They Are The Morg: Things To Know About Mormonism

Let me be completely forthright off the bat: I am an ex-Mormon – I was born into the church to a family full of True Believer Mormons (TBM) – who left the church after 22 years.

The reasons I left are legion – but foremost among them is The Church’s (Morg members shorten the formal title ‘The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints’ to simply ‘The Church’ – and for the sake of avoiding unnecessary keystroking, I’ll do the same) completely batshit approach to reality, its financial shenanigans, and its backwards gender roles.

Many people – who only know Mormons as a peculiar-but-harmless religion that occasionally sends young men knocking at their doors – who find out that I used to be one of the Morg (‘Mormon Organization’… but also a somewhat clever play on Star Trek’s nearly unstoppable villains The Borg) often ask me what The Church is all about and why I now hold it in such low regard.

So, in trying to make a complete and thorough answer, I’m constructing this blog entry with all the pertinent facts about Mormons, Mormonism, and the overall Mormon church.

PLEASE NOTE: If you are a currently practising Mormon who intends to trash this article in the comment section below, be aware that your comments will be immediately deleted – and if you persist, I will blacklist you for harassment.

To those Mormons who read this without the intent to abuse me, I ask you to consider everything I write with an open mind that’s capable of critical thinking – not with one where you only enter into thought processes approved by The Church.

I hold no ill-will towards the average, individual Mormon church member as they are decent folk who try to be as morally good as they can… and I used to congregate with some stellar people in various wards – but I hold priesthood members of the Church hierarchy in strict contempt due to their perpetuation of such a deceitful, biased, bigoted, and misogynistic system. 

So, without further ado, on with the show.

Exhibit A: Church Origins

To get to the root of the Morg, one has to look back at it’s early 19th century architect – a young man named Joseph Smith, Jr.

Born on December 23, 1805, Joseph was a rather unremarkable man according to contemporary accounts (that haven’t been purchased and later deep sixed by The Church – which is the organization’s M.O.), with the only things drawing any attention to him was his frequent run-ins with law enforcement.

You see, Joseph was a flim flam artist (a ‘Glass Looker’ in the parlance of the day) before his upgrade to Prophet: he was arrested three times for the glass looking, arrested for being an imposter once, charged on numerous occasions for bank fraud and counterfeiting money, and was held in general low-regard among law enforcement officials of the day due to his many attempts to get locals to invest in his ‘get rich quick’ schemes that usually involved his using a divining rod to locate buried treasure.

Most of the newspaper articles regarding his criminal exploits have been either stolen from the regional archives or purchased outright by The Church’s historians and then either destroyed or sequestered in Church vaults where The Church hopes the stories will never see the light of day again – but the information is still available to those who are willing to wade through the court documents of the era.

By the mid-1830s, Joseph had come to realize that his life was going nowhere and that he was doomed to be just another American frontiersman with a meagre family land plot in New York state – never fulfilling his desire to be a rich, powerful babe-magnet that wouldn’t have to deal with the ordinary folk around him ever again.

It’s not known exactly when he came up with what I will call the ‘Prophet Plan’, but in June of 1830, Smith made the first recorded statement that he had been contacted by an agent of God – an angel that went by the name ‘Moroni’ – in 1823 that was subsequent to a vision he had of God and Jesus in 1820.

Prior to this supposed event, Joseph had made known to various family members and friends that he was dissatisfied with how Christian faiths were being managed – in particular, Methodism, since it was the predominant church in Smith’s area – but he had never claimed to have any divine insight.

At around the time of his first ‘vision’, Smith and his frequent partner-in-crime Oliver Cowdery were trying to get people interested in their new Church Of Christ – a church that eschewed common church practices in favour of things Smith and Cowdery deemed more important.

I’m guessing that there weren’t too many takers to the new religious format, which lead Joseph to implement the Prophet Plan… as that’s what makes sense when you take into account the man’s personal history.

Anyhow, Moroni told Joseph where to find a cache of buried ancient artifacts (*cough* buried treasure *cough*) that had been secreted away under a hill in Manchester, NY by the last member of an ancient tribe of Jews.

This is the Hill Cumorah – where the Gold Plates are supposedly buried. Supposedly.

According to official Church teachings, these artifacts were composed of:

  • a large book of gold pates with inscriptions on them (in really fine print if you take into account the length of the Book of Mormon)
  • an old breastplate from the armour of one of the long-dead American Jews
  • a set of magical stones that allowed a layman such as Joseph to translate a language he had never seen before (That’s pretty convenient, don’t you think? Very thoughtful of this pre-Christ American Jew).

The morning after the ‘vision’, ol’ Joe tried to dig up the gold plates and drag them back home (seriously, gold is heavy), but Moroni came back and smacked his hands.

Over the next four years, Joseph made numerous trips to the hill where the plates were hidden so that he could translate bits of the text, not having the patience to sit in the dirt and do a full-on, cover-to-cover writing – but, finally, on September 22, 1827, Moroni said “Whatevs, dude” and let Joseph dig the plates up, put them in a locked chest, and take them home.

PLEASE NOTE: Not one single person other than Joseph ever saw these gold plates, despite claims to the contrary: all supposed witnesses were either extended family members, close friends, or persons with a financial stake in seeing Mormonism succeed – and many of them had belonged to Smith’s former cadre of treasure seekers.

It’s unknown if he had his new wife Emma drag the chest containing the gold plates behind her, but that wouldn’t be out of the question considering The Church’s treatment of womenfolk.

At the same time,  some of his old treasure-seeking pals had grown tired of Joseph not hanging out with them anymore and decided to ransack his house in search of the hidden treasure – which forced Joe and his wife to skip town, moving from Palmyra to what is now Oakland, Pennsylvania… taking the gold plates and the magic stones with them.

In short order, various lackeys were employed by Joseph to write down the stuff he “translated” from the plates as he hid behind a curtain and used the magic stones and a stove pipe hat to convert the Ancient American Jew scribbles into Ye Olde English.

Seriously, the Book Of Mormon was written into The King’s English… The King’s English of 1611.

In fact, Joseph so closely mimicked the language of the King James Bible (despite the fact that NOBODY talked like that in 1830s – what with all the ‘thee’ and ‘thou’ and other anachronistic terminology) that he inadvertently copied whole passages from The Bible into his ‘Book Of Mormon’ – which has been explained away by The Church as being universal truths laid down by God, so naturally they would be worded exactly the same… irregardless of the King James version of The Bible not being the most accurate translation of that source material.

Anyhow, despite all the mysterious translating, and the fact that Joseph took the plates back to that hill in Manchester to re-bury them where they have remained ‘hidden’ to this day (it doesn’t hurt that The Church has purchased all of the land that makes up the hill and fenced it off so nobody could ever look for these gold plates), an ever-growing number of people started to believe in what Joseph had pulled out of his ass.

Thusly, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints was born.

