The Bat Segundo Show: Reed Cowan

Reed Cowan appeared on The Bat Segundo Show #341. Mr. Cowan is most recently the director of 8: The Mormon Proposition, which opens in numerous theaters on June 18, 2010.

Condition of Mr. Segundo: Conducting investigations on Dick Van Pattern’s possible Mormon connections.

Guest: Reed Cowan

Subjects Discussed: [List forthcoming]


Correspondent: I wanted to also ask about the box of secret documents. You don’t actually cite a source. And there’s no indication in the film that you made efforts to corroborate this with the LDS. Or to even contact the names that were possibly on the emails or the memos. I mean, I’m a viewer — let’s say — who is on the fence. I see this. There’s no provenance. Did you make any steps to confirm the provenance? And why isn’t this in the film? I mean, is there some sort of website component here that one can use to find authenticity?

Cowan: I’ve actually met the person with the documents out of the Church offices. Out of the archives. So there was some corroboration that went on there. And also, what a lot of people don’t know is that, during the federal case that’s going on right now, those documents were provided to the case as well. Which led to subpoenas of other documents from the Mormon Church. In those subpoenas, we were able to see that the documents the Church had to hand over correlated with the ones we have. So it’s a matter of court record, from my understanding with the people inside the trial, that they match.

Correspondent: Which court record is this? Which case?

Cowan: In the federal trial that’s going on right now. Perry vs. Schwarzenegger.

Correspondent: Okay. Got it. And speaking of which, I actually wanted to ask you why you didn’t cover Strauss vs. Horton — the three cases that were consolidated into the California Supreme Court. And the Supreme Court upheld Proposition 8. It would seem to me that that’s just as much a part of the story as the Mormon mobilization. And also the efforts to try and take Proposition 8 off the ballot that were again rebuffed by the California Supreme Court.

Cowan: Well, the thesis of our film is “8: The Mormon Proposition.” And so really the onus is on us to prove their strategy, right? And to prove to the audience how it came together, how the strategy was formed. And so we feel like we did that. And anything else is outside of that focus. And, you know, there’s so much here. I mean, you’re right. There is so much here that if the citizenry really wanted to see what’s going on, I mean, you could produce ten, fifteen hours of programming. Just in the federal trial alone. I mean, the fact that they are not allowing the testimony to be televised, to me, is sickening. And could be hours and hours and hours of documentary material that we could obviously add to the film.

Correspondent: Hours and hours of dramatization as well.

Cowan: Sure. Sure. But I don’t know an audience that wants to sit through ten hours of documentary. And so look for the books, I guess. Look for other documentaries. And I hope there are more made.

Correspondent: I’m wondering if you believe that any Mormon can believe in same sex marriage.

Cowan: I do. I know that some of my high profile Mormon friends believe that I have the same rights as they do. And I have the right to claim those rights. It would be surprising, I think, to a lot of Mormons to know that one of the most popular governors in the state of Utah, Jon Huntsman, and his wife Mary Kaye are dear friends of mine. Jon has now been appointed the Ambassador to China by President Obama. And they are very close friends of mine. And Jon Huntsman has gone so far in that state — now a lot of people wouldn’t like that he didn’t come out and advocate for marriage, but he advocated in that state for civil unions. And that was a huge step. And Mary Kaye said to me, “You realize why we took this stand and took the heat. It was because of you and your partner. It was because of our relationship and friendship with you.” So can Mormons get it? Absolutely. Absolutely.

Correspondent: Then I’m wondering why you didn’t profile, for example, Laura Compton, who started that site I mean, that seems to me a decided apostasy in relation to this particular issue. That not all Mormons are some sort of Borg-like collective.

Cowan: Yeah. You know, there were a few who did dare speak out. There were many who were punished in certain ways for speaking out. And that created a culture where they didn’t dare. So people like Laura are heroes. But again, the thesis was to prove “Look, this was their proposition.” It wasn’t the Catholic proposition. The Mormons were the man behind the curtain. And so again, I welcome any documentary who can profile her or the other few, the minority of Mormons who stood up for marriage equality. And continue to do so. And who are now crossing the aisle and seeing where the inequity happened.

Correspondent: Surely deflecting criticisms from the Mormon Church by having someone like Laura Compton in your documentary would have allowed, I suppose, for those sitting on the fence to consider the issue perhaps a little bit more.

