Thursday, December 21, 2006

Interested in Rod Dreher's writing? Wait.

I would like to direct the reader's attention to this brief blog entry, in which Rod Dreher offers strong praise for an article about hunting and how it encourages masculinity and integrity.

Dreher. Hunting. Masculinity. Integrity.

The post is incredibly ripe for parody, but to my surprise it has prompted in me a reaction that is a professional writer's nightmare: indifference.

Judging by the activity there and here, I get the feeling I'm not the first to reach the point where Rod's writing has become less interesting than the Beliefnet ads that surround it. It might thus be a good time to make official what has been a long time coming: other than a few comments to this post, we're taking a break of an indefinite duration.

I'm considering this announcement to be a Christmas present to myself, as I've been very good this year.


Blogger pikkumatti said...

Merry Christmas to bubba and to all others here.

I agree with bubba. There's just not anything over at CrunchyBlog that is worth the emotion of coping with it.

It is probably worth a little bit of thought about the whole ordeal : why did I think it was interesting to begin with, and why do I no longer think that? (I think I was originally interested because it appeared that there could be some larger cosmic link among and within conservatives who liked some of the things that liberals had taken as their own, and that maybe we could take some of that back. I no longer think that because it became obvious that Crunchyism is merely a collection of personal taste preferences, with no underlying theme besides Bush Sucks, and so his blog is just what Rod thinks. Which is neither good nor bad, just not that interesting, but maddening when he ascribes his opinions as some Large Movement.)

The article that Rod linked to is worth reading, tho.

Best wishes to all. Merry Christmas, and we'll see you around. I'm hanging around over here now, which has been fun so far.

10:36 AM  
Blogger Jonathan Carpenter said...

Merry Christmas to all! I agree Mr. Dreher's writing is getting more boring with each passing day. That said, we need to hold him and his MSM colleagues accountable. I say this because he is good about holding Bishop X or Father Y accountable for any SNAFU in the church? Who holds him accountable for the fact that his paper supports the awarding of a Pulitzer Prize to Stalinist Propogandist who worked for the New York Times yet he did not criticize them. How about when CNN aired the video made by that Iraqi Sniper of him killing American soldiers. Did he offer any criticism? Of course not! He may be so boring at times he can put you to sleep. Even with that, we should hold him accountable.

8:47 AM  
Blogger Diane said...

I agree with everyone. Leave the Rod-Blog to the pagans, atheists, gay-rights advocates, and assorted Orthodox Friends of Rod.

Speaking of the latter, though: Did you see the Terry Mattingly anti-Santa article to which Rod linked? It was a hoot. Apparently joyless suppression of the magic of childhood is one of the litmus tests for True Orthodoxy--according to the Frederica Matthewes-Green and tmatt schools of EOxy, at any rate.

To his immense credit, Rod does not buy into this nonsense. There is hope for him yet.

God bless us every one!


11:44 AM  
Blogger Bubba said...

Jonathan, I agree with you that, like all professional writers, Rod should be held accountable for what he writes. His repeated explicit denial of accountability ("I'm just a writer," etc.) is atrocious, but it's my hope that the "big dogs" of mainstream conservative opinion would not put up with such nonsense were he to try to run with them again.

That wouldn't keep liberals in the media from holding Rod up as an example of a conservative they can work with, or form clucking at his seemingly inevitable (you heard it hear first) book about the Scandal. But nothing would prevent that, certainly not our little slice o' comedy.

Pikku, it is an interesting question: why did I think this was interesting to begin with, and why do I no longer think that?

Honestly, the whole thing would not have grabbed my attention were it not first featured at National Review. While I don't agree with everything published at NR/NRO -- how could I since there writers argue among themselves? -- I've always respected both the magazine and the website. Unless their efforts were to give Dreher enough rope to tie his own noose, I still do not fathom what they possibly saw in all this to justify the original cover story and the blog for the book. I don't agree with everything Derbyshire writes, but I see why his writing's appealing.

(Suppose the pessimist and now acknowledged agnostic wrote a book criticizing Christian conservatives as inauthentic conservatives for daring to hope in the Resurrection, and suppose Derb then refused to engage his critics and revealed hypocrisy after hypocrisy. If NRO gave him his blessing for that, that would provide a much closer analogue to Dreher's work.)

