Blog Genre: Fundamentalist propaganda masquerading as sound life advice
The average Matt Walsh viral blog post has a title like "My wife is not the same person I married" or "Dear single dudes, it's time to man up." On the surface, these pieces feel like the sort of relationship navel gazing that the Internet loves so very much. What does love mean in this day and age? What do relationships mean in this day and age? What does it all mean in this day and age? There is nothing wrong with this sort of saccharine advice column meets personal essay style of writing. Before the Internet, we turned to GQ and Cosmo for this advice and now we get it from blogs. The problem is where Walsh takes it from there.
Walsh alternates his feel good pieces with posts entitled "We can't end 'rape culture' if we don't end hook-up culture" (his quotes, most certainly not mine) and "5 reasons why abortion never empowers women." These articles offer lines like "... now we're calling something rape if it doesn't have the appropriate level of enthusiasm?" and "Most women get abortions because they feel powerLESS" (his emphasis, most certainly not mine.)
What makes this style of writing more destructive than the vitriol on The Blaze or The National Review is that Walsh's work is designed to allow the sharer to maintain a defensive posture. As you read through his posts, you can already see your friend from high school retorting "Matt Walsh is just a chill guy speaking from the heart so we shouldn't have to defend his ideology, even when it offends other people."
Walsh's website biography states, "Matt spends hours writing and working on the absolute truths you love to read and share. This blog is his primary source of income for him and his family." With language like this and personal posts like "My wife is not the same person I married," Walsh is forcing distance between himself, and say, a staff writer at Slate (who may also support a family with their wages). He is sending vitriolic wads of flotsam and jetsam out across the Internet and when someone seeks to hurl them back at him, he gets to take every criticism personally because, however humblebraggy he is trying to sound, he's dead serious when he says these are his absolute truths. As he writes in his piece on rape culture, "I don't mock or deride anyone who urges men (and women) to 'get consent,' (Again with these unwarranted quotation marks; take it easy or you'll surpass your lifetime quota) but many of them would mock and deride me for urging people to have sex only with the one they love." No one's mocking your urging, bro. We resent the neo-con bile you're sending along as a side dish.
Matt Walsh's posts are designed to be shared but not interrogated, shoved down our throats without protest, viewed apart from the ecosystem they are so obviously speaking to, like an artifact stored in a glass casing. Just like I did when pastors of my youth fed me brownies and fruit punch while telling my gay friends were going to Hell, I'll pass on the lecture and go make-out with a cute choir girl in the church basement. Matt Walsh's Heaven sounds pretty shitty anyway.