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This Ain’t Margaritaville 

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Ignorance is, after all, bliss. So, you may not know how bad you’ve really got it, living here in Utah, until the national news media gets done sniffing around. They have come to check us out before the big Olympic party and have a revelation for you: This is the land of “weak margaritas.”

We kid you not. In the April issue of The Washington Monthly, Stephanie Mencimer writes in a lengthy epistle called “Theocracy in America” that “Mormon control of Utah creates some of the world’s weakest margaritas.”

You can talk about polygamy all you want. But it’s reports like that one that could really throw a damper on economic growth. Business people will be aghast. Weak margaritas? Well, Harold, we sure as hell can’t relocate the firm to Utah!

But as Jonathan Winters said in It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World, “That ain’t all.” According to the article, “Living as a non-Mormon in Utah may be the closest a white person can come to understanding what it’s like to be a minority in this country.

“It’s not that Mormons are bad people. They aren’t,” writes Mencimer. “Mostly, they are reared to be part of the Thought Police, and their heightened sensitivity to moral infractions makes them rather humorless. Imagine living next door to the Osmonds.”

Of course, there are many, many good things about living in Utah, whether or not outsiders care to recognize them. At the moment, however, the staff here at Smartbomb can’t think of any. But there are worse places, and just to prove it, here’s a rundown of news from elsewhere:

A New York prison guard has been charged with cruelty to animals. Sgt. Ronald Hunlock, of the Sing Sing prison allegedly found a box of kittens in an inmate’s cell in March, dumped them in trash compactor and turned on the machine. Meow!

A Tampa, Fla., radio talk show host also was charged with cruelty to animals for the castration and slaughter of a wild boar in the parking lot of station WXTB. It was all part of the station’s “Roadkill Barbecue” promotion in February. Smokin’.

Some state legislators in Florida are threatening to cut funding to Florida Atlantic University following the production of a play featuring a gay Christ character. The play, Corpus Christi, surrounds a Christ-like character growing up gay in Texas. School administrators were apparently unaware of the play’s content. Academic freedom?

Dr. Laura, the TV show hosted by radio talk show host Laura Schlessinger has been cancelled. The show, boycotted by gay groups, was cancelled after one season. Schlessinger has labeled homosexuality as deviant behavior and a “biological error.” Bottom line—advertisers feeling the pressure of the boycott pulled out.

And finally this, back here in Utah, the Salt Lake (Olympic) Organizing Committee has denied press credentials to the 2002 Winter Games to two Spanish language newspapers. La Prensa and Mundo Hispano had applied but were rejected, according to a SLOC spokeswoman because—well, just because.

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