But what is it that the NR/NRO guys see in Rod's work that I'm missing? I've been trying to figure that out for months, but I'm reconciled to the probability that it might remain a mystery.

Glancing back at his first crunchy blog entry at NRO, I see the thesis statement that first piqued my interest:

Crunchy Cons main premise is that something has gone wrong with the conservative movement in this country. We have become too fixated on materialism and consumerism, at the expense of the family and, in turn, the moral character of society. As E. F. Schumacher said, "the essence of civilization is not in a multiplication of wants but in the purification of human character." The book calls for a reinterpretation of and return to the kind of traditionalist conservatism espoused by Russell Kirk and others, a conservatism that put culture and cultural renewal — as distinct from economics — at the heart of the conservative mission.

Acknowledging that I couldn't bring myself to finish Rod's book, I still don't think the thesis has been defended, much less proven. It's a claim that ought to be justified rather than taken as a given. Even at the beginning, Rod took it for granted, as he asked, "Why does both the conservative movement and the country at large need to make cultural renewal, in the sense I write about in Crunchy Cons, a priority in the present moment?"

"Why" is a crunchy renewel a priority, he asks, not even "whether" it should be. Such a question encourages discussion only among those who already agree with the premise.

Things went downhill from there, beginning with Caleb Stegall's aggressive demagoguery and Dreher's refusal to do much distancing from it.

The very personal nature of Crunchy Cons' criticism -- other conservatives think they're religious, but that's "not how they live" -- begged the question of whether Rod's walk matched his talk. Whether it was because of his honesty or his lack of self-awareness, he made it very clear that it doesn't and that it doesn't really affect him: hence, the man who stumped for localism and against commercialism doesn't bat an eye when having a near orgasm over an overcommercialized French wine that's shipped as quickly as possible around the globe.

And I think that points to an answer to the second question, why is Rod's work no longer interesting?

It's because I realize that all he's doing is changing hats.

He wears his crunchy beret when it's convenient and takes it off when he wants to revel in his yuppie cosmopolitanism. He strikes a pose of taking serious the threat of jihad until the subject of George W. Bush comes up: he then switches to the tinfoil hat of a deranged Bush-hater faster than I can fathom, and when it counted in the November elections, his loathing of Bush and the desire to make him pay for Iraq trumped the need to keep the appeasing Left out of politcal power.

What is there underneath those ever-changing hats? There may be a loving father and husband, and there may be a competent newspaper editor, but is there a man who courageously defends core principles like liberty, virtue, or self-government? Is there a man who is relentless in searching out the truth, or a man whose ability to see the truth makes him stand out from the rest?

As far as I can tell, the answer is no, despite Rod's old and increasingly ridiculous assertion that he can see things better because he's outside the mainstream.

Why has his writing become so bland? I suspect that, professionally, he's nothing but the hats he puts on and takes off. I've seen so little other than that for so long, that I'm no longer interested in digging deeper to see if I'm wrong.

Resign yourself that the work you're reading was written by a guy pretending to believe what he writes -- or who believes what he writes only at the moment -- and all your left with is the skill and wit with which he performs his routine. On that score I hardly think he's a better writer than amateurs like me.

And Rod's changing hats is why, Diane, Rod's disagreement with Mattingly about Santa is a source for hope: there are differences between Rod and Stegall, and differences between Rod and Mattingly, but it's not as if it's clear that these differences are rooted in principle.

I know this has been a lengthy entry, but post-mortems often are.

11:24 AM  
Blogger Bubba said...

...and, like finding a gift certificate for an expensive steakhouse in a bathroom at McDonald's, it may be that Rod's blog is worth glancing in on if only for the links to better writers -- such as a Mr. "Moonbones" at Lunar Skeletons. His writing about Rod and Daniel Larison (from Dec 18th to the 25th) is worth a look.

And through his blog I finally tracked down the rather frightening but wholly plausible thought-piece I read a while back: the three conjectures about nukes and Islam.

I will warn you that it's not the sort of essay to welcome in the new year on a happy note.

11:32 AM  
Blogger Diane said...

increasingly ridiculous assertion that he can see things better because he's outside the mainstream.

LOL, Bubba. Since this one's absolutely ridiculous to begin with, I don't think it admits of "increasing" degrees. :)

Maybe it's just me, but I've always found it a very funny line, and I wondered how Rod could write it (much less re-print it) with a straight face. It is almost self-parody.

