Thursday, June 10, 2010

Fringe element.

Just shooting off my mouth.  (I've been so serious lately that I'm getting on my own nerves.)
Even if a certain priest blogger gets 10,000 hits a day - he still qualifies as part of the fringe.  What fringe?  Catholic conservative, right-wing-nut fringe.  That is pretty much what most of us are - to outsiders and quite frequently, to one another.
A blogger friend of mine posted something about tearing down the facade.  I'm not so sure everyone who piously blogs has erected a facade - some people are exactly what they post.  Some bloggers are very good and holy people - especially all of the priests who blog.  They are like saints.  (Year of the Priest ends soon.)
My intention is not to trash anyone, but it is easy to slip into pious sentimentality when blogging - real or imagined.  One easy way to recognize it is when the person starts to sound exactly like the devotional books he reads.  It doesn't mean he's a fraud or that his thoughts aren't inspired, but one can only take so much sugar in their tea, you know?
On the other hand some people go too far with the self-deprecating humility thing - confessing their sins online, discussing their state of soul in the dark night of mental instability and so on.  Not a good idea - save it for confession.  Anyway, readers can tell we are big fat sinners - they read our stupid blogs.  I can usually tell who drinks, who is nuts, who has issues with Church teaching; I know what's what.  We betray ourselves through our writing - no need to lay it all out - subtlety is good.
Have no illusions about bloggers.  If we are online we are self-absorbed, attention grabbing, members of some fringe group who have nothing else to do with our lives.
Give me examples, you say?
Okay then.  Have you ever read "Throw the Bums Out".  My first impression when I read the blog was "I knew people like this when I lived in Boston."  Then I thought, "How can you refer to bishops as bums to be thrown out?"  Every once in a while I check the blog out - the author rips apart the Boston Archdiocese like it's the reincarnation of the Soviet Union.  The Cardinal is constantly denounced - and yet the Holy Father just named him as a member of the visitation team for Ireland.  How can such an enemy of the Church be given such an important task.  See - that blog is an example of fringe.
There are many others - usually the very, very traddy, written by famous theologians working at Walgreen's.  I've mentioned them before - most are descended from European nobility and have one or two degrees in theology.  Seriously unraveled fringe.
What other blogs suck?  Oh no - I'm not caving in for that one...  LOL!  Don't get me started on the Catholic Priest Defense League?  No offense to spiritual mothers BTW, or aspiring nuns. 
Then there is me of course.  I'm completely unravelled.  "Makes me completely mental, don't ya know!"
Don't take blogging and bloggers so seriously - most of them are twits anyway.  (Nope - I don't do Twitter.)
Please leave insulting comments.  Thanks so much.


  1. We are completely self-absorbed.

    We have stat counters on our blogs.
    We have comment sections.

    We have google followers.

    We brand ourselves like Nike, and then profess to not care what others think, that our blog is there to "clenase our soul."


    We blog, because we think we have something important to say, and we are too lazy, intellectually inept, or dull to write a book.

    Many blogs do at the end of the day provide some service of some type to some people. Usuaully entertainment, but sometimes we educate.

    With so many blogs bearing their souls... I wonder if those that are done at face value, must become caricatures of ourselves just to be taken serious? Is that a paradox?

    I know I am doing something "wrong" with my blog... I don't get enough hate mail. Is that maniacal to rate the "success" of my blog based on the amount of hate mail received? What is the measure of success for blogs? Readers? Ad revenue? Hate Mail? Book Deals? Getting asked on Dates/betrothed?

    Is anyone still reading this? (The ultimate fear of a blogger.)

  2. Stupid bloggers. Hmmph. Cough. Actually, of all the online crazies you can come across these days, bloggers are the MOST normal. You should try Paltalk. I think it was invented to give people in institutions somethign to do with all their free time. Give me my blogging buddies any day to my "Pals", LOL!

    (I like that still life, would look good in my kitchen...oh, give it to Cathy so she can put it next to her Pope Clock!)

  3. oh, and I forgot the face "friends"! I once had a real life "old catholic" bishop/vampire slayer "friend" kidding. He's a descendant of Lord Byron and his servant woman. He slayed a vampire in teh 70s at Highgate Cemetary. YOu can look it up on line.

    So yeah, I closed my Facebook account. :-P

  4. I'm with Georgette on this one---not the Paltalk part, I have no clue what that is, but the Bloggers are the most normal part.

    I've always held to the fact that you get what you pay for, so you'd think that the on those membership type sites, especially the ones that require payment for membership you'd find a smaller representation of the lunatic fringe. Ironic that it was from those pay sites that I've been subject to the most hate and insanity. I've been baited into arguments and then utterly attacked and called every name in the book. One "blogging" site that had a monthly fee turned out to be nothing more than a glorified chat room.

    Since I've gone blogger and stuck with the free service, I've yet to have a problem.

  5. Terry, dear brother, are you having a "bad day":<)!?...seriously/no just kidding!!
    You have some important things to are "on target" for what I write, who gives a crap?
    I posted a comment last night, in fact, on a famous blog, and told the "troll" who was bashing Pope Benedict basically to "get a life" and "I'd give you ten rosaries and a kick in the butt as a penance" for what he wrote...atrocious stuff.
    And I'm afraid to go back there.
    Hey, they want "traddie priests" giv'n 'em Hell in the confessional...I just did it:<)!LOL!
    And I have to go to confession now, thank you very much!

  6. Terry, maybe you should start drinking again:<)!
    (Did I just say, "write" that? Did everybody hear, "see" that??LOL!)

