Some of My Favorite Halloween Carols
If you're stuck at home tonight because of the you-know-what, here's something to keep you entertained for a little while. Note that "The Monster Mash", "Spooky Scary Skeletons", "This is Halloween", and "Thriller", though all excellent songs, have been excluded from this list on account of being severely overplayed.
Erica Silverman - Big Pumpkin
If your kindergarten teacher didn't play/read this for you, you had a deprived childhood and may be entitled to financial compensation. Don't quote me on that.
Erutan - Come Little Children
A full length version of the song sung by Sarah Jessica Parker in the cult classic "Hocus Pocus". It's a silly movie, but what really ruins my suspension of disbelief is a straight teenage boy running away from Sarah Jessica Parker.
Sierra Games Staff - Consumite Furore
Creepy Latin singing from the intro to the gory and highly controversial 1995 computer game "Phantasmagorica", which, as every article about the game is obligated to point out, was banned in Australia.
Chorus Girls - Don't Feed the Plants
This original ending to the dark comedy musical "Little Shop of Horrors", replaced because of test audiences' negative reaction but now widely regarded as superior to the happy version, ranks as one of the most expensive deleted scenes of all time.
Iced Earth - Dracula
Rather sacrilegious, except that Dracula's rebellion against God is driven by the abhorrent false doctrine that his girlfriend has been damned for eternity for killing herself, so really, with the information available to him, he isn't wrong to respond as he does.
Rob Zombie - Dragula
Not really scary so much as too epic not to include. ("Epic" is professional music critic terminology for songs with loud electric guitars.)
The Key of Awesome - Emo Vampire
Believe it or not, there was a time when the Twilight series was cool, at least if you were a girl between the ages of twelve and fifty. My mother was possessed by it, and when I first met my friend Rachel at Youth Conference, her name tag identified her only as "Edward's Girlfriend". The backlash was inevitable.
The Living Tombstone - Grim Grinning Ghosts
A better cover of this song has never been found. I say that as one who watched on older version at the beginning of Disney's "Boo Busters" and "Witcheroo" VHS tapes (ask your parents what those were) and had a huge crush on live action Maleficent.
Information Society feat. Ayria - Heffalumps and Woozles
I found the original sequence quite unnerving as a child. As an adult, I find this cover both unnerving and lots of fun to dance to in private.
Hex Girls - Hex Girl
From "Scooby-Doo and the Witch's Ghost" (1999). Nowadays, this song is problematic because it promotes a double standard about consent, but we can still appreciate it as long as we recognize its historical context. It turns out this video also includes "Earth, Wind, Fire and Air" so that's a bonus track.
Debs & Errol - If I were an Undead Crawler
Parody of Barenaked Ladies' "If I had $1,000,000". Are zombies overrated? Yes. Is this song underrated? Heck yes.
Baha Men - It's Spooky in Here (Digimon Halloween Song)
You've probably never heard this, because it's from a CD called "Rhythm and Boos" that came in boxes of Count Chocula, Boo Berry and/or Franken Berry cereal in 2001. Some of my students weren't even born then. That's scary.
"Weird Al" Yankovic - Jurassic Park
Not that I've seen a lot of horror movies, or plan to, but I find "Jurassic Park" scarier than any horror movie I've seen. The Tyrannosaurus rex in particular always stops my heart. As a creature both fantastical and real, it's scarier than either a made-up monster or a random human serial killer. This music video is ironically much gorier than the actual movie, but it's all played for laughs, and the song's ending is unironically beautiful.
Bloodbound - Nosferatu
"Nosferatu" is a 1922 low-budget German film plagiarized from the novel Dracula that fortunately still exists even though Bram Stoker's heirs tried to have all prints destroyed. I have no idea what the word Nosferatu means, since the vampire's name is actually Count Orlok.
Judas Priest - Night Crawler
Personally my favorite Judas Priest song. And as dark and creepy as it is, it has a happy ending, or at least as happy of an ending as one could reasonably expect under the circumstances!
