COLUMN: Random thoughts: the all Utah edition

Harry Caines contributes a weekly column to CacheValleyDaily.com. His column is a work of opinion, and does not reflect the views of Cache Valley Daily, the Cache Valley Media Group, or its employees.

<em>“To you, I’m an atheist. To God, I am the loyal opposition.”</em>

—Woody Allen, from the film “Stardust Memories”

* Although I cannot prove it, I am fairly certain that Utah State University wanted the tailgaters (RE: drinkers) for the Aggie football games to be out of sight from the more “family friendly” patrons. As such, new parking rules for Romney Stadium were implemented this year to make it cheaper for tailgaters to be pushed to the far north parking lot from the usual west side encampment.

The end result was that this past Saturday was the best tailgate I have attended at USU. The intimacy of the lot made for much mingling; and being on the far end of the lot eliminated drive-thru traffic. Sometimes, blatant acts to make drinkers feel like second class citizens makes them feel like a community instead.

* Regarding Aggie football, a limited amount of tickets go on sale for the BYU game this week. The tickets are $32 for general admission seating. If Aggie fans do not buy them, Cougar fans will. I do not want to be in a stadium with those people. Cache Valley residents need to stop being cheap and maintain the home field advantage—-and that is us. Keep BYU fans out of Romney Stadium by buying a ticket.

* As The Herald-Journal continues its mission creep towards becoming the Deseret News North, I have decided that my life will not be complete unless I make the HJ’s weekly “Tweets of the Week” column. All I have to do is mention Jesus, religion or say something that is not within 500 miles of being funny. Whoever picks those unfunny ponderings from the Twitterverse does not know what funny is.

* Can you blame The HJ for trying to appeal to right wing Mormon readers? Look at what The Salt Lake Tribune did this week. In laying off over a dozen reporters and announcing a consolidation of the paper’s sectionals, The Trib is essentially trying to bail out the Titanic using a soup spoon.

I believe that the classic version of newspapers are going the way of the buggy whip. Adaptation has manifested itself in the form of a thinner, less interesting product. This is a national problem for print journalism.

This is also a special problem for Utah. The Trib is supposed to be the independent voice in a state that still is run like a oligarchical theocracy. I never thought The Trib was an overall superior newspaper—but I want it to flourish.

And those who want an advocate for stories that do not pass through Temple Square have only one person to blame for the continued demise of this watchtower of legitimate news: themselves.

I, and many like me, do not buy The Trib daily. And because of this fact, The Deseret News, with its zealous readership, might one day soon be the only daily voice statewide. And then, we are all the subjects of propaganda disguised under the veil of journalism.

The Trib will live or die based on our ability to care about what we allow to be fed to us.

* Nothing speaks to the insufferable banality of Utah more than the popularity of mom bloggers. It is almost a stereotype. To the housewives of Utah, I say this: Put down the Xanax and read blogs from interesting people. Mom bloggers are trite and pretentious.

* The business website Kiplinger.com named Ogden the second best city in America for “cheapskates.” Salt Lake City took seventh. Their main criterion seems to be places where people can entertain themselves cheaply. That is one thing I will say about Utah in glowing terms—no other place in America can you afford to be poor like here.

* It has been over a week since North Logan’s city council voted to allow beer sales on Sunday. Somehow, the Earth still rotates around the Sun and the streets are not littered with dead children who have been run over by drinkers driving on the sidewalks rushing to get to the store so they can have their fix.

In Utah, progress of thought comes in baby steps.

* Finally, I want to give kudos to former BYU quarterback and NFL Hall of Famer Steve Young and his wife Barb for their comments at the International Affirmation Conference, held in Salt Lake City this past weekend. The Youngs spoke about the LDS church evolving to the point of tolerance. The Youngs were outspoken critics of Prop 8, the California initiative that prevented gay marriage that was supported by the LDS church, which has since been deemed unconstitutional by the U.S. Supreme Court.

It will take many prominent practicing Mormons to lend their voice to this issue to continue to move the tide away from the unfortunate homophobia that is tethered to modern Mormonism.

LDS mothers are leading the charge. They no longer will remain silent as the people they attend church with continue to tell them there is something abnormal about their gay children.

As with most movements, it starts with the mothers.

But, at least in Utah, all the conversations about bridge-building with the gay community will be an exercise in futility so long as politicians who are seeking elected office continue to appear, hat in hand, at the door of the pseudo-mafia chieftains known as the Sutherland Institute and the Utah Eagle Forum.

If being on bended knee whilst kissing the rings of Paul Mero and Gayle Ruzicka is still a rite of passage for most who are legislators, then all the celebrity Mormons in America will not be able to make a dent in the ignorance that is slowly becoming the brand of the Utah Mormon.

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