Wednesday, June 6, 2012

All Right. That's IT!

If you are new to this blog, please note that I rarely write these kinds of posts. I'm a real believer that as long as everyone is just playing nice or - and this is important - selling their brand of snotty somewhere else, then all is right with the world. Come here on any given day and you're likely to laugh a bit, meet some swell readers, and develop an inexplicable craving for marshmallow fudge. And who knows? Maybe I'll whip up a batch of that fudge tonight, and by morning I'll be relaxed and patient and all 'make fudge not war' like I usually am.

But today...

Today I'm annoyed. With that guy in the middle there. Him. Right. There.

That guy is named ... um ... Andreas Farfegnugen.  Yes, I'm sure that's it. The Andreas part is right. Maybe his last name is Konmeineditor. Because that's pretty much what the guy did. He's a German newspaper reporter who told his editor he needed to go to Utah to find out once and for all what those kooky Mormons were really, truly up to, since it was apparent at least one of them might be running the U.S. some day soon.

So to Utah he came, at his newspaper's expense. All to get to the bottom of this Mormon business.

Now, let me tell you about Mr. Farfegnugen. First, his real last name is Ross.

Second, he came from a little town in Germany called Frankfurt. And by little I mean not little at all. In fact, the Mormons have very conveniently placed a temple right there, where anyone who wished to know anything at all about the LDS faith could go and just collect info like ca-razy.

And young Master Andreas had no idea it was even there. A 20-minute train ride from his home, and this guy who hopes to be the political correspondent for his newspaper, stationed in Washington D.C., couldn't be bothered to Google "Hey, is there any Mormon stuff in my hometown?" For that lack of basic research alone, I hope his editor takes away his key to the staff latrine.

Andreas interviewed Elisa Scharton and me a few weeks ago, something I think he did primarily to get a free bottle of water and a peek down Elisa's shirt. Its 'tightness' is the first thing he mentions in his article, which is a good thing, because now Germans are that much better informed on Mitt Romney's foreign policy and economic recovery plans.

Meister Ross -- who admitted to having been raised Catholic but given up on all organized religion -- had evidently written his article before arriving in the states. We concluded this when he asked us the same three questions seventy-two thousand times, and we (in our bleached blond obtuseness, something else he referenced for reasons attributable to a mini bar and an expense account) kept giving him the wrong answers.

Bleached blonde, tight bloused Elisa.
She was also wearing the cutest yellow top siders you ever saw,
but of course Andreas didn't mention that!

Poor guy. He really, really wanted us to say that the Church dictates what we Mormon bloggers say, and what we Mormon women think, and how we all feel about ourselves on any given day.

And dingbats that we were, we just kept telling him the truth. Nope, the Church doesn't have anything to do with our blogs, nor with Mormon Mommy Blogs, which Elisa owns and runs. One quick read of my blog and and even the most suspicious reporter would have to admit that the Church could not POSSIBLY be overseeing the nonsense that shows up here every week or so. And we're happy, or sad, or grumpy, or kinda nauseated, all due to circumstances that almost never involve the Church. Summer television schedules -- yes. Church micro-management -- not so much.

So, then he was all "well, how come you never talk about your temples?" at which point I texted his editor and suggested he confiscate his parking permit and roll-ey chair. I mean, for heaven's sake, what more is there to say? I spent a good 15 minutes telling him everything I could about the temple, and do you think I'm even mentioned in the article? Pfft. Don't make me snort.

Then he wanted to know about our history. Polygamy. Blacks and the priesthood. The current issues about gays and the Church. We were frank. We admitted that we didn't have all the answers, and that sometimes we're not entirely comfortable with the answers we're given.

Think that made the article? (See "snort" above.)

He interviewed a guy who has joined the Church of Not Being a Mormon Any More, and his stuff was all over the place. You know, that's fine. I have no problem with opposing viewpoints. But given that we spoke with this guy for an hour, you'd think we'd get as much play as the other people he interviewed.

But the worst thing about all of it was, there was nothing in the article that would help Germans understand Mitt Romney any better. If they were looking for salient information about the possible future leader of the free world, they weren't going to get it from Andreas Ross.


