Monday, January 30, 2012

Ghosts of Ensigns past: July 1971

Welcome to part two of my probably-ongoing series wherein I riff on, comment about, and sometimes poke fun at old issues of the Ensign. Last time I highlighted the first issue of the brand new Ensign, boldy sent forth from heaven to replace the Improvement Era, Relief Society Magazine, and other proto-modern LDS publications. Today we'll fast forward a few months. Summer's heating up and we're headed to July 1971.


Friday, January 27, 2012

Mister President

Okay, so if you haven't been paying attention there's a presidential election beginning to heat up. We're midway through the Republican primaries, in which the remaining candidates compete to see which can compare himself most favorably to Ronald Reagan. The eventual winner will take on President Obama and...look, you know how that's gonna go, and I'm sure we'll post more about that in the future. So let's step back and think about what we want in a president, with a little help from Hollywood.

First, I want a president who's a diplomat. Someone willing to reach out and talk with our enemies, who believes that talk makes us strong, not weak.


Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Out of Many, Too Many

WARNING: RATED P FOR POLITICAL CONTENT.

I might have done this research in the heat of my anti-SOPA rage, but as Wikipedia was in the middle of a protest/blackout, I’ve given myself a few days to think about how to best approach this topic.

I’ve noticed recently that on the original seal of the United States, you will not find our current slogan, “In God We Trust,” but our first motto, “E Pluribus Unum.” I’ve been thinking about the difference between these two mottos and the significance each carries.

The original was never signed into law as our official motto, because in 1776, Congress had a lot more important things to do. No, the motto was de facto - or more colloquially, officially unofficial. The Latin phrase means, “out of many, one” and I think carries a heavy promise of truly united strength and faith in this once-great nation.

The later-adopted English motto was signed into law in 1956, undoubtedly because no one had anything better to do in Congress than change things with deeper meaning into crappier things with less meaning for fewer people.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

SOPA is not soup

Maybe today I should be avoiding Internet use because of the blackouts, and show my support for Wikipedia, but I’m in the mood for a little good old-fashioned Internet advocacy.



SOPA will do more harm to the American people and our economic state (which is frail at best) than any other legislation that has come to my attention since I realized legislation was a thing. SOPA will take down this blog for our use of outside sources, videos and pictures. SOPA will shut down businesses. This isn’t about stopping piracy, this is about changing the way that I live my life. I know I’m not the only one who depends on the Internet in some way. Thanks to the Internet, I’ve found apartments to live in and I’ve reconnected with friends from all throughout my life. I’ve found furniture and information on cars. I’ve learned loads from articles on Wikipedia. I’ve benefited in almost every way possible. Even my husband has the free Internet markets to thank for his paycheck every other week.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Ghosts of Ensigns past: January 1971 Edition

A few weeks back I decided that if I didn't feel like paying particular attention to a talk or lesson at church, I might as well try to make my backup activity - playing on my phone - some kind of spiritually uplifting experience. Luckily, through the LDS Gospel Library app the Church has been considerate enough to provide me with enough material to last a lifetime of three-hour blocks. So I turned to the Ensign. But the modern, professional, shiny ones delivered to most LDS homes each month? The one that guys desperately skim when they realize they've scheduled home teaching in twenty minutes? Well, it's okay, but.... meh. I mean, it's doing the best it can, what with the uplifting stories and happy multiracial stock photos and (zzzzz *snore* zzzzzzz........)

Pictured: Uplifting

So anyway, to the past I turned, to the early years of the Ensign. The Embryonic Ensign, flagship publication of a newly correlated church. Similar doctrines, familiar themes, and enough curveballs to be interesting. And with that I resolved to begin a blogging journey of self-discovery and sarcasm, in what could become a recurring series if I feel it's worthwhile. So put on your Time Goggles, trim those sideburns, and if you see your parents avoid eye contact as we travel back to January, 1971.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

I'm Gendered and I Know It

I've been thinking about gender (...ladies). The catalyst, as it often is, was a novelty music video by a band named after internet shorthand for "laughing heartily". Setting aside the danger of LMFAO's video making me abandon my heterosexuality, I think it's best to structure my musings as a thought experiment.


Consult Your HR Department for Safe-For-Workness

Imagine a world where gender roles were completely reversed - we've now entered a twilight dimension where female privilege is taken for granted, where the Great Women of history are venerated and academics have only within the last half century began any systematic study of Men's issues and history. Of course, some polemicists derisively wonder why this small cadre of "Masculinis" hate women so much. I mean, they want men - grown family men who belong in the home with the children - to serve in the military, for goodness sake. What's next, co-ed bathrooms?