Friday, September 9, 2022

Wokappopotamus Loses

In case you haven't heard the wonderful news, Oberlin College is finally ponying up the now $36.59 million dollar judgment to Gibson's Bakery.

"But what's with the headline, Pauli? What the hell are you talking about?"

I got the nickname Wokappopotamus from this Rate My Professor's page for Meredith Raimondo. She is really the big, big loser of the moment, whether she would admit it or not. The nickname is from an obviously fake review, but oh well.

Meredith Raimondo is the former Vice President and Dean of Student Affairs at Oberlin who distributed flyers condemning Gibson's Bakery as a "RACIST establishment with a LONG ACCOUNT of RACIAL PROFILING and DISCRIMINATION".

It was Meredith Raimondo who egged on students to slander and libel Gibson's with a bullhorn.

It was Meredith Raimondo who did all these things in her official capacity as a representative of Oberlin College, causing all the pain and suffering of the bakery owners and eventually causing the original judgment of $32 million to be leveled in the original 2019 case, and my guess is that it was Meredith Raimondo whose shear insolence and intransigence led to refusal to pay and appeals which increased the price tag by over $4.5 million.

There was never any evidence provided for this "long account of racial discrimination". And this was all occasioned on a refusal to admit that some kids are bad and sometimes they actually steal stuff.

It is highly unlikely that this will hurt Oberlin College financially that much which has an endowment of over $1 billion. But it is a huge victory for Truth, because now supporters of the Truth can point to this court victory and say "Look --we can still win in court." It is too bad it has to come to this, but here we are.

I would love to hear what certain people at Oberlin say about Meredith Raimondo behind closed doors. She basically came in and stood behind an obvious lie, and then she puts the school's name on the lie, and then she lied long-form, in court and she LOST the college $36+ million. What did it gain or would it have gained the school if the judge had ruled that no slander or libel occurred? I can only think of one thing, and that is respect among other liars, mostly of the liberal persuasion.

The award for my favorite summation of this hard-fought victory goes to Daniel Suhr in his article:

When universities cross that line to actively back such protests, they have to own the results. Responsible adults in charge of billion-dollar institutions should not lightly accuse beloved small businesses of racism because their spoiled students feel entitled to shoplift scot-free.

Amen, buddy.

Wednesday, September 7, 2022

Hinged and Unhinged

In a video produced by Word on Fire, actor Shia LaBeouf discusses main points of his recent conversion to Roman Catholicism with Bishop Robert Barron. I think it is very much worth watching and I have embedded it below.

I am happy Shia Labeouf found the Holy Church. I always liked his acting, and some of the crazy stuff he was involved in during his past life showed me that he was searching for something, not unlike the rest of us. Hopefully he will keep his newfound faith, but no matter what happens with Mr. LaBeouf in the future, this video has value. Because it shows someone in the midst of discovery, turning his life around and pursuing God with the sort of relentlessness which we are all suppose to aspire to.

Shortly after this video was released we got this gem from Cardinal Arthur Roche. Displaying all the normal reticence of churchmen to speak directly, we get this strange line of argumentation:

The head of the Vatican's liturgy office says he would welcome a conversation with Hollywood actor Shia LaBeouf, who recently cited the traditional Latin Mass as motivation for his conversion to Catholicism.

"I'd like to know why he thinks that, what is his experience of the celebration of the Mass," said English Cardinal Arthur Roche. "That's what priests do; we try to talk to people."

"Reform of the liturgy was an enormous, long preparation prior to the council and the council is the highest legislation that exists in the church," he said. "Once that legislation comes into effect, it's a very serious matter."

"You disregard that and you're really putting yourself sideways towards the edges of the church," he added.

Roche warned against those reluctant to embrace the reforms of Vatican II, describing them as "not only dragging their feet but stubbornly opposing what the church has decreed."

"And that's a very serious matter," he continued. "In the end, people have to ask themselves, 'Am I really a Catholic or am I more of a Protestant?'"

Yes; every Catholic at the Latin Mass needs to ask themselves "Am I a Protestant?" You know, I used to say about the SSPX that they were more Protestant than they realized, but then Pope Francis slapped me down on that idea. "They are Catholic. They love the Church," he exclaimed in 2016. Well, then! I stand corrected.

