Quit your bitching: Utah isn’t that bad!

By , , , and

A prophet has visited me. Yes, my friends, it’s true. This prophet manifested himself in an unlikely guise: that of a darkly clad stranger on the Red campus shuttle line. Let me tell you the story.

The stranger’s name turned out to be Obediah, and he had freakishly long fingernails. Seriously, these things could cause internal bleeding if you picked your nose the wrong way, which is really neither here nor there, just added in for a sense of character. So in a time span of about nine and-a-half minutes, Obediah manages to cry on my shoulder about everything that’s wrong with Utah. It’s too cold in the winter. Everyone’s tall, blonde and good-looking. The LDS Church operates like Orwellian thought police. There is no population diversity.

I know what you’re thinking: blah blah blah, heard it 50 billion times. So I am going to do something drastic-me, the girl who always swore she’d get out of this damn state if it killed her-I am going to defend the land of the Beehive, good ol’ Utah.

All right then, argument number one: population diversity. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, 79.9 percent of Salt Lake City is, well, white. Tall, blonde, good-looking white people. Man, that’s really crappy. Why would anyone want to live somewhere like that? I just don’t get it, either. Note the sarcasm. You want population diversity? Work a little harder for it! 18.85 percent of the city is of Hispanic origin, 1.89 percent are black. Here’s how I see it: 18 of 100 people are Hispanic, two out of 100 people are black. So anyone of deeper color is going to stand out against a purely pasty demographic background. They’re easier to see that way. If it’s cool to be different, then being of some minority persuasion in this state should be equivalent to winning the friends lottery-you’re cool just because you’re not another boring, peach-fuzzed Utahn.

Argument two: the church. Oh God, the church. Those of us who are not of the LDS religion, (and even some who are) may, at times, feel that the church is an overwhelming edifice sent to ruin our fun-that a holier than-thou attitude is the only reason that this state can be so backward in policy and social norms. The church likes to limit alcohol, promiscuous sex, all of the vices that seem to be plaguing our society. Kids, I know I have no problem getting drunk on Friday night if I want to. It wouldn’t be easier if I lived smack in the middle of Vegas. I beg those of you like my friend Obediah to go downtown and look around-there is no shortage of bars. We are not living in a theocracy. Frankly, unless you have a serious problem with having to buy your alcohol before 10 p.m., you have no serious reason to bitch, and if you can’t plan ahead a couple of hours, then you deserve sobriety. Be grateful that you’re not living somewhere that promotes public flogging.

If you happen to be cynical and proud of it, then you should be glad to live in a state with a history of wacky tendencies. Here’s the thing: Utah’s potential backwardness may seem obvious to its dwellers, but do you think any state is without such weirdness? Seriously. I implore you to go spend a year or two in Obediah’s home state of Tennessee and see if you don’t run back to Utah as fast as your chubby little legs will carry you. I feed on having things to make fun of. If Utah was ultraliberal and went Green Party in every election, I’d have nothing to complain about and my life would be devoid of inspiration. Being in a more conservative atmosphere (especially if you’re not a conservative) can instantly aid your plight to become a master-whiner and make everyone around you laugh with your savvy observations of your oppressive state, complete with its infringement on your personal freedoms, like buying vodka at the grocery store.

Utah is not the armpit of the universe, while many of us may like to label it as such. Go walk around downtown-it’s almost hard to find a really ugly place, which in itself is a rare and notable occurrence. And please, if you see a student in a trench coat with frightening fingernails, give him a hug. I think he could use it.

[email protected]