The Great Thing about the Outer Twilight Zone of Traddery…

…is that it becomes impossible to tell whether a blog like this one is serious or simply a highly sophisticated form of satire. At any rate, it somehow cracked me up while also making me feel great sadness for the guy. I lean toward “serious”, but you can never tell. Those who don’t find it funny (and even some of us who do) will probably also do well to pray for whoever it is who runs it. It makes me think, somehow, of Evelyn Waugh, another deeply wounded man who was also very funny.

  • Marion (Mael Muire)

    What is it with some of these Traddy guys’ obsession with womens’ dress and appearance? The way politicians obsess about the upcoming election; the way the wealthy obsess about the stock market; the way farmers obsess about the weather, these guys obsess about womens’ appearance. And not just “their” women, but women in general. It’s as if they feel that they have nothing better to do.

    And I don’t think they do. . . feel they have anything better to do. And that’s the problem: Here in this country, we have millions of children receiving a sub-standard education; we have millions of adults behind bars; we have millions more out of work; we have hundreds of thousands of frail elderly living on Soc Secur and Medicaid, and the response from these guys is to argue endlessly over the correct minimum length for a woman’s skirt? I wonder if this obsession isn’t just a form of displacement; these men are obsessed with women’s bodies to begin with; they haven’t been able to let go of that obsession, so they feel guilty, so to deal with the guilt from the obsession that they can’t manage to give up, they “convert” the obsession into a lidless eye righteous searching and seeking to make sure that every female on the planet over the age of two meets their “modesty” standard. Bingo! Now the obsession can continue unimpeded, but no more guilt.

    I think that’s what’s going on with these characters, and I think it’s quite pathological, and want no part of it.

    I actually happen to think that Catholic women who derive their own style of dress from the inspiration of the “plain folk” would be doing something smart and virtuous, but lay men, complete strangers, pathologically obsessed with arguing and ordering us to do this is really beyond the pale.

    • Sal

      Purely anectdotal, fwiw. In twenty years at our EF community, now parish, I don’t think I’ve ever encountered anyone like this guy. We’ve had one or two families that took modesty to what some would call an extreme- long sleeves in summer in Texas- but didn’t force their choice on anyone.
      We have a dress code for Mass, but only Father can deal with egregious cases.
      In my experience, little old ladies or the very new to the EF are the worst offenders as modesty police.

      This is so obviously a fake that I wonder why Mark linked to it.

      • ivan_the_mad

        Well, it *is* hilarious ;)

  • Kirt Higdon

    This strikes me as a rather obvious spoof and too unsophisticated to be really funny. The guy is obviously trying to make fun of a certain breed of Catholic but he comes across like Sasha Baron Cohen. Now a lot of people think that guy is funny, but I’m not one of them.

  • Elaine S.

    It’s GOT to be fake. A genuine Rad Trad who thought that the Church, society and popular culture were hopelessly corrupt and that the sins of the flesh were the root of all evil wouldn’t be laughing at all and certainly wouldn’t be this funny. His site would be peppered with holy-card like pictures of Jesus, Mary, and the saints instead of troll dolls and, ahem, “compromising” pictures of someone who purports to be Yr. Obedient Servant :-)

    • Rosemarie

      +J.M.J+

      Yeah, looks like a spoof to me, too. This is from the Who I Am page:

      “i am the mom who said using nfp would send you straight to hell. i am the guy who said the novus ordo was the tool of the devil. i am the former seminarian who said all the bishops are gay. i am the pr mastermind who invented matthew kelly. i am e. michael jones’s biggest fan. i am the girl who said the luminous mysteries are the sign of the antichrist. i am the guy who disagreed with her. i am the neutral third party who tried unsuccessfully to break things up. i am “fr.” frank pavone’s willfulness. i am mother angelica’s fetal tail. i am greg popcak’s third nipple. i am the scourge of your combox, your inbox, your forum, your chat. i am the last bastion of orthodoxy and for the past seven years or so i have been committed to rebuilding the true church of christ one fake personality, and one flame, at a time.

      “over the past few months, i started to notice some real burnout on my part, so i’ve decided to take a step back from my normal internets activities and stick to this blog, which i hope will provide me with the opportunity to focus my energies and find my voice again.

      “and so, after so many years of being called a troll and getting banned and blocked from websites, i’ve decided to embrace who i am and begin anew.

