State of the Blog and Ugly BYU

March 17, 2005    By: Geoff J @ 4:07 pm   Category: The Thang

Well I made it back from a fun family trip to Utah. I see that the comments are hanging up forever with Blogger still so my first order of business is to find a new home for my blog. I expect to have up and running by this weekend. More on that to come.

As for my trip — In addition to immensely enjoyable visits with family and friends I also spent Saturday up in Logan at the SMPT conference and met bloggernacle regulars Jim Faulconer, Rosalynde Welch, and Blake Ostler – all of whom were even more interesting and charming in person than they are in writing.

I made it back to BYU on Tuesday and saw how truly ugly the campus is for the first time. Man, Clark was right about the architecture there. Those building from the 60s and 70s could hardly be uglier. Brother Brigham must be annoyed to no end. I mean this is the man that built the gorgeous Salt Lake Temple and the lovely and newly restored BY Academy. Yet the main campus of the University in his name is as ugly as sin. Thankfully the Maeser building is still beautiful and the new buildings under construction seem to have aesthetics in mind — I have to credit current decision makers for that. But as for the rest of the place… Yikes! That’s what happens when utility is taken too far and beauty is ignored too much I guess. And those unfortunate architechtural decisions are now too expensive to quickly undo (hence the Provo temple still stands).

God certainly didn’t ignore beauty when he made Utah, though. That place is gorgeous from the North to the South. Of course the natural beauty only serves to emphasize how ugly and austere the campus architecture is. But then the same could be said for Interstate 15 from Provo to Ogden… talk about a concerted effort to ugly up a beautiful place with obnoxious billboards, etc. Maybe I have been reading too much Nibley, but the guy is definitely right about this subject. Is it just me?


  1. Ah, so this is your blog. It was nice meeting you at the conference. 

    Posted by Loyd

    Comment by Anonymous — March 18, 2005 @ 12:55 am

  2. Likewise Lloyd. I hope to get my new blog cranking right away because there are all sorts of doctrinal/theological things I’m dying to discuss around here. I’ll look for your input! 

    Posted by Geoff Johnston

    Comment by Anonymous — March 18, 2005 @ 10:34 am

  3. I’m jealous, I really wanted to go.

    One of the most pronounced memories of Utah as a child was driving doen I-15 in a corridor of Billboards. Only having lived in beautiful places where such was dissalowed, it was rather shocking. I still don’t understand why they allow such crap to obfuscate the wonderful scenery. 

    Posted by J. Stapley

    Comment by Anonymous — March 18, 2005 @ 11:05 am

  4. Living in an area which makes a real effort to kill billboards, and having driven parts of the interstate under the billboard ban, Utah strikes me as desperately selling out to Mammon, which is sad.

    A real problem is that so many people believe that if they follow God, he will pay them off in cash. “We don’t have to choose between God and Mammon, serving God nets us Mammon” is a close second race just behind the neo-Calvinism (God saves the elect because of fore-ordained inherent merit, you can spot the elect because they are wealthy, wealth is the measure of spiritual merit).

    On the other hand, there is a lot to be said for the frugal tuition bill at BYU. 

    Posted by Stephen M (Ethesis)

    Comment by Anonymous — March 19, 2005 @ 5:18 am

  5. Hey Geoff,
    This is Craig, I met you at the conference. I’m just checking out your new blog, and posting this random message to see if it works. When are we going to discuss mormon thought?

    Comment by Craig — March 20, 2005 @ 8:35 pm

  6. Well it looks like I’m live! Let the new era of the Thang begin….

    Comment by Geoff Johnston — March 20, 2005 @ 10:24 pm