In the early days of The Church, there was a lot of drama and murder and arson – with The Church being forced from town to town until 1844, when a group of Joe’s old associates started causing a stink in Nauvoo, Illinois, which had become the central hub for Mormondom.

The commotion grew into such a tempest that regional authorities – who had tried to quash the Mormon movement – finally had no choice but to arrest ol’ Joe and throw him in the near-by Carthage Jail… the act of which made Mr. Smith an easy target (he had been protected/hidden by the Mormon faithful up to that point).

On the night of June 27th, 1844, an angry mob camouflaged themselves for the dark by applying blackface (ironic since, later on, Church doctrine labelled people of the African-American persuasion to be cursed by God) and attacked the jail, killing Joe’s brother Hyrum with a shot to the face, and finally cornering Joseph Smith, Jr. – which he remedied by attempting to jump out a 2nd story window… but not before being riddled with bullets.

He died shortly after hitting the ground, but for good measure, the angry mob shot him several more times.

No word on whether they asked “Where’s your God now?”, but I like to think that they did.

Exhibit B: The Modern Church

If you’re going to make up a new religion, and you need it to take on legitimacy, there’s no better way to pump up the church membership than to give them a martyr – and the angry Nauvoo mob did just that.

After Joe was murdered (the term ‘lynched’ hadn’t been invented yet), the Mormon movement lost its appreciation for the quaint woodsiness of the Upper East Coast part of the still-young United States of America, so they all piled into a wagon train and headed west – all the way to the mostly unexplored area of the country that would eventually become Utah.

The Church was happy that there wasn’t a human population for hundreds of miles in any direction, allowing them to develop their new fiefdom in private – away from the prying and judgmental eyes of the unclean masses that made up the rest of the world.

Being an unimaginative lot, they named their capital Salt Lake City after, well, the Great Salt Lake nearby.

In or around 1853, The Morg started work on the Salt Lake Temple – the mother ship of Mormondom and a religious icon that took 40 years to build (because apparently Stone Masons were persona non grata in Mormon Land?).

Over that 40 years, The Church pretty much dialed in what it is today, based on the babblings of Joe Smith and subsequent Godly revelations through the modern-day prophets that are the church presidents.

These were the basic tenets of the Mormon faith:

  • The Church was the only “true church” of God… naturally
  • The indigenous native population of North America were descendants of those Ancient American Jews
  • The President of The Church is God’s only legitimate voice on Earth (naturally), akin to the Pope of the Roman Catholic faith
  • That The Book of Mormon and its companion books (The Doctrine & Covenants, and The Pearl Of Great Price) are the last word in all matters – you know, aside from all that stuff written by bored sheep herders that eventually became The Bible
  • That human kind isn’t born guilty – unlike, say, Roman Catholics
  • 10% of every dollar you make should be given to The Church in the form of tithing (no collection plates for The Morg)
  • Black people were ancestors of Cain – the son of Adam & Eve who murdered their other son – and were unworthy of any type of church office (despite Joe Smith being cool with black dudes)… but they were welcome as church members
  • Women are not designed to gain The Priesthood (The Priesthood being male specific set of powers that come from God, and is open to every male church member over 12) and cannot attain high church office
  • Baptism by water is the only way to receive the Holy Ghost (the tertiary spirit of God) and one cannot attain The Kingdom Of Heaven without it, but don’t worry if y’all haven’t been baptized: you can be baptized after you die by zealous Morg drones in one of their temples – irregardless of your religious views (Ann Frank? Yeah… she’s been posthumously baptized a half-dozen times just in case being killed by Nazis wasn’t bad enough)
  • Young men are expected to fulfill their Godly duty to mankind and go on a 2-year mission around the world to spread the gospel and recruit new members
  • Consuming certain foods and plants will bar you from Heaven (a list of which is contained in The Word Of Wisdom… which is sorta like Life For Mormon Dummies)
  • Touching your genitals for the purpose of self-pleasure will bar you from Heaven
  • One must only eat foods when they are in season
  • Every Mormon man is meant to have multiple wives so he can populate the Earth with as many Mormon children possible

On the verge of the 20th Century, these were the beliefs held by the Mormon faithful – but, as you can imagine, there’s going to be 1 or 2 problems.

The first major problem for The Church – outside of the all the murder committed by those against The Church and by those people in its employ – was that in order for Utah to become an official American state, the Feds demanded that Mormons stop practicing polygamy (the act of having many wives).

So, in spite of the fact that he had previously commanded all the Mormon men to shag as many ladies as possible, God – totally by coincidence, yo! – whispered in Church President Wilford Woodruff’s ear that polygamy wasn’t cool in 1890, and he ordered it stopped at once.

When The Church demanded that all the polygamous nookie be stopped, whole factions of The Church resigned membership from the main Mormon body and set themselves up with what they called the ‘Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints’ (because the church name wasn’t long enough already) – and today, they’re the ones you see on TV in shows like Sister Wives or Big Love.

With the Feds appeased, Utah achieved Statehood, and The Church was no longer faced with any dire impetus to change – and they generally haven’t since 1904 when Joe Smith The Second told everybody that The Church was serious about the whole one wife thing… for realsies.

Exhibit C: Racist Religiosity

In the early days, African-American people who joined The Church were allowed unfettered access to The Priesthood – and in fact, two of The Church’s first high poobahs (Elders Abel and Lewis) were black, and Mr. Smith never said a single thing about it.

However, when ol’ Joe met his untimely demise and was replaced by Brigham Young (of the university’s name) as president and prophet, The Church’s viewpoint radically changed: being in favour of slavery and having a diminished view of the negro, Young decreed the above part about blacks being the descendants of Cain – whose skin was turned black because of his role of being the world’s first murderer.

Nobody in The Church, or in communities where The Church operated, rose an eyebrow because blacks were imported slaves… and having slaves was the shit, so condemning them to non-Priesthood was really a non-issue: who wanted Godly niggers? (note: I’m not fond of that word, but ‘nigger’ was the term of the day).

Just in case people misunderstood him, Young repeated this stance in 1849 – 12 years before the American Civil War (as of 1860, there were only about 50 black people in the entire Utah Territory – which made it a remote governance item at the time) that put the issue of black slavery to an end, but not the innate American racist attitude that permeated the Deep South and Mid West.

On a side note, it’s rumoured that Young was forced to make his beliefs public because a black Mormon dude named William McCary claimed to also be getting Tweets from The Heavenly Father – but since there could only be one true prophet, it was best to just condemn the whole race.

Young went so far as to say that black men could only obtain The Priesthood after they die (“In the Kingdom of God on the Earth the Africans cannot hold one particle of power in Government.”)which I guess means there are A LOT of pissed off Priesthood holders in Heaven that got lynched in this lifetime during the Civil Rights struggle.

The funny thing was that Young couldn’t come right out and endorse slavery because Joe Smith & Friends had included in The Doctrine & Covenants the idea that “it is not right that any man should be in bondage one to another”, and included that all people are children of God and “he denieth none that come unto him, black and white, bond and free, male and female” into the Book of Mormon.