Jonathan Coulton - Re: Your Brains
The song that introduced me to the genius of Jonathan Coulton, and still his best work IMHO (though his music and lyrics for the Portal anthem "Still Alive" comes in close). Even my freshman year roommate playing it twenty times in a row failed to make me hate it.
Ozzy Osbourne - Scary Little Green Men
Even with his advanced age and ill health, the wizard of Ozz managed to release a killer album this year, which features this gem that beats out his other Halloween classic "Balk at the Moan" for a spot on this list. Aliens > werewolves.
Rammstein - Spieluhr
The gist of this song is that a small child wants to be left alone, so it [sic] pretends to be dead, and gets buried with a music box in its hand, and then the music box and the child's singing can be heard from beneath the earth.
Meco - Werewolf (Loose in London)
Even though werewolves < aliens, they still deserve some recognition. And so does Meco. Despite scoring a number one hit in 1977 with his disco cover of the Star Wars and cantina band themes, he's fallen into almost total obscurity, which isn't fair.
Consortium of Genius - What a Friend We Have in Cthulhu
Not a direct parody of "What a Friend We Have in Jesus", but it brings in that energetic clapping-type music that's one of the few good things about conservative Southern Christianity. And makes it about a guy with an octopus for a face.
Hap Palmer - Witches' Brew
Once upon a time, one of my Primary teachers had us sing this in Primary. I liked it better than most of the boring church songs we did.
Because I find rituals comforting, I habitually listen to both of these entire soundtracks on Halloween.
Jonne Valtonen - Alien Incident
This 1996 point-and-click game ("Muukalaisten yö" or "Night of the Aliens" in the original Finnish) actually takes place on Halloween, so it's appropriate that the aliens look like Casper the Friendly Ghost. Its rather strange music has really grown on me. I converted and uploaded the music files from the free Abandonia download, though there is additional music in the game that I don't know how to find and wasn't patient enough to record directly.
Alain Goraguer - La Planète Sauvage
This bizarre animated 1973 French-Czech co-production isn't a horror film as such, but the soundtrack is creepy and unearthly enough.
You know that gag book that's called Everything Men Know About Women and all the pages are blank? I'm going to write one like that, except I'm going to call it Ventana Student Housing's Guide to Effective Damage Control. As previously reported, Ventana Student Housing in Orem, Utah gave a tenant less than a week to move out after she violated her contract by vocalizing suicidal tendencies. I'm not kidding. That's literally what the eviction notice says. Now, I think the social-media-driven outrage machine is usually a plague on society, but this time it was put to good use and I was happy to participate. How did Ventana Student Housing respond?
They didn't. They continued ignoring all media requests for comment and refusing to answer the phone - so if you thought for one moment that they had a legitimate side of the story that could exonerate them, you were wrong. They disabled the option to message their Facebook page and deleted comments on said page. In fact, they deleted their one post from this year, apparently thinking nobody would be smart enough to just comment on the next one. They were mistaken about that. And somehow they got Facebook to take down my review for "violating Community Standards", which, after a solid track record of Facebook refusing to do anything any time that I report blatant hate speech or pornography, confirms my suspicion that the Community Standards are enforced by lobotomized gerbils. So I immediately left another review and that one has stayed up for a week now. Their rating is at 1.1 stars, which sadly is the lowest it can go because they have some ratings above 1 star from back before they showed their true colors. I'm not sure why 1 star is the minimum anyway. They deserve negative stars. What's the 1 star for, having the audacity to exist when they shouldn't?
I still hope, of course, that Ventana Student Housing will get sued out of existence, but even if that doesn't happen, at a bare minimum they've been taught a lesson they'll never forget.