I guess it shows how young the lad really is--in the sense of emotional maturity and all. Yeah, I know, he's nearly 40, but (a) I still can't quite get past the realization that I helped chaperone his high school prom (so I will always think of him as a kid); and (b) now that I have adolescent boys, I know it's really true what they say--boys DO mature at a much slower rate than girls.


And on that cheery note...I'll get back to work before reading your even cheerier linked article about Islam and nukes. :)

Happy Saint John's Day!


12:12 PM  
Blogger Bubba said...

The line ages well because it becomes ever more clear that Rod hardly understands himself and what he believes; who is he to be so harsh in the way others live?

This blog's raison d'etre has probably always been a little confused because it's discussed the separate but related topics of neo-agrarian paleoconservatism, the arguably mythical subgroup of crunchy conservatism, and Rod Dreher's writing, but I think I know the easiest way to explain my reaction to Rod and the entire crunchy-con food fetish:

Check out the song, "Back to the Garden," by the street musician Jason Webley: lyrics are here, the full song is in a mediocre flash game here.

(For what it's worth, there's a collection of truly fantastic flash games here.)

The song's okay, about as witty as Raffi's "Bananaphone."

But imagine if someone took the song seriously. Utterly seriously. Now imagine that the person isn't nine years old but instead has a wife, children, and a college education.

That's kinda the situation we've faced with Rod's book and blog.

1:21 PM  
Blogger kathleen said...

being in a similar stage of life as rod and his wife, with very young children, i am over my head already.
and my husband is right there with me. i just can't imagine how i would react if my husband spent a goodly chunk of every day advertised his likes and dislikes like a 7th grader with her first my space page (I HEART BUNGALOWS! DON'T HEART MCMANSIONS! TOTALLY HEART DIANA KRALL AND ROB ROYS! DON'T HEART BISHOPS! WHAT DO U LIKE? R U PAGAN? I AM A WRITER! I TOTALLY HAVE TO WRITE OR ELSE I GET TOTALLY DEPRESSED! EMAIL ME AT BELIEFNOT.COM)

anyway, i'm mean. happy new year contras.

PS: diane, if you like boston camerata, you might really like Pomerium, who are based in NY. i have their xmas album "creator of the stars" which i think you would love but it's out of print. email me if you want a CD "sample" in the snail mail.

3:52 PM  
Blogger Oengus Moonbones said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

6:57 PM  
Blogger Diane said...

Kathleen, I don't know if U B mean, but you sure B funny. "I HEART BUNGALOWS"--LOL!

I will definitely take you up on your Pomerium offer. Thank you, thank you, thank you!

Oh, and Bubba--just re-read your analysis (had only skimmed it yesterday). Very perceptive and spot-on, IMHO. And extremely well written, methinks.

5:38 AM  
Blogger Pauli said...

Oengus writes here: "Please find some other venue besides BeliefNet. Not only are its comboxes full of garbage, its advertising is worse than obnoxious—not to mention that its web pages take hideously long to render for us poor folks who cannot afford the luxury of a high speed Internet connection." (bold mine)

Thank you, Oengus. The amount of T&A-laced ads on a page with Rod's smiling face is quite humorous, but pretty brazenly hedonistic and capitalistic for the workerboy's half-acre on an ostensibly religious site, methinks.

I second Bubba's recommendation to read Oengus's thoughts on recent sundry paleocon excrescentiae.

11:40 AM  
Blogger Pauli said...

Saunter on over to this post and combox for some of Rod's you-can't-go-home-anymore crunchy sentiments followed by a some Pythonic you're-such-a-bleeding-racist comments. I laughed.

12:17 PM  
Blogger kathleen said...

wow, that blog is now the harvey lacey show. think benedict dreher misses us yet? speaking of nostalgia, we, the contras, constituted the golden age of crunchy con-ism, an age now gone by.

7:03 AM  
Blogger Bubba said...

In a response to Harvey...

"You know exactly nothing about how the black community, as a general matter, lives in this specific place, or the white community. Neither do I, though I know more than you do."

"Neither do I" would have fit better with the assertion, "You don't know anything," than with, "You know nothing," but it's clear what he means:

Harvey knows knothing about either race in that community.

Rod likewise knows nothing.

But he still knows more than Harvey.


