

I think Rod Dreher has no more to teach us about how bad Rod Dreher is -- that is, he does not show unplumbed depths of mendacity, bad faith, and derp, he just does them like usual but sometimes dumber. We've talked a lot about his "reader" "mailbag" shtick, where he blockquotes passages allegedly sent to him by people who he sometimes vouches for ("a reader of this blog writes as a decades-long resident of the New York Congressional district just won [effectively] by Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez") and which are often from liberals who are disgusted with liberalism, which always gives Rod some prodigal-son pep, and which are obvious bullshit -- either made up by Dreher himself or sent to him by conservative operatives or possibly trolls playing a deep game.

Anyway here's his recent account of a Thing He Saw On The Internet:
This is both sad and infuriating. It’s from an anonymous academic who posted it on Twitter as @publicola17:
1/ Woke anti-racism is child abuse.
My family is living the antithesis of @thomaschattwill's Self Portrait in Black and White. And I fear it may damage my children irrevocably.
Let me explain
2/ I'm white, my wife's black. When we met, we "saw each other's race," but we didn't think that was the most interesting thing about us. We foolishly thought our children would be part of a post-racial future, in which all Americans could just be human beings to one another.
3/ Then came Trump. I decided I should try to learn more about my fellow citizens, who I now realized were completely opaque to me. In contrast, my wife decided she was at war with an immutably white supremacist America.
4/ My wife began to read authors like Nikole Hannah Jones and Michael Harriot. She had a "racial awakening," concluding that she'd been "inauthentically black" all her life...
I actually had to C&P this from elsewhere because Dreher only provides a screenshot of this thing, which goes on to detail the alleged destruction of this poor guy's family as his wife does things like "regularly explain to our kids that the police want to kill black people" because "NHJ [Nikole Hannah-Jones] and [Ta-Nehisi] Coates are always telling her how traumatized she should be just because she's black in America," while the husband -- I shit you not -- looks forward to the day when his tykes can read Thomas Chatterton Williams and get clear.

Are your bullshit detectors ringing? Not Rod's! (Even though the @publicola17 account has disappeared.) He goes on for hundreds of words about what's "bizarre and twisted" about the woman and how "this is what the identity-politics left is going to bring to all of society: ruin, hatred, endless suspicion" and the Bible story about "when Jesus frees a demoniac by casting the evil spirits out of him, and sending them into a herd of swine," etc.

Finally:
UPDATE: Some of you believe that the Publicola narrative is fake. You might be right. It resonated with me because, as I’ve said, I’ve known people in marriages like that...
More such gush; then --
Even if the anonymous man Publicola’s narrative is nothing but an exercise in creative writing, it still tells a truth.
 Punchline: Dreher's upcoming book, which he pimps endlessly, is called Live Not By Lies.

Friday, June 12, 2020

FRIDAY 'ROUND-THE-HORN.



You probably already know this 1965 Waterloo gig,
but it was new to me. I love Chuck coming in late,
but still ripping it up like a pro.

•   I have to admit the statue-toppling thing going on is mostly funny to me, especially eloquent de-plinthings like the one Edward Coaston got in Bristol. Sure, take down all the Confederate Columbuses you like -- but I'd trade all that just to put Trump, Mnuchin, Barr, DeVos, and a few others on a dunking stool over an acid bath. In fact I'll be "moderate" about it and compromise: I'd accept seeing them tried in an honest court.

But if we can't have that, iconoclast away! It's not like we've got a Rodin or Saint-Gaudens Jefferson Davis to protect on aesthetic grounds. And as for the unloved items now defended disingenuously by terrified wingnuts, they don't seem to have suffered much at all. Here's Micah Mattix at The American Conservative:
HBO Max drops Gone with the Wind from its archive because to keep the title available “without an explanation and a denouncement of [its racist] depictions would be irresponsible.” Ah, yes, let’s avoid “irresponsibility.” 
I’ve never seen the film and have no desire to see it...
LOL. I've seen it twice, it's not so hot. At least Birth of a Nation is well-made!
...but it’s now the number 1 film at Amazon and number 5 at Apple. Pamela K. Johnson reminds us that Hattie McDaniel, who played Mammy, became the first African American to win an Academy Award. “I’ve sat through GWTW exactly once as research for a historical novel in which McDaniel is a character. I don’t like the film either. At the same time, it is sad to see the actress get canceled along with the movie. She endured so many trials to stand, briefly, in the spotlight.”
This is a pathetic dodge (but a popular one among conservatives now), using the long-dead McDaniel as an excuse to protest Gone With The Wind being "canceled" on... [checks notes] HBO Max. Plus which Mattix's same damn item says you can STILL GET GONE WITH THE WIND AT AMAZON AND iTUNES.

So in what sense is it "canceled"? A better word (and Mattix being one o' them-there intellectual conservatives should use it) would be "disfavored." And that's the whole grift here; they're not angry because they can't have their totems, but because their totems have been shown, vividly, to be out of favor, and they can't have the warm satisfaction of believing that everyone else was watching GWTW or tolerating a slaver's monument not because it happened to be on or because they were polite, but because they, too, secretly and in their heart of hearts, loved the Old Ways and the lash and chains and state violence that enforced it. Fuck these snowflakes.  The mob, of which I am now in charge, decrees: You'll take having to click on a different website than before to get your product, and you'll like it!

•  As mentioned previously, Rod Dreher has been flipping out over the Dusky Hordes and their SJW Dhimmis swamping his Backyard Republic -- but he's still got his wits sufficiently about him to do the occasional "reader" "mailbag"! In the latest, one "reader" tells us she knew Nikki Oliver, one of the leaders of Seattle's Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone, in high school, and that Oliver "used to be an outspoken Christian who attended a non-denominational megachurch," but alas the megachurch was not truly godly -- "theology was fairly shallow," presumably lacking hellfire and tongue-speaking -- and Oliver's high school was "very diverse -- racially, socially, and economically... incredibly secular," which presumably explains Oliver's heathen radicalism; the "reader," conversely, found the Real Jesus and now hopes Trump's reelection "delays the rise of the leftist totalitarians until 2024."

Better still is the story told by a "reader" whose friend, can you believe it, turned into a white nationalist! And guess whose fault it is:
This transition began with his own reactions against the elite anti-racism movement and the Democratic party.
Totally reasonable, right? I mean, no one likes Democrats, or anti-racism either, it's so elite. All that having to watch what you say, like no using "colored."
At first I was able to have very interesting conversations with him about his concerns, his growing sense of isolation, and his defensiveness and anger (which I completely understood and in many cases agreed with). It was even refreshing to have conversations with him.
Ha, I'll bet he didn't watch his language!
But then it somehow tipped into strikingly different territory. He crossed a line into what I’d actually call white nationalism.
"Buddy, I find your positions refreshing, but do you have to wear the armband in public?"
This is a heartbreaking thing to watch: to see a previously sensible, smart, kind, and nuanced person descend into spewing a sort of ethnocentric vitriol that denigrates others, while using valid concerns that I truly agree with as their justifying axioms. It feels like you’re going insane.
Emphasis in the original, amazingly.
I had honestly always imagined (wrongly) that a white nationalist looked a certain way (like a mug shot of a serial killer, essentially), and had just always existed as such...
But then I looked in a mirror. Ha! Just kidding.
...but my friend’s journey in that direction was slow and subtle and even influenced by such small things as a couple of first coffee dates with super-woke girls he didn’t like...
In the world "reader" never enters, this is known as a Red Flag. But aside from incel-unfriendly dates, what set this lovely fellow on the road to Quiet Parts Out Loud?
But with the woke movement pushing more and more destructive dynamics (and showing no sign of slowing those), I see whispers of the potential for these beginnings in other people as well...
Of course!
I suspect that when he realized what was happening – that people like him had become the scapegoats for woke elites’ claims that, by and large, were actually a violent power grab made in the name of “justice” – he just cracked at some point and likely threw his lot in with the only folks he saw who would offer him a valued place in their group.
So you see, your honor, this is really a good boy gone bad -- driven into the arms of Hitler by social justice warriors who cruelly attacked him -- well, not him specifically, but things he believed in, like, you know, umm err -- well, good things like I believe!
But it is very frustrating talking to moderate or progressive friends who look at me like I’m crazy when I suggest that the anti-racism movement may be furthering white nationalism, giving fodder to a fringe movement that welcomes people like my old acquaintance, who may believe they have no other safe place to go.
Yeah, if you push that "anti-racism" thing, you've gotta expect people to go racist, it's like you're asking for it. Why can't we compromise and just be sorta racist?

