CTR: Crap That’s Real is a column devoted to discussions of whatever I deem worthy of discussion. It might be Mormon-related; it might not be. This week, we are going to talk about new TV shows, bad parenting, fictional characters who should be Mormons, and other stuff. Leave a comment or shoot me an email if you want to talk about something.
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Hooooo boy! Who’s sick of reading and slash or talking about conference? You too? Great, because I am pretty much done. Actually, I was pretty much done by the middle of the Sunday afternoon session when the candy bowl we were using for that game (where you eat crap whenever people say crap) had nothing but jelly beans left. Bottom of the barrel at the bottom of the barrel, right? So let’s all promise not to talk about GC ever again until this Sunday when we talk about it all day at church again.
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Apparently someone over at the Onion reads BCC. In case you’re curious, there is–as I type this–a potential mutiny brewing on the internal BCC email list over the lack of numbered comments associated with the new site design. It’s almost as exciting as reading 100 comments (or 97? 102? SO HARD to say without numbers!) about whether or not a post is being overly critical and nitpicky or not. Yawn. Anyway, cross your fingers, say your prayers, etc…
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Because you’re all righteous Mormons, none of you watch TV. I know this because every time I have you over for “game night,” you see our big TV and say in a casual and not at all contrived way that you don’t have TV. Well, if you did (unrighteous hypothetical here) have TV, you would know that the best shows and movies ever created generally have had Joss Whedon attached to them in some form or another. This past week, there was a new announcement about a Whedon-Marvel project called “Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.” After the popularity of last year’s Whedon film The Avengers, there was evidently a meeting that went like this
TV People: “That Avengers thing was great. We should get some of that for TV!”
Other TV People: “But we can’t pay all those big stars!”
TV People: “Well, if we can’t afford Iron Man and Thor, let’s just get some more of that one guy who died and didn’t have any superpowers!”
Other TV People: “This is a fool-proof plan that cannot possibly go badly. Let’s now go purchase new homes in the Hamptons.”
Given my love for comic books and my love for Joss Whedon, this project has me really nervous, for a few reasons.
1. The show is supposed to be about the non-super heroes at S.H.I.E.L.D., but the problem here is that the Boss of S.H.I.E.L.D. is Nick Fury–who isn’t a super hero. Therefore, he should be part of the show, right? But he’s not going to be, because Samuel L. Jackson is too busy with completely unrelated projects like Avengers 2, Captain America 2, and some thing called xXx: Return of Xander Cage. That means that MAoS will have to avoid any plot arcs that involve “the boss.” Can a police or investigative procedural show last more than 7 minutes without such a device? Doubt it.
2. I worry about saturation. As much as I love comics and (generally) the films and cartoons based on them, and as popular as they have been in recent years, I don’t believe it can last forever. There are so many fantastic stories left to tell, and so many interesting characters to explore, and it would be a shame if they never get made into films because of a lame, shark-jumping TV show about Agent Coulson, who should be dead because he died and we all saw him die when he got killed.
3. Matt Page told me he’s skeptical of it, and I believe that whenever Matt Page is skeptical of things, the thinking has been done.
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My wife and I have a running joke called “Mom/Dad of the Year Award” when we realize that we have become too exhausted or negligent (or both!) to care anymore, and our attempts at setting a good example and teaching our children in the paths of righteous and societal usefulness have gone completely out the window and we have resorted to blatant lying, manipulation, or denial. For example, last year, when my daughter (who was 3 at the time) was misbehaving horribly, and I couldn’t get her to sit still, I got out my phone and called Santa Claus, reported her naughty behavior, and then informed my daughter that Santa said her Christmas is cancelled.
(Sidenote: Fellow BCCer Ben Park said “calling Santa” was something many parents did, but I asked him how many parents do it in the middle of summer. That shut him up.)
Of course, I forgot all about the incident, but my daughter didn’t, apparently. A few weeks before Christmas, I overheard my daughter explaining to someone that she wouldn’t be getting any presents at Christmas because she had been naughty and her dad had called Santa Claus. See, “Good Parents”–the kind that get mentioned by Nephi–dole out punishment as needed, but afterwards show an increase of love. As candidates for the Parents of the Year Award, we don’t do that. We forget that we punished them and let them suffer for months.
Why am I telling you all of this? What does any of this have to do with your eternal salvation? Last week, it was my youngest son’s first birthday, and in order to make sure we got a good picture and video of him at the table with his first ever cupcake, we just let him burn his fingers on the candle. Ladies and Gentlemen, Parents of the Year!
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Despite a major slump, Mormon Dale Murphy, “Elder” Bryce Harper has managed to extend his MLB-record setting season deep into early April. Remember when he was on pace to hit 324 home runs, but then he was only on pace to hit 162? Well, it’s even worse now: after playing 8 whole games, Brother Bryce has only hit 4 home runs, which leaves him on track to smack 81 home runs. That is 50 percent worse, and if baseball was Home Teaching, we would probably assign President Harper a new companion. (Also, Kansas City recovered from the 0-2 start and now leads the AL Central with a 6-3 record. I am not making that up.)
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Speaking of sports, Holy. Crap. Do we have a Mormon Tumblr like this yet? It could be General Authorities replaced with cats. Or maybe one of missionaries, with their scriptures replaced with cats. Or maybe one of families in the middle of FHE, where the kids are replaced with quiet, calm, well-behaved cats. …
Sorry–I just need a minute here.
