Monday, March 13, 2006

Freakshow



The above is from Postsecret. But it seemed particularly amusing after heading over to Mr. Dex's place last night to catch the season premiere of "Big Love" on HBO.

Altogether I liked it because the family is surprisingly normal for being what they are . . . that is, being a man with three wives, three houses and countless children. The writers took obvious care to draw a big fat line between mainstream mormons and the bizarre cultish behaviors of the fundamentalists who live on self-contained compounds in the Utah wilds. But at the same time, they do show the compound life for what it is- a terminally patriarchal society that slowly degrades and destroys those who chose it in search of God's guidance and favors.

Harry Dean Stanton did a supremely creepy job of the Prophet, the head of the fundamentalist sect who also happens to be in his sixties and married to a 14-year old girl named Rhonda. He is also one of Bill Paxton's fathers-in-law, through his marriage to Chloe Sevigny. He is one of many unseverable ties the family still holds to their old life on the compound.

But one thing I really loved about the show is how well the set designers and costumers captured that "Mormon" look of Utah, the Hendrickson homes and even the people themselves. Women with long, scrunchie-bound French braids. Quilts hung on walls as art. Huge, heavy and ornate furniture. It reminded me very much of home, and of trying my best to understand the faith that made up such a large part of our community.

2 comments:

  1. Hi, I've snagged your pic and credited it back to you. I hope this is okay.

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  2. I may requisition it myself. I'm not sure why, but I find short-sleeved white shirts so very sexy. There's nothing like a 19-year-old calling himself Elder to get this daddy worked up, and it's so cute when they start blushing when I stare at them.

    Mormons are like all other religions in that they're at their best when they're a small minority and occasionally picked on. It brings out their best and keeps the ugly out of public sight.

    And just like other religions, when they're dominant, they're suffocating and oppressive.

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