You'll remember whom to pray for after you see this:
9/17/2013 04:00:00 PM
RD: "I was transiting through DFW airport when I caught the story on the NYT website … And I just about had a cow. There is so, so much to love and to affirm here … But this is where I think he goes badly wrong: his remarks will be received as … I think this is exactly right. I love his style — seriously, I do — but I am sure the liberal Pope has been very, very naive in his words here. … Francis will learn."RD: "The Ravenous Gastrimarge! That ought to be the name of my blog."When we find there such colossal works of staggering profundity, then yes, maybe it ought to called that. And I am beginning to suspect that, using the Dada Engine, someone could easily create a Dreher Jargon Generator script, which would operate much like the famous Pomo Generator, except it would automatically spit out Drooling Dreher Drivel blog entries.Words just fail me. I've lost all patience. About all that one can do now is simply ridicule and fun of the nonsense. Is Dreher the Linda Richman or is he the Miley Cyrus of the Blogosphere?Discuss … No, never mind that. It ain't worth the bother.
Oengus, it may be even more insidiously pathological than you imagine. From the gastrimarge:I recall a time when I, in my ravenous gastrimargy, acted like someone who needed to be taken down a few pegs. It was over (what else?) a platter of raw oysters in Paris this spring. My niece asked me why I loved them so much, and I launched myself into a discussion of the sacramentality of oysters, and, more broadly, of food itself. What is food? What does it convey to us? Why are these simple creatures so sublime? And so forth. Basically, it was a short course in the metaphysics of oysters, and while I still stand by my basic philosophical point, it was utterly pompous and ridiculous, and I ought to have been made fun of without mercy. In that moment, I was exactly the guy Steven Poole hates.Is this a confession and repentence of a former error? Of course not. It is rather the dog's breakfast resold and reconsumed. Should he be taken down a few pegs? Sure, sailor, if that's what you're buying at the moment, that's what he's selling.Dreher is at the same time gastrimarge and anti-gastrimarge, alpha and omega, a universally versatile whorelet who will produce whatever act or service he believes his clientele will readily purchase.For his foodies, he is the once and future gastrimarge. In response to the crowd who sent him the Poole piece, he is also the once and future anti-gastrimarge. He is not transsexual, sporting both penis and breasts, rather he is trans-integral, sprouting whatever appurtenance the transient integrity of the blog hit moment calls for.Keith
Oengus: It ain't worth the bother.No kidding.I used to stop by the Dreherblog once a day, generally just to laugh at the pretentiousness. But I get the sense now that he's playing to the camera like The Osbournes in their second season. So it's not fun to even do that any more.
Fun or not, Pik, it's Rod Dreher right now who's interpreting Pope Francis' most recent comments for however big his readership is, and from what I can see his protege Erin Manning of Evans-Manning award fame is acting as a repeater.Of course, Dreher says "read it yourself", then dumps a billion words pre-explaining what you're supposed to understand from what you read.Is Dreher right? Don't ask me, I'm not Catholic, but I know one thing: I wouldn't want Dreher being my mouthpiece on how to take care of hamsters, much more on interpreting for the world what the Pope is saying for the Church.So Dreher is in a lot of ways like Kim Jong-un. You may despise kimchee and you may find the Hermit Kingdom a horribly disturbing place, but you pretty much have to keep an eye on what the disaster clown in charge is up to, particularly on what he may be counterfeiting this week.Keith
This is from an email I received from CatholicVote.org WRT the Pope's interview:"Despite what the NY Times and others are reporting, our Holy Father did not change a single Catholic teaching. What Pope Francis seems to be proposing is that we start talking more about the why, not just the what. The why is not an argument. The why is a person, whom we believe gave His life out of love for the salvation of the world. What a humbling reminder. Our job is not simply to win arguments, elections, and pass good laws. These are good and necessary things. But in doing so, we must first seek to make hearts burn for Christ. That is the real secret of winning."Catholic Vote is a conservative group, but they aren't wringing their hands like some of the trads about this pope. The words of Christ were twisted and misunderstood, sometimes willfully, and it didn't shut him up.