Cowan: Maybe she would have provided a light that people could follow. But again that’s not what the film was about. The film was to show the inequity. Because that was the great wrong that happened. And, you know, in an hour and twenty minutes, that’s the time we had. The time we had to try to prove that case.

The Bat Segundo Show #341: Reed Cowan (Download MP3)

This text will be replaced

The First Annual RotR Naughty Reading Photo Contest

Since we are somewhat time-challenged at the moment, we’ve decided to embark on an ill-advised idea that calls for your participation.

Return of the Reluctant hopes to shake up these pristine pages with the First Annual Naughty Reading Photo Contest.

What we would like our readers to do is send us your visual approximation of what naughty reading is. Naughty readers do not have to be exclusively female. To keep this thing equal opportunity (and desirable for any and all sexual persuasions), we want naughty male readers too. Send your entries in JPEG form to ed AT before August 31, 2005. (Filesize should be no more than 60K per entry. Anything over that will be disqualified.) Photos are limited to one per participant. So do send us your best photo. We will post the photos (along with designated credit, if desired) as they come in and eventually establish them on a separate page.

So that there is some incentive for this thing, the winner will receive a Powell’s $20 Gift Card.

From here, we will announce three finalists which you, the readers, can vote on.

So have at it, naughty book lovers, academics and librarians alike! Show the world right now that reading is sexy and salacious!

Baldness and Huzzahs

At the moment, we’re contemplating just how rapid our hair has receded in the past year. Quite literally, it has gone from a benign recession to something that is now quite serious. It is now falling out faster than snow.

We tried buzzing it down short but, alas, the hair has continued to abscond from our scalp. We’ve contemplated doing away with it altogether. But the last thing San Francisco needs is another thirtysomething Lex Luthor clone running about. What next? Taking up running five miles a day and getting one of those obsessively meaty physiques? We have no wish to look like half the other balding men in our neighborhood.

Besides, we sunburn quite easily. So the more protective coating we have at the top of our head, the better.

This is, of course, a needlessly moribund assessment. Because the other side of the coin is, as female friends have been telling us, Sean Connery and Patrick Stewart.

However, our modest anxieties are relieved by our joy at seeing the litblogosphere taken seriously by a major media outlet. We, of course, weren’t picked. We suspect this has something to do with out recurrent anticapitalist diatribes and our chronic skepticism, if not the hair situation referenced above. But several other fine folks were.

So we salute them while adamantly refusing to look as absurd as Max Barry (pictured below), which seems to us the easy way out:


Note to RSS Feed Readers

Due to forthcoming (and long overdue) events, you may or may not have to resubscribe to the feed (although it’s looking more like the former). I apologize for this. I am trying to figure out how to presere the feed as it stands so there will be no major hiccups. But I wanted to give you the head’s up. The good news is that you will soon have several feed formats to choose from. More to come.

[UPDATE: Yup. Definitely not going to happen. You’re going to have to resubscribe. The (currently nonexistent/should exist by Wednesday or Thursday night) new feeds will probably be this one for RSS and this one for Atom. Apologies for the inconvenience. I don’t know if redirecting will help, but I will try that for the existing subscribers.]

Not Fishing on Multiple Fronts

I had hoped to get to the Tanenhaus Brownie Watch this week. But I appear to be, once again, time-challenged. But congratulations to Maud for scoring a review.

Posting will be light over the next day, as I work on a few things on multiple fronts. Including this front.

In fact, it suddenly occurs to me that the notion of “multiple fronts” seems a contradiction in terms. How, for example, would multiple fronts apply when considering a full frontal nudity scene? In this case, there can be only one front. Even if you surgically implanted additional scrotums and nipples onto your body, it would still be only one front. Unless you could somehow be in two bodies at the same time while observing a partner or performer who was full frontal nude. In which case, the performer or the partner would be “multiple full frontal nude,” but completely unaware of the preternatural out-of-body experience that would make this term of art applicable not to the partner or performer, who is going to this remarkably enjoyable trouble of doing a “full frontal nude” and yet unable to enjoy this sensation in plural form.

In any event, it gets me too aroused just thinking about this. So for now, I’ll say tata.

[UPDATE: And I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention David Kipen’s most recent column, where he responds to readers who quibbled over his Harry Potter and the Half-Prince review (including one death threat) and identifies the qualities of a critic.]