Saturday, January 23, 2016

“Dumb and Dumber”

Dannie Dolan’s Bishop’s Corner of January 3, 2016 rang in the New Year with all his old familiar themes: reminiscing about “the old days” (with a little “guilt-tripping” thrown in for good measure); a “sympathy play” anecdote about “finally” getting a “tepid water” problem fixed (that had supposedly gone on for years – as if there was no money to fix it until now), and getting a new stove and microwave for an “office kitchen”; his usual comments about the weather (of course!); banal banter about his cats (especially Caravaggio); lots of faux “concern” for Bp. McKenna and others; and – the pièce de résistance – his revelation about SGG’s “new-old” organ having to be sent in for repairs (hint: “we need even more money for that too, Gerties!”).  It was vintage “Dannie” -- a veritable tour de force of just about everything that’s wrong with the cult-center.  If he had TRIED to make himself look totally ridiculous, he couldn’t possibly have been more successful.

First off (as we noted earlier), he reminisced nostalgically about the observance of Holy Name Sunday in “the old days” (no doubt, for its “show” value).  That set the stage for transitioning into his next theme (one of his favorites): guilt-tripping.  Starting off with, “We were blessed with encouragingly good weather and excellent attendance ‘like the old days.’”  This, of course, was a not-so-subtle reminder that attendance nowadays is NOT like “the old days.”  And then, just in case his Gerties didn’t catch that hint, he followed that with “Nobody particularly came to church during the Octave, of course. What a shame to let all of that beauty and prayer go to waste.”

Dannie then went on to tell the Gerties about how his “Christmas” went:  “I got my Christmas presents early and am well content. All I wanted, I was telling Santa, was hot running water after a hiatus of several years of the tepid trickle.”  Oh, poor, deprived Dannie!  Having to put up with a “tepid trickle” for several years?  Whom are you trying to kid, Dannie, with your pretense of “offer it up” frugality and long-suffering perseverance?  You, who go on several high-dollar boondoggles a year, not having the money to fix a trickling faucet?  And you, who won’t tolerate a crying baby for a minute during your sermon, having the patience to put up with that “tepid trickle” for years?  Again, whom are you trying to kid, Dannie, with your nakedly fabricated play for sympathy?

“Oh, and… (there’s always an “and,” isn’t there?),” Dannie continued, “a stove and a microwave for the priests’ office kitchen, [our italics] where we often take our meals, would be nice. We didn’t have one, ‘not one that works,’ as King John [?] would say. It came, so, pretty good!”  A stove AND microwave – in the priests’ office kitchen?  How insensitive, how thoughtless of those Gerties to supply you with those things only for the rectory kitchen up to now!  How about one for your bedroom (along with a mini fridge) – so you can whip yourself up a midnight snack?  How about a wet bar?  We are so mortified that you have been deprived of these necessities all these years (especially considering that you had to put up with that “tepid trickle” too)!  Poor baby!

Next, Dannie had to regale his Gerties with how the cats’ Christmas went: “The cats, however, had the best Christmas ever. Thanks to one devoted ‘Cat’lic,’ they had a present or two waiting for them…Christmas catnip.  Oh, how thoughtful!  And – “Cat’lic” – aren’t you the clever one, Dannie!  (Actually, Dannie devoted a whole paragraph about Caravaggio [one of the cats] opening his “present.”)  We bet the Gerties really enjoyed this – especially those who helped pay Dannie’s “high heating bills” the last few winters! 

By the way, we notice that Dannie only mentioned Caravaggio and Puccini [another cat].  Why not Vivaldi? [He’s the third of their feline trio.]  Perhaps Vivaldi is “no longer with us anymore.”  Perhaps he “went to that big cathouse in the sky.”  (Or perhaps the Lotarski boys got to him.)  Well, I guess we’ll just have to wait ‘til Dannie clears up the mystery in an upcoming ’Corner.  We can’t wait to hear the news!

