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Happy Monday!

I wanna talk about last night's BIG LOVE - holy Nacodotches was there inside stuff!!


BIG LOVE

*other discussions about this show and Mormonism are here and here.



Holy CRAP I am loving this show. I really, really didn't think I would, but it so obvious the amount of research the writers did, how sensitive and careful they're being, yet not holding any punches. Two things brought up that are "inside" knowledge. I literally jumped out of my seat, so shocked at them being acknowledged.

The "Eternal Smile". This, dear friends, is what every self-respecting Mormon girl is looking for in a mate. As in, the indication under the shirt that the boy - preferably an RM (return missionary) - is wearing garments. This is that "secret underwear" you may have heard about. Now, Mormons don't call it "secret," it's SACRED. And I'll respect that they feel that way about it. It's a serious covenant made with god directly by the wearer that you will be chaste, and respect your body. Basically, it's an undershirt and "boxers" that come to your knees. Which is why Mormons dress modestly. Nothing comes between your skin and your "G's" unless you are exercising, swimming (while wearing a modest suit) or copulating. There are symbols sewn in strategic locations, and while most Mormons don't realize it, they are Masonic symbols. Joseph Smith was a Freemason, and very high up, at that.

Girls will laugh, pat/rub a guy on the arm and feel for a hint of G's under his shirt sleeve, if she can't detect the Eternal Smile in the front. And the ad exec on the show was EXACTLY RIGHT. Mormons take care of their own first. And a lot of them shun those who aren't Mormon, and will not do business with them. It goes back to the communist beginnings of the early church when all the money, crops, cattle, etc. belonged to the church, and the prophet/leaders doled out an equal portion to everyone as needed. Sounds good on paper, but... That's what the UEB on the show is doing and it doesn't always turn out to be fair. As evidenced by Bill's mother and father being kicked out of their houses.

Shaking The Dust From the Soles of Their Shoes. OH. MY. GOD. This is one of those ugly little things you do NOT talk about outside of whispers, in my experience. New missionaries would always talk about this in hushed tones, reverent with their supposed power. This little ditty appears THREE TIMES in the Doctrine & Covenants, one of the books of the church, which is basically the "doctrines" handed down from the horse's mouth, Joseph Smith. This is NOT in the Book of Mormon. (The Church believes, as a physical representative of Christ on earth, anything the prophet says is gospel.) For those with a copy, D&C 24:15, 60:15, 70:20. (This is in reference to missionaries abroad, J. Smith gave this while in Amherst, Ohio.) It reads:

And in whatsoever house ye enter, and they receive you not, ye shall depart speedily from that house and shake off the dust of your feet as a testimony against them. It continues in 70:21: And you shall be filled with joy and gladness; and know this, that in the day of judgment you shall be judges of that house, and condemn them;

Aww! Condemnation, just like Jesus taught! If you happen to have an old, original copy of The School of Prophets, which I do, I thank you, you'll see that this sets a mark upon a house as evil. You know, so God can skip over them and curse them with a rotten life. That silly God! The church does not push this idea any longer, but that is its history, ladies and gentlemen.

Oh, and speaking of their history... Anyone else creeped out by Roman's son with his knife and bible in the car? That was VERY SYMBOLIC. That, my friends, was a reference to Joseph Smith's own personal avenging angel, Porter Rockwell. Basically, Joe had a personal bodyguard. That killed the wicked in a "spiritual cleansing" kind of way. God likes his killing. Oh, his nickname was: DESTROYING ANGEL. The church has changed its stance on this guy more times than a three year old with a bladder problem. Back in the early days, that man was a saint. That man was an absolute blessing to the prophet and God's Will. People laughed and praised god when they mentioned that bloodthirsty man. Now, it's hushed tones, and times were different, and have you forgotten about the persecutions? No, but killing a man, spilling his blood from his neck on the ground and putting ashes on them isn't in keeping with any god I would follow, thanks.