Sunday, May 31, 2020

DREHER IN THE BUNKER.


I'll certainly have more tomorrow morning in my newsletter (Subscribe! Cheap!™), but I got around the DC protests yesterday (though I bailed on the night watch -- I'm an old man, y'know) and first I'm here to set you straight that the crowd was racially mixed and not just white anarchist punks, and it was very young -- in other words, disenfranchised from jump and not here for your "but my lawnorder" concerns. But one sees what one wants to see, and sure enough here's Rod Dreher quoting James Lileks -- talk about double penetration! -- in one of his many pants-wetting posts about "Weimar Minneapolis" etc. --
I encourage everyone to take a look at Minneapolis Star Tribune columnist James Lileks’s melancholic yet powerful blog take on what some of his fellow citizens have done to the city they share. He took a drive through the riot areas, and took pictures. He posts images of gang graffiti. The Bloods have been here (this is their territory in the city). Also a Mexican gang that is heavily involved in human trafficking — they tagged a wall.
What kind of freak looks at nationwide clashes between young Americans and police and his first words are about the Bloods and Mexicans?

Well, now a new generation is introduced to Ol' 9-11 Jim. As for Dreher, he's doing his usual thing, just at even greater length and in a more screechy, panicked voice -- that noise, far outside my compound! Could it be Antifa? Like, for example, "reader" "mail" from "a liberal(ish) white reader" who "writes to say he has been truly shocked by how all his white liberal friends are acting now, at least on social media." Liberal(ish) White Reader tells Rod, "I know on this issue you’ve had the same response as me, which is sympathy for Black people who are the victims of police brutality," so you know he's legit, right? And he's had "substantial conversations" with "Black people (both college educated, one who still very much lives as part of the Black community, the other who is in a mixed-race marriage and from what I can tell travels in a mostly White social circle)," which... is a weird way to qualify his interlocutors; maybe Dreher's readers would be interested in how much exposure to white people the "Black people" had, in order to know how to judge their responses.

Anyway, Liberal(ish) White Reader says the "Black people" were "hot, and all 5 were more sympathetic to the riots than I was," but never mind them because the white liberals (as opposed to liberal[ish]s) accused him of blindness to the situation because of privilege, which is ridiculous because the white liberals were all limp-wristed caricatures:
The perspectives [the black people] had on it came from growing up scared of the cops, knowing people who’d been manhandled or profiled, and just navigating America and all the systemic racism in it (which I 100% believe is real) as Black people. So it was nuanced and grounded in reality. The White liberals, on the other hand, for them it was purely ideology and performance.
In other words, you have to expect the "Black people" to be this way, but it's obnoxious for whites to sympathize. I've seen this shit for decades: guys like Rod (excuse me, Liberal[ish] White Reader) can at least compartmentalize their feelings about "Black people," but what they really hate is "Black people"-lovers.

Also Dreher's customary "I'm no Trump fan" JustTheTip-Trumper construction is taking on many, many more waste-words:
You see that kind of [graffiti] scrawled on the wall of a building in the city that’s in the process of being burned down by Antifa, and you might think differently about Trump’s obnoxious boast about shooting rioters. I wish he had been more statesmanlike, and laid down a hard line without being so provocative, but it’s hard to look at, and listen to, Antifa without believing that Trump is more right than wrong.
And:
The American media (including me) did not see the Donald Trump election coming, and they’re going to miss the political blowback from these riots. I say that as someone who did not vote for Donald Trump, and who wishes we had almost anybody else in the White House right now in this time of grave national crisis, given that his big mouth is likely to make a bad situation much worse. Nevertheless, the fallout from these riots are going to push so very many middle-class and working-class people to the Right. Count on it. As Douthat writes...
Ugh, I'll spare you. (I would also ask: What "middle-class" and "working-class," anymore?) Lately I've been leaning toward the explanation that Dreher's a con man playing his obviously confused readers with his fancied-up Get Ready Man shtick, but this latest wave suggests to me that he's legitimately unhinged, and suffering mightily as he is inevitably driven by fear and hatred into the arms of Spiro T. Trump.

Friday, February 14, 2020

FRIDAY 'ROUND-THE-HORN.



People laugh about "yazz flute" but Bobbi Humphrey ain't no joke.

•   I'm releasing another edition of Roy Edroso Breaks It Down for you non-subscribing folks. In this one I imagine a meeting between Tom Perez and his party's major donor, Michael Bloomberg. As I've been saying for years, Bloomberg sucks. Here's me in 2007 when people were also talking about a Bloomberg presidential run:
When we imagine the archetypical Rich Prick, we generally think of vulgarian clowns like Donald Trump, but Bloomberg is a better example of that breed: he doesn't have to even stir himself to sneer. As we saw during the last Mayoral Debate, he effortlessly radiates contempt for anything that is not his will. When he gives press conferences, his manner is bland, because he knows there's nothing to get excited about: he is right, you are wrong, and he will prevail.

As Mayor he has blithely exercised his will, or his whim, on matters ranging from trans-fats to the razing of neighborhoods for private profit. And nearly everyone rolls over for him. All the major dailies endorsed him in his last Mayoral race. (He spent over $75 million on the campaign.)

No wonder he's interested in the Presidency. Experience has taught him that very little is beyond his grasp. So he will patiently go on accumulating power...
Fortunately a lot of people (including Elizabeth Warren, bless her) are pointing out his shortcomings now -- his erstwhile stop-and-friskiness and the transparent insincerity of his apologies for it, his blaming the 2008 financial crisis on black people, etc. He's clearly hoping his billions and free-spending thereof will do the trick like it did back in New York. I couldn't stop the guy back then, but maybe everyone's gotten a little more wised up in the interval.

