Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Foot in Mouth Disease
or, It Goes Down Like Buttah

Only a few days ago, Reed Cowan's new documentary, 8: The Mormon Proposition, made its debut at the Sundance Film Festival. It has been in the news recently, and has––as you might expect––stirred up a real rumpus in Utah. (Though, strictly speaking, the film doesn't really drop any bombshells. Does anyone really believe that the Church didn't play the major role in that campaign? Does anyone really believe that the Church hadn't been planning for initiatives like this since the mid 90's, beginning in Hawaii? Honestly, you'd have to be living under a rock.)

In any case, one of the most talked-about issues in conjunction with this movie is an interview with Utah senator Chris Buttars. The interview was quite inflammatory (as we will see in a moment) and Buttars seems a little confused that people are so worked up.* He has recently stated that Cowan et al deceived him during the interview, explaining why he would make such impolitic comments on record and on camera. And what, you may ask, was the nature of this damnable lie? What were the subtle machinations that so ensnared the good senator? Well, Gentle Reader, I'll tell you: a crew-member mentioned serving a mission at some point in their conversation, and another crew-member, the cameraman actually, was wearing a BYU jacket. I know––the mind reels at such demonic cunning! Indeed, so subtly planned was this trickery that it required its perpetrators to lay the groundwork years earlier. Their commitment to their dark scheme was total, the cameraman actually going so far as to enroll at BYU, study there, and claim his degree at the end of his studies. Wheels within wheels, my friends! However, even that will not prepare you for the utter, satanic dedication with which the other crew-member crafted his own back-story. Would you, could you believe it if I told you––and I swear that I lie not––the crew-member in question had actually served an LDS MISSION!?! Like the Gadiantons of old, the methods given them by their dark masters are nothing less than "a riddle wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma."

But enough about that. Let's take a gander at the text of the interview itself, and see if we can understand why it has become so infamous...

I believe in the Constitution being something that was inspired of God and the way these people are destroying the Constitution is they’re saying the Constitution is a living document, that means it’s subject to change. [Also they're saying that punctuation is unimportant and run-on sentences are not a bad thing to use when you are an elected official even though they make the fact that you get to vote on state educational policy a kind of cruel irony and sounding like a mongoloid in a public setting won't really affect your political career negatively because you live in Utah and having an "R" after your name in campaign materials essentially guarantees your reelection.] But truth don’t change [No it do not––though apparently proper subject-verb agreement do], it does not change, and I won’t accept any of that. So they say, well, marriage is between a man and a woman and that’s changed, [Whaaaa? Isn't that a contradiction? Either marriage is between a man and a woman OR it has been "changed." You can't have both. It makes about as much sense to say "The sun really does still rise in the east every morning, and that's changed." Whiskey. Tango. Foxtrot?] look around, look at all these combinations. Combinations of abominations, [Homeboy is mixing up Ether 8:19 and Matthew 24:15] as far as I’m concerned. To me, homosexuality will always be a sexual perversion and you say that around here now and everybody goes nuts, but I don’t care. [Well, if by "perversion" you are referring to something "of an unnatural or abnormal kind," as per the dictionary, then you're on thin ice. The argument of the "crime against nature" just doesn't hold any water, scientifically speaking. In practically all species that reproduce sexually, homosexuality is observable, particularly when you're considering higher vertebrates. In species that have life-long, monogamous pairings, there are also life-long, monogamous, homosexual pairings. The incidence stays pretty stable at 5 to 8%, whatever group you consider. Now, remember, in animal populations these members do not usually reproduce... yet they don't die out. This is not to make any moral or ethical claim regarding homosexuality, but the "it's unnatural" argument just does not stand up to scrutiny in the light of current science.]

They want to talk about being nice, but they’re the meanest buggers I’ve ever seen. [This is called "cherry picking." Of course they're the "meanest buggers" you've ever seen! How could they not be, when you've restricted your sample only to include "buggers"? Now, if you were to consider non-buggers, your evaluation might change. You cannot very well say, "Those straight folks are mean buggers," precisely because those straight folks are, by definition, not "buggers."] It’s just like the Muslims. Muslims are good people and their religion is anti-war, but it’s been taken over by the radical side and the gays are totally taken over by the radical side. You don’t see the gay ["...the gay..."? Presumably "the gay" has a name, yes? "Have you talked to the gay this morning?" "What, you mean Bob?" "Yeah, like I said, the gay."] out there saying “let’s not do this gang.” [Ah, punctuation, thou art a fickle mistress! Suffice it to say there is a world of difference between "[L]et's not do this gang," and "[L]et's not do this, gang." Those commas are important, kids!] You see them marching around with signs and everything else. [Yes, just like those darn Muslims. Marching their signs right into the Pentagon, or really tall buildings in New York. You can hardly turn on the news these days without hearing about someone picketing a nightclub or an embassy in the middle east. Those Taliban rebels hiding in caves with their poster-board and magic markers, lobbing pithy slogans at US troops. The horror.]

