Bitter Bloggers


And it came to pass the blogger known all over Catholicism for being rather unsavoury made an apology and admitted he is rather unsavoury.

Kudos to him, and all that.

Still, yours truly allows himself a couple of thoughts, related to the general problem of the endless bickering on the Internet.

If the BBC anchorman is a bitter bastard the public has reason to complain, because the bitter bastard uses the resources and TV frequencies paid (forcibly, of course) by all of us. The Internet, though, is different, and no one is forced to click Mark Shea’s blog, or has to pay a dime because he runs one. If one, therefore, wilfully clicks his site, he implicitly accepts all the bitterness, insults, and generally poisoned atmosphere and assorted rubbish that he will find.

The problem is, apparently, made worse by the strict connection between Shea on Twitter and Shea on his blog; a bit as if the blog were the petrol, and twitter the matches. Not a good combination, I am told. I’d say it’s rather frequent, though.

Secondly, I think the role of a blog should be the one of enraging souls and stirring them to assertive action, not to provide discussion themes for old ladies’ afternoon teas when the weather has been examined to everyone’s satisfaction. There’s enough sugar on the net to give the world diabetes, and nothing is more trite than calls to “harmony” and “understanding” when we live in times demanding anger and confrontation. Whilst I do not like the way Shea thinks, I never perceived his abrasiveness as a personal offence. Everyone is made his own way. Again, I can always choose not to click his site.

Thirdly and lastly, in my eyes much of the problem is caused by the “democratic” mentality of our time, with the related expectation that everyone has the right to say everything everywhere; again, a recipe for continuous bickering. If you add to this that many blog allow quarrelling in the comment section because of the huge amount of page views it generates – an important factor for commercially run Catholic sites, or simply for the ego of many a blogger – you understand how the net can be such a tavern.

Yours truly has chosen a different way, explained in short as follows:

1) This is not a place for debate. If you are an abortionist trying to persuade me that abortion is fine your comment will never appear, period. This is a place where sincere Catholics go to find ammunition, not ceaseless bickering with the usual suspects.

Life’s too short. You want to quarrel until 2am? Pick a forum.

2) Whilst this blog is (I hope) rather trenchant, I never abuse it for personal confrontations. If someone nerves me on Twitter I might use the issue for a blog post, but I have never started the crusade against the person saying “Mr such and such wrote I am an idiot, let me explain why he is a cretin”. Again, life’s too short, and when you click here your time should not be squandered for my own petty confrontations.

3) If you want a grittier Mundabor, you can follow me on Twitter, when I occasionally write my thoughts (the blog has precedence, and time’s a tyrant) and can be as brutal as the brutally concise medium requires. But again, it is a choice, and no one is obliged to follow me. Also, I avoid becoming addicted to Twitter, or mired in controversy. I block idiots like it’s going out of fashion. Life’s too short to waste it answering to idiots.

4) I never try to be popular, or liked. You can get rid of this blog instantly if you don’t like it, and I promise I will not be offended in the least, or call you “intolerant” or “insensitive”. At the same time, I do not feel any urge to apologise because you don’t like my blog, myself, or the values I try to protect.

I can therefore, semel in anno, have some sympathy for Shea on this one. He promised to improve, but it’s easier said than done. I prefer a bitter blogger I can click every now and then to a sugary one that is useless every day. My Catholic upbringing leads me to think people are accepted as they are or avoided as they are. It simplifies life a lot.

I for myself will decide every time whether I am in the mood for a dose of Shea. If I click his site, I won’t blame him if what I find it’s not of my liking. But I will always find him – even when he is wrong, which is very often – a preferable way to employ my time than the huge amount of Catholic blogs for the kindergarten available around.





Posted on June 7, 2013, in Catholicism, Conservative Catholicism, Traditional Catholicism and tagged . Bookmark the permalink. 13 Comments.

  1. Mark Shea’s “repentance” is phony as a three dollar bill. He is doing this strictly for public effect. I know for a fact he has not personally contacted the people who he has gone out of his way to defame and vilify. He actually cyberstalked a friend of mine for about seven years! Sometimes he has even called up people’s workplaces to get them in trouble with their employers. IMHO, the only reason this “repentance” took place is because too many of his readers were complaining about his vicious behaviors and not visiting his crummy blog anymore. Nope, Mund, this is repentance from the Uriah Heap school of humility. (He’s so ‘umble!)

    • Frankly, Uriah Heap also came to my mind, but I prefer to give him the benefit of the doubt. The main point of the blog post, though, is that if I click him I must know an Uriah Heap might be hiding there.

      I think Shea has realised it starts to backfire, and he lives of his Internet activities, which OTOH can be the cause for a true change, too.

      We shall see. Best luck to him.


  2. vermontcrank1

    Mr. Shea is constrained to make these apologies at least once a year but, to be fair to him, he is one of the biggest bloggers out there; on the other hand, why’n’hell does anyone read him?

    • I visit the blog rarely, but when I do it is to see what wrong arguments are being made there, as it can be a useful source for blog posts with the right ones.


  3. A haiku for you:

    a man who speaks straight
    steadfastly standing for Truth
    enlightens others

  4. The problem that many of us have with Shea is his consistent misrepresentation of the stated positions of others: resulting in a level of untruthfulness so great and so consistent as to appear willful–not to mention calumny. Additionally, his personal attacks on other orthodox Catholics of good will who are sincerely trying to put Christ in the center of their lives: but again, too often not honestly discussing the issues. There is no “doubtful things” concerning which Catholics may legitimately disagree in his approach. There are no good faith disagreements in his approach. There is only: agree with me or you are evil and not really Catholic. You find it much more in the comboxes than in the articles. (Example, if you question whether Church teaching is as clear as he claims on torture, there is only one possibility: you are in favor of torture.

  5. Bravo! Life IS too short, and I choose my blogs like I choose beer or make coffee–dark and full-bodied. No sugar added. Bitterness is usually an asset with both, as long as its not overdone.

  6. Right on! We conservatives don’t need to please anyone. Trying to do so just wastes time.

  7. Shea hasn’t really repented. He never bothered to contact the offended parties first before he made his grand public act of so-called repentance. This is all for public effect, a Pharisee put-on. He’s just blowing his own horn to show how ‘umble he is in Uriah Heap fashion.

  8. Mundabor, I’m sorry that people treat you badly sometimes. Haven’t checked out the tweets or Facebook, but cruelty is so faceless. Waiting for more holy stuff from you. With love…

    • Oh don’t worry, on Twitter one “gives them and takes them”, and I am no angel myself. Thicker skin than most, too… 😉

      Whilst I try to do my best, please consider I am a wretched sinner in need of prayers. I do not see anything “holy” in myself, but I certainly try to uphold what is holy. This just in case anyone should think I am anything special.


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