•   Readers of this site will know I've long suspected authors of "reader email" to Rod Dreher (or as I like to call them, "Letters to Repenthouse") are pulling his chain, and now I suspect they're sending Sacha Baron Cohen in a variety of disguises to prank him. From his latest:
But I have to tell you about something deeply shocking I learned tonight in conversation with one of the conferees [at a Nashville conference]. There’s nothing funny about this at all. It’s the kind of thing that makes me want to write a book called Benedict Option II: Head For The Hills.
Gasp! What a come-on. Gather round, Jesus fish!
I spoke with a man who works with victims of human sex trafficking. This is not a world I have paid attention to. He was telling me that it is much, much worse than people imagine, because of the Internet. Online pornography, he said, is destroying the hearts and minds of so many young people. He told me about a 13 year old girl in his church who came to the pastor and asked innocently if it was worth it to give a boy a blow job in exchange for a meal at McDonalds. She was holding out for Applebees, and wondered if it she was overshooting.
One waits in vain for the rimshot. Apparently Rod is buying this. Emboldened, his interlocutor goes further:
He said that in his line of work, he hears from fertility doctors — not one fertility doctor, but several — that they are having to teach married couples how to have normal sex. Normal, as in penis-in-vagina sex — this, if they want to conceive. These young people have been so saturated in pornography, and have had their imaginations so thoroughly formed by it, that the idea of normal reproductive sex acts are bizarre to them.
“This one doctor told me that she has to prescribe only doing penis-in-vagina sex exclusively for six months, so they can learn to feel normal about it,” he said. He wasn’t joking. He said that the first time a fertility doc told him that, he thought it must be a one-off thing, but he’s heard it from fertility docs from around the country.
I am old and out of it in many, many ways, but I would bet folding money that young people can figure out how to fuck no matter what they see on the internet.

I almost feel sorry for Dreher. Sooner or later his credulousness is going to affect his career trajectory. Imagine him going to some classy conference where someone brings up the declines in teen pregnancy, and Dreher explaining this is because young'uns don't know that the pee-pee goes in the hoo-hoo because porno. Imagine the astonished stares as David Brooks whisks Dreher to a waiting limo!

Friday, January 31, 2020

FRIDAY 'ROUND-THE-HORN


I just love it, okay?

•   Hey, it's almost time for the big game -- by which I mean the Oscars, a week from Sunday. Over at the newsletter (it's called Roy Edroso Breaks It Down, if you want to know what to ask for at the newsletter store) I've started my Best Picture nominee reviews. Last year I correctly predicted Green Book to win, so I'm feeling pretty damned cocky (though I only got 61% right overall). For those of you non-subscribers who want to get in on the tinsel and glamour, I've unlocked my reviews of Marriage StoryThe IrishmanOnce Upon a Time… in Hollywood, Parasite, Joker, and Jojo Rabbit; -- the other three are coming soon. Oh, and as long as I'm here: Chiefs by 3!

•    I assume most of you are acquainted with the Rod Dreher "Letters to Repenthouse" shtick, whereby conservative operatives (compensated or not) pass him their "I never dreamed this would happen to me" missives and he posts them as Vox Populi. Here's his latest, in a post called "Actually, There Is A Christian Case For Trump"; Dreher explains that he's still only thinking about voting for Trump (LOL) but if he does it'll be for better reasons than those trashy not-artisanal Evangelicals have, and to back it up he dips into the ol' reader mailbag and finds a fellow who rails against "local, woke Democrats in positions like D.A., city council, etc. in cities." The rubes have a hate-on for cities these days, so you can see why Dreher picked it, notwithstanding its lack of relevance to Trump:
The ideology they are pursuing, of completely ignoring any quality of life related criminal behavior and deconstructing muncipal competence brick by brick, is horrifying. Decriminalization of theft, of open drug crime, vehicle break ins, public urination, etc. is turning our cities, and increasingly exurban towns, into absolute hell holes.
So far it's standard "Them there big cities what gawts fee-cees an' needles in 'em" boob bait, but how did our alleged correspondent come to know the horrors of city life?
These doofuses are bringing the medieval plague back to Los Angeles, where I recently visited my fiancee’s family. The stuff I saw there was shocking, and really sobering. It made me remember why I identify as a centre-right person to begin with, and why despite being a bit more on the Tucker Carlson side of view on markets, I will have no time for woke municipal governance.
I'm guessing the guy is a "centre-right" citizen of the Commonwealth. But couldn't Dreher have at least proofread his copy for Britishisms? They rather spoil the effect. The best part of the post is not from mailbag guy, but from Dreher himself on his big dilemma about voting for Trump:
If Bernie Sanders were a pro-life social conservative, I would strongly consider voting for him, even though I don’t like his economics.
If you don't like his economics, then why the hell would you be interested in voting for him? Maybe Dreher believes that bullshit about Sanders loving George Wallace.

•   One other thing: The Republicans laying down for Trump on impeachment is no shock. (Democrats will make it hurt for them in November, if they're smart, which, yeah, I know.) This is all Republicans are good at anymore. Here's a great example from the Washington Examiner, reporting that a "surge in meth could bring drug overdose death rates back up." This couldn't be good news for the god-emperor, especially coming after the Examiner recently said a 2018 drop in U.S. drug overdoses "offers President Trump a boost during his reelection campaign as Democrats criticize his administration for not going further in fighting the crisis." So here's how they spin it:
A top Trump administration health official is worried that meth-related deaths will counterbalance the progress the United States has made in reducing drug-overdose deaths
See, it's not that Trump isn't doing great against drug overdoses -- it's that his success has been counterbalanced by... failure. (Well, who could have guessed meth was a problem?) I'm going to try this at work: I didn't fuck up, my good work was counterbalanced! If only I had an entire political party willing to cover for me.

Monday, December 02, 2019

THE PUSSIES THAT GOT GRABBED.

Man, this particular Rod Dreher "reader mailbag" -- the latest in a series of highly suspect alleged third-party transmissions Dreher publishes that, remarkably, always sound like Rod Dreher -- is a corker; it goes on so long that Dreher even has to start it in his own voice before cutting to the correspondent's, just for the sake of variety.

I have to admit, when I saw the title art --


-- I was expecting big drama, like maybe a gang of trans thugs beating up a wispy Dreherite. But instead I got acres of this:
He studied education in college, and said that many of the materials they studied were preoccupied with “white privilege” and woke ideology. He didn’t think it was a problem, because it conformed to the view of the world that he’d been raised with. He ended up in the social work field, which was ideologically the same. 
In college, he converted to Christianity, which radically changed some of his values. He now identifies as a conservative, though he has never voted Republican in a presidential race. He says he’s “kind of confused politically” because of all this.
Less talk more rock, buddy! Get to the bigot-bashing!
He says that he’s growing increasingly angry by the relentless wokeness in popular culture. He gave a couple of recent examples of having a strong reaction at the overt liberal messaging in TV shows he and his wife watched.
???!!!???
He says they talked about it, and she convinced him that the liberal messaging was based somewhat in reality (e.g., racism and sexism really do exist). What surprised him was how “black and white” his thinking has become on these topics, as a result of being on the defensive all the time against the overwhelming progressive messaging he sees.
So... the guy sees "liberal messaging in TV shows" (unnamed, probably because Dreher doesn't want to be laughed at even more than he already is), and he and his wife talked about it? Doesn't seem so Stalinist to me -- hold on, Dreher's switching to the Voice Of The Correspondent, maybe there'll be some hot stuff here:
I certainly feel like the progressive ideology is being forced down my throat at every turn. I have unfollowed basically everyone on social media and stopped using it except for work purposes because the stuff people posted made me like them less (both on the left and right).
Wait, so you've had something forced down your throat -- boy, if I had a dollar for every time a theocon told me that! And it's so bad that you had to block nearly everyone you know on social media. Wow, must be something terrible -- lay it on us, bro, and don't spare the lurid details!
I can’t count how many times I have heard people make flippant comments about the taint white men and the patriarchy have left on our society. I don’t feel like I can express my thoughts about any polarizing topic because I will be dismissed due to my sex and skin color.
Blink. Blink.

