A McKnight of the Realm

In the almighty words of Ron Burgundy, I submit to you the following:

"Hey, everyone! Come see how good I look!"

Only, I'm going to substitute the "I" in that statement with "Andrew McKnight." And of course, conjugate the verb to reflect the third person singular--"looks." How good Andrew looks. There.
Seriously, check out his blog. http://sosaidmybrain.blogspot.com/ It's smart, funny, thought-out, supported, and...well, basically everything this blog isn't. So after wasting some time here, go there. Right now. You won't regret it.


And this is my companion, Elder Smi...hey! ELDER!!! Put your shirt back on!

Have you heard about the latest Christmas Calendar to hit the stores? It's called "Mormons Exposed" and ladies, are you in for a treat! (Really, I'm not making this up. Go visit http://www.mormonsexposed.com/). This uplifting stocking stuffer is sure to make you sweat like Samson after a bad haircut!
Thought your missionary was spiritually smokin' when he got home and asked you over to read scriptures? Well, now you get to see the sexy side of spirituality. These lads didn't just return with honor--they returned fully stacked and ready to steam up your personal study time.
Not since the free days of Adam and Eve in the garden has a group been so comfortable in their own nudity. Finally, after millenia of wandering around far too fully-clothed in public, Christianity has come full-circle via Mormonism. Why is it only now, after many millenia, that we're finally tapping into this fount of many blessings? Imagine if the world had been treated to "Mighty Moses and his Ten Command-months" Calendar?! Now multiply that by 40 years in the wilderness, and the mighty prophet would have given Fabio a run for the beefcake longevity award. "Elijah and His Fiery Chariot" anyone? Enough said. If they could have only convinced Paul to do a spread like this after one of his many missions. The Romans, the Gallatians, and even the Hebrews were probably dying for a little apostolic skin during the rough first years of Christianity. Had they put Paul on the same layout together with Timothy or Titus, we would have had the highest grossing papyri document ever! And don't even get me started on the unfortunately forgotten "Joseph and the Smith Brothers."
That's right. Just when you thought that Mormon culture couldn't spin out another hypocritical, poorly produced, and fairly insulting thing, here comes the Missionary of the Month calendar. I find it somewhat funny that under their "purpose" for putting this calendar together, the maker of this calendar proudly points out that "Each of the twelve missionaries will have the opportunity to donate a portion of the proceeds from the sale of the calendar to a cause in the area he served."
Now, I don't know about you, but I would put any funds raised by this calendar somewhere between blood money and priestcrafts. Pretty sure these guys don't care too much about what deserving international charity they can help, unless that charity involves hot girls, the back seat of a '47 Chevy, or the bevy of poor Chinese kids slaving away to produce the quantity of hair gel necessary to keep their respective games on.
Also, in my experience, most international missionaries nearly die while they're out serving, whether from intestinal infestations or sheer exhaustion. If you want a real look at a hard-working, dedicated missionary, take a picture of yourself in the mirror at 3:30 am after 10 hours in the sun, a three-round bout with the toilet, and a shirt and tie on.
I wonder what the mothers must think. I think Isaiah probably said it best when he said "How beautiful upon the mountains are the bodies of those who proclaim glad tidings..."
Or was that feet? Well, either way, these guys are certainly bearing...hmmm, it's not testimony...but something. Something special.


Home Again

(Provo...) has nothing on sunny Southern California. Except for the ratio of bleach-blonde, uber-tan quasi-adults who have a superiority complex, where Provo might actually win. Had a great trip, ate at In-n-Out Burger, and spent some quality time on the beach. Although, in order to drive home my Eor-like persona, Mother Nature made sure that most of California wasn't so sunny while I was down there. It rained a lot. Sad. :( But the interviews went well, as did Friday at Huntington Beach. I should be making approximately $50,000,000 next summer, give or take a few million. That is, of course, dependant on whether Mrs. Jones decides to divorce her husband and take him for all he's worth. Happy. :D On the way home, we were planning to go to St. George and sleep there, but at about 1:00 am decided to just push on through. We got home at about 4:00 am Sunday morning. Mixed Feelings. :L I'm actually composing this in the middle of my Advanced Legal Research Seminar, which has been going through a fascinating probe of LoisLaw--the nation's leading legal searchable online database. Actual quote from our lecturer--"If you look at your expert search tips on your left hand side, we have some handy connectors. If there are any questions, let's go back to our search page "Utah Case Law" and conduct our search. Isn't this exciting?!" Needless to say, I feel pretty good about doing this right now. Pleased and Sassy. ;p And for the record, I'll be trying to update more this week. :-}


