Thursday, January 15, 2015

Nope, I'm not Charlie

Notre Dame's bells rang in honor of the dead at the satirical nasty French magazine Charlie Hebdo. This was the surly response from the latest issue.


Steve Dalton said...


R J said...

A while back, I mentioned in a comment upon Mrs. Dymphna’s blog that First Things‘s editors-in-chief, by their post-Rolling Stone decision to publish entire articles anonymously, had proclaimed themselves to be self-destructive. I now find that they are not the sole ostensibly Catholic editors thus afflicted.

These days, regarding Charlie Hebdo, I am being pursued by a cyberstalker, obsessed with male genitalia, calling himself “Merkava”. He has bombarded me (almost everywhere my articles had been published in recent years) with such choice accusations as - forgive me for quoting this language - “f*llating Islamic swine” and *j*rking off” other Catholics.

These two libels are at the cleaner end of the “Merkava” spectrum. “Merkava” is a type of tank in the Israeli army.

Because in legal terms America’s First Amendment long ago superseded the First Commandment, I never imagined any U.S. administrator would have the guts to call time on “Merkava”‘s thuggery. Nor, in fact, did such an administrator do so.

However, I could not understand why the staffers at Britain’s Catholic Herald, while initially expressing concern for my plight, steadily refused to remove the calumny against me which “Merkava” had posted there (this being mild by the standards of what American magazines’ comboxes let him get away with). Lack of leisure could not be their problem.

After all, the Catholic Herald staffers did indeed remove my complaint about him. And the First Amendment does not apply in British law.

Only this evening have I stumbled upon what I conjecture to be a relevant explanation for the cowardice involved. The Catholic Herald‘s deputy editor, now in his 37th year, is a man called Ed West. In his defenses of blasphemers' "rights" West is positively baying these days:

West’s Wikipedia page lists three published books of his. It is curiously silent about a fourth book, which for some reason was never deposited in the British Library (as the law requires British authors to do).

Happily, three libraries outside London - Oxford, Bournemouth, and Dublin - do list it. Would you like to know why West failed to deposit or mention that volume, Mrs. Dymphna?

This is why, Mrs. Dymphna:

I am forced to one of two possible conclusions, neither pleasant:

(a) When West got the Catholic Herald job he mendaciously concealed from his employers the fact that he had published that 10th-rate Hugh Hefner imitation; or

(b) When West got the Catholic Herald job he was known to have published that 10th-rate Hugh Hefner imitation, and his employers either did not mind it or actively welcomed it.

How many other of Charlie Hebdo’s Catholic defenders have likewise, in their past lives, given hostages to fortune by their authorial zest for propitiating green-toothed, malodorous, dirty old men in soiled raincoats? I should think diocesan offices would know.

But surely some communications, from as many American co-religionists as possible, to the Catholic Herald‘s head office could do little harm. (The office’s address is: 15 Lamb’s Passage, London EC1Y 8TQ, United Kingdom.) Registered airmail letters, although expensive, are readily tracked.

The email details I have for West are on the magazine’s website itself: ed AT catholicherald DOT co DOT uk. Presumably - by the combox system's nature - Mrs. Dymphna already has my own email address, if, and only if, she wishes to use it. (My address is not in the public domain, nor will it ever be without my written permission.)

Please forgive the length of this comment. I could see no way of shortening it.

R. J. Stove, Australia

Hans Georg Lundahl said...

Actually, they wiped the dishonour off the bells of Notre Dame.

"Bishop 23" (yes, Vingt-Trois means 23 and is his last name) is committing a kind of sacrilege, offering a gesture of ecumenism with what amounts to near Satanists.

And the near Satanists saves the honour of the poor bells, hopefully blessed by some earlier better and real bishop, by rejecting the gesture of ecumenism.