Flippant comments?
Of course, I recognize I don’t have to let that happen to me, and I don’t want to just sit here and say I’m helplessly being polarized by the rhetoric coming from the left.
Great, maybe he'll snap out of this now!
I won’t ever go down the alt-right road. I don’t want to watch shows and movies and feel so sensitive to what seems like a political agenda or start disliking friends who are left leaning and that I may even agree with about a lot of things! Even if they aren’t militant, I still feel threatened. I have a friend who is letting her 8 year old present as the opposite gender...
AAAARRGH I've stood all I can stand and I can't stand no more! To cut to the chase, nothing happened to this guy but the presence of conflicting views and lifestyles, and he talks about it as if it's Kristallnacht. There follows a lot of traditional Dreher you'll-be-sorry I'll-show-you-all snowflake gush ("Woke cultural politics are crow-barred into any and all areas of news and entertainment. And it’s radicalizing to the Right people who don’t want to be"). But all I can think to say in response is the words of Billy Sol Hurok:


May the Good Lord take a liking to you and blow you up real good.

Tuesday, September 17, 2019

QUACK.

Rod Dreher, better known for his obsession with gays, transsexuals, and cuddly neofascist dictators, has branched into medicine with disastrous results:
You might remember the post here about “Moralistic Therapeutic Med School,” in which medical schools are starting to remove or relocate images of white men affiliated with the school who accomplished great things.
Ah, yes, I remember -- it was bullshit.
This is about something related, but much more serious. 
A reader who is a physician sent me this WSJ op-ed column the other day. He said that this is bad news for the medical profession. The author is Stanley Goldfarb, a former administrator at Penn’s medical school. Excerpts:
Goldfarb's brief op-ed, "Take Two Aspirin and Call Me by My Pronouns," is just a series of grump-farts -- he complains, for example, of being "chastised by a faculty member for not including a program on climate change in the course of study" at his med school. Ooooh, how SJW! But Goldfarb's real bugbear is the "educational specialists" he encounters who "emphasize 'social justice' that relates to health care only tangentially" and "focus on eliminating health disparities..."

In case you don't know (and Dr. Golfarb seems to hope you don't), this is something known as population health, to which Goldfarb refers as if it were some ghastly new fad like rainbow parties but which has been around for decades and is studied by the U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) and thousands of scholars and think tanks. It is not something working MDs do instead of treating their patients. Even holy Mike Pence employed a few such experts for his Healthy Indiana Medicaid initiative, from which Seema Verma was promoted to CMS Administrator, in which capacity she often talks about addressing "health disparities." Tell me they're SJWs!

Goldfarb also says that "teaching these issues is coming at the expense of rigorous training in medical science," an outrageous claim for which he offers absolutely zero evidence. Does he really think new doctors don't know how to treat the sick because they spent too much time on "social justice" in school? Doubtful, but I expect he knows some Journal readers will be dumb enough to buy it.

Dreher takes this all at face value, natch:
At some point, reality will take its revenge, and the woke will be banished. But how much suffering will innocent people have to endure before it does? And how many people of faith will be deterred from seeking a medical career because the militant left has placed absurd barriers to keep out the politically incorrect.
Come on, guy, can't you at least find some Young Republican who can claim he was discouraged from attending Johns Hopkins by hippies?

But wait, there's more: Dreher finds a way to connect this paranoid miasma to his transphobia. Instead of hectoring trans folks as usual, though, he tells them (from a hygienic distance) that he understands their plight because he's been there, in a sense:
I have never felt comfortable in my body, though I thought for most of my life this was simply neurosis. No, I have never had the faintest thought of gender dysphoria, but it manifested itself in something feeling … not right. Something hard to define.
Snnkkk.
To be frank, one reason I drank so much in college — aside from the fact that LSU in the 1980s had a massive binge-drinking culture — was to overcome that sense of not-rightness, so I could talk to girls. The point is, when I read about officially-diagnosed autistic young people seeking sex changes because they say they don’t feel right in their bodies, I get that. I can’t pretend to know about that from a sexualized point of view, but that sense that things aren’t right is quite familiar to me. And it never goes away. You just have to learn how to cope with it. For me, it got better as I grew older.
See, y'all don't need top surgery -- you need time and Jesus! But no, they won't listen -- these transsexuals turn away from their Savior and allow themselves to be "driven by the popular culture and the culture of medicine [!] into asking for life-changing procedures that will not actually cure them..." When Rod takes over as Patriarch of the Popes, them so-called doctors will have to dispense the Blood of the Lamb!

Dreher's materia medica is also invoked in an earlier post:
I’ve done research in the past on the phenomenon of demon possession, and it does seem to be tied closely to intense childhood trauma, especially in the family — sexual trauma in particular. There is something about trauma that cracks the psyche; sometimes, that crack is big enough for evil spirits to come in. It is certainly not the case that everyone who experiences childhood trauma become possessed! (Actual possession is rare.)
Well, there's a relief. I wonder why Doc Dreher just doesn't go the whole hog and start selling nootropics.

UPDATE. Comments are choice on this one, and one guest reminds me of this wonderful bit from Dreher's autobiographical segment:
I’ve come to see, for example, the fact that I have unusual superpowers when it comes to taste and smell to be an advantage. This is why I love food and wine so much: I can experience aromas and flavors more intensely than most people.
It's not gluttony, it's my superpower! I've laughed for two straight minutes imaging Dreher's audition for the Justice League. (For more enjoyment of Dreher's food fetish, see here.)



Wednesday, March 20, 2019

HOW BULLSHIT WORKS, PART 5,200,843.

When Rod Dreher ostentatiously shows concern for his fellow man, you know there's a catch:
Readers, I have to go out for a few hours on a sudden errand. When I get back, I would like to hear from you who are in the flood zones of Nebraska and Iowa. It’s amazing how little coverage your tragedy is receiving. If I didn’t follow the Twitter accounts of Sen. Ben Sasse and Jake Meador, I would barely know a thing about it. I know the same thing happened in 2016 when we had the devastating Louisiana floods.
Let's see what The New York Times, which is Liberal Media Central and must be suppressing this story out of irrational hatred for the Common People, has been doing about it in the past three days:

March 20, "U.S. Farmers Face Devastation Following Midwest Floods [Reuters]"; "An Iowa Town Fought and Failed to Save a Levee. Then Came the Flood"; "The Latest: Minnesota to Help Nebraska Flood Fight [AP]"; "Missouri River Towns Face Deluge as Floods Move Downstream [Reuters]"; "Flooded Iowa Communities Surviving With Trucked-In Water [AP]."

March 19, "Rising Waters: See How Quickly the Midwest Flooded"; "Like ‘House Arrest’: Flooded Roads and Swamped Bridges Strand Nebraskans"; "Pets, Livestock Among Victims of Midwest Flooding [Reuters]"; "Missouri River Flooding Catches Small Nebraska Town Off Guard [Reuters]"; "Midwest Floodwaters Tear Through or Spill Over Many Levees [AP]"; "‘It’s Like an Island’: Scenes From the Midwest Floods [multimedia]"; "The Latest: Pence Views Raging River, Visits Shelter"; "Floodwaters Threaten Millions in Crop and Livestock Losses."

