Tuesday, July 31, 2007

It hella be Arial font and shit

Well welcome back to you too.

I was looking at my profile, in one of my frequent moments of self-absorption, and I saw that it has been viewed 144 times. Now, I know I may have looked at it at least half of those, so that means that at least 72 of those viewings were done by someone other than me. My question is, who are those people? I bet you anything it's folks I went to high school with who take sick pleasure in watching the super-judgemental Mormon girl go bad and swear like a sailor.

To them I say: I understand completely. Read on! Witness my descent! There's so much further to fall. . . I'm tattooless and I still care about other people's feelings.

***

So I decided to jump ship and move my sweet little ass down south past SF state (where I'm beginning my graduate work in less than a month). I'm gonna live next to the ocean and read dramatic novels and write papers with too many quotation marks. I'm a little English teacher bonsai. Clip clip. I'm growing into your worst nightmare.

In the meantime, I have to get rid of shit I don't need, which means going through my old "memorabilia." I opened up the dusty box of notes I passed to Tina in 9th grade and pictures of my 8th grade boyfriend (total fox with a shark's tooth [?] or jagged Corey Haim-esque stone dangling from his shapely little brown little ear), sappy, lovely letters from my way-too-nice parents, and old Gap schedules to find a poetry submission to the New Era magazine.

The New Era is a Mormon youth magazine. It's not as creepy as you think; Mormons aren't Southern Baptists. The tone is akin to a Landmark Forum weekly mixed with a real estate brochure.

On July 6th, 1994, at the budding age of 14 I mailed them a poem and I got this letter back. And you know it's hella in Arial font:

Dear Contributor:

Thank you for the your recent poetry submission. Your writing has merit and we wish to encourage you in developing your talent. We publish only one poem in each issue of the New Era except in August when we publish works from winners of the annual contest. Therefore, chances of your poems being used even if we purchased them would be remote.

We wish to encourage you (if you are between the ages of 12 and 23) to submit your poetry to the annual New Era Writing, Music, Photography, and Art Contest. The contest rules can be found each year in the September issue.

If you are over 23 years of age then we suggest you enter the Ensign contest. Rules for that contest are found in the July issue of the Ensign..

Again, thank you for thinking of the New Era.

Sincerely,

{Signature}

Diane Hoffman

***

Back in 1994, when those crazy computers were all new and shit, ladies named Diane who dotted their "i"s with fat little circles didn't yet know that what used to be underlined on a typewriter should be put into italics. And business letters had colons after their salutations. And, Diane, I submitted only one poem, so saying "poems" in the fifth line is unparallel with the rest of the paragraph, particularly because the letter is addressed to a sole "contributor." And uh-oh, Diane, your third paragraph has a double period at the end!

But really, Ms. Hoffman was a sweetie for saying my writing had merit (she did sign her letter herself). Especially since this is the poem I sent:

Song

The essence of a spirit;
A creation of God
Mistaken identitiy
A seed without pod

The soul's imbibement
The passing of time
A comforting friend
Misunderstood rhyme

Rhythmic consolate
Memory weave
Killer of time
Without leave

***

At least I didn't end the damn thing with an ellipses. However I did write "P. S. Give me a chance, not an apology." Bless Diane for ministering to hyper-emotional Mormon youth in the mid-90s.

Bless her and her fatly dotted "i"s and her convuluted final sentence in the opening paragraph. . .

3 comments:

GuruTruth said...

Susanna,
You wrote:
"The New Era is a Mormon youth magazine. It's not as creepy as you think; Mormons aren't Southern Baptists. The tone is akin to a Landmark Forum weekly mixed with a real estate brochure."
It is most interesting that you compare the Landmark Forum to Mormonism, and to a real estate salesman's pitch. Here is some more information on the subject, let me know what you think about this info:

Landmark Education is conducted in a Large Group Awareness Training setting, information about it and its "The Forum" course, previously known as "The Forum" under Werner Erhard and Associates, the "technology" of which was developed by Werner Erhard and utilized in his prior "EST Training" or "Erhard Seminars Training" - is available through the links below:

A documentary came out in France, Voyage to the Land of the New Gurus, which details some of the for-profit company's interesting practices. The film aired to 1.5 million people in France. One month after it aired, the company shut down in France. The company attempted to use the Digital Millenium Copyright Act in order to get this video off the internet. More about this at Landmark Education stumbles stupidly to hollow settlement, Landmark Education wants to make French news report a “forbidden video” on the Net and at Why did Landmark Education leave France? as well as at the Electronic Frontier Foundation's legal page, Landmark and the Internet Archive and in an article from Reuters which went into The Washington Post and The Los Angeles Times, among many other papers, at Google faces legal challenges over video service.

Landmark Education has been labeled "sect" by the government of France, a "sect" by the government of Austria. They were investigated multiple times by the United States Federal Department of Labor - and an investigation in 2004 by the Federal Department of Labor in France led to Landmark Education shutting down their operations in all of France due to unpaid labor practices.

Landmark Education is currently a defendant in a wrongful death case in Oklahoma, and also a young man named James Brian Rowe went missing in Colorado directly after attending a Landmark Forum in 2004. His family has not heard from him since.

More information about the company's history itself, at The Rick Ross Institute, the Skepdic site, Cult News, Introduction to the Landmark Education litigation archive, Landmark Education litigation archive, Apologetics Index, and Cult Awareness and Information Centre. The book OUTRAGEOUS BETRAYAL by Steven Pressman is also a great resource. Chapter 4, A Door to Door Mind Salesman, and Chapter 7, Enlightenment in Two Weekends - The est Training are available online.

For more information about other Large Group Awareness Training organizations and their methodologies, visit:

The Truth about Human Potential Seminars

audge said...

I'm sad you're leaving from the building. If it wasn't for you, I may have never been able to find that place and could still be stuck in the warehome..

Mac said...

The narrative voice you were aiming for fell far short of the end product.