I believe the whole thing is immoral and I believe you're moving towards... You see, [But wait! What am I moving towards? Don't leave us hanging!] if you say to me “Quit shoving your morals down my throat, Buttars,” my answer back is “You know my morals. What’s yours?” What is the morals of a gay person? [Yes, senator, what is they?] You can’t answer that, [No, you can't, because it sure as hell isn't English!] because anything goes. So now you’re moving towards a society that has no morals and there’s never been a nation that survived that’s done that. [I can't even think of anything funny to say to this, the implication is so incredibly offensive. Today dressing in drag, tomorrow smashing babies with shovels––it's a slippery slope. How long has it been since this man was last on the home planet?]

There’s a lot of dollar costs. [Yes, there is... there is a lot of costs. And, please note, they're of the "dollar" variety... as opposed to... I dunno, rupees?] You take their trying to have insurance rights the same as a man and a woman. Now, when you’re married, insurance companies can quantify, we got this many married people so they run their underwriting. You have no way to do that with gay people [Really? It would be impossible to register domestic partnerships and know their total number? Is this like some kind of gay Schrödinger's cat paradox? Once you put the homos in the filing cabinet you cannot know how many there are?] and you’re going to take on paying for all the extra, most often, diseases, and that’s huge. [Pause with me a moment. Let us revel in the glory of that statement. Repeat with me: "And you're going to take on paying for all the extra, most often, diseases, and that's huge." I don't know what that means, but could you puree it so I can smear it all over my body? Please. Luxuriate in the nutcase-ness.] And now you, as a straight, get to share that cost. That’s what I’m talking about. Those kinds of diseases are not exclusive with gays, but they represent the huge majority. [Evidently, he is unaware of the continent of Africa. More to the point, do gays currently get some special tax break or lowered insurance rate? Do they not currently pay for some of the benefits heterosexuals enjoy? Wouldn't a stable gay partnership represent the same kinds of economic benefits as a stable straight partnership?]

I believe that you will destroy the foundation of American society because I believe the cornerstone of it is a man and a woman and a family. It is, in my mind, the beginning of the end. Oh, it's worse than that. Sure, Sodom and Gomorrah was localized, this is world-wide. You can’t tell me that something was going on in Sodom and Gomorrah** is not going on wholesale right now and to a large degree among the gay community... [That's right. If there's one thing you know about gay people, it's that they all like gang rape! Oh, wait. That's not quite right is it, particularly when you consider that most sexual assault perpetrated against males is committed by... wait for it... straight men. Sexual assault, ironically, is not an uncommon form of anti-gay crime. See here for more information.] The underbelly is they do not want equality, they want superiority. [And gang rape! Don't forget that!]

The man is a wonder. He has his foot so far in his mouth, he could use his toes to wipe his backside. Honestly, people took the trouble to go to a voting booth and cast a ballot for this guy? What is wrong with you, Utah? It's like some kind of horrible dream.

There's no place like home... There's no place like home... There's no place like home...

*Do remember that this is the same man who, when a colleague on the senate floor referred to a bill as an "unwanted baby," chimed in to say that "...this baby is black. It's a dark, ugly thing..." and was then shocked when people took issue with his choice of words!

**See here, and here for some interesting discussions on the subject.

There is only one canonized description of the sin of Sodom and Gomorrah. It comes from Ezekiel:
As I live, saith the Lord God, Sodom thy sister hath not done, she nor her daughters, as thou [speaking of Jerusalem] hast done, thou and thy daughters.

Behold, this was the iniquity of thy sister Sodom, pride, fulness of bread, and abundance of idleness was in her and in her daughters, neither did she strengthen the hand of the poor and needy.

Ezra Taft Benson, April 1989 general conference:
The scriptures abound with evidences of the severe consequences of the sin of pride to individuals, groups, cities, and nations... It destroyed the Nephite nation and the city of Sodom.

Neal A. Maxwell, April 1999 general conference:
When love waxes cold, let the poor and the needy beware too, for they will be neglected, as happened in ancient Sodom.

Selfishness likewise causes us to be discourteous, disdainful, and self-centered while withholding from others needed goods, praise, and recognition as we selfishly pass them by and notice them not.

1 comment:

Eli said...

Well said! Is it too late for you to record commentary to be played along with the DVD?