An Easy Template For Your Next Angry Rant Against the Mormon Church

It’s tough out there for a progressive Mormon these days. Reacting with horrified indignation on the Internet to current events has nearly become a full-time job! It’s almost enough to make one re-examine one’s passionately believed liberal assumptions. Almost.

But before you do something drastic like that, here’s how to deal with the exhaustion of always needing to rant online. After all, there are only so many synonyms for “sad” that you can dredge up in the service of your public moral vanity.

Just use this easy, user-friendly template for your next angry tirade against the LDS Church. It’ll even work for those trendy new rants that poorly veil their murmuring under the guise of being diplomatically disappointed.

Here it is:

I am (outraged / shocked / depressed) by the recent event in the LDS Church that everyone’s talking about. It (sickens / offends / discourages) my sensitive and compassionate conscience. Once again our leaders have shown themselves to be (out of touch / tone deaf / afraid of change / consistently faithful to their calling).

When will the Church finally (evolve / wake up / get with the times / become as good as I am)? And when will they finally start thinking about all the (minorities / non-Mormons / children / sensitive and compassionate progressives)? When?!

Don’t they know that this is the last straw and that oodles and scads of people are now (leaving the Church / not joining the Church / speaking out against the Church / scribbling stale criticisms online for cheap social capital)?

How do I know the Church is wrong on this issue? I’ll tell you: (insert string of logical fallacies here; begging the question, straw man, reductio ad absurdum, ad hominem, and false analogy work especially well). The Church’s stance on this one issue is obviously (a radical conspiracy by old white men / inspired by some conservative politician my friends and I don’t like / based on decades if not centuries of doctrinal precedent).

Now that the Church has thrust us into a dark age we will have just have to hunker down and patiently (wait for change / pray for our leaders’ enlightenment / waste time showing off online / seek faith while quietly serving others).

Hopefully I’ll never have to write anything negative about the Church again. (NOTE: when posting this in future years, remember to use updated references to whichever Church leader / social conservative / Republican politician is being called stupid by the media at that time. You don’t want your rants to start sounding predictable!)

EmJen vs. the Priestcrafter!

[Background: Read this, then this, then this, then this]


Episode 38: EmJen vs. the Priestcrafter!


[Voice over] We join our courageous hero in her secret lair, the FORTRESS OF ATTITUDE, as she watches a slimy villain, DEVIL D. RANT, on a screen.

DEVIL: I encourage everyone to elevate their thoughts by studying the scriptures.

EMJEN: Oh no! My superhero senses are going off! I feel like evil’s afoot!

[EmJen’s sidekick, BLOG R. NACLE, rushes to her side]

BLOGGY: What’s going on?

EMJEN: The vile propaganda spewed by that heinous monster on the screen has set off my evil detector!

BLOGGY: Really? I thought the message was nice. I was actually inspired to do better by it. I thought–

[EmJen slaps Bloggy upside the head]

EMJEN: Foolish creature! Only an enlightened higher being like myself would see through those warm words of wisdom and automatically think to go looking for the awful truth beneath it!

BLOGGY: Really? That’s your instinct? You hear a motivational talk and your reaction is to go digging for dirt? That sounds like a reckless witch hunt to me.

[EmJen punches Bloggy in the face]

EMJEN: Hey, who’s in charge here, you or ME? Now, to the lab!

Continue reading

Jamie and Theresa’s Bogus Journey

It was a Tuesday, the same day of the week that brought us 9/11 and Tuesdays with Morrie.

My car registration was due that day, but I hadn’t smogged it yet, because the check engine light was on. This happens every year—nothing’s really wrong, it’s just a glitch. I unhooked the battery and drove it around for two weeks to reset the computer.

First thing that morning, I took my car to the nearest shop for the smog check.

The guys there said that the light came on during the test and it failed. They wanted $80 to test it and see what was wrong. Not to fix it, just to see what it might be, and see if it even could be fixed.

I took my car home, because they were clearly ripping me off, and because my wife had to get the baby to the mall for her 1-year-old pictures.

Five minutes after she leaves home, she calls me. Her van got a flat tire.

I pile the kids into my car—which has broken air conditioning—and go out to the parking lot where she’s with the van.

