Thursday, January 19, 2012

Why Mormons Love Multi-Level Marketing: The Celestial Kingdom
It's a complicated place, this Mormon version of heaven, but what most non-Mormon's don't know about it is that men get to have more than one wife in the Celestial Kingdom. This is a pretty good deal for men who were cheated out of plural marriages by the pesky laws of the US Government not all that long ago.

Mitts Grandfather took the family to Mexico to escape those laws which is why you'll never hear Mitt tell heartwarming stories about his grandfather. It's as if Mitt has no ancestors at all. But he has his money to keep him warm (at least his money that isn't staying warm in the Cayman Islands where it's sheltered from taxes. as if taxes were much of a problem for Mitt, at 15% or less).  But he can still look forward to that big polygamous family in the sky, once he dies.

One of the strange things about that Multi-Level Celestial Kingdom Mormons believe in is it seems to breed a fondness for all kinds of multi-level marketing schemes. Some of them turn out to be semi-legit and some of them turn out to be as bogus as chain letters, but if you're a Mormon and a fellow Mormon is selling you some load of crap, you're likely to buy. Why? Because he has a Temple recommend, that's why.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Mitt's a Mormon and Mormonism Is a Great Business Plan: Food for Thought

Mormonism is a successful religion precisely because it's a business that requires total belief in a paternalistic dogma. Big Daddies are at the top. Mommies are in the kitchen popping out babies and children fall in line to do their share based on their gender. Chores are gender specific and so are rewards at home and in the Church. As it is on earth so it is in Heaven. Heaven is as hierarchical as the Church. There are in the Mormon version of heaven actual levels. And yes they do wear magic underwear and believe in Baptism for the dead. I'm fairly sure my atheist and rabidly anti-Mormon mother was, once dead, delivered unto the Lord to some inferior level of Heaven in one of the Temple back rooms by my friend's well-meaning doddering once polygamous mother in one of those mass baptisms for the dead by the good women of the Relief Society. It's confusing I know. I don't exactly know how to make it simpler. You die. They snatch your soul. That's about it. My feeling is, once I'm dead, I'm dead. I don't believe in any of that shit so I don't care what they do. But, oddly, my mother did. If you're Catholic and you die, your family probably cares a whole bunch. If souls represent gold, is this a Ponzi Scheme?

Another way to grow the tithing population of the congregation is to convert the heathens. Up until the 1970s Mormons didn't admit black folks to the Priesthood, so the darker skinned natives of the world's peoples were off limits. They loved them on the college football teams but not in the Church. That was becoming a bit of an embarrassment once the Civil Rights movement was on the front page of even the Deseret News and playing on KSL's nightly news. Even in Salt Lake you couldn't avoid seeing it, no matter how hard you tried. So finally the Big Daddy at the tippy top of the Church's hierarchy had a "Revelation" from God that the dark folk were no longer unworthy of Priesthood and should be gone after by missionaries all the lands of the earth where the dark folk live. I kid you not. It's a strange, strange, "Religion." Tithing is not optional. Neither is joblessness. Even kids tithe 10% of their allowance. Mormonism is a money maker. Money's colorblind. That was the real "revelation."

Every boy who comes of age in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints doesn't first serve his Country in the Military - not without a fight from his family and his Bishop. Oh no, he serves his Religion on a Mission first, then he goes to college. And a wealthy family like the Romneys sees this service to Church a final and fitting method of Service with a capital S (even if this service is done in France in a fancy-pants setting). It's odd to me how the men who are the biggest blood-thirsty fans of war and torture are the ones who never went to war and have sons who haven't enlisted.

I love my Mormon neighbors. They are kind neighborly people who, if I asked for the name of a good handyman would hook me up or offer to help me.  They are plugged in, in the know, and well organized. If we had an earthquake, they'd be the ones with the plan. the shelter, the supplies...  They'd probably even try to rescue me. They're that kind of people when you've lived next door to them forever even if you are a heathen and a recluse.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Happy Fiftieth Anniversary Tom

I know I'm late in writing this, but I've had to think about it. It's still incomplete.

We began our relationship fucking like bunnies. Glad I wasn't the fertile kind. We spent our fiftieth anniversary talking quietly about politics and family. I remember once in our on again/ off again relationship suggesting that if we were still together ten years later, we get married. Thank god we never did that. We probably wouldn't be half so happy to see each other now.

I've been wondering how many times I left you. Was it fifty? I got so good at it when we lived up Emigration Canyon I could bag all my possessions in minutes and leave while you were reading the paper or playing the guitar. I imagined the only sign you had I was leaving was the screech of my tires as I peeled out of the driveway.  I hadn't been diagnosed bipolar then, but I certainly was. I did try to talk to you about the things missing from our relationship that made me so desperately unhappy, but you didn't really hear me. Or if you did, you didn't seem to care.

The best thing you did for me was give me the confidence to inhabit my body, to enjoy my sexuality.

The worst thing you did was not being receptive to reading what I wrote. You once read a letter I wrote to you and your only comment was, "nice handwriting." What a condescending fuck you were. It's only now, now that you're so far away and the words are printed for everyone else to read, you read me. And yet, I was your audience...  Of course you're talented.  Of course I loved hearing you play. You are the best.  But why couldn't you read me?  The lack of reciprocation was ...  still is ...  painful.

But of course I love you.  You are more my family than any member of my "real" family every was.  I will always love you.  I will always want to see you when you're near.  Happy Anniversary Tom.