Read them and despair fellow Mormon Lit Blitz contest entrants. Wm eats your puny entries for breakfast. Behold: Zombie Porter Rockwell sniffed the air. etc. etc.
Read them and weep, people. I’m so winning that Kindle…
Zombie Porter Rockwell sniffed the air. The smell of singed hair slowly triggered the synapses in his decaying brain. He needed brains soon. But he had business to take care of first. He was on the trail of Cain, and this time, he was going to take the hairy wanderer out.
He jiggled the tank strapped to his chest. It sloshed reassuringly — still at least half full. His bulbous, unblinking eyes scanned the dessert. Cain had managed to survive P-Rock’s trap, but little did the large-footed fellow know that fire, which was his only weakness, was now portable. Zombie Porter sniffed the air again and fell into a jerky, but surprisingly fast lope. It was bbq time and [MORE]
The rain always made her sad. It reminded her of her grandmother. It also reminded her of her dead husband. And that cat she had had for two weeks in seventh grade. The rain was coming down in sheets now. It made her feel like the world was crying. She was crying too. But even though she was crying, she knew that she was not alone. The footprints in the sand were not hers. The battered violin that was her soul could still produce a beautiful tune in the master’s hands. So she decided to cheer herself up by firing up her Provo Craft cricut and breaking out her brand new six-inch by 13-inch Cuttlebug Cutting Mats. [MORE]
Truth was a complex, ever-evolving thing for an educated man like Walter C. Habermavinaseiggeridastraullard. Nuance was his watchword. Context his Title of Liberty. Which was why he spent so much time commenting on blogs.
Walter loved his fellow Saints with a pure love, but he also knew that too many of them were in danger of having their simplistic testimonies fall to pieces at the slightest breeze of opposition, the tiniest crack in the correlated shell. In short, they were in need of maturation, and it was up to him to be the sunshine, the water and the soil — not to mention also taking the role of the fertilizer, the pruner and the grafter. [MORE]
(Obviously these aren’t really my entries. Revealing the real ones would be against the rules. Also: you have two weeks to polish up your entries and get them in.)
Yesterday I had this sudden urge to play on Twitter and so posted: “Who moved my treasure? #GadiantonSelfHelpTitles.” For those unfamiliar with Twitter adding the pound sign to a word or phrase designates it as a “hashtag”, which means other users can search for it and see all the posts that use that hashtag. It also acts as an unofficial invitation to others to post in theme with the hashtag. Now, I can’t claim that this idea is originally mine because I have a vague recollection of something similar to it coming across radar at some point in the past. But I was very pleased to see that this iteration of it took off. And it proved once again that Mormons on Twitter are hilarious. Although the ultimate proof is the juggernaut that was #mormonpioneertweets, which produced an amazing number of tweets, many of them completely hilarious and all of them, sadly, no longer available when I search for that hash tag. I guess we’ll have to wait until we can pull them out of the National Archives. It will, no doubt, be the subject of a dissertation one of these days.
And so because Twitter is terrible at archiving, I grabbed screenshots of all the additional #GadiantonSelfHelpTitles posts that happened in the two hours after I started it. To view them, visit the motleyvision flickr set. I’ve posted the first screenshot below — there are ten screenshots in total and more than 40 punchlines contribute by more than 10 Twitter users. Many thanks to all those who participated — you all amused me greatly. If I missed one or you have one to add, give us a shout in the comments below.
After looking back at some of the embarrassing language I use in my review of Irreantum 9.2/10.1 — words like “trinket” and “cul-de-sacs of meaning” — it occurs to me that I should just get all these failed metaphors of the failure of Mormon letters out of my system now so I won’t plaque you with them in the future.
So here it goes:
1. Mormon literature is like that Kafka quote about the axe and the frozen sea, except with a tub of Jello and a rubber mallet instead.
2. Mormon poetry is like the cute but slightly overweight girl (or guy) you meet at youth conference and end up hanging with the whole weekend and then make sure to dance with several times at every stake and multi-stake dance that year, but never contact or really even think about in between dances. Continue reading “Failed metaphors of failure”
Note: “Bread of Affliction” is being judged this week for the American College Theatre Festival. It’s playing this Saturday, 7:30-8:15 p.m., in the JFSB Little Theater (Room B192) at Brigham Young University. Doors open at 7:00 p.m. and admission is free. They need a good audience, so if you live in the area, consider taking this excellent opportunity to see the play.
The BYU Experimental Theatre Company was invited to write a play for the Society of Jewish-American and Holocaust Literature, which held its national symposium in Salt Lake City in September. “Bread of Affliction,” written by Matthew Greene, was the end product of the invitation, and a very entertaining one, to be sure. The play is about a Jewish professor and his Gentile wife who are planning to have Passover with the professor’s family. While the professor lectures at a university, his wife is at home with his family, who are preparing the Passover feast and telling Jewish jokes. Much of the tension in the play comes from the professor’s disapproval of his family’s Jewish jokes, which, he feels, make light of a very serious, sensitive subject.
According to Matthew Greene and director Landon Wheeler, the play began first as a concept (finding humor in the face of persecution and suffering) that was built around an amalgamation of Jewish jokes that they pulled from a variety of sources. The concept was simple but effective, and Matthew did a good job of weaving the jokes into the narrative. I enjoyed the performance quite a bit. One of the things that interested me in particular about the play was its reception. From all accounts, the play was received very well at the Society of Jewish-American and Holocaust Literature symposium, and some of the most shocking jokes got the most laughs. When shown to BYU and Provo audiences, however, the reactions were a little reticent. Non-Jewish audience members weren’t sure if they should be laughing at Jewish jokes, several of which referenced the Holocaust and anti-Semitic stereotypes in rather bitingly ironic terms. Most seemed to lighten up after a while, though, once they got used to the style of humor and realized it was okay to laugh. Continue reading ““Bread of Affliction” and Cultural Self-Consciousness”