We here at Lay Pulpit have written much about traddieland’s cult-masters and their preoccupation with appearances and with the externals of Catholicism, and we have given many examples of such. But we’re always grateful when we get new, fresh evidence of it – especially from the cult-masters themselves. This past week, Dannie Dolan, Southwest Ohio’s premier traddie tinhorn, has come through once again to oblige us on that score. We at Lay Pulpit like to think of him as “the gift that keeps on giving.” He always seems to give us fresh material to use against him.
A recent Lay Pulpit article, for instance, lamented traddieland’s preoccupation with “externals” such as dress codes, stating -- amongst other things -- the following: “Many [traddie parishioners] are “mini-policemen,” chiding parishioners (especially visiting newcomers) about such things as ‘dress code’ and ‘conduct’ in church.” So what does Dannie do? He confirms our suspicions with the following: “Speaking about Sunday church dress, our own faithful generally dress so well – modestly – that sometimes visitors from the other local traditional churches really stand out. It would be nice if we all could at least agree not to come to church casually dressed or even in slovenly attire, but in our Sunday best, for Our Lord, for His house and day.” (Dannie, did you and Tony ever consider starring in a remake of the movie Dumb and Dumber?)
As has been emphasized in so many Lay Pulpit articles, the cult-masters and their obliging automatons dwell on externals like that, while ignoring fundamental Catholic moral precepts. It’s just one facet of traddieland’s fascination with caricaturizing Catholicism: with ostentation, and with puritanical rules and regulations designed to manipulate and control – and whose ultimate raison d'être is material gain. Dannie and his pharisaic brown-nosers love to look down their own noses at the publican scum whose dress does not meet their “standards” (just as they condemn those who violate any other of their long laundry list of shibboleths).
Dannie’s Bishop’s Corner this past week was a tour de force of everything he holds dear: a conglomeration of sanctimonious “sweet nothings,” poetic waxing about the grisly culinary habits of his cats, and his everlastingly banal banter about the weather. His opening sentence was this: “Curious how some people always speak first about the weather, isn’t it?” Curious? Hilarious! There’s not a week that goes by that Dannie doesn’t mention something “meteorological” in his rag – a kind of ecclesiastical Weather Channel™ for boot-licking morons. And this time, he made no less than five references to the weather.
Between weather reports, Dannie mused fancifully, as he often does, about his cats: Puccini, Vivaldi, and Caravaggio. It seems that Puccini and Caravaggio were sick several days from (presumably) “munching out” on some dead critter. It’s curious that he didn’t mention Vivaldi; perhaps Vivaldi is “the late” Vivaldi – and he was that critter! (Or, perhaps, the critter was something “left behind” by one of the school principal’s sons.) It’s amazing, though, how often Dannie finds fascination in reporting about either the cats’ gruesome gastronomic pursuits, or their latest carnivorous romp involving some unfortunate animal. (Kind of makes one wonder what really makes Dannie tick, doesn’t it?) Perhaps next time he could videotape it, so it could be used as a “visual aid” for the school’s biology class (or as comedic relief for the school principal’s sons).
But, you know, it’s odd that – amidst all the syrupy sanctimony, the “weather reporting,” and the “Bergoglio bashing” (albeit amateurishly done) that he does in his Bishop’s Corner -- he didn’t make any pleas for money. But actually, he rarely does there. (Bishop’s Corner is usually reserved for “sweet nothings” and the “weather report.”) He does enough of that elsewhere, including – as a commemorative tribute to the Temple money-lenders of old – during the Mass. Yes, around Offertory time, when the basket is being passed around to fleece whatever’s left of the sheep’s daily bread, Dannie makes a direct plea to those out there in cyber-land (to whom his pontifical pageant is beamed every week): he actually tells them to push the (Pay Pal) “donate” button on SGG’s website!
Well, we here at Lay Pulpit don’t think it should stop there. There are literally zillions of ways, other than cyber pleas and commemorative paver stones, that funds can be generated – and we have a few to offer. Our first idea is inspired by Dannie’s fiesta frolic (this past Lent) in Latin America (you know – the one where he pigged out on “copious quantities of meat,” missed his Lenten pleasure boat ride on the bay, but did a lot of “photo op” processions with the campesinos). Well, we think it’s time that the Gringo campesinos (aka SGG’s parishioners) should get in on the act, too, now that Lent’s over (remember, Gringos aren’t allowed to frolic during Lent!). They should have their own little fling – with a Latin flair, of course.
Tickets for the “fiesta” could be purchased by the parishioners for, say, $100 a couple, plus $25 per kid (pre-natal kids half-price). The SGG school principal, of course, would be handling all the ticket arrangements (plus providing the musical entertainment, with his Heinrich Himmler Mariachi Band). There could be “fun” games (“Pin the tail on the bishop,” a “Chaquita Cekada piñata,” etc.); and, perhaps, the kids could sing Latino songs (dutifully learned at summer camp, under pain of mortal sin). There could even be a “Latino costume contest” (judged by Dannie, of course). However, any kid dressed “inappropriately” would be flogged (by the school principal, of course – just like he did to that kid back in ’09 for missing his homework assignment), and then barred from the church property. (But, to preserve the “festive” air, the flogging could be done with a piñata stick.)