I figured so, Pauli. The media likes to consider Francis' statements as tea leaves, rather than for the statements themselves.True to form, Dreher takes the measure of those tea leaves against the Truth-according-to-Dreher, and of course finds those leaves wanting. All while cowardly hiding for cover behind the "read the whole thing" and Linda Richman schtick. So typical. (Although "Francis will learn" is really really pretentious, even for Dreher.) Like I said, Keith, it's no fun any more.
. . . really really presumptuous . . . I meant.
For the record, Hugh Hewitt threw out the "he will learn" line as well last night. Hewitt is another disgruntled ex-Catholic. Pope Francis is playing the game perfectly in my opinion, throwing bones to the dogs who beg for them.
ew, really, Hewitt's ex catholic? I can't stand Hewitt. No matter what the discussion is about, he always finds a way to state he went to Harvard Law.
More than one commenter has noticed that being a more finely-tuned Pope hasn't escaped Dreher's ambition.Oh for Pete’s sake Rod, it is not all about you!LOLKeith
RD: "… — seriously, I do — …"Pikkumatti: "No kidding."When a writer starts telling you how serious or sincere he really truly is, you know that it's time to close up shop and go home.For me, that was the camel that finally broke the straw's back.
Keith...I never heard of this PEG guy, but his response to Rod is a-mazing.Dianonymous
Rod Dreher explains Catholicism to Pope Francis.Keith
Keith, I can't wait for your take on Dreher's recounting of his sexual escapades as a young man in that "Demonic, Moi?" piece. I have a couple of response to it myself: 1) Nothing would have been lost from that piece if he had left all of it out -- he could have made exactly the same point without it. (Plus, we would have been spared the "I’m not saying all this to point out how Righteous I was" kicker). 2) It's another bad day for Mrs. Dreher. Only this time the over-sharing is about his sexual history. I hope RD sees a frying pan coming his way tonight.
Pikkumatti: "Dreher's recounting of his sexual escapades as a young man in that "Demonic, Moi?" pieceAny more I don't bother much to read Dreher's blogging drivel and so I missed that part. But thank you, Pikkumatti, very much for the warning about that, because if there is anything unappetizing in this world that I do absolutely NOT want to read about it would be Dreher's past sexual escapades.I will make sure that I avoid reading "Demonic, Moi?"
Keith, I can't wait for your take on Dreher's recounting of his sexual escapades as a young man in that "Demonic, Moi?" piece. My take? Such compulsive "smell my finger" reportage clearly proves sinner Dreher's a lumberjack and he's okay.Keith
Was that too unnuanced, to use a Dreherism? Okay, some onion peeling.Dreher has to tell us his sexual encounter both to unequivocally establish his sin and but also to establish his street cred as a bad-ass sexually-wise dude, snap, snap, thass right, he bad, he bad, and all manly man to boot. Or mostly manly man. It was a drunken escapade, so he was part whiskey, or white wine, probably, which is sort of like wearing an ethical condom or chemise as the case may be. He likes sex with women, see, but these plunges might not have gotten their plunge taken were it not for Demon Rum, enough of which opens up the field to have sex with pretty much anything, woman, man, or terrified goat while also preserving the Essential Rod, the Real Rod, as Not That Kind of Boy. Even though he bleats loudly he was not that kind of boy, you know what you're really supposed to believe, don't you? Not That Kind of Boy. Except...thass right: he bad, he bad. Etc.So Rod once again becomes the paradigmatically instructive Alpha-and-Omega Man we all so sorely need, both Whore Boy and Padonna Boy all rolled up ying-yang into one.Keith
Opps: "Even though he bleats loudly he WAS..."Keith
Thanks, Keith. I think you peeled the onion well. And I am afraid you are correct with the story being an attempt to gain street cred, but with enough of an excuse so that it doesn't seem too terrible. I can't come up with any other reason why description of the sin was necessary -- his point could have been just as well made if he had been a habitual thief, or bully, or take your pick. I fear that he retold the story out of some sort of pride in the nature of his sin, just like rappers bragging about doing prison time for one thing or another. Pride in past sin seems to me to be some pretty thin ice in the spiritual sense. (And is something that I have to remind myself about not doing -- this helps.) We are all challenged by particular temptations, and we pray for the strength to withstand those temptations. The desire to sin for our own purposes is the story of humanity. Dreher's piece would not have been derailed by his detailed description of his escapades, and indeed might have had more universal impact.. But yes, it is all about Rod Dreher, as we know.
