The 2009 William Law X-Mormon of the Year: Walter Kirn!!!

Critically-acclaimed author Walter Kirn — whose books and films include Thumbsucker, Up in the Air, andLost in the Meritocracy: The Undereducation of an Overachiever — has been voted “2009 William Law X-Mormon of the Year”!!

Good choice, folks — Walter Kirn is a credit to the X-Mormon community! I hope he comes by to give the acceptance speech that he promised on his facebook page! 😀


C. L. Hanson is the friendly Swiss-French-American ExMormon atheist mom living in Switzerland! Follow me on mastadon at or see "letters from a broad" for further adventures!!

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74 Responses

  1. Chino Blanco says:

    Come out, come out wherever you are, I said.

    And because there was a small dog involved, she did.

    Speaking of enticements, we should probably let the man know what he’s won.

  2. Chino Blanco says:

    On the other hand, considering how the winner’s got a promise to keep, maybe we should determine how lavish or paltry a prize to award Kirn only after we’ve seen an actual acceptance speech. 😉

  3. Chino Blanco says:

    I’ve just left this note at Kirn’s fan page:

    Walter Kirn has won the 2009 X-Mormon of the Year award, but the prize committee are insisting on seeing the text of an acceptance speech before awarding the purse.

    He knows where to find us. Once we’ve seen that speech, I suggest we put it up as a guest post and then get down to the serious business of rounding up some X-MOTY swag for our winner!

  4. chanson says:

    I suggest we put it up as a guest post


    and then get down to the serious business of rounding up some X-MOTY swag for our winner!

    Right, we’re giving him a fabulous and stylish T-shirt with the official “2009 William Law X-Mormon of the Year” graphic, right? Who wouldn’t be thrilled to win that? 😉

  5. Chino Blanco says:

    Well, it looks like our winner wandered into the earlier X-MOTY voting thread and left behind the quote I’ll be using in the press release that’s going out to the AP tomorrow:

    dang right i want this distinction. whats wrong with that? having suffered through the anti-masturbation campaign revved up by the church in the late seventies, i also believe that im fully qualified to represent screwed up people everywhere.

    Not to trivialize the deep pain that Kirn has obviously suffered at the hands of the Church, but I’m gonna have a good laugh reading that again in Sunday’s Trib.

  6. Chino Blanco says:

    Scratch my previous comment. With this kind of a buildup, rather than rush an announcement to the AP, let’s see what our winner comes up with speech-wise before alerting the press:

    I TRULY THINK I WON THIS! THANK YOU SUPPORTERS! THE POLLS ARE NOW CLOSED AND I GOT THE MOST VOTES! (there was some controversy on the website concerning how i achieved, at the last minute, such a stunning come-from-behind victory, but i believe the referees did a little investigating and deemed my viral campaign techniques legitimate. i await … See Moreofficial word, but so confident am i of my triumph that i’m readying the promised victory speech about mormonism and contemporary society, the gall of a church established by sexual iconoclasts (polygamists) in trying to play the arbiter of acceptable marital unions, why mitt romney actually is not my least favorite politician in all the world, why the salt lake city punk music scene remains the most dangerously vibrant in america, and how mormons and non-mormons both, with a little diplomacy and mutual tolerance and a lot of gulped pride by the church’s leadership, as well as some ringing apologies from headquarters, can be sort of, kind of, semi-friends. because mormons, when the all-seeing eye ain’t watching them, are super duper fun people, i assure you. and some non-mormons, who aren’t fun at all, could learn from them.

  7. aerin says:

    Congratulations to Mr. Kirn!!

    There were some great contenders in the running as well – unfortunate that only one person could win.

  8. wry catcher says:

    Congratulations, Mr Kirn! Well done you. Your speech just made my week. MORE SPEECHES PLEASE!!

    (Alas, dooce is never gonna be our friend now.)

  9. wry catcher says:

    PS: You guys need to make the speech its own post so all the world can see it and rejoice therein.