While these ingrown hairs on Satan's butt are persecuting a student whose vocalizing of suicidal tendencies, according to them, was a "breach by the Tenant of the quiet enjoyment of the premises or surrounding premises of other tenant's [sic]", my neighbors are actually breaching my quiet enjoyment of the premises several times a week, but I don't want them to get evicted because they're nice and I'm not a complete sociopath. A few days ago one of them started screaming over and over and over so I rushed outside and banged on the door. Michaela's face greeted me in the window beside the door, as with a cheery smile she said, "This doesn't concern you, Chris!"
Kaylee was, as usual, the source of the screaming. Michaela and Hailey had her on the floor, cornered. Hailey also greeted me at the window and explained, "She's afraid to text a boy."
"Oh," I said, "you should just take her phone away and do it for her."
"That's what we're trying to do!" Hailey said.
"Help me, Chris!" Kaylee said.
"Don't let her out!" Michaela said, but I couldn't anyway because the door was locked. So I left them to it.
Of course I couldn't help but think back several months, to their predecessors, who were much quieter but did far more to breach my enjoyment of the premises. Talease gave me Calise's number one evening when I dropped by to invite her to go hiking and she wasn't home. Talease said I should just text her to invite her to stuff, but I didn't dare use her number without permission. Talease assured me it was fine, that she was Calise's best friend and it was fine. And then Calise came home and interrupted us, and on my way out I said that her roommate gave me her number and wanted me to text her. She said, "You're welcome to text me," and then Talease's little dog Paisley ran out the door and we spent the next ten minutes chasing her down and I didn't forgive her for weeks.
So I'd texted Calise a little bit, probably less than I could have, always hesitant and worried that my unnatural luck would run out after she actually responded the first few times, when I became frustrated by my lack of progress and solicited Talease's help and she said Calise loves going for walks and I should invite her to go for a walk. She basically promised that Calise would say yes, but I didn't believe her. I said I was too nervous. She said, "Then we'll do it together. Give me your phone." I did, and she wrote the text and sent it with no input from me, and when I saw it I nearly had a heart attack.
It's funny how perception and memory can be so wrong - for me, at least. Maybe I'm exceptionally stupid. Because this is what the text actually said: "Hey Calise, I was wondering if I could take you on a walk on Wednesday. Are you free?"
But this is how I read it: "Hey Calise, I would like to take you for a walk. Do you have some time on Wednesday?"
First of all, I wouldn't have said "take you for a walk" because she wasn't a dog, but I guess "take you on a walk" is a little more ambiguous. In any case, though, I read the text as expressing a desire without an actual request attached to it, and then operating on the assumption that she had already agreed to the nonexistent request and we merely needed to work out the details. And I nearly had a heart attack because it was so bold and presumptuous. "No, it isn't," Talease assured me. She said that Calise was at work and would probably respond in about an hour. She responded in nine minutes.
"Sure, I have some time after 6- I usually go to the temple on Wednesday as well if you'd like to join me"
So I thought about that when I told Kaylee's roommates they should take her phone and text the boy for her. In hindsight, I'm not sure if I was trying to help her or if I am just a bit of a sociopath after all. But tonight I heard she got a date out of it, so she's welcome.
Me: My ex-neighbors who sent the police after me were really dumb and immature.
This girl's roommates: Hold our root beer.
Also Me: Police officers are the least qualified people on the planet to deal with mental health crises.
This landlord: Hold my root beer too.
I say root beer because this happened in one of the highest-percentage Latter-day Saint cities in the world. I don't know for a fact that the roommates and/or landlord are Latter-day Saints (nor, in any case, do I consider their actions an indictment of the majority of Latter-day Saints, who are as outraged as any normal person), but I'd bet a few bucks on it. Also, in making these comparisons I'm still not letting the police off the hook for their impressive track record of murdering mentally ill or disabled people. But this is a new, special kind of evil that just blows my mind.