One of the best reasons NOT to go over the details of your past sexual sins is that it always causes people to speculate why you are doing so. Is it a public confession? Maybe, if you blog everything else in your personal life. Is it for cred? Maybe, since you want everyone to think you're cool. Is it so people realize you're not "righteous"? Come on, really. Did anyone really think you were without fault? Is it to make a point about how great Pope John Paul was? Oh, of course. That's it.Personally I think it has to do with the desire to paint oneself in the most striking colors possible. Sort of like Luther's "sin boldly" quote. This is at the heart of crunchy conservatism. I'm a conservative, but I don't shop at Wal-mart. I don't eat pop-tarts or listen to Rush Limbaugh. I shop at farm markets and eat wild, radical food and read Nietzsche.The main function of this "paint" is to draw attention to oneself. That's why hits from Dreher's column supports TAC; voyeurism works.
Pik & Pauli,I think both of you expressed my perceptions better than I did, which I might paraphrase now after the fact as Dreher's "pride of sinning boldly".But there's another quiet little horror lurking here that I don't know how really to grapple with although Pik referred to it in passing with his "frying pan" remark, namely the ongoing plight of Mrs. Dreher. I think it was TMFKS, yeah, who referred to her as a co-dependent ninny, but I still can't hope but feel for her, particularly after this latest TMI.There's just no way we can read the long snail's carpet Dreher trails behind him without coming to the conclusion that his instinctive reaction to sex itself is "Ewww!!!", even though that hasn't stopped him from telling the world everything from how Mrs. Dreher gave birth to her children (at least 2 Caesarians IIRC) up through this latest recap of his glory days of sinning. Although her pictures belie this in a sad, reverse Dorian Gray sort of way, he's also told us (or also bragged at the time) that he married a woman almost a decade younger than him.So now Dreher's pushing middle age, and, though having dutifully sired 3 blog subjects, still leaving no doubts about his basic Eww-sex sensibilities, a regular consumer of high-test spirits in unknown quantities, a past if not present consumer of Ambien and maybe other sleep aids, who must now regularly take to his bed because of mono. His 20ish-year-old bride, facial wear in some pics aside, is now in her sexual prime but sharing the marital bed with Gourmet Sack Lunch while he tells tales of better days. Of course she can always look forward to the gift of homemade high-calorie French comfort food when he's up.So if she's not in fact a co-dependent ninny as TMFKS suggests, where does a woman in a situation like that go from there? Is this her consolation and salvation? Does Orthodoxy give her some wiggle room that Catholicism never would that would never get blogged about even by Dreher? Should we still feel sorry for her or take TMFKS's POV? Maybe that's just me buying into the voyeurism, God forbid.Keith
Maybe that's just me buying into the voyeurism, God forbid.Uhhhh, yeah probably.
Well, there you go. Or I go. Still, it's hard to look at a train wreck and not think about what happened to the people on board.Remember this is the guy who declared he had chosen Orthodoxy for all the Drehers because, like Moses or the Pope, he was the "spiritual leader" of his family, which I guess is how these things work for some people. Mrs. Dreher (and all 3 kids) stopped being Catholic one day and started being Orthodox the next because Dreher alone decided she would. So maybe she is co-dependent. Whether Daddy's Catholic or Orthodox, low in the T or light in the loafers and blabby mouthed about everything, she will follow him wherever he may go.Keith
Keith, I understand your POV, but just because he's dragged his wife into his messy world of over-sharing doesn't mean we should keep her in the news, so to speak. At some point our speculation about her attitudes and motives should stop, and I'm thinking a good point would be where we start talking about marital satisfaction of one sort or another.