  7. "...famous theologians working at Walgreen's"...LOL!

  8. There is also a high level of security hiding behind the anonymous posting or "nickname." If we actually had to post our full name and hometown/state/country the tone would be VERY different..we've all seen the news where there have been folks actually fired from their jobs for making unappropriate comments ontheir FaceBook page. True--opinions are like (G-rated) rear ends...everyone has one. But some opinions are best kept to oneself.

    Good for you Father NP for scolding the creep who talked bad about our Holy Father..a good soldier for our dear B16. I hope you shamed him into going to Confession.

    Insulting comments?? None here :) Although I do get enough comments about me being a religious sister because when I attend Mass I'm usually in my work clothes--business casual--nice slacks, dress shoes, button-down blouse. Maybe I'll start my own order--Carmelite Sisters of the Travelling Pants, or some such thing :) Father NP can be our on-line Spiritual Director :) Can we Tweet our confessions?? :)


  9. This post was really meant to be funny and not really snarky - if no one had commented I would have taken it down lest someone got offended. I do look for insults however.

  10. I can usually tell who drinks, who is nuts, who has issues with Church teaching

    Okay, smarty pants - which one am I?

    This post offends me - I'm going to link to it at my blog and fisk it - complete with bold type and bracketed red font.

    You obviously need help - I'm going to say 38 rosaries, two straight hours of Divine Mercy chaplets, fast for a week and offer up a dozen spiritual bouquets for your conversion. And then blog about it.

    I love you, man! (I hope no one misconstrues that, seeing has how the President has ordered us to celebrate LGBTQABCXYZ month.)

  11. You always crack me up Larry! (Please say all those prayers for me though!)

  12. Aceman11:31 AM

    And lets not forget about you bloggers who beg for donations, after baring your souls, and showing how grand or horrible your life is! Why do we continue to read you??

    It's for the birds! Go to school, and get a life! ;-)


    PS. Keep writing T-man, at least your blog is donation free!!!

  13. +JMJ+

    I agree that anyone with a Catholic blog is "fringe."

    For several months, I've been refining a thought which popped into my mind when a long-time friend of mine revealed he didn't think the Holocaust had happened. (No, I don't want to get into that; I mention it because it's relevant to the story.) Anyway, I actually looked at all the Aryan/white separatist/race realist sites he recommended to me and gave his arguments a lot of thought . . . and what ultimately convinced me that these people were mistaken was the fact that they didn't have many Catholics in their ranks.

    For it occurred to me that Catholics are to a lifestyle what frogs are to an ecosystem: the more there are who manage to thrive there, the better it is for everyone in the world.

    But just as I was mentally composing that first "Why Catholics are like frogs" post, something else happened that made me think that the traddier Catholics have actually lost their frogginess. (And whenever an "ordinary" Catholic shares a bad experience with the regulars at a Latin Mass or an obvious Traddy blogger, that impression is reinforced.)

    A little later, I tossed around my own theory that lay apologists who were also recent converts weren't very froggy, either . . . and I don't need to remind you how that went down, do I, Terry? ;-)

    And now, just when I was all ready to write a more nuanced "Why cradle Catholics who are at peace with Vatican II and maybe didn't even know there was a war, are like frogs" post . . . you've made me wonder whether Catholic bloggers--and not just the lay apologists--have lost some of their frogginess as well.

    So now it's "fringe" vs. "frogs."

    Thanks a lot, Terry. I may never blog about Catholic issues again. =P

  14. Sara, LarryD, Aceman and Enbrethiliel: LOL!!
    You guys are great!
    Why can't we be faithful Catholics and just be, well, human?
    I'm so sick of the "better than thou" type of attitude that divides us instead of unites us.
    Basic Catholic teaching is one thing;
    but the liturgy wars and the condemnation of the Popes, past and present, just makes me crazy.
    Okay, I'm done.

  15. Frogs on logs dialogue on blogs.

  16. Enbrethiliel - you are funny - and right.

  17. ROFL!

    In all seriousness, I thought all the famous theologians worked at Leaflet Missal?

  18. Cath - they do. Actually - my snipe at Walgreens was uncharitable - all jobs are honorable and deserving of respect. My apologies to ____.

  19. As someone who works in the real Catholic world and blogs in the more or less ideal Catholic world...never the twain shall meet.

    The vast majority of Catholics out there don't have the foggiest idea of what's going on and don't actually care. The blog world is nothing but a huge echo chamber, full of sound and fury, signifying...nothing.

    But we do it because it IS a method of evangelization. We are real some moments, we are who we want to be in the next. We write what we ponder and wish we could live and sometimes we die a thousand deaths.

    Bloggers are as human as anyone else, and yes, that shows through. What's your point?

    (Sorry, I just can't insult you, Terry, I don't have it in me. The best I can do is that little bit of sarcasm at the end!)

    Truthfully, we do it for the random person who comes across our blogs and something random and weird touched them, something we didn't actually think anything of ourselves. But it was enough to make some of them send an email. or comment.

    That's why we all do it. Because we do know that it matters, and that we have to be just as human online as we are all our sinfulness, in all our humanity, in all our pretenses.

    It doesn't matter whether we blog under a pen name or not; we ALL have pretenses in our real day-to-day in-person lives, too.

    We have to keep that in mind when making commentary about bloggers.

    Just a fact to put out there. ;-)

  20. Thanks Adoro - good points. You know me though - I'm always doing posts like this.


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