Friday, May 8, 2015

"You didn't see that coming?"

Dreher-fan Jordan Poss writes a generally positive review of HDCSYL. But it is also quite honest, and he can't help pointing out several things with which I heartily agree. Excerpts:

Despite returning home, Dreher recounts that his relationships with family—especially his father and nieces—were terrible. I like Dreher a lot and value his opinions, but having read his work for several years now, he strikes me as a classic oversharer. Reading Little Way, I could only wonder, despite being moved to tears, what his family thought of such a soul-baring memoir. In my experience, a tell-all—even an affectionate, nostalgic tell-all—alienates people. This book gave me an answer: “I showed Mike the manuscript of Little Way before I turned it in, and asked him to let me know if he wanted me to make any changes. He did not ask for changes, but as I learned later, the book displeased him greatly. He thought I had used his wife’s death to tell a story about myself” (30). As a reader, I too had had a hard time escaping this impression.

We told you so, we told you so. Of course we all had that impression. The reason that Mike Leming thought Rod Dreher had used his wife’s death to tell a story about himself was that Rod Dreher had used Mike's wife’s death to tell a story about himself.

I really liked How Dante Can Save Your Life, but I still wonder about the propriety of what Dreher has chosen to share with his readers—especially considering that one of the sources of strife within his family is his previous book. Dreher writes with great feeling and sincerity but, as another reviewer has noted, the narration sometimes comes across as self-pitying, even in the later stages when he has learned how selfish he is and is striving toward greater humility. Even as he learns to let go of his bitterness and anger, he reminds himself over and over again of the incidents that made him bitter and angry.

Yes; he seems to love being bitter and angry. It's as if I said to Keith, "Keith, I have totally gotten over the time that you made fun of the space helmet I made for Halloween when I was 27 years old, and I hope that nothing will ever, EVER remind either one of us how much I cried about that at the time, and then got drunk and broke up with my girlfriend. But now that I've read Dante's Divine Comedy, I'm ready to forgive you ONCE AND FOR ALL for that and I will do so right after I pass out and take a 5-hour nap."

We must figure out what Rod Dreher's Benedict Option™ is - and hurry!

It's time, people. Past time.

We have to continuing arguing about what Rod Dreher's Benedict Option™ really is, and figure it out, and soon, so that Rod can write a book about it, taking official public credit for it under his name, and sell it back to us, enabling us to then know once and for all what the Rod Dreher's Benedict Option™ we all finally agreed upon actually is and is not so that we can then take it (but not take that - what, are you kidding?), whatever it finally turns out to be.

I can already see this is going to be harder than the witches' brew of crunching a universe of totally unrelated social types into a Crunchy Con.

I’m pleased to see more and more people arguing about the Benedict Option. This is important. I don’t have a hard, fixed, formulaic idea of what it is, and all this back and forth is helpful to me in thinking through it.


I want to make it clear, though, that as I undertake this Benedict Option book, I am investigating, trying to learn what it could  and should mean, and what it cannot and must not mean. I do not have all the answers, but I am committed to talking to a number of people who have thought deeply about these things, and who have tried different things, even if they have failed. And I am trying to make this practical, that is, something that families like mine can do. Despair is not an option.

Despair is not an option, people. Platitudes, though - platitudes may be crucial in filling out the book, like that expanding foam that's so useful in keeping the drafts out around poorly framed windows.


More argument, please. More discussion, more debate. We have to figure this out together.

And, do I need to add? We must hurry. If Rod's Dante book doesn't fly, this is the only thing he seems to have in the pipeline and, as he himself says, he has no clue as to what Rod Dreher's Benedict Option™ really is. We have to do this together, people, for Rod, so that he'll have another book to sell for us to buy so that he can purchase more of those delicious raw oysters he loves so much.

Let's not think of this as personal financial welfare for a millionaire gourmand, people, but as simple Christian community. If not St. Benedict himself, someone, somewhere named Benedict would surely want us to.

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

TAC's Wick Allison blames American Freedom Defense Initiative for Garland shooting

Nothing goes public from Wick Allison's D Empire without his express approval, so when one of his bloggers asks "Who Can We Blame for This Garland Shooting?", we know what Wick Allison wants the world to think, that the shooting was the fault of the "hate group" American Freedom Defense Initiative rather than the Muslims who pulled the trigger.

Wick Allison doesn't live in Garland, Texas, by the way, or even in Dallas, Texas. He lives in Highland Park, Texas, a little town exclusively for the very wealthy near Southern Methodist University, a place usually referred to with well-deserved contempt as "The Bubble". The Bubble is ferociously protected by its own well-manned police force, even to the extent that if you appear to be Hispanic and your truck doesn't contain at least one lawn mower and leaf blower, you can expect to be stopped and questioned. Within the cocoon of their Bubble, Wick and Christine Allison have little to worry from either ISIS-inspired jihadists or even any other humans at all not of their hue and station.

Wick Allison, the Obamacon money man and CEO behind both TAC's pro-Putin Daniel Larison and anti-Catholic Rod Dreher and the jihadi apologist FrontBurner blog. William F. Buckley must be sneering.

Monday, May 4, 2015