If you’ve ever wondered what Ignatius J. Reilly would have been like as a woman, or what Miss Emily Litella would have been like with an world-historical case of menopause, you need look no further than the website of Barbara-Marie Drezhlo. Barbara, né Stan, is a transsexual neo-Bolshevik dingbat who purports to be a journalist, but whose site notoriously passes along half-truths and outright lies, wrapped up in monster raving loony prose. The site is a complete train wreck, filled with hysterical Russian nationalism, anti-Catholicism, and, well, anti-everything. Stan/Barbara basically runs a tabloid freakshow; reading the site is like Pravda meets the Weekly World News, as filtered through the sensibility of a crackhead babushka who is having chronic hot flashes. He/she (I don’t know if Drezhlo had the operation, or if he’s just presenting as a woman) loves communism, Putin, and kittehs, and is so cartoonishly bitchy he makes the late Leona Helmsley look like Beatrix Potter. Stan/Barbara is like The Onion’s entertainment columnist Jackie Harvey, who writes vividly but gets basic facts hilariously wrong.
I had gone slumming on Stan/Barbara’s site this afternoon to see how s/he covered the news that a ROCOR priest resigned his office and renounced Christianity on the day the Supreme Court overturned DOMA; the man, Nathan Monk, quit to protest Orthodoxy’s position on homosexuality, and now embraces universalism, marriage equality, and polygamy. I understand that Monk had been Orthodox for a very short time when he was ordained in 2012 by ROCOR. That’s a supposedly fun thing they’ll probably never do again!
Anyway, dear old Stan/Barbara hasn’t posted on it yet, but I did find this on his site:
This Just In From the Cabinet:
Indeed! That’s Dreher’s fourth move in less than ten years… Brooklyn NY… Dallas TX… Washington DC… and, now, Louisiana. That’s hardly conservative… it’s peripatetic and rootless. That is, Dreher’s an unrepentant “rootless cosmopolite” with no real roots, ergo, he’s got to stop bloviating about the joys of rural life. Where’s he gonna be in five years? The konvertsy slobber over this ignorant and loudmouthed POS. He knows nil about the Orthosphere… and shall learn nothing because of his arrogant and juvenile attitude. Keep your distance from such rubbishy figures. Don’t argue with them…
Oh, what fun. For Stan Fans who are keeping score, I’ve actually moved twice in the last 10 years, haven’t worked for National Review since 2003, and just wrote a big book about moving back to my hometown. Until today, Stan/Barbara has been routinely referred to me as living in Washington, DC, and being part of the Republican propaganda machine, even though I have not lived in in DC since 1995, have not been a registered Republican for about two years (nor voted GOP for president since 2004), and work for a conservative magazine that’s often quite critical of the GOP. But who’s counting?
It’s also lovely that he uses Stalin’s anti-Semitic term for Jews to describe me.
I bring all this up for two reasons: 1) reading Stan’s site is like freebasing hathos, and for those who like that sort of thing; and 2) Orthodox readers of mine who believe Stan’s nonsense about being an Orthodox insider who provides inside dish should realize that he really is a crackpot who gets things wrong constantly. Do not trust a thing you read on that site. There are otherwise sane Orthodox who read that site looking for actual insidery news about this or that scandal, but I’m telling you, it’s totally untrustworthy. Every now and then Stan gets something right, but nearly every time he’s written about something that I know about, he’s gotten basic facts wrong.
But he is unfailingly entertaining, and he does love the kittehs, so there’s that.
On the Nathan Monk scandal, it’s sad for him and his wife and kids, but no big thing. You do wonder how somebody so unstable was accepted as a priest without first having lived as an Orthodox layman for a while. I expect that ROCOR will do a much better job vetting these guys.