Adulterers, deadbeats and proselytizers

KidmanCruiseI know it’s like choosing a pack of nacho-flavored Slim Jims and two cans of Mountain Dew for breakfast, but I often start reading the Sunday newspaper with Parade magazine. The “I hit rock bottom before I learned to believe in myself again” cover stories, the earnest teenagers of Fresh Voices, the fawning celebrity profiles of Jim Brady’s In Step With — all make for a potent brew of hathos and glurge.

As Catherine Seipp wrote for Salon in 1997, Parade is — for some of us, at least — an irresistible guilty pleasure.

The most hathotic of Parade‘s hathos-laden pages, though, is Walter Scott’s Personality Parade, which Edward Klein has written since 1991. Klein is best known, lately, for his voyeuristic biography of Hillary Clinton.

In this morning’s edition of Parade, Klein endorses the folk wisdom that one must never discuss God with an eye toward changing anyone’s mind. He uses what tmatt has often called “the p word,” which these days sounds like a synonym for brainwashing. The occasion for this wisdom comes from reader Betty F. of Houston, who writes with the socially urgent question of whether Nicole Kidman and Keith Urban are romantically involved. Klein responds:

Sorry, but there’s no scoop. Fellow Aussies Kidman, 38, and Urban, 37, say they’re “just friends” who enjoy each other’s company. Just friends or not, Urban — voted Top Male Vocalist at this year’s Academy of Country Music Awards — is an improvement over some of Kidman’s past hookups: He’s never been married, never fathered a child out wedlock and never proselytized his religious beliefs.

A note to believers of all types: Next time you’re inclined to discuss why you believe your faith is true, remember that such behavior places you in the company of that serially married Scientologist, Tom Cruise, and deadbeat dads. Thanks for the guidance, Mr. Klein.

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  • Aumgn

    Well, um, of course ‘Parade’ magazine would be a ‘guilty pleasure’ over here in the UK for a, er … quite different reason.

  • http://janvbear.blogspot.com Jan Bear

    Back up a step, please. What is “hathos”? Neither dictionary.com nor google/define:hathos enlightens me.

    Thanks.

  • Will S.

    Don’t you mean Keith Urban rather than Kenny Chesney?

  • http://www.chasclifton.com/blogger.html Chas S. Clifton

    “Hathos” is a combination of hate and pathos.

  • Tim G.

    Ah, hathos. I first heard the word on this blog, and now I use it. Actually, I’ve only heard it used in this place.

    It means “Feelings of pleasure derived from hating someone or something”

  • http://www.ecben.net Will

    We share, you preach, they proseleytize.

    Of course, we never hear “that Bill Clinton came to town to PROSELEYTIZE for the Democrats!”

  • http://www.getreligion.org/?p=2 Douglas LeBlanc

    Thanks for the correction, Will. I guess such a thoroughly stupid mistake indicates how closely I follow the world of country music!

  • Pingback: Depravity

  • http://agrumer.livejournal.com/ Avram

    Actually, Depravity, not all religions require proselytizing. Jews, for example, don’t actively try to recruit gentiles into converting. (There is a small ultra-Orthodox group — the Chabad Lubavitch — that tries to proselytize among other Jews, but most of the other Jews find the Chabad annoying and distasteful.)

    Me, I actually wish Tom Cruise would have talked more about his beliefs as a Scientologist. Spreading around some of the loonier Scientological doctrines might help keep unwary people from falling prey to the cult.

  • http://www.getreligion.org/?p=2 Douglas LeBlanc

    A belated response to Jan Bear: Hathos is not just a combination of hatred and pathos, or taking pleasure in hatred.

    It is, to quote Alex Heard (the father of the word), “a mixture of hatred, disgust, embarrassment, and pathos” that takes on pleasurable qualities.

    For me, hathos is a one-word reference to “so bad it’s good.”

  • http://www.ecben.net Will

    We are a church, you are a sect, they are a cult.


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