a few of the things i’m thinking about tonight

Is there anyone in the audience from Turkey? If so, I’d like to ask you a question or two about what’s going on right now in your country. Or, if we don’t have any Turks in audience (or anyone willing to humor me by pretending to be one for just a few minutes), I’d settle for a Mormon. I’m watching a movie about Joseph Smith right now and I’d love to have someone to direct my questions about temple garments and UFOs toward. And, if we don’t have any Turks or Mormons in the audience, I’d settle for someone who’s planning to read Michael Chabon’s new book, “The Yiddish Policemen’s Union.” The concept has me intrigued. How would the world be different, I wonder, if, after World War II, a Jewish homeland was established in Alaska, instead of in the Middle East? As you might be able to tell, I’m having a difficult time focusing tonight. (The chorus of the elderly singing Sonic Youth songs isn’t exactly helping matters either.)

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  1. mark
    Posted May 1, 2007 at 9:42 pm | Permalink

    (That last link, by the way, came from Eric. So, blame him if you have nightmares.)

  2. schutzman
    Posted May 1, 2007 at 11:26 pm | Permalink

    i’ll pretend to be a mormon if you need questions answered, but a turk is a bit beyond my range.

  3. muppster
    Posted May 2, 2007 at 12:14 am | Permalink

    wait, were you watching the american experience show on pbs about mormons? i watched it as i made buttons (new theme– maps! pick your michigan county, i may have made a button of it!)… very interesting– especially the temple garb.

  4. muppster
    Posted May 2, 2007 at 12:16 am | Permalink

    here’s what the basic google image search finds…

  5. muppster
    Posted May 2, 2007 at 12:19 am | Permalink

    wait, i found the ultimate source, at least for women: http://www.ldsapparel.com/ … men seem to have many fewer choices.

  6. Dirtgrain
    Posted May 2, 2007 at 8:52 am | Permalink

    I’ve tried and tried to spot one hint of the garments on my Mormon relatives. It’s been over a year, and I’ve not seen one trace of them.

    But in my quest, I’ve overcome my feelings that the garments are so ridiculous. The Mormon garments are basically Yarmulkes that cover your ass. I’m not shocked by a yarmulke, so why should I be shocked by the concept of the Mormon undergarment? I’ve pretty much stopped looking for them.

    I’ve tried to come to terms with the ridiculousness of religious symbolism, from the Eucharist to Zoroastrian burial rituals. I’m an English teacher; I should embrace symbolism. Too often, though, it just seems so hokey and simpleton as our religions employ it. The hoops that religions coerce their followers to jump through boggle the mind. But who am I to question what someone else finds meaningful? Every cult. . . er, religion, has its bizarre ways.

  7. It's Skinner Again
    Posted May 2, 2007 at 12:03 pm | Permalink

    I don’t see why more religions don’t have special underpants. It sounds like fun.

  8. dr. teddy glass
    Posted May 2, 2007 at 12:26 pm | Permalink

    This question is for Schutzman (pretending to be Mormon).

    “What is the craziest thing you believe?”

    P.S. I would much rather hear Sonic Youth reenacting the conversations of the elderly.

  9. schutzman
    Posted May 2, 2007 at 1:52 pm | Permalink

    mr. glass, if that is your name, i think you should rephrase your question.

    as a latter day saint (and, I assume that by ‘mormon’ you’re referring to the main church, and not the RLDS or any other derivative sects), there is nothing ‘crazy’ about any of my beliefs, as they are all based upon church doctrines, which were dictated by god himself through direct revelation to the prophets.

    to even suggest that any belief you, yourself hold would somehow be more authoritativly based on reality is, in itself, ‘crazy.’

  10. mark
    Posted May 2, 2007 at 11:35 pm | Permalink

    Schutzman, if you can stay in character just a bit longer, I was wondering if you could tell me about the UFOs?

  11. mark
    Posted May 2, 2007 at 11:35 pm | Permalink

    And sorry I couldn’t get that beer with you tonight. I was with my daughter at the Hands On Museum when I got your message.