March 18, "Why Is There Flooding in Nebraska, South Dakota, Iowa and Wisconsin?" "‘It’s Probably Over for Us’: Record Flooding Pummels Midwest When Farmers Can Least Afford It"; "Flooded U.S. Air Force Base Underscores Climate Risk to Security: Experts [Reuters]"; "'Angels of the Sky' Offer Flights Into Flooded Nebraska City [AP]"; "Scenes from Record Flooding in Nebraska [multimedia]"; "Homes Flood as Missouri River Overtops, Breaches Levees"; "Nebraska Nuclear Plant Still at Full Power as Floodwaters Recede [Reuters]"; "Three Dead, One Missing in Devastating Floods Across U.S. Midwest."

I may have missed a few. Dreher seems to have missed considerably more than a few. In comments (not in his main post), he breezily notes,
To be fair to the media, some readers say they’ve seen a lot of coverage. I think that this is an example of how silo’d we tend to be, even if we don’t mean to be. Sometimes a reader or two will accuse me of ignoring a particular news event because I haven’t posted on it — and I haven’t even heard of it!
Tee hee! Meanwhile a number of Dreher's commuters snarl things like "Why isn’t this covered more, Rod? This affects only the benighted people in flyover country..." and "The headlines are the latest nothingburger from the Mueller probe and Beto eating dirt." Elsewhere on Twitter, a bunch of people who seem unable to use Google News act like there's a media blackout on the floods. "Is it me or would this be getting a lot more attention if this were closer to New York or LA?" uueries pollster Patrick Ruffini. Others chime in: "This is catastrophic and mainstream media is pretty much ignoring this." "If a disaster happens on the coast, it’s full scale media coverage. But a disaster in the Midwest .....crickets. It’s ok, we don’t need u elites anyway." "Where is all the media’s coverage about the devastating floods in Nebraska?!?!" Ad infinitum.

I keep telling and telling and telling you guys: There is no flakier snowflake than a wingnut, and their propagandists feed them on grievance stories like the Great Media Blackout of Your Tragedy and how the big bad city slickers don't care because a steady diet of bullshit is what keeps them voting Republican.

Sunday, December 30, 2018

2018: THE YEAR IN BULLSHIT, PART 1.

[See Part 2 and Part 3 as well.]

© 2014 Sean P. Anderson used under a Creative Commons license
10. The (Blessed) Silencing of Alex Jones. Remember that brief moment last summer when Alex Jones became the new John Peter Zenger because Facebook and YouTube "censored" him and all the top wingnuts nailed their colors to his escutcheon? You don't? Well, maybe that's because after a brief inital burst of caterwauling they all fucked off and left him to rot in his (still highly visible and lucrative) exile.

Here in December 2018, it's hard to imagine that conservatives were blubbering over Jones' removal from platforms that did not want him aboard. National Review's Theodore Kupfer did the old unintended-consequences thing: "Facebook can’t make Alex Jones go away; banning him might add to his support and further radicalize his fans." Others cried lefty censorship: "This is absolutely the first stage in a coordinated plan to deplatform everyone on the right," declared Instapundit Glenn Reynolds. All agreed Liberals were the Real Fascists.

Reynolds' prediction, alas, has not come true, and there are still rightwing nutcakes all over the damn place -- and while claiming they've been unpersoned or deplatformed has become a rite of passage for them (see Laura Loomer chaining herself to Twitter HQ), even bigtime conservatives have for the most part stopped playing along. You don't see many REMEMBER ALEX JONES memorials on the Right.

It's easy to see why: As it becomes increasingly clear, especially since the midterms, that relying on only the nuttiest Americans to lift them to victory is not a repeatable strategy, conservatives are not as eager as once they were to be represented by crackpots and carny clowns. Speaking of which: keep an eye out because their abandonment of Jones will probably serve as a model for their abandonment of the ever-less-popular Trump.

© 2018 Mark Dillman used under a Creative Commons license
9. OMG AOC! I know the "Fill In The Blank Derangement Syndrome" template has been going since the Dawn of the Clintons, but look: Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez is merely a freshman Congressmember from a safe seat in New York City, yet conservatives have gone ballistic over her. In fact they've been deranged since she beat the stand-pat Democratic incumbent for the nomination in July. Back then they were rattled that she was an unashamed Democratic Socialists of America member -- notwithstanding that a lot of other DSA candidates have been winning elections. (Which may be part of the reason for the syndrome -- a glimmer of awareness on the Right's part that Trump has made conservatism so toxic voters will run further to the left than Hillary Clinton ever dreamed of going.)

But even worse from a rightwing perspective, this socialist is popular: AOC is good on the stump and has fired up thousands of fans, which makes attacking her kind of a "this thing everyone likes is bad" proposition. Here's Virginia Kruter at The Daily Caller -- "YES, ALEXANDRIA OCASIO-CORTEZ ‘INSPIRED’ ME. NO, NOT IN THE WAY SHE THINKS... So, Rep.-elect Ocasio-Cortez, you did inspire me... You inspired me to fight the creep of socialism with everything I have. And you inspired me to raise my children to do the same." That's totally the kind of argument winners make.

Also, AOC is cute, Hispanic, *and* unafraid to clap back at dull-witted wingnuts, which attributes, taken together, probably ring at least a dozen psychosexual bells for conservatives. Did you see how she smacked a Washington Examiner facotum for his "creep shot" analysis of her walking down the halls of Congress in a dress? Imagine being a rightwing player accustomed to treating young women like chattel getting that kind of lip from a young Puertorriqueña with a House seat as thousands cheer.

Not only do liberals talk about how AOC drives conservatives crazy ("Why conservatives love to hate Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez" -- Jane Coaston, Vox) --  so do conservatives ("Conservatives Keep Giving Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Exactly What She Wants" -- Jim Geraghty, National Review). It's like they figure there's nothing they can do about it except sluice off some of the clickbait.

My favorite in that genre is Kevin D. Williamson trying to turn it around with his traditional snotty patter -- "Ocasio-Cortez describes herself as a socialist," he quips, "a declaration mitigated somewhat by the fact that she doesn’t seem to know what the word 'socialist' means." There is only one thing worse than being witty, and that is not being witty. But even this notorious troll seems to sense it isn't working and finally goes full corncob, telling his fellow conservatives "if they were smarter, they’d be grateful [that]... this callow dilettante is the best the other side has to offer." That should be some comfort as she continues to kick their sorry asses.


8. The Kavanaugh hearings and the end of the Roe repeal boom. When SCOTUS "swing vote" Anthony Kennedy announced his retirement in July, wingnuts cheered the imminent end of the right to abortion. "The central mandate for the man or woman who will take his seat, and for all the justices," Glory-Hallelujah'd the Washington Examiner, under the unambiguous headline "Repeal Roe v. Wade," "is to wipe away a disgrace that ranks alongside Dred Scott, and overtun [sic] Roe and Casey.”

As Trump replacement Brett Kavanaugh was exposed as a groper and a goon (and, I was shocked to learn, a buddy-pal of longtime alicublog figure of fun Mark Judge), we heard more talk about all the women Kavanaugh didn't rape, and about how it was actually someone else disguised as Kavanaugh who tried to rape that lady, and less about how he was going to make rape victims bear their rape-babies. Theocons like Ross Douthat have kept the faith, but other conservatives have been tucking their hands in their pockets, whistling, and walking away -- and since Kavanaugh appeared to help Planned Parenthood in a recent SCOTUS decision, we're even seeing headlines like "Brett Kavanaugh is not the pro-life savior you're looking for" at the Washington Examiner.

