[Editors--we hope that this unusual account of a Church-run focus group, along with the ensuing discussion, will be of general interest]
The church was mostly quiet last night. Brother and Sister Markoff were in the cultural hall with their two younger children planning the stage arrangement for the Christmas program Sister Markoff has been rehearsing with Primary children for the past month. There was no sign of anyone downstairs around the bishop’s and clerks’ offices. Back upstairs, outside the Relief Society room, a few middle-aged parents sat waiting and talking. More arrived. Brother Fletcher joked that we were going to find we had came for a half hour presentation encouraging us to prepare for senior missions. Some continued along that theme that we had actually been summoned to discuss lowering the age for senior missionaries. A quarter before eight, the Relief Society door opened, and four priests and six laurels walked out. In we went, where a man in his young thirties sat dressed in a long-sleeved white shirt and tie.
Mah stake president gave a talkin’ to our gennulmen youngun’s not too long ago on preparin’ fer mishinary service. Durned if he din’t give them fellers some well-placed expostulations:
- Sittin’ on yer Francis all the live-long day pushin’ knobs on an electronical gadget ain’t perzactly the best way to tone up for strenyoous mishinary service.
- The natchural knack fer pickin’ up furrin talk dies out by age 18, so it behoofivies you to already have some practice at it, just in case you end up shippin’ out to some exotical place where they don’t speak Utahan, like China or New York City.
- You kin’t preach what you ain’t believin’ yer ownself. So familiarate yerself now with the Holy Word, and take out yer soul now and then fer a good inspectin’.
- You might perchance not wish to be in too great a rush. Goin’ at 18 ain’t carved in stone. You kin wait ’til 19 if need be. In fact, sez the stake president, I may be insistin’ on it for some of you young’uns.
- On a belated note, you need to grow a thick enough hide to handle a good snort of rejecshun.
That last one is the first partway decent argyment I’ve ever heered for young bucks to be doin’ any datin’.
Charles Murray has identified community as one of the four areas from which most people get the greatest satisfaction in life. He has also identified it as one of the areas that is breaking down for the growing white underclass.
I, for one, am pledged to do my part, however painful. (more…)
In a previous life, I spent part of a year in college on an ocean-going tanker. It does take a couple weeks to get your sea-legs, and not everyone can adapt.
But this is a very creative solution to the problem of high-tech entrepreneurs not being able to get the necessary types of visas.
It also illustrates that the United States culture/families/education system is not creating sufficient home-grown talent.
Or, “My Crazy Has a Name.” (A cross-post.)
Isaac Asimov wrote a short story called “Light Verse” about a defective robot that could create works of art, generating fame for its owner. A robot engineer happened to be visiting the owner, recognized that it had a defect, and, not knowing that the defect was tied into the creation of the art, “fixed” the robot on the spot, thinking he was doing the owner a favor. However, by fixing the defect he removed the robot’s ability to create art. (more…)
Whether its the tight plotting, the crisp murders, or the lavish clues I do not say, but the siren call of Steyn’s latest mystery thriller had young Bertie W. battling the many-headed throng around purveyors of fine detective novels everywhere to secure my own copy with a grip of steel and carry it out triumphantly over my head like whatsit after the battle of thingummy. The book is gripping stuff. The advance publicity was good, but the half was not told unto me.