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Monday, June 11, 2012

Case Study: Mormon, Ex-Mormon and Miss Piggy

Years ago when I attended BYU, there was some sort of controversy on campus about something being offensive, beards or something similar. Yes, I know this is still a daily occurrence at BYU. Somebody is always finding something offensive there.


In addition to the usual drivel in the school newspaper, I remember someone writing a satirical piece arguing that Miss Piggy was offensive and any paraphernalia using her was being removed from the BYU Bookstore. It was funny and I remember laughing about it and dismissing it from my mind.


Fast forward a few years. A fellow graduate student who was a BYU-Hawaii graduate told me that he worked in the BYU-Hawaii Bookstore when this Miss Piggy farce piece ran in the newspaper. Not realizing that it was satire, they took it seriously and removed all Miss Piggy kitsch from the bookstore. My friend told me that they reasoned that if BYU was doing it then they should follow suit. It wasn't until he attended BYU himself that he realized it was satire.


If this action strikes you as odd, consider something I learned when I attended BYU-Hawaii. Sarcasm doesn't exist in all cultures. It does not exist in Polynesian and some Asian cultures. I learned this the hard way. No, I'm not going into any more detail.


In addition, even if sarcasm does exist in their culture a language barrier can often confuse it rendering people unable to recognize it.


If you Google "Miss Piggy" and BYU now you will find postings on Ex-Mormon sites where people claim that when BYU removed Miss Piggy they knew they had to leave the Church. Some other postings also relate this historical anecdote as fact. A few postings correctly identify it as a "farce."


I'm wondering how many other misunderstandings, misinterpretations, intentional obfuscations, outright lies and other similar instances have also morphed into fact over the years.


It makes one wonder . . .

2 comments:

  1. I think this is in the same category as the urban legend that BYU coeds were required to shave their legs because leg hair was an extension of pubic hair.

    Confirmation bias and the desire for boundary maintenance leads people to believe the strangest things.

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  2. "I'm wondering how many other misunderstandings, misinterpretations, intentional obfuscations, outright lies and other similar instances have also morphed into fact over the years.


    It makes one wonder . . ."

    Let's make a list shall we???


    anyone crying in testimoney meeting is full of the spirit

    must take sacrament with right hand

    must sustain people with right hand

    That we should vote for Mitt Romney just because he's LDS.....

    If you follow the prophet, personal revelation is not necessary.

    white shirts

    Judging worthiness and virtue by net worth.

    Putting family second to every LDS function

    Churches with a basketball court as their heart.

    a member of the bishopric can't sit with his family even on mother's day.

    bless our brave young men and women serving in the armed forces who keep us safe and free

    RMs are always worthy, wonderful mates. LDS young women should only marry RMs.

    Repentance is for everyone (except young men preparing to serve missions... they should have never sinned. Nevermind of course, that the best missionaries we have on record considered themselves vile sinners and even one, a murderer, prior to experiencing a change of heart (raising the bar crap)

    Bless the refreshment (code word for crap in a wrapper and firmly opposed to any decent common sense) to give us strength and nourishment

    ReplyDelete