So, his hands were tied… and he also didn’t want to bar The Church from gaining new members via missionary work in 3rd world countries overseas – which, incidentally, had large populations of non-white people.

That Native Americans were allowed to obtain The Priesthood – in spite of their non-white skin – was endemic of Joe Smith’s basic church dogma that American Indians were descendants of those Ancient American Jews who had fled to the Americas by boat from the Holy Land due to persecution (why or how he decided to make Native Americans into Jews is a mystery, but I have a feeling that he may have seen an immigrant Jew once and noted that the person had darker skin than white guys – and since Indians were somewhere between black and white, it made sense to call them long-lost Jews).

(As a further bonus for Native Americans, joining the church would let them become “white and delightsome” over time – as long as they were good Morg sheep.)

In 1949, Church President George Albert Smith directed The Church to address the ‘Negro Question’ thusly:

“The attitude of the Church with reference to the Negroes remains as it has always stood. It is not a matter of the declaration of a policy but of direct commandment from the Lord, on which is founded the doctrine of the Church from the days of its organization, to the effect that Negroes may become members of the Church but that they are not entitled to the Priesthood at the present time.”

This anti-African American stance actively remained on The Church’s books until 1978, when Church President Spencer W. Kimball officially called for an end to the discriminatory practice:

“He has heard our prayers, and by revelation has confirmed that the long-promised day has come when every faithful, worthy man in the church may receive the Holy Priesthood, with power to exercise its divine authority, and enjoy with his loved ones every blessing that follows there from, including the blessings of the temple.”

However, there was still institutional sluggishness within The Church up until quite recently – mainly due to the fact that the upper hierarchy of The Church is mostly composed of Old White Men®, who were brought up in the era when The Church was openly racist.

In 1995, black church member David Jackson had to practically beg the church presidency to verbally repudiate the declarations of church prophets and church administrators that African-Americans were worth less than their white counterparts.

In December of 2013, the Church Presidency directed administrators to release the following, simple statement that hoped to put the issue to rest permanently:

“The Church disavows the theories advanced in the past that black skin is a sign of divine disfavour or curse, or that it reflects actions in a premortal life; that mixed-race marriages are a sin; or that blacks or people of any other race or ethnicity are inferior in any way to anyone else. Church leaders today unequivocally condemn all racism, past and present, in any form.”

Maybe it’s true that The Church has turned a corner on this issue, but given that The Church is still presided over by Old White Men®, I find it hard to believe that racism has been completely expunged from the organization.

Exhibit D: She Wants The D And Not The Priesthood

Blacks can now hold The Priesthood… YAY!

However, if you were born with a vagina, no Priesthood for you!

The Church has a very simple mandate for you if you are female:

  • Look as pretty as possible – which means wearing a nice dress to church on Sundays
  • Attend the ladies-only Relief Society (lots of singing, baking, sharing parental tips… like Good Housekeeping: The Musical) classes once you hit your teens
  • Marry a returned missionary
  • Have lots of babies with said returned missionary
  • Foster a talent useful to The Church – like singing or playing the piano/organ
  • Grow old and teach Relief Society classes

See? Doesn’t sound so hard, does it?

…If your only goals in life were to be married, barefoot and pregnant in the kitchen while waiting for the washing machine to stop.

Women are 2nd class citizens in The Church – despite all the carefully worded church literature that makes it sound like being female is the next best thing to being God.

...because you're worthless if you can't make a sandwich,  don't shave your legs, and don't keep the downstairs hedges trimmed

…because you’re worthless if you can’t make a sandwich, don’t shave your legs, and don’t keep the downstairs hedges trimmed

The gift of indentured servitude to a man who will bore you with the stories of all the places he went to on his 2 year mission – which may or may not include exciting locales like Boise, Idaho or Bancroft, Ontario.

“Spread ’em and then make me a sammich, Sweetheart! Don’t forget the bacon. ”

As a young boy in The Church, I never really paid much attention to how all the heifers were herded off into their own section of the church building after the main worship meeting (the part of the Sunday program where everyone sits together and sings hymns, eats sacrament, and listens to long boring sermons).

But as I grew into a young man, I began to notice how classes had turned into a total Sausage Fest.

As a guy who’s a big fan of the ladies, this began to gnaw at me – so I casually inquired why things were the way they were… and invariably, I got an answer that paraphrased that book passage that I posted a couple paragraphs up.

In essence, the attitude is “Don’t bother yourself with it, young sir. The girls you used to hang out with in Sunday School are off learning how to be a better wife for you – after you spend 2 years at The Church’s mercy as they shuffle you around to random places.”

Now, missionary work is a peculiar hitch in church philosophy as young women can actually go on missions of their own – in fact, one-quarter of all Mormon missionaries are girls… but what they do on their missions varies greatly from their male counterparts.

The greatest goal for a male missionary is to baptize new converts into The Church – but since women can’t hold The Priesthood, female missionaries can’t do all the exciting stuff like that.

Typically, girl missionaries are the “Reconnectors”: they parachute into wards that have above-average lists of “inactive members” (members who don’t attend church anymore but haven’t gone through the motions of formally resigning from The Church) and move through the local community in attempts to get those inactives going back to church and paying their 10% tithing.

In the end, the life of a young woman on a mission is more clerical (concerned with or relating to work in an office, esp. routine documentation and administrative tasks) than clerical (relating to the clergy) – which explains why there’s 3 male missionaries for every 1 female: I can’t imagine many young ladies hoping to be a travelling secretary.

Oh… and over the length of my Morg life, I honestly can’t recall meeting female missionaries among the 20,000 male Elders (the formal title for male missionaries).

Church women are meant to be baby factories that mint new, tithing-paying church members… and if they can’t find a returned missionary to marry – or anyone else for the matter – they end up being the outwardly cheery (you can see the loneliness in their eyes) spinsters who bake food for the various Strawberry Socials that each church ward has every year.

Exhibit E: A Scientific Approach To Vagueness 

How many of you watched the recent Bill Nye Vs. Creationism debate that transpired a few weeks ago?

Let me say firstly that The Church doesn’t belong to the ‘Young Earth’ group of religious weirdos – the type that believe the Earth is only 6,000 years old.

But… but… they do believe that God created the Earth in seven days as it’s laid out in Genesis.

At this point, you might be asking “How does that work?”

Well, this is where the official church line gets fuzzy (and it’s not the only scientific matter that goes for a walk in Whackadoo Park) when you ask your local bishop or Sunday School teacher: they will get a little uncomfortable as they have to reach deeply into their memories to course prep materials or the information that’s stored in the official Bishop’s Handbook before they come up with the standard answer.

In the New Testament, Peter says that in the eyes of the Lord, a day is a thousand days as seen by men… but Joe Smith did one better and included in either the Book of Mormon or The Doctrine & Covenants (I can’t remember specifically as this is an answer I got a very long time ago) that one of those God days equals 100,000 Earth years – or perhaps that was the bishops’ own interpretation of the scripture in question.