Ventana Student Housing seems like kind of a sketchy establishment to begin with. Its Facebook page has 65 likes and has posted once this year, twice last year, and zero times in 2018 or 2017. The pretentious legalese bullcrap in this eviction notice, though standard procedure, is somewhat undermined by the landlord's illiteracy ("other tenant's", "recklessly endangerment", "undo stress"). There are some complaints in Google reviews about the management's greed, apathy and insensitivity, and of course every apartment complex has a few negative reviews from disgruntled ex-tenants but these particular ones seem very credible right about now. And management have not issued a statement on their side of the story. Their response to inquiries from the media and everyone else has been nothing, zero, zip, zilch, nada. They won't even answer the phone. It's almost as if they realize how rightfully screwed they are and just want to implode in peace.
I wasn't planning on taking time out of my day to contribute to making their lives hell, but I consider it time well spent. All appearances to the contrary notwithstanding, I don't want to be someone who insults people and/or swears all the time, but this is one instance where I have no regrets and would do it again.
Mine is at the bottom. Yes, I liked my own question because someone had to do it. In fairness, someone named Lilly responding to one such question claimed that the girl's roommates had actually offered her help multiple times, that she had talked to a police officer (you know, one of those incredible mental health experts), and that she had threatened one of her roommates. I told Lilly that I'm not buying it because none of that is mentioned or even hinted at in the eviction notice, which explicitly gives "vocaliz[ing] suicidal tendencies" as the sole reason for breach of contract, nor has Ventana Student Housing bothered to mention this alleged side of the story to anyone despite having more than ample opportunity to do so. Lilly also claimed that this girl "just wants attention", a common accusation against suicidal people, which seems quite incongruous with her choice to remain anonymous. Both Lilly's response and my response to her response have been removed.
I also sent Ventana Student Housing this message through ventanaapt.com:
"Hi, I checked a website and it said you don't have any vacancies, but I know you just evicted a student for having the audacity to open up about her struggle with suicidal thoughts, so you do have a spot open, right? Could I come look at it soon? Full disclosure: I have had suicidal thoughts before, like 9.3 million other adults in the United States every year, but if they come up again I promise to keep them to myself. Worst case scenario, I'll just kill myself instead of asking for help, so you don't have to take your precious time writing an eviction notice. Thanks!
"Sarcasm aside, I hope you sick [redacted]s know that you more than deserve every bit of the public relations nightmare you're currently experiencing. The pleasure of watching your sick twisted excuse for a company crash and burn won't erase the hell you put your tenant through or the long-term trauma you inflicted on her with your colossal middle finger to everyone who's ever been depressed, but it's all I can do for now. I wish I could sue you on her behalf since it's unclear whether she's going to. You know as well as I do that you would lose in a heartbeat. I suppose I just have to be patient and content myself with knowing that someday you'll stand accountable before God, who's undoubtedly even more pissed at you than I am.
"With overwhelming contempt and disgust,
I was frustrated that the victim is undecided on pursuing legal action, but I later read that the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention is going to regardless, so that's nice. I hope Ventana Student Housing gets sued out of existence. The automated form said someone would get back to me soon, but I don't think they will.
The stigma that mentally ill, even suicidal people face in this country remains alive and well despite nobody in 2020 having any excuse not to know better. The stigma needs to die. So many of us pay lip service to the idea of accepting people for who they are and encouraging them to seek help when necessary, when what we actually want is for them to keep it to themselves and suffer in silence because popular culture bombards us with the lie that mentally ill people by definition are dangerous and scary. Now this girl is traumatized and will be terrified to ever ask for help again, as will others who don't want to go through what she did. But would the world have taken notice, would the world have become as outraged, if her roommates and/or landlord had found some more typical and less blatantly illegal ways to mistreat her after they learned of her problem?
Ventana means window. Eyes are windows to the soul. Yet Ventana Student Housing has no soul, and my prayer is that soon it won't have a business either.
