April 17, 2005

Enjoy the silence

The other day, the Washington Post reviewed something I found intriguing on several levels: a local drama company has produced, rather than a play, a new Trapped by the Mormons, made in Britain of all places. Apparently, there was something of a subgenre of British anti-Mormon silent films -- something that I'd managed to remain ignorant of.

The modern remake looks interesting, and may well make time to see it during its three week engagement here, although I have to confess that reading what I presume was supposed to be the tongue in cheek history of the Mormons and the film, I found myself finding the joke not funny anymore. Maybe it was this bit that set me off:

Showing the cowardice that typifies their ilk, the Mormons sent out spies to infiltrate the troops' encampments as they travelled along the trail to Salt Lake City. They destroyed the soldiers' food supply, set afire their wagons, and drove off their stock. Yes, the Mormons were America's first terrorists. But when the soldiers reached Salt Lake City, Brigham Young and his rebel army, surrendered promptly. The Mormon, like the Muslim, will always run from a fair fight.

I'm not quite sure I get the point -- I presume the idea is that anti-Mormon bigotry differs little from anti-Muslim bigotry, but I'm not sure it quite comes across.

Posted by Ideofact at April 17, 2005 11:28 PM

i just read a intellectual history of conflicts relating to darwinism in britain since the 1970s (conflicts within the evolutionary camp, not about evolution vs. creation), and the author (british) illustrated the idea of memes by using the example of mormons, a wildly successful religion because of their religion-sanctioned practice of...polygamy.

Posted by: razib at April 21, 2005 02:13 AM