Dear Andreas,
Thank you so much for the chance to sit across a table from you and absorb all of your very strange little tics, your flagrant rudeness as you gazed out the window while we were speaking, and your obvious disinterest in really getting to know anything worth knowing about the Mormons. I'm sure your readers appreciate the thousand words o' drivel you provided. Even now pet birds all over Frankfurt are putting your article to good use.

And I'll tell you something else, Mr. Ross: You want to go head-to-head with unusual belief systems, questionable historical human rights issues, and bizarre attitudes towards minorities?

We'll gladly put Mormons' bad behavior regarding polygamy, blacks, and gays up against annexing most of Europe and massacring six million people for practicing an unpopular religion -- any day of the week.

Until you're ready for that fight, stay home and pray that your editor doesn't take my suggestion that you be demoted to car wash attendant.

Or better yet, peel your arse off the couch, hop a train, and learn how to do your job.


Brittany said...

Well said. I think I'll go ahead and skip the article though. Who in their right minds would hire a twelve year old to be their political correspondent? He is twelve, right? He looks twelve. At first glance I thought you'd taken a picture with some famous deacon who'd been on American Idol or something.

Jessica said...

This is one time I'm glad that I don't speak the German language. I'd hate to read what he had to say.
Give me his address, I'll send over some x-lax brownies and the missionaries.

Becca said...

It is a sad and pathetic waste of cells to have an opportunity to understand things and to choose not to. I wish he would have taken the chance to get beyond the tight shirts and blond hair (really? REALLY??) and learn something.

Have some PB m&ms and a diet coke. It will all become funny soon (sooner, the more m&ms and DC you consume, I'd imagine.)

tammy said...

Way to tell him! Stupidhead.

Beka said...

Agreed. What a doofus.

Sharon said...

It needed to be said. You said it! I only wish it would end the "girls don't know nothin' " meme. But -- YOU SAID IT! Yea, you!

wendy said...

Even though this guy is seriously annoying...I had to laugh at the way you told it. It's like you could explaing to us about what a pin prick he is, without dropping an F blomb.
other then Farfenhugen (or whatever that was)
WHY can some people not get it right or have the decency to be polite.
oh yeah, cause some people are F...arfenhugens.

AS Amber said...

Ew! I hate that guy!!! What a big dummy jerk!

Send Jessica to get him.

seashmore said...

Some people's kids....I tell ya...

JoLynne Lyon said...

That's not just justified complaining, it's good writing. It's so refreshing that at least you can respond to that dork on your own platform--guys like him used to tell readers to start their own newspaper if they didn't like the reporting. Now if we could just send it en masse to the readers of the Frankfurt Enlightened Times. Or at least to Mr. Don't-Confuse-Me-With-The-Real-Story's editor.

LisAway said...

I thought you must have been exaggerating at the beginning when you said that he didn't even know that the church (and temple!) was in his own town. Then I kept reading and realized you were probably serious...!!! Wow. I would submit this to the guy's paper. Excellent rebuttal. :)

Mormon Media Reviews said...

It always bums me out when people already have the article written in their heads, they just want a few out of context quotes to go along with it.

Melanie Jacobson said...

I'm trying to think of words I can use that are okay, and I can't think of any. I feel . . . annoyed. Let's leave it there.

Marianne said...

Well SNAP! I know one thing for sure, I don't ever want to get on your bad side. You made me feel incredibly sheepish and I'm not even Andreas Ross!!

Baltzers said...

Tried to read the article, but alas Google Translator is only slightly helpful. I loved this thoughtful and humorous rant. I need to visit you more often!

Rebecca said...

Its really too bad that he did what he did. I hope one day he realizes his immaturity got in the way of him learning something amazing. But maybe he will be curious and run into more lds over there and ask better questions. And then listen.

Rebecca said...

Its too bad he let his immaturity get in the way of learning something amazing. I hope he remembers this experience and has a desire to learn more one day. Even if nothing comes of it, he will come to know that he had the truth in front of him.

Middle-aged Mormon Man said...

Awesome. It's not often you can read such an insightful, coherent, message that uses the words "Farfegnugen," "temple", "polygamy," and "arse" - all in the same post! I am duly impressed.

Moral of the story- there's a lot of weasels out there - even in the fatherland.