Well gang, I'm sorry I have been tardy updating my blog. As my faithful readers probably know, I recently relocated to Washington D.C. Maintaining a blog on weird Utah stuff has been a tad difficult from clear across the country.
In the midst of looking for an apartment and working long hours at my day job, I haven't been able to keep up with Utah news as much as I would like. On the plus side, I have seen a lot of cool stuff here in the nation's capitol. And, surprise surprise, even an underground movie about Utah's dominant religion that hasn't made it to the Beehive state as of yet.
On the negative side (Utah-wise anyway) I have missed out on a lot! Brian Mitchell once again spouting off in his sanity hearing. A new book about Elizabeth Smart by her uncle, a email smear campaign against my favorite Congressional candidate. God, I miss Utah!
Trapped by The Mormons is the brain child of Ian Allen. Raised Mormon, this former Salt Lake resident thought he would redo the 1922 anti-mormon classic as the first feature for his D.C. based theater group, Cherry Red Productions. Oddly, coming to the beltway
made it possible to see this little cinematic gem, 'cause there ain't nobody in Utah that seems willing to show the movie.
This is sad. Trapped by the Mormons would probably do great business in the Beehive State. It is a funny film and a massive improvement over the 2-hour-plus silent snoozer that inspired it.
Allen definately gets the silent movie look down pat. The film does have a slow 2nd act. That is more than made up for by an amusing first third and a truly mind blowing act three that involves plural-wife zombies and a Mormon elder who morphs into a Nosferatu-like vampire.
Allen was at the showing at the Warehouse (an arty coffee house, drinking joint, concert venue) taking admission money and chatting with folks that came to see his epic.
He said that feelers to the Tower/Broadway movie houses yielded bupkis for a Beehive State showing. This is kind of odd considering the Tower (admittedly under different management) used the original film as a staple for its midnight showings.
My friend Lewis, in from Utah for a conference, suggested Brewvies as a venue better suited to Trapped's artistic sensibilities. I have no word on Allen's progress in securing a showing behind the Zion curtain. Utahns may have to wait for the DVD.
Pete Ashdown, owner of Xmission, has been getting a fair amount of attention in his bid to dethrone King Orrin Hatch from his comfy seat in Congress. Pete made the cover of the City Weekly and also fell victim to an email blitz by a Republican spammer, Rich Kuchinsky.
Hmmm. Seems like this guy doesn't cotton to Democrats. Of course, the Republican party disavowed this email. "We certainly don't condone that as a strategy . Any thriving business [such as Xmission] helps Utah's economy and that is a great achievement," John Spencer, Utah Republican Party flack, told Utah Business magazine. Seems like the typical political party line about lackeys flinging dirt. Remember the Republicans on Swift-boat Vets Against Kerry or the Democrats on MoveOn.Org.
To get a better handle on Mr. Kuchinsky's political orientation, another sample of his literary stylings is in order.
Without further ado here is his 1998 internet posting on www.greaterthings.com about some obscure apocalyptic novel:
Hmmm. Quite the student of politics, our Mr. Kuchinsky. I wonder how Pete's run for Congress fits into this scenario?
Well, at least The City Weekly staff seemed a tad more upbeat about Pete. But we all know that paper is nothing but a haven of elite liberals, not salt-of-the earth types like Rich.
Those whacky folks of the FLDS have been in the news lately. Utah and Arizona authorities have offered a $10,000 bounty on the head of FLDS leader, Warren Jeffs.
It seems our hero got himself charged last month in Arizona for sexual conduct with a minor and conspiracy to commit sexual conduct with a minor; crimes that are kind of an FLDS tradition.
Apparently Jeffs was playing multiple-wife matchmaker. Authorities claim he tried to arrange a marriage between a 16-year-old girl and an already married 28-year-old brother of the faith. The good folks of Arizona law enforcement didn't like it and a grand jury issued an indictment on June 9th against the Mormon fundamentalist yenta.
Out of the public eye for well over a year, Jeffs opted not to surface and face the music for his teenage bride service. So a federal warrant for unlawful flight was issued.
Utah Attorney General Mark Shurtleff and Arizona Attorney General Terry Goddard offered a $10,000 reward for information leading to the arrest of Jeffs. The dynamic duo even made an appereance on NBC Today Saturday to explain the whys of the hefty bounty.
The Beehive State apparently feels the need to butt in because the FLDS dominate Hildale, a southern Utah town on the Arizona border. Now the Texas Attorney General needs to get involved to complete the picture.