Either way, The Church skates by the Creationist cabal in an effort to look progressive.

And, to be fair, The Church has a generally embracing attitude towards modern science: there are no sermons preaching the evils of men trying to understand the works of God.

However, The Church has gone to great lengths to establish its own centres for scientific research and learning to redirect the good Morg sheep into material that seems scientifically sound but fully supports the bullshit that Joseph Smith laid down in the Book Of Mormon… and to a lesser extent, The Bible.

These schools try to offer up convincing archaeological and DNA evidence that Native Americans are actually descended from Jews who fled Jerusalem and sailed to the Americans around 2,000 B.C.E. – despite the fact that these theories do not pass muster in the realm of peer-reviewed science.

FACT: There are absolutely no archaeological sites in the Americas that support the stories laid down in the Book Of Mormon – which posits that these ancient Jews (who split into two factions, the good guy Nephites and the bad guy Lamanites) built enormous cities all over what is now the U.S. of A… complete with massive walls and temples.

FACT: DNA analysis performed by recognized universities has determined that Native Americans are descended from Mongolian stock that crossed the land bridge that connected Siberia and Alaska before the last Ice Age.

With these two incontrovertible bits of information, the Book of Mormon falls apart completely, and for The Church, that simply will not do… so they get “scholars” from Church-owned colleges and universities to write reams of worthless paper that sound scientific in their approach – with all kinds of diagrams and photos that purportedly support their findings – to firm up the beliefs of any Morg drone who might have a hard time reconciling what The Church teaches and what is written about in National Geographic.

Oh, and that DNA evidence? Apparently God magically changed the DNA so it would confuse the story – but good church members will pray about it and the truth will be made apparent.

Exhibit F: Financial F*ckery

Remember how I said that church members are required to give 10% of their income to the church?

That money contribution is to prove that you’re a humble person who’s worthy of The Kingdom Of God… or some bullshit like that.

As of 2012, The Church had 14,782,473 members enrolled.

Let’s say that 30% of those members no longer actively attend church or pay their tithing – which leaves 10,347,731 people.

Now, let’s assume a median income of $15,000 per year for each of those active members – allowing for many of them to be married to each other or for a lot of them to be teens working after-school jobs.

That nets the church member population a yearly grand total of $155,215,965,000.

All those people dutifully give away 10% of all the money they get to the church, which adds up to $15,521,596,500 every year.

I admit, my numbers are fairly soft since the church doesn’t release how many members actually pay tithing or how much money comes in from tithing, but let my ballpark number sink in: fifteen billion dollars a year.

For the sake of argument, you could +/- $1,000,000,000 and still be left with an epic shit tonne of money.

Where does all that money go?

It should scare you to know that the majority of Morg drones don’t give it a second thought – or even a first one for that matter.

All they know is that giving away money somehow makes their chances of kickin’ it with God better after their lives end i.e. they’re happy to buy their way into Heaven.

Again… where does that money go?

Well, as you’d expect, there are a number of answers – some good, some bad.

First, the good: The Church has a number of social programs that legitimately improve the lives of certain members, despite the largest of them not being well-known outside the group of people who needs it.

Mormons are of the belief – not that it’s a bad one – that they should always be ready for the impending apocalypse: every household should have stores of canned and dry goods to eat, candles and matches to light their homes when the power goes out, etc etc.

Sure, the more well-to-do members can do all that shopping at Walmart or Home Depot with their own money – but what about the poorer members who don’t have extra money that’s not going directly to the food they eat every day and keeping a roof over their heads?

The Church provides… and in this instance, it’s in the form of canned food (fruits and vegetables) that are cultivated on church-owned farms all over the U.S., Canada, and other countries around the globe and labelled with The Church’s Deseret brand imprint.

I, myself, have spent a summer working on one of these farms in Jordan Station – a small hamlet outside of Niagara Falls in Ontario.

These farms are manned completely by volunteer labour donated by socially minded church members in an effort to do their part in making the world a better place – which is an admirable thing, don’t get me wrong.

One side-effect of all of this farming and canning is that there is a large surplus year-to-year because not every Morg household is as diligent in planning for the Second Coming as they should be, and that means warehouses full of canned goods that aren’t being used.

To solve this, The Church runs a food welfare program for low-income families and individuals who are at risk of losing their housing because they’re forced to choose between eating and having shelter.

Every two weeks, these people receive a box or boxes of canned food and dry goods manufactured by The Church, and supplementary frozen and baked goods like bread purchased with church money on the open market.

Recipients are urged not to make being on this welfare program a continual thing, but the program is managed at the ward level by the bishop and he has full autonomy on its dispersal.

It’s a good use of church funds – in fact, it’s probably the best thing The Church does with any of the monies it rakes in.

Another program is The Church’s official adoption agency that finds homes for children born to unmarried Morg girls who decide they can’t care for the child – so, it’s not much different from publicly funded/available adoption services… and, I’ve heard that they even adopt children out to non-members, but I have no data that supports that notion.

One of The Church’s much ballyhooed programs is Disaster Relief: church members are told that Mormon relief workers are often the first on the scene after a tornado or hurricane strikes, or an earthquake levels a city – but, in reality, that’s hardly ever the case.

In North America, it’s usually The Salvation Army that’s the first to roll out – or Canadian Tire in Canada.

7% or less of church money actually goes to Disaster Relief – but the stories The Church tells it’s members makes them feel good about all that money they’re bribing God with.

So far, we’ve accounted for 15-20% of church income:  $3,104,319,300 – and don’t forget that churches are tax exempt.

Where does the remaining $12,417,277,200 go?

Well… The Church currently has 15 temples under construction around the world, and the average cost of one of these temples is $30,000,000 – with some costing more, some less.

There goes $450,000,000 – barely a drop in the bucket, and let’s be realistic: temples aren’t paid for all at once.

Currently, there are two temples under renovation – so let’s say the total cost for the two renos will be the cost one 1 brand new temple.

Pocket change.

The Church has 14 temples in the planning stages, which I will presume requires land purchases – say $1,000,000 for each.

Still humming along with eleven billion dollars.

Did you know that The Church has quite the real estate empire that’s not related to religious service?

Multi-billion dollar shopping malls… condo towers and apartment complexes… and 2% of Florida’s total landmass that was recently purchased for $500,000,000 – most of it made up of worthless swamp land that will continually become more worthless as sea levels rise.

Let’s say that The Church spends $8 billion a year on property maintenance, acquisition, and land taxes.

We’re left with $3,000,000,000 – and I can’t figure out where that goes.

I can think of quite a few worthy federal, state, and provincial government bodies that could use $3,000,000,000 – but it disappears inside Mormon coffers instead.

Oh, and let’s not forget all the money The Church spends on political agenda items – like Proposition 8 in California that would have banned gay marriage.

