Note: Today, Brethren and Sistren, I begin a continuing series called Bloggernacle Classics,aimed at both educating the current generation of bloggernacle readers in the nuance, culture, and history of the Mormon blogging community, as well as providing the esteemed older guard a chance to reminisce of the days of old.
This first edition of Bloggernacle Classics is not only educational, but also practical. You see, things have changed in recent times at BCC. Darkness crept back into the posts and comments. Rumor grew of a Shadow in the sidebar…whispers of a nameless fear. Well, not really nameless actually–it’s Aaron B, who has made his long-awaited return to By Common Consent with two flame-inspiring posts about OD-2 and annoying right-wingers. Sadly, for many current participants in the bloggernacle, Aaron B. is an unfamiliar name, and “Prudence McPrude” means nothing to them. I hope to rectify this sorry state of affairs today, and help them understand why, upon hearing of his return, my palms got all sweaty and I started to blush like a school girl.
From the Life of Aaron B.
Starting back in 2004, Aaron was one of the original Jedi at BCC–indeed, he was the sixth person to author a post, and the second person to comment. In fact, had popular opinion and a host of uncool and unfun fellow bloggers not fought in solidarity against him, By Common Consent would not be By Common Consent at all, but would instead be known as “Zeezrom and the Kori-Whores.” I personally have a testimony of that blog title, and feel strongly that BCC has been wading around in the dark valley of apostasy for rejecting it since March 2004.
One of the more memorable characteristics of Aaron B. is his close, intimate relationship with a woman known on the records of the bloggernacle as Prudence McPrude, a woman who arrived on the scene at T&S in July of 2005, and then appeared for the first time at BCC the following month. When I spoke with Aaron about Prudence for this post, he was genuinely surprised I dared mention her, given Steve Evans’ past history with her. “He hated her. Well, to be more specific, he was jealous of her righteousness, as she made him confront his liberal sinfulness.”
Indeed, despite the fact that Ms. McPrude’s commenting prowess was so unmatched that she once induced bladder failure in fMhLisa, it is clear that there was no love lost between McPrude and the admins of the bloggernacle, which unfortunately renders the historical record incomplete. Aaron conjectures that the fall from grace for McPrude had to do with Ms. McPrude’s stance on the value of fMh, in which she memorably questioned, “Haven’t you all purged yourselves of your rebellious, feminist, ungodly ways yet, and returned to the Kingdom of the Lord? Apparently not. Satan will be pleased.” Perhaps, instead, it was Prudence’s insistence on relevance, not poetry that drew ire instead. Despite my pressing questions, Aaron declined to comment on whether or not Prudence, absent from BCC since May of 2007, would accompany his return to the bloggernacle.
Teachings of Aaron B.
The purpose of this first edition of Bloggernacle Classics is not to simply highlight the scandalous comments linked in one way or another to Aaron. Rather, for the education of bloggernacle padawans, and for the nostalgia of the seasoned, it is important to reflect on the contribution Aaron has made through his actual posts, as well. Two posts from the archives of BCC will suffice.
Historical Artifact #1: The Enema Post
Without Aaron, we would not have a post at BCC titled “Best Mormon Missionary Story Ever (yep, it’s about enemas)” in which we learn that Aaron and his companions, while in the MTC, chose not to flirt with the young female cashiers in the bookstore, but instead purchased large quantities of enema kits and asked them awkward questions about how to use them. But it didn’t stop there:
I took a piece of paper and a pen, and in my best penmanship, proceeded to write the following letter:
Dear Elder _____:
Due to the primitive conditions that you may experience in your mission, it may become necessary from time to time to administer an enema to yourself in the event of severe constipation or other intestinal complications. A small percentage of elders have been known to experience mild allergic reactions to the enema solution, and for this reason, it is important that you administer the enclosed enema to yourself in order to determine your own reaction to the fluid. Please make note of any uncomfortable reaction to the enema solution that you experience, and promptly report your findings to the MTC medical staff.
