Wednesday, January 24, 2007


Since Mark Shea feels so comforable telling others on the blogosphere what to say or do (example, "get a life!" ), I'll take this opportunity to go and do likewise. Here's my prescription for Mark Shea, in return for his to me: Shea should stop reading the contra blog, especially since he's not doing Dreher any favors in doing so. When on his own blog Shea highlights, in bold lettering and mid-space, a purposely innocuous exchange between myself and a commenter from our blog, and claims that in it we make dire analyses of his buddy Dreher --- well, let's just say that with friends like Shea, Dreher needs no contras. It's also clear that Shea pores over this blog with great care, since he venomously spits back random bits with what is becoming frightening regularity. Which can only be the point of his reading it -- to cultivate his own anger. (Unless, on some level he doesn't wish to acknowledge, he's, um "enjoying it").

Shea wishes to silence us, of course, by implying -- no, proclaiming -- that we're the crazies. He loves to call us "obsessostalkers" which is interesting, because it seems to me Shea has done a great deal of obsessing and stalking of us. Shea has even christened our blog with his very own nickname, and even given that nickname an acronym. cute!

I'm still amused that Mark Shea runs a blog called Catholic and Enjoying It. I guess he is catholic, and in some perverse way enjoying "it", but I can assure him that other catholics -- in particular those who value sanity -- don't enjoy it, and for myriad reasons. Has it dawned on him that other catholics don't appreciate his fondness for vitriol and flame-throwing? Or the fact that Shea indulgently cultivates his anger while he simultaneously sells his services as a professional catholic apologist? It's not really that great for catholicism when the catholic apologist on TV calls to mind Michael Douglas with a crewcut, horn-rims, and an automatic weapon. Besides, this sort of thing is not good for his heart. And for a self-proclaimed "fat guy", the physical one too.


Blogger Pauli said...

I'm going to be blogging at a new site, dedicated to criticizing one person: me. Personal attacks welcome.

9:27 AM  
Blogger kathleen said...

Pauli, we can insult you and personally attack you right here, if you like!

9:54 AM  
Blogger Andy Nowicki said...

Hey, don't liken Mark Shea to D-FENS! I liked D-FENS! Micheal Douglas's most poignant and most hilarious character ever. A classic.

2:04 PM  
Blogger kathleen said...

i confess i didn't see the movie, i just see the character as the archetypal neat-as-a-pin-on-the-outside, consumed-with-rage-on-the-inside, psycho.

2:32 PM  
Blogger Jonathan Carpenter said...

I think Mark more closely resembles Howard Beale from the movie "Network."

5:47 PM  
Blogger Diane said...

This is completely off-topic...but have y'all seen this wondeful new blog?

A thousand times more irenic, thoughtful, and incisive than anything Rod has ever published about his Doxing Saga. :)

11:02 AM  
Blogger Flambeaux said...

Wow...others who feel the same way I do about both Shea & Dreher.

Sad to say, it was a long time coming. I used to think highly of both -- until Dreher launched a self-righteous, unprovoked attack on my father-in-God, and Shea just became a dyed-in-the-wool, foaming at the mouth, loony.

Thanks for all your efforts. I'll enjoy reading the blog when I have more time.

6:22 PM  
Blogger Diane said...

Welcome, Flambeaux!

I used to think very highly of Mark, too. I still think he's a wonderful writer. His books on authority and the Eucharist are excellent, IMHO--written very clearly and engagingly, with lots of wit and humor. (I lent the Eucharist book to some fundamentalist neighbors once. I don't think they were amused. Oh well. It's still a fine little book.)

Can't say I've ever much cared for Dreher. Didn't know anything about him until I started encountering his personal nastiness and anti-Catholic I guess I never had a chance to see his good side.

WRT Mark: I sometimes wonder whether blogs may not be a good idea for Catholic apologists. Especially for Catholic apologists with strong personalities and even stronger opinions. I think there's too much temptation, on a blog, to get personal and to get nasty--which inevitably undermines the apologist-blogger's professionalism and reputation. An apologist, especially a fairly prominent and well-known one, is in a delicate position, so he should be like "Caesar's wife" and all that. It's one thing for us obscure schlemiels; it's quite another thing for someone who kinda-sorta represents the Church and Church Teaching, in however limited a way. If that makes any sense. Anyway, I just think it's a danger. I think that's why Father Al Kimel cut way back on his blogging and shut off comments once he became a Catholic priest. Even before that, he always kept a pretty tight rein on his blog to make sure it was irenical in tone and that it didn't get too personal. I think that was very wise.

Anyway...maybe that's the problem for Mark: Maybe he shouldn't have a blog. I still think he's a very fine person; I still appreciate his sense of humor. I appreciate the fact that he apologizes when he goes too far--something I have never seen Rod do, but perhaps I've just missed it. :o

The crazy thing is, I think, that Mark resents us for being so much like himself. He's a very sarcastic guy. We Contras are pretty sarcastic, too. If you have a sarcastic, cynical temperament, there's not too much you can do about it--it's the way you're built. All you can do is to try to keep it in check, to try to avoid being too hurtful toward others. Neither Mark nor we always succeed at this. But Mark should have a little more sympathy, IMHO, seeing as he's just as sarcastic as we are, if not more so, and he has certainly lost it on more than one occasion and lobbed some pretty hurtful epithets at people. (Most recently at Jonathan Carpenter, who apparently doesn;t qualify as a human being in Mark's book.) Oh well.

God bless,


10:29 AM  

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