Next, Dannie informed us that some of his affiliate clerics “had crosses* this Christmas” …. Fr. Mardones says Juarez and El Paso had the worst (and first!) snow in many years, shutting down the cities over the weekend.  Bishop Sanborn’s back grew worse after his Michigan trip for Bishop McKenna’s funeral, and he finally had to cancel his Christmas trip to England and the Continent.”  How sad to miss Mass for Christmas…”  Yes, how sad!  Actually, Dannie, the snow down in El Paso and Juarez didn’t even start until the afternoon of the day AFTER Christmas.  So, the snow couldn't possibly have caused Fr. Mardones "to miss Mass for Christmas."   (Click here for the El Paso newspaper’s account of the snow-storm).  Well, Dannie, before you decide to mislead your Gerties again with some “heart-rending” BS, please get your facts straight before making a fool out of yourself!**  You know what they say: “Liar, Liar, pants on fire!”

But we save the best – or, as we put it earlier, the pièce de résistance -- for last: the broken organ.  Yes, the “new old” organ (that Tony bought to replace the existing one) is “on the fritz.” Yes, Dannie reported that “the organ has gone out, so he’s [i.e., Tony) changed hats and is waiting hopefully for the repairman.”  Well, ironically for Dannie (and providentially for the rest of us), Pistrina (presciently) pointed out the very same thing on that very same day.  Now what makes this so significant is that it was less than a year ago that this organ was bought to replace SGG’s existing one, which – despite the fact that Dannie (in his March 1 Bishop’s Corner), stated that the old organ really is old, and slowly dying” -- was working perfectly well at the time. Both Pistrina and we commented at that time (click here and here) about what a waste of money this new organ was.  But Dannie insisted that a new one was needed – so he got Tony his new toy; and the Gerties (of course) picked up the tab.  And now, “Tony’s new toy” is broke.

So, Dannie sold the parishioners on the idea of buying that “new old” organ on the premise that the old one was “slowly dying.” And now, it seems, the Gerties will be tapped again for the repairs.  Oh sure, Dannie will probably wordsmith things to make it look like the money is coming “from somewhere else.”  Perhaps he’ll say that it’s coming out of the “Bishop’s Fund” (as he claimed for his frequent boondoggles to faraway places).  Or perhaps he’ll find some novel, “cute” way of asking for the money – such as, “I’m looking for organ donors.”  But we all know what the real “bottom line” is: SGG’s parishioners will AGAIN be picking up the tab. 

Perhaps Dannie will play his “false humility card” again, and say that he’ll “sacrifice” some (invented) “need” (such as, a “needed” apostolate trip to Baja), and “instead” use that money for the repairs.  And (of course) he’ll word it in such a “sympathy soliciting” way that the Gerties will say, “Oh no, Your Excellency, don’t do that!  Go ahead and take your trip.  Don’t worry.  We’ll pay for it!”  Well, tell us, Gerties: will you really be that gullible again?  How many more times, we wonder, are you going to swallow that crap until you’ve “had enough”?

In closing, let us repeat that Dannie’s Jan. 3 ‘Corner has to go down as one of his biggest fiascos yet (perhaps an even bigger bust than SGG’s new “ordo” will be).  It was a representative microcosm of just about everything that is WRONG with SGG.  In it, Dannie showcased all of his “major strengths”: manipulative “guilt-tripping,” false humility, syrupy (and totally insincere) flattery, deliberate lying (with the intent to deceive) -- and a sick preoccupation with his feral pet cats.  But it’s not just that all these things were showcased, but that they turned out to be so undeniably embarrassing for Dannie – especially his words about that “new old” organ coming back to haunt him (not to mention, his mendacious insinuation about that snow storm “canceling Christmas”).  He cannot deny any of it; he can only hope that his Gerties “don’t find out.”

