Sure, you can, if you really want to.

Throughout Salt Lake, there are ads that appeared about a month ago. They are for the Utah Republican Party, which as we all know is an organization that really needs to sell itself to its target audience. I mean, Utah is, after all, a battleground state.

These ads are a play on the fact that Republican contains the words "I can". (Those GOPsters! Their wit amazes!) They finish out that sentence with things like "I can start my dream business", "I can prosper", or "I can dream big" (democrats, it appears only squelch dreams. Because they're Marxists.) I think, though, to be fair, we should expand the options of finishing this setence to some other things that the Utah Republican Party supports.

Here's some examples to get started:

  • I can work four jobs and still not afford health insurance
  • I can marry the person I love, unless that person is the same sex as I am
  • I can adopt children (assuming I'm married)
  • I can pray at school events
  • I can work way past retirement age, because social programs are a sign of weakness.
  • I can get an abortion, maybe. And only after my husband's been notified
  • I can pay less tax and still complain when the government doesn't run smoothly
  • I can expand offshore drilling
  • I can fight an unwinnable war for decades

Got any others to add?

Every Walker, I will go with thee

Yesterday, I wore a cardigan, a bow tie and my tortoise shell plastic glasses to church. I could not have looked more poindexter-y if I were actively trying. Though, my intellectual garb did help when I was glowering over the speaker who spoke in favor of Prop 8.

I also spent a large chunk of yesterday watching episodes of Brothers & Sisters. I rather like this show, but I started noticing with the second season how each of the characters really only faces one issue. Justin is the addicted war vet, Kitty is the politico, Sarah is coping with family/work balance as a working, now divorced, mother, and Kevin is a relationship-phobic gay man. Whenever we see the characters, they're either coping with their topical trouble or are interacting with other family members on theirs. Because I've just noticed this (I'm nothing if not an indulgent viewer), they're starting to seem a bit flat. Even now, when they're trying to pull other dimensions to these characters' lives (like Kitty's Kinderlust), they don't come off as entirely authentic.

I wonder, though, if this isn't the appeal of the show. Rather than being a show about a single person coping with a wide-range of life challenges, B&S manages to make itself identifiable on a level that transcends personality. Viewers aren't forced to agree or identify with a real human, but with a shorthand version of a personal struggle, something they've probably faced themselves in a slightly different twist. In this sense, it's sort of like a well-crafted, disguised modern morality play. It helps that the writing is crisp, the acting spot-on and heartstrings just sufficiently tugged.

If I were a real cultural studies type, I'd probably spend some time writing academic articles about this series. One thing that'd be really interesting is to track is the amount of time spent on each Walker family member. If the show runs for several seasons (which it should, since it's one of the best serial dramas on right now), you could then even watch the evolution of issues across time and the concerns of the general public. Or explore which two characters/issues interact the most and what the intent of the writers is in doing that. Sigh...I really should just go back to academia, shouldn't I?

The deck's stacked against them

I had a very typical alea moment yesterday in church. Our Elders' Quorum lesson focused on home teaching. Of course, there were the standard comments that we need to do it so that the sisters have the priesthood in their homes (a problematic position, given the fact that brethren also need that same priesthood and because I feel like giving blessings is a fairly minor function of the ward teaching effort). So, basically, it was the same lesson you get about once a year in EQ.

Some background first: I'm at a point right now where I'm not too keen on the Church. In fact, I'm sort of Jack Twist-y about it all, what with wishing I knew how to quit it and all that jazz. In my current mood, I was convinced that I would turn out a home teaching route. I think it'd be better for all parties involved, plus I'm not sure I'm even allowed to have a route right now. The lesson, therefore, wasn't really high on my list of things to care about.

Then, at the end of the hour, the president of the quorum read off the companionships. My name was not included. I felt a bit angry about that. Then, just as I was heating up to it, I realized that, really, my ward had no way to win with me on this one and I was being silly. I ought to just back off, I figure. Though, maybe I should allow those irritations to grow, because the awesome Sunday School teacher that had pretty much kept me active with her lessons left the ward yesterday. It's a sad day to be sure.