Oh, that's right. I don't follow any God. Maybe Thor...

He was a hired assassin, basically, and was even sent to kill Governor Wade Boggs of Missouri where Mormons were emigrating, who was shot. Hmmmm. Guess by who? Oh, and there was a "prophesy" earlier about Boggs being killed as an enemy of God. Guess Smith just wanted to speed up that prophesy. And as the Mormons had grown in numbers and had political control over Navoo, they both got off when arrested for Boggs' attempted murder. Interesting. A history of violence is steeped in the Mormon church, whether its members want to acknowledge that or not. So Roman was keeping with custom, you see. Wiping out those that would stop His Work.

So... Roman would see nothing wrong with killing Bill. Or Bill's son, to ensure his seed was wiped out.

One last note on the show: I loved Nicky quoting back scripture to those missionaries, and refusing to call them "Elder so and so." That was a little dig at denying they had any priesthood authority, by the way. The "Mr. Christensen" or whatever their names were. And... those were some smarmy missionaries. I doubt anyone would act like THAT at a first meeting, as being called to a mission in SALT LAKE CITY is considered the absolute worst assignment EVER. Those kids are usually pretty humbled by the complete lack of interest in non-Mormons (I mean, those people are SURROUNDED. They know about the church!) or... there's Mormons. So... they don't need conversion. Very interesting ep, all things considered. I'm absolutely hooked.

Okay, I have a thousand more things to talk about, books, magazine articles from the latest Harper's that have FLOORED me, but I am being to freak myself out with the sheer volume of spazz-matazz happening in my head and fingers. Heh. *sheepish* and Mr. S is gone for a MONTH, then home for two days, then gone for ANOTHER MONTH and he is being accompanied by armed guards at his new location and I can't sleep and I should lay off the caffeine.

Comments

( 63 comments — Leave a comment )
(Deleted comment)
stoney321
Apr. 24th, 2006 07:19 am (UTC)
It's true! God hates caffeine. And OUR BODIES. Now go make babies.

I have to say, I'm proud of my heritage - those pioneers were some tough folks - burying their dead along the way to have freedom. It's very American. Too bad their ideology is so wacked. :D

(If you want a really good read, check out "No Man Knows My History" by Fawn Brodie. It's THE Joseph Smith autobiography.
screaming_mimie
Apr. 24th, 2006 07:14 am (UTC)
you and me both sister girl, yesterday i watched the most amazing foreign film (mine was Korean) and it just renewed my adoration for asian movies.
stoney321
Apr. 24th, 2006 07:17 am (UTC)
OoooOOooooooh. Your icon is GORGEOUS. Which movie? *wants DETAILS for Netflix page!*
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ladycat777
Apr. 24th, 2006 07:17 am (UTC)
I find these posts so fascinating, thank you.

Also, ack! *hugs you*
stoney321
Apr. 24th, 2006 07:19 am (UTC)
HELLO!!!!!

*squishes upon squishes*
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spuffyduds
Apr. 24th, 2006 07:31 am (UTC)
Really, really interesting Mormon info--keep it coming!
stoney321
Apr. 24th, 2006 07:41 am (UTC)
It's a fine line I'm walking: trying to not completely bash something, but not spew out the same old rhetoric of half-truths they've convinced everyone is the real face of the church...
julia_here
Apr. 24th, 2006 07:34 am (UTC)
Though of you yesterday, when we passed two mission boys biking east on Martin Way towards the stake house; evidentally they are not taught map reading, as they were on a stretch of road which is uphill all the way, not steep but nearly five miles of steady climb, into the wind. The plump kid in back was red-facced and miserable looking, his necktie too tight and his bike helmet slipping down over his eyes.

Julia, finally understanding why anyone would marry some of the Mormon men I know...
stoney321
Apr. 24th, 2006 07:43 am (UTC)
Ooh! Clue me in on this newfound understanding!

