This post originated on another journal and is being added to HDJM’s canon.
Watched HBO polygamy satire last night, had to chew on it for a while before I decided that the whole point of the show isn’t to normalize polygamy, or garner sympathy for polygamist as I had earlier believed, but to make the Bill Paxton family seem normal, and just as soon as you get caught up in the soap opera element, BAM. Little visit down to Colorado City/Hilldale. Oh, excuse me. “Juniper Creek.”
Harry Dean Stanton is playing a caricature of Warren Jeffs’ father, Rulon Jeffs. Don’t know who he is? He’s the guy running the show. Oh, and his son Warren (who is now in charge as Rulon is dead) is on the FBI’s most wanted list and currently hiding out in Eldorado, TX with about 50 wives, their kids, and guys with guns. They can’t be touched yet because they are just “practicing their religion.” That, by the way, is how these people have gotten away with marrying their preteen and 13 year old daughters to old men for property gain, “spiritual gain,” etc for over a century. Religion. By the way, Jeffs has his own wikipedia page. (*cough* if you read that link, did you catch how the women are “invited” into heaven by their righteous husbands?)
I was glad to hear Paxton (who I can just NOT get behind seeing naked all the time. Argh! It’s Bill “game over, man!” Paxton!) tell his dad he hated him for running him off at 14. Yep. All boys – with the exception of possibly the Prophet’s boys – are run out of town. Don’t need the competition. Or they’re killed if they get too vocal about things. There’s a quiet little problem in Utah with gay male prostitution. Guess where these boys come from? And the sad thing is, so many of them have been so deeply indoctrinated in all the religious hullabaloo, they’d go back in a heartbeat.
Another little detail that was meaningless to most people, I suspect, but was my first clue as to what the writers were REALLY going for, was the “prophet’s” son doing the books. The header? United Eternal Brotherhood – UEB, a bastardization of UEP, which is the financial system for the plygs. And which owns EVERYTHING. Every house, every business, every blade of grass that any polygamist member lives on. And if you don’t tow the line? Meaning, question how things are done, fight an arrangement be it marriage or business, well, the bank just revokes your “ownership.” And you are out. As in, step over the town line and it’ll be the last thing you do. They are violent people, and I was glad to see them hint at this on the show.
In other words, I’m still watching. Still trying to make sure they aren’t glamorizing or normalizing this lifestyle, because it is NOT the same thing as a group of adults living in California or Canada or New York who are going to make group living a go. This is a Higher Calling from God, and even Bill Paxton’s character on the show is In Charge. Anyone else noticing that? Okay.