Monday in Outer Blogness: Time travel edition!
Well, it’s been a week since my last SiOB — although this one (like last week’s) was supposed to be on Sunday. I could just switch this thing to Monday, but then it would start slipping to Tuesday, etc., and I don’t want to go down that slippery slope.
This time my excuse is that I was working like a dog all weekend finishing up the last few pages of the first completed segment of my comic book, and it looks great — I’m absolutely thrilled with it! And when I was done, it was getting kind of late to start on SiOB — plus the biggest Mormon news story of the past week was a historian’s discovery that Eliza R. Snow had probably been gang-raped, which is somehow less entertaining to analyze than the usual depressing Mormon fare. But there are interesting related stories.
In other news, there was an interesting leak on the reddit regarding how seemingly-candid discussions with General Authorities are staged, and the Mormon porn paranoia has infected the state government of Utah.
In podcasts, Cleon Skousen has been coming up a lot in the news, so if you’d like some background, the Mormon Expositor has an older podcast and a new one for you! And irreligiosophy has determined that Scalia has been dead long enough that it’s time to start picking his legacy apart.
In Mormon topics, hawkgrrrl explained a bit about gender, Rock Waterman analyzed the problems with what the CoJCoL-dS is selling, William Shunn discussed what makes something “anti-Mormon”, Fred W. Anson described confirmation bias, and Andrew S devised a really interesting analysis about the ward-as-orchestra analogy and what it means for how different people are valued. He even made a music video about it:
And Michael Austin wrote an interesting analysis of Mormon word choices:
Nothing illustrates the schizophrenic nature of modern Mormonism better than the shift from “Brother Joseph” to “Brother Smith” in our interactions with each other. The “brother” and “sister” forms of address were designed to go with first names, to enhance the familiarity. Among adults in our culture, the use of a first name implies friendship and intimacy, and the addition of “brother” or “sister” enhances the intimacy by extending our sense of family into the friendship.
When we use the “brother” and “sister” title with a last name, however, we increase the formality and decrease the sense of kinship. “Brother Austin” is a much more formal way to address me than just “Mike.” It creates a distance, signals an institutional connection rather than a personal one, and (because family connections are usually identified through a last name) emphasizes the fictive nature of our kinship rather than the kinship itself.
So, it looks like there was a lot of interesting reading material this past week after all! I hope my erratic posting schedule isn’t causing people to give up on this weekly feature. I have fun doing it, and I hope you like it too! And now that I’ve hit a key milestone in my comic book project, I should be able to get my schedule back on track.
Have a great week!