Saturday, February 27, 2016

Man Cave : Man vs. Family

An interesting piece over at Acculturated  caught my eye. Pull quote:

What differentiates the man cave from these more traditional male spaces is that workshops and studies are designed to accommodate a particular, elevating interest. These rooms are only isolated inasmuch as the activities proper to them are best pursued without distraction. With the man cave, however, the isolation from the family—the escape—is the primary purpose of the space. The man cave, therefore, is the image of the traditional male space without its substance.

This is a good reminder for me to put my office-with-a-recliner to better use when I'm there.

P.S. I've enjoyed reading the pieces at Acculturated.  It addresses cultural topics, as Dreher's blog attempts to do, but with good, clear writing and without the author being part of (much less the entire) story.

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

The Obvious Comparison

I was going for a run the other day in 25 degree weather and I began thinking about two of the most perplexing people alive at this moment. I mused that maybe I should do a Top Ten list of things that Pope Francis and Donald Trump have in common. But the two main things I came up with is that photographers seem to love to capture their facial expressions and they put their feet in their mouth a lot. So I gave up, even though I knew it would be instructive to point out the similarities of two gentlemen who are so good at surprising, perplexing and making headlines.

So along comes this really good article. It's worth reading, and it details some commonalities of these two super-famous men. Here's the most interesting part to me, something I've been wondering about for some time now:

But iconoclasm, though exhilarating for a while, may not deliver the revitalization it promises. For all his global popularity, the pope has failed to improve the reputation of the church he leads. A Washington Post-ABC News poll found “no evidence that Francis’s likability has boosted Catholic identification, worship attendance or prayer.”

This may be because, as the German writer Martin Mosebach has observed, Francis presents himself as a “dynamic, unconventional, courageous pope with a golden heart” in contrast to a church that is a “crusty, dead, faithless, rigid machine.” Why go to church? Better to follow the pope on Twitter.

That makes me sad; I'm afraid it rings 100% true. I don't hate the Pope the way some people on the Catholic right seem to, but I don't really see him as doing anything that great. He needs a lot of damage control, and no one is coming back to the church because of his "new style".

Obviously this is sort of the feeling I have about Trump. My opinion of him has gone down since he decided to stink up the GOP primaries, but I don't hate him.

I guess the biggest similarity to note is between Catholics who support the Pope and Trump's voters. It doesn't matter if they do or say something cringe-worthy, we still support them. In fact, I would suggest that Donald Trump is already a Pope of sorts, judging from his followers' devotion. But who am I to judge?