Thursday, September 21, 2006

O'Malley Slinging Electrons

Well, we can be pretty sure he won't be dishing Benny the Rat's bulls, or even calling his boss Benny. However, there is something endearing about Cardinal Sean O'Malley blogging.

That's right, prince of the church, Boston archbishop and jolly friar O'Malley will be in the blogosphere as of today, or perhaps have it rotate around him.

The first entry is a TEST TEST TEST. At his blog, it reads, "Cardinal Seán returns to Rome as a newly elevated Cardinal " with a note to check back for news from his trip, written remotely by O'Malley (but posted by a minion).

Good Catholic paper that it is, the Globe got the story first. The gist is that he uses email and is ready for showtime. He's on a 10-day visit to the Vatican and will recount his sights if not insights.

We hope that he does write his own stuff. What is allegedly his statement on this is clearly from a flack's keyboard:
I am . . . looking forward to a new opportunity to communicate directly with Catholics of the archdiocese through my own blog. While this is a new venture for me and for the archdiocese, I am eager to take advantage of the latest technology and mode of communication to share with Catholics of the archdiocese my experiences as I return to Rome and, more importantly, to share with everyone a sense of what it is that Boston's archbishop does on business in Rome representing the people of the archdiocese.
Yada yada. You know his real stuff has to be better than that.

The article quotes Internet scholar Jonathan Zittrrain as saying that O'Malley has to get real for this to work. As he put it, "The key to successful blogging is that . . . one feels like on the receiving end of a conversation, that you get what you would learn if you had a beer with a person, rather than what you would learn if they had a press conference, (but) not all public figures can afford to do that, because almost anything they say will be seen as an official statement, and anything off the cuff that might be regretted or repudiated they could get in trouble for."

We'll have to see if he does that. He looks like a good drinking buddy.

Meanwhile, the Wordpress-based blog has a Boston Herald look -- lots of pix, few words and nothing to exercise the brain. It's kind of ugly with dark background and non-resizing left border. It smacks of a Mac production. Also, so far, there are no links, no mailto anywhere -- not interactivity at all -- and no podcast or audio of any type.

Let's see how the content fleshes out.

I'm sure the diocese has a stat counter on. Treat our red buddy like any new blogger. Give him a thrill and hit on the site. After his first 10-day test, he'll decide whether to join us for real.

WHOIS note: This apparently was a quick decision. The archdiocese didn't grab the blog domain until last week. However, they registered it for five years. O'Malley is at least thinking a long run.

, , , ,


Anonymous said...

"representing the people of the archdiocese." Now that's a knee-slapper! Does this mean he will now humbly do the bidding of the Boston Catholic majority? Surely it means he can be voted off the island?

It's hard for me to believe that an institution whose prime directive is effectively "protect the priest at all costs" can be any more transparent on a blog than anywhere else. Is this where he intends to post the heretofore sealed employee records for Boston's rank in pedophile? He's clearly trying to pull the old "this is a guy I'd like to share a beer with" ploy a la Bush. But, again like Bush, I'm have great doubts as to how loose the lips will be. He'll be drinking near beer, mark my words. But I will give the blog a chance. I'm intrested to see if it is a true, interactive blog, or one of those "blogs" like MassResistance employs to hurl their hate gobs from the safety of a locked office.

postscript: he's kinda fat. whatever modernities he eschews in his 500 year old frock, he sure makes up for in caloric intake. i see the frock as like Lamar Alexander's famous flannel shirt. nice populist touch, but hollow. does he wear a wooly union suit underneath in winter, or does he feel the dress-wearing women's pain when cold breezes blow? maybe he'll tell us in his blog.

Anonymous said...

Apology: I just looked at the pics on omalley's blog, and he is not fat. he looks rather normal in size. i was fooled by a few pics of him in his red get-up, which made him look plump. i regret implying gluttony. he's a fit 'n trim protector of criminal priests & perveyor of homophobic word and deed.

massmarrier said...

There are scrawny evil people as well as porky ones. Ectomorphs and endomorphs are often built they way they are regardless of venal sins.

I'd take an archbishop who looked like Friar Tuck if he was moral and courageous.

Anonymous said...

After reading O'M's initial 2 posts, I feel a great urge to create a rebuttal blog a la MassResistanceWatch. What a waste of pixels is his boilerplate travelblogue! Is there nothing more profound or interesting to discuss than baggage and airport dimensions? Nice that he's reading a book on the experience of Parisians during WWII, but apparently he only did that title drop so we would know he reads French. No comparing or contrasting between that history and present day. Nope. And if he's too weary a traveler to do that kind of brain work midflight, well ok, fair enough. Then how about an interesting and inspirational anecdote from the book? No? Then why even bring it up? Travelblogue Rating: Puddinhead Boring, D- (gets half point for nice penmanship.)

massmarrier said...

You're hard, but quite accurate.

This is trite stuff, pap. I wonder whether he's heavily edited or self-censored. He's always been a DoBee, so maybe it's the latter.

I'm not seeing the insights I'd expect, nor any flashes of intellect he supposedly possesses in abundance. I'm hoping that the highlight of the trip is not some flight attendant telling him to suck up to the Pope. I doubt he needs any encouragement there.

I suspect the book titles are was you say to show erudition, but is he also thinking this humanizes him? His RC audience feels he's pretty damned holy. This blog should try to keep him in his sackcloth to them.

He needs to lift his skirt a bit.