But back to Cardinal Roche. When he states that Tradition lovers are putting themselves "sideways towards the edges of the church", it sounds like he is saying that we're out on the margins or peripheries, right? We most definitely have heard that kind of language before. I wish at least one of these Churchmen would work on a pastoral strategy of accompaniment for us weirdos who like tradition and Latin. Oh, wait... one of them did.

The title of Cardinal comes from the Latin word for "hinge" as most Catholics know, and a lot of what happens in Church government hinges on what they say and do. If Cardinal Roche really wants to talk to LaBeouf I'm sure it is merely a matter of contacting Bishop Barron and getting his contact info. Then he could provide LaBeouf with all the teaching and mystagogy he would like to. It seems to me like this calling out of a public person is merely being used to express a contrary opinion, and I really do not have a problem with simply doing that per se. It just seems like he could accomplish this discussion rather easily, and so stating publicly that he is trying to talk to someone means he is using this situation to push his own messaging.

Speaking of hinges, we got another article from NCR Online about Shia LaBeouf which is a little more unhinged a few days after the article about the Cardinal. The Shia LaBeouf conversion interview: A portrait of masculine aggression. Oh, man, do I love that headline. The author, Madison Chastain, is one of those Catholics who was sad about the overturn of Roe v. Wade. And she is not shy at all about expressing how she feels about Mr. LaBeouf:

LaBeouf also says, before his conversion, he did not initially feel compelled to have a relationship with Jesus because he only knew the "soft, fragile, all-loving, all-listening but no ferocity … meek" Jesus (Barron immediately offers the word "feminized"), and it was only when LaBeouf encountered what he considered to be "masculine" — "cape, dipped in blood, sword" — that Jesus felt "appealing."

We should be concerned about anyone who finds the Gospel most compelling in its violence or who is put off by the femininity of Jesus. If we are to understand Jesus as the savior of all, we must embrace his full divinity that has no gender, and we must confidently identify the goodness of both the masculine and feminine in the incarnation.

Throughout the interview, LaBeouf cites a number of tropes and returns to them often: cowboys, cavemen and gangsters. He repeatedly expresses gratitude for the men who accompanied him and "masculinized" his journey, "the hero's journey."

... At the time of his initial engagement with Catholicism, LaBeouf's mother wasn't speaking to him and his career was flatlining. LaBeouf shares about experiencing suicidal ideation and total lack of hope. Once he embraces the Gospel, he feels God calling him to let go of his egotistical striving for power. He finds the safety he was looking for in "non-transactional" relationships where he isn't expected to do anything besides contemplate how best to use his gifts for others. It is a beautiful narrative of acceptance.

And yet still, the concerns about the attractiveness of Catholic violence and secrecy cannot be downplayed, as they directly relate to LaBeouf's troubled past. LaBeouf minimally addresses the accusations made against him in the last few years, referring to them only as "the news." Barron never asks.

The money line: If we are to understand Jesus as the savior of all, we must embrace his full divinity that has no gender, and we must confidently identify the goodness of both the masculine and feminine in the incarnation. This is language which Miss Chastain probably heard from a liberal priest or theologian. Jesus is both God and Man; He is God throughout Eternity and he became a human male in space and time. He embodies masculine goodness and masculine gentleness and not aggression. And in Christianity, Divinity most definitely has a gender: masculine.

In fact, the idea that aggression need be masculine is faulty, and I would argue that this article is written with a great deal of feminist aggression, making needless assumptions about LaBeouf's guilt and insinuations that Bishop Barron is negligent for not probing into his Hollywood scandals.

Read the whole Chastain piece and tell me it is not a perfect occasion for playing Buzzword Bingo for members of the intersectional feel-feels contingent. We get to hear all the standard terms and phrases mentioned: Black Lives Matter, #Metoo, bigotry, sexism, racism, cultural appropriation, platform, Catholic violence, powerful men, etc.

Back to the Cardinal's concern about the Traditional Liturgy. I would advise him to read a really well-considered and well-written article by Rebecca Weiss called The Traditional Mass is not the problem with Traditionalist communities. I don't know if that would help, however. It might be that Mr. LaBeouf will never get any respect or trust from certain quarters. After all, he does mention that he is friends with Mel Gibson and that might explain all the reactions, both hinged and unhinged.