Utah, the reddest of the red-light states, where Internet porn is not just a dalliance, it's a way of life. Or so a Harvard Business School professor, who published a study in the Journal of Economic Perspectives , would have you believe.
According to Benjamin Edelman, broadband Internet users in religious conservative states subscribe to on-line porn sites in disproportionate numbers, and Utah leads the nation with 5.47 subscribers per thousand. Since there aren't even 5.47 liberals per thousand living here, that means, it means ... Oh my heck! How could this be?
My best guess is that a garbled message was received from on high. It was supposed to say "Thou shalt pour no spirituous liquors or hot beverages," but the big guy got cut off.
Or maybe we're just trying to know the enemy more, shall we say, intimately. Or perhaps it's a patriotic attempt to stimulate the economy. Or, or, ...
Get a grip on yourselves, Utahns. There's just no way this is true. I assure you, 100 percent of the residents of our chaste state have never read an adult movie or watched a dirty book in their lives. Our government, civic and religious leaders shield us from pornography, and it shows.
There are way more Deseret Book stores than dirty book stores in Utah. My grandmother dressed more provocatively than the BYU cheerleaders. And we once hired the nation's only porn czaress, the original 40-year-old virgin, who worked for the state attorney general diluting pornography the same way the state waters down our beer.
The nutty professor probably made a mistake and got Utah mixed up with New York. (It's possible. If the people who run Harvard are so smart, why can't they field a decent football team?)
Or perhaps he's lying. Maybe Edelman is part of that vast East Coast liberal-atheist-intelligentsia conspiracy to discredit everything good about America, namely Utah, Idaho and a couple of counties in the Midwest where a majority of the people believe in a higher being not named Obama.
You know, it really rubs me the wrong way when pious, pretentious prigs falsely accuse good people of things that they themselves are guilty of. It's gotten so bad that a Republican senator can't tap his foot in a restroom without getting arrested. But now we've reached a new low.
So laugh at Utah all you want, America. But remember this: Even if the Ivy Tower economist is correct, and he's - not, and even if we're viewing this stuff for reasons that aren't entirely scientific, and we're not, the world would still be a better place if people would just do as we say and not as we do.
Casey Jones is a member of the Tribune editorial board. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org