Rethinking the Renlund's dented boat

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Hagoth
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Rethinking the Renlund's dented boat

Post by Hagoth » Tue Aug 22, 2023 11:19 am

I was listening to jfro's latest MS episode: https://www.mormonstories.org/podcast/l ... les-doubt/

I always thought it was pretty sad that the best the Renlunds could do was to describe the Good Ship Zion as a dented, paint-flaked boat that can't sail in a straight line, with a scruffy old sailor who gives you stale, unsavory treats instead of decent food. They present it as an option to settle for something really disappointing as an option to surrendering yourself to the sharks.

Here's my updated version that I think is more accurate:

You're out for a swim when this really slick boat pulls alongside and invites you onboard. The boat looks very expensive, with a new paint of coat and every surface varnished and polished to perfection. The captain, an old man in a well-tailored suit, leans over the side and says, "Why are you swimming when you could come aboard and enjoy a fun ride with all the amenities?" So you climb onboard. He offers you a tray with a can of Perrier and a jar of caviar. The can turns out to be full of brackish water and the caviar jar is stuffed with rancid anchovies. You alert the captain that the food is bad but he insists that it is the finest food on the high seas and that anyone who says otherwise is lying. Worse, any food they offer you is poison! Who is this guy, anyway? He seems kind of out of touch and confused, and he's blasting a radio channel that just keeps telling him over and over what a great and magnificent seaman he is.

Then you notice that the boat is just sailing around in little circles. "Hey, captain, this boat isn't getting us anywhere!"

"What are you talking about? This is the ONLY boat that will get you to your destination! You just don't know what a straight line looks like. You just have to believe me!"

Then, to your surprise, he wastes no time putting you to work, scrubbing and polishing. "We've gotta keep it looking perfect on the outside in case we come across any more swimmers," he says. "Oh, and how much money have you got? You didn't think this was a free ride did you?"

That's about the time you realize there is water pouring in from seams in the hull. It's up to your ankles and rising. "Hey captain, I think we're sinking!"

"Who's telling you that?"

"Nobody. I just opened my eyes and looked around."

"Stop using your eyes! Everything you need to know comes out of my mouth."

"Uh, maybe I should just go back in the water."

"Are you crazy? What about the sharks? What about the storm? This is the only safe place!"

You slip over the side and swim back toward shore. Later, sitting on the beach eating a mango, you watch the boat sailing around and around in little circles and riding lower and lower in the water. You can hear the feeble voice of that captain singing along with a song on his radio station. "Follow the prophet, follow the prophet, follow the prophet ...
“The easy confidence with which I know another man's religion is folly teaches me to suspect that my own is also.” -Mark Twain

Jesus: "The Kingdom of God is within you." The Buddha: "Be your own light."

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RubinHighlander
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Re: Rethinking the Renlund's dented boat

Post by RubinHighlander » Tue Aug 22, 2023 11:42 am

I like it!

I'd add a bunch of stuff about how there's all these rules on the ship about what you can or cannot eat, that you'll be issued a special uniform to wear under your clothes at all times and lots of rules about sexual behavior, because there's only one "magnificent seaman" allowed on that ship and that's the captain!
“Sir,' I said to the universe, 'I exist.' 'That,' said the universe, 'creates no sense of obligation in me whatsoever.”
--Douglas Adams

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YzmYP3PbfXE

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blazerb
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Re: Rethinking the Renlund's dented boat

Post by blazerb » Wed Aug 23, 2023 6:09 am

I'd add that you realize that the captain does have some excellent bottled water, not the best but pretty good. He gets some caviar. His kids aren't doing any work around the boat. They just go around telling the rest of us how important their father is. They get the good food, too.

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moksha
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Re: Rethinking the Renlund's dented boat

Post by moksha » Thu Aug 24, 2023 12:20 pm

I was thinking about Rosenkrantz and Guildenstern from Shakespeare's Hamlet and wondering how the play may have been different if they hopped out, walked to shore, and talked with Hamlet rather than being stuck in that boat. I mean, Hamlet could have had an alternate soliloquy and things would have turned out better for Ophelia and everyone else.