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9 Blue Jokes in Shakespeare That Made Me Laugh

I admit, these juvenile gags gave me a giggle, and I kept track of them in my notes.  In chronological order:

#9. Guys get teased about someone sleeping with their mother.

Shakespeare is full of practical life advice. Like this: let’s say you’ve been secretly sleeping with some powerful female executive, which would really cause a scandal if revealed, because you’re black.

But then she gets pregnant and the baby comes out black, so the cat’s pretty much out of the bag on that one. Then, her two spoiled brat sons start whining to you that your little scandal has ruined mom’s career. What’s a guy to do?

Don’t worry, Shakespeare’s got you covered:

Demetrius. Villain, what hast thou done?
Aaron. That which thou canst not undo.
Chiron. Thou hast undone our mother.
Aaron. Villain, I have done thy mother.

–Titus Andronicus, Act IV, Scene 2, emphasis added

That’s right: tease the jerks about it. When Chiron says, “Thou hast undone out mother,” he means that Aaron has spoiled their mother’s reputation. Perhaps Titus Andronicus is set in Mississippi. But Aaron replies with one of those clever plays on words that Shakespeare is so famous for. Aaron’s response also uses the word “done,” but here it means…something more literal.

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Hospital Humor

My 86-year-old father has been in the hospital for the last week.  He’s stable and comfortable, but will likely be there for a while.

Spirits are relatively high, though.  When I went in on Saturday, two nurses were changing his linens, meaning his legs were left bare for a bit.  “We’ll cover you back up,” one said.  My dad’s reply was, “Just be sure to cover me with a blanket, not dirt.”

Ladies and gentlemen: my dad.

When I dropped in after work yesterday, he was asleep, so I left a note: I took a bit of toilet paper and the marker from the nurse’s whiteboard in the room, and wrote: “This man needs 50 cc’s of BEER…stat!”  I scribbled on the bottom (because doctors have bad handwriting! Ha ha!) and left it on the whiteboard for him to get a chuckle out of.

A nurse saw it first and took it seriously.  She asked the doctor about it (and here I learned that the random number I’d picked–50 cc’s–is only about two ounces), and the doctor said, “I didn’t write it, but go ahead and let him have some; it won’t hurt.”

But alas, the old guy still hasn’t gotten any.  Sorry, Dad.  I tried.

On a more curious note, is it common for doctors to write emergency prescriptions for beer in blue marker on toilet paper and leave them hanging in patients’ rooms?  I had no idea I was perpetrating such a credible hoax.

“Primary Education of the Camiroi”

XTRTRRSTRB1988One of my favorite science fiction stories is R.A. Lafferty’s “Primary Education of the Camiroi.”  I remember reading it in the Issac Asimov-edited anthology Extraterrestrials at the old Charleston Heights library in the late 1980’s.  I loved how weird and silly it was–I’d never read anything quite like it.

Reading it again now on Google Books, I see it as a pretty biting satire of an American education system that even by the late 60’s, when the story was first published, was already showing cracks.  I especially loved the schema for the alien curriculum near the end, which I’ve copied below.  In fact, I think this story helped influence young me in my decision to become a teacher.

I really think we should consider some of the “modest proposals” in this story.  I would have loved having a class in “laser religion” as a high school freshmen.

My grade for this story now, nearly 30 years after first reading it?


Lafferty 1 Lafferty 2 Lafferty 3 Lafferty 4 Lafferty 5

“Classic 1988”

I just read a student’s book report where one paragraph began: “This book is a classic because for one, it is an old book published in 1988.”

Another student, writing about the same book, agreed: “This book is really old, and there’s not much difference in the feelings that people had in 1988 vs. today.”


UPDATE 10/28/14: And today in another class a student gave a speech that included a reference to the Tom Hanks movie Big.  “Now I know that’s a really old movie…” he said.  Big, of course, came out in 1988.  What’s with kids all thinking that’s ancient history now?

“We Real Nerds”

A wonderful parody, posted here.


Today’s poem is by David Hernandez

We Real Nerds

We real nerds. We
Love words. We

Break lines.We
Trim vines. We

Craft poems. We
Tall gnomes. We

Can’t dance. We
Hold stance. We

Reread. We
Wear tweed. We

Small herd. We
Tenured. We

Got smarts. We
Fat hearts. We

Prolong. We
Live long.