(and ha! Poor kids. I always offer them water when I see them in the summer time. Those poor mountain boys are completely unequipped to deal with a Texas summer.)
poshcat
Apr. 24th, 2006 07:49 am (UTC)
I love your mormon insider information. And learning this stuff makes me absolutely shudder at organized religion. It totally creeps me out, which I don't think is the effect they're going for, all in all.

I can't believe how much your husband is away. If you're like me you've gotten used to it, but how good is that, even? It can't be a happy thing when his return is mostly just disruptive. It's a difficult situation, for sure. ::counts the money Mr. Posh makes a couple more times::

Now, give me a Monday morning snog hug!
stoney321
Apr. 24th, 2006 08:02 am (UTC)
Yeeeeah. I will pretty much never step foot inside a church again, unless it's for a wedding or funeral.

He's gone almost all the time, except for the weekends. This current project will do away with most weekends, though, as he has a 13 hour flight each way. :( It won't ALWAYS be like this. I made him promise. Another two years? He's so very good at what he does, and at this rate, our goal of him retiring in ten years is very realistic. Nothing like being in your 40s and not having to work again, huh?

*snuggles you ALL up* POSH! I've missed you, doodle bug. :D
going_not_gone
Apr. 24th, 2006 07:55 am (UTC)
I am both fascinated and appalled by your posts on Mormon history and customs. As far as I can see, they are a wacked-out cult that has managed to achieve a level of respectability and wealth--but still a cult. They're what Scientology wants to be when it grows up.

I'm pretty sure the real purpose of the Garments is to make sure Mormons never have sex with non-Mormons. They might get as far as the No-tell Motel, but once the clothes start coming off and the non-Mormon sees the Sacred Undies, the mood is killed deader than a dead thing that died a long time ago. No stiffy can withstand the Sacred Undies, or the reaction thereto!
stoney321
Apr. 24th, 2006 08:06 am (UTC)
That is EXACTLY what L Ron Hubbard wanted. Problem with Scientology, it's steeped in things still considered koo-koo. J Smith had just enough Jesus in his stuff to make people thnk twice.

And DINGDINGDING! That's just what garments are for. Well, one of the things. Mormons set themselves apart from society by choice. "In the world, but not of it." The members will tell you its to keep themselves from temptation, wickedness, to keep the Holy SPirit close by keeping their "temples pure." But from the outside, it's an excellent ploy by the leaders to keep them away from actual knowledge.

Which is why Polygamists are so successful at brainwashing. No television, no books that aren't Church-approved, no outsiders, PERIOD.

(Even when I was a devout Mormon - we're talking serious believer back in the day - I always knew I'd never wear those damned things. And the polygamists' come to their ANKLES and WRISTS! That's why they dress like they do, another sore point on the show is how only Nicky dresses with modesty. Margene would NOT be wearing the things she does.)
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cherusha
Apr. 24th, 2006 08:06 am (UTC)
that in the day of judgment you shall be judges of that house, and condemn them

Well, gee. That sure is a lot of houses to condemn. Look, I realize it's an eternity, but who wants to spend any time in heaven condemning houses? I assume, of course, that this isn't just a simple matter of pointing to a house and going "I CONDEMN J00!" but filing applications, and then waiting until those applications are approved, not to mention having to deal with the Angel Bureaucracy... outlining your case towards a house and how they deserve condemnation. And then there's always these gray areas, aren't there: They let you in, they gave you milk and cookies to eat, but then they immediately kicked you out. And how would you be able to keep track of all those houses that didn't receive you? Do you write down all their addresses in a big book? But then doesn't that get left behind (along with the rest of your material goods) once you enter heaven? And what happens when a family moves in between the non-receiving and the filing of a condemnation report?

