Inhuman Swill : Mormonism : Page 8

Doing time with Ron Kuby

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Listen for me today on a radio near you!

I'll be a guest this afternoon on "Doing Time with Ron Kuby" on the Air America radio network. We'll talk about my memoir, The Accidental Terrorist, and about the new podcast in which I'm serializing it. Again.

That's today—Tuesday, April 14th—at 5:00 pm Eastern. I hope you'll tune in.

To find your local Air America station, or to listen to the live online audio stream, please visit:

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I have my breakfast stop to thank for another little gem this morning. The 31-year-old father at the booth next to mine (I know his age because it came up in his conversation) was summarizing news stories from the Sun-Times for his two young daughters, and I was listening in with half an ear over my eggs and coffee as I read Then We Came to the End.

Both my ears perked up when he mentioned Brigham Young University. You may have seen this A.P. story already:

Apostles, not apostates: BYU paper's ungodly typo
Thousands of issues of Brigham Young University's student newspaper were pulled from newsstands because a front-page photo caption misidentified leaders of the Mormon church as apostates instead of apostles....

The caption called the group the "Quorum of the Twelve Apostates." The mistake happened when a copy editor ran a computer spell check and apostate was suggested as the replacement for a misspelling of apostle....  [full article]

I almost sprayed coffee all over my book as the father transmitted the gist of the story. After he had explained the meaning of "apostate," one of the girls asked, "Did someone do it on purpose?"

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Memoir-go-round

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The Accidental Terrorist
In 2006 and 2007, over the course of about 30 episodes of my "ShunnCast," I read my unpublished memoir The Accidental Terrorist, the story of how I, as a young naive Mormon missionary, came to be arrested for terrorism and permanently banned from Canada. The response was enthusiastic and overwhelming. Each chapter was downloaded thousands of times, and the memoir continues to be a great draw at my website. If you've listened before, I thank you for your support.

Now I'm serializing the book again, from the beginning. Why? As popular as those episodes were, the sometimes lengthy bracketing chatter about other aspects of my life and work made it impossible for listeners after the fact to sit back with every chapter and listen to the book straight through from start to finish.

This new podcast will change that. Starting April 7th and continuing throughout 2009, I'll post a new chapter from The Accidental Terrorist every Tuesday morning. Most of these will be excerpted from the original "ShunnCast" episodes, but a handful in which I've made significant revisions since the first podcasts will be newly rerecorded.

Most Friday mornings, I'll post a short "Setting the Record Straight" installment, also excerpted from the original episodes, in which I'll talk about what elements of Tuesday's chapter may have been slightly exaggerated in the writing of the book, and which others hew close to reality.

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Attacks on gays = a tax on Mormons

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I don't know about you, but I am incensed about the LDS Church's over-the-pulpit exhortation of its members to mobilize and help pass California's Proposition 8, banning gay marriage. When I first heard about it, in fact, my first reaction was, "Damn, they need to have their tax-exempt status revoked."

Now you can help urge the IRS to make that happen. Here are all the instructions and supporting documents you need in order to:

File a Complaint Asking the IRS to Revoke the LDS Church's Tax-Exempt Status

If the Church is going to jump into the political arena (yes, okay, they've never not been a player in the political arena) and try to legislate a segment of our population out of their legal rights, then it's only fair that they as a corporation should share this country's tax burden. They pulled this same kind of nonsense 30 years ago to help defeat the Equal Rights Amendment,* and who knows what they'll try next if their actions are left legally unchallenged?

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ShunnCast #53

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[info]
Epidode #53 of "ShunnCast" is now available, in which Bill combs through the dusty vaults of his cassette collection to unearth a musical gem from his missionary days that might more profitably have remained buried—"The Wenatchee Rap" by No Parking Zone.

http://www.shunn.net/podcast?id=53

See also shunncast.

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New sensation

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This just in. New agent loves new draft of Accidental Terrorist. "I've just read the additions/revisions and I have to admit I am elated.... [Y]ou've completely rounded out the long, strange adventure and added a whole new depth to the tale."

This puppy's on its way to editors again. Thank fucking Elohim.

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ShunnCast #52

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[info]
Epidode #52 of "ShunnCast" is now available, in which Bill reads a restored and revised chapter from the brand-new draft of his memoir The Accidental Terrorist.

http://www.shunn.net/podcast?id=52

See also shunncast.

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Accidental draft

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I have finished the new draft of The Accidental Terrorist and sent it off to my new agent for comments.

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ShunnCast #51

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[info]
Epidode #51 of "ShunnCast" is now available, in which Donald William Shunn II remembers the original model (1936-2008).

http://www.shunn.net/podcast?id=51

See also shunncast.

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Donald William Shunn
My deepest thanks to everyone who posted or called or sent cards on the occasion of my father's passing. (Well, to everyone but the ones who tried to use the opportunity to reassure me of the reality of the afterlife. Bad time to make your dubious point.) The sympathy and concern were very touching and very much appreciated.

Laura and I returned Saturday from the funeral, which was held in Kaysville, Utah, the town where my parents have lived for 28 years. The funeral was a curiously joyful affair for the family, though punctuated of course by bouts of deep grief. My mother seemed to be doing better than just about anyone else, as if the burden of my father's long illness had at last been lifted. Relatives—and I have a lot—and friends came from far and wide, and many, many folks from the ward where I grew up dropped in for the viewing and/or service as well.

It was hard to walk from one end of the church to the other without being delayed an hour by people wanting to talk. I enjoyed seeing everyone and catching up, but this was also unfortunate in that it prevented me from getting to the men's room before the funeral service began. As a pallbearer, I didn't have a chance to slip away at the end of the service, either. So it was off to the cemetery in a limo for the interment and then back to the church, before sweet relief could be obtained. A short four hours.

My two brothers, Tim and Lee, spoke at the funeral, as did a former bishop who is a close friend of the family. My brothers' remarks were excellent, though I frequently found myself wishing I'd known the person they were talking about better. My brothers are Siblings Five and Six, which means they grew up in a different Family Era from the four oldest, and very different from My Era, the Epoch of the Firstborn.

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The Accidental Terrorist 30th Anniversary Sale

Signed editions
that even a
missionary
could afford.

Order yours now!

William Shunn

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