The food, of course, would be “festive” and Latin-themed. Parishioners would feast on Spanish rice, “El Camino Real” road-kill, re-fried beans, and other methane-rich goodies, while Dannie and his entourage would have food brought in (by limousine) from La Petite France. Any parishioner caught trying to trade his food-stamp fare for Dannie’s victuals would, of course, be disciplined by the school principal (not flogged, though; that’s only for anyone he can intimidate, such as women and children), but only temporarily banned from church property -- provided he pay the prescribed “re-entry fee”).
And, to top off the “Mariachi evening,” there could be -- in keeping with the “Latin” theme (and in lieu of a formal procession) -- a “Macarena,” with everyone (including Dannie and Tony) participating. Remember the “Little Caesar’s” pizza commercial of some years back, where -- at the end of the “Macarena” line -- there was a dog? Well, instead of a dog, this macarena line could have – you guessed it -- a donkey (yes, the very one from Dannie’s Palm Sunday procession!). Dannie in front, the donkey bringing up the rear -- or vice versa, just to confuse the parishioners!
For our next fund-raising idea, we offer something that came to us while reading about the cats getting sick on carrion: the parishioners could gather up whatever decomposing remains they could find from around the SGG environs (including adjoining streets), and then give them to Caravaggio and Puccini to eat (and to Vivaldi, if he’s still “with us”). Then, when the inevitable happens (i.e., they start “ejecting”), Dannie could “judge” what kind of critter it was that they had ingested. If he gave the correct answer, every parishioner would have to ante up fifty bucks; but if he gave an incorrect answer, they’d have to pay only half that sum. We even came up with a name for the event – in the spirit of SGG’s fondly cherished “jog-a-thon” of yore, we thought we might call it the barf-a-thon.
One drawback to this fund-raiser, of course, is “risk.” How sick will the cats get from ingesting that stuff? Will the event “net” enough money after their medical bills (or funeral expenses) are paid? For that reason, we make bold to offer our final fund-raising suggestion: bobble-head dolls – of Dannie, Tony, and Big Don! Not just any bobble-head dolls, mind you: we’re talking interactive bobble-heads! When you talk to them, these babies talk back to you! For instance, when you talk to “Dannie,” it either 1) whispers “sweet nothings” to you, or 2) gives you the weather report. When you talk to “Tony,” he either 1) ignores you, 2) talks condescendingly to you, or 3) starts pontificating about a) why one-handed ordinations are valid, or b) why Terri deserved to die. And when you talk to “Big Don,” he immediately starts sputtering and sparking, flies into a rage, and then harangues you for several minutes! Fun, huh? The dolls, by the way, can be “re-programmed” with different “sweet nothings,” “pontificating,” or “haranguing” – all available at extra cost.
But we’ve saved the best for last: our most super-duper, phantasmagorical fund-raising idea ever! This one came to us when we did our “surfing” on SGG’s website, and found out about the aforementioned “donate button” that the “cyber viewer” can push to supplement what the parishioners (who are actually present at Mass) put in the collection basket. This is a clever ploy of Dannie’s, because the “cyber attendees” aren’t really at Mass (or receiving Communion); they are getting none of its real benefits – but Dannie is getting real money in return.
Well, we think he can “expand” on this: consider that, out there in cyber-land, there are not only adults but kids – precocious but impressionable little tykes – that Dannie could “tap.” It could work something like this: “Hi, boys and girls! Uncle Dan here! Now, what Uncle Dan wants you to do is to go into mommy or daddy’s purse or wallet, pull out their credit card, and type its number in the appropriate box on Uncle Dan’s web page, and then hit the Pay Pal “donate” button! Remember, “Pay Pal” is my pal; he’s your pal; he’s everybody’s pal! Oh, and one more thing, boys and girls: if you can get hold of mommy or daddy’s checkbook, that’s even better! And if you can’t actually write out the check or mail it to me, just type in the account number on our web page -- and don’t forget the “routing” number, too! Don’t forget, or you’ll make Uncle Dan sad – and your dog will die! (Wow, can you see the possibilities here?!!)
But, of course, we offer our “ideas” in jest. And to suggest that Dolan would target children is a little far-fetched. Or is it? The brain-dead culties on whom he preys are, common-sense-wise, pretty childlike themselves, at least in their gullibility -- and he certainly exploits that gullibility. We may have been in jest – but he is not. As we said before, he may be “the gift that keeps on giving”; but, unfortunately, he is “the gift that keeps on taking” as well. His latest “Pay Pal” ploy is just the latest in a long series of mercenary maneuvers that he has devised to feather his nest (at the expense of the gullible). In the end, his schemes will net him nothing; but, along the way, many people will get hurt -- both materially and (of course) spiritually. As the late P.T. Barnum so aptly quipped, “There’s a sucker born every minute” – and traddieland has a bumper crop of them.