I was in Provo this weekend picking up my sister and her husband for their Christmas vacation. The weather was fine for travel as far as weather in December goes and the trip was easy and quick. However, two things I saw during my trip have left me dismayed and angered.
The 1st Thing: The Provo Tabernacle burned down. It had apparently started very early Friday morning and by that evening when I arrived it was still burning. Not only was this one of the oldest building in the state of Utah, it was one of the few tabernacles that the Church had not demolished. My college convocation was held there. I had gone and supported a number of my friends' senior concerts held in that building. A number of stake conferences that I was a part of were also held there. I'm sure there are many people who have connections to this building similar to mine. The buildings and architecture where the moments of our lives take place come to define those memories for us; just like a building can come to define a neighborhood, a city and even a nation. Watching flames bursting out of the stained glass windows of the Provo Tabernacle was a painful site.
The 2nd Thing: Friday evening I was wandering through the Provo Towne Centre Mall picking up some gift certificates my mom had asked me to get. I had just finished picking up some movie gift certificates and as I turned around I saw one of largest, most petty displays of nationalistic narrow mindedness I had ever seen. There were so many of them in all different sizes all under a store sign reading,"McNaughton Fine Art". The picture to which I am referring is apparently the brainchild of this McNaughton, self proclaimed purveyor of "fine art", called The Forgotten Man. It is a panoramic painting that includes all of the presidents of the United States past and present. You can tell this McNaughton has apparently depicted each president based on what Fox News has told him right down to President Obama standing smugly with the US Constitution under his feet and all recent Democratic presidents applauding him.
People, just because some one or some group of people have a different political philosophy than you doesn't mean that they are communist/terrorist/rat bastards out to ruin your life. GROW UP! I did not vote for the current president or his direct opponent. I voted for some odd third party candidate with a mustache because I couldn't stand the empty rhetoric coming out of either of them. However, just because my candidate didn't win doesn't mean that I need to sit in my Mc-Mansion worrying about the evil Democrats hiding out in my wood pile waiting to ruin my life. In case anyone else has been paying attention, most politicians- no matter what side of the isle they sit on- have anything but the greater good or the public interest at heart.
Further more, give the president some respect. Yes, in our nation you do have the freedom to say whatever you want (most of the time), but that doesn't mean that you need to act like badly raised 4 year olds who just lost the game of marbles. It is my conclusions that more level headed people need to be writing their President, Senators and Congressmen because if the honest, level headed American doesn't speak up all we are going to get are the extremisms. And as Ferris Beuller said, "isms, in my opinion, are not good."
P.S.- To Jon McNaughton, and anyone who buys the 10'x20', $3000 print of his over priced political cartoon, please catch the next boat to communist China. They have more need of extremists over there than we do.
Every now and then a great idea comes to you like a bolt of lightning. While the jury may still be out on whether or not this qualifies as one of those lightning bolts of brilliance, I still can't keep from grinning every time I walk out the front door in the morning.
I present to you the first annual Yule-wagen, the Bah Hum-Bug.
Some might be inclined to point out that the house is already encircled by 150 empty milk carton/luminaries and that a rotting VW carcass might just be going a little to far, but I beg to differ. Some months ago I noticed a about six Volkswagens sitting in the equipment yard of one of the contractors that I use. When I pitched the idea of him loaning me one for the holidays he didn't even think twice. His eyes just widened as he exclaimed,"that is the best idea ever!" Not a week later he showed up one evening with a flatbed trailer carrying my Christmas lawn ornament and some heavy machinery to place it. (My parents are just hoping he remembers to come pick it back up after the holidays)
My father graffiti-ed the side, some garland and wreaths were graciously donated and a friend helped string the lights. This much Christmas magic is hard to pass up.