NOTE: Bloomberg recently pegged The Church as being valued at approximately $350 billion

Exhibit G: Great Mormons Are Great

When you live a day to day life that’s managed by one of the most peculiar Christian religions on Earth, you can begin to feel a bit inferior when compared to your neighbours who regularly go out for coffee (BANNNED) dates with their friends… or the ones who laze about in their back yards during the summer and guzzle down ice cold Coca-Cola (BANNED)… or the ones who have bicthin’ parties every 3rd Friday where everybody is drinking beer (BANNED), booze (BANNED), wine (BANNED), or champagne (BANNED).

Honestly, it’s enough to give you a complex.

With that in mind, I bring to your attention one of the Morg’s more harmless quirks: their loud (and often) identification with fellow Mormons who make it big – in sports, movies, TV, politics, or business.

At any given time, all Mormons can name at least 6 famous Mormons – whether the celebs are practising members, were formerly practising members, were brought up in Morg homes, or are married to a Morg.

Think about the 2012 U.S. Presidential election: do you have any idea how unbearable Mormons would have become if Mitt Romney had become President Of The United States? It would, in one master stroke, validate everything they believed in – and Mormonism as whole being the only truly American religion.

In the 1970s, Morg kids publicly identified themselves with the Osmonds – and that habit hasn’t changed… even if the stars have.

Ken Jennings, a famous Mormon in of himself, would run the board on JEOPARDY! if the category were Notable Mormons – spitting out names like Gladys Knight, Wilford Brimley (The Word Of Wisdom didn’t save him from the diabeetus), Orson Scott Card, Roy Halladay, and James Talmage.

That all of the famous Mormons are known names – and are accepted by the world – somehow reaffirms the Morg drone’s belief system and deludes them into thinking they’re just a little bit famous, too… you know, by proxy.

In Closing

Yes, I know The Church has other issues than the ones I’ve outlined above – which are all independently verifiable if you’re willing to put in the effort (and by effort, I mean clicking some links from Google search) – and I could probably go on for umpteen more sections, but I have to end this somewhere.

This is the point where I stop.

My endeavour here has really taken up more time than I’d have liked – wasting what precious little life we have in this world on something that really doesn’t mean anything tangible to me… tangible beyond the bitterness I have of pissing away my first 2 decades.

However, I encourage you to keep seeking the truths – they’re out there and I have certainly given you directions to look in.

The Straight Goods On Homosexuality

I’m straight, and probably you’re straight… and chances are your neighbor is straight, too.

This makes you, your neighbor, and I middle of the road – the sexually commanding majority that has existed since the dawn of time (one has to make the assumption that the first two humanoids on Earth weren’t gay… or else that would have been a very short story indeed).

Our individual straightness may have a few interesting quirks (Kinsey noted that a lot of straight women dig pornography of two or more gay men together), or we may be the most boring heterosexual homo sapiens that ever lived in the history of the world (which probably makes you either Jahova Witnesses or Mormons… zing!).

Regardless of the gender who’s orifices you prefer, the sexuality of another human being has very little effect on you.

A straight man standing at a public urinal next to a gay man in the same washroom isn’t suddenly going to go find the nearest gay bar and suck twenty dicks as soon as he’s done draining his dragon.

Homosexuality is not a communicable disease that you can avoid by wearing one of those CDC full-body condoms like you see in just about every movie that’s been about some new contagion.

You are either born straight, born bisexual, born homosexual, or born asexual (that is completely uninterested in sex of any kind – which must be such a boring life) – and you can’t be converted to another sexuality through exposure to someone who’s sexual orientation is different than yours.

The ignorant members of the human population would stand up and call BULLSHIT on that previous paragraph simply because there are many cases of men and women suddenly switching their sexual allegiances at fairly late stages in their lives – well into their 20s or 30s, or even at 88 years old.

Make no mistake: these aren’t cases of switching sexuality.

Those are cases of people realizing they’ve been fulfilling the gender roles that society has foisted on them through media and peer observations, and not what’s been wired into their genetic code from the beginning.

Everywhere we go in life, heterosexuality is promoted in about 5 million different ways: straight people on TV, straight people in movies, straight people hosting radio shows, straight people in magazines, books about straight people, music made by straight people, etc. etc.

We are even led to believe that our civic leaders – either political or religious – are the perfect paradigms of heterosexuality… at least until Senator Bruce was caught at a motel with a male campaign staffer, or Father Probert had been found to be playing tonsil hockey with altar boys.

So, it’s no small wonder that everybody feels the pressure to be straight – even when they’re not entirely certain that’s what they’re interested in when they look inside themselves: straight people are the ones with families, good jobs, homes with white picket fences, and all the things that society says they should have when people grow up.

After a lifetime of self-doubt or self-loathing, Steve may realize that he’d be happier sticking his penis inside another man’s arse than he has been while politely going through the motions of putting it in his wife’s vagina.

Carol-Anne has been sleeping with every guy on the high-school football team in hopes of quashing the daydreams she has about tasting her best friend Jenny because her social structure insists she have a wealthy husband and six children someday.

Gender confusion has been a leading cause of suicide amongst young people for a very long time because they’ve never felt like they could belong… that they would be a monumental disappointment to their parents… that all their friends would abandon them if they came out of the closet.

Even in today’s ‘enlightened’ society where we’re told it’s okay to be gay, kids are bullied into ending their lives just because they like persons with the same genital configuration as they have.

But why?

What does being gay have to do with you if you’re straight?

How can you be threatened by that so clearly that you feel the necessity to lash out?

There aren’t many – if any at all – ways that homosexuality could be dangerous to the truly heterosexual people in your town or city, and to fear some vague notion that there is can only be pinned on mass hysteria.

Are you afraid that the queer folk are gonna snap up all the fabulous clothes at the mall?

That they will drink up every last drop of cafe au lait at Starbucks?

Or that gay men and women will suddenly, en masse, raid every adult novelty store in the country and buy up the world’s supply of dildos?

C’mon now! Give your friggin’ head a shake!

The only way a gay, lesbian, or bisexual person could really change your sexual outlook is by forcing you to realize that you are one of them and have been since the day your mother gave birth to you – at the bare minimum, you come around to the fact that you’re bisexual or omnisexual (attracted to all genders and sexual orientations depending on your mood – gay one day, straight the next, and fapping to tranny grandfathers the week after).

But I suppose that’s where the fear is: the uncertainty of uprooting your carefully constructed heterosexual image and not knowing how to be successfully homo- or bisexual… and I can understand how scary a concept that might be.

Change is terrifying for the majority of humankind.

However, it’s absolutely no excuse to single out, shame, bully, harass, or make fun of someone who doesn’t share your ideals.

I can’t remember any incidents of gay/lesbian/bi people beating up on a hetero male simply because he likes getting head from his girlfriend Stacy – and there’s a single reason for this: LGBT (Rainbow Coalition) people are self-aware enough to accept everyone for who they are and not what they’re supposed to be.