      “i am Troll II, and i am just getting started.”

      • Andy, Bad Person

        i am Troll II

        Omigosh! Nilbog is Goblin spelled backwards!

  • Rob

    Gotta be a spoof. I found it quite amusing also.

  • Beadgirl

    I can’t imagine a real RadTrad would ever put up a picture of Borat, no matter what his point was.

  • DTMcCameron

    Oh, I love this so much. Precisely my brand of, well what would you call that? Puritanism?
    However,
    “everything should be left up to God’s will. married couples should never actively try to have children, and should never actively try not to have children. sex is a mystery, a disgusting forbidden mystery, and it simply should never be left up to husbands and wives to be actively involved in cooperating with God in his plan for their family.”
    is still pretty much my view. I mean, a bit less emphasis on the “disgusting” part, but I have no delusions about the reality of the matter. I look at NFP like exercise: it’s good for you, and I hate it.

    • Dave Pawlak

      It actually comes close to Solange Hertz’s POV…

  • http://www.hancaquam.blogspot.com PNP, OP

    He tells the truth on at least one point, Mark: your beard IS smarter than most of us.

    Fr. Philip Neri, OP

  • http://disputations.blogspot.com Tom K.

    The simplest test of a true traditional Catholic website: Does “Tantum Ergo” auto-play?

    • Therese Z

      “Does “Tantum Ergo” autoplay!”

      WIN!

    • Nate

      Ha ha ha ha ha ha!!!!!
      Perfect.
      This made me laugh out loud. Comment of the week, my friend.

    • Andy, Bad Person

      Bonus: It must be a craptastic MIDI version.

  • http://calledtocommunion.com Matt Yonke

    Yeah, gotta go with spoof on Borat grounds like beadgirl says. And, I mean, come on, this on why he opposes NFP:

    “the main reason for this, embarrassingly enough, is that i can’t seem to remember what precisely it is that i find so offensive.”

    Pretty clearly satire there. And not terrible satire either.

  • http://www.chesterton.org Sean P. Dailey

    Gotta side with the spoof crowd too. Not a single religious image or prayer card, but we do get a shot of “Mark” playing with his moobs. Spoof.

  • http://etc.victorlams.com victor

    Yeah, it’s a spoof, but then the question becomes which Patheos or NCRegister blogger (or NCRegister blogger’s husband) is behind it?

    • http://creativefidelity.wordpress.com Dan F.

      I have a suspicion that it’s Mr. Fischer but I can’t be certain

      • Mark Shea

        Nope. Simcha was wondering about this site recently.

        • http://etc.victorlams.com victor

          Huh. Mr. Fischer would have been my first guess, too. Well, it’s been a while since we’ve had a good mystery of Nihil Obstat proportions.

  • Andy, Bad Person

    in fact, before theophostic helped me out, i was a fairly normal church-going novus ordo catholic, never realizing the web of depravity and deceit to which i had fallen victim. theophostic helped me realize that everything i knew was a lie. since then, i’ve succeeded in repressing my sexuality and taking pride in my faithfulness and self-righteousness. thanks, theophostic!

    No way. It just can’t be real.

    Also, did anyone else catch the fact that he implied The Crescat was his girlfriend?

    • Nate

      Yeah, that was weird, right?
      I said to myself: I think that’s funny. Is that funny?
      I mean, it’s funny if you remember that the Crescat (may her name be praised) is splendidly and hilariously vulgar sometimes.
      Otherwise, it was pretty random….

  • Jayjay

    “i’m speaking of course about the “national catholic reporter,” which fr. z always dismisses as “fishwrap,” but which is far more pernicious than most anyone else suspects, because of its huge potential for humor and laughter, which is always sinful.”

    “Sacred tradition has it that Pope Saint Pius X never once cracked a smile.”

    Unless he’s blogging from the asylum, I’d have to say that blog isn’t meant to be taken seriously…by the average Catholic…but that the blogger also knows that his nonsense will be taken seriously by folks on the far-right fringe of the tradosphere. I liken it to Coast to Coast with George Noory. Most people who listen to the show listen for a good laugh…at the expense of the lunatics who call in thinking that shadow people and vampires are real, not realizing that they’re the unwitting stars of a freak show.

  • Jamie R

    I think having “troll” in the blog name is kind of a giveaway.