  12. schutzman
    Posted May 4, 2007 at 11:41 am | Permalink

    mark, no worries about the beer, since as a latter day saint i’m not even allowed to touch the stuff.

    and whether i’m in character or out, i must clarify that i didn’t see this particular infotainment production, so i don’t really understand what they/you are referring to as ‘the UFOs’.

    you’re not saying that moroni was an alien, are you?

    I mean really, mark- the 1970s just called, and Von Daniken wants his Chariots of the Gods back.

  13. It's Skinner Again
    Posted May 4, 2007 at 1:14 pm | Permalink

    I think most of the Mormon/UFO stories are tied to the planet Kolob, said to be near the throne of God in some Mormon writings.

    And, Mr. Schutzman, I just googled “Mormon” and “UFO,” and got 300,000 hits. Obviously, there’s some active folklore out there; Mark didn’t make it up.

    However, the ’80s do want Sonic Youth back.

  14. schutzman
    Posted May 4, 2007 at 2:10 pm | Permalink

    so, skinner, are you suggesting that mark’s only asking me this because the limit of his research skills involves watching television documentaries, and even a simple google search is too much for him to bother with?

    based upon my reading, which includes all of the mormon religious texts themselves, the only thing that I can think of which ‘gentiles’ might construe as UFOlogy (beyond moroni’s appearances and the mysterious technological nature of the urim and thummin) is the business of the mormon afterlife, in which they themselves are elevated to the status of angels (and eventually gods), and each family is charged with the populating of their own planet.

    I don’t personally see anything too unusual about that, either as a fake latter day saint or a real subgenius minister.

    What IS unusual are all the other religions that think you’ll just spend eternity strumming a harp at the foot of god’s throne, being lovingly patted upon the head by him forever.

    Now THAT is crazy.

  15. It's Skinner Again
    Posted May 4, 2007 at 2:44 pm | Permalink

    Mr. Schutzman — in answer to your first question, yes.

    Kolob is discussed in “The Book of Abraham” (in “The Pearl of Great Price”). There seems to be a wealth of Mormon/UFO folklore afloat, even if it’s not doctrine (UFO sightings in Utah, conflating Nephites and MIBs, etc.)

    As one of the elect, you know the secret — that this world IS the afterlife. Angels who have been good, and suffered God’s condescending headpats, and listened to all that harp music without whining, get to come here when they die. Here they can pig out on burritos and beer, enjoy serial monogamy, stay up late blogging, and listen to Duke Ellington CDs.

  16. schutzman
    Posted May 4, 2007 at 3:22 pm | Permalink

    mr. skinner, in reply to your answer to my first question- Do you think he is, possibly, functionally illiterate? Text-to-speech and voice recognition software could easily be the methods by which he’s managed to maintain the blog this long, or so I have often suspected.

    as for the other business, this world isn’t the end of that chain, because otherwise why ‘on earth’ would the saints be bothering with all the post-mortem baptisms?

  17. It's Skinner Again
    Posted May 4, 2007 at 6:12 pm | Permalink

    Voice recognition software would explain many things, especially some of Mark’s spelling.

    Chains can always be extended with more links; besides, theology isn’t supposed to make sense.

  18. egpenet
    Posted May 4, 2007 at 8:31 pm | Permalink

    reading Shutzman in and out of character during this thread … I was reminded to tell him and everyone else that the crematorium on Michigan Avenue was absolutely belching forth black soot the other night that I ran to Korgers … seems they wait until dusk to shower the city with the remanants of our pets and relations.

    Excuse me, while I light up …

  19. Ol' E Cross
    Posted May 9, 2007 at 9:08 am | Permalink

    Silly Mormons. Everyone knows Ypsipanties are the only undergarment with mystical powers. You were right Mark! I followed your instruction and change mine seven times a day and never wear the same pair more than twice. Now, not only is Devil Itch that was trying to invade my soul through my Heaven Hole gone, the Chaffing Angel’s constant presence has completely alleviated my desire to fornicate! Worth every penny.

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