(Oh, and I completely agree with your critiques about Wong Kar-Wai. A little too artsy at times. And I love Chen Chang's character! One of the best things about that film! Perfect guy. And since you're a Tony Leung fan, when are you gonna see Infernal Affairs? *pokes* Heh, I just love the crap out of cop/mafia type films.)
stoney321
Apr. 24th, 2006 08:12 am (UTC)
Hahahaha!! Heaven is SERIOUS BUSINESS. Um... and I want to go there why? I'm a fan of the loosey-goosey nature of hell. :D

And it's on my queue!! And seriously: Tony Leung in his little underwear, totally cut and packing... Er, looking fit and hale. GUH. He is SO beautiful. Chen Chang made me ACHE. I have a little crush working on him, too. I need to re-watch Hero.

(Which was the one with Leslie and Chow Yun-Fat? From '86? It was like a Chinese Miami Vice with hints of the Godfather. That was fun.) I must exercise. Can't. Stop. Typing!!
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inlovewithnight
Apr. 24th, 2006 08:27 am (UTC)
Interesting stuff on Big Love; I might have to Netflix it when it hits DVD, I'm getting more intrigued.

::hugs:: I hope the time passes quickly and well and Mr. S is home soon.
stoney321
Apr. 24th, 2006 08:29 am (UTC)
It's a great show. Just enough soap opera to keep you interested, and just enough factual intrigue to keep me wowing it.

thanks, Sam! Thank goodness for phones and email.
*kinda enjoying the king-sized bed all to myself, however*
thepiratequeen
Apr. 24th, 2006 09:05 am (UTC)
Oh, and speaking of their history... Anyone else creeped out by Roman's son with his knife and bible in the car? That was VERY SYMBOLIC. That, my friends, was a reference to Joseph Smith's own personal avenging angel, Porter Rockwell. Basically, Joe had a personal bodyguard. That killed the wicked in a "spiritual cleansing" kind of way. God likes his killing. Oh, his nickname was: DESTROYING ANGEL. The church has changed its stance on this guy more times than a three year old with a bladder problem. Back in the early days, that man was a saint. That man was an absolute blessing to the prophet and God's Will. People laughed and praised god when they mentioned that bloodthirsty man. Now, it's hushed tones, and times were different, and have you forgotten about the persecutions? No, but killing a man, spilling his blood from his neck on the ground and putting ashes on them isn't in keeping with any god I would follow, thanks.

Oh, that's right. I don't follow any God. Maybe Thor...

He was a hired assassin, basically, and was even sent to kill Governor Wade Boggs of Missouri where Mormons were emigrating, who was shot. Hmmmm. Guess by who? Oh, and there was a "prophesy" earlier about Boggs being killed as an enemy of God. Guess Smith just wanted to speed up that prophesy. And as the Mormons had grown in numbers and had political control over Navoo, they both got off when arrested for Boggs' attempted murder. Interesting. A history of violence is steeped in the Mormon church, whether its members want to acknowledge that or not. So Roman was keeping with custom, you see. Wiping out those that would stop His Work.


DUDE!! I was creeped out enough by his banging his head against the wall to get rid of the hitch hiker and his conversation with Bill on the phone.

Nickey's smack down of the missionaries was beautiful. Her character perfectly encompasses how I feel about the show. I'm super turned off by her belief system and she's probably the only one in the family who completely believes in The Principle but I just adore her.
stoney321
Apr. 24th, 2006 09:10 am (UTC)
UGH. You and my sister both. Nicky makes me want to SMACK her. I have this thing about conniving women. Sneaks. Ooh, I can't stand a sneak.

but it makes for excellent watching. (And I loved her flouting her knowledge in their faces, too. I have big Chloe Sevigny love, however.)

And the head-banging was WEIRD. I'm fascinated by that character. WEIRDNESS. (Oh, and the hints at incestuous relations with Nicky and Roman was GROSS. But also instriguing. IT IS A GOOD SHOW, DAMMIT.)
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marlo
Apr. 24th, 2006 09:32 am (UTC)
INTERESTING!

