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So darlings, did you see the episode of South Park a few weeks ago with the Goth Kids fighting the vampire wannabees? Let me tell you cherubs, I have not laughed so hard in ages. 


The gist of the story was that after years of being picked on and misunderstood, the Goth kids were suddenly being lumped in with conformist suburban kids obsessed with the movie Twilight and all things vampire-lite. Along with wearing the requisite black clothes and accessories, the vampire kids drank Clamato like it was blood. But every time they opened their mouths, they were just so super perky and happy. Naturally, the Goth Kids were appalled.

Someone on South Park’s writing staff has way too much local knowledge of Goth culture, because the entire episode was just tone-perfect. I just about choked laughing when the wannabe vampire kids went to Denny’s (the Goth kids’ hangout) and wouldn’t drink coffee because it was bad for them. That was the last straw for the Goths. They kidnap the vampire poseur leader and Fed Ex him to “the most horrible place on earth.”  For them, this was … dramatic pause … “Scottsdale.”

The Goths couldn’t understand where all this fake dark culture was coming from until Buttars told them about the new Hot Topic store in the mall. Instead of posing, whining, or protesting, the Goth kids went into the store without saying a word. Cigarettes lit, they ignited cans of hair spray and used them to set fire to the place. The whole sequence had the funniest Peter Murphy-styled song (“Burning Down Hot Topic”) in the background. At that point, I was almost in tears of laughter.

It’s amazing how “topical” this episode was considering the Twilight hysteria going strong in Utah right now. OK, we get the fact that the books have sold a kazillion copies. They have spawned a movie, the author is a Mormon, and the teenage and tween girls (and some of their moms!) are completely rapt with the dreamy vampire boys (who never have sex).

But jeez, give me a break. If you read the local commentaries on the Twilight phenomenon, the books are suddenly a reference to and validation of Mormon family values: you know, kids waiting to have sex, chastity, church principles, and so on, and on, and on. It’s as if LDS folks are so eager for validation and mainstream acceptance that they’ve cherry picked a few of their beliefs and made a completely new narrative that fits their world view.

See, it’s not enough that David Archuleta is a talented singer. In their narrative, he was pre-ordained to win American Idol because he is a member of the Church, and that was his reward from God for being young and wholesome, and that’s why all the tween girls voted for him. And the Church is true, and if you don’t believe that then you are just an icky Mormon hater, so there!

And it’s not just the starry-eyed, lovesick tweens living in fantasy worlds. Look at the local blogosphere’s response to the largely peaceful Prop. 8 protests. They act as if LDS temples have been burned to the ground, California Mormons have been killed in their sleep, and the church has been horribly scapegoated for absolutely no reason. Their fear and hysteria (which strangely is not being tamped down by the church, surprise, surprise) is completely over the top, considering that most of the vandalism to LDS buildings has apparently been done by teenagers, not gay terrorists.

I hope there is an episode of South Park in the future that will delve into the Mormon Prop. 8 crap storm. Only their over-the-top, slightly perverse brand of satire could make any sense of it all. Ciao, babies.

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