RIP Richard Tenace
On a completely unrelated topic, I feel compelled to note the passing of Richard Tenace from my childhood congregation in Potsdam, New York, on October 13. I wasn't super close with him but his death came as quite a shock to me, as it did to everyone else, because he was only in his early fifties and exercised more than most people. He was a magician, mentalist, clown, wrestler, author, and landlord, but not the evil kind. I first met him at a delightful magic/mentalism show he performed at SUNY Potsdam. I thought it was very clever how he deliberately flubbed a simple card trick at the beginning of the show to increase the tension at the end when screwing up his final trick would have ostensibly been fatal. Shortly afterward he became a member of the Potsdam branch presidency, and if I understand correctly, he was the main driving force behind the congregation's participation in the Ministerial Association of Potsdam. He was a big advocate of interfaith gatherings and service projects while some branch members who will remain anonymous were kind of furious about having a Muslim read the Koran from our pulpit.
There was a lot of festering political tension in that branch. Brother Tenace was solidly in the liberal "faction" and my family was solidly not. One evening I got into a bit of an argument on Facebook with him about something Glenn Beck had said about some firefighters who had let a house burn to the ground with dogs inside because the family hadn't paid the tax to support the fire department. He said something like, "Here we see the conservative mindset in action: if someone can't afford something, they deserve to suffer." I said something like, "Actually, the conservative mindset is that if someone can't afford something, it's not the government's place to force other people to buy it for them." And things continued for a bit but he deleted his initial comment, acknowledged that it had been somewhat contentious, and tried to smooth things over and explain his viewpoint less abrasively. And then that evening I was at the church for activities and he was there and he made a remark to someone about how awesome I was, like we hadn't just been arguing, and I thought that was real classy.
In more recent years, of course, I drifted further to the left and found myself agreeing with most of his political posts. But he also balanced those out with memes and things that were just funny and lighthearted. And photos from his workouts. He took staying in shape very seriously, which, again, makes his sudden death all the more shocking. It goes without saying that he will be missed.
Post for October 11, 2020
My stupid financial drama with Utah State University continues, and I may or may not be handling it in the best way possible.
I would include their response here except, oh right, there wasn't one. They straight-up ignored me, didn't fix the problem, and sent an identical automated email about my "overdue balance" this past Friday. I was not amused.
On the one hand, I feel like as a Christian I should have been more patient and tactful even though they don't deserve it - especially after discovering this show "The Chosen" that I intend on devoting a post to in the near future - but on the other hand, I've been walked on and ignored my entire life and it feels really, really good to stand up for myself. Ironically, though the temptation to include some choice unprofessional language was great in both emails, especially the second, I think the restrained and terse word choices I ended up going with were even more satisfying. They make me sound more confident and authoritative than if I'd lost my temper. Weird, right? And nobody can prove that "With respect" was completely sarcastic. I considered the possibility that the university might still get upset enough to retaliate, but I figured that since God told me to take this career path, He won't let me get fired just because I didn't quietly put up with my employer's repeated attempts to swindle me.
In fairness, I suppose it's possible that the university retroactively revoked my tuition award, mid-semester, for no reason, without telling me, in blatant violation of the terms of employment that I agreed to earlier this year. But if that's the case, I'll take legal action against them anyway.
The class I teach is going better, though. The students and I have gotten used to each other so now it feels like an actual group instead of a public speaking assignment, and it's much closer to the dynamic it's supposed to have. I also no longer stress much before each class day because I realize that the students either see me in a certain light by virtue of my position that makes me not look as incompetent and awkward as I feel, or they're not paying attention or putting forth any effort to pass the class and it's not my problem. I still don't bother asking questions out loud unless I'm only looking for one or two simple answers, though. Breakout groups, Google Doc activities, and the Zoom chat are the lifeblood of participation. I no longer worry about filling an entire fifty minutes. This week I have to do brief individual conferences with each of my students, and it's going to be interesting to find out what some of them look like.
