Okay, so you all know I'm a Mormon, right? Okay, well, If not, I am. I'm a Mormon. There, we got that out of the way.
When I say "I'm a Mormon," you immediately think of some of the more prominent Latter-Day Saints, like, say former NFL quarterback Steve Young or animation whiz Don Bluth or Mr. "Little Bit Rock & Roll" Donny Osmond. But there are some Latter-Day Saints I'd just as soon you not be lumped in with. Which is not to say I think they're horrible people, just really obnoxious/misguided/crazy. Like that uncle you have that you really can't stand to be around, but what can you do? He's family.
So, what follows are three lists: Mormons I Will Not Claim, Mormons I will Gladly Claim, and finally, Mormons I Simultaneously Claim & Do Not Claim.
Mormons I Will Not Claim:
1. Orrin Hatch - More for his music than his politics, really (though I'm sure we'd disagree on a lot of fundamentals). It's bad, schmaltzy, embarassing stuff.
2. Jay Bybee - He's the Federal circuit court judge who started the ball rolling on the "Enhanced interrogation techniques" (aka: "Sticking a wet rag down a dude's throat and pouring water on his face while a doctor watches on, ready to administer an emergency tracheotomy if the combination of fear, wet rag and water causes him to, you know, drown") used repeatedly on Gitmo detainees. He's since shown remorse for his decisions, but, well, it's too little, too late.
3. Marie Osmond - She's a total headcase, isn't she? And not in a good way. In a sad way. And also an annoying way.
4. Mitt Romney - Sorry, but I don't trust a word this guy says. IMHO, He's just your typical all-too-happy to sell-out for political advancement governmental slicko. And his speech on faith during his campaign was so wimpy that it's no wonder he lost the primary race to a decrepit old man.
5. Glenn Beck - This guy is just a total slobbering whackjob. He gives paranoid delusionals a bad name. Also, he looks like somebody took a baby and put him in a suit, doesn't he?
Mormons I will Gladly Claim:
1. Jared Hess - Director/writer of Napoleon Dynamite, Nacho Libre and the upcoming Gentlemen Broncos. He also directed this pretty awesome video for the Postal Service.
2. Harry Reid - You already know that I love this guy.
3. Christian Jacobs - Former singer for the mildly alright Aquabats, Jacobs earns his spot on this list for creating the totally gonzo kid's show Yo Gabba Gabba! Cuz kids need their daily dose of crazy.
4. Bret Helquist - Illustrator for the Series Of Unfortunate Events books by Lemony Snicket and a super nice guy.
5. Glen A. Larsen - Basically, if it was on TV in the 80's and was passably rad, more than likely Larsen touched it in some way. His IMDB profile speaks for itself.
6. Arthur "Killer" Kane - Former New York Dolls bassist. If you haven't seen New York Doll, you should. I love just how matter-of-fact he is when Buster Poindexter's ragging on him for believing in something besides himself.
7. Ed "Big Daddy" Roth - I had no idea he was Mormon, but I will gladly take him. Dude created Rat Fink! R-A-T-T-F-I-N-K!!! And for that, American culture owes him some sort of collective high five.
8. Mike Allred - Someday I'll get around to posting on the influence of Mormonism on his Eisner Award-winning indie superhero yarn Madman (which is growing stronger with every issue), but for now I'll just say that he's a cool cat. I'm looking forward to his Metamorpho portion of DC's Wednesday Comics miniseries. Actually, I'm looking forward to all the portions of that miniseries. Paul Pope on Adam Strange? Kyle Baker on Hawkman? Ryan Sook on Kamandi?! And all of it superhuge like the Sunday Comics? Um, yeah. Check out Allred's AAAPop site or his issue of DC's (sadly) short-lived Solo for proof of his amazingness.
Mormons I Simultaneously Claim & Do Not Claim:
1. That Twilight lady - I'm really indifferent to this Twilight thing. It looks totally gay and sounds like poorly-written, turgid, teenage girl fiction. But then again, I am not at all A) the target audience, or B) don't like anything that's popular as some sort of hipper-than-thou knee-jerk reaction. I wish the lady all the luck in the world, but as far as being concerned about how she reflects on me as a Mormon, I am completely indifferent.
2. Orson Scott Card - Oh man, OSC. His book of essays A Storyteller In Zion is essential for creative Mormons and his Alvin Maker saga is powerful, fantastic stuff and let's not forget Ender's Game which is a really smart science fiction book. But lately I've read quotes that are, well, really weird. Like he's starting to drink some of the Glenn Beck Paranoid Kool-Aid, which is a shame, because he's a heckuva writer and an incredibly intelligent guy; hare-brained conspiracy theories notwithstanding.
So, my fellow Mormons, who do you Claim/Not Claim?