3:44 PM  
Blogger Diane said...

Ack, earlier today I foolishly checked out the Rod-Blog, only to find that our Working Boy is up to his old tricks again. In a post about Saddam's execution--in which he conceded that he himself is generally against the death penalty--he referred to Cardinal Martino's appeal for clemency as "prissy." (He characterised it as the Vatican's stance, which is not technically accurate; Cardinal Martino is not the Vatican. But journalistic sloppiness seems to abound at his blog, so what else is new?)

I'm not saying I agree with Cardinal Martino. Not saying I don't agree, either: Mercy, after all, is a pretty central Christian concept -- and it usually does scandalize us. (Viz. Bilbo and Frodo with Gollum.)

But whether I agree or disagree, would I characterize an appeal for mercy as "prissy"? I mean, given the absolute centrality of mercy to Christianity?

Of course not. But, for Rod, if it's of Catholic provenance, then it must be effeminate-prissy, sissy, what have you.

If there isn't something weird going on with this obsession of his, I'll eat my missalette.


2:11 PM  
Blogger kathleen said...

how prissy was the vatican statement? as prissy as calling diana krall "my christmas elf"?

6:02 PM  
Blogger Jonathan Carpenter said...

Diane, it is about as Prissy as his comments about the movie Brokeback Mountain.

8:45 AM  
Blogger Diane said...

How about--as prissy as describing one's pajamas on a public forum? (See New Year's Eve post.)

Oh, I am soooo bad. Mea culpa! :p)

8:30 PM  
Blogger Pauli said...

LOL; In the New Year's Eve combox, Harvey does a multiple-post online tutorial on how to do italics. He's so helpful!

7:22 AM  
Blogger Bubba said...

Rod wrote that he partook of Veuve Clicquot on New Year's Eve; that's hardly an expression of a commitment to localism, but -- even better -- Wikipedia notes that the brand's original producer had a hand in the industrialization of champagne.

It should be noted that, without said industrialization, Dreher could probably not afford the wine he so enjoyed.

Another link or two, and I might start limiting myself to emails to my fellow contras.

I find occasionally interesting the blogging of a young lawyer and (I believe) libertarian named Russell Wardlow, and he's absolutely right that Dreher should be commended for standing up to evasive Muslim clerics.

(I can't help but be reluctant to put too much stock in that display of courage. His awareness of the threat of Islam is another hat Rod wears, and that hat has no bearing on his thinking whatsoever when he's bashing Bush about Iraq. The possibility that punishing Bush empowers those who are least equipped to fight jihad apparently does not cross his mind.)

But from that blog entry you could find a very early critique of Dreher, part of a series of entries that first drew me to Wardlow. Despite the language, they're all worth reading:

Link #1, #2, and #3.

A sample?

"Just listened to Rod Dreher on the Michael Medved show. It didn't take long for the guy to unmask himself as someone averse to thinking an idea through for more than it takes to come up with a peppy title of a book."

Sometimes a blunt evaluation of an idea and the person promoting it is far more satisfying than satire.

11:04 AM  
Blogger Pauli said...

MMM: "He would seem a lot less stupid if he merely complained about people's lack of wider social and moral concerns in the conduct of their professional lives and not try to yoke it to some egregious flaw in contemporary conservative ideology."

Yes. Bold mine. Then...

"But if he did that, he would just be another person pointing out that there's a dearth of morality and social responsibility in the world today, and that doesn't sell nearly as many books as a cutesy alliterative slogan like 'Crunchy Cons.' "

Thanks for the links, Bub. This sums up my position better than I could. In terms of the prophetic value of Mustard's comments, the fulfillment came with Orthodoxy, Beaujolais and Diana Krall. I don't remember reading this post last year, but I'm adding it to my delicious category for Rod.

Also: people like Cube and Pink Logician have the same or at least similar issues with CCism. Especially Cube -- he's sympathetic to many of the ideas in CCism, but he doesn't know why it should be turned into a political thing. Plus he really dislikes the packaging & hates being called crunchy.

On that note, I think it will be interesting to follow the discussion surrounding Pearce's new book, Small is Still Beautiful. Read about it here. The publisher, mistakenly IMHO, had Rod do one of those back-page endorsements. I suppose it's not a marketing mistake, and hopefully it won't help perpetuate the closed party, armchair distributist aspect of this discussion. But if you haven't read Pearce before, take it from me; it will assuredly be a more thoughtful book, better researched and less taste-related.