    PPS: Did the ‘nacle get their winner to personally accept the award? Doubt it. That’s cos exmos are better.

  10. chanson says:

    PS: You guys need to make the speech its own post so all the world can see it and rejoice therein.

    Yes, we will. We’re just waiting for confirmation on which prize he’d like. 😀

    PPS: Did the nacle get their winner to personally accept the award? Doubt it. Thats cos exmos are better.

    lol, I wasn’t gonna say it…

  11. wry catcher says:

    The William Law X-mo award is already listed as one of Mr Kirn’s illustrious honors on his wiki. THIS DAY CANNOT GET MORE AWESOME.

  12. chanson says:

    That is fabulous!!!

    Yet not too surprising. Everybody knows that the “William Law X-Mormon of the Year” award is a very prestigious and coveted award. 😉

  13. walter kirn says:

    the speec is coming, i assure you. such momentous addresses take some thought, though, s hold your horses folks. also, where do i give it/put it?

    in the real world i’d deliver it on the sidewalk in front of sam weller’s zion bookstore in downtown salt lake. truly. i mean it. could the press be called?

    or i guess i could just post it here.

    thank you to the celestial academy.

  14. walter kirn says:

    i repeat: the speech will come, probably late tonight. and i want the t-shirt, a medium. plus ten per cent of your gross income, naturally.

  15. profxm says:

    Medium t-shirt – check!

    Ten percent of my gross income – 😉

    (Oh, and if you could send me your postal address, I’ll get the shirt shipped out tomorrow: profxm -at-

  16. Hellmut says:

    Somebody give the man an account. Congratulations to Walter Kirn and all the nominees.

  17. Hellmut says:

    I am pleased to report that Kirn’s most prestigious award is already listed on his Wikipedia entry.


  18. Chino Blanco says:

    Also, in the meanwhile, fans might enjoy this (very) recent interview over at Literary Kicks: Up In The Air With Walter Kirn

  19. chanson says:

    Walter Kirn — I understand that Chino has gotten in touch with you via email regarding how to deliver your speech with the appropriate fanfare. 😀

  20. Chino Blanco says:

    chanson – Kirn’s fanpage administrator is in contact with the Asian chapter of the Mormon Alumni Association and assurances have been made. By the way, is the European chapter proceeding with the MSP artwork change that was discussed? Also, will others be able to purchase their own X-MOTY T-shirt from MAA’s North American chapter?

  21. chanson says:

    By the way, is the European chapter proceeding with the MSP artwork change that was discussed?

    You mean the masthead? I’d assumed ProfXM was doing that since he’s the tech admin. I can look into it though.

    Also, will others be able to purchase their own X-MOTY T-shirt from MAAs North American chapter?

    Again, I’m for it. ProfXM seemed to suggest that there was some work involved in setting up a cafe press shop. I can ask him what the difficulty is and if he needs any assistance…

  22. Chino Blanco says:

    Uggh, sorry, didn’t mean to create work. Setting up a shop stocked with a single item doesn’t seem the best use of time. By the way, for anyone in the LA area, our winner will be reading and signing books at Book Soup on Sunset Boulevard this evening (Thursday) at 7 pm.

  23. walter kirn says:

    taking me longer than usual to craft this speech thing. but it’s going to be big,big, big. im in the middle of sexy secular hollywood movie publicity duties, but i’m going to take a break from them to address what’s important in life pretty dang soon here. but no, i didn’t get the e-mail about the venue, the manner of the speech’s delivery, and so on. details!

  24. walter kirn says:

    my address, for one and all to know, because heavenly father sees everything anyway, is box 280 livingston, montana 59047.

  25. chanson says:

    walter kirn — I created an account for you here on Main Street Plaza (so that you can post your acceptance speech), and I sent you the details via email. Did you receive them?