I also had to start working at the Writing Center a couple weeks ago, where I tutor other students who want help with their papers and stuff. So far I've had to help with an application for a Human Resources graduate program in Scotland, an annotated English 2010 essay with no annotations, and a grant proposal for a study on how to most effectively help plants grow in space. Somehow none of these appointments ended up being as awful as I thought they would be, but I still felt solidly unqualified in two-thirds of them. The girl with the grant proposal wanted to know if she should include anything else in her description of the proposed study, and I was just like, "How should I know? I don't what else there is. Here's a couple teensy spelling issues, though." (paraphrased)
My colleagues provide a prepackaged posse, meeting my needs for belonging and sociality that have gone unmet for so long, particularly during the pandemic but also for most of my life. We share common goals that we all work toward together, not competing, but collaborating. We share our laughter and our tears, and a success for one is a success for all. Some of us put together a spreadsheet to take turns writing the weekly overviews and online learning lessons, saving all of us a lot of work. Someone questioned whether Beth would be okay with it, but why wouldn't she be okay with our ingenuity and teamwork? We're getting paid for results, not effort. And she was okay with it because she's on our side and she's great. As we're all experiencing the same stress right now and we all know it, somehow it doesn't seem so bad. To me it feels like I'm about to be skinned alive and eaten by cannibals but I'm so stoned that I don't really care. I mean, I don't know what it feels like to be stoned, but that's just a guess. So it's beautiful and I'm happy.
A Post About the October 2020 General Conference of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
As much as I like General Conference, I have to admit it started off on the wrong foot as the prophet and apostles, who should be leading the charge for liberty and agency (which are the same thing), instead opted to continue giving into fear of a virus that's no more dangerous than the flu. They closed Conference to the public once again, social distanced, wore masks, and in Elder Gong's case self-isolated after a potential exposure. I was not impressed. I expect the Lord's anointed to set a better example for us.
Favorite talk from Saturday morning session
President Dallin H. Oaks nailed it. First of all, I love how he didn't even try to hide his disgust with the current state of American political discourse. I don't either. Right now I'm teaching my students to accurately summarize and thoughtfully engage with ideas they may or may not agree with, and this past week I literally brought up the presidential debate as an example of why this is important. "Someday when you run for president," I said, mostly addressing my female students because Lord knows we don't need yet another white male president, "you can hold this country to a higher standard."
President Oaks condemned the rioting and violence that's been going on in the United States, and that didn't offend me since I've never supported the rioting and violence. I do understand the place of profound pain that it's coming from, and I did laugh when I told a friend that some people in Salt Lake flipped over a police car and set it on fire and without missing a beat she said "Well, roast pork is good", and I do think it's beyond ridiculous that those people are already facing life in prison for destroying an inanimate object while George Floyd's murderers haven't even gone to trial yet and Breonna Taylor's murderers just got a slap on the wrist for sending some stray bullets into a white family's apartment wall, but I don't support the rioting and violence.
So I really appreciated it when he went on to put a lot of people in their place, specifically the people who have unilateral condemned all the peaceful protests and pretended that racism is no longer an issue. It reminds me of the time a few years ago when I participated in a protest against Trump's Musl- er, refugee ban, and then went to church and listened to some idiot bear his testimony that the protests were part of the wickedness of the last days. Protesting, Elder Oaks said, is a constitutionally protected right and an acceptable way to push for change against unjust laws and abuses of power, which, Elder Oaks said, have occurred. (Emphasis in original.) It shouldn't take a legal scholar of his calibre to point that out, but here we are. He called on the United States and members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints to do better at rooting out racism. It was a breath of fresh air for many of my black brothers and sisters who have yearned for the Church to talk about these things more.
Elder Oaks, if not for the distance between us, the pandemic going on, and our socially constructed guidelines on acceptable modes of expression for same-sex platonic love, I could kiss you.
Favorite talk from Saturday afternoon session
Elder William K. Jackson, with a nice swinging cadence to his speech that one doesn't often get in this venue, spoke about how cultural diversity is awesome and how joining the Church doesn't mean giving up your culture. I'm big on cultural diversity, I love the rare occasions when I'm not surrounded by people who look and dress and talk like me, and I dream of a day when all white Saints in Utah can tell the difference between their cultural preferences (white shirts, no facial hair, boring music, etc.) and the actual gospel of Jesus Christ. Last year a black temple worker in Payson was told he couldn't be a temple worker if he had dreadlocks, but then the temple president checked with church headquarters and found out there's nothing wrong with a temple worker having dreadlocks, so that was very promising.