Oh, yeah, there's a blog to promote the book as well.

12:07 PM  
Blogger Cubeland Mystic said...

"Resign yourself that the work you're reading was written by a guy pretending to believe what he writes -- or who believes what he writes only at the moment -- and all your left with is the skill and wit with which he performs his routine. On that score I hardly think he's a better writer than amateurs like me."

I take it from the post that you guys are calling it quits? Assuming that, I set out to write a final critical assessment from the perspective of an active "semi-crunchy", about the grand old founder of crunchyism. My comment went long and was getting longer, so I just now read the combox to find Bubba and Diane pretty much held the substance of my post. Regardless this is my last comment, because I too have lost interest.

I spent New Years Eve drinking micro-brew from a local brewery with my wife in front of the TV if anyone is interested. Because I know food very well I know when someone does not know food. Rod writes mostly about the consumptive aspects of food. If he truly practiced and knew the subject, he would write about different things. If he were more than a consumer, but a creator, he would write about the act of creating. I do not recall his writing about himself within the context of creating (e.g. garden, house remodeling, creating jobs, creating legislation, etc.) He writes about others acts of creation. He himself creates writing, which is fine, but it is his living. For those of us who don't want to be consumers, but creators, it is difficult to transition from the consumptive life to the creative life. It would be nice at this point to know how Rod is going about his own transformation without jeopardizing his main source of income. After a day of writing for the "man", does he compose and play his own music and record it for his Ipod, or does he just buy the music of others? For as much as he spills about his personal life, it strikes me as odd why he does not highlight his own efforts to become more crunchy apart from his conspicuous consumption. He may in fact be less crunchy than Pauli working as a wage slave for big media. My advice to him is that people who live in glass houses should not throw stones.

I do agree with some of his thesis/assertions. I hesitate to make any assertions since I am not going to really defend them here. It's the usual stuff for me, big business might be more about socialism than capitalism, I know more RINO's than social conservatives, employment specialization is more risky than generalization, bigger and efficient may be worse than small and inefficient in some cases. Like any hypothesis, I'd explore and defend it before promoting it. All I would ask that you guys keep an open mind to what Rod is promoting in his book. There is some truth in it, even if it is not the truth that can be defended empirically, at least not at this time.

It was a pleasure working with you all. Best of luck to everyone, and stop by my blog and say hello if something interests you.

12:57 PM  
Blogger Bubba said...

Pauli, Pearce's writing may be better formed than Dreher's, but crap is crap, even if it's not always diarrhea.

I read the interview at Godspy, and there is still the same truly ridiculous criticism of the free market: it's equivalent to mammon, those who support it are materialists who don't understand that people are spiritual beings and who want a McDonald's on every block, and they are utterly uncaring about the third world.

Never mind that human dignity entails human liberty and that liberty includes economic freedom, which may be more fundamental even than explicit political freedom; never mind that multinational corporations do more over time in helping poorer countries lift themselves out of poverty; and never mind that, by essentially solving the problem of famine, the innovative and free market is what has allowed people like Schumaker to bitch about the food we take for granted. These claims of the economic conservatives aren't refuted; so far as I can tell, they're not even acknowledged.

Put simply, until people from the "small is beautiful" crowd stop the implicit villifying of Friedman and Sowell, I'm never going to take them seriously in matters political and economic.

3:38 PM  
Blogger Bubba said...

Made a real brief comment at Rod's blog, simply to point out the continued hypocrisy: he criticizes Pat Robertson for saying God told them things, but he did write a couple months ago that he received "a very clear and even startling call" from God to remain in journalism.

In his defense, Rod asserts a distinction between what he wrote and what politicians and others says -- a distinction about certainty, but I never could an answer for how he could only "think" that he received from God a call that was "clear and even startling."

This has nothing to do with his thoughtless posturing on political issues or even the graceless way with which he joined the Eastern Orthodox church: it's simple human decency and charity to hold yourself to the same standards to which you hold others.

8:42 AM  
Blogger Bubba said...

On second thought, it appears that Rod is being woefully imprecise in his writing rather than deliberately hypocritical.

I apologized in the comment thread for presuming otherwise, but I do wish for and still urge greater precision in his writing.

