Thursday, May 20, 2010

If only I didn't have more in common with the crackheads you write about

Well it has finally happened. This vile little undertaking of which I'm proud to be a part has finally crossed paths with the most wholesome, the most virginal of the internets -- the Bloggernacle.

What we have today is a Mormon blogger, Jill, who I fear may have been misled by our header into thinking she was applying for a temple recommend, rather than applying for a corn-hole hazing of the most unhygienic variety.

Just as I have a strict policy against discrimination with regard to which religions I will blaspheme, so too do I spare not the rod on the virtuous of the blogosphere when I hand out teeth-gnashing butt drubbings.

But call it homesickness for the Jell-O Belt, replete with its happy looking folk in desperate want of tanned skin sharing morally pure fun and scripture around a pitcher of unspiked Purplesaurus Rex Kool-Aid; call it nostalgia for the culinary delights of my youth my Mormon grandmother whipped up from canned goods, thus rotating her year supply of food. Maybe I'm just in a good mood today because someone has brought me back to my youth and home. Whatever the cause, Jill need not get her panties in a bunch (or her temple garments, as it were). I am not here to question her beliefs, however eyebrow-raisingly non-mainstream they may be. And I, of all people, have no need to be cagey. Having been born into an extended Mormon family myself, I pretty much have a get-out-of-hell free card, should the occasion require it. You see, despite my religious rejection of religion, somewhere inside my dark and withered soul, I cling to the hope that I will be baptized Mormon posthumously by proxy with the cooperation of one of my bazillion cousins' offspring and thus ensure my place in at least one of the kingdoms of heaven. Uh, kinda.

While Mormonism may be central to Jill's life, it is actually not a central theme of her blog. She's not constantly talking about it except in passing and there are no conversion efforts that I could see, or any judgment placed on those who have differing beliefs. For me the Mormonism is an aspect of Jill that shines blindingly through the lines, scorching my depraved retina with the sterile glory of the Heavenly Father. I recognize that glaring beam from my childhood and actually, while I probably have more in common morally with the crackheads she encounters or the crazy people on the subway than I do with her according to her church's doctrine, I feel at home culturally when I read her blog and inside her safe, shrink wrapped, prophylactic sense of humor, where even the 'd-word' is off limits.

But for the unfamiliar reader, Jill's Mormonism may come across as a minor detail in the grander scheme of who Jill portrays herself to be through her writing. She's also a 29 year old single and celibate half Mexican inner city high school teacher living out of place in Harlem. So her stories are much more than ideas of how to use up the 25 cases of water packed tuna fish in your pantry or tales of proselytization efforts gone awry. She writes on encounters with other cultures in her job, stories from her time in Honduras, incidents on the subway, and how her experience has had an effect on her political outlook.

Jill is above all a genuinely likeable person who has a serious funny bone, albeit an entirely wholesome, good-natured, and light hearted one. Jill likely won't take that in a negative light but I find it slightly disturbs a tormented mind like mine of ever unfolding perversions. Am I the only one to seek out the persona non grata, the mischief-makers, the guilt-ridden, those that don't have it even remotely figured out, those with the million dissenting voices in their head when I navigate the blogosphere and, well, life? Are there really people out there that are that consistent and pure like Jill? If so and if I can get my cynical mind around that, I have no business fouling up their junk, so I'd best keep my distance anyway.

As to the writing, Jill has a lot of potential, and her voice is refreshingly humble and endearing, although many of her posts read like letters home - well written and edited, mind you, but they sound as if they are meant to get a giggle out of Sister Smith from her ward back home more than the people that frequent this joint. FYI: unless I'm on snack duty at Family Home Evening, I don't care about this. Her earlier posts seemed in some cases to lack a rythmic flow to them, but she's improving. As to her writing technique, there could be more in the way of variety of tone. Jill is a mature enough writer to experiment a little in her prose, do some more intensive self-discovery through her writing, unexpected unfolding, narrative flowering. I'd like to see Jill delve more into the emotion or the descriptions behind the events she recounts as opposed to just telling the reader what happened, whatever the effect on how she categorizes herself as a writer (a Mormon humor blogger), and whatever the shock waves it may send to her Mormon audience.

I'd like to see her get her hands dirty a little. Honestly, what the heck did you expect me to say, Jill? This ain't exactly the Relief Society.

So this is what I can muster from the depths of my putrid heart:

Oh yeah, and your template reminds me of a mix of my grandmother's dingy bathroom wallpaper and a shade of denim suggesting high-wasted cinched cameltoe disasters of the early nineties. Oh and make your *cusswords removed* links work, especially the About link, dadgummit.


  1. I confess, based on this review, I was worried that I was going to dislike this blogger personally. She sounded so opposite to what appeals to me, generally.

    But having scanned the first page of her blog, my fears were misplaced. She's likable, witty, self-effacing, and, most importantly, not the smug little 'holier-than-thou' I somehow imagined. (I realize that this says much more about me than it does about the reviewer or the reviewee.)

    She doesn't appeal enough to turn me into a regular reader or anything, but she's a hell of a lot better than much of the drek that's come up for review lately.

  2. when I first started reading I thought there was no way I was going to be able to give her a positive review. But as I kept reading, I started realizing how narrow minded I had been and really ended up enjoying her voice.

    Not everyone's cuppa instant fruit flavored drink though.

  3. Yep, I do the same thing - get narrow minded about those I assume will be narrow minded.
    Alas, I read every single post you linked us to and smiled, laughed, thought a few things, etc...
    She reminds me of one of my oldest friends that regularly frustrates me for being able to consistently see the silver lining in every cloud without ignoring the cloud.
    Not a bad blog, and what a good review!

  4. Finally - a blog that I will go back to for more.

  5. I love Big Love, probably because I could use a sister wife. The blog? Meh, better than expected but I didn't expect much. It's not that I need smut to want to keep reading, just a certain wit and bite I didn't find with Jill.


Grow a pair.