    If not, please email me: chanson dot exmormon at gmail dot com


  26. Chino Blanco says:

    Hey gang,

    Check this out:

    Pay special attention near the end of the clip.

  27. wry catcher says:

    Love it. I want to have a drink with Walter Kirn. Next time he’s in Switzerland, for sure.

  28. Chino Blanco says:

    I call dibs on Taipei.

  29. steve benson says:

    Congrats to Walter and to all others who were nominated.

    Personally speaking, it was an honor to come in dead last.

    It reminds me of what Orrin Hatch said when he found himself in an identical circumstance during the GOP presidential primaries a few years agowhere he noted that he did better than he expected.


  30. Chino Blanco says:

    Hey Steve,

    Why was every mention of the X-MOTY contest deleted from

    Now that the winner has been announced, would it be too much to ask that we be allowed to drop a note over at RfM? Or do your readers need to wait for Colbert to announce the results of our little contest?

    Personally speaking, your comments here strike me as bordering on boorish.

  31. chanson says:

    Hi Steve — Thanks for stopping by!

    I don’t think you should take such a defeatist attitude to joke that dead last is better than you would expect. In all sincerity, if you’d campaigned at all, you obviously would have done better.

  32. steve benson says:

    Don’t know the reasons behind the deletions. RfM Admin made the call and I’m not privy to that kind of stuff.

  33. aerin says:

    It is too bad the post(s) have been removed.

    There were actually some good nominees that Cabbie nominated in one of the threads, but that post was removed as well..I don’t understand how it all works (on or pretend to understand. Different strokes for different folks I suppose. They (the mods there) have a right to set whatever boundaries they see fit.

    I know many people appreciate reading what Steve B. has to say. I think he deserves an honorary award as it is.

  34. steve benson says:

    I didn’t know about the contest until late in the game and really didn’t want to campaign anyway. We’re all in this x-Mo thing together.

    Besides, I thought Hatch’s observation was very funny and decided to post it here because it made me laugh when I first heard him make it.

    Congrats to Walter!


  35. chanson says:

    RfM Admin made the call and Im not privy to that kind of stuff.

    This is what I’d assumed, which is why I wouldn’t blame him.

    Were all in this x-Mo thing together.

    I’m totally with you, and I think it’s cool that you’d come by and congratulate the winner. In a similar vein, I’m happy to congratulate those from our community who beat me on the Niblets. 😉

    OTOH, you have some clout with admin over at RfM. So I feel like it shouldn’t be out-of-bounds to ask what gives? Why refuse such a trivial request of good fellowship with fellow exmo sites?

  36. steve benson says:

    My comments are “bordering on boorish?” Sounds like you can leave the Mo Church but you can’t leave certain x-Mos alone.

    Geezus, I take my resounding defeat in good stride, offer Walter kudos for the recognition he obviously has received and I get panned by a grumpy heckler.

    Maybe I should resort to the ol’ Mormon script and claim persecution. 🙂

  37. Chino Blanco says:

    Steve, chill, I’m commenting here not five minutes after watching the latest thread over at RfM get deleted. So, yeah, I’m testy.

    On top of that, I happen to be the guy who argued for your inclusion in the X-Mormon of the Year contest.

    I’d just like to be able to leave a link over at RfM maybe 2-3 times a year without feeling like I’m stepping on toes? Otherwise, I’m more than happy to leave you and Susan well enough alone, except when I’m doing things like, you know, singing your praises. Good grief.

  38. chanson says:

    Steve, come on, let’s not play this game.

    I know you’re good friends with my good friend Tom Clark, and the last thing I want is bad blood within the exmo community.

    Chino’s comment may have been a bit much, but (even though RfM policy obviously isn’t decided by you personally) I think it’s not totally unreasonable that exmos outside the RfM community would wonder what the deal is…

  39. Chino Blanco says:

    No, actually, this was a bit much:

    Personally speaking, it was an honor to come in dead last.

    Does anyone here really need a translation of that playground taunt?

