Voices from Russia

Wednesday, 29 June 2011

Is “Orthodoxy Today” For Real, Or, Is It Another Konvertsy Internet Will o’ the Wisp?

Filed under: internet,Orthodox life,USA — 01varvara @ 00.00

Pop! Goes their balloon… I do daresay that some nasty ol’ facts have mugged the konvertsy’s pretty little assertions, yet again… 

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I promised you an objective look at Jacobse’s site, Orthodoxy Today. Frankly, it’s another konvertsy chimera. Firstly, here are the URLs to check all of this, if you wish:

http://www.quantcast.com/orthodoxytoday.org

http://www.quantcast.com/ocanews.org

http://www.quantcast.com/oca.org

http://www.quantcast.com/02varvara.wordpress.com

Let’s look at the monthly graphs for Orthodoxy Today and for Voices from Russia

OT

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VFR

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Unfortunately, there are no daily or weekly graphs for OT, as it doesn’t have enough readership. If you look at the weekly readership graph for VFR below, you’ll find that it’s recovering after the usual early summer doldrums. Do note that OT’s monthly readership is less than 30 percent of VFR’s (5,300 compared to 19,200).

As far as “hits” go, as OT’s stats are similar to Stokoe’s, he probably has a much higher level of “addicts” than I do. This inflates the number of hits on a small readership base. If OT has 50 percent “addicts” (daily users), which isn’t inconceivable given that oca.org has 31 percent addicts (86 percent of visits) and Stokoe has 76 percent addicts (97 percent of visits), his addicts alone would give him nearly 80,000 hits a month. Remember, it’s not “hits” that count… it’s “readership”. If site’s readership is driven by “searches” (as VFR is), it has a pyramid-shaped graph, that is, most hits come from single users, then, there’s a smaller group of “regulars”, with addicts as the smallest group at the apex. If “regulars” drive a group, then, the graph assumes either an inverted pyramid shape or a diamond shape (with a narrower lower point). That’s why VFR has a greater potential for growth in future… more people come, therefore, I’ve got the chance to “convert” more folks to “regulars”, all things being equal. OT, Stokoe, and oca.org are “preaching to the choir”, and the stats show it.

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Here are some demographic tables for the two sites:

55% Male  111
45% Female    88
24% 18-34    81
33% 35-49  118
34% 50+  146
85% Caucasian  109
6% Black    66
3% Asian    78
5% Hispanic    57
1% Other  101
73% No Kids 0-17  123
27% Has Kids 0-17    65
17% $0-30k    92
23% $30-60k    86
28% $60-100k    99
33% $100k+  119
34% No College    75
44% College  107
22% Graduate School  153

VFR

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56% Male  122
44% Female    66
26% 18-34    90
36% 35-49  131
31% 50+  133
82% Caucasian  105
7% Black    82
2% Asian    54
8% Hispanic    95
1% Other    56
73% No Kids 0-17  122
27% Has Kids 0-17    66
25% $0-30k  136
30% $30-60k  111
32% $60-100k  114
14% $100k+    50
27% No College    60
40%   College    98
33% Graduate  School   227

OT

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There’s not much to choose between VFR and OT as far as gender, age, or ethnicity goes (I’m getting more Alaska Natives as my “other” is 101, and OT only has 56). In income, OT’s largest group is the under 30K group, whilst my largest segment is the 100K+ crowd. In education, OT reaches 20 percent fewer “no college” sorts, and has 50 percent more in the “grad school” cohort. In short, OT smells like another clergy/church hobbyist site. Jacobses’ chariot crashes to the ground, yet again. Beware of konvertsy internet bogeymen… when you look at the stats, you realise that they’re all pumped up out of all proportion, it does show you that it does take all kinds, and that jumped-up frauds are to be found under just about every rock.

As for me, I’m an independent internet journalist; I’ve not said that I’m anything else. I don’t affect to be an “expert” as Stokoe, Mattingly, Dreher, Freddie M-G, and Jacobses do. I do read the Russian press daily… I do follow the Church news at the Centre with some diligence… that gives me insights that escape the Fox News/Rush Limboob-formed mushy brains of the konvertsy crowd. In any case, guys, you’ve spoken. That’s where it’s at… and I thank you for it.

