Sound of the Day: What if I Couldn’t Ask ‘What if?’

I told the story on an earlier Field of Steve podcast about a moment of personal infamy on the football field. That story dealt with all the things that led up what, to me, was a decision to fail. What I didn’t get into in any great detail is what might have happened had I succeeded. I might have played more as the season wore on. I might have had other moments of glory that year.

It never occurred to me that one of the main reasons I think about that is because the English language gives me the ability to speak about that.

That’s because we have what we call the “subjunctive” case. Phuc Tran, whose parents emigrated to the United States from Vietnam, discusses how some of what we employ as language gives us strength, or limits us in ways we had not imagined. He says his parents’ Vietnamese language doesn’t have subjunctive, so they don’t have the burden of worrying about what might have been. The link here gives you access to the TED Radio Hour segment on Tran’s talk, and video of the talk itself. I do recommend.

Sound of the Day: A Perfectly Broke Christmas

In case you were wondering whether I would include my own work in “Sound of the Day,” the answer is a merry “Yes!”

The Field of Steve Podcast offers you a musical Christmas story within a Christmas story, sure to warm that cheese-addled heart of yours. In this month’s episode I tell of the time I tried to replicate, kind of, a wonder I experienced as a child. So hurry on over and hear the story and some song versions that probably don’t make the rotation of those radio stations playing the same Christmas songs over and over and over and …

Sound of the Day: A Conversation About the LDS Priesthood Ban on Blacks

When the LDS church issued its statement a week ago on the history of its priesthood ban for black men, I posted the link on Facebook and introduced it saying:

“I have long held that you can be a fully committed and believing Mormon and still believe the reason the priesthood was denied to blacks was the racism of LDS members themselves. So it’s with that lens that I read this work and see it saying much the same thing, only in several hundred more words.”

I thought about posting a much simple intro:

“Bottom line: We were racists.”

As of this writing there are 160 comments on the entry. It seems to have died down.

Peggy Fletcher Stack at the Salt Lake Tribune wrote a pretty comprehensive story about the issue.

But I thought the conversation on KUER’s RadioWest program, posted on the Mormon Stories site, went into a lot of angles others had not.