  40. steve benson says:

    For those who might want to address their personal concerns to Admin, Susan I/S’s openly-available contact email is:

    Admin does what it decides to do (which is its right, since it’s their private board). In making its command decisions, I get deleted over there as much as anyone (as Susan and Eric have stated on the board).

    So much for “clout.” 🙂

  41. chanson says:

    Thanks Steve.

    I emailed her a polite query at that address and didn’t receive a reply. So I guess we’re in the same boat. 😉

    I recommend that you join us here at MSP, where the policy is far more transparent.

  42. steve benson says:

    “Playground taunt?” Hell, I came in dead last and didn’t mind it at all. Were you born without a humor gene? (Now THAT’S a taunt). 🙂

    It reminds me of the time I received the Pulitzer prize and was then beaten in state cartoon competition the same year by a cartoonist working for a paper in Flagstaff. I offered the guy my kudos for his achievement, as it was determined by the contest judge: multi-Pulitzer winner Paul Conrad and then-editorial cartoonist for the L.A. Times.

    Lighten up. Have a gin and Jello.

  43. steve benson says:

    I’m not playing a game. If Admin makes deletes on its board and then chooses not to answer inquiries from folks on this board as to why the deletes were made, I’d say you’ve gotten your answer.

    I have made inquiries over time to Admin about various issues about which I have a disagreement per Admin’s decision to delete whatever they decided to delete at the time–and haven’t got a response, either.

    I don’t sweat it when it gets to that point. If Admin want to talk to me, they can; if not, well, that’s the way the game is played.

  44. Chino Blanco says:

    Yeah, that’s me, Steve. The guy with zero humor genes. The guy who wrote:

    Re Steve Benson, I think the 232 cartoons he drew for the AZ Republic in 2009 make him a shoo-in for a nomination, even if Id probably hold off voting for him unless it was in the X-Mormon of the Decade category.

    Scary stuff. By the way, your drink recommendations suck.

  45. chanson says:

    That’s basically my system as well.

    I would be more than happy to have a friendly and cooperative relationship between this site (as well as all of Outer Blogness) and RfM. If RfM responds by slamming the door in our faces, I think that’s extremely unfortunate, but I’m not losing any sleep over it.

    I’m serious about welcoming you to join us here at RfM. email me and I’ll make an author account for you: chanson dot exmormon at gmail dot com

  46. steve benson says:

    Thanks for the backpat, Chino baby. You still are extraordinarily defensive about being called out on your humorless grumpiness.

    You didn’t get the joke. Walter won. I’m glad. I got creamed. So what?

    Just admit you missed the flyover and move on. 🙂

  47. Hellmut says:

    I thought Steve’s comment was classy (and funny) but I can see how one might read it differently. After misinterpreting Nine Moons so spectacularly the other day, I am not one to talk.

    I hope that you don’t mind that I address you by your first name. The familiarity may be misplaced but it beats Brother Benson any day.

  48. Chino Blanco says:

    Hey, Steve … so what? Here’s what: I left notes over at RfM asking why more of your fans weren’t showing up for the poll, and those notes got deleted.

    And for sure, at the time, it was always *all* in good fun.

    I’d suggest you aim your barbs at your own humorless moderators over at RfM.

    And, give me a break, like I’m gonna start admitting anything. You first.

    Come to think of it, “why can’t you just leave me alone” ??? MSP is my hangout. What’s your story?

  49. steve benson says:

    I can also see how one might read the Book of Mormon differently. I happen to think it is a very funny book but I just bet Mormons will say I’m misinterpreting it.

    You can call me Ezekiel. That’s my first name temple name.

  50. steve benson says:

    Yo, Chino:

    Roll with it (or as you would say, “chill”). You are not being tarred and feathered. You just didn’t get it, OK? This is a teaching moment.

    Thank you for your support. I hereby nominate you for Humor Underclassman of the Year.

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