At the concert I went to on the weekend, they played some film clips of some of the founding members of Mormonism (they didn't say who). Just really strobe-y film of old guys in suits tipping their hats to the camera.
stoney321
Apr. 24th, 2006 09:43 am (UTC)
Whoa! Random! Okay, if he was dark haired, clean shaven and kinda handsome, that was probably Joe Smith. Older with monster grey lambchops/sideburns, Brigham Young. WEIRD!

And as for the Happy Togther... it's lovely. Melancholy and achy with some hope at the end that makes you want a sequel. *pokes you to WATCH IT so we can talk!!*
allegraconbrio
Apr. 24th, 2006 10:06 am (UTC)
I was going to ramble about a former friend who is a very wacky Mormon, but on second thought I think she would be just as wacky if not Mormon. She is just strange, and very few of the "oh my" stories have to do with her religion. Though I did have a few humdinger conversations with her about the LDS church before I wised up and figured it was best to zip my lip.

Interesting convos above *tips o' the hat*

Good day, Stoney! *g*
stoney321
Apr. 24th, 2006 11:00 am (UTC)
Yeah. One thing that makes it difficult when talking about religion is a person's beliefs make up who they are. What they think about their own worth, future, who they've been. So if you shit on their beliefs, it's hard for some people to separate that you aren't saying THEY are unbelievable, just some of the things they've taken in as truths.

The I'm right, you're wrong mentality. Of which I am kinda purporting with my beliefs of non-belief. Heh. :D
emma_daisy
Apr. 24th, 2006 10:41 am (UTC)
Oh, you. Stop, you're making me BLUSH. Only don't, because I like it when people say nice things about me.
stoney321
Apr. 24th, 2006 11:02 am (UTC)
LOVE. YOU.

You are so great, it pleases me to see your name (or your...other name) pop up on my flists.

*SQUISH*

*holds the Will ♥ U sign high and proud*
entrenous88
Apr. 24th, 2006 12:07 pm (UTC)
It's so interesting to hear about your views on this, because you're so informed and you have clear opinions, but I think you also get at some of the reasons why people are stuck in these mindsets or see appeal to structures that outsiders would automatically think are oppressive. It's so hard to grow up in/become indoctrinated in such a closed-community and not feel these rules and ways of life deep in the bone.
stoney321
Apr. 24th, 2006 12:23 pm (UTC)
It's amazing how well their indoctrination works. My immediate response is ALWAYS to defend the church when I see something that doesn't look right.

(Example, the missionaries on last night's show being a bit too smug and letting her see them shaking the dust from their shoes. My immediate reaction was, "Oh, they wouldn't let her see that!" Not the fact that they DO IT. See what I mean?)
(Deleted comment)
stoney321
Apr. 24th, 2006 12:25 pm (UTC)
Yes, very much a hopeful ending. Not the happiest "everyone lives happily ever after," because they don't. But there's hope for future joy, and I really, really want a sequel. :)

When Big Love comes out on DVD, you might give it a try. So interesting.
(Deleted comment)
stoney321
Apr. 24th, 2006 12:26 pm (UTC)
Meep! Yep. Traveling in a dangerous country (well, lots of potential for danger - kidnapping of American businessmen is a commodity, we'll say.)

I was okay until he told me he took out an additional life insurance policy last week. Just in case. :(
a2zmom
Apr. 24th, 2006 12:46 pm (UTC)
I love religion. Some of this reminds me of Orthodox Judaism. Married women keep their hair very, very short and wear wigs or head coverings for reasons of modesty.
stoney321
Apr. 24th, 2006 12:57 pm (UTC)
Would you be interested to know that Mormons believe themselves to be of the two lost tribes of Israel? Ephraim and Manasseh, to be precise. They're always on the lookout for someone who claims to be a direct line of Levi.

Ahem.

The rules of polygamy were originally set up (on paper, not in practice) to model the Law of Sarah.

