Is Outrage

I just tried to read Pope Francis, Say Yes to the Pill on National Review Online.  I guess it’s an insightful tour de force about how it’s time for the Church to get with the times and whatnot.  Doesn’t bother me that someone is saying this, because everyone says it.  Doesn’t bother me that it’s on National Review, because National Review went down the toilet about a decade ago, and only serves to remind me of why I’m not a Republican anymore.

But it does bother me, a lot, that someone would write the following:

The sex-abuse crisis has been a horrible and shaming problem, but Catholicism’s enemies have amplified and exploited it to incite the inference that most of the Roman clergy are deviates compounding superstition with perversion. The most frequent and wishful version of these events is as a mighty coruscation before the great Christian scam expires in a Wagnerian inferno, an inadvertent Waco. It took the most antagonistic pundits, in their uncomprehending skepticism of the viability of what they regard as a medieval flimflam factory anyway, only one day to assimilate the election of a man none of them had mentioned, in their omniscience, as a contender, before pronouncing his papacy dead on arrival at the Sistine Chapel.

and still be considered a writer.  Coruscation?  Uncomprehending skepticism of the viability of what they regard as a medieval flimflam factory?  I’m sorry, has someone checked in on this guy lately?  I think he’s having a stroke.

If anybody has the strength to wade through both pages of this masturbatory mess, please let me know what it’s about.  Furthermore, circumstantial evidentiary horticulture would presume,  one would cogitate, an obstreperous de-regimentation of, if you will, unregurgitated foofaraw, if you know what I mean.

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  • Sherry

    Just tell him to Put Down the Thesarus and slowly back away…

  • ymkbird

    I simply commented on the article: “If you discover yourself lured to utilize the thesaurus on the subsequent occasion you’re toiling on a treatise, mull over what just transpired to this stretch.”

  • Kat

    I knew before I clicked the link that it was Conrad Black. That’s just how he writes.

  • Jill

    For a minute there I thought I was the one having the stroke.

  • The Jerk

    This guy is just molesting the English language.

  • Katharine Memole

    Whew! While reading the passage I thought you were going to provide some deep refutation of what he said, meanwhile I was thinking that understanding it at all was beyond me. Thankfully by the time I hit Wagnerian inferno and inadvertent Waco in the same sentence I realized the problem wasn’t me.

    • Jeni

      Same here :)

  • Julia

    Inadvertent Waco? New punk band? Did the *editor* have a stroke?

  • Thomas

    Never use a large word where a diminutive one will do.

    I’m reminded of the episode of Seinfeld, where his dentist converts to Judaism, and Seinfeld suspects it’s so that he can tell terrible Jewish jokes. Jerry talks to a priest about it, who asks him if he’s offended because he’s Jewish. No, Jerry replies, I’m offended because I’m a comedian!

    Likewise, this piece shouldn’t offend Catholics (we’re used to hearing it at this point), but it should offend writers everywhere.

  • Dorian Speed

    The only relevant sentence in the piece is “I do not underestimate, and am not qualified to discuss, the theological arguments involved.”

  • Christie @ Everything to Someone

    What Thomas said. This guy needs a copy of Strunk & White ASAP.

  • Deirdre Mundy

    Oh. It’s Conrad Black. He’s a liberal masquerading as conservative because he ran afoul of Canadian speech laws. Not worth reading. And his opinion on the church? Worthless. Wake me up when there’s more Steyn bopping around.

    • The Jerk

      Steyn spends about a quarter of his time on his knees for Conrad Black, bellyaching about how “Lord Black” was wrongfully convicted of fraud.

      • Deirdre Mundy

        But at least he’s funny, when the black beast hasn’t taken him…..

  • Dorian Speed

    Oh, drat – I was so disoriented by the synonyms that I thought it said “I do not UNDERSTAND…” which would be more accurate.

  • Lauren

    I read the paragraph and thought, “I must be an idiot! Simcha certainly gets this, but I honestly have no clue with this man is saying!” I read it twice more, and THEN read your concluding paragraphs. Thank you for, just today, making me feel a little less like an idiot than I usually do! :)

  • Bill Mance

    Wake me if I either start drooling or snoring please. Yawn. Excuse me

  • Dennis

    All he is saying is that some people have exaggerated the sex-abuse crisis in order to make all our clergy look like superstitious perverts, in the hopes that this will eventually blow up in the Church’s face and destroy it. He then says it only took one day for the most combative and ignorant media types to declare that Pope Francis’ papacy will be ineffective.

    Now, was that really so hard to understand? (As I sneakily slide the dictionary under my chair and hide the fact I worked on this for 20 minutes…)

    • suburbancorrespondent

      Thanks, Dennis – you’ve done us all a favor.

  • Robyn

    Halfway through I thought, “Wow, this guy is a really bad writer.” English teachers everywhere should use this piece of prose as a warning to precocious students.

