Saturday, March 9, 2019

Rod Dreher's Facebook "Followers"

For years Rod Dreher at The American Conservative has been following the insanity of our sexual left, tracing its juvenile fads and fetishes, documenting its woke Kool-Aid authoritarianism. His blog there also has one of the sharpest groups of regular commenters on the Internet.

But when TAC posts Dreher's pieces on its Facebook page, the commentary is monochrome. Repeatedly, there's a literal horde weighing in within hours to savage him, nearly always in the same exact terms. What's interesting is that these are not garden-variety trolls, I think, but actual readers of TAC who somehow love to loathe Dreher's cultural conservatism. Which reveals something: many of our young "political" conservatives, at least those on Facebook, don't have a moment's patience for religiously grounded critiques of the Sexual Revolution. (Yes, not only "conservatives" follow TAC, but I think it's safe to assume that many of those posting consider themselves one type or another of conservative.)

I'll just post some screenshots from today's salvo. And honestly, this is perhaps the most polite series of comments I've seen this bunch give Dreher in months. Usually the savaging reveals a deeper discomfort--what I read as the fear of many thirty-somethings (?) to be even tangentially linked to someone who might be accused of being a "bigot". Thus, in this group of readers, Dreher simply must be savaged.

I used to engage these threads now and then. I now see it as wasted time, though I did deliver a punch today.

The comments are on a piece in which Dreher formulates a new law of public attention--the Law of Motivated Noticing. These are motivated noticers of a certain type, I'd say--people who can't sit still if anyone dares suggest in their presence that our sexual anti-culture is a civilizational problem. These are noticers who are sadly downstream in the Andrew Breitbart sense.

Oh, and of course:

If mainstream culture and the education system is daily prodding kids to discover they're "trans", if gay men celebrate urinating on each other as a kind of public rite, that's because "people want to be accepted as they are". If you see in such things a glaring sign of anti-culture, you should just take a lesson from Kindergarten (what Kindergarten?) and say nothing. Uh-huh.


Anonymous said...

The recurring theme in his blog is not only his religiously inspired pearl clutching, but him doing so after going off half-cocked. It's often in the comments section that you find out the rest of the story, and it's frequently more complicated than he has presented it. In the most recent column, the writer with the suggestion for Tinder isn't looking for a threesome, she's complaining about unsolicited invitations to straight couples' fantasies while she's merely looking for a date. Many of his columns could end with a final "Note from Rob" with that famous quote by Emily Litella, "Oh, that's different".

Adriana said...

I commented to him in TAC that given Bolsonaro's other declarations he was straining at a gnat and swallowing a camel.

I refer to his comments about Brazil's indians, and how much better it would have been if the Brazil military had done the same cleaning up that the US army did in the nineteenth century.

I put it in capitals that people should not take moral guidance from genocide apologists, and suggested that if you ever find yourself agreeing on something with someone most people find abhorrent, use the stopped clock analogy - or better find a better reference.

He just erased them.

Which means that he cannot face some ugly truths, and that my respect for him has disappeared.

Eric Mader said...

Reply to comment 1):

Regarding Dreher's going off "half-cocked", I agree that in this piece, at least regarding the NYT writer, he misread the article. Still, that error doesn't undermine what I think is his very valid point on the Law of Motivated Noticing. Of course he is right about that. We see evidence of it constantly.

Also, I don't think in general that Dreher gets details wrong. You're overstating the case. But yes, I do think he writes and posts too quickly, sometimes too much, and I've weighed in on his comment boxes before saying as much.

Reply to comment 2):

Regarding Bolsonaro, I think your mention of the stopped clock analogy is great. Bolsonaro brings some ugly baggage indeed. Did he not post your comments? Unfortunate. I've had comments now and then that he didn't post, and sometimes I couldn't figure out why.

I'm in favor of allowing nearly anything to enter discourse. Nothing that threatens violence, and nothing just randomly vulgar, but most anything that is pertinent. I think Dreher allows pretty much criticism of him to appear, but suspect, based on my own comments that didn't post, that he could allow a bit more.

Adriana said...

There is a problem with Dreher. Basically I think of there being two Rods.

This is one side of Rod

This is the other side

One is the Rod that laments political polarization and the destruction of civil discourse, and the other is the Rod that contributes to it with his tirades against SJWs and the Transgender Menace, a menace that makes it justified to vote for Trump, never mind what his policies are.

As I live in a blue state I know that should a natural disaster happen to us, the FEMA response will be quite inadequate, as it is now policy to punish blue states this way for not supporting the President. I also find the family separation policy - with children that are just lost, cannot be located after being taken from their parents - morally abhorrent, and to hear someone say that they think that all that suffering is worthwhile because "religious liberty" and the other side is evil and determined to destroy him and his kind (by the way, this kind of paranoia "they are coming for us" is a standard control technique bu cult leaders), makes him a bad guy in my book.

But after he inflicts his controlling rants, he then decries the lack of civil discourse.

I do not know if he is hypocritical or just self-deluded, but I think I have enough of him.