Yeah, you're right of course.Keith
Hewitt is very smart and makes some good points. But the "I went to Harvard Law" is only one of the many things he constantly knee-jerks. I get sick of the incessant sports fan-boy talk, "You must be a Michigan fan, you must be a Steeler fan, you must be a SoCal fan, etc." Enough already.
For the record: proof Dreher reads Est Quod Est:Well, reading this calls for an extra Ambien tonight, with a Stoli chaser:Phil says: September 23, 2013 at 10:13 pm An “extra” Ambien? How many do you take? You’re not supposed to take more than one and for no longer than two weeks. You can easily develop an addiction to that stuff. Most drug addiction in this country is for prescription pills…[NFR: I take one per night. -- RD]Keith
He shouldn't have stopped at only 3 kids. I can count the number of times I've suffered from insomnia in the last 11 years on one hand.Plus I don't get it if he has some type of disease which wears you out why he has to take sleeping pills. They do say a clean conscience is the softest pillow, though, so the opposite is most likely true.The poor guy is in a horrible rut.
Keith, I'm not convinced that he reads this blog--at least not regularly--although you are not the first or second reader to propose that he does.
I'm thankful for his sophomoric piece worrying about four close calls over the last 60 years of nuclear weapons or whatever. At least it helped shake him off his recent string of Catholic criticism posts, including a 7 of 10 run. One of those posts returned to the old warhorse of boring homilies drove me away from the Church (or, as we now find out, were insufficient to steel him against the trials of the Scandal -- apparently the Orthodox homilies were sufficient to steel him against the trial of the scandals over there). And in which your faithful correspondent manages to sneak past the comment censor -- no doubt assisted by my softer-than-I-would-have-otherwise-used tone, and by how late in the game I was with the comment. (Dang, no NFR tho -- I thought I baited him enough with the "e.g.").
Speaking of bash & trash tendencies, I just in the live traffic feed sidebar saw that someone from NO, LA visited this post from 2 years ago. It's from when Dreher had just left John Templeton Foundation (JTF) and was eulogizing his buddy, Abp. Dimitri+. It's worth a revisit if no other reason than to compare his use of Ruthie's demise as a springboard for recounting his life history with his use of the occasion of the Archbishop's death.
Pauli, I'm kidding of course but what a coincidence that in less than a day of someone here speculating on an Ambien+alcohol addition he chirps about washing down an Ambien with Stoli, then cops to a regular one a day habit. If he's not just acting out to twit this blog, then surely that must be some kind of cry for help. I sure don't see how it translates as some kind of Orthodox or conservative bonafides.Keith
Maybe next we'll be treated to "view from your pill-minder".
It wouldn't take much Photoshopping to turn this one into an Ambien-and-chardonnay supper.
Isn't what Dreher's offering us here pretty much the opposite of a testimony to faith?He's quick to criticize others about how they deal with life through their different faiths, MTD and whatnot, even whole religions he's sampled like Catholicism, but when push comes to shove he knows where his immediate salvation lies, in mother's little helper.Is this the problem?Or is the real story lurking here not the question of what Dreher's next religious home will be as many have wondered but rather one of a lifelong moralistic religious blogger only hollowly going through the motions while now sleeplessly teetering on the abyss of no longer having any faith at all?Keith
I think Dreher's feelings about faith are the basis of his faith. He talks about how he got angry at some crap being said at mass he was at so he left. A Catholic with a stronger faith would still get angry but would stay for communion and pray. You need to try not to let your anger get the better of you. Also he seems to have a relativist bent. He feels like it was the right think for him to do to leave the Catholic church and subsequently attack it at every turn. But many of his readers are Catholic and that's OK. He doesn't feel like it's wrong for them to stay there.