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I love Provo. I hate Provo.

from the I'm-new-and-I-rant dept.
For all of my 25 years, Provo/Utah County has been my home. To say that I am attached to the place is to put it mildly. There are so many things I love about the place, yet so many things that drive me nuts and make me want to move far, far away. I love the mountains, the river, the lake, and for the most part, the people.

But now comes the hate.

Provo is a cultural and political wasteland, despite being the home of a major national university. Where is the political activism? Where is the concern for the welfare of the world around you? I think Provo students get an A+ in Self-Absorbed Solipsism. It’s safer to admit you are a recovering alcoholic and violent criminal than to openly criticize George W. Bush. Free-thinking is tolerated but not accepