COLUMN: Festivals, scary clowns and Aggie football

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“I feel pretty, oh so pretty!

I feel pretty, and witty and gay!

And I pity, any girl who isn’t me today.”

—from the film, “West Side Story”.

So much happening in Cache Valley that I feel compelled to offer a series of thoughts this week about all the things swirling in my muddled mind.

— This past weekend, downtown Logan was a hive of activity. Two inaugural festivals took place that made downtown come alive.

On Friday and Saturday, the Block film and art festival took place. Using many of the theaters and local downtown businesses as venues, “The Block” features films, talks, art, music and other exhibits. It was glorious.

People just stayed in the middle of town, walking from one venue to another, enjoying what was offered. And on Saturday, the crowd doubled–maybe tripled–when the Logan Pride fest was held simultaneously.

For a pride festival of any sort to be held in Cache Valley is, by itself, a miracle. To see the multitude of people who walked through the staging area, and the vitality of business this event created, made me feel good about living in Northern Utah. That does not happen very often for me.

And that should be the lesson the elected officials for Logan and Cache Valley take away from these events. A $20 bill in the pocket of the attendees of this past weekend has the same exact monetary value as a $20 bill from anyone else.

I believe that too many elected officials in Utah would rather lose money than woo the business of those they deem to live contrary to the teachings of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. I believe that LDS doctrine is the guiding principle for governance in this state—even if that principle relegates non-adherents to second class residents, loses money that pay for services and allows people like me to scathingly rebuke Utah as nothing more than an oligarchical theocracy.

I know that is not case with some elected officials here in Cache Valley. There are elected, governing officials in these parts who are faithful members of the Mormon church who want this area to flourish economically. They have enough influence to ensure events like “The Block” and the Logan Pride Fest come back in 2017 and beyond.

I hope that is what happens. It was nice for me to willingly and enthusiastically stay in Logan for an entire weekend. I spent my money here. This weekend, I will be somewhere else…and I am taking my money with me. So will many others. And that is why the Logan and Cache County councils should embrace those who were here for the festivals last weekend. They spent money this area desperately needed. Let’s hold more events that gets more of the money. Sounds smart to me.

— When I scribe a “CVD mailbag” column, the questions are fake. The purpose of the column is just to review recent columns so that I may opine further on those subjects. Every once in awhile, I get an actual question from readers. This shocks me as I was unaware that I actually have readers! On the column regarding the festivals discussed above that I wrote two weeks ago, someone using the name Danny asked me a few questions. He asked me if in using the the term LGBTQ, if I knew what the Q stood for. I do.

The “Q” can stand for questioning or queer. Most of those in that community I speak with consider the letter to stand for queer.

The word once was used to describe something or someone that was noticeably different. In time, it became a vicious slur against homosexuals. Now, many in the gay community embrace the word and use it to define themselves with pride.

For my fellow Utah State alumni, we should feel empathy. We did the same thing with the word Aggie. It was a once a disparaging term for anyone who attended a land grant agricultural school. In time, many schools embraced the nickname and made it their own.

I am proud to be an Aggie. Many in the LGBTQ community and proud to call themselves queer. Isn’t the English language a beautiful thing?

— If given 10,000 words in this column, I would not be able to adequately express my exasperation about the “scary clowns” hysteria that has gripped Cache Valley in the past week. I know this is going on nationally, but given the dearth of circus performers in Northern Utah, I think it is particularly odd that this story held on here.

No one in a clown costume is going to shoot up a school in or around Logan. And if anyone dressed as a clown commits a crime and attempts to flee, I feel confident their large floppy shoes will be their undoing.

Utah State University got in on the OVERREACTION ALERT when they released a statement saying they might ban anyone dressed as a clown from entering The Howl party at the end of the month.

Slutty cop, slutty nurse, slutty Bo Peep and slutty devil are all still allowed—but no clowns!

Madness.

— As a warning, if any Cache Valley businesses play Christmas music over their speakers before Thanksgiving, I am going to shake my fist at you and call you bad names. I would boycott your businesses, but then I would have to shop in Ogden, Salt Lake City or Idaho.

Oh! Wait! I already do that!

— It is quite possible the Utah State Aggie football team might not win another game the rest of the year. The so-called fans, who have already abandoned the basketball team now that the Aggies do not beat up on The Sisters of the Poor to inflate their win totals, will most likely be absent from the remaining three home football games.

This is the one subject I will always give credit to BYU over USU. The Zoobs stick with their team, win or lose. USU and their fans have a long way to go before I would consider them to be a great fan base. Stick with your team when they are down. Otherwise, you are just a frontrunner who must associate with a winner to hide your own issues of self-worthlessness.

— Finally, on politics, a poll was released on Wednesday that states Donald Trump might not carry Utah in the presidential election. Hillary Clinton, Evan McMullin and Gary Johnson are all within striking distance of victory. Utah has voted for the GOP nominee in the last 12 presidential elections.

I take many justified shots at Utah. However, if Utah can be the one solid “red state” that defies the GOP and their truly horrific nominee, for the rest of my life I will consider it one of the highlights of the time I lived here.

Do it, Utah!