(And I love religion, too. Fascinating.)
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semby
Apr. 24th, 2006 05:40 pm (UTC)
Ooh, interesting information. Those are things that I didn't even really notice while watching, let alone consider the significance. Thanks for the little lesson!
stoney321
Apr. 25th, 2006 07:17 am (UTC)
Oh, sure, sure. I linked to the other posts up top - there were some great discussions in threads, if you find yourself in the DMV and need emergency reading material. :D
cordelianne
Apr. 24th, 2006 05:47 pm (UTC)
I am such a fan of Kar Wai Wong!! I've seen all of his movies. My favourites are Chungking Express and In the Mood for Love. I love Ashes of Time, even though I spend parts of the movie being confused. I haven't seen it in years but I recall finding Happy Together's a wonderful movie! Re: your point about the music, Wong utilizes music much more effectively in Chungking Express. Now I want to re-watch Happy Together!

Tony Leung is such an amazing actor!! Have you seen him in 2046? He's very different from in his role in In the Mood for Love. I also have immense Leslie Cheung love (were you aware that he committed suicide a couple of years ago? It's very very sad).

It was fascinating to read your comments about Mormonism. Thanks for sharing. :)
stoney321
Apr. 25th, 2006 07:19 am (UTC)
I DID know that about Leslie! Oh, so sad. In April, few years ago. Sad, sad, sad. I'm still waiting for Netflix to send me 2046 - I've been waiting a looooong time for that.

And hee! Chungking Express is scheduled to hit my mailbox on Thursday! NICE.
sweet_ali
Apr. 24th, 2006 06:07 pm (UTC)
I really appreciate your posts about Mormonism along with the show "Big Love". It's definitely knowledge I simply don't know about it and it does make the show even more interesting.
stoney321
Apr. 25th, 2006 07:20 am (UTC)
The show is FASCINATING. All the Mormons (and ex-Mormons) I know are just gobsmacked by all the attention to detail there.
zyrya
Apr. 25th, 2006 09:09 am (UTC)
OMG most perfect icon ever!

Now I'm going to read your post.

Aww! Condemnation, just like Jesus taught!

Hee!

Details of institutions fascinate me ... whether it's religious, medical, legal, whatever. Special undies! I love it.
stoney321
Apr. 25th, 2006 12:02 pm (UTC)
SAME HERE. So very fascinated with how religions work, etc.

*squish*
(Deleted comment)
stoney321
Apr. 25th, 2006 12:06 pm (UTC)
Okay, is Christopher working with Al Quaeda? I wondered if it was a Red Herring, you know? But I GASPED when Bacall got smacked in the mouth!!

UGH UGH UGH I hate I Love Lucy. HATE IT. I hate that she's always getting in trouble. I hate when people are doing things they shouldn't, that will most likely blow up in their faces. The whole "sneaking into the boss' office to get back that nasty letter I wrote" sit-com scenario.

Or Grace Kelly sneaking into Ray Bradbury's place in "Rear Window." That scene stresses the everliving fuck out of me.

(I thought Alby - Albee? - was going to recognize the man-whore as someone that had been kicked out earlier. That whole scene was WEEEEEEEIRD.

(Emily says: i love you)
elucidate_this
Apr. 25th, 2006 07:53 pm (UTC)
i love your mormon-y posts. it's so fascinating, and it's great to hear more about what the show is getting right or wrong.

and i love big love.
( 63 comments — Leave a comment )

Tags

Are You Actually

Reading this? I'm just curious. Because that's really detail-oriented of you. Feel free to stop reading. But you can see that there's more here, so are you going to keep reading? Really? That's pretty dedicated. I'm impressed. No, really. I'm not being sarcastic, why do you get like that? See, this is the problem I have with your mother - yes. YES. I'm going there. It's time we put all of our cards on the table.

I love you, why are you doing this? After all we've been through? You don't have to be like this. You know, still reading. You could be baking a pie. And then sharing it with me.

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