Thursday, January 13, 2011

Come to Institute, meat a chick.

I've bugged a few very kind and patient folks with my commentary regarding the new video I heard of regarding Tommy Monson's plea for young adults to attend institute.

...except for you fine people. And so I ask you to please follow along with me. The first video (that's right, there's two) is entitled "I've got to get to Institute" and is embedded above.

It's an unbelievably campy fun video! Low budget from the folks who bring you $4 billion dollar malls!

This vid begins with the viewer groaning in annoyance as a super-sexy boy sleeps in bed with a really annoying background noise you soon realize is his clock ticking (biological clock, perhaps?). You won't realize this until his alarm goes off and the dude wakes up, looks at it, and says "oh no!" and falls out of bed like he's totes slept in and is late for class.

Hi, stupid LDS actor guy? You didn't sleep in. Your alarm went off. The appropriate response to your alarm going off when you don't wanna wake up is "goddammit" or "gosh darn it." And please reset your alarm for an earlier time if this is an issue.

Anyways, so he smells the jacket on his bed because college guys are gross and wear gross hoodies over their pjs every day, especially when they sleep in 'till 9:40am. They also eat pizza left out on the counter (don't they know that pizza left out that long has tons of bacteria on it?) because OMG THESE ARE FER REALZ COLLEGE STUDENTS, JUST LIKE ME!

Cut to hallway scene where said guy runs into his really nerdy and untalented actor friends who stop him and tell him about their awesome new video games and invite him over to play!

Cue end-of-the-world-satan-wants-you music.

The John Bytheway wannabe then beeps at him to remind him he really ought to be at Institute. CTR, guy!

But our main character wants to have a little fun! Geez!

John Bytheway agrees, there's nothing wrong with a little fun. Yeah, I say. What's wrong with having a little bit of fun?

WAIT A MINUTE. Video games are not fun. Whatever happened to the old '80s video where the hot chicks with big blonde hair wearing shoulder pads give him the ol' eye and invite him to a non-mo party? That's fun.

But Mr. RM doesn't know about this whole "institute thing." Mahana, you ugly, he says.

But he needs Institute! and Institute needs him! It's symbiotic! There's no time for fun--besides, Institute is fun! And if that doesn't work, John Bytheway bribes him with what he calls "a bonus."

A bonus, huh? Well, since you say that...

The bonus comes in the form of a tall, blonde and pretty Utah Girl. They know each others names. Jared and Erica. I can see it inscribed on napkins already, the ones their reception guests can wipe their chins of the jello and carrot mold with.

The teacher then asks Jared if he might say the opening prayer, and he (like a good boy) agrees. The next few minutes are filled with scenes of all the kids learning and discussing things found in the scriptures.

WAIT A MINUTE! Did you all see that? THERE'S YOUR TOKEN BLACK GIRL TALKING! See, the church isn't racist!

Cut back to the main character. "I'm really feeling the spirit now," he says. "That must be that bonus I was promised."

I guess "spirit" is another word for throbbing erection?

And OMG she asked him if he was going to the Institute activity that night. SHE TOTALLY WANTS TO MARRY HIM!

Cue knowing smile that usually means "i'm getting some tonight" but in this instance means "I might get to hold her hand tonight."

And now, the second video:

This little ditty entitled "Institute Changes You" begins with this crazy condescending monologue about how awesome it is to graduate high school and how scary it is because you're now "independent" (i use this word lightly, it is speaking to mormons, after all) and have to make decisions. Where do you find stability? Why, in church! Make sure you keep in touch with other LDS kids because other people are evil and scary and LDS kids are never bad.

Besides, you can totes marry one of these people! And isn't that the most important thing?

Also, you can be yourself here

(or not).

And if the prospect of marriage doesn't grab you by the throat, the promise of free food should. Except for when you have to pay for it--I mean, donate a few bucks. We won't mention this is in addition to the tithing "donation" requisite for full salvation. We just say "free food" because, as the video reminds you, aren't college kids, like, poor?

Oh shit, there's something wrong with that. Never mind that. The serious part of Institute is the "spiritual nourishment" you'll find there. But we'll get to that in a minute.

