Monday, August 1, 2011

Mormon Sex in Chains & Woman Clones Her Dog = Joyce McKinney

      Errol Morris’ new documentary “Tabloid” examines the life of Joyce McKinney, former Miss World Wyoming beauty queen with a high IQ who happened to abduct her one true love Kirk Anderson, a Mormon missionary, in England in 1977 and manacled him to a bed for a long weekend of what he claimed was rape, but what she claims was
a consummation of their emotional marriage.  He shuns the spotlight including refusals of all interviews; she has the charisma of a born star and, though highly articulate and entertaining, is pretty self-delusional.  Morris’ style is to allow his subjects to fully explain themselves, creating both greater ambiguities in the overall story and the feeling that they might hoist themselves on their own petard.  He splices the talking head interviews with the TV and print reports of the case, as well as cartoons and old movie scenes that comment both sincerely and ironically about the points the subjects make. 

      We lived in England when this was happening and it was a sensational news story in most of the papers, not just the tabloids, mainly because it was a relief from the failures of the Labour government, the grandstanding, hostage taking tactics of the Trade Union Congress, and the general feeling that the bloom was fading from the English rose.  Could a man be raped?  The British legal system did not think so at the time.  What was/is Mormonism all about?  I wasn’t sure in the ‘70s, even though my mother and grandfather had graduated from the University of Wyoming.  Joyce McKinney explains some of the major precepts of the religion (accurately, I might add, since living in Wyoming myself later) and implies that she was both trying to free him from what she considered a brainwashing sect and save him with her love.  What she says about Mormonism and Morris characterizes with animation will give Mormons and some Mormon politicians fits.  

      It’s a wild, rollicking story that leaves a viewer enthralled with what McKinney, her pilot accomplice, and the veteran newsmen will say next.  Many questions are raised and the answers can be inferred, though not exactly confirmed.  What did McKinney see in Anderson?  Was one of her accomplices in love with her (he died in 2004)?   How did she earn the money for this scheme?  Was she a BDSM model/performer?  How exactly did she jump bail?  Then we get into her third act, which involves her being attacked almost to death, her beloved, dead dog, cloning, South Korean doctor scientists, and the confluence of medicine, what was formerly science fiction, and the rolling, brooding background of North Carolina.  This is a reality that a fictional film wouldn’t dare present.  It’s a great story and a great documentary.

Joyce McKinney and One of Five Cloned Dogs
My guess is Neil and Eric would like to clone me too.  At least they act like they would.

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