Honorable mention: Matthew S. Holland, for his hilarious kidney stone joke. Will he become an Apostle like his dad someday? I'm not sure how I would feel about that. The nepotism wouldn't bother me, but we don't need another white Apostle.
Favorite talk from Women's session
Honestly, I was half-asleep during this session. That sounds like a really rude thing to say but it really is just a natural result of the sleep deprivation torture that God has been subjecting me to since always. All the talks were really good. President Russell M. Nelson double-trolled me by mentioning temples like he was going to segue into surprise announcing the temples during the Women's session like he did last year, and then not doing that.
Favorite talk from Sunday morning session
President Russell M. Nelson discussed the interesting fact that one meaning of the word "Israel" is "Let God prevail", and it was really interesting. Then he seconded President Oaks' call for us to eradicate racism, and specifically singled out the plight of black people worldwide. Some of my black brothers and sisters were upset that at the opening of Conference he acknowledged the pandemic and wildfires but not racial unrest, and I hope this soothed their souls. For my white brothers and sisters who are sarcastically asking what they're supposed to do about racism when "I'm not racist and nobody I know is racist", here are a few suggestions to start with. They're my suggestions, not President Nelson's, but obviously we need some concrete ideas to translate his counsel into action.
1. The next time a cop murders a black person - which, let's be honest, will probably be tomorrow - don't immediately defend the cop and victim-blame the black person. Even if he or she "was no saint".
Edit: Actually, turns out it was yesterday. My bad.
2. Never touch a black woman's hair without permission. This is probably the most universal complaint I've heard from black women in Utah.
3. Stop pretending you don't understand what the phrase "black lives matter" means or why it's a thing. This has been explained many, many times. It doesn't mean you have to embrace every position of the BLM organization. I don't.
4. When your black friends, or people of any other race, complain about experiencing racism, listen to them instead of telling them they must be wrong because your perspective is the only one that's valid. Yes, this also means stop pretending that Candace Owens is the only black person who exists.
Honorable mention: Ulisses Soares with his talk about temptation and magnets. Sorry, Elder Soares, the competition was stiff.
Favorite talk from Sunday afternoon session
This was my favorite session overall, but I'm gonna have to say Elder Jeffrey R. Holland for his candid acknowledgement that this pandemic has gone on too freaking long (paraphrase) and that waiting really, really, really sucks (also a paraphrase). The isolation has been taking a heavy toll on me for nearly seven months and I'm also still waiting on God to fulfill some unrelated promises. I don't mind admitting that I hate God's timing. Don't lie, so do you. But I'll trust and be patient and then if He doesn't do what He said He would do, I'm going to become a deist. At least for now I have a nice job, schooling, and a bright future to dedicate myself to in the meantime.
Interest level: High
Interest level: High
Interest level: Negative infinity
Greater Guatemala City, Guatemala
Interest level: High
São Paulo East, Brazil
Interest level: High. I have a friend who lives in São Paulo and it takes him three hours to get to the temple that currently exists there. I'm not sure if he lives on the east side though.
Santa Cruz, Bolivia
Interest level: High
October 2020 General Conference can be viewed here.
"Guys. Chris's blog is the stuff of legends. If you’re ever looking for a good read, check this out!"
- Amelia Whitlock
"I don't know how well you know Christopher Randall Nicholson, but... he's trolling. You should read his blog. It's delightful."
- David Young
About the Author
C. Randall Nicholson is a white cisgender Christian male, so you can hate him without guilt, but he's also autistic and asexual, so you can't, unless you're an anti-vaxxer, in which case the feeling is mutual. This blog is where he periodically rants about life, the universe, and/or everything.