Oh, Kid, I Wish You The Best …

… I just wish your name was anything but “Palin.”

Because the spotlight that shines on you — because of your name — is the same one that shines on two-headed kittens, and Jessica Simpson. The spotlight that says “Oh, look, all you people sitting there with really nothing better to do, and no mind to figure out what you might be doing, here’s something SUUWEEET!!!!”

Bristol Palin is now a blogger.

Yes, THAT Bristol Palin.

I wish her well. No, seriously. She can’t help who her mom is, or the fact that the merciless lens of the Eww!-Aww!-Ohh! arm of the news media can’t stop itself from focusing on her.

Fortunately, she’s joined Patheos — “Balanced Views of Religion and Spitituality”.

Founded in 2008, Patheos.com is the premier online destination to engage in the global dialogue about religion and spirituality and to explore and experience the world’s beliefs. Patheos is the website of choice for the millions of people looking for credible and balanced information about religion. Patheos brings together faith communities, academics, and the broader public into a single environment, and is the place where many people turn on a regular basis for insight, inspiration, and stimulating discussion. Patheos is unlike any other religious and spiritual site on the Web today.

It’s a goddy-spiritual-woo-woo site, in other words, with huge helpings of nonsense hidden behind a whitewashed storefront of science, apparently pitched at a lowest-common-denominator audience. Picture standing in line at Wal-Mart, and a magazine at knee-level catches your eye with a cover picture of Britney Spears’ belly fat, or the headline “Should You Do It Doggy-Style on the First Date?” — THAT’S what Patheos is like. Only, you know, sciency, and religious-spiritual.

Recent headlines include:

Can Animals Have Spiritual Experiences?

Countless children – and adults – have wondered whether their pets possess spirits, and the debate isn’t likely to go away anytime soon. Still, recent research in neuroscience may shed light on this age-old question by suggesting that many animals are capable of religious experiences, including near-death encounters and profound feelings of awe and oneness.

That from a sub-blog called Science on Religion (!!). Which describes itself, in its “About” page, thusly:

In a sense, this blog is both an expression of faith in the value of science, and a show of confidence in the value of rigorous inquiry into spiritual and religious matters. Through our content, we’re making an important point: done critically and well, the study of religiousness through the lens of the social and biological sciences doesn’t need to lead to a decay or snuffing out of our collective spiritual life, however that is understood.

So while your dog is snorting the delicate odors wafting off the back end of another canine at the Dog Park, it could be he’s having a deeply religious experience of “awe and oneness.” And by god, that’s Science, kids. Or something.

I love this one, from Astrological Musings’ Why Your Ipad Can’t Cast a Birthchart:

Some astrologers, possibly those who are of a more scientific than magical mind, have attempted to put forth the use of the constellation zodiac in astrology since it is more “accurate.”  Others have tried working with the heliocentric model (Sun-centered) rather than the geocentric (earth-centered) model used in western astrology.  The thing is, western astrology with its Tropical zodiac that doesn’t line up with the actual zodiac signs and its backwards-moving planets just works.  It’s accurate as the dickens in describing a person’s life and forecasting important times in that life.

[emphasis added)]

I can’t figure out why Hemant Mehta blogs here, but somebody named Palin? She FITS.

Here’s one ENTIRE blog post, absolutely verbatim:

Game Change

Posted on March 15, 2012 by Bristol Palin

I didn’t watch the HBO film Game Change, but it seems that reasonable people of all political stripes can see how terrible our family was treated by the political staffers who were supposed to be helping us. (Have you ever considered Mom could tell that the people surrounding her were exactly the type of people who would betray her?)

Whatever happened to loyalty?

And, by the way, Mom… I think you’re more beautiful than any of your impersonators!

Man, doesn’t that just make you want to leap out of your chair with its eye-opening air of QUALITY? I could just read this for days and days, and just, you know, be awestruck the whole time.

Bristol, I know you’ll have to spend a lot of time on your blog defending your poor defenseless mother against the unfair attacks of the Liberal Media, but I hope you’ll have time to post some of your deeper philosophical insights.

And by the way, Patheos? Bravo. I can tell the “global dialogue about religion and spirituality” is in good hands.

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  • reeddlh

    Well, after all the good reviews, I suppose I really must go check it out. I had planned to avoid it, but now, it’s like Brittney Spears’ belly fat. There’s no looking away now.

  • otrame

    In general, I agree, but Fred Clark blogs there too and apparently our Libby Anne is moving there. That’s two first-class bloggers that I know of. They aren’t all idiots over there.

  • machintelligence

    Don’t give up entirely on Patheos. Libby Anne (Love Joy Feminism) is moving over there. I found her insights into the hard core fundamentalist and Christian Patriarchy movements to be very insightful. And about making astrology more “accurate”: If it isn’t worth doing, it isn’t worth doing well!

  • ‘Tis Himself, OM

    Have you ever considered Mom could tell that the people surrounding her were exactly the type of people who would betray her?

    No, I haven’t considered that. Give me a good reason why I should consider it and I will. But just throwing it out as a non sequitur means I’ll ignore it.

  • ‘Tis Himself, OM

    It’s accurate as the dickens in describing a person’s life and forecasting important times in that life.

    How accurate is “the dickens”?

    • ambassadorfromverdammt

      I’m not sure, but I think an alternate title is “The Economist’s Handbook”.

      • ‘Tis Himself, OM


    • chrisj

      Well, if you type “Dickens” into Wikipedia’s search bar, it directs you to Charles of that ilk, who is thus presumably the definite article. Since he’s a fiction author, we can assume that “accurate as the dickens” means “totally made up”.

      • http://thecanberracook.blogspot.com Alethea H. Claw

        Well, in my understanding “the dickens” is a polite substitute for “the devil”, from early last century. As in, accurate as the devil. So you’re quite right there: not real at all. :)

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100001373579092 martalayton

    Other people have pointed out that Patheos actually does have some high-quality bloggers. (Fred Clark jumps to mind as someone doing good work on faith, politics, and how each abuses the other…) But yes, there is an awful lot of dreck. I only follow blogs I know are high-quality, as opposed to FTB where I’ll just surf sometimes.

    Bristol Palin blogging? That’s kind of the equivalent of those celebrity-kid books, only not as entertaining.

  • sisu

    Why is Libby Anne moving there? That’s a real loss for FTB. Boo.

    I also don’t get why Hemant blogs there…

  • Nentuaby


    Reason number one is that it’s a pretty good place for people who want to convey atheism to people who’d never venture into the den of the Freethought Borg. This is, after all, a hub for our community, and a lot of what she (and Hemant) do are more for the benefit of those who haven’t yet joined. Libby Ann was also pretty frank that at least part of it was that Patheos was ready to pay significantly better than she could do at FTB…

    • http://raisinghellions.wordpress.com/ Lou Doench

      Yeah, that’s pretty much why Slacktivist moved there as well.

    • sisu

      Nentuaby, thanks. I found her blog post here where she wrote about it. I can see why she’s making that choice – can’t argue with money, plus yeah… she’s probably much more likely to reach questioning Christians there than she is here.

  • jakc

    Don’t weep for Bristol. The Palin brandname has made her lots of money for no rational reason. Weep for Michael instead, who had once made “Palin” a name to be proud of.