Sunny Southern California

I'm MIA at the moment--living it up in Sunny Southern California. My biggest dilemma today? Whether to go to Huntington or Newport Beaches. Ahhh...the weight of adult responsibility. Even the library here has a coastal breeze blowing through it. Provo... Eric


Dear BYU Football

I don't know how this happened, but I received an email just a few minutes ago. It read: "Dear BYU Football, Wow. You guys must really suck. Love, Utah Football." I can only imagine they're referring to either the ugly Tulsa game or the fact that they beat the same UCLA football that beat BYU by 38 points today. Wow. Would suck to be BYU Football tonight. I guess I only have two things to say. "Way to go Utah," and "BYU--That's what you get for singing Popcorn Popping on the Apricot Tree at your home games." The universe has a terrific sense of poetic justice.


Day 14

Well, my initial goal of writing every day was dashed this week. I had to write a paper this week about the nature and the function of the judicial oath in America from 1820-1840. Believe me, it's not even close to being as exciting as it sounds. Anyway, I've been thinking this week about what unique characteristics set Provo apart from, oh, say every other city in the world. I've come up with a preliminary list of 10, and they can all be observed at a BYU football game. Enjoy, if you will, a bit of my life: 1. People sing Primary songs when they are happy and hum hymns when they are feeling tempted to do wrong (it could be sexual, or in most cases, it could have something to do with traffic). It's very Pleasantville-esque. Or maybe Stepford Wives would be better. Either way, I still contend that "Popcorn Popping on the Apricot Tree" has no place at a football stadium, even when we're winning the game. Period. True-life example--walking out of the law school and into the parking lot after an incredibly long day of studying and feeling inadequate, I heard someone humming "Come, Come, Ye Saints." All I could think of for the rest of the afternoon was the line "And should we die before our labor's through--HAPPY DAY! All is well." And for the first time in my life, I completely agreed with the song. How sad is that? Not as sad as... 2. Forget the evils of drinking and driving--caffeinated beverages while on a walk incite a peculiar suspicion in people. Try walking on BYU campus with a can of Coca-Cola and see what kind of looks you get. Better yet, try getting a caffeinated drink at LaVell Edwards Stadium. The funny thing is, Red Bull (which I'm pretty sure contributed to the deaths of at least 323 kids who suffered with ADHD last year) doesn't have that kind of stigma attached to it. Weird... 3. "Teamwork be damned! I have to look good." After months of lobbying by the players, coaches, and administration for the student body to wear blue to the BYU home opener, about half the student body couldn't figure out that white is not a shade of blue. I kid you not, I heard "I look, like, waaaaaaaaaay better in, like, white" like nine times. But who's counting? 4. Provo High is the greatest high school in Utah. Provo is the greatest city this side of the Mississippi. Utah County is the greatest county this side of the Mississippi. BYU is the greatest university this side of the Mississippi. Also, did you know that Mitt Romney is a BYU fan? Gordon B. Hinckley is a BYU fan. Brigham Young declared the University a Holy School as his first official act in Utah. BYU is life--the rest is just details. 5. The Honor Code. You all know my feelings on this thing. Let's just stop the pretense about this being a set of principles we agree to abide by in a Spiritual sense. They're rules that we follow because we signed a binding contract to do so. I can't tell you how many students here tell me that the Honor Code is a covenant we make with God. That requires no more commentary.6. Anyone who didn't attend BYU didn't go there because they couldn't get in. Didn't want to go there? No sirreee...you are obviously just bitter because you didn't get accepted by the Holy School founded and built personally by Brigham Young. Yale grad? But why?! 7. The tree-lined canyons are gorgeous this time of year. (Had to throw that one in here). 8. However, the parking lots are not quite as lovely. People can be really mean to each other when it comes to parking, but so nice when it comes to walking. Want to enter a building? Someone will inevitably hold a door for you. Someone drop some books? Watch five students pounce on them like a pack of wolves to be the first to help. But trying to find a parking spot? Burn in hell, grandma! Why does so much of the stress of our lives have a root in traffic? I should start walking to school.
9. Diego's Taco Shop. It almost makes up for number 2. Almost.
10. As my good friend Andrew pointed out recently, Provo is a lot like the Heart of Darkness. Only a bit more posh and much, much scarier. If Conrad had only ever visited this place... he would have written "Popcorn Popping--A Tragedy."


