God Save Us From the Sexy Catholics
Is conservatism cool now? This question, posed by countless tattooed youth pastors and/or episodes of Family Ties, is one we never tire of asking. The latest example, smeared all over my Twitter dashboard, is an article in the New York Times — somehow not the only article of its kind, or even the only article in the Times itself — about how the downtown scene kids of “Dimes Square” are all converting to Catholicism.
“Reactionary motifs are chic,” writes Julia Yost. “Trump hats and ‘tradwife’ frocks, monarchist and anti-feminist sentiments.” Catholicism, for these types, has become the spiritual equivalent of a prairie dress, a way to combine the aesthetics and values of 200 years ago with the debilitating cocaine addictions of today.
I can’t stress enough how insufferable these kids are. One star, showcased in both the Times piece and a recent Vanity Fair article, is Honor Levy. A quick Google will show you the twenty-something Bennington grad — raised in Silverlake, daughter of a makeup artist and movie director — diving into AAVE like a four-year-old encountering a Chuck E. Cheese ball pit. (“Everyone was like: ‘Yo that’s fire, that’s fire.’ It so isn’t fire.”) Elsewhere, there is a short story, “Cancel Me,” in which Levy reflects at length on cancel culture, and also on how she intends to keep hanging out with her guy friends no matter how many women they rape. (“I’m a girl. I’m allowed to be paralyzed with fear and use it as an excuse. That’s what she did.”)
My short story, “Kill Me,” about the experience of reading the short story “Cancel Me,” is forthcoming. Yet the hits don’t stop: There’s also something called Forever Mag, whose founders say things like “that’s something I’m interested in, having a posture that’s completely unwell,” and who insist that their success proves you don’t need to have a pedigree to make it in the literary world, shortly before revealing that two-thirds of them met at Pratt. There’s a play starring n+1 dude Christian Lorentzen, the moral of which turns out to be that charismatic older professors should get to sleep with their students. (These charismatic older professors are played by Christian Lorentzen.) There are the hosts of Red Scare, which… well, we’ve all talked quite enough about the…