August 20th, 2009



  • 08:07 The people bringing guns to town halls are probably just as nuts as your average Muslim fundamentalist, but they do it for Aetna, not Allah. #
  • 08:22 @3x1minus1 I don't watch Craig Ferguson, but I don't know that I could ever hate someone with a voice like his. #
  • 12:02 Why is it that, when characters in "Return to Oz" talk about the Nome King, they always put the accent on the second word? #
  • 12:04 @miscellaneaarts The amount of space depends on whether you're getting hardbacks or paperbacks, doesn't it? #
  • 12:05 @kattmoff Would you normally? #
  • 12:14 Although the dreams where I end up somewhere weird and far away just by turning a different way are annoying, I wish space worked that way. #
  • 13:39 @rainnwilson I suppose the PC term is "spousal abuser tops." #
  • 13:49 Don't I have the right to be loved? #
  • 13:51 There's a car without a handle, and that car is still at large. #
  • 14:53 Bill Maher claims to be in favor of health discounts for people who live healthy lifestyles, but wouldn't that be an invasion of privacy? #
  • 17:07 Michael Jackson's interchangeable noses #
  • 17:10
    Casper clones #
  • 17:11 I had an issue of "Timmy the Timid Ghost" as a kid. It sucked, if I remember correctly. #
  • 17:25
    5 embarrassing terrorist failures #
  • 18:55 Some sites make it way too easy to accidentally change languages. It's hard to change back, because everything is in a foreign language. #
  • 19:08 Hey, media outlets, just because someone says something doesn't mean you have to take it seriously. #
  • 19:11 Who's up for some Challenge Ball? #
  • 19:14 People buy the PS3 for the GAMES? I never would have guessed! #
  • 19:30 How Obama SHOULD run
    the health care reform program #
  • 19:32 Mermaid sighted in Israel #
  • 20:30 @TheGreatBermuda Start saving up for the next set of collectible coins. #
  • 20:32 @TarynAria Unfortunately, I think the language I changed it to was, like, Finnish or something. #
  • 20:44 PETA hates fat people #
  • 20:46 And unlike Obama, PETA really DOES believe
    in euthanasia. #
  • 21:06 Do I believe that Bigfoot exists? Of course! Those cars at the Spectrum didn't crush themselves! #
  • 23:06 O'Reilly doesn't approve of Barney Frank's comments. I've read Culture Warrior, and he's cool with comparing political opponents to Nazis. #
  • 23:07 Besides, if arguing with that lady is like arguing with a dining room table, arguing with O'Reilly is like arguing with a TV tray. #
  • 23:08 A TV tray with a plate of falafel on it, that is. #
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Thursdays with Moroni, Part 3: We Like Short Books

From Nephi himself, the Book of Mormon moves on to his brother Jacob, who tells us that he "cannot but write a little of my words, because of the difficulty of engraving our words upon plates." But that apparently didn't stop Nephi from engraving significant portions of Isaiah, nor does it stop Jacob from repeating a lot of the stuff that Nephi had already said. Jacob reiterates how the coming of Jesus was foretold by the prophet Zenos. Funny how we've never heard of this prophet outside the Book of Mormon, and his name doesn't look particularly Jewish, but more like a misspelling of the Greek term for "stranger." Another theme that Jacob touches on is monogamy. No, seriously. One passage reads, "And now it came to pass that the people of Nephi, under the reign of the second king, began to grow hard in their hearts, and indulge themselves somewhat in wicked practices, such as like unto David of Old, desiring many wives and concubines, and also David, his son; yea, and they also began to search much gold and silver, and began to be lifted up somewhat in pride." Hey, is Joe Smith planting prophecies about himself again? It's kind of weird that mainstream Christians and Jews tend to be opposed to polygamy despite the fact that I don't think there are any specific Biblical passages forbidding it, yet the religion most closely associated with polygamy claims it's a sin right in its holy book.

The next book, Enos (named after Jacob's son, and not Fry's grandfather), is a really short one, dealing primarily with what happened to the Lamanites when they turned away from God and Nephi. The Native Americans, whom Smith claims are descended from the Lamanites, are said to be "wild, and ferocious, and a bloodthirsty people; full of idolatry, and filthiness." That's right, Enos, get down with your racist self!

Our next alleged writer is Enos' own son Jarom, who must not have been as talkative as his ancestors. His brief book says a little about the wars between the Nephites and Lamanites, and how the former were eventually victorious. The Nephites then spent their time making buildings, machinery, and metal weapons, of which there is (surprise!) absolutely no sign in the American lands where they supposedly lived.

The title of the book of Omni is somewhat misleading, because only the very beginning is attributed to Jarom's son Omni, the rest being supposedly written by his descendants. And none of them really say much, making it seem like this book was just to allow for some time to pass in Smith's, sorry, hidden history of America.

Next come the Words of Mormon, which basically just say that some guy named Mormon finished up the engravings on the plates and buried them. That's still not the end of the book, though. But you'll have to wait until next week for the next part.

Princess or Queen?

Even though it makes sense for Ozma, as the supreme ruler of Oz, to be considered a queen (if not an empress), and Land confirms that "Ozma made the loveliest Queen the Emerald City had ever known," L. Frank Baum typically refers to her as "Princess Ozma." Of course, going by the technical definition, every queen is a princess (although not every princess is a queen). Still, the cultural expectation, especially in the fairy tale world, is for queens to be fully grown and princesses young. So calling her "Princess Ozma" is probably a way for Baum to emphasize her perpetual youth. Besides, royal titles in Oz can be rather fluid. Nick Chopper is an emperor essentially just because he wants to be, even though his fellow quadrant rulers are kings and queens. And there are small communities throughout Oz with their own kings and queens, as well as leaders with such unique titles as Lord High Chigglewitz, High Coco-Lorum, and Czarover. So, really, I don't think anyone is going to object to Ozma calling herself whatever she wants. Although I can't recall for sure, I believe Ruth Plumly Thompson switches between calling Ozma "Princess" and "Queen," while I think John R. Neill just calls her a queen.

Actually, Phil Lewin's Witch Queen gives an explanation for why Ozma is only a princess, in that Lurline's older sister Enilrul still technically holds the title of Queen of Oz. It's tempting to try to connect Ozma's proper switch from Princess to Queen to her father's official abdication in Lost King, but since no one (well, except Mombi and Lurline) knows that Pastoria is even still alive prior to the events of that story, I wouldn't think that would make any difference. So I think the most likely explanation is that Ozma is a queen (and a High Queen, at that) who prefers to be called "Princess" (by people who aren't close enough to her to be on a first-name basis, anyway).
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