Of course, making a fool out of oneself is nothing new for either Dannie or Tony.  They are past masters at it; they have both bungled badly (and often), each in his own “inimitable” way.  They are truly the Dumb and Dumber*** of Traddieland.  Dannie’s Jan. 3 ‘Corner is just the latest in a long line of such blunders in the Dysfunctional Duo’s repertoire.  Along with SGG’s new “ordo,” this ought to go a long way toward hastening the demise of these two bozos – especially if those Gerties “find out”!  And, sooner or later, they will.

* “Crosses”?  Is missing a mid-winter boondoggle to England (and the Continent) a “cross”?  [A-a-a-a-a-a-h, poor Donny!]  Dannie, there are lots of SGG parishioners who can’t even afford foreign travel – but who nonetheless were expected to pay for your “high heating bills” (and Tony’s new toy organ).  Or is being held up by “bad weather” a “cross”?  Dannie, your Gerties brave bad weather many times – especially those men who get out of bed -- in the middle of the night, in mid-winter, when the weather is often “iffy” -- to take their hour turn at All-Night Adoration.  And those “back problems” that Big Don and the others had to endure: these are “crosses” too?  What about those parishioners (such as the Duff family or the Schappacher family) who had to endure for years the hardship (and expense) of raising severely handicapped children?  (And, for that matter, what about what Terri Schiavo endured?)  Dannie, compared to these folks, your Roman-collared buddies’ “crosses” are NOTHING. 

Tell us, Dannie: for clergy, does a persistent hangnail qualify as a “cross”?  Does wearing a Roman collar somehow make one’s suffering more intense than usual?  If I didn’t know any better, Dannie, I’d say that you were engaging in a bit of hyperbole.  But – oh, I forgot! – peasants (aka, laity) are not so refined as clergy.  They’re thick-skulled louts  (like Terri Schiavo, for instance) who are numb to pain and suffering -- who don’t feel things so keenly as clergy.  (Yeah, we forgot, too, what Tony said about Terri: that her husband “had the sole right before God to determine whether these means [i.e., tube-feeding her] should have continued to be used.”  We should’ve known that starving and dehydrating her to death was the right way to go!  We simply forgot, too, that we’re just “plain, dumb folk” who must believe and obey whatever Tony says – because he’s a priest!)  So, of course, Dannie!  You’re right!  Please forgive us!

** Not only did Dannie tell a lie, but it was a deceptive lie: he gave the impression that Fr. Mardones missed Christmas Mass because of the weather.  Now one of Dannie’s apologists might argue that it was Sanborn to whom Dannie was referring when he lamented, “How sad to miss Mass for Christmas.” But, upon inspection, this makes no sense.  As Dannie himself pointed out, it was a Christmas trip (to England) that Big Don missed – not Christmas Mass.  (We’re fairly certain, too, that the trip was to be after Christmas anyway.)  One can only deduce, then, that Dannie was referring to Fr. Mardones when he said, “How sad to miss Mass for Christmas.”

However, another possibility (that one of Dannie’s apologists’ might proffer) is that Dannie was just “making a general statement” [about missing Christmas Mass] and was therefore referring to no one.  But this would be totally absurd, given the context of the passage.  No, one can only deduce, again, that it was a purely deliberate attempt by Dannie to deceive (and, of course, an obvious attempt at soliciting sympathy as well). But this is all part of Dannie’s modus operandi: when he lies (which is quite often), it’s invariably with the intention of deceiving, of soliciting sympathy, and/or of furthering himself at the expense of others.

*** Dumb and Dumber was the title of a Hollywood movie -- a comedy – billed as a hilarious romp about two bungling fools who could do nothing right (which fairly describes Dannie and Tony).  What Dannie and Tony do can certainly seem to be hilarious at times, too – but only in the satirical or ironic sense.  Their bungling efforts often do make them look “funny”; but, in reality, they are not funny.  What they do is tragic – especially when one considers both the material and spiritual harm they have wrought (and continue to do).  We sincerely hope that today’s Gertrudians recognize this soon, so that they don’t suffer any further victimization at these predators’ hands – and that others recognize it soon too, before the same thing happens to them.

