Saturday, October 20, 2007

Elder Kirby?

Robert Kirby. If you don't know who he is, people might characterize you as either sorely deprived or mercifully blessed, depending on their perspectives. For those unfamiliar with Kirby, he's an LDS columnist for the Salt Lake Tribune who has been compared to both J. Golden Kimball and a modern-day Korihor. He ends up seriously rankling some readers and is adoringly heralded by others. I tend to love the man... or at least his columns related to Mormonism.

In short, Kirby's a humorist who makes fun of just about everything... and everything frequently includes various aspects of Church culture. A former police officer who started writing a weekly column for the now-defunct Utah County Journal (this is his first article... now a cult favorite), he eventually got picked up full-time by the Tribune. As I see it, the Trib' probably liked the fact that, as a Mormon, Kirby had a longer leash to poke and prod on some issues than the paper's editorial staff. I think he's usually pretty good about not crossing "the line," but there are those who clearly feel that he should be strung up and shot (or at the least given his packing papers).

This divide in perception was made all more interesting by General Conference two weeks ago. Since then, I've been debating whether Kirby now carries a sort of unofficial Church imprimatur.... I mean, given that one of his columns was basically recounted in its entirety by Richard C. Edgley and served as the foundational lead-in for Edgley's talk (Here's the talk in case you missed it). Today Kirby posted some reader feedback he's received about being quoted by Edgley, including my favorite: "Polygamy, blood atonement, and now Kirby in Conference. I can't take it anymore. I have to leave the church."

Me personally... I could get used to hearing Kirby in Conference. Kind of gives Saturday morning a little spice.

14 comments:

BA said...

Kirby got me through some rough times when I was in the Kong...

jorgensens said...

I don't think I've ever heard of him. I love that first article and must now go and read everything else.
and about Edgley's talk good talk but also shows the problem with wards; as soon as the words hospital or death are included everyone is ready and willing but when it's something else less life threatening, well you know how I feel...

Treidi said...

I grew up with his cartoon books they were hilarious. Most of the time I think he is fine. I do however think he crosses the line at times... like the instance I emailed him on... I never heard from him by the way.

wimp.

Marc said...

BA - Definitely good reading material to take the edge off on the mish'

Jorgensens - He's several books which are collections of his Mormon-articles (You can get them pretty cheap off Amazon. See here, here, here, and here). On the other issue, you're right, it's important that members strive to be more consistent.

Treidi - I'm pretty sure you CC'd me on that email... I don't think I ever responded either. Figures though... considering how big of wimp I am.

King Family said...

Interesting stuff...I loved the talk it is fun to know some inside info.

Alifinale said...

Maybe it is because I am married to BA, but I enjoy reading Kirby. I think he is funny and people who take him too seriously are just sad. I didn't hear that talk in conference so I am glad you pointed it out. I love that he was quoted in conference.

melbo said...

I think we should all thank Kirby for teaching Mormons to laugh at themselves. The more press he gets the better.

christovich79 said...

My first exposure to Kirby was through E. Bohn in DC South. I laughed then, and I laugh now. He crosses my personal line almost never, and as a humorist immersed in Mormon culture that's an amazing feat. I've read some of his stuff to others, and waited for their reactions. They have, thus far, agreed completely with his wit and wisdom. So consider this a thanks for the introduction many years ago.

tigerfoxbear said...

I liked the talk, didn't realize it was Kirby he was quoting though.

Marc said...

Ali - It's always reassuring to hear that other people skipped portions of Conference too.

Melbo - Amen.

Christovich79 - A delightful blast from the past. Kirby is up there with Calvin & Hobbes for helping weary missionaries to decompress. All of this begs the question, however... just what does cross your personal line?

TFB - Now you know... and as G.I. Joe always told us, knowing is half the battle.

christovich79 said...

What crosses my personal line is an interesting question with an equally interesting answer. When you asked me this, did you imagine what an answer would look like? Can I fit it into a blog post comment? I guess I could squeeze it down to specific things that Kirby has written that made me gratuitously uncomfortable. The Oct. 16, '07 article on pumpkins made me verrry uncomfortable. I didn't ever get so offended that I took notes. More like I laughed and was way less offended than by South Park.

Marc said...

Secretly, deep down, I know you relish those offensive South Park moments.

Amy Morris said...

Marc, you always have all the inside info. I like this guy, thanks for the inroduction.

penisenlargement4male said...

It is best to participate in a contest for among the best blogs on the web. I'll recommend this website!
Vigrx, Vimax Pills Enhance VigRX Plus metropathies Male Extra Amp Do Vimax pills really work mastoidal
More Info:
Penis Enlargement|Penis Enlargement Pills|Vimax Pills|Male Extra Pills |VigRX Plus