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.

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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Mormons in the news


Here are a couple of fun little squibs from page 8 of this week's The Week:

Bad week for... Mitt Romney, after the presidential candidate alienated an audience of Cuban Americans in Miami by quoting, in stumbling Spanish, the Communist slogan "Fatherland or death. We shall overcome!" Romney apparently didn't realize that the slogan has been used for decades by Fidel Castro to salute Cuba's revolution.
Only in America Utah state officials have ordered motorist Glenn Eurick to remove the vanity license plate "merlot" from his car, after discovering that Merlot is a type of wine. State law prohibits the names of "intoxicants" on license plates, but Eurick, who has had the plate for 10 years, said most people in the largely Mormon state were puzzled, not offended, by it. "People usually ask us what the words means," he said.
Utah, I drink to your health.
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Nocturnal mission


My essay "The Missionary Imposition," from Sybil's Garage #2, has just gotten a spiffy new treatment at the hands of Matthew Kressel. Thanks, Matt!

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ShunnCast #40


Epidode #40 of "ShunnCast" is now available, in which Bill faces sentencing at the hands of a philosophical judge, while Joseph Smith faces martyrdom at the hands of an angry mob. Special cameo appearance by the guy who blows up planes!

See also shunncast.

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ShunnCast #39


Epidode #39 of "ShunnCast" is now available, in which Bill faces a bail magistrate, finds himself compelled repeatedly to pantomime his strip search, and contemplates the deep philosophical question of whether or not God protects missionaries. Special "existential dread" episode!

See also [info]shunncast.

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Bad news for Starbuck's


From the New York section of this morning's Sun:

Mormons Make Inroads on Upper East Side

I'm just thinking of all the poor coffee vendors on the Upper East. How many of them do you think stock Postum?

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ShunnCast #38


Epidode #38 of "ShunnCast" is now available, in which Bill gets booked into Calgary's big downtown jail, encounters hardened criminals and guards, revises his opinion of both, and begins questioning some of his life's basic assumptions. Longest episode yet! (As if that's any reason for pride.)

See also [info]shunncast.

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I suppose I've arrived, in an unfortunate kind of way, when my web site is quoted liberally by a Christian evangelical to support his anti–Mitt Romney, anti-Mormon ravings.

Okay, I suppose he makes some good points (by implication) about Mormon devotion to a "higher cause" and so forth, but I honestly think you could make the same argument about George W. Bush and the "higher father" to which he claims to answer. The question seems to be less about whether Romney (who has not to my knowledge made public statements to this effect, unlike Dubya) would put his religious beliefs above the Constitution than about whether or not the commentator agrees with those beliefs.

I don't want to see Romney elected, but frankly I'd rather have him in office than Bush. And I get so tired of people arguing that Mormons are not Christians, or that they're "anti-Christ." I don't agree with Mormonism, but that's language that's designed only to sow hatred, no matter how deeply it's couched in terms of helping those poor benighted Mormons "who are on the road to hell." Take your hate speech and leave me out of it.

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ShunnCast #36


Epidode #36 of "ShunnCast" is now available, in which Bill, rather than beating a hasty and prudent retreat, takes more bad advice from the same wrong people and runs afoul of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police. Will the Mounties get their man? Snarkily recorded in stunning Rhinoviraphonic sound!

See also [info]shunncast.

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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!