Could you imagine Lady Macbeth exclaiming, "Out, out damned boat!"
Good faith does not require evidence, but it also does not turn a blind eye to that evidence. Otherwise, it becomes misplaced faith.
-- Moksha

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RubinHighlander
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Re: Rethinking the Renlund's dented boat

Post by RubinHighlander » Thu Aug 24, 2023 12:44 pm

moksha wrote:
Thu Aug 24, 2023 12:20 pm
I was thinking about Rosenkrantz and Guildenstern from Shakespeare's Hamlet and wondering how the play may have been different if they hopped out, walked to shore, and talked with Hamlet rather than being stuck in that boat. I mean, Hamlet could have had an alternate soliloquy and things would have turned out better for Ophelia and everyone else.

Could you imagine Lady Macbeth exclaiming, "Out, out damned boat!"
Hamlet is a favorite! If you've never seen the movie "Rosenkrantz and Guildenstern are Dead" I highly recommend it.
“Sir,' I said to the universe, 'I exist.' 'That,' said the universe, 'creates no sense of obligation in me whatsoever.”
--Douglas Adams

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YzmYP3PbfXE

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Just This Guy
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Re: Rethinking the Renlund's dented boat

Post by Just This Guy » Fri Aug 25, 2023 5:51 am

To further grow the revised analogy, when you are brought onboard, you are shown to some of the guest rooms and are amazed by how nice they look. They have windows, but always have the curtains pulled closed.

Once you agree to stay and take the time to really explore the ship you find that you were only shown the first class cabins. That is where all the upper leadership live. Most rooms are not nearly so nice. Most people are in 2nd class. It is reasonable, but not nearly as many perks as the 1st class cabins. On top of it, 2nd class passengers have to work to keep everything nice and clean for the 1st class passengers. Rooms are small, old and sale, but livable. Food is bland and boring, and you never get enough, but you can survive on it. There are no windows in these rooms.

However, there is also a steerage class. This is where any undesirable is force to go to. It could be because they ask questions. It could because the don't participate as much as everyone else things they should. It could be because they don't have the popular views on sexuality. Steerage can be hell to the people forced down there. Most of the lights don't work. It is smoky and stiflingly hot. Food is little more than gruel and only barely enough to survive on. Rooms are overcrowded and lack proper bedding and sanitation. 1st class passengers actively tell 2nd class passengers how bad steerage passengers are. They are to be ignored and shunned. Some 2nd class passengers will do likewise and shun them, others are caught in a troubling position knowing people who were forced down to steerage. They can't support them too much are they could be forced to join them.

The last secret you find is the engineering spaces. All the boat leadership warn you to stay away from Engineering. Don't even look at it. You don't need to know what it takes to drive the ship.

One day, you see the nicely painted door to engineering. It is locked, but you are curious., so you have to find a way to sneak in. When you do, you find that it is a total disaster. Everything is covered in rust and rotted insulation. The hull is leaking. Some people are trying to bail water out, but are never able to actually make an progress. Some people are trying to run the engines, but half of them are shut down and torn apart. However, after watching them for a while, it is clear that they don't actually know anything about what they are doing. They will push buttons and throw valves seemly at random. Nothing that they do actually results in better control of the ship or more power. There are piles of broken parts and old tools laying around everywhere.

It becomes clear to you that the ship is out of control and slowly sinking. If you say anything about it to any 2nd class passenger, you will be forced down to steerage.
"The story so far: In the beginning the Universe was created. This has made a lot of people very angry and been widely regarded as a bad move." -- Douglas Adams

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Angel
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Re: Rethinking the Renlund's dented boat

Post by Angel » Sun Aug 27, 2023 8:04 am

Upon the sea, a sailor's gaze,
In wonder at the diverse array.
Big and small, old and new,
Each on a voyage, a different hue.

Through storms they strive, through calm they glide,
Their paths converge, a fate implied.
One port they seek, though routes vary wide,
Many boats, one destination, a journey's tide.



Made by man - manufactured mass produced assembly line conformist limited - one boat mindset.

Made by nature/god - diverse. each leaf on each tree different, each boat, each journey.
“You have learned something...That always feels at first as if you have lost something.” George Bernard Shaw
When it is dark enough, you can see the stars. ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

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