Gay or lesbian members of society don’t judge you on your sexual orientation or gender identification – they judge you on whether or not you’re a douchebag i.e. if you’re a decent human being who is worth knowing.

Even straight people aren’t homogeneous in their sexuality.

Myself, I have a thing for chubby or fat women… and most of my peers would prefer fantasizing about stick-thin bimbos with gigantic fake tits because that’s what’s pushed in beer ads and the issues of Hustler they purchased at 7-11.

Some straight guys like dressing up in women’s clothing… or getting spanked by their girlfriends… or dressing up together in leather fetishwear.

At the end of the day, sexuality can never been clearly defined in black and white – there is always room for shades of grey when it comes to what floats your personal boat.

Let me finish this blog with a question – call it The Human Decency Test.

One day, out of the blue, your son or daughter comes home from middle school and tells you they’re gay.

Do you still love them?

How you answer that question defines you… not who you like to fuck.

.

From The International Desk: Japan Not So Hot…

I feel I must say a few brief words today since a report has recently surfaced in regards to sexuality in The Land Of The Rising Sun.

According to many knowledged statisticians, 36% of male Japanese teens have little or no interest in sexual relations with women.

Meanwhile, on the other side of the coin, 59% of teen girls are feeling the same way about men.

This news is shocking when you realize that Japan has the most abysmal birth rate amongst the G-8 nations… which could be seen as a good thing when you consider the very small amount of land mass that Japan actually occupies, but it’s not so good when you’re trying to maintain a population to occupy those islands.

These stats are even more shocking when you factor in Japanese animated fare like manga and anime… which are positively loaded with sexual iconography and frequently pornographic themes.

However, things get strange when you actually look at government approved pornography produced in Japan: it’s very heavily censored when distributed to Japanese citizens i.e. anything that’s between the legs is mandated to be blurred out.

I’m sorry… but doesn’t that kind of defeat the purpose of pornography?

If there are whole generations of kids thinking the opposite sex (or even your own sex) has nothing going on between their legs but an amorphous blur, perhaps that’s why they’re not inspired to want to get in anybody’s pants.

I mean… it’s not like the Japanese girls are unattractive! (see below)

It’s difficult to comprehend, to say the least.

Some are pointing to the fact that Japanese culture is a hyperstylized version of Western society, and as such, Japanese teens see it as their responsibility in life to start a family much later on so they can live up to the maximum productivity ethic that is pervasive in Asian cultures – much like how North American couples defer kids until their late 30s so they can accumulate personal wealth and standing before starting a family.

This sort of behavior could be falsely reinforced with the knowledge that the average Japanese citizen will live a longer life than they would in many other nations around the globe.

Whatever the reasons, the Japanese government must act quickly to get their young people hot and horny for each other again… to actively steam up a culture who’s heat has dissipated into the cold air over Mount Fuji.

If the Japanese birth rates fall any lower, the world could be in trouble!

If there are no new citizens in 20 years, who’s going to be building those Toyotas (hopefully they will have nailed down the accelerator problems by then), Nintendos, and Sony Playstations?

It’s A New Year: 2011

So… we’re one year away from the foretold 2012 Armageddon, and what are we all promising to do this year?

Lose weight? Be kinder to hobos? Cutting back on the kicking of puppies?

Sure… why not? They’re all worthy goals!

However, I lack such moral inspirations… so I’m going to list the things that I can probably handle pretty well in the year Two Thousand & Eleven.

Stormcastle’s List Of Resolutions:

01) Eat more nachos – specifically, nachos with bacon. Sadly, I lived the entirety of 2010 without making contact with nachos of any kind.

02) Have more sex.

03) Eat less asparagus.

04) Drink less beer.

05) Take more road trips.

06) Legalize my name.

07) Buy more Blu-Rays.

08) Avoid blatant corporate pandering.

09) Be less trendy.

10) See more movies.

11) Take public transit to save the environment.

12) Spend less time making fun of Stephen Harper.

13. Buy more things made in Canada.

14) Find new ways to make interracial exchanges.

15) Eat less Kraft Dinner/Macaroni & Cheese.

16) Appreciate the special people in my life more.

17) Spend less money on music.

18) Wear cleaner socks.

19) Spend more time in Second Life.

20) And finally… try to blog more.

There you have it, boys and girls of the world – the ways that I’m going to change myself in the first year of the 2nd decade of the new millennium.

Now… what are you gonna do?

Yay!

Is Marriage Obsolete?

In a word?

Yes.

Now… I’m not saying that people should stop getting married – it’s still a dream that’s impressed upon the youngsters of the world by various sources.

I’m here to talk about whether or not it’s a practical dream.

To really understand marriage, you have to examine it’s roots in history i.e. why weddings were invented in the first place.

Getting married was both a religious statement and a control point in social engineering when the human population was much, much, much smaller than it is now – designed to guarantee a steady line of baby breeding to bolster the local populace.

I know the above disregards the personal feeling involved, and that’s somewhat on purpose since I was only summing up the institution of marriage and not the per-person reasons.

The personal incentive for marriage was somewhat selfish: the odds of finding another compatible male/female was greatly reduced in the days of yore… and the amount of time you had in your life that you had to find that person was roughly half what it is today.

So you really felt the need to lock down that one suitable mate as soon as you found them or, otherwise,  your lot in life would be somewhat pointless and your social standing would be somewhat awkward (and we all know feeling awkward kind of sucks).

Also, marriage was born eons ago when the concept of sexual equality was non-existent: marrying ultimately was contract between a man and his bride’s father that transferred ownership and control of the woman in question – which still has an anachronistic throwback in today’s world in the form of more ‘romantic’ men asking their girlfriend’s father for permission to marry.

In fact, in certain populations today, marriage is still very much no different that buying a goat or a used car (in those areas of the world us Westerners deem to be less civilized i.e. much of the African continent, broad swaths of Asia, and various Pacific island nations) and love has nothing to do with it at all.

Which brings me to this: what does love have to do with it?

Is it impossible to love someone without wanting to marry them?

Of course not… and to say so is pure brain atrophy caused by religious brain washing.

Remember what I said about marriage facilitating breeding? Can you guess what parties benefited from there being more people in ancient times?

Churches and governments – and both for the exact same reasons, and those reasons are the same today as they were back then… and are why both priests and politicians still embrace marriage: taxes.

The more people there are in any given area, the more the local government makes in tax revenue.

The more people there are in any given church congregation, the more the church hierarchy makes in tithing fees e.g. 10% of your income going to church coffers.

How else are politicians supposed to pay for strippers and gay prostitutes?

How else is the Pope going to afford to wipe his geriatric ass with satin and velvet?

Blooming populations pay for those… at least in theory.

However, that theory is clearly broken in the Western world: 50% of first time marriages end in divorce (67% of second and 74% of third marriages).

Why?

Options.

There are more people alive on this planet than ever… more than the total number of people that have ever lived and died on Earth prior to 1900A.D.

7 billion choices for every man and woman – and given the rise of same-sex relationships, that is entirely accurate.

