I am way late to the party on this one, but I still want to comment on #ThatCatholicGirl. I use Twitter, and I follow a number of Catholic Twitter accounts. Some people refer to the popular ones as “Catholic Twitter,” but they mean the same Twitter that Pope Francis and Taylor Swift are using. It’s not a separate alternative platform, like a Catholic newspaper is.
In September, the popular anonymous account @ThatCatholicGirl was suddenly deleted. I’m pretty sure I followed it. The account owner had never revealed her real name, and she used an image of Belle from Disney’s Beauty and the Beast animated movie as her avatar, so we didn’t even know what she really looked like. Twitter has a variety of anonymous accounts like that; I follow a few. They’re mostly vehicles for humor and outlandish social commentary—the kinds of things you’d only say anonymously.
After the account was deleted, a separate Catholic Twitter user revealed the backstory: he had been catfished by @ThatCatholicGirl. When she was discovered, she deleted her account. It became a hashtag, as Twitter controversies tend to do, and it sent a ripple through the community. We’d thought we were immune to such things because we love Jesus! Not so, Catholic Twitter; not so.
I had the sort-of privilege of seeing the documentary Catfish before the term “catfishing” entered popular culture. It was a disturbing film, but it was worth watching. Sadly, there are plenty of examples now, so you don’t need to watch the original film to get it.
The concept is based on the practice of catfish (the actual fish that swim in the sea) being used to keep sea-shipped cod fish active in their tanks during the live shipping process. With a suspicious presence in their midst, they keep swimming, and their muscles/meaty parts stay strong.
When a person “catfishes” another, he or she is the suspicious presence in the social media tank, forcing alertness on everyone else. The “catfish” pretends to be a different person, establishing a relationship (often romantic) with someone under a rich false identity. Sometimes the people who appear to be interacting with the catfish (liking posts, tagging the catfish, etc.) are false accounts also run by the catfish. The concept is now so common (and sad) that MTV created a whole TV show about real people who have been catfished, Glee did a storyline about transgender catfishing, and you probably remember Notre Dame football player Manti Te’o’s catfishing dead girlfriend.
In this case, @ThatCatholicGirl presented herself as a single, early twenty-something undergrad student. The other user (an actual college student) considered @ThatCatholicGirl his girlfriend, although they had never met in person. Every time they planned to meet, she had some sort of emergency: an illness, unexpected travel, her sister’s divorce, her own parents’ divorce. To the young man, he was in a long-distance relationship. But he really wasn’t. His “girlfriend” wasn’t real.
The truth is that @ThatCatholicGirl is thirty years old, not a student, and married. I don’t know exactly how she was exposed, but the account is gone, and the shame spread. Catholic Twitter erupted into shock, anger, and confused prayers for @ThatCatholicGirl, her “boyfriend,” and her husband.
The Internet never forgets.
I set a goal to be reading four non-religious non-fiction books per year by 2025. I unintentionally met that goal for this year all the way back in September. Hooray for me!
— Marcus Ramtohul (@Marcus_Ramtohul) September 21, 2016
That is a parent who has mastered GTD! I can’t even get my coworkers to use my inbox. I even physically labeled it “to do” and “inbox,” but I find documents in my chair or laying across my keyboard pretty regularly. You win some; you lose some.
The U.S. legal system regularly tries to force Catholic schools and churches to let people contradict Church teachings and also stay employed. It’s bewildering. When I taught Catholic school, I was required to sign a contract that specified that, because I identified as a Catholic (which I was not required to do or be for my role as an English teacher), I could be fired for publicly dissenting from Church teaching. That was not a secret.
So I was delighted to read that the European Court of Human Rights actually defended the Church in a recent appeal, ruling that a religion teacher who was divorced and civilly remarried was justifiably prevented from teaching religion. It should not be a surprise that a religion teacher who publicly fails to follow that religion will not be allowed to teach that religion anymore. Why was that such a surprise that it went all the way to an international court?
I love dancing West Coast Swing, and although it is tricky, I have never found it especially difficult. I actually have more trouble with turns in progressive dances like Two-Step. Something about simultaneously moving forward and along a curved line is hard for me to balance.
I have to admit that the reasons WCS is hard that Brian B. listed on his website are convincing, though. Those are all legitimate, and they’re much clearer than just “WCS is so hard!”
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