Thursday, September 13, 2007

Language Scraps and the Deseret Alphabet

Torben Bernhard has just started a blog -- --

with the intention of collecting "language scraps." It's already a visually beautiful site, and the entry on the Deseret Alphabet caught my eye.

The Deseret Alphabet was an early Mormon effort, one of many of their revolutionary ways of remaking the world they lived in, and even if it isn't used widely today, it was such a creative attempt that it continues to capture the imagination of creative people.

For instance, the Clearfield, Utah artist and 5-string banjo player Bob Moss has created a whole series of works on wood and leather and gourds and who knows what else that feature the deseret alphabet. The one I've scanned here (which has a proud spot in my house) asks what a monkey and a cookie jar have in common, and provides a transliteration sheet for any curious readers/viewers. To learn more about Bob Moss, who epitomizes the eclectic interdisciplinarity this blog keeps harping on, see this address on the web:

You'll hear good music, see some photos of Bob Moss and his work, and learn that Bob Moss doesn't have a computer.

The Deseret Alphabet also showed up about a decade ago in Trent Harris' film "Plan 10 From Outer Space." Trent's website is worth visiting:

You'll read there that

Plan 10 From Outer Space is now available on DVD and it is loaded with extras. For instance it has the official Plan 10 From Outer Space deseret alphabet decoder! It has Karen Black singing the Kolob song!! And it has the extra special extra, extra...Day With The Director, which is a strange short film where Plan 10 From Outer Space director Trent Harris chases pesky antelope around a live bombing range. . . .

and that

Plan 10 From Outer Space begins when Lucinda Hall (Stefene Russell) discovers a century old book penned by a mad Mormon prophet. She deciphers this odd artifact and is sucked into a world where spacemen, polygamists, and angels run amuck. Lucinda desperately tries to uncover the "Secret of the Bees" before it is too late. Is she mad or is she on the brink of discovering a diabolical plot led by Nehor (Karen Black), a peeved alien from the planet Kolob? Just because it's made up doesn't mean it isn't true!

And if the Deseret Alphabet and the lovely Karen Black singing "If you could hie to Kolob" and the beehive-headed cyclops don't have your attention yet, note that Alex Caldiero appears in the movie (with his now-defunct station wagon -- I kept telling Alex he should check the oil -- oil, smoil, he said) as a mustachioed father out to reform his son who has a panty fetish.


Peter said...


scott's gots a blog

The Pipeline said...

Vegor here, if anyone wants to borrow a copy of Plan 10 I have one.

Torben B said...

I would love that!

bennetly said...

So, what do a monkey and a cookie jar have in common?

Blue Moon

Sai said...

I love to read this story. Music Lovers Place

Peter Steele said...

This Story is wonderful.
Thanks for it.