Sure… someone who lives in Seattle, Washington may not immediately have access to a relationship with someone in Brisbane, Australia when they’re born worlds apart – but now that the planet is largely wired and connected via the Internet, what’s stopping those two people from connecting in Second Life or on 4chan?

Also… marriage used to be the only place where you could legitimately have sex with another person without society condemning you as either a pervert or whore.

But in today’s age, the sexual revolution has done away with that almost completely in the Western world.

Hookups, booty calls, and ‘friends with benefits’ are increasingly the normal way of things in the population younger than 40 years old.

I’ve had sexual relations with upward of 35 women in my lifetime – and I’ve only married one of them (ended in divorce 8 months later), and got engaged to another (lasted 5 years on and off).

The rest of the women I’ve been with? Zero interest in marrying – and in fact, with each subsequent relationship, have had less and less interest in a formal relationship.

And this is generally the experience expressed by today’s generation: the overall softening of the relationship boundary.

Sure, kids today still want to have relationships, but the function of that relationship is rapidly changing.

In a wave of teens where ‘third base’ is now anal sex, relationships are increasingly less about emotional solidarity and more for exploring sexuality in a controlled environment.

What would marriage have that would interest these kids?

Being stuck with the same person for eternity is a notion frightening enough to give them an asthma attack.

In that world, marriage is an abhorrent concept – something antiquated… something that their parents and grandparents did, like talk on phones attached to a wall with a wire.

It’s not something that’s realistic – except in the minds of naive teen girls who have been spoon fed the marriage idea by a lifetime of Disney Princess programming and other ‘timeless’ cultural inputs that proclaim themselves to be the sole bastions of romance.

Is romance dead?

Honestly, no.

Romance is alive and well – but it’s upgraded itself for a new world.

However, romance has also been perverted by backwards thinking morons like Stephanie Meyer who are trying to enslave teen and ‘tween’ girls to a religious standard that no longer functions in the real world with antiquated sexual identities i.e. women are not complete without a man to control them.

Thankfully, the perversion of romance is a self-contained blip in the overall societal scope.

As romance evolves to veer away from the pre-programmed goal of marriage, various product vendors and cultural groups are forced to re-evaluate their stance – often in dramatically different ways and to varying levels of success.

Product vendors like Harlequin Romance have had to rethink their ‘literary’ platforms in efforts to snag new, young readers to replace the old and rapidly aging readers of yesteryear that got off on the sight of Fabio’s bare chest.

Many internet dating sites are seeing an increase in their ‘intimate encounters’ sections and less popularity in their traditional dating lines.

Wedding planners and other people associated with the marriage industry are pushing more and more elaborate packages to turn up the pressure on those people who would get hitched in an effort to mold the couple’s view into seeing getting married as a social event instead of a romantic ideal – especially focusing on young couples in hopes of selling the concept of wedding as a more personally tuned high school prom.

Changing the act of getting married from an act of devotion between two people to a dressy pageant that eeks out the couple’s position in their social circles.

Which begs that question again: what has love got to do with it?

Not a damn thing.

Love has nothing to do with marriage.

When you love somebody, and they love you, why complicate things?

If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.

If two people are in genuine love with each other, then they don’t really need an antique label that only advertises what their friends already know.

A marriage is only going to push couples toward debilitating amounts of debt – both on the front end marriage ceremony and the better than even odds of divorce lawyers.

Is marriage going to disappear?

I don’t know.

It’s hard to say, really – given the global scope of things.

Churches are struggling to stay relevant in Western society – but that doesn’t mean that countries like Canada, the United States, and the U.K. aren’t going to have a constant influx of immigrants from countries where religion is still a big influence on people… and therefore bringing scores of new people who will be interested in getting married by default belief.

My best guess is that marriage will never completely disappear.

However, I can say with absolute certainty that marriage will never again be as important to current and future generations than it was prior to the 1950’s.

Is that a bad thing?

Well… anything that keeps divorce lawyers from getting richer is a good thing, no?

Click me

Things That I Don’t Understand… Vol. 2

So here again I go… down that smokey, crater-pocked, ranting road – bringing nonsense and jibber-jabber out into the bright sunlight where one would expect it to shrivel up and die like so many witches who have had houses dropped on them.

But no.

These items will go on, almost like a ballad by Celine Dion, and continue to curse society as a whole for God only knows how long.

Oh well…

On with the show!

ITEM NUMBER SEVEN

Violence perpetrated by young girls.

Where did this come from?

Back in the day, girls were supposed to be the fairer sex – not the one that will shank you with a pair of scissors for talking trash on Facebook.

What is the source of this simmering anger in today’s generations of teens? Who is causing this?

Is this a product of the generational battle for women’s equality?

Is it some bizarro manifestation of penis envy?

Have girls come to the realization that the only way that they can top their male classmates physically is to go bat-shit crazy at the drop of a hat in ways that most guys would never consider?

Young men are often perplexed because they don’t know how to react if a girl gets violent with them because – despite outward appearances – boys still adhere to the ages-old mantra that females are delicate and therefor not to be roughed up.

I say screw that!

Boys, if you’re reading this, fight back!

If a girl thinks her pants are big enough to take a swing at you, and it connects, feel free to slug her back.

Equality for women works both ways – not just the positive things like bigger paychecks.

It means equal treatment, and equal treatment means that they can get a whole hearted return on all their actions – they should be perfectly ready to take any bruises that they have coming to them as a result of things they’ve done.

Call me a brutish caveman if you like, but fair is fair.

ITEM NUMBER EIGHT

12 year old girls that have cleavage that would put Barbie to shame.

Twenty-two years ago, when I was 12 years old, my female peers were flat as a lumpy board for the most part.

What is the process behind this gender acceleration?

Is it the metric tonne of growth hormone that preteens have consumed by the time puberty rolls around through various foodstuffs?

Every piece of meat… every glass of  milk… every single item that we put in our mouths that came from an animal is loaded with growth hormones – drugs that are fed to cow, pigs, and chickens to speed up their maturation so that they can be slaughtered, be milked, or lay eggs faster and be more profitable.

Society in general sees sexual activity statistics of the very young and shake their heads without taking into account that little Krystina isn’t so little anymore and is giving J-Lo and Shakira a serious run for their money.

It’s a biological certainty – hardwired into human DNA – that once girls develop the equipment, they feel the need to employ it.

All they have to do is find a male who’s reached an equivalent state of sexual maturity – and I can only presume that the genders are on equal footing since they all eat the same food.

As Sherlock Holmes would say, it’s elementary.

If you parents want to put that sexual genie back in the bottle, demand that the food you buy is organic and not modified by big corporations for a faster buck.

Assuming that this trend hasn’t already bound itself it to our DNA, the 38DD 12 year olds should thin out over time.

ITEM NUMBER NINE

Virtual copies that you never actually own.

There’s a push amongst the tech savvy to get rid of hard copies of DVDs/Blu-Ray discs/CDs in favor of virtual copies that you purchase online from Amazon or iTunes that will ‘always be there’ for you to stream whenever you feel like it.

