Vacation disasters

            

William Shunn vacations in Canada
An occasional nightmare of mine, in Simpsovision:

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Pinheading our hopes

            

People spend so much time and effort agonizing over things that are imaginary. Yes, it happens with Star Wars and the Marvel universe too, not just with religious topics, but at least Star Wars fans know Star Wars is made up. I think.

Man, what if all the brainpower we waste on this stuff were devoted to world peace instead, or to developing clean, renewable fuels. Too bad we didn't evolve to agonize over questions like those until they're solved.

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Via Laura:

My father used to teach me, in soberest earnestness, a version of the supposed prophecy discussed in this Salt Lake Tribune article:

It's Mormon lore, a story passed along by some old-timers about the importance of their faith and their country.

In the latter days, the story goes, the U.S. Constitution will hang by a thread and a Mormon will ride in on a metaphorical white horse to save it. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints says it does not accept the legend—commonly referred to as the "White Horse Prophecy"—as doctrine....

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ShunnCast #47

            

Epidode #47 of "ShunnCast" is now available, in which Bill reflects on sex and the modern Mormon missionary, with illustrations from his own post-Canada mission service. Live from Balticon, more or less!

http://www.shunn.net/podcast?id=47

See also [info]shunncast.

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Mormons on pseudoephedrine

            

Dooce has a terrific little audio snippet of a Utah traffic reporter who unintentionally reveals her religious affiliation on the air:

Only in Utah

Good thing she wasn't flying the chopper! And shouldn't cold medicine be against the Word of Wisdom?

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Tearing off the "ex-Mormon" label

            

In answer to a question about how one ever sheds the "ex-Mormon" label, or if it's even possible, I posted the following, in part, over at the exmormon.org discussion boards, and thought it bore repeating:

As for shedding that ex-Mormon identity ... I try to, in some ways, but it's hard. I don't want to define myself in negative terms, in terms of what I'm not, but rather in terms of what I am: liberal, atheist, SF writer, husband, scotch connoisseur, what have you. But my Mo past is still a part of me, and always will be. I don't get as angry about the church as I used to, and consequently I feel like it has less power over me, which is a good thing. When I talk or write about the church now, I can take a more analytical view, rather than just unloading with both barrels of my righteous rage. Man, it's exhausting to be so angry all the time, and I find so much more balance now. I can write about the church now with both fun and serious intent, like in my story "Not of This Fold," but feel like I'm using that story to say something about the way humans are in general, rather than having it be specifically the way the Mormon Church screws people up and how pissed off that makes me. If that makes any sense.

So while I *am* an ex-Mormon, that's no longer how I define myself. Or at the very least, it's far from the only or most important ways I define myself.

Some of you will recall the moaning I've done here over the years about the latest flame from some rabid TBM, but since taking down the most incendiary of my Mormonism pages that really doesn't happen any more. Which is fine with me.

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Mope Boyd

            

God, I wish I had seen this on The Colbert Report. Maybe I or someone else can track down the clip on YouTube.

(In the ex-Mormon online world, Mormon apostle Boyd K. Packer is commonly referred to as Boyd KKK Packer because of his extreme fundamentalism and his stated desire to have church history whitewashed.)


Update:  Here's the video. Thanks, Brian!

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ShunnCast #42

            

Epidode #42 of "ShunnCast" is now available, in which Bill attempts to tie off a few last dangling threads and bring the whole enterprise to a poignant yet thematically satisfying conclusion.

http://www.shunn.net/podcast?id=42

See also [info]shunncast.

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ShunnCast #41

            

Epidode #41 of "ShunnCast" is now available, in which Bill, after only a brief taste of freedom, is told to sit down, shut up, take the money, get on the plane, and pretend the past week never happened.

http://www.shunn.net/podcast?id=41

See also [info]shunncast.

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Hitler's game

            

A.R. Yngve writes to tell me that a rather infamous 1987 essay about Ender's Game, "Ender and Hitler: Sympathy for the Superman" by Elaine Radford, is now available online.

Ms. Radford makes interesting points, but I have to say I'm not entirely convinced by her argument that Ender is modeled on Hitler. I won't rehash the reasons why here, but I've commented in the past on my own conviction that Ender springs from some of Mormonism's basic myths. I think the correspondences to Hitler's life are probably coincidental.

Still, if you're at all interested in the controversy that continues to rage periodically around Ender's Game, you ought to read Radford's essay.

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The Accidental Terrorist 30th Anniversary Sale

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About the Book

What happens when an ambivalent young Mormon missionary is pushed to the limit in a challenge to prove his faith? Hint: the outcome is explosive. The Accidental Terrorist is the long-awaited memoir from Hugo and Nebula Award–nominated author William Shunn, based on his popular podcast. Available now from Sinister Regard!