Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Benny Watch

Rest in peace, Rod Benny. We hardly knew ye.

Still dead.


  1. The whole Benedict Option movement seems to have faded over at the Dreher blog, in lieu of Trump/Kim Davis/Jeremy Corbyn talk.

    I guess the "strategic withdrawal from politics" Option doesn't drive the traffic as hoped ....

    1. Perhaps publishers have caught on to his "strategic withdrawal from sales sufficient to make back the advance" gambit.

      -the other anonymous guy

    2. Hey, now, neighba, at least Paw is still fresh enough to serve as a useful, emotional sales prop.

      Won't you buy something Rod Dreher writes, anything, even if it is "a little wordy sometimes"?

      Can't help but wonder what a pimp like Rod will be trying to use his little daughter Nora to sell once she hits the full bloom of adolescence.

    3. Correct me if I'm wrong, Keith, but I didn't see any indication in that cynical sales pitch post that Dreher participated in that sometimes-a-little-wordy project. Rather, we are treated to a sentimental tale told as though Dreher had nothing to do with it -- only by clicking through to Amazon does one see "Rod Dreher (author)".

      I think this is a new low for him.

    4. Pik, Rod tells us here:

      UPDATE: Because one commenter (whose remarks I didn’t publish, because they were nasty and inaccurate) raised the idea that I’m criticizing Coates’s book because I’m “self-promoting,” let me assure you that I don’t stand to make a penny off the sales of Wendell’s book. I was paid a standard fee for my work. I won’t get rich if the book becomes a bestseller — but the book should become a bestseller, because the story of Wendell’s family is extraordinary.

      Whether one believes the "standard fee" which publicly credited co-author Rod Dreher was paid for co-authoring a book with Wendell Pierce was a flat fee - something that Dreher doesn't claim - or instead a fee variable according to book sales will depend on whether one believes Rod Dreher to be a pathological liar or not.

      Based on evidence ranging at least as far back as "Muzhik" and his fate at The John Templeton Foundation and as recently as Dreher's claiming no inside knowledge of Noah Millman's Benedict Option being spiked, there are no doubts in my mind that Rod Dreher is an inveterate pathological liar and thus that, in addition to any other "standard fee" his agent might have negotiated, he will be splitting sales revenues - if not author royalties specifically designated as such - from sales of this book with Wendell Pierce.

      But even if not, at the very least, though, repeatedly promoting his co-authorship of the Wendell Pierce book shouts out, "Hey, publishers, don't write me off just because of Crunchy Cons, TLWORL, and HDCSYL. Look, look right here: I'm listed on Amazon as an author. An author. Not just a blogger, an author. I could be your auther, too! I could! I could! Please, for God's sake, give me another chance! Please!"

      I think it's ironic Dreher is so hard on the Donald, given his hard-won triumph as the reigning, shamelessly self-promoting Trump of religious and social conservatism.

    5. It isn't just about the money. It is the pinnacle of narcissism to write this:

      I read that chapter aloud to my own father in the last weeks of his life. I couldn’t get through that passage without choking up, and then sobbing. When I looked up to apologize to my dad for not being able to continue, I saw that he too was crying.

      about a chapter in a book that you yourself wrote. Even Obama doesn't say that his own words bring himself to tears.

      And it is both narcissistic and disingenuous to write that passage without telling the reader that you are an author of that book.

    6. I wonder how many of Dreher's readers even realize he's manipulating them in that way.

  2. Poor Benny is only pining for the fjords.

  3. It's good to know Rod's holding up so well in the aftermath of his father's passing - it only took him a matter of days to start using his father's corpse the same way he used his sister's to promote his "career"/life-as-performance-whinefest.

    Rod used to like to talk about cosmology (going on an on for weeks or even months about brilliant philosophers and thinkers from Charles Taylor to Nikolai Berdyaev with the same depth of comprehension, respect and receptivity that one would get from doing 30-second keyword searches on Google Books). That is, until his life became his cosmology. Just as, for the ancients, all things in the universe were signs of a higher reality, so, too, are all things in Rod Dreher's world signs of his higher reality - himself. His sister's death? His father's? Grist for the narcissist's mill, for what else could their deaths possibly mean except as supporting props in Rod's life story, "How the World Wronged Rod Dreher".

    I'm just not able to keep up the hate-reading of his blog anymore - he seems to be sliding into "slightly crazy middle-aged guy full of resentment and contempt towards the world" territory (interestingly enough, you find this type with some frequency in Unitarian Universalist and United Church of Christ churches, sliding into old age full of gentle mockery and genial condescension for the unenlightened masses who just don't get it). Virtually nothing he does interests me enough to feel even much annoyance - wake me up when his Grindr or Ashley Madison for closeted gay men profiles are found out and splashed over those few corners of the Internet that still care about what he has to say. Still, I have to say his opportunism around his father's death is impressive (nice placement of an Orthodox icon in that shot of your father's deathbed there, dude. You're a credit to Holy Orthodoxy, sure you are). Anyone want to bet on how much of the book about his BO is going to focus on how his father wronged him and how he finally managed to forgive him - maybe he'll compare his moral and spiritual strength to that of the survivors of ISIS/Daesh's slavery, or maybe a more classic reference like Rod as the moral equal of Martin Luther King, Jr. or Gandhi.

  4. https://youtu.be/8vLlpJc9mW0