Meanwhile, what’s going on at the Fishwrap (aka National Sodomitic Reporter)?
As I write, this is the featured piece over there.
‘Queer Eye’ shows how grace works
When the U.S. bishops met this past June, Bishop Robert Barron, auxiliary of Los Angeles, drew some heavy pushback when he lifted up Canadian psychologist and social media personality Jordan Peterson as a model of how the church could be engaging with the culture, especially the religiously unaffiliated “nones.” Arguably, the pushback might have been worse had more bishops even heard of Peterson and his noxious broth of hyper-masculinity, anti-PC spite and cringeworthy flirtations with Christianity. [NB what things writer doesn’t like! Masculinity… “straight” talk… thinking about Christianity.] But the real missed opportunity here was that Bishop Barron did not instead opt for a model of cultural dialogue closer to home, namely, the hit Netflix makeover show “Queer Eye,” which premiered its fourth season on July 19. [No, you really did read that.]
While still probably an unknown quantity to most bishops, “Queer Eye” [Oh?] at least evinces a joy and a love for marginalized people as each episode finds the “Fab Five” — a makeover team of five gay men — coming into the life of a particularly stuck person and, over the course of a week, fostering transformation across the board in each team member’s areas of expertise — Karamo (culture), Jonathan (grooming), Antoni (food), Tan (fashion) and Bobby (design). Since arriving on Netflix in early 2018, the show — a reboot of an early 2000s series “Queer Eye for the Straight Guy” — has garnered a reputation for its intense human warmth and cathartic tears, both onscreen and in the homes of its viewers. [NB what things the write does like.] Others in religious media have called the work done on the show ministry [?!?] as much as makeover. But that’s underselling the dynamics unfolding before our eyes. [Good grief.]
For a Catholic who’s being honest, watching the Fab Five descend into an individual’s unique mess and dysfunction has an unmistakable Pope Francis feel to it.
Sorry, friends. I know, I know. You can’t unread that.
But… this is what Fishwrap is all about.
The writer was from 2008-2016 an employee of the USCCB’s media office.