Saturday, January 9, 2016

The Latest “Must Have” Non-Essential: SGG’s “Ordo”

Pistrina Liturgica recently reported that Dannie and Tony’s newest ecclesiastical venture is the commissioning of an “ordo.”  And just what is an ordo?  It is, as their article explained, the annual calendar (in mostly abbreviated Latin) with instructions for the daily recitation of the Breviary and the celebration of Mass.  It is intended not for the laity, but for clergy, and thus has very limited circulation potential.  Now it just so happens that there are other perfectly adequate ordines already existing.  So why is Dannie commissioning this new one?

The obvious reason is that he’s doing it for prestige.  After Tony’s other offerings (WHH et al) have been such train wrecks, SGG was in dire need of “rehab” for its tarnished “scholastic” image – and a relatively “safe” way to get it was to publish this ordo.  Since ordines are written in Latin (and fairly “technical” Latin at that), this would seem to many as an impressive piece of work, and a sign of real “scholarship,” because -- if an outfit is competent enough to publish an ordo -- then its people must “really know their stuff,” right?   And since Tony & Co. will simply be copying much of it from other ordines, there is minimal chance that they’ll flub the Latin (as Tony did on WHH et al) -- right?  WRONG.

As Pistrina initially discovered, even the cover page of SGG’s ordo – the page the public notices first (and THE page “you want to get right”) -- had glaring, school-boy Latin errors in it (click here) as did much of the rest of it (click here).  So, SGG’s attempt to pass themselves off as a real “Latinists” (and thereby recoup their tarnished reputation) has flopped again.  Chances are, there’ll be many more errors (even though the ordo is largely a “copy job” from another existing ordo).  But Dannie doesn’t care.  He knows that his culties will see it as a work of “erudition” (and some might even be stupid enough to buy it, even though they haven’t the foggiest notion of what its about – or what to do with it).

Dannie also hopes that, mistake-ridden or not, the sponsoring of an “official ordo” will be seen as an impressive “Catholic undertaking” in itself.  Most traditional clergy, of course (and laity who are really familiar with ordines), realize that copying an already existing ordo is not a sign of “scholarship” (Latin or otherwise), and hence won’t be impressed.  However, it will certainly impress the brain-dead (and possibly a few more too) – and that’s all that Dannie cares about.*  He knows that SGG’s claim to being “scholarly” – especially their reputation as  “Latinists” and “theologians,” is in tatters to the point where even the rank-and-file Gerties now doubt it.  So, this “ordo” just might salvage their reputation to some degree – at least enough to keep his Gerties donating.  And for Dannie, that’s “close enough.”

Now this might get Dannie some short-term gains – but what if it’s a total flop?  Earlier, we mused, “chances are, there be many more errors.”  Well, as it turns out, there are (and which Pistrina will be categorizing in subsequent posts).  But even if there weren’t, what made Dannie think that what is mostly a copy job of an earlier work would impress the world-at-large – especially when that earlier work is far superior?  What Dannie and Tony have given the world is another cement life preserver -- another set of pre-flattened automobile tires.  Their newest scheme has about as much chance of “success” as does an Islamic State recruiting pamphlet in Tel Aviv.  In the long run (actually the not-so-long run), Dannie’s new opus will only serve to embarrass him, and to reinforce SGG’s image as a bunch of buffoons.

This new effort, like all their other efforts, is doomed to failure – not just because it is a bungled effort, but because it was done for the wrong reason: greed.  Dannie and Tony’s focus has always been on one thing: M-O-N-E-Y -- which has always clouded their judgment, and destroyed the very goal they’re after.  And this time around is no different: this new ordo, designed to give them prestige (and therefore ultimately translate into more “business”) will, again, only bring them more embarrassment and grief – and less revenue.