Nephi's "The Wilderness"

I'm dropping out of Law School to jump into the movie business. After discovering the LDS Church's film studio across the street from my apartment--2230 N, about 300 W, Provo, UT, 84604--and seeing billboards advertising the latest, greatest Mormon Movie "Return with Honor," (whose sequels "Remember Who You Are" and "Choose the Right" are already in pre-production) I've been inspired to make my own LDS-themed flick: Nephi's "The Wilderness." To you skeptics out there who might be complaining "Ah! Not another crappy Mormon Movie! When will they stop?!" this one will be different. This one will have heart. This one will have a brain. This one will have GGGGrrrrrrr....COURAGE! (Not to mention a whole lot of Special FX and potty humor.) I know that Larry H. Miller already attempted a big-screen adaptation of The Book of Mormon, but I'm convinced that this one can work. You see, I'm going to employ what I've coined the Transformer's Paradigm--hot babe, irreverent humor, and giant robots. That's a recipe for awesome! So, in my movie, instead of an accurate reproduction of Nephi and Co.'s journeys through the wilderness of the Arabian Peninsula, I'm going to employ some of those same tried and true Hollywood fixes found in the Transformers Paradigm: ramp up the semite sexiness, infuse it with inside and scatological humor, and include either Godzilla or Gary Coleman in it at some point. GIRL FACTOR One of the weaknesses of Larry H.'s film was the lack of any truly strong (read incredily skinny, anatomically impossible, scantilly clad) women. I figure we cast either Angelina Jolie or Pamela Anderson as Sarah or Nephi's never-named wife, and let the possibilites flow from there. Other potential candidates include Scarlett Johansson and the latest film floozy of the week. (Let it be known now that I love Scarlett Johansson as much as any man who has never been introduced to a woman but watched her a lot can...in a totally non-stalker-esque way). As for the presence of latex and guns in the film...I'm still torn between setting the movie in the future or in the past. Just for the latex, we might have to go to a futuristic reinterpretation of the story.


We're totally casting King Leonidas from Lionsgate's production of 300 as Nephi. Not only is this casting choice for the ladies, it's so I can fit in the following dialogue:

Nephi (insanely muscular and oily, wearing only loincloth and headband)to Laban: "YOU COME INTO MY HOME, THREATEN MY BROTHERS AND ME, AND SPEAK OF TAKING ONLY OUR GOLD AND SILVER...DON'T PRESUME IN MY PRESENCE, LABAN!"

Laban (responding to Nephi's thinly veiled threat): "What you say is blasphemy...this is madness, Nephi!"

Nephi: "madness?...MADNESS?!....THIS...IS...THE WILDERNESS!!!" (After which Nephi...ahem...disposes of Laban)


Every good Mormon Movie needs potty humor. Certain situations and people just lend themselves to these kinds of things. Lord of the Rings had the half-drunk dwarf Gimli burp and fart his way across Middle Earth. Star Wars had the eminently stupid Jar-Jar Binks do whatever he did in those movies. Transformers had a robot-car discharge "lubricant" on a guy (get it?!). Well, I don't want to give away too much of the fun here. So all I'm going to say is "Lehi dwelt in a tent." Amen!

I can see the reviews flowing in already...so in an effort to help the critics know what to write in order to get them some good commercial tag-lines, I've written some of my own:

"A harrowing adventure full of meaning and goodness, sure to delight and enthrall."