On how many other occasions has imprecise writing on Rod's part resulted in a miscommunication? It's a question worth considering.

9:18 AM  
Blogger Pauli said...

he criticizes Pat Robertson for saying God told them things, but he did write a couple months ago that he received "a very clear and even startling call" from God to remain in journalism.

You should ask him whether or not he believes that the Blessed Mother appeared to Juan Diego and the 3 children at Fatima. That could prove a bit of a stumper for a both-sides-of-the-east-west-fence convert.

I'm glad God told me in very clear terms not to ever become a journalist at 5:32pm on my tenth birthday because this way I don't have to worry about what Pat Robertson says or does.

10:23 AM  
Blogger Pauli said...

Re: crap and diarrhea. I agree with the so-called 3rd way-ers that Lord Acton's maxim "power corrupts" applies to large corporations, but I temper that with the application of the "guns don't kill people, people kill people" slogan.

I see myself an incrementalist, a humorist (as in this post where Cube and I have an exchange) and a believer in a "4th way" which is exemplified by groups like the Acton Institute and the American Enterprise Institute. Like them, I believe that there is quite a bit of leeway in Catholic social teaching as opposed to clear-cut prohibitions. If people don't realize this they end up accepting what I call moral equivalency lite which, although not as bad as the leftist version (e.g., common defense = terrorism), it ends up seeing preferences as dogmas.

So I'm very keen to find out how Pearce deals with the subtlety within these socio-economic issues and how they relate to morality as well as his recommended action items. The latter is perhaps too much to expect from an academic, but I'm an eternal optimist. Being that he's a former skin-head, he'll have already dealt with problems of blind rage and vision-clouding prejudice with which some people are still struggling. It's been awhile since he would have spray-painted "Friedman burn in hell!" on a London building. Add the fact that it's not his very first book and you have some good reasons to expect a better presentation of subsidiarity, distributism and the normal objections to implementation of these concepts.

Having said all that, there's a lot I'll probably laugh about as a businessman in the real world and as an American who enjoys the "not really democracy" thing quite a bit. And we'll all keep buggering on.

11:08 AM  
Blogger SiliconValleySteve said...

I'm just old enough to have read small as beautiful about the same time Jerry Brown was promoting it. It is, like alot of neo-anarchist philosophy long on criticism and short on prescription. World economic markets have the power that they do because they largly work for most people. What I can still remember from Small is Beautiful is the concept of appropriate technology for developing economies and wishful thinking for developed ones. I also remember that 3rd worlders resented the idea that they should settle for such half-assed infrastructure.

The mechanisms (equity markets, reserve banks etc) may be artificial but they represent responses to the reality of how free people organize themselves to allocate goods and services. They are like houses to shield the rain and reservoirs to store it for the dry season.

Utopian schemes are for cheapskates looking for the proverbial free lunch. It just ain't there and wishing it were doesn't really count for much. When the day is done, cutthroat capitalists do more to raise global living standards than idealists.

When I read about these fantasy, utopian economics, it all just seems like flat-earth stuff.

12:36 PM  
Blogger SiliconValleySteve said...


So I've read the Godspy article and of course it is short on details. The best I can determine is that it advocates a marriage of welfare state economics with conservative social policies and environmental protectionism with just a sprig of Fabian socialism.

Call it a third way if you want but it is just a melange of things that already exist. Maybe it's just Christian Democrats with environmental sympathies. With just the wrong balence, we could be shivering in the dark with a small bowl of rice and without large concentrations of capital to invest or large corporations to develop, where would those newer, more efficient solar cells come from. Command economy anyone?

And then there is the most obvious question: If such 3rd-way economics are so amenible to Christianity, why are there so few Christians remaining in the places where it is practiced and at least holding its own in the US where neo-Liberal economics hold sway? I have a simple proposition that if a little of something produces an effect (in this case welfare economics associated with loss of faith) more of the same is unlikely to produce an opposite reaction.

1:29 PM  
Blogger Oengus Moonbones said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

6:01 PM  
Blogger kathleen said...

"I wish you'd continue with Contra-Crunchy because it throws an interesting sidelight on Mr. Dreher and may even be serving to help keep him on his toes."

He doesn't deserve it, he spent too many months insulting us. hoisted on his own petard.

11:22 AM  
Blogger Diane said...