Okay, I’m better now.
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Weekly Declaration of Truth/Rankings
Earlier this week on Twitter, we asked “Would it surprise you to learn that DC Comics is rewriting Superman to make Clark Kent a Mormon?” After looking at the responses, Steve Evans and I realized that we had only scraped the surface of a potentially rich topic–the Top Fictional Characters Who Should Be Mormons. Our discussion and ruling is below.
Steve: Top 5 fictional characters who should be Mormon
Scott: In order to get at that, though, we need to consider what the identifying characteristics of a “Mormon” are
Steve: Goody – Goody. Also a penchant for ties
Scott: Yes. Church clothes for fun.
Steve: And weird exclamations like “merciful heavens!”
Scott: let’s get Crawford in here. just a sec
Scott: Hey Crawdaddy–we are currently engaged in the business of ranking the top fictional characters who should be Mormon
John: Bob Cratchett. John Galt. Phyllis Schafley.
Scott: Uh, fictional characters, John.
John: Prove to me that she’s real!
Steve: John I’m going to have to ask you to stick to characters people have ever heard of.
John: The mother in Little Women
Steve: This was a mistake.
Scott: Hey Steve–remember when I said we should get Crawford involved here? I apologize.
John: Oh fine. What are your criteria? Atticus Finch rocked a suit
Steve: I’m out.
Steve: dude why did you involve him
Scott: because he chatted me up right at the moment and I thought he’d be fun
Steve: WRONG. Atticus Finch, for the love.
OK, so let’s do this FOR REALS. I’m gonna get the top one out of the way: Clark Kent. Given that Orson Scott Card is writing Superman this is a no brainer. Tie, goody-goody, lame-ass exclamations–plus he’s celibate (albeit because Kryptonian intercourse would prove fatal with super-sperm).
Scott: This also requires that the TV version of Robin be a Mormon
Steve: All superheroes in the 60s were Mormon, except Doctor Strange
Scott: Everyone in the 60s was Mormon. Those were the good old days. Wolverine cannot be Mormon (facial hair).
Steve: Tony Stark cannot be Mormon either–moustache + ALKY. How about Walter Bishop? Nah, too much drug abuse. But I’ll bet Broyles is LDS. Broyles would be a terrific Mormon.
Scott: Well, Walter obviously could not be LDS, but Walternate is a prime candidate. Consider: 1. career driven; 2. clean-shaven; 3. wear a suit
Steve: I’d still prefer Broyles because of the connection to The Wire, which apparently proves there are no LDS in Baltimore. How about Laura Ingalls? Little House was about as Mormon as it could get.
Scott: You know who would have been a great Mormon? That guy Merlin Olsen played.
Steve: We’ve got Commander Adama from the original Battlestar Galactica.
Scott: Commander William T. Riker? He knows the evils of video games, if nothing else.
Steve: No. Facial hair, drinks, plus he was all about the weird sexy looks.
Scott: Picard? Clean shaven, rocked a one-piece.
Steve: Star Trek is for godless atheists (redundant I know to put it that way, but I want to emphasize it). But Yoda is a prime candidate.
Scott: Ted Mosby from HIMYM. He is driven by nothing in life but the pursuit of an eternal companion.
Steve: except he sleeps around and drinks.
Scott: well, maybe he wouldn’t if the church had better programs for single adults
Steve: Point taken. I’d like to think that Riley from Buffy would be LDS, were it not for the slayer-sleeping-with.
Steve: The Mayor, FOR SURE
Scott: Well, let’s review his criteria: 1. Suit? (check); 2. Clean shaven? (check); 3. Stupid, pure fun? (mini-golf, check); 4. Presidering father figure? (check)
Steve: It’s a slam dunk
Scott: Rory Williams is an interesting one. Let’s think about that.
Steve: He’s certainly emasculated.
Scott: 1. Self-loathing male who can’t provide; 2. Clean-shaven; 3. British; 4. All attempts at Presidering are ignored/smacked down
Steve: Wait, are we talking about Rory or Ronan?
Scott: We have a good list, but it’s problematic in that it doesn’t have any women.
Steve: We can have Laura Ingalls say the prayer in their meetings. Or Anne of Green Gables.
Scott: Maybe for next week’s list of “Top Potential Fictional fMh Bloggers”
Steve: I didn’t say that. I respect them!
Scott: Let’s see….1. Closet alcoholic (remember the currant wine!); 2. Green hair… yeah, that’s all I got
Steve: that’s basically enough to go perma at the JI.
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Fictional Characters Who Should Be Mormon, ranked
1. Clark Kent
2. Commander Adama (Original BSG)
3. Mayor Richard Wilkins III (Buffy)
4. Rory/Ronan (Doctor Who/Malvern Abbey)
5. John Galt (Atlas Shrugged)
6. Yoda (Empire Strikes Back)
7. Broyles / Walternate (Fringe)
8. Ted Mosby, if the Single Adults program could get its act together (HIMYM)
9. Merlin Olsen (Little House On the Prairie)
10. Anne of Green Gables
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Tell us about your moments of bad parenting, fictional characters who should be Mormon, or anything else we covered this week.
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 UPDATE: Steve would like everyone to know that HE came up with Rory in a section that was removed by evil translators.