Unless you've been on a desert island, avoiding the Catholic blogosphere, Catholic press and the noticeboard in your parish, you probably know that Michael Voris, coiffed, t-shirted-and-suit-jacketed presenter of Real Catholic TV and scourge of cafeteria Catholics, will be speaking at the Regent Hall, 275 Oxford Street, London W1C 2DJ, this coming Wednesday 24th August at 7pm.
I'm not sure how I feel about Michael Voris: so often he's spot-on, eviscerating liturgical flab and sniping at heresy. He's very entertaining and is, on the whole, a force for good. Sometimes, though, he appears to be on a different planet: for example, can anyone explain to me what he means when he says that most American Catholics dress like protestants?
Then there's the hair. I only mention it because it's a stumbling block to getting people out to see him. I think there are huge cultural differences between the UK and US in terms of presentation, regarding what's acceptable and what's, well, a bit too wacky. On the plus side, Voris's Vortex episodes are fresh, vigorous and in-your-face in a way that we don't often get in the UK, particularly from religious broadcasting. Think "Thought for the day"! Pfffft! But I think we British are naturally wary of slick presentation: it's more often associated with selling used cars than exposing heterodoxy. So the hair (sorry to dwell on it, but I'm wary of trusting any man who clearly spends much longer on his hair than I do on mine), the "hey guys!" showman-slickness - it all puts people off. The showbiz presentation certainly put off several people whom I've invited to come this week which is a real shame.
Still I'll be there: I want to hear what Michael V has to say in person. Is he as abrasive live as he is on screen? Perhaps he's a big softie when not surrounded by rabid liberals and the evening will be a cozy chat. Maybe, but I doubt it. Besides, it's possible that some of his favourite target-types may come out to
Tickets are still available to buy (or reserve) online from Smeaton's Corner.
Oh, and make sure you don't dress like a protestant...