I don't feel like writing much today.
For my birthday, Debbie very generously made me Reese's brownies and invited me over. Then she asked if I wanted to invite her neighbor over, and I declined because I barely know him and I felt that would create a weird dynamic. Then she asked if I wanted to invite anyone else and I named off a few people and some of them came, and then I said we could invite her neighbor because it would be less weird now. Then I had to be the first one to leave so I could get to bed so I could get up early for work. Being an adult sucks. Still, it was a good day overall and it's great to have such a friend. Also my parents gave me a new laptop, and I'm glad nobody stole it because it was just sitting outside my door when I came home from work.
At work on Friday I accidentally reached a residential number, as sometimes happens, and without saying a word was verbally abused by some jackass with the intellect of a twelve year old. There was a time when that would have hurt my feelings, but that was before I discovered that I don't care about the opinions of jackasses. Also, I don't consider "jackass" to be a bad word because it's been used in old cartoons that weren't even allowed to show Tweety Bird without feathers. Anyway, I've been more chill about stuff lately, so at Summerfest last week when I was watching one of the concerts and got pulled out of the audience to participate in one of the things on stage, my thoughts of committing harakiri dissipated within seconds. There was hardly anyone I knew watching anyway.
I could say something about the UK's exit from the EU, but I'm just going to pretend that since I'm not a citizen of it and have never lived there, it's none of my bloody business. Really, with all due respect, it's quite annoying to see so many American college students pretending they know everything about the politics of countries most of them have never been to. Which leads into my next topic...
The Mormon Section
My, how times change.
"No true Latter-day Saint and no true American can be a socialist or a communist or support programs leading in that direction. These evil philosophies are incompatible with Mormonism, the true gospel of Jesus Christ." - Ezra Taft Benson, Apostle, 1961
"Can a member be a Democrat and a good Mormon? That one makes me smile, because if the members who ask it could travel to some countries of the world and meet faithful members of the Church who belong to their national communist parties I fear their blood pressure might be permanently damaged." - Michael Otterson, head of public affairs, 2015
Only one of these quotes is a. less than fifty-four years old and b. published on the Church's website (as part of the total speech). Yet this is not the one that gets circulated on libertarian and conservative Facebook pages. Maybe they should stop and ask themselves why no one in church leadership has bothered to denounce socialism in decades, even though it's more pervasive than ever and supported by members overseas in the same proportion as everyone else in their countries. Maybe historical context has something to do with it. Maybe the threat of the Soviet Union specifically, more so than a particular system of economics (though Secretary Benson clearly detested that as well), has something to do with it. Earlier in the talk, for instance, he explained, "The fight against godless communism is a very real part of every man's duty who holds the priesthood. It is the fight against slavery, immorality, atheism, terrorism, cruelty, barbarism, deceit, and the destruction of human life through a kind of tyranny unsurpassed by anything in human history." Not all Communist nations are created equal.
Of course, there's no need parse every word of the talk and pretend it's all correct, when it's a well-documented (if, for some, frequently ignored) fact that many if not most of his fellow Apostles disagreed with his political views and that he was rebuked more than once for using his church position to promote them. I'm not a Communist and I don't believe in communism, though I wouldn't mind some Mormons thinking so if it permanently damages their blood pressure, but I'm just saying that I don't think anyone can make an intellectually honest case that the Church has an official stance against socialism. I do think it's perfectly valid, of course, to point out that socialism and the United Order are still not the same thing.
"Weird Al" Yankovic - Slime Creatures from Outer Space
The alien invasion series concludes with my favorite artist ever.
"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 male and a Latter-day Saint, so you can hate him without guilt, but he's also autistic, 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.