It's only been a few weeks I admit and it might be a little bit hasty to draw conclusions but I'm starting to think Utahans might be a little bit weird.
First of all there is the Mormon thing I just don't get the big deal. Now I confess that I am a heathen and I generally don't understand organised religion so I am probably not the best one to judge it all, especially as I have only recently set up home in the area where it seems all the world's Mormons like to congregate. However try as I might, and I am trying, but I really don't understand the Mormon thing.
We Scots have got a reputation for being stingy with money. If we go to church we give a few coppers into a bowl to help keep the tiles on the roof of the building. In comparison Mormons are crazy. Good Mormons give 10% of their income to the church. Doesn't matter how much the Mormon earns 10% is the figure for the tithings. If the Mormon isn't willing or able to pay this price off the good list they go. When I heard this fact I almost died of shock and somechileanwoman had to give me the kiss of life, or maybe I was just being greedy at the time. I can't quite remember which, its all a blur but I do know that I was a little confused as to why anybody would want to be a good Mormon. It wasn't very appealing to me that was for sure.
However each to their own. There are a lot of Mormons in Utah and many of them seem very happy with it and so they should be. But it still confuses me as to why any time I am downtown and passing the LDS Temple that I see quite so many young people getting married. Many of whom can't be much older than 19. Don't get me wrong, I'm not against marriage, I'm actually in the midst of planning to get married in around 18 months time. But I'm 31 years of age. I've lived enough of a life to know this is what I want. To me 19 (and younger) is just too young.
It could just be that Mormons are more romantic than me.
However not only am I an ignorant heathen, I'm also a cynical one so I half suspect the Elders of the LDS church are just very good at convincing the young Mormons that marriage is a wonderful thing - especially if their folks can't afford to send them off to another part of the world on a mission. It's a wonderful thing for the church if there is an opportunity to double up on its tithings, all the better if they breed and make new tithing paying Mormons. I told you I was cynical.
I really can't help but think these kids can't be making this decision solely by themselves when I then go to Liberty Park and see some of the local population dressed up in strange clothes and fighting one another in said clothes with wooden and plastic swords. I'm sorry Utah, it's just wrong.
Really this guy looks like a jester. And he is, its hilarious. Or maybe its just me.
And this guy looks like he stole his cloak from Gandolf, although the cap may once have belonged to a baseball player. Maybe it was an Ebay special - 'buy the cloak get a free cap!'Don't even ask me where this guy got his outfit from I have no idea but the guy in blue in front of him seems as confused as me.
Now contrary to the opinion of some, I do not always think that Scotland is better than Utah. In Scotland there may be no real problem with guns, hence the reason why the bike police in Scotland do not feel the need to cycle around with a gun on their hip, but Glasgow - Scotland does have a problem in certain areas with knife culture. In some parts, teenagers, mostly boys, do run around with real knifes, some of them the lengths of small swords and have real fights with each other. The upside, if there is an upside, is that the fighters usually consist of the very stupid so if there are any casualties in any of the battles it helps to reduce the likelihood that they will breed and have more stupid children therefore the rest of the population remains relatively safe from harm.
But really, these Mormons have big families I just don't think the world has enough strange costumes to cope with the influx wooden sword fighters.
Anyway, enough about Mormons and their weird hobbits, I mean habits. I sometimes worry on occasion that I act too much like a hippy. Especially when I creep myself out when I hear myself saying things like 'you know what state the Earth would be in if 5 billion of us bought plastic cups', but after spending some of Saturday in Liberty Park at the Earth Fest I just don't see myself going the whole hog and becoming a full time hippy.
At the Earth Fest there was just far too many hippy type people dressed up like this guy above. I may not be any sort of fashionista but I do know that I don't look good with a Technicolour Dreamcoat type of outfit. So I shall be limiting my hippy ways in future.
Some of the crowd may have been dressed a little strange but the music wasn't bad though. I do like a little bit of reggae. I am starting however to notice that Utah crowds aren't exactly the dancing type. I have to admit I'm not exactly a big dancer myself but come on! The music was free, it was cold, it was wet, it should have been a good enough excuse to huddle together and jump up and down or move from side to side a bit. Not in Utah.
Thats two Utah events in 3 weeks where music has been played and neither audience has really got it going, but they will dress up like extras from Lord Of The Rings and fight with wooden or plastic swords in a public park. I'd blame the Mormon religion but I can't think of a good enough reason at this time.You have to hand it to the crowd though, cold and wet as it may have been there were a few souls braving the elements. Some with Hawaiian shirts with nothing but a cup of coffee to keep warm.
Others with wet weather gear but equally trying to get into the spirit of the gathering with wacky flavoured snow drinks.