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  • Jessica

    I thought the reason I had no comprehension of that paragraph was the fact that I had three small children in the same room talking very loudly while nursing the fourth. I’m very relieved it is not just me and my noisy surroundings and sleep deprived brain!

  • Tiffany Borges

    Strunk and White are not amused.

  • victor

    Oh, I don’t know. If you read that paragraph in a beat poet voice over something like this as a backing track, it actually kind of works: “As a MIGH-tee corusCAYshunnn / before the great Christian scaaaaaam / exPIres in a Wagnerian inFERnooo / an in-ad-ver-tent WAYcohhhh.”

    • Julia

      Like Willam Shatner’s cover of “Rocket Man.”

  • Kevin

    I think it’s quite likely that Conrad Black was wrongfully convicted.

    But only because he wasn’t being tried either for hubris, or for crimes against the English language.

  • Bill Mance

    Maybe with Wagner playing in the background it would make better sense.

  • Tim in Cleveland

    I tried reading the article. The take away seems to be that the Pope needs to approve condoms/the pill or else the terrorists will win.

    “A Church Militant, tolerant but strong, and not hobbled by absurd controversies over contraception, will be a mighty rampart against the outrageous gibe of Islam that the West is a completely profane and blasphemous society.”

    • Joseph from Lincoln, NE

      I agree, Tim. He tries (somewhat successfully) to give the Church a lot of credit for its message, but says that unless It gives up on contraceptives, the message will always fall on deaf ears. Funny thing is that he concedes that he isn’t qualified to address the theological arguments involved. Sounds wise, disregard the teaching without trying to understand the rationale.

  • amy2boys

    HA!! Thanks for the laugh!

  • Joseph from Lincoln, NE

    In high school, I would always pull out a thesaurus when I knew that I didn’t make the effort to support a position in a paper or that it was lacking. Indubitably, fluff can be covered with bunglesome writing and pharaonic words.

  • kiwords

    I can’t bear reading most secular commentary on anything remotely having to do with the Church, because it’s like listening to a deaf person object to the way the orchestra is functioning. Just…missing a key point.

  • Romulus

    “Read over your compositions, and where ever you meet with a passage which you think is particularly fine, strike it out.”

    Dr. Johnson

    • Marianne Bacon


  • JoAnna

    Is there a non-fictional equivalent to the Bulwer-Lytton awards? If so, I nominate that paragraph.

  • Meg

    It reminds me of the jailbird on “In Living Color.” Only more stupid because he should know better.

  • Barbara

    I spent time reading the comments, which most supported the Church’s right to teach its own dogma (Oh, thank yew so much!). But so many were so ill informed I just think it’s a shame I don’t have enough alcohol to play a proper drinking game with it. Oh. And it’s Lent.

  • lydiacubbedge

    Bet you can’t say “medieval flimflam factory” three times fast.

  • anna lisa

    I am aspiring for the day when I can use the word “masturbatory” correctly in a sentence, and at a suitable moment.

    • Sarah

      ha! sameskeys

  • Jeff Walker

    I read that paragraph and immediately in my head heard Rafiki from The Lion King saying “What was DAT?”

  • richard!

  • Pingback: How to put this charitably? The Dumbass of the Day Award Goes to…Conrad Black (Or, why the Church need not get jiggy with the Pill.)

  • Pingback: How to Put this Charitably? “Conrad Black, YOU are the Dumbass of the Day.” (Or, Why The Church Need not Get Jiggy with the Pill)

  • sweetridgesisters

    I. I. I just had a few glasses of wine after caring for many people but that sentence really, really, really has me reeling.

  • Suzanna

    Masturbatory is right. I’m so glad to know I’m not the only one that uses the word as an adjective. When deserved, of course.

  • KyCat

    WOW! English is clearly not his first or second language. Does Mr. Black understand that the point of article writing is typically to communicate information??

  • les

    now i fully understand what 1st degree eye slaughter is. thank you

  • Stefka

    Wow. I tried. I am an editor by trade, and accustomed to hacking through the purple prose of young reporters, and I couldn’t get through it, either. Really badly written, and condescending, too. The pope represents a traditional Catholicism only believed by a “small” and “doctrinaire” segment of lay Catholics? News to me …

  • Elizabeth Butina

    There’s a lot of good stuff on National Review Online–in fact, there were a couple of excellent responses to Conrad Black’s opinion on the Corner, one of them by Katherine Jean Lopez. Just sayin.

  • Mike Walsh

    Like you, I abandoned NRO long ago. One reason was their posting incessant whining screeds on what the cool kids in the MSM were talking about, instead of posting intelligent, original material.

  • Matthew Bifulco

    Perfect example of satanic derangement syndrome. You measure it by number of deviations from a simple english sentence. This sample has an excedingly high derangement quotient. It’s positively sulphuric.

  • Matthew Bifulco

    “If anybody has the strength to wade through both pages of this masturbatory mess, please let me know what it’s about.”

    If it is indeed a masturbatory mess, then it it’s about two pages.

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