This is my whole life.
Last night, Reginald (my dad) and I saw the musical “The Book of Mormon” which recently won a boatload of Tonys. To understand the show you only really need to know two things:
1) It’s about Mormon missionaries who are sent to Uganada and
2) It was written by Trey Parker and Matt Stone, the creators of South Park
The show was hilarious and incredibly vulgar, which is exactly what one would expect from these guys. Sometimes the humor was a little raunchy for my taste but most of it was just really fucking clever. The music was…eh… It was good but it’s not something I’d necessarily go back and keep listening to. The music seemed to be more of a tool to keep the story going. The best song by far was “I Believe”. Look it up if you’re interested.
Judging from the title and considering who wrote it, I was surprised at how well they handled making fun of Mormonism. On one hand, they didn’t have to do much because the story behind Mormonism is so ridiculous that all you really have to do is explain it and wait for people to laugh. On the other hand, they definitely didn’t lampoon Mormons as much as I thought they would. If anything, they showed how ridiculous all religions can seem.
Walking out of the theater, my dad said: “What I take away from this is that people will believe in anything if it gives them hope.” Truth.
Many of the beliefs of Mormonism are absurd… aaaand they still believed until 1978 that Black people were decedents from Ham and had dark skin because they were banished to Africa which is ridiculous bullshit (ahem, Gladys Knight I’m looking at you). All religions believe some stuff that’s, quite frankly, batshit crazy. Plus, Reg is right, if it gives people hope and makes life more bearable, well, it’s hard to argue with that.
God was with me today on the subway… well, at least some of his messengers were. I encountered two interesting individuals on my way to and from work.
Crazy #1: It took me awhile to notice because I had my headphones in, but I on my way to work this morning half of the people on the crowded train were staring at this woman. When I turned off my ipod it made sense why. She was reading (screaming, actually) passages from the Bible. Just sitting there, not so quietly spreading the word of God. (On a side note, it drives me crazy when people say that the Bible was written by God. It wasn’t. It was written by human beings who, for only some parts, were transcribing from God. Not the same thing.) Anyway, she was quite obviously a bit off, but wasn’t nearly as far gone as the next guy, who had a one-way, first class ticket to Crazytown. Hell, he was probably conducting the train.
Crazy#2: He entered the train carrying a suitcase and a couple of flattened cardboard boxes. As he walked on, he was yelling at another guy who had entered the train at the same time. The only important part of their exchange went like this:
Crazy #2: “Who do you think you are? Jesus Christ?”
Guy: “No, but I get paid like him.” (Which, really, doesn’t make a whole hell of a lot of sense when you think about it. You get paid like a poor carpenter? You give all your stuff away to the needy? I guess that could be something to brag about but I imagine the delivery would be different.)
If this had been all, our friend here would have stayed at a safe level of crazy. At first he just seemed funny-crazy, which is pretty harmless. But then we all slowly started to realize he was just crazy-crazy. Then he became scary-crazy when he started threatening to punch a guy who accidentally stepped on his foot:
Crazy #2: “Apologize! You stepped on my foot! I will punch you right in the face. Apologize! I’m a decent person! I’m like Jesus Christ! I respect people!”
The absolute best part of this is when someone on the train yelled out “What would Jesus do?” Everyone wanted to laugh but didn’t want Crazy #2 to see them because stability was clearly not his middle name. Luckily I got off one stop later, which was great because I was about a foot and a half away from this guy.
God, in the future, if you’re going to journey into the NYC subway, could you please send some friendlier disciples next time? Thanks.