And what, we ask, made Dannie think that his bungling crew of semi-literates would come up with anything worthwhile anyway?  What made him think, after Tony’s previous fiascos, that they could tackle something as “challenging” as an ordo (in spite of the fact that it was largely a copy job)?  And what made him think that their errors would go unnoticed?  (And, did he ever consider that it might also raise the ire of those whose ordo they are copying?)  This new ordo – this new “landmark” [or is it landfill?] effort – will only be “landmark” in the sense that it will probably turn out to be SGG’s biggest fiasco yet -- and destroy what little prestige SGG has left.  In fact, it just may be the event that precipitates SGG’s final downhill slide – that hastens its well-deserved demise.  

After the 2009 school debacle (from which SGG’s prestige took a huge hit), many of SGG’s parishioners left -- including SGG’s biggest benefactor.  We recall, afterwards, that Big Don Sanborn wrote to that man,** sarcastically asking him, “…if you find one of them [Dannie or Tony] as a greeter in Wal-Mart in order to support himself, will you be then satisfied and content?”  Actually, we think that this was a very appropriate question for Donny to ask – and very prescient of him, too -- because, after this latest ordo fiasco, that “greeter” job may be the only one that Dannie or Tony will be able to get.  After all, it’s a job that doesn’t require any Latin skills (real or imagined).  In fact, it requires hardly any brains at all (making it, by the way, ideally suited for any of Big Don’s pest-house completers).  All it really requires is a smiling face.  And, let’s face it: with Dannie’s cheesy grin, he’d be a shoo-in for the job!  So, our advice to him is:  Go for it, Dannie!

* Indeed, one of Dannie’s culties, writing a caustic e-mail to Pistrina (after its first article slamming SGG’s ordo), said, “It is positively sinful how you trashed Bishop Dolan's and Father Cekada's ORDO 2016 over just a few silly typographical errors.  They are trying to keep the Faith alive which is more than you nasties are doing, you are killing it....If you know so much, why don't you publish an Ordo so priests can say Holy Mass to keep sinners like you from burning in hell?” 

Of course, as Pistrina later pointed out in a follow-up article, it wasn’t just a case of “typographical errors.”  Pistrina also answered this idiot’s challenge – “why don't you publish an Ordo so priests can say Holy Mass to keep sinners like you from burning in hell?” -- by pointing out that there was a far more competently written ordo already existing, so why produce another?    The e-mail also illustrates the ignorance of this moron in equating the writing of this ordo with “trying to keep the Faith alive” – and equating opposition to it as meriting “burning in hell.”

The writing of an error-filled ordo, when there is already a better one out there, does not constitute “trying to keep the Faith alive.”  On the contrary, what it constitutes is an obvious attempt to gain prestige by profiting at someone else’s expense – not exactly an “altruistic motive.”  So, if there is anyone “burning in hell” over this, it is Dannie and his accomplices – for concocting such a nakedly mercenary scheme.  However, we thank that moron for his (or her) e-mail, for it gave Pistrina the opportunity to reinforce its point that, in the case of SGG’s ordo, it is NOT just a matter of “typographical errors” – which will become more and more embarrassingly evident as more errors are uncovered.  Thus, this moron has given Pistrina the chance to expose the cult-masters once again for the buffoons that they are.

** The parishioner to whom Sanborn wrote his letter was Bernie Brueggemann, who – along with about half the parish – left SGG after the 2009 school scandals.  Bombastic Don tried every “guilt-trip” trick he could think of to get Bernie to feel guilty – but the ruse didn’t work.  Luckily, we have preserved that letter, which showcases the Donster’s intimidating and manipulative style.  This letter is also damaging to Sanborn in that it was written to a man who was loved and revered by everyone – even by those hard-core culties still there at SGG -- which makes Big Don look all the more like the bullying maggot he is.  Little did the Donster realize, when he wrote his diatribe, that it would come to be a total embarrassment for him – just as this ordo will be for Dannie and Tony.