Sunday, September 4, 2011

Living in Utah

Utah is the Reddest State in the Nation. We are more like the South than the South in our conservatism, but less like it in our inclusiveness. Utah goes out of its way to encourage immigrants to come from far flung places and take low wage jobs if they'll agree to join the Mormon Church. That's what Mormon Missionaries are all about—bringing in the sheep so they can tithe and work for the Church in it's many "non-profit" ventures.

Utah is orderly. It's orderly and clean. It's also spectacularly rich in natural beauty and opportunities for sports. Visitors often remark on Utah's cleanliness. Utah towns and cities have wide streets laid out in orderly grids that are clean and almost sparkly. Get on a plane to fly to Utah and you'll be struck by the number of pretty blonds traveling with blond children with straight white teeth returning home from one of the many Disney locations or some other very wholesome family-friendly vacation destination. They'll all be tan and remarkably well behaved. But you'll be shocked by how much they'll all resemble the perfect family in an ad for a cosmetic dentist or Mitt or Jon's vision of the perfect American Future if either of them wins the Presidential Jackpot.

I have no voice in the larger political landscape of Utah politics. My vote has never counted in a Presidential election if I cast it in Utah, though this has never stopped me from voting. I feel like an exile living here. I'm profoundly alienated from the larger culture here. So much so that I don't take the paper, don't watch local news, don't pay too much attention to what Utah's idiot Senators and Representatives do. I used to follow the careers of Orrin Hatch and Bob Bennett because I knew them from the time they were both on the City Council.  I became a night supervisor at the Central City Community Center after Bennett's police goons kept getting their squad cars bombed in their attempt to "police" the center failed. I was never once menaced nor was there ever violence while I was on duty. God what victory that was! Take that Bob! I used to do Orrin's make up for local interviews. I always wondered how such a womanly man managed to avoid scandal all these years in Washington. I'm still waiting for something to undo him besides the Tea Party. But it is the Tea Party that's made Utah politics unbearable for me to continue following. It's just too awful now.

My neighborhood is all that saves my sanity or what's left of it. I live in one of the best little enclaves in downtown Salt Lake City.  More on that in another post.