Thursday, February 18, 2010

Utah Culture 102

Due to a problem with my personal computer that should be resolved quickly, I will be postponing the next (and perhaps final) installment of Adventures in Internet Dating.

The State Legislature

One thing that really gets under my skin about living here in Utah is our beloved state legislature. There are really two key issues that I tend to shake my head over on a regular basis whenever I hear a news story involving the state legislature.

The first is education. I've had an opportunity to be on Capitol Hill speaking to senators and house members about the value of higher ed, but it doesn't seem to make any difference. Cutting education budgets, teachers’ retirement benefits, and student services seems to be one of the first things on the proverbial chopping block every time there is a budget shortfall.

The other is civil rights. Same-sex marriage is not up for debate when it’s barely kosher to even bring up the idea of non-discrimination in housing and hiring.

Recently, both of these issues and everybody’s favorite non-bigoted, non-partisan senator—Chris Buttars—all managed to make it into same segment on Rachel Maddow’s show.

Yes, this man just suggested making 12th grade optional and called gay people "Mean" (which, for him, is holding back). I guess he’s nostalgic for the one-room school house he was educated in a century ago. He might not be a shining example of Utah culture but he definitely represents its nadir (one of my favorite academic words; see definition here). This is probably epitomized by this little slip of the tongue as well as the fact that he’s repeatedly reelected:

Again, I hope that this sheds some light on the political culture of Utah and my hostility towards it.


Mister Curie said...

So glad I got out of Utah . . .

Anonymous said...

Seriously, how did that man get elected? I practically screamed at my television when I first heard that he wanted to eliminate 12th grade. Did you see when Buttars was Keith Olbermann's Worst Person a while back? Here's the link:

Silus Grok said...

Look. Senator Buttars is several cards short of a full deck — and most of his ideas are utter shite. But the 12th grade proposal (though, probably, not HIS 12th grade proposal) is worth further review.

Kurt Peterson said...

Could not agree more. I dread seeing the paper every day during their "season" because of the irrationality of our beloved state legislature. That alone could make me want to move.

Why does Buttars get re-elected? Its all about money flowing from the Eagle Forum, etc. They've got it, they send him enough to win. Sadly, all of our municipal and state positions are tough because of this.

C.J. said...

There's hope. If Massachusetts can elect a Republican senator (despite many local Democrats' claims that senate seats should, in fact, be, I'm not joking), anyone (or state) can change.

This might sound perverse, but in a way, you're lucky that, in Utah, these issues are out in the open. Massachusetts, honestly, is pretty bigoted, but it's all been forced underground...even voicing basically, like, rational dissent is immediately attacked as homophobic, evil, etc. I've been accused of being "homophobic"--despite the fact that I advocate for equal marriage, and gay rights generally--because I agreed with the proposition that a female teacher, who just so happened to be a lesbian, was inappropriate in teaching her 8th graders how to use sex toys. Graphically. me, that's not about sexual orientation, but inappropriate sexual contact.

...and if you think Buttars is bad, try Rex Rammell.

A Gay Mormon Boy said...

Thanks everyone for letting me rant a bit.

And CJ, that seems to be quite the inverse. It's almost like you're in a parallel dimension.

My theory:
Bizarro-Utah = Massachusetts

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