As if the FLDS brethren weren't facing enough trouble, eight Colorado City (Hildale's sister city) men have been charged with sex offenses involving marriages to underage girls.
Rodney Holm, one of the men charged, is already appealing convictions relating to his "spiritual marriage" to a teen. A former Hildale police officer, Holm is asking that Utah decriminalize polygamy as part of his appeal. The fun never stops in Hildale.
Well, I guess I could gas on about the feud between Ed Smart and his brother over Tom Smart's book on the kidnapping of his niece, In Plain Sight: The Startling Truth Behind the Elizabeth Smart Investigation . However it is old news and, frankly, I find the Smart clan the boring part of the equation. Brian David Mitchell and Wanda Barzee are the interesting ones. I know some of you will cry "wah, wah, glorifying the criminals. " Tough! The Smarts are dull as dish water. Live with it.
Instead I am going to write a bit about my adventures in D.C. After all, we all know there are not enough bloggers airing their personal shit on the web.
John, my friend from Los Angeles, and I have a feud of our own. One more interesting than the Smart brothers.
We both claim, with some pride mind you, to live in the most likely area in the U.S. to obtain a gunshot wound. John points out that East Los has the highest gang homicide rate in the country.
While it may be true that Los Angeles has a higher gang homicide rate, it is my contention that one would have to travel to Iraq to find a deadlier neighborhood than crossing the Anacostia River in the nation's capitol. They kill everybody, not just rival gang members. There is even a gang of thugs roaming Washington proper, pounding the crap out of citizens before robbing them.
On my last visit to L.A. John took me on a tour of Boyle Heights. Hell, I even got a t-shirt. If I can get him on my side of the country, I will have to reciprocate with a Green Line Metro tour of South West D.C. I don't know if there are any t-shirts available.
Gang killings aside, Washington D.C. has some pretty cool stuff. The Holocaust Museum, the most depressing exhibit in history; the Spy Museum, a fun tour of hidden history; A Masonic Temple linked to George Washington that gives LDS Temples a run for their money; lots of folks in business suits speaking strange languages and much much more.
There was even an exhibit of Mickey Mouse statues colored by celebrities. After the London bombings, one was treated to Metro guards packing machine guns. Washington D.C. has it all.
It is no Salt Lake City though. I won't feel truly at home until I can locate a group of religious nuts collecting teenage brides!
Well, my blog is a little late this week. That is because I had a kind of major event in my life. Due to circumstances beyond my control, your humble blogger is going to spend at least the next month in Washington D.C. Yep, it looks like I will be doing my writing chores from the nation's capitol. It may be a tad on the tough side reporting weird Utah news from clean across the other side of the ole USA.
I'll make sure to keep up with Utah events via the internet and pass on the stranger stuff to my readers. Unfortunately, due to the rather overwhelming nature of the move, I am kind of bereft of Beehive state trivia this week. I know that Elizabeth Smart's uncle just released a book about the kidnapping. In it he blasts the Salt Lake Police's handling of the case. I don't remember the name of this epic tome or even the authors name. Oh well, I'll do better next time. I promise.
I will still be working on articles for the website, including a piece on Mormon cinema and a story on all the art inspired by the Liz Smart case.
In self aggrandizing news, the nations foremost drive-in critic, Joe Bob Briggs, shot me an email praising Utah Gothic.
"The Mormon Guide to Self Abuse alone makes the whole website worth it. Great job! Your site should be a series on Discovery," Joe Bob wrote.
I emailed him asking for advice on my site. Mr. Briggs is one of the best (if most underrated) social critics around. That he displays a killer sense of humor only makes him a better read. I consider his remarks praise from Caesar indeed. However, the Discovery Channel execs seem strangely reticent in returning my calls.
Welcome to my blog. This is an adjunct to my website Utah Gothic.
I will try to update this weekly with weird Utah news or any other silly thing that comes to mind.
For more information on Brian David Mitchell you can read my history of the mad prophet here.
|To learn more about the whacky world of Chris Cannon you can go to his Congressional website.|
|Those interested in helping Pete Ashdown in his bid to unseat Orrin Hatch should click here.|
|Joe Bob Briggs' website can be accessed by clicking here. I would suggest it to anyone interested in B movies, hot babes and major league yuks.|
|If you want to learn more about Trapped By The Mormons you can visit the Cherry Red Productions' website.|