It was fun to dream of damning women to unwanted children in the fall of 2018 -- but with elections and polls showing Republicans becoming even more unpopular, the idea of a sexual batterer repealing Roe v. Wade is suddenly less attractive to them. We don't know what the asshole will do in the clutch, but we do know he's not committed to anything so much as his career -- and probably the goodwill of the assholes who probably let him know they made him and can break him. So in one sense, at least, the Kavanaugh hearings may have done some good.


7. The Rod Dreher "Reader" "Mailbag." This is not a matter of national interest, but of my own desires (which are... unconventional), so give the blogger some: There's so much to enjoy about Benedict Option author/hyper-holy-roller Rod Dreher -- his racism, his gay panic, his love of fascist dictators. But my favorite Dreherism is his use of "mail" from "readers" to back up his points. These missives are often from a Democrat who now hates Democrats, a liberal who now hates liberals, or a Wiccan who now hates Wicca -- all of whom express themselves very clearly in a similar tone of voice.

One of 2018's great pieces of "reader" "mail" was the one in which the proud daughter of a "Scots-Irish 'clan'" laments that her family is being "torn apart" by an "LGBT bully" -- that is, a gay cousin "who publicly shames family members on Facebook." (Though this woman calls the gay cousin a "terrorist" she didn't say how or why his Facebook posts do so much damage. My guess -- assuming, for the sake of argument, that these people exist -- is that he described some family sleepovers.)

Another is from a "reader" who reports the nice young fellow down at the store was transferred to a distant location as punishment because he said he'd be uncomfortable using "transgender pronouns." I tell ya, it's a gulag out there ("there are some very obvious common threads between what happened in the early Soviet days and what we see today") for folks who want he-shes to know their place!

But here's my 2018 favorite:
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... 
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)...
Soon Brother Rod will notice those Beto-Bernie fights that currently inflame the internet and propose the Virgin Ben as a unity candidate. You read it here first!

Stay tuned for Part 2 and Part 3 over the next few days.

Tuesday, November 20, 2018

MORE LETTERS TO REPENTHOUSE.

Fans of Rod Dreher's "reader" "mail" (background here) will appreciate his latest:
A reader sent me the following e-mail, which I have edited a bit to protect her privacy, and the privacy of others mentioned here:
I wanted to bring this to your attention. My husband had a conversation with a young friend of ours who is a recent college grad. He has been working at [a major retailer] for the last year. I’m not sure what his title is, but we have encountered him at the store. He is a great worker and has earned a number of company awards for his performance. He related to my husband that he had had a conversation with a friend at work about the use or non-use of transgender pronouns. He took the position that he would not feel comfortable doing this.

He was later called into his manager’s office and reprimanded. The manager told him that someone had overheard his conversation (manager wouldn’t say who), and that he had made this person feel “unsafe”. Our friend was written up for this, transferred to another store a long distance away, and suffered other severe sanctions! He was a bit naive to have engaged in this conversation at work, but good grief!
What do you guys think really happened?
  1. Employee actually said "Trannies gross me out, what do you even call them, 'he' 'she' 'he-she' 'it,' I mean yuk, YEAH I'M TALKING ABOUT YOU 'SERENA'" or words to that effect.
  2. Reader ran into Employee who had been absent from the store for a long while and asked Employee what had happened; rather than admit he had been fired for stealing, and knowing from Reader's in-store rants that she was obsessed with trans people, Employee made up story that he knew would excite Reader, then hit her up for ten bucks.
  3. This story is bullshit from top to bottom.
The follow-up is also choice ("Yes, under communism, the slightest infraction was met with overwhelming punitive force... The reader goes on: 'I am currently reading “The Gulag Archipelago”, and there are some very obvious common threads..."), and ends on a very promising note:
I’m going to start a new category of blog posts: “The Woke Workplace”. Send me your accounts of political correctness run amok in your office. If you want me to edit any details out for privacy’s sake, say so
Start sharpening your pens, folks: "Dear Repenthouse, I never thought it would happen to me..."

Thursday, June 28, 2018

DREHER IN THE TERTIARY STAGE.

Rod Dreher's been on a tear lately. He is of course over the moon about the possibility of overturning Roe v. Wade. He knows he owes Donald Trump for this, so in his usual "I'm no Trump supporter but"/ "I'm no Trump fan but"/ "I didn't vote for Trump but," plausibly-deniable testimonial to the President, this time he lets in considerably more than the tip:
I will say that Gorsuch, plus whoever is coming next, is, are two facts that Trump-voting social conservatives can and ought to use to beat Trump-skeptical conservatives like me over the head, in a we-told-you-so fit of vindication. I find it harder to justify my sitting out the presidential election in light of the facts of this tweet...
If only he could confess his secret love! I think ol' Rod's gonna wake up Trump-pregnant, and will of course bring it to term, while steadfastly, like Hester Prynne, refusing to identify the father.

But the real fun with Dreher is his "reader""mailbag," and the victory of Democratic Socialist Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez in New York has his alleged correspondent in this instance, who honest to God lives in Ocasio-Cortez' district, in stitches, or perhaps a straitjacket:
The Department of Transportation, a bunch of crazy far-left progressive activists, and the Mayor were trying to force these bike lanes down our throats despite a huge outcry, and we pushed back enough where Joe Crowley said no and our local councilman ended up not supporting the project. Now with Crowley gone, the snowflakes who demand these bike lanes might become emboldened again.
Dreher's audience, which probably hates cyclists even more than it hates pedestrians and drives to go to the bathroom, is no doubt sympathetic, and wonders why all the Archie Bunkers they imagine populate all of Queens couldn't vote in Crowley. After a feint at claiming "big money was definitely backing [Ocasio-Cortez]" -- despite the well-known fact that she refused PAC money while Crowley was up to his eyeballs in major donors-- Alleged Correspondent suddenly goes full bull-goose racist:
However, what was really bizarre for me was the fact that the overwhelmingly majority of activists who were campaigning for her like a bunch of fanatics were WHITES! 
When I see stuff like this, I can’t help but think that whites, especially white liberals, have some sort of in-built suicide complex, where they want to give away their own country to non-whites. It’s absolutely mind-boggling to me. And it’s going to be hilarious watching these whites eventually be pushed out of the Democratic Party and straight into the hands of the alt-right.
In updates, Dreher does his usual "What, you think that's racist? Well, takes all kinds" thing.  But he does a little of the racial heavy lifting himself in a later post,  pointing out the ooga-boogas in Ooga-Booga Land are multiplying rapidly, white people aren't squeezing out enough little Crusaders, and reckoning is inevitable:
Where are those Africans going to go? They’re going toward Europe, which is depopulating. Miguel said that given the geography of the Mediterranean, it’s going to be very, very hard for Europe to keep African migrants from entering. I suggested that given the unwillingness of European elites to confront the hard facts of what’s happening, in part because it conflicts with their liberal ideology, this will make the inevitable reckoning even more violent and traumatic than it would otherwise be. 
The massive migration of barbarians into the Roman Empire, in the 4th through 6th centuries, changed European civilization permanently...
Poor guy -- he's about to have his female-crushing wet dreams fulfilled by the Supreme Court, and yet he still can't stop thinking about being overwhelmed by the fecund, dusky hordes! Well, there's some of God's justice, perhaps; with all that privilege and power protecting him, he still can never feel safe.

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

WON'T SOMEONE PLEASE THINK OF THE ASSHOLES?

