Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Casual Twitter Racism

I’m just going to start this post out with a jpg that will make my sentiments regarding this entire problem clear:

I know, professor. I know.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

The Future is Imminent, but it Might be Running Late


I'm sure you've heard recently about current events being read as Signs of the End Times, fueling apocalyptic religious fervor about the imminent destruction of the world. You might even have noticed that this kind of thing's been happening for a long time. In fact the End of the World tends to be a popular theme for some conservative premillennial Christians, and yes, a number of Mormons. On this blog Brett and I have already discussed whether the state of the world is bad enough to justify thinking that we're rocketing towards hell (spoiler alert: no), but lately I've been thinking the idea of Imminence  itself - what the word means and how it affects behavior and belief.

For most people, "imminent" is synonymous with "almost" or "very soon." So if your great aunt's arrival is imminent, you know to hide in your room to avoid pinched cheeks and sloppy kisses. But the word has another meaning that can have significant theological implications. "Imminent" actually  derives from Latin for "to lean over" or "to overhang" -- think of a Sword of Damocles dangling above, or an old dam threatening to burst. An imminent event may well happen soon, but more importantly, you're very, very aware that it's coming.

Friday, March 23, 2012

Expert Textpert contributor Allan Davis on Mormon Matters

Expert Textperts writer Allan Davis is on the latest Mormon Matters "Matters of the Heart" podcast to discuss ideas introduced in his recent post "On Masturbatory Rage." The podcast is an excellent reading of an equally interesting essay. Our blog name is a just a catchy-sounding throwaway reference to an obscure Beatles lyric, but if any contributor deserves the title of Expert Textpert, it is Allan, who is one of the most thoughtful, intelligent, and spiritual individuals I know. Whether you're in the midst of a faith transition or satisfied with your current place in the church -- or any other group you identify with -- the ideas in the podcast can provide greater perspective and understanding in how you interact with others. It has inspired me to try and think more carefully about what I write and say, and hopefully it does the same for you. Any comments about the podcast or your take on its ideas are welcome.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Jon McNaughton--the (Unintentional) Satirist

I'm a fan of fine political satire, so it goes without saying that Jon McNaughton would be one of my all-time favorite liberal artists. His cutting wit--expressed through intentionally overwrought Colbert-esque ultra-Conservative images--are absolutely hilarious, especially when targeting his favorite punching bag, the religious right.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Liberty is Too Blind to Defend Herself : A Report on the Utah State House of Representatives

I realized, just after posting, that I have thoughtlessly conflated Lady Liberty with Justice, who is in fact the blind one. So...umm...just go with it.

Many of you are probably aware of the bill recently passed by the Utah State House of Representatives, HB-363, which prohibits schools from teaching about contraception, homosexuality, and other things deemed immoral and icky. Yes, it seems that soon (by law) abstinence will be the only way to go, although a generous provision in the bil allows schools to opt out of sexual education altogether if they choose, leaving parents free to teach their kids the nuances of human sexuality as I'm sure they're already doing anyway. The bill has sparked some outrage amongst deviants, liberals, and socialists, but the controversy hides the state government's many other legislative achievements, which have been sadly overlooked. In the interest of righting the wrong, I present the abridged highlights of other recent Utah State House of Representatives action:

Pictured: the UN. Like the Utah Stage Legislature, but less relevant and (literally) more colorful.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

The Exultation and Paradoxes of Sports Fandom


There are some things in this world that I love without reservation: My wife, the doctrine of a loving God,  sunny days, and a few other things. Of all the things I love, however, there is one that inspires the most heated emotions, near-neurotic analysis, and constant consumption: sports.

Playing sports is great, although my sedentary lifestyle and middling athleticism mean I don't do it nearly enough. But watching sports and following teams, that's a minor obsession. And I'm not alone in this mania - there are hundreds of millions who are just as bad, whatever their preferred sport. Plus, modern communication has made it easier and more convenient than ever. We are living in the age of the fan.

What has two outstretched arms and enough money to afford season tickets that cost more than the annual income of half the world? THIS GUY!

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

BAM! Elder Holland

So, I have a confession to make: I love General Conference. I know, I know, that kind of goes against my self-given reputation as an angry old man. And you know what? That shows depth of character, folks.

I believe this sums it up quite well.

Monday, March 5, 2012

Being a Lady: Self-Respect or Anti-Feminist?

Being an obsessive addict of Pinterest (like most women these days, especially Mormons I think), I have come across some wonderful crafts, recipes, decorations, and quotes. Among them was this one:

Oh man, just look at that misogynistic prick on the floor.

It has a very odd comment thread. My study in “lady-like” is as follows, through the eyes of pinners.
What I like about this quote isnt that it is saying women are being "a lady" for men or that she is doing it for approval...or that woman are responsible for men being gentleman. From a systemic approach, it is simply saying that as women act and respond to dignity and respect, then men may feel challenged to treat women with dignity and respect. I really like the idea and concept of the challenge to both genders.
See! It’s a challenge to ourselves, men and women, to be our best selves, right?
I disagree, I think what gets women into trouble is the belief that they need male approval. I think to suggest that women are responsible for the way men behave is as degrading and belittling to men-who are responsible for their own behavior-as it is women.