Wednesday, April 27, 2011

LDS Church Pans The Book Of Mormon

To: Abbottsville Stake
From: Mitchell Knightly, President of the Abbottsville Stake
Subject: Church Headquarters requested I forward the following:

Statement From An Official Spokesperson of

Reviews of "The Book of Mormon" musical have been all over the entertainment media in the past few weeks. According to the reviews, the play sketches the journey of two Mormon missionaries from their sheltered life in Salt Lake City to Uganda, where their training and experience proves wholly inadequate to the realities of a continent plagued by poverty, hunger, AIDS, genital mutilation and other horrors.

A few misguided members of THE CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST OF LATTER-DAY SAINTS who have seen the musical and blogged about it seem to have gone out of their way to be good sports, to show they can take it, and to not appear thin skinned, defensive, self important, or mean spirited. Some even claim to have enjoyed the show. That's their choice. To each his own. There's always room for different perspectives, even those of warped, immoral, cowardly hypocrites who have too much time on their hands, but still call themselves members of THE CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST OF LATTER-DAY SAINTS.

As for me, I'm not buying what I'm reading in the reviews. Specifically, I'm not willing to spend $200 for a ticket to be sold the idea that THE CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST OF LATTER-DAY SAINTS moves along oblivious to real-world problems, encased in a dense, self-righteous, uninformed fog.

Somewhere I read that the show's creators spent seven years writing and producing "The Book of Mormon" musical. As I reflected on all that time spent on such a shallow and unimpressive pursuit, I also wondered what was really going on with the THE CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST OF LATTER-DAY SAINTS in Africa during those same seven years.

So I checked.

  • The sister missionaries have helped to eliminate poverty by teaching thousands of African women to tie quilts and sew denim jumpers.
  • The elders have combated hunger by introducing millions of Africans to the amazing shelf life of Jell-O.
  • Then, of course, there is the tragedy of AIDS. A couple of weeks ago I sat next to a guy at my ward potluck who went to Africa in 1984 and saw a bunch of people with AIDS and described it as "horrific." The guy, a Mormon, knows all about AIDS, and that it is "horrific."
  • I couldn't find anything on the genital mutilation and other horrors.
Meanwhile, what of those thousands of remarkable Mormon missionaries who opted to serve while their selfish peers were finishing their educations, having too much fun, and writing hit musicals? Last week I spoke with BYU sophomore Carl Madsen, who recently returned from the Uganda Kampala Mission.

"I have African flags all over my dorm room," said Madsen. "And I get super-excited now when I go to the zoo."
Intent on spreading the truth about THE CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST OF LATTER-DAY SAINTS, the talented young Madsen has composed an opera based on his experience in Africa.
"The musical score is way complex," he explained. "But the libido is really uplifting, and the chorus line of singing giraffes are a total show stopper."
The production is set to premiere next month in the de Jong Concert Hall.

Frankly, I am surprised that so many critics claim to have liked the "Book of Mormon" musical. I hated it -- and I haven't even seen it!

Fortunately there are a few sane voices who panned the show: The Wall Street Journal, a Jewish guy named Levi, and a certain prominent New Yorker:

"I always said the worst musical was 'Frankenstein -- It's Alive! It's Alive!!!' Guess what? 'Frankenstein' goes to second place. 'The Book of Mormon' is the worst musical ever. In the history of  Broadway, 'The Book of Mormon' is number one." 

As a humble member of THE CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST OF LATTER-DAY SAINTS I urge my fellow church members to ignore our persecutors, take solace in the words of the precious few who know of our good works, and by all means do not go see the "Book of Mormon" musical.
"I am the un-ordained Mormon prophet!" 

If you would like to stop receiving these emails, we'll assume you're one of those thin-skinned, defensive, self-important, mean spirited members who's always choosing to be offended.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

The Book Of Mormon Is True!

To: Abbottsville Fourth Ward
From: Donna Banta
Subject: I witnessed the Book of Mormon!

Way back in January a group of Post-Mormons I met on Facebook decided to see The Book of Mormon on Broadway. Mark and I figured why not join them? After all, those South Park guys write pretty good stuff. It was a safe bet they'd deliver again. But even if the show turned out to be a dog we'd still enjoy it. (It couldn't be any worse than the work it was based on.)

So I, along with several others, sent checks to a woman we'd never met, who had charged tickets to her credit card for people she had never met. Meanwhile, David, a NYC resident, made reservations at two different restaurants for large parties of people he had never met. (But none of us worried because everyone was Ex-Mormon!)

Then on March 24 I opened up my New York Times and read this rave review by Ben Brantley.

Immediately I was gripped by a dread that worsened as the days progressed. Did we really have tickets to The Book of Mormon? What if something went wrong? Like we missed the plane, or the box office screwed up, or the entire production got taken back up to heaven? Oh my god!


