Perhaps the funniest sentence in English this month

Somebody named Philip Primeau wrote, with a straight face and full of earnest purpose:

“Vladimir Putin was recently savaged by …Simcha Fisher…”

I don’t care who you are, that right there will leave me giggling for the rest of the day.

But then, as though I had paid him to do it, just to demonstrate Trad Crazy at its finest, he went on from there to defend Truly True Really Real Purely Pure Catholic faith from the Church’s Decree on Religious Liberty in these unforgettable words:

These liberal ideals, such as “freedom of speech” and “freedom of religion,” are sacred to many Catholics, despite the church’s longstanding contempt for such intellectual licentiousness.

I think it is the combination of the longing for brutal authoritarian violence and repression with the whiny butthurt narcissism that makes Traditionalism so deeply attractive to me. With fruits of the Spirit like that, who wouldn’t throw themselves at that subculture and say, “Take me! Command me!”?

Simcha, in her droll way, does the autopsy on this hilarious post. Meanwhile, the inimitable Dale Price kills me with this observation:

Just what the world needed–a *whiny* defense of Vladimir Putin.

“‘Savaged’?! WHO’S THE $%#@&*G APOLOGIST HERE?! WHAT ARE YOU, A BUNCH OF $%#@&*G CRYBABIES?!?”

Meanwhile, I’m waffling between gratitude and bafflement that Catholic Lane would publish this epic piece of hilarity. I mean, I’m glad for the chance to laugh myself to tears at the image of Simcha Fisher, complete with the “Mother” tattoo on her brawny Rosie the Riveter arm, “savaging” poor St. Vlad. But I do have to wonder what possessed them to run a piece like this in anything besides a section devoted to satirizing the bizarre excesses of Traddery.

Dale also points out that P.J. O’Rourke once satirized the American fascination with Gorbachev in words that can easily be paraphrased to describe the Traddy fascination with holy thugs who, it is hoped, will finally beat back modernity and impose the Faith by firing squads:

“Naughty, naughty nation seeks foreign strongman with dictatorial streak for firm direction and manhandling. No gays. Send foto.”

I defy anybody to tell me the difference between that and Primeau’s argument, which is *directly* repugnant to the teaching of the Church at Vatican II.

  • Jordan

    I was going to try and read his article, but upon seeing the picture of Putin with one glistening tear running down his cheek, my brain became unable to process new information and shut down for its own protection. I might have to make that my facebook profile picture.

    • chezami

      Yeah. That picture is pretty hilarious.

      • Jordan

        Update 8-16-13: Weeping Putin is gone. Now I weep.

    • Harry

      “Don’t be so mean to Putin you guys! You’re making him cry!”

  • Rebecca Fuentes

    When I am being stupid, may I be savaged so gently and with such good humor as Simcha uses.

  • lspinelli

    I only got as far as “intellectual licentiousness” before what was left of my brain dribbled out of my ears. Which was Primeau’s whole point, I think. He and his fellow Faithful Conservative Catholics don’t want me using that there thang.

  • Hernán J. González

    The last paragraph is also a gem:

    “Is Putin so different than Constantine, Theodosius, Saint Louis, or any of the other countless heavy-handed, sword-wielding princes and prelates who governed Christendom for close to a millennium and a half? Can we reject him without rejecting them? And what do our answers to these questions say about our understanding of the Catholic church? Enough of the easy contempt and juvenile sarcasm for Putin. We cannot judge him without judging ourselves—for better or for worse.”

    Ah, the longing for the good old heavy-handed, sword-wielding guys!

    • Jordan

      Well if Vladimir Putin can’t be judged that pretty much knocks Pope Francis out of the running too for all the trads.

  • lspinelli

    Does this guy realize that Saint Louis, et al. get a pass because of the sheer brutality of the times they lived in?

    • Beadgirl

      No no, of course not. That would require a nuanced evaluation of historical, social, and cultural contexts. Way too much work.

  • Bill

    The Reactionary Catholic Menacing Visigoths For Tolerance

  • Evan

    I leave the internet for just five hours, and I miss this!

    “I defy anybody to tell me the difference between that and Primeau’s argument, which is *directly* repugnant to the teaching of the Church at Vatican II.”
    The difference is Primeau’s argument uses many more words, takes a lot of time to read, damages your brain cells from its stupidity, and causes unintentional hilarity.

  • ivan_the_mad

    BWAHAHA. Then I read the last line of Simcha’s post and BWAHAHAd muchly more.

  • orthros

    Did anyone actually read Philip Primeau’s other articles? He’s definitely not a RadTrad… heck, he can’t even be called a traditionalist given his rejection of Mary as co-Redemptrix, Fatima, the scapular of St. Simon of Stock (which he calls ‘superstitious’ and ‘heretical’), words which imply that Mary was not sinless… the list goes on and on.

  • kirthigdon

    Putin hasn’t been upset because BHO refuses to meet with him as a result of the Snowden affair. Vlad also doesn’t seem unduly worried about threats of boycotts and/or demonstrations at the Olympics because of Russian outlawing of gay propaganda and prosecution of sacreligious Pussy Rioters. So I’m sure he’s unfazed at name-calling from Mark Shea and Simcha Fisher.

    I still think he compares favorably with Constantine, Theodosius, Saint Louis, etc. at least in accumulating a much lower body count. And I don’t think the sheer brutality of the times these guys lived in comes close to the industrial culture of death we’ve lived in for the past century or so. I think Constantine’s wars were just and he did face powerful opponents. I’m not quite so down with him whacking his wife and son. Theodosius made Christianity the state religion of the Roman empire just as the latter was on the verge of collapse in the west. He also massacred thousands of sports fans at Thessalonika. (Saint Ambrose made Theo do penance for that one and lets hope his example doesn’t give our lad Vlad any ideas on how to handle outbursts of gay or Pussy rioting at the Olympics.) This leaves Saint Louis. I give him reverence for his faith and piety, but his crusades were a disaster for his country and Christendom and his advice on dealing with Jews (run them through with your sword) was quite deplorable and much worse than Holocaust denial since it actually advocates murder. Some might say that advice like this eventually led to the Holocaust.

    BTW, I’ve never labelled myself a traditionalist or conservative and most of the websites to which Mark is always referring, I’ve only heard about here.

    Kirt Higdon


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