How does this even make sense?

Do you not understand how fragile corporations are?

What happens to that $20 investment if the company you ‘purchased’ it from goes tits up?

Your movie, TV shows, music, or book will go bye-bye and you’ll have zero to show for your money.

This may seem like an odd argument coming from me – someone who likes to stay somewhere near the cutting edge of technology – but it’s firmly rooted in reality.

Have you ever experienced a service outage from an online business that you rely on?

YouTube is down for maintenance?

Getting the Fail Whale page over at Twitter?

Your internet service provider is having a bad day?

Your copy of Assassin’s Creed 2 isn’t working because Ubisoft’s  DRM servers are offline – making it so you can’t play the game you just paid $60 dollars for?

How is it even sane to trust an online company to keep your precious purchase for posterity?

Are you frakkin’ kidding me?

Hollywood, I demand that you keep pumping out hard copies of your entertainment products so that I can always access the media at any second of my life that I wish to enjoy it.

I take pride in looking at my shelf of DVDs, visually confirming at a glance that I spent my money wisely on things that I enjoy.

I don’t think that I have to explain the tactile joy of holding something that you just spent money on – a self-justification that you’re living a life that you that you’ve worked hard at.

Online digital copies are abstract thoughts – ephemeral by their very digital nature, nothing but a series of ones and zeroes residing on a server thousands of kilometers from where you live.

You don’t own it.

All you’ve done is paid someone for the privilege of maybe looking at that media item if all the various techno gods are smiling on you today.

Fuck that.

ITEM NUMBER TEN

Spending ridiculous amounts of money on your child’s first birthday party.

You do realize that 1 year old Bobby Junior is going to have zero recollection of the event, right?

I mean, other than the cute/embarrassing photos that you will take of his face covered in chocolate ice cream cake.

Exactly what are you trying to prove?

Do you think that the number of balloons, quality of the hired entertainment, and size of the cake and goody bags is somehow relevant to the amount that you love your child?

Is how much you love your offspring measured in dollars and cents?

Of course not – unless it is… in which case you really need to get yourself some therapy and perhaps give your child up for adoption.

No… the only reason you make such a big deal of his or her turning the ripe old age of 1 is so that you can stake out your position in the social hierarchy of your circle of friends and acquaintances – and not for any valid emotional experience between your and your child.

Let’s be honest here: the party is going to emotionally overwhelm little Bobby/Sally as they simply don’t yet have the faculties to process the information overload that’s on offer.

The parents that do go to these insane lengths wonder to themselves why their child – in more cases than not – is in a rotten mood and making such a fuss amongst all the faux revelry.

Do yourself a huge favor if you have a child who is going to complete their first year on this planet of ours: buy or make a cupcake and stick a candle in it – maybe even a sparkler if you want to go for some wow-factor.

Chances are that it’s going to be 1000% more of an genuine emotional bonding experience with your baby than the three-ring circus happening at the birthday party down the block.

And really… isn’t that what you want?

The Heart Of The Matter

I have a question for you, dear readers.

What is love?

Now before you go spending a night at the Roxbury, I would like to know your honest answer i.e. fill in a comment at the end of this blog if you’re brave enough to let the world know what you think.

For me, love is a universal concept.

It’s the be-all to end-all.

I think of love as a type of energy that powers each and every one of us – whether we’re completely aware of it or not-  and since love is energy, this creates an interesting dilema for people like me.

Why?

There’s a fundamental law in the realm of physics and science: once energy is created, it can never be destroyed – ever.

It’s allowed to transform into other types of energy, but it never goes away – no matter how far it travels or how old it is.

This is how it is for me: love never, ever goes away for me – no matter how long ago I split up with a woman or how ugly said separation was – it’s always there for me to access at any time for any reason.

Is this a personal flaw?

I’m really in the dark here.

In yesterday’s 9/11 blog, I mentioned my ex-fiance Aimee in passing without all that much though beyond connecting the terrorist attacks to a specific time in my life – and then I just kept writing without revisiting that memory.

Yet today, in one of those funny wrinkles in the fabric of life, I actually ran into Aimee when I was on the transit bus as I was returning home from visiting my sister.

No, I didn’t physically run into her.

We were the only two people on the bus – Aimee sitting in the back, myself towards the front.

As soon as she seen me, her face clouded over and she clearly got her knickers in a right proper twist – regardless of the more than 6 years that had passed since we broke up in a rather spectacular orgy of shouting, screaming, and yelly phone calls.

However, for me, it was kind of nice to see her face since I haven’t been carrying the obvious grudge she has been for all this time.

We sat there in silence – well, not total silence as she took the time to huff and puff in a haughty fashion in an attempt to make sure I knew she was annoyed by my very presence – as the bus rumbled along it’s merry way, and all I could do was stare out the window and think about what exactly it meant to love somebody.

Despite the rockiness of our 5 year relationship and the fiery pyre that was our final breakup, it occurred to me if it was another lifetime where I wasn’t happily attached to my current girlfriend, I would give Aimee another chance if she offered it.

Which is what leaves me asking this question about the nature of love.

One of my favorite bands posits this: You never stop loving somebody – no matter what you tell yourself. You just start loving somebody else. (listen by clicking the bright white text)

I admit this is also one of my favorite songs because, for me anyway, it’s so completely and honestly true.

Every partner that has every meant anything to me is still kicking around in the cobwebs of my heart – cold storage if you will (maybe lukewarm storage?).

Everyone from my cheating ex-wife, Danielle, and forwards.

They all still have names, faces, and fond memories attached to them.

Danielle… Sue… Aimee… Shannon… Sheri… Eilidh… Margurite… Amy… all of them are ghosts that seem to be happy hanging around in the deeper recesses of my soul.

There isn’t one person on that list that I wouldn’t willingly sit down and have a long chat over some good coffee  – though the stress related to some might make me itch for a cigarette again, despite my quitting years ago.

There are the girls that I’ve had casual relationships with on and off over the years (yes… casual intimacy) that I care about and wonder what they’re doing now in this big world – and no, I’m not going to list their names here due to the impracticality of such a lengthy list… but I do remember each and every one of them as well.

For me, once I make a connection, I can’t unmake it.

Whether or not that paints me as an overly sentimental fool, I can’t really say.

It is how it is.

I am who I am.

Since Big & Rich sang an entire song about this concept, I’m guessing this issue isn’t singular and unique to myself.

It’s comforting to know that people out there go through this thing as well – and I say thing since it’s not really a problem i.e. it doesn’t keep me awake at night, nor do I spend my days rocking back and forth and wishing for days gone by.

I’m curious as to how many of you out there have the same thing happen to them?

I apologize to the readers who were looking for a long dissertation on something profound today, but this is what I’ve chosen to blog about.

It may not necessarily be relevant to your life, but at the moment, it’s relevant to mine..

…And it’s my blog.