Mark was trapped in an all together different gulag, by a co-worker who repeatedly warned him of the musical's potentially offensive material. "Mr. Banta, that show has lots of swear words." "Mr. Banta, have you ever watched South Park? It's pretty irreverent." Things came to a head early last week with the following exchange: "Mr. Banta, my friend told me they say the 'c' word in that play at least fifty times!" "Exactly what do you mean by the 'c' word?" The young man shut Mark's office door, swung around, and whispered, "cunt."

Crowd clamors for a free "Book of Mormon"
Finally, on the afternoon of Saturday, April 16, we arrived at the Eugene O'Neill Theater one hour before the performance. People swarmed the entrance of the sold-out show in hopes of winning tickets in a free give-away. I pulled out my phone to call Olivia to ask if she'd picked up our tickets. But before I could dial, she was standing in front of me, tickets in hand. (My heroine.)
Olivia, me, and Mark
The Book of Mormon -- rated R
I wonder what the playwright O'Neill
would have thought.
Some thirty minutes later we were joined by more wonderful Ex-Mormons and also my cousin and his son, who have never been Mormon, but are really really good sports. We filed into the theater past an eager scalper who shouted in a thick Brooklyn accent, "Mormon? Anyone got Mormon?"

Five minutes into the performance I thanked god for the Book of Mormon.

Because the show begins with the premise that all Mormon boys are expected to go on missions, the audience immediately sympathizes with the two main characters in spite of their foibles. Elder Price is a self-righteous pretty boy goody two-shoes, and Elder Cunningham is a pudgy self-conscious schlub who tells lies to win people's approval. (Think of Nephi and Lemuel as mission companions. Or for those who haven't read the sacred text, Wally Cleaver and Lumpy.)
The missionaries' interaction with each other, as well as their efforts to convert a small tribe in Uganda provide the set up for some hilarious dialog and show-stopping numbers that rival the great musicals of the previous century. My favorite was "Turn it Off." -- Imagine an all male chorus line of tap dancing Mormon missionaries. The lights go down, then come up, and they're still singing and dancing, only faster. The lights go down, then come up again, only now they're singing, dancing, and wearing HOT PINK VESTS. It was a miracle. Another winner was "Spooky Mormon Hell Dream," where poor Elder Price is terrorized by Genghis Khan, Hitler, Johnny Cochran, and a duo of dancing Starbucks' cups. But perhaps the biggest miracle came at the curtain call, when the mostly young and unknown cast received a rousing standing ovation. What a moment for them! And deservedly so. They had served with honor, and the spirit was never stronger.

Afterward there was the party David arranged at Nocello with the usual loud laughter, light-mindedness, evil speaking of the Lord's anointed, and in my case, martinis. We even have the t-shirts to remember it by.
Jenny arranged for the shirts!
This is the back, the front says "Ban Mormon Marriage."
When Mark got back to the work today, his co-worker rushed into his office, shut the door and asked, "Mr. Banta, how many times did they say "cunt?" "None that I can recall," Mark replied. The young man slumped his shoulders and looked dejected. Mark smiled to himself.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

The Three Nephites Shape History

To: Abbottsville Fourth Ward
From: Brother Sid Dooley, Ward Spiritual Giant
Subject: The Three Nephites: A Historical Perspective

Faithful Mormons have long been grateful for the Three Nephites, that selfless trio from the Book of Mormon who begged the Lord to let them tarry on the earth in order to help the faithful. We've heard countless stories about the mysterious stranger who helped elderly Brother So-and-So load his LDS scripture software, or stopped a gang of thugs from meddling with a BYU coed.

But the Mormons aren't their only charges. The Three Nephites have labored the entire globe, tirelessly doing the Lord's work. Sometimes right under our noses. For example, next time you see that picture of Bill Clinton shaking President Kennedy's hand, take a good look the guy to the right of the future president. Then compare him to the guy next to Stu Sutcliffe on the cover of Sergeant Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band. Coincidence? I think not.

Over the years the Three Nephites have moved seamlessly in and out of LDS and Gentile society, molding the Saints into the superior culture God destined us to become, and preparing the world for its eventual conversion to Mormonism. After careful research, I have come to conclude the Three Nephites might have been with Abraham Lincoln for his Second Inaugural Address, probably were at the Rathaus Schoneberg for Kennedy's "Ich bin ein Berliner" speech, and definitely were with Sarah Palin during her Katie Couric interview. 

There have also been noticeable lapses in their influence. For instance, in the early 1970's, when in a dyslexic moment one of the Nephites misread a box marked LSD and was subsequently incapacitated. Likewise in 1995 when they were all left stranded during the government shutdown. More recently in 2008, when two of the three took time off for a stint on Dancing With The Stars. These ill-timed absences may explain the emergence of Earth Shoes, the Macarena, and Joe the Plumber.

Late one night I was driving along a stretch of deserted highway, when one of my tires hit an unidentifiable object. I pulled off the road to find it completely flattened. It was dark and cold, and I had no car jack in my truck. Then out of nowhere three men appeared on foot, one with a jack in hand. At once I recognized them as the Three Nephites.