That lady who called the cops on that black-people picnic in Oakland, got embarrassed, and cried, was pretty funny/sad, as have been the associated photoshops. But a man of God has asked that we spare a thought for the lady who called the cops -- the internet can be cruel, he says, and she must be suffering from all the negative attention, so let us HA J/K IT'S ROD DREHER so of course his brief pretense of Christian charity is really just a gimmick to get you to listen to how scared of black people he is:
Here’s a story: We lived in an apartment complex not too long ago. There were three young unmarried guys living in the flat above ours. They would get loud on the weekend. We decided that being good neighbors meant that we should put up with the banging and hooting until 10pm, but not after that, because that was bedtime. The first few occasions we went up to ask them to knock it off, they were nice about it. But then they got obnoxious, usually after they had been drinking. Finally one night, after multiple attempts to ask them to stop, we had to call the apartment security people. We didn’t want to be those neighbors, but they left us no choice.

The difference is that those bad neighbors were causing actual harm, yelling and banging on the floor and playing loud music until late in the night. The people grilling in the park were not harming Barbecue Griper one bit. Still, had the jerks upstairs been three young black guys, not white guys, I wonder if I would have said anything to them at all, for fear of them turning it into a racial confrontation. If I had called apartment security on them, like I eventually did with the white guys, after they ignored our repeated requests to stop banging on the floor, etc., would they have confronted me in the parking lot with a smartphone camera, calling me a racist, and distributing it to social media, and turning me into a racist pariah?
Too bad about that lady, but the real victim is Brother Rod who is persecuted in his fantasies by race-card-wielding black revelers who are much worse than the actual white people who gave him a hard time.

Later in the column Dreher yells at Ta-Nahisi Coates, as one does, then gives us one of his patented "Reader" "Letters" in which some guy says that first, "This lady is NOT white. It is clear to me from her facial features and body type that her racial and ethnic background is mixed " -- trust him, he's spent a lot of time on these things! -- and barbecues in Oakland are a fire hazard ("Oakland Hills fire of 1991 anyone? Google images. I survived it") and "people regularly, openly and brazenly break the law in Oakland and asking them 'nicely' to desist DOES NOT WORK" -- you Rod Dreher readers all know what he means and if you don't, he inevitably makes it clear:
Oakland, especially the area around Lake Merritt, is in a state of complete lawlessness. And no one cares. In fact, the lawlessness is celebrated as a kind of teenage, immature, passive aggressive rebelliousness. You can’t tell me what to do! Especially if you’re white – because that’s, you know, intrinsically racist. Their sad battle cry…..
It's the old story: I'm a white guy who has lived among the savages, and Breitbart says liberals all live in white places, so take it from me, they're sub-human. It's only a matter of time before Dreher moves his blog to Stormfront.

Tuesday, April 03, 2018

NEW FROM ROD DREHER'S "READER" "MAIL."

It's always a treat to see the first-person Dear-Benedict-Option-I-never-thought-it-could-happen-to-me narratives Rod Dreher portrays as reader mail. Yesterday in a unsurprisingly worthless Roseanne post about how homosexuals are defaming America's Sitcom, Rod finished off with such a missive:
You are so right about how Roxanne Gay’s comments typify the rancor and
illiberalness that is tearing apart families. 
I am one of 25 first cousins out of a Scots-Irish “clan” from deep in the mountains of [Appalachia], people like J. D. Vance who made it out into the broader world through hard work and education, mostly conservative Presbyterians. We were doing fine for generations…until the gay lawyer cousin joined a PCUSA church that transformed him into a LGBT bully who publicly shames family members on Facebook for any view they hold contrary to him. 
He has become the family terrorist. 
Now this fine old family gathers for weddings and funerals in little polarized clumps, if they gather at all. I can hardly believe I’ve lived to see a tight-knit family torn apart by political views and ideology. I can’t help wonder how many families are experiencing the same sort of strife. 
You hit on something in your blog that currently plagues scores of American families.
One question: How did this lone "LGBT bully" shatter bonds forged over generations and shared by an apparently large number of godly hill folk? My guess is, he tattled.

Friday, March 30, 2018

FRIDAY ‘ROUND-THE-HORN.


Well here's a rabbit-hole for the weekend.
• I know I've spent a lot of time on Dreher already this week but the guy's just been so awful. It's like he came back from the week or two he spent in Hungary pimping his book crazier than ever. While he was there he seemed happy enough and mostly posted gush about how great the Saving Remnant in godless Eastern Europe are (and of course how great the food is -- when this Benedict Option thing blows over he can be the new Jeff Smith). But something put a burr up his ass -- maybe he found out fellow theocon Michael Brendan Dougherty said mean things about Viktor Orbán just as Dreher was ready to come out for him, and it spoiled his high. Since then he's been raging on the usual stuff like the Trans Menace, but also displayed a particular hard-on for Pope Francis, who is the head of one of the many religions Dreher has belonged to, albeit not the current one. All wingnuts hate Francis, of course, but Dreher's goes above and beyond; he seems especially mad now that Francis did not strongly refute a reporter who said Francis does not believe in hell ("Francis is winking"). Example:
Think back to 2013, when he made his famous “Who am I to judge?” remark about gays in that press conference. A reader of this blog who teaches religion at a Catholic high school wrote to say that in a single stroke, Francis destroyed all the work that he (the teacher) has done with the kids in his classes. The students all concluded from that remark that they could believe anything they wanted to about sexuality, because even the Pope said, “Who am I to judge?”

This is Francis’s way. Remember his drawn-out answer when a Lutheran woman married to a Catholic man asked why she couldn’t receive communion in a Catholic church?
In other words, Francis refuses to stress hell, gays, and intermarriage -- that is, the parts of Catholicism that nobody, including Catholics, likes. I assume Dreher's mainly mad that his ex-religion has, as Jack puts it in The Ruling Class, forgotten how to punish -- what's the fun in being godly if you can't feel confident that your opponents will burn for all eternity? It perhaps also stirs Dreher's dreams of being himself the first modern-era cross-cult Pope -- I bet he daydreams about a scenario like that West Wing episode where John Goodman was President for a couple of days. Then again, maybe he's just logrolling a fellow God-botherer's book. In any case, I look forward to his next conversion, hopefully to Sufism so he can work off his nervous energy by whirling.

• Remember when brave National Review editor Rich Lowry got all the conservative stalwarts to contribute to an "Against Trump" issue in 2016? And how most of them started going over the side before Trump was inaugurated? Today Lowry makes it official in "The Never Trump Delusion":
A realistic attitude to Trump would acknowledge both his flaws and how he usefully points the way beyond a tired Reagan nostalgia.
Goodbye "Reagan" macro; hello MAGA macro!
...The hold that Trump has on the GOP has a lot to do with his mesmerizing circus act, but it’s more than that. He’s been loyal to his coalition on judges, social-conservative causes and gun rights. His desperation to get a border wall speaks to his genuine desire to deliver on a signature promise. The same is true of his tariffs this year.

The last two items underline Trump’s heterodoxy, although he isn’t as ideologically aberrant as Never Trumpers would have it.
Liberals have known this all along, of course -- Trumpism is just conservatism with the gloves off and a screw loose. It's about conning the rubes by beating up their perceived inferiors and promising windfalls that never come. Some of Trump's con games eschew wingnut orthodoxy -- you won't hear him giving lip service to the magic of the market -- but the end result is the same: tax cuts for the rich and the poor get screwed, with a new war a short-odds favorite before 2020. As I've been saying since this started, the deal is he signs their bills and they let him grift. With few exceptions, the conservatives who have been wringing their hands over Trump's bad manners have been as sincere as Noah Cross' show of sorrow over Evelyn's death in Chinatown, and now they're skulking away with their prize.