May I continue to be worthy of your trust.

Barbara-Marie Drezhlo

Wednesday 29 June 2011

Albany NY

29 June 2011. JP’s Latest Attempt to “Plant” Monasticism in the District…

I heard this through the grapevine:

If anyone has a concern about the decrease in the monastic presence in DC… don’t worry! On Monday evening, JP tonsured his deacon, Gregory Stevens as a riassaphore, and gave him as a new name, his own former name… James. JP’s barmy for doing this… Stevens is also known as “Veronica Lake” because of his pretty hair… for JP to give him his secular name… that’s very odd… it’s almost queer.

This isn’t very bright… what with the rumours of homosexuality that’ve dogged him since his relationship with Gleb Podmoshensky became common knowledge, JP should’ve lain low. However, note well that all the moralistic konvertsy defend JP ferociously and vehemently. They defend his associates tooth-and-nail, too. They don’t care that Nikolai Soraich is a gay… they don’t care that BP’s gay, and a drunkard, to boot… they don’t care that Isidore Brittain’s gay. They don’t care that he served publicly with Feodosy Lazor and Herman Swaiko, two notorious gays. They don’t care that Pierre l’Huillier had “interesting” tastes. In fact, they grin idiotic smiles at the rolling fagorama that the upper reaches of the OCA has become. I include posturing “moralists” such as Patrick Reardon in that number… they mewl about Rowan Williams… whilst they defend Seraphim Storheim and positively beam at Raymond Velencia. Why Hilarion Kapral allowed himself to become allied to such amoral filth is beyond me. It leads to questions about morality in the current ROCOR; doesn’t he understand that? The most important upshot of it all is that the Clerical First Families have cast their lot in with Fathausen; they’ve made it clear that Hilarion Alekseyevich is nothing but their cat’s paw. If this doesn’t tell you of the rot infesting the higher levels of both the OCA and the ROCOR, nothing will. As for me, I believe that it’ll end with the konvertsy leaving us… we’re not “pure enough” for them.

Oh, by the way, before we go… at 21.30 EDT Wednesday 29 June 2011, oca.org and Stokoe still have posted NOTHING on the ROCOR “receiving” the group of rebellious nuns that JP was harbouring in DC (after all, they had NO canonical release from their bishop in Greece). I did notice that oca.org did give space earlier to vacuous nonsense concerning a “Church Growth Boot Camp” and an “Urban Summit” (hey, I didn’t make those up, it’s what the fools actually called them)… they’re posting toothless fluff, so, what’re they hiding from us?

It’s getting darker by the day, and events are getting murkier. God do help us…

Barbara-Marie Drezhlo

Wednesday 29 June 2011

Albany NY

Look at What a Seminary Assigned as Required Reading for New Arrivals (Before They Arrive, No Less)…

Filed under: Christian,Orthodox life,religious,USA — 01varvara @ 00.00

From several sources, I learned what three books that a seminary required incoming students to read and heed before their arrival (obviously, they’re of world-shattering importance, especially to the profs):

  • The Orthodox Church, Kallistos Ware
  • Scripture in Tradition, John Breck
  • For the Life of the World, Aleksandr Schmemann

No doubt, they’re going to throw a pop quiz at the poor zhlubs as soon as they arrive to see whether they read their assigned “Pravda”. Having been in university, myself, I know PRECISELY what the incoming class is going to do. The wisest ones are going to ask present students about the intellectual conceits of the profs giving the quiz (take a hint, guys, willya?)… armed with the proper intel, they’ll spit back exactly what the Solons wish to hear. The professors will preen themselves in glee… look at how RECEPTIVE these students are… look at how they appreciate TRUE KNOWLEDGE. Of course, all the students really want to do is to unpack and find out where the closest safe place to have a cold brewskie is… need I tell you that most of the incoming class is going to do what every generation of students has done? They’ll cram the required reading into the last week before coming on campus, and bullshit the pop quiz outrageously, for they know that it won’t be a biggie.

None of the “required” reading is a classic… note that none of it is by recognised home country authors. There’s no Aleksei Osipov… no St Justin Popović… no Alexander Kalomiros… just three of the dreariest and most boring Renovationist writers out there. However, don’t fear… the students will retain as much of this dreck as any previous generation of students has… they’ll learn enough to pass the test, tell the prof what he wants to hear, and promptly forget it once it’s over. Ah, the real world makes its appearance… it does make one beam, doesn’t it?

