Well, Maybe Second Greatest?

« October 2009 »

Memo to the Washington Post: I WILL NOT BE... THE NEXT IRON PUNDIT.

Yesterday was the last day to enter into the Washington Post's "America's Next Great Pundit" contest, and I figured I was a lock. If not me, who? If not now, when? Surely it would be obvious to the Washington Post editors that I could pundit like a madman, and in the thirteen-week slot on the editorial page that is the prize, I would pundit the shit out of it. Seriously. Pundit? Pwned it.

So I got my entry all ready. I had my 400-word-or-less opinion piece written, with less than two percent of those words being "fuck" or its many conjugations. It was pegged to a topic in the news. It was, quite frankly, a masterpiece of punditry- a breath of fresh air in the stale world of political opinion, and it was a guaranteed winner, even before my additional paragraph about who I was and why I should win.* And I was just about to send it, too, when I read the Post's editorial website, saw who I'd be cohabiting with, and chickened out. I may be America's Next Great Pundit, but even so, I could never compete with William Donohue.

William Donohue is, as you probably know, the president of the Catholic League. The Catholic League is just like the Justice League, if the Justice league didn't have any superpowers and sat around eating crackers that were supposed to turn into Superman in your belly. Oh, and if the Justice League were all a bunch of complete fucking assholes. Donohue appeared in the Post as a "Guest Voice" "On Faith", but managed to come across as a "Head Voice", and "Off Thorazine". I cannot, for the life of me, decide what my favorite part of the screed is. It's like the Rosetta Stone for Jesus-freak wingnuttery. So let's just begin at the beginning, with as close as you can get to a thesis statement from someone who is clearly scrawling on the inside of a refrigerator box with an old Sharpie:

There are many ways cultural nihilists are busy trying to sabotage America these days: multiculturalism is used as a club to beat down Western civilization in the classroom; sexual libertines seek to upend the cultural order by attacking religion; artists use their artistic freedoms to mock Christianity; Hollywood relentlessly insults people of faith; activist left-wing legal groups try to scrub society free of the public expression of religion; elements in the Democratic party demonstrate an animus against Catholicism; and secular-minded malcontents within Catholicism and Protestantism seek to sabotage their religion from the inside."

Holy shit! Catholicism is fucked! And since it's apparently synonymous with American culture, American culture is also fucked! Schools are teaching children that white people aren't the bestest people, Americans are enjoying sex without shame, that crucifix in urine thing is still impossible for people to get the fuck over, movies are the spawn of Satan, the ACLU is the spawn of Satan, not all Catholics and Protestants are insane, and elements are demonstrating animus! I wanted to find a funny way of rephrasing that last one, but nothing is funnier than "some elements demonstrate an animus".

It's a wonder Vatican City isn't a glass crater by now, I tell you.

It truly is an amazing article. It's essentially Donohue angrily whining that all the people he rails against for destroying society are being mean and not shutting up, so he's going to rail against them some more, because, well, it's the only thing he knows how to do. And he thinks that maybe this time, if he accuses everyone he doesn't like as being part of a secret plan to sabotage civilization and replace it with barbaric anarchy, we'll finally awaken to the existential threat posed by small-town city councils not praying to Jesus at meetings. No, seriously. ACTUAL QUOTE TIME!

"Yesterday's radicals wanted to tear down the economic structure of capitalism and replace it with socialism, and eventually communism. Today's radicals are intellectually spent: they want to annihilate American culture, having absolutely nothing to put in its place. In that regard, these moral anarchists are an even bigger menace than the Marxists who came before them. If societal destruction is the goal, then it makes no sense to waste time by attacking the political or economic structure: the key to any society is its culture, and the heart of any culture is religion. In this society, that means Christianity, the big prize being Catholicism. Which explains why secular saboteurs are waging war against it."

Those are paragraphs two and three, by the way. And in just that span of time, we can diagnose delusions of grandeur, paranoia, persecution complex, garden-variety delusions, and possibly aphasia. I mean, I look at the words he's strung together there, and I figure there's a better than 50% chance that what he meant to say was “I love everybody, just want to live and let live, and hey, I brought cake,” and it just came out like that. It'd actually explain Donohue's entire life, but so would him being a twisted old hatemonger, so what are you gonna do?

Donohue expounds on all the points quoted above at length, which I admit would be a remarkable case of aphasia, but there's nothing noteworthy to comment on until his conclusion, which really drove home how difficult it will be for America's Next Great Pundit to compete with the Post's regulars and guest voices.

"The culture war is up for grabs. The good news is that religious conservatives continue to breed like rabbits, while secular saboteurs have shut down: they're too busy walking their dogs, going to bathhouses and aborting their kids. Time, it seems, is on the side of the angels."

Oh, Billy. You're so naive. You can fuck all you want. You can keep your quivers full and your wives (well, in your case, ex-wife, but who's counting?) bulging with fecundity all you want. But Catholicism isn't genetic, and nobody, I mean nobody, rebels like a kid raised by bugfuck Catholics. Let the secular sabotage continue!

*No, I'm not going to tell you what it was about, for two reasons. One, I may want to use it as a column in the future, and two, of course nothing in the introductory paragraphs is true, other than the part about how I should totally be America's Next Great Pundit.