Monday, March 05, 2018

DOGS AND CATS, LIVING TOGETHER!

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.

Thursday, February 22, 2018

GUN NUTS, PART INFINITY.

The latest NRA charmless offensive shows how bad the situation is. When the NRA found its normal post-massacre duck-and-cover routine -- that is, waiting until our attention was drawn away from the latest multiple-casualty Second-Amendment demonstration -- had left it vulnerable to the protests of telegenic survivors, they immediately went on offense, with Wayne LaPierre babbling about socialists and Dana Loesch lying at top speed at the Parkland town hall. If you want to know why LaPierre and Loesch chose not to take a more reasonable and conciliatory approach with the kids in the wake of the mass gun murder they'd just suffered through, dismiss from your mind the absurd idea that it's the natural product of principled advocacy; ideas that are right don't need to be defended with bullying and bullshit. The NRA's PR makes clear that they are not peddling an Amendment or a specific interpretation thereof so much as the fear of violation and the thrill of violence.

That's why they came hard -- not because they're tough, and certainly not because they're right, but because they're full of shit. And they count on their belligerence to convince Americans they're fighting for them, rather than fighting to keep up the nice livelihood gun manufacturers have bestowed upon them, and against "socialists" and other ooga-booga rather than against the young citizens who have seen the effect of their depravity up close and want it stopped.

Too many liberals seem to think shame or conscience is going to stop these guys. No. They have to be repudiated decisively at the ballot box and throughout public life. If they aren't, things will only get worse.

Depressing, isn't it? Thank God we've got Rod Dreher for lulz! Right out of the gate God's Gastronome gives us a striking comparison:
I get as annoyed with right-wing Second Amendment absolutists who insist that any attempt to control guns will lead to a civil liberties apocalypse as I do with left-wing First Amendment absolutists who hold that any attempt to control access to pornography is welcoming Big Brother.
You'll get my porn when you pry it from my warm, sticky hands, Dreher! Porn, or what passes for porn at the BenOp compound, turns out to be much on Dreher's mind: After suggesting school shootings are caused by kids going to large schools -- as opposed to the one-room schoolhouse where Rod's ancestors l'arned to read and cipher -- he suggests a connection to stories in magazines like The Lily and Teen Vogue "pushing polyamory," ass-fucking, ice cream douches and vibrators -- "the most tender, intimate expressions of love between a man and a woman, reduced to bestial gestures," preaches Rod; "...It’s almost as if the dominant culture and its institutions are radically dehumanizing teenagers, and are mystified as to why some of those teenagers don’t see others as human beings worthy of respect and care."

I wonder what's the mechanism of action for this -- do the antisocial young men who comprise the majority of mass murderers get corrupted by reading Teen Vogue and Vulture? Or do they somehow meet the sort of big-city gals who read these publications, perhaps at potential-mass-murderer mixers, and become intoxicated and corrupted by their intimate Ben & Jerry's scent?

As usual, the Dreher "reader" "letter" is the highlight:
UPDATE: Reader Matt in VA writes:
I am surprised that you don’t draw out the parallel between school shootings and another common theme on this blog — early-onset transgenderism.
The easy availability of machine guns can't be the problem; otherwise why would they be so much more scared by the monsters under their beds?

UPDATE. Who could have suspected that Rod would have a woody for third-generation French fascist Marion Maréchal Le Pen? She speaks French and hates homosexuals -- il se pâme! ["Lady Marmalade" plays] Voulez-vous détester les Noirs (ce soir)?

Friday, February 02, 2018

FRIDAY 'ROUND-THE-HORN.



I made a mistake when  I looked over my shoulder/
Cromwell was right behind me, in the driving rain...

•  Well, I’m going for the Oscar gusto again this year. I've already discussed The Post, and will now treat Dunkirk, which I just saw. I said back in 2009, when Christopher Nolan made The Dark Knight, that unlike many other A-list Hollywood moviemakers Nolan could at least shoot an action sequence so I could tell what the hell was going on. He's gotten even better since then, and Dunkirk is a great opportunity for him to show off. From the Brueghelian bombardment of big ships crowded with drowning, burning, and leaping soldiers, to the strafing of a small boat full of shushed, terrified child-soldiers, to balletic dogfights, Nolan can orchestrate mass movement and violence like nobody’s business. And he is beautifully abetted in all the craft details, especially Hoyte van Hoytema’s photography, which combines high contrast with judicious color saturation to give things a edge alternately dreamlike and nightmarish, and Hans Zimmer’s score, which underpins good old-fashioned orchestral pumping with machine sounds and postmodern shrieks to juice the tension. Though the technique is modern and even modernist, the intent is antique-heroic — most clearly seen in the rah-rah over the Little England flotilla and the stiff-upper-lipped British officer class, each beautifully represented, no coincidence, by British national treasures Mark Rylance and Kenneth Branagh. That’s well-earned in both history and the movie, but as an American I found it odd that there was absolutely no humor — even Noel Coward’s In Which We Serve had jokes. Still, if the unrelenting seriousness makes it hard to take Dunkirk to heart, it does increase the effect of the ending, in which filthy, bedraggled survivors awaken on the train home to windows suddenly filled with hay-brightened English sunlight. And though I do look forward to Gary Oldham’s Churchill, I can’t imagine I will be as moved by his rendition of the “Never Surrender” speech as I was by Fionn Whitehead reading it haltingly out of a newspaper on his way back home from hell.

•   On the Oscar theme, I should also mention Get Out: You've probably either seen it or heard enough about how great it is, so I don't have to go into how much I loved it. But I will say that one of the things I love about it is, though it's clearly about race, the central conceit is so powerful and expansive that, were it possible to show the film to people who had no experience or understanding of racism, they would still understand the terror, because it represents a fundamental anxiety: that of anyone entering a world that for whatever reason -- money, background, culture --  is so different from their own that they suspect and are quietly terrified by the prospect of psychic kidnapping and enslavement. Of course, even the slightest awareness of racism and its role in our national history inflames that anxiety considerably -- because it actually happened. This is not, as some morons have suggested, a politically evanescent phenomenon, but a real work of art based on the insanity of American life. 

•   OMG, here's another alleged "reader email" that God-botherer Rod Dreher is just passing along:
I’m a longtime (and recently wavering) atheist, but I have had a very devout evangelical friend of many decades. 
Suuuure you are/have.
He lives in Oregon. He couldn’t afford to send his daughter out of state for college. But he wanted her to go to college and experience the income and class benefits that had eluded him (as a GED holder) throughout his life. 
All this devout evangelical wanted was for his daughter to have the advantages he never had! But alas, to do so he had to send her to godless College, and though it was "the most milquetoast of the bunch from the political activism perspective," she had within a few months been brainwashed by Lesbo Hippies to "disavow her female gender." Perplexed pop's friend reports:
The pressure, he said, was too much, and from all angles—peers, instructors, campus organizations and media, etc. “Non-binary” was a taken-for-granted ontological reality, and to question it was bigotry. To fail to realize your own “non-binary-ness” was self-hatred rooted in bigotry.
Sure enough, by her junior year, she was a “non-identifying queer,” neither male nor female, and an activist. Their relationship is now essentially nonexistent, as she sees him to be a “Nazi"...
It's such a sad tale that I half expected it to end, "Cover her face; mine eyes dazzle. She died gender-fluid."