  • bob cratchit

    on the surface, I grinned at it a bit but not sure if it merits comparison to Waugh. IDK, like Mark this could go towards “serious”. I kinda sense an underlying thread of a conflicted person. Prayer wouldn’t hurt.

  • Telemachus

    This is one of the funniest sites I’ve ever seen. Definitely inside humor for Catholics.

    • Telemachus

      Like this, for instance: http://notagoblinbutatroll.wordpress.com/2012/05/10/going-to-the-vet/.

      A lot of the posts have to do with his pet hamster (“adorable, yes, but still entirely unchurched…”), and in this post he mentions the Dimond brothers. Hilarious! (NOTE: if you don’t know who the Dimond brothers are, look up Most Holy Family Monastery).

      Good find, Mark!

      God bless,
      Tele

  • Kyle

    Looks like a spoof of what a Marc Barnes trad would look like

  • Telemachus

    Mark,

    Just admit it: did you create this site? I mean, look at this: notagoblinbutatroll.wordpress.com/2012/05/14/time-to-admit-it-i-need-help/. The post tags are: “Black Sheep Dog, blogging, bob sungenis, Christopher West, dimond brothers, e michael jones, Mark Shea, Michael Voris, REALCatholic, Scott Hahn, troll 2.”

    I’m LOL’ing with every post.

    God bless,
    Tele

    • bob cratchit

      the blogger is evidently a Shea-ite?

  • thomas tucker

    Satire of the highest kind.
    Delicious!

  • http://theocoid.blogspot.com Bill Burns

    Gotta be a joke. “He” claims that the Crescat is his girlfriend.

  • http://www.pilgrimage.subcreators.com Lori Pieper

    It has to be satire, of course. It addition to all the other things mentioned, the blog title’s not in Latin. It’s a dead give away!

    (By the way, what’s the proper Latin translation for troll? Apparently, it’s Troglodytarum. Can’t really see it in a blog title myself).

    • Charles Robertson

      He does have a post in which Pope Michael I wrote him an email in Latin explaining that his offer of the post of cardinal was made in jest, which leads the troll to conclude that PMI has apostasized and is no longer pope. Hilarious stuff!

  • Charles Robertson

    The more posts I read, the funnier it got. After about 3 posts, I had to start holding my sides!

  • Andy, Bad Person

    It also just occurred to me that he writes with far too good grammar and punctuation for someone unable to use capital letters.

  • http://www.pilgrimage.subcreators.com Lori Pieper

    The more I read, the funnier it got. Especially the caption under the picture of the two people and the dog – you’ll know which one. I don’t want to spoil it for anyone. Just about the funniest thing I ever read!

  • Xpat

    Thanks for linking that! I haven’t laughed that much at anything on the Internet for a long time. That is one seriously talented person.

    Here’s my theory: This is Bad Catholic.
    1) He claims (at Bad Catholic) to have haunted comment threads habitually and has seen enough to create a consistent persona with the troll character.
    2) Note the use of visuals. Not exactly like Bad Catholic uses them, but awfully close.
    3) Note the prodigious writing talent (hard to see at first because the voice of the character is so obnoxious and so consistent).

    Bad Catholic is expressing some impish part of himself that he can’t let loose at Bad Catholic. The result: pure Internet genius.

  • Clare Krishan

    no need to guess if he intends to be funny or not he offers his contact info right there online:
    email me realcatholicsdontlaugh [at] gmail [dot] com
    Me? Since most of what is posted rails against all that
    “…is far more pernicious than most anyone else suspects, because of its huge potential for humor and laughter, which is always sinful.”
    … I vote spoof – the blogger enjoys being anti-enjoyment too much and the culture riffs are just too spot-on to be a chancer oddball…

  • Xpat

    It’s so funny that I regret a wider audience won’t be able to appreciate it; it’s all inside humor.

    I followed up some of his (?) links and learned some interesting stuff. For instance, there really is a Pope Michael I! I thought the full length documentary on Pope Michael was also a goof, but that one is actually real.

  • Rich Fader

    If you find the marital act painful and horrible and it makes you cry, allow me to suggest that you’re doing something horribly, horribly wrong.

    My “aw, come on!” moment was Grannie’s obituary.

  • Drew

    Mark – Simcha was trying to mislead you. The blog is written by Damien Fisher.


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