I have to smile… all that this is going to do is to inoculate the incoming class against Obnovlentsy nonsense. They’ll conclude that it’s boring BS, but they’ll give the prof what he wants… that’s what Pop said… that’s what their pastor said… that’s what their cousin Gus said. Everyone’s happy… the prof’s happy, because he thinks that he’s influenced the younger generation… the student’s happy, because he passed the course… Pop’s happy, because he didn’t waste his money… Fr Manny’s (a pseudonym, of course) happy, because it confirms that he didn’t recommend a fool to the seminary… no one’s screwed, except for the prof, and no one cares about those cloistered ivory tower sorts and their dippy fancies, anyway.

Hoist a glass and LAUGH heartily. The academics are being their clueless selves… when will they ever learn? Students will be students… thank God for that. Have a drink, and toast human nature… don’t forget WHO created it, after all. The Good Lord thinks that it’s GOOD… are you going to argue with that?

Barbara-Marie Drezhlo

Wednesday 29 June 2011

Albany NY

A View from Moscow by Valentin Zorin… The First Step

An image of the Taliban bombing of the Intercontinental Hotel in the heart of Kabul (Kabul Province) AFGHANISTAN

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US President Barack Obama announced his decision to begin withdrawing US troops from Afghanistan. After ten years, the major military operation pompously named “Enduring Freedom” by US President George W Bush concluded. At that time, Washington labelled Osama bin Laden and the Taliban movement “enemies of freedom”, and it placed them on the list of outlawed terrorist organisations. However, on the eve of President Obama’s speech in Washington, yet another piece of sensational news surfaced. US Defence Secretary Robert Gates officially confirmed that US diplomats are negotiating with Taliban representatives. At the same time, he said, they’re meeting with the Taliban without the participation of the Afghan government of Hamid Karzai. This offended Karzai, who then said something that he hadn’t dared to speak before. Mr Gates quoted him as saying, “We’re not going to thank the USA, for they’re here following their own agenda, which they wish to achieve by using our country”.

Most political commentators think that President Obama’s decision to run for a second term led to his announcement of the beginning of an early withdrawal from Afghanistan of US forces. Of course, he won’t be re-elected if he doesn’t end the war. If Obama wants to win the election in November 2012, he has to end the war, as 75 percent pf Americans disapprove of it, according to recent polls. Yet, this isn’t the most important thing. The apparent failure of “Enduring Freedom”, after ten years of trying, is only part of the total failure of American foreign policy strategy, which aimed to impose a pro-American political order in the “Third World”. The revolutionary wave that shook the Middle East and North Africa overthrew régimes nurtured and supported by Washington, those that were its core support in the region. In Egypt, Hosni Mubarak ruled for decades, but he lost power and the new order put him on trial. Zine El Abidine Ben Ali escaped his angry countrymen left by secretly fleeing Tunisia for foreign parts, absconding with part of the country’s gold reserves. Yemen, which controls the export path for Middle Eastern oil, is in political chaos, which Washington can’t contain. Massive popular unrest in Bahrain threatens Pentagon plans to create a large and strategically important airbase. Iraq continues to rumble, and suicide bombers continue to kill American soldiers. Pakistan is of particular concern to Washington, because relations with it are becoming less and less an actual partnership. US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton described the situation there as, “its government is out-of-control, and it’s dangerous”. She said that there’s a danger that rebels could overthrow the current government, and that the Taliban wants to seize the keys to the Pakistani nuclear arsenal. It wasn’t so long ago that the “democratisers” in Washington wouldn’t have dreamt that such things would occur in Pakistan, even in their worst nightmares.

These events on the banks of the Potomac bury what are, in effect, imperialist plans. In fact, by forcing a decision to begin a gradual withdrawal from Afghanistan, the US military forced everyone to recognise the insolvency and impracticability of such a scheme. However, it’s only a first step; it’s only the beginning.

29 June 2011

Valentin Zorin

Voice of Russia World Service

http://rus.ruvr.ru/2011/06/29/52540991.html

 

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