Thursday, July 24, 2008
Happy Pioneer Day!
"What is Pioneer Day?" you may ask.
"Why it's a state-sanctioned Mormon holiday! In Utah! And at Mormon stake centers across the country where small children will be required to decorate their bikes, dress up like pioneers (braids, bonnet, etc.), and walk around the neighborhood in a parade! Also, there's food," I might reply.
But I'm totally not kidding when I tell you this shit is bigger than the Fourth of July in Utah. It's a fucking state holiday celebrating the arrival of the first pioneers with uber-polygamist Brigham Young to the Salt Lake Valley. And they were like, "Hey, look! A big desert! No one will try to drive us out of here!" Also, "Jesus totally wants us to live here!" I've got Mormon pioneer ancestors on both sides of my family, so hearing the stories about coming across the plains, the fact that I had relatives both in The Martin-Willey Handcart Company and in the rescuing party, and the fact that I was in the thick of the youth program during the 1997 Sesquicentennial = OMG PIONEER OVERLOAD. Also, we were in Utah visiting family during the big brouhaha that summer and our parents forced us to take time out of making awesome "Real World" videos with our cousins to go pose in front of some covered wagons or something in Salt Lake.
Not that the pioneers weren't fucking awesome. I mean, I'm from the Northwest, the appreciation of pioneers, trappers, explorers, settlers, etc. has been beaten into my skull with the blunt edge of a... well a something that pioneers used! (BTW, sorry about the genocide and displacement, Native Americans!) I used to play "covered wagon" with my Barbies sometimes. But anyway, if you are lucky enough to be in Utah today and have the day off, go see the fancy Days of '47 parade. I myself have a fond memory of going as a child; the highlight was a sighting of Miss Utah. Also, this weekend there's totally going to be a MoTab/Osmond family concert. I bet you guys are kicking yourselves for not having KBYU on your digital cable right now, amiright?