Rod has now gone delusional. See his post re the Orthodox Century.

Good grief. You could fit his entire Orthodox jurisdiction into a typical big-city Catholic cathedral.

Talk about clueless. No, it's beyond clueless. It's delusional.

8:04 AM  
Blogger Bubba said...

Oengus, there's an opportunity to let my public comments about Rod's writing conclude on a positive note, as Rod agrees that more care should have been taken in his criticism of Robertson.

That's as good a moment as any for me to let this rest.

9:50 AM  
Blogger kathleen said...

diane, here is the important question: is it the orthodox century because benedict ray rod converted to orthodoxy, or is it relevant point that benedict ray rod presciently intuited this was going to be the orthodox century and knew enough to convert? not that it matters. either way, BENEDICT RAY ROD IS A VISIONARY: the ultimate conclusion one is supposed to reach when reading his book/blog.

10:27 AM  
Blogger kathleen said...

PS: diane, how long til tmatt calls you gollum, i wonder

10:28 AM  
Blogger Diane said...


I've a good mind to sic my lawyer on tmatt. This is the second time he has publicly called me a liar--without one single solitary shred of substantiation.

I am beginning to get a bit peeved

Sorry, but I still think that anyone who thinks this is the Orthodox Century must be smoking something besides tobacco. The Pentecostal Century, maybe. The Catholic Century, quite possibly. The Muslim Century? Alas, all too possible. But the Orthodox Century? Delusional. It's simply delusional.

12:48 PM  
Blogger Diane said...

LOL!! Now I'm a "messed up" "pig," per Rod.

Do those guys have any remote clue what qualifies as Christian behavior--or even as **civil** behavior?

Oh, and the chivalry absolutely bowls me over.

What a sick, sick, pathetic little crew.

1:27 PM  
Blogger Pauli said...

Can a woman be called a pig? I thought you were only allowed to call men pigs. I guess we don't know that much about name-calling, alas.

2:28 PM  
Blogger Oengus Moonbones said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

5:58 PM  
Blogger Diane said...

I guess we don't know that much about name-calling, alas.


10:30 PM  
Blogger Diane said...

Heh! Rod has now become completely unhinged in his attempts to silence those comboxers with whom he disagrees. In his latest posts he repeatedly lobs spitballs while advising others not to "engage" me---but the others keep ignoring him and engaging me anyway, all quite courteously (except of course for tmatt and Young Fogey; but no one pays attention to them).

I probably should not post over there, but sometimes I feel that *somebody's* gotta set the record straight.

OTOH, as Bubba says, is that blog such a vapid irrelevancy that one shouldn't even bother? Maybe so.

Meanwhile, y'all, I think I'll start signing myself here as Heterodox Polemicist. (See Fr. Andrew's post in the Orthodox Century thread.) LOL!

I guess we Heterodox Polemicists aren't allowed to have any opinion at all on Anything Orthodox. What do our opinions matter? We're Heterodox Polemicists. What if we dig up some inconvenient facts? They can be dismissed a priori because--we're Heterodox Polemicists. LOL! I need to adopt a self-serving religion like that. Much more fun than those silly religions you actually have to defend with rational argument. :)

Diane, reachable over the weekend at and

3:50 PM  
Blogger kathleen said...

did anyone know that Max Weber said reading the sunday papers has replaced going to church on sunday morning? that would make rod/ray/benedict, newspaper editor, a bishop of some kind, at least in dallas, no? innnterresting.

8:16 PM  
Blogger Diane said...

LOL--Bishop Dreher. Would that make him fair game for bishop-bashing, then?

10:50 PM  
Blogger Diane said...

OK, gotta say...

My favorite line from Rod's latest Catholic-Bash: "The Vatican had other priorities." (Imagine pompous newscaster intoning this line sonorously....)

Gee, ya think the Vatican had other priorities besides fixating on Rod's concerns, revolving around Rod's obsessions, and dancing to Rod's tune?

Does this guy have a clue?

I am certainly not minimizing the sex-abuse scandal (although it would be nice to know who Bishop Doe supposedly is, and how credible the charges against him were--that silly due-process thang). But the implication that the Vatican had better align itself perfectly with Rod's Current Concerns lest it lose Our Working Boy to the Orthodox---good grief, talk about an insanely exaggerated sense of self-importance.


5:49 AM  

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