David Rodeback's Blog

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Life Among the Mormons, and Other Stuff

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Tuesday, August 3, 2004
Mormon Satire: The Sugar Beet, RIP

My office door at church - which I have because I'm the bishop of my LDS ward - has three things on it, none of them serious. Two are from The Sugar Beet (sorry, no link, 'cuz it doesn't deserve one any more), which used to invite comparison to The Onion, the quintessential online satirical newspaper. I hadn't had time to visit TheSugarBeet.com for the last several months, but the stuff on my door is getting pretty old, so I went there today to look for something new.

I am sorely disappointed. The Web site has a new look, a rather bloggy design, which is okay in itself, I suppose. But there aren't any links to back issues, and there's very little content from the last several months. In fact, there isn't enough solid content at the entire site to make up one old issue, and nothing there presently is bishop's door-worthy.

It is now possible for the masses to comment on the articles there, which seems entirely useless. Never mind the non sequitur ads for discount Viagra, etc., which crop up in comments there as at poorly moderated sites around the Web. Even among the relevant comments, there's hardly a word worth reading.

There are some references to a print version of The Sugar Beet; maybe that's where all the satirical energies are directed. But there's nothing at the Web site itself to suggest that the print version might be worth the investment. In the past, the quality was uneven, but often high. Now, well . . .

It's a pity. For a couple of years there, The Sugar Beet online was a welcome respite for those of us who struggle under the weight of what Elder Marvin J. Ashton once publicly called "the cross of living among too many Mormons." I hope it will be again, but the new Web site isn't encouraging.

I confess: I miss "Ask a Beehive." I miss "I'm Not Molly," even if her prose was a bit too spicy for the aforementioned office door. I miss them all. Well, almost all.

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