Hawking on Hacking, or How Utah is the Center of the Mediaverse

So I get out of the city for a couple of days, take the kid to Grammy's house (not to be confused with Latin Grammy's, whose calls we don't return), take a break from the hubbub.

Little did I know that Stephen Hawking would pick the day I arrive to alter the laws of physics and dump me into the middle of just about every slow-summer, lame-ass media story in existence. It turns out the new elemental particle in physics is the 'ward,' the Mormon term for a parish or congregation, and I'm getting bombarded by them.

With highly tawdry, slow-summer news approaching morning-of-Sept-11th levels (Remember the headlines that day? Lizzie Grubman.), the end of the world is coming up fast, or as they say here, "It sure is the Latter Days." So start repenting:

  • My sister was in the same ward at BYU with that high priest of Jeopardy, Ken Jennings. Some friend of hers works with him now, and they're making estimates of his ultimate winnings by reconstructing his time off.
  • The daughter of my mom's friend is in the same ward as the Hackings, the couple at the center of a "less and less Elizabeth Smart, more and more Laci Peterson" saga unfolding on basic cable. They all spent the last year trading med school application horror stories.
  • But it says in the Bible to visit the sick... My 9-year old niece and a friend from her ward somehow convinced a supposedly rational parent to drive them to Mary Kate's "anorexia" clinic. "She's not here now. You'll have to leave." was all the thanks these little fans got for their mission of mercy.
  • And I'm sure this plot was hatched at the ward: Someone has been "cleansing" books at the local library, blotting out swear words and replacing them with "gosh," and "darn." What satanic books are these, you ask? "Murder, She Wrote." That's right, Angela Lansbury is the whore of Babylon. Bea Arthur, you're free to go.

  • Since 2001 here at greg.org, I've been blogging about the creative process—my own and those of people who interest me. That mostly involves filmmaking, art, writing, research, and the making thereof.

    Many thanks to the Creative Capital | Warhol Foundation Arts Writers Program for supporting greg.org that time.

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    first published: July 22, 2004.

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