The real world is super-duper scary. You can't make it without having church all around you, all the time.

I'm totally going to Institute now.


  1. I need institute in my religion now. If it means I totally get to pretend I don't fantasize about hot guyz and girlz, I'm all over it (heh, that so has innuendo potential). Loki fully supports self-denial. But only if it's funny.

    And, btw LMFAO @your reinactment ^_^

  2. I can totally relate to a character who sleeps in, wears dirty clothes, and has a poor diet. That's exactly what my life was like in college. OH WAIT, I had *real* problems to deal with, like struggling with my faith, trying to pass my classes, juggling a relationship with school and friendships, learning how to think for myself, and you know ... real shit.

  3. What the hell does "totes" mean? Judging by how often you use it, I'm assuming it means "And it came to pass."

  4. Sick, sick, sick, sick, sick. I am so pissed right now. That was so incredibly sexist. The biggest problem is, as a friend mentioned, "[T]he fact that the sexism would be likely be barely detectable (and likely not at all) by the intended audience shows how thoroughly it permeates the culture." To me, the video screams sexist, and is something I would expect to find as an advertisement for Toyota, not a church.

    WTF happened to "New Mormon Feminism"? Why aren't the feminist Mormons out these screaming mad about this bullshit?

    I was so angry, I did a blog post too:

  5. Holy crap! "This must be the bonus I was offered." Laughing so hard right now!

    Heaven forbid he be an ordinary looking guy sitting next to an ordinary looking girl.

    They did make a mean navajo taco at the institute I attended back in 1989-only two bucks!

  6. I noticed there was no black guy for the black chick. Just in that movie, Single's Ward, there's one black dude, no black girl, so in the scene that takes place at Preference, we see the black dude, but we never see his date. Yes I know. I obsess about the details -- and ignore the BIG picture.

    I laughed out loud at your post. Deseret Books should hire you to write synopses on the back of their DVD's.

  7. I'm laughing about the post AND the vid. When, oh when, will the LDS Media Dept. make something--anything--outside Utah Valley and not use people who say things like "Toozdee" for "Tuesday"? The provincialism keeps shining through in so many delightful little ways, doesn't it.

  8. Goldarn: it's sarcasm (for me), but you'll find it in a lot of blogs and whatnot written by teens who use it as shorthand for "totally"

    Winnie: yeah, we had $1 lunches at Friday Forum. Last I checked it was up to $2 so who knows what it is by now. The church is hurting financially, so who can blame them?

    Rob: is that what that was? i didn't recognize it as an accent.

    Kate: i get mad so often. finding the humor is a nice break, but by all means: vent!

    Donna: what's ridiculous is I remember telling my mom that the church wasn't racist because, lookit! we had a black bishop in town! /facepalm

    (i suppose it is something to have a black man in such a high position. still.)

    Everyone: glad you liked it :)

  9. Haha, thanks for that run-down! Now I DEF don't have to go over to that site and actually watch said video. And cry :)

  10. I'm not sure if you intended to use the term for edible animal flesh ("meat") in your title to this post, or if you did what I often do -- and used the hominem with the meaning you didn't intend. But whatever, don't change it because "meat" totally works in this hilarious context. Institute is a Mormon meat market after all. lmao.

    P.S. I couldn't watch the video. I just haven't been able to fully master my gag reflexes that go into hyperdrive any time I'm exposed to any LDS advertising. It's all I can do to keep my dinner down when the local TV stations advertise Monson's new biography, "To the Rescue," to the whimsical piano accompaniment of "We Thank The O God for a Profit." 'Scuse me while I go puke.

  11. CD: Of course it's intentional ;) even as an active my friends and i referred to it as a meat market.

    Also, I just got off my lazy ass and embedded it (i had to go to youtube to do it annnnd like i said, just got off my lazy ass). i recommend just going with the commentary, however. So don't compromise your tummy, there.

    Oh god, a Tom Monson advertisement? jesus. i'm glad i haven't eaten breakfast yet, though i'm sure my masochistic side will win out yet. to the rescue my ass.