"Hunting, bond-breaking, sailing, clue-following: this is National Treasure on spiritual steroids!"

"Watching Lehi dwell in a tent felt like a sacro-sanct mixture of Chariots of Fire and 2001: A Space Odyssey...don't ask me why, it just did." "The best Mormon Movie to come out today! Honest." "See Nephi go and do...again and again and again!"

People, listen to me on this one. This is a can't miss opportunity. If Churchball, Charli, and Singles Ward haven't laid down a solid foundation upon which I can build, nothing can. I know I said that the Moustache Revolution was probably the most important thing I'd ever done. I was wrong. This is, by far. So, look for Nephi's "The Wilderness" this Fall in theaters all across the Wasatch Front!!!


BYU--A Study in Patronization

They did it, they've finally done it. BYU won the election for "Dumbest Institute of Higher Education EVER." (That the voting occurred between me and two other friends is immaterial.)

How did they do that, you ask? Easy. They just once again proved to me that policy is more important than principle. The story goes as follows:

In order to burn off some of the stress and excess calories acquired during our days at the law school, Matt, Brigman, and I went to go play racquetball at the RB.

So off we went, as we've done countless times in the past. Racquetball is good for you. You get to hit a very small thing with a much bigger thing as hard as you can, and you get rewarded for it. It's a very appealing sport for guys. As usual, we wore our conservative, Honor Code-appropriate work-out gear, and took out some of our frustrations on the ball and occasionally each other.

However, and this is where it gets messy, in order to play racquetball at BYU, you must be clothed in the approved, quasi-magical clothing issued at the BYU Locker Room. This consists of I-can't-believe-it's-not-painted-on short shorts (John Stockton would be embarrassed to wear these), and a poorly fitting gray T-shirt that says "BYU Athletics--We Make You Follow the Rules" (or something like that). Now, if you asked me a week ago if I thought this required apparel met the Honor Code standards of Dress and Grooming, I would have told you "NO!!! Those short shorts are a clear violation of the principles and standards which make this University the perfect place I signed up to live in--I do not want to participate in any activity where these are the normal dress, because it bereaveth my soul, moveth my bowels, etc." (or something like that).

But, I guess in this situation, the Honor Code doesn't apply. Don't ask me why, it just doesn't. (BYU Giveth, BYU Taketh Away, I think is the official reasoning). In any case, no knee length shorts while playing racquetball. They've got to be short enough to make a strong man squeak awkwardly when putting them on.
Ah, how innocent we were playing in our basketball shorts and plain gray tees. How naive to the ways of the world. How could we have possibly played so long and for so many months without realizing the absolute error of our ways?! Oh, I shudder to think what might have happened had our erroneous behavior continued unabated! You thought the temptation of moustaches was bad--it had nothing on us...horror!
or so the enforcer girl would have us believe. About halfway through our second game of cutthroat, we were interrupted by enforcer girl. She looked something like this:

only a little more zealous to her cause, and much less happy to be alive. After a quick knock on the door, and a swift click of her leather boots, she politely informed us that we would have to leave the premises, produce proof of our student status, and rent the official dress of the school in order to proceed with our game. Before she left, I could have sworn I heard a "Heil Cecil!" escape her tightly pursed lips. But that may have been the rage talking...
Needless to say, we left. But one of these days, one of these days, I swear to you, students at BYU will be able to wear what they want, where they want to (so long as it doesn't violate the Honor Code) without living in fear that they might be expelled, or worse, chastized by their fellow students. I dream of that day when BYU will be...normal.

On our way out, we asked one of the guys at the Information Booth why we had to wear the required apparel when the clothes we already had were totally appropriate. His answer: "I don't know for sure, but from what I can figure out, it's to make sure you're BYU students." Ahh, I thought, that explains it! Why ask someone to show their ID when we can make them wear silly clothes? It all made sense. It all makes sense. What better way to unify the students than to dress them all the same? If we all march to the same beat, who will ever be able to stand in our way as we Go Forth to Serve? Nothing says service better than clothes that scream "Don't question the collective. Resistance is Futile. Heil Cecil." (or something like that).