Friday, March 13, 2009

Looking out for love

Mormons are the new black.

No, really, it's true. Just take a look around. There's the guy on Survivor (Tyson, a crazy cyclist), the guy on The Real World (Chet, who was thought to be gay by his other roommates), various people on American Idol (none of whom made it to the final 12, I think, but then last year there were two in the final 4 or 5 and one in the final two), and, well, that presidential candidate from last year. And those are just the examples I can think of on the spur of the moment. (I'm not totally sure what explains our fixation with reality shows, but that's for another post.)

It's true. We're in vogue. Who knew we could be so of the moment? Sadly, that hasn't really translated into any actual cultural cache, but hey, who needs cache?

I mean, okay, so we're still not exactly cool. And some people continually confuse us with freakish cultists, despite our best efforts at clarification. And being part of the zeitgeist has other downsides. Just this week, for instance, there's the profaning of the sacred being perpetrated on Big Love. They swore up and down that their polygamist fete was in no way depicting the reality of the LDS church, and yet, this week, they are fictionalizing some of our most holy ceremonies. By their own admission, the show hired an ex-Mormon as a consultant, yet they claim to be "very respectful" in the episode. The stills I've seen seem anything but respectful and, in fact, appear to be downright mocking. And the whole thing just muddies those waters we've tried so hard to clarify, and for what?

I can't boycott HBO, because I'm not a subscriber, but perhaps you can. I think you should.

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