Dr. Richard Johnson
(forged signature featured prominently here)
We took my letter to the copy center and had it shrunk down a bit, so as to make it resemble an “official” mass flyer…We then taped one flyer to each enema kit, and the following morning, we headed for the MTC Bookstore….If you’re an RM, you may recall that every Wednesday, a new crop of elders arrives at the MTC. After their initial orientation and good-byes to family, they line up to pick up their “bluebags” filled with teaching and study materials along the far wall of the Bookstore. The three of us entered the Bookstore, positioned ourselves stragetically at various locations, and initiated Operation Stuff-a-Bag…
Historical Artifact #2: The Ignoranti
If you sit down and browse through the earlier posts of Aaron B., you will recognize quickly that he has an undeniable gift for satirically portraying the behavior and attitudes of one of the most common participant “types” in the bloggernacle: the Orthodoxy-enforcer. After penning his 12 characteristics of the Mormon Ignoranti, Aaron B. first lamented, then took courage:
“I must say that categorizing and pigeonholing my fellow Saints has become a confusing, laborious chore of late…This is just so overwhelming. At times, I feel like throwing up my hands in despair and abandoning the whole project…But… like Nephi of old, I will go and do the things the Lord has commanded. I will annihilate my ideological and doctrinal opponents, with the unwavering knowledge that my cause is just.”
There is much more to this Mormon blogging icon, with most of it being irreverent and hilarious, but the purpose of these historical lessons is not to provide a complete survey, but rather a small sampling of the goodness that can be found by scouring the archives of the bloggernacle. I am grateful for the opportunity re-introduce Aaron B. to BCC, and want to conclude by taking this opportunity to thank him for returning to the bloggernacle at such an opportune time.
Suggestions for Study and Teaching
1. What is your favorite memory of Aaron B.?
2. If you could only have one of Aaron B.’s posts to take with you on Survivor, which would you take?
3. Aaron B. has 12 characteristics of the Ignoranti, and Joseph Smith Jr. has 12 Articles of Faith. Discuss.
1. Muzzling the Wife
2. Questions about Tithing
3. Melee in the Mother’s Lounge
4. Am I Immoral?
5. More MTC Antics
 Kind of like the Ensign’s old feature “Gospel Classics” except that these will be less true and more living.
 You may ask yourself why I, the noobest of noobs at BCC (and possibly at any of the large LDS blogs), am qualified to conduct such a course of instruction. The simplest answer is that I am not qualified at all! However, lest you begin to waver in your willingness to take lectures from me on the history of the bloggernacle, I would remind you of a couple of eternal principles: A) We have been instructed over and over again by the Brethren that one of the best ways to gain a testimony is to bear it (preferably with a tear-stained Kleenex), in front of lots of people. Because this is a true principle, it can surely be generalized to other walks of life–the best way to become a nuclear physicist, an orthodontist, a Stake Activities Chairperson, or, as in the extant case, a Bloggernacle Historian, is to strut around talking in no uncertain terms about these fields, and B) You listen to people teach in your home ward every week, and 98% of you are on record in the comments somewhere stating that they’re all incompetent, too. So don’t judge me. Waaa waaa waaa.
 These are the first two of what I hope will be a bloggernacle record for hyperlinks in a single post. Here’s an extra, just in case.
 His sophistication, diplomacy, and general charitable goodness are evident in this first comment. Clearly, greatness was sure to follow.
 Some folks, notably Kaimi Wenger, believe that Prudence and Aaron had more than just an improper relationship, but are actually the same person. According to Wenger, “Prudence McPrude is Aaron Brown when he’s had too much Zero-Point Joe.” An upcoming edition of “Bloggernacle Classics” will demonstrate that Wenger doesn’t know what the crap he’s talking about. Also, Aaron once tried to set Jettboy up with Prudie, so that proves me right. Disagree with me, and I’ll ban you.
 Despite the striking similarities, I want to immediately quash any speculation that McPrude was a pseudonym for this guy.