"Brothers Nephite," I said. "The Lord alerted you to my distress and you have come to my rescue."

Their blue eyes glinted, and one pointed to a spot across the highway.

"Stand over there," he said, "and you won't get hurt."

I obeyed, then watched in silence as the three effortlessly switched out my flat for my spare. Then they smiled, gave me a wave, climbed into my truck, and drove off. 

No doubt to help another in need.

I walked back to town thanking God for The Three Nephites ... also for my LDS State Farm agent.

If you would like to stop receiving these e-mails, be prepared to either join AAA or pay for a tow truck.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Ward Threat Level Increase!

To: Abbottsville Fourth Ward
From: Brother J. "Bull" Barton, Ward Preparedness Specialist
Subject: Ward Preparedness Update

No fair. I never get to have fun.
Due to the recent cancellation of Glenn Beck's TV show, increased chatter over same sex marriage, and the alarming number of LDS young people who want to have "too much fun," I have raised the Ward Threat Level to RED.

Every ward member is advised to have on hand a one year supply of food, a hazmat suit, at least 2 hand guns, 4 rolls of duct tape, and a gallon jug of consecrated oil. 

We know he's a professor because
he has a chalkboard!
There's no telling how much evil will rush in to fill the void left by Professor Beck. Ward members should brace themselves for an onslaught of feminists, gays, and intellectuals intent on looting, murdering, masturbating, declaring Hawaii a state, and putting off marriage to have too much fun. 

Be aware, brothers and sisters, that we are the target and nowhere is safe. For example, I strongly suspect that during the closed-circuit televising of last Saturday's General Priesthood Session somebody poisoned the drinking fountains at the Abbottsville Stake Center with a substance that robs red-blooded American males of their precious bodily fluids.

Brethren in other stakes have voiced similar suspicions. I am assembling a task force to investigate how global this fiendish anti-Mormon plot has become, and will report our findings ASAP.

In the mean time remain vigilant, and don't forget to submit your nominations for our Official Ward Gun

This concludes your Ward Preparedness Update.

Your fellow patriot,
Bull Barton

If you want to stop receiving these e-mails, we'll assume you're part of the plot.

(Psst ... Thanks Ahab for sending me the article I linked to "too much fun.")

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Pssst ... Are You Bored Yet?

To: Abbottsville Fourth Ward
From: Donna Banta
Subject: Is it just me -- or are the GA's a little boring?

This weekend the members of the Abbottsville Fourth Ward may choose between attending the post-Mormon party at the San Francisco Ferry Building, or watching the 181st Semi-Annual General Conference of the LDS Church. I've provided the following aptitude test to help you decide.

Answer each question in a way that best describes yourself.

1. I like to look at:
a. the dazzling San Francisco skyline with its unique architecture and diverse cultural offerings.
b. a room full of Mormons.

2. On the weekend I like to relax by:
a. sipping a margarita from Mijita and talking with nice people who want to be my friends.
b. sipping Kool-Aid from Costco and listening to garrulous old coots who want me to pay my tithing.

3. I like to hear:
a. real life stories about people who are struggling in this tough economy.
b. bullshit stories about characters like Sister Sweet, the stay at home mom who survived her husband's unemployment by gathering nuts and berries for food, spinning thread out of dog hair to make clothing, and doing her visiting teaching.

4. I like mixing with:
a. feminists, gays, and intellectuals.
b. creepy old men who are obsessed with porn.

5. I want to associate with:
a. people who want me to be myself.
b. people who want to pick out my underwear.

6. I like to discuss:
a. art, literature, and film.
b. adultery, porn, and masturbation.

7. I take the advice of:
a. people who believe in the "philosophies of men."
b. people who believe that God lives on the planet Kolob with His harem of nubile wives and His fleet of tapir-drawn carriages.

8. I like:
a. laughing at a really good joke.
b. being the joke.

I know Plan 10 is true!

9. This Sunday I would rather:
a. enjoy myself.
b. be bored out of my fucking mind.

Abbottsville Fourth Ward, I urge you to choose A! Come to the Ferry Buiding! 

(You know you want to.)

Friday, April 1, 2011

If Life Were Only Like This

To: Abbottsville Fourth Ward
From: Donna Banta
Subject: Another guest spot on Kori-Whore's Double D's!

In Woody Allen's masterpiece, Annie Hall, Alvy Singer (played by Allen) is stuck in line behind an outspoken idiot pontificating about, among other things, the views of Marshall McLuhan. Finally at his wit's end, Allen steps out of the scene and produces McLuhan himself, who tells the idiot, "You know nothing of my work." Woody then looks at the camera and says, "Boy if Life were only like this!"

I feel that way a lot, especially around General Conference time...

To read the rest of this post, as well as some excellent work by Sister Whore, click here.