Friday, September 09, 2011

Catholic Apologist "Young Guns" Take Savage Satirical Revenge Against Yours Truly in Hilarious Polemical Shootout, Complete with Appropriate "Gunfighter" Visuals

There you have it, folks! I can laugh at myself (in fact, my wife and four kids assure that that is a rather common occurrence), and I'm a huge fan of satire and spoof, so I rather enjoy this, from the "Catholic UNapologist," Patrick Vandapool (be sure to see the entire paper: I only posted my portion above).

In fact (to pursue the "gunfighter" analogy a bit), the most active anti-Catholic Protestants online (whom we all know and admire) seem to have regarded me as some kind of "gunfighter" or "Billy the Kid" figure for years, and seek to gun me down as soon as I dare set foot in any of their Know-Nothing saloons. Normal conversation is quite beside the point. It's "Kill DA!" That's the object. Hence, it's virtually all insults and mockery as a result (including visuals). They have mastered their Master Luther's propagandistic and smear tactics well.

But this present example is good, legitimate satire, based on a real event, not on lies and genuine contempt, as anti-Catholic mockery invariably is (see an example from Eric Svendsen, associating me with Holocaust denial). James White had his talented caricaturist friend do one of Patrick Madrid being stoned (really funny stuff!), and two of me (dated 4-22-04 and 1-13-05), incorporating various lies and double standards. And we must give honorable mention to Frank Turk's merchandise (t-shirts, mugs, etc.: I was dying to wear one of these shirts to Steubenville for a conference . . . didn't get a chance to yet, but I assuredly would!):

To be effective and funny, satire has to have facts and truth as its basis, not distortions and falsehoods. James White knows this, because in his first caricature of me, he includes the line, "when truth takes a dive, so do the laughs." Satire in the Bible is always based on an underlying serious truth (such as Jesus' excoriations of the Pharisees, or Elijah mocking the false prophets of Baal on Mt. Carmel). Yet White shamelessly lied in the same caricature and the second one. Prejudice mixed with ignorance brings this about. The artist was very talented; it is the content that falls short.

Patrick Vandapool, on the other hand, knows how to do satire. I have enjoyed his humor-with-a-message for some time now, and made a post about it on my Facebook page several months ago. I give his site my very highest recommendation. I hope my readers will visit it regularly.

Oh (almost forgot); this present satire is based on the discussion I had with Devin Rose and other "young guns" (of which Patrick is one) that I documented in a post entitled, "'Young Guns' in Catholic Online Apologetics: How Different Are They from the 'Old Guard'? / Apologetics is Always a Difficult Spiritual Battle". I made my case; discussing some merely minor quibbles I had with the article by Devin Rose. Apparently I argued too vigorously (as is my wont) -- and was only partially successful --, thus opening myself up as fodder for the late-night "Catholic apologist comedian" circuit.

The volume of my writing has always been the target of humor for friends and foes alike. It was mentioned in the article by Rose that the "young gun" apologists were "systematic." So I said that I had over 2600 posts on my blog, and over 50 separate web pages (categories). I wasn't trying to brag (after all, volume alone proves nothing whatever as to substance); I was just making the point that I am quite "systematic" myself (in other words, that this was nothing particularly "new"). So Patrick took that and ran with it, humor-wise. All of that is fine and fair game. I had some fun, myself, with the same theme of how much I write, in a take-off of the Beatles' Paperback Writer, written in 2004, including the lines:

Here's a thousand pages, give or take a few,
I’ll be writing more in an hour or two.
I can make them longer if you like the style,
I can crank 'em out and I want to be a blogosphere writer,
Blogosphere writer.

If you really hate it we can have a fight*,
I could write a million pages overnight.
If you must reject it, you can leave my blog
Cuz you need a break and don't want to be a blogosphere reader,
Blogosphere reader.

* tongue-in-cheek reference to my love of challenging, feisty (particularly socratic) dialogue / debate. 

I have immensely enjoyed this diversion (perfect for a Friday afternoon). If we start taking ourselves too seriously, we're in big trouble. We Christians have always laughed at ourselves, because we know full well that human beings are fallen creatures, full of foibles and follies and faults. And that is often very funny (alliteration semi-unintentional).



Devin Rose said...

Dave, you can use this fact against Pat though: I have inside knowledge that he is in his late 30s and so barely could be called a young gun. :)

Great to laugh about stuff.

Dave Armstrong said...

That's pretty old! How old are you?! 21? :-)

Paul Hoffer said...

Dave, that picture of you is pretty cool. Kudos to Mr. Vandapool! It beats Prof. White's dracula cape and dickey look any day of the week.

Dave Armstrong said...

Yeah, I like it a lot. :-)

Brent Stubbs said...


1. Glad to see you laugh at yourself. You have officially given all of us so-called young "guns" permission to do the same.

2. Satire, as Plato might say, is found in the paradoxical tension between state of affairs "A" that we expect, and the slight nuanced change in the state of affairs that produces "B" which gives us kicks. Bad satire, as you say, is when the referent of B is a false A, thus only the ignorant chuckle.

3. Last and not least, would you consider writing a post or two that offers us "lady pistols" some advice from a full-fledged Beretta (not the priestly hat)? Or if you like, you can email me something or point me to something you have already written.



Dave Armstrong said...

Hi Brent,

Right on about the nature and purpose of satire.

You mean advice about apologetics in general? If so, I've written several relevant posts that can be found on my Apologetics web page

Ben said...

This is 2 funny!

Jordanes551 said...

That is the awesomest photo of you I've ever seen, Dave. It would make an excellent driver's license and passport photo!

Brent Stubbs said...


Thank you for the link to the resources you have compiled. Us "youngins" are certainly at an advantage given the fields you've already plowed. Thank you.

I will be incorporating some of the resources into a post I'm finishing up now on the vocation of the apologist.

Peace to you and yours,


Giovanni A. Cattaneo said...

As somebody who will be forever indebted to you for my Faith. It goes without saying that you are by far more of a gunslinger than any of those so called apologists whose body of work amounts only to a spit in your vast ocean of knowledge.

Mr. White or Doctor White or Bishop White or whatever the man is calling him self these days has been simply shut down over and over again with your extensive work and dedication. He has simply run out of arguments and simply resorts to low common denominators.

Dave Armstrong said...

Whatever I am, or have managed to accomplish, is all because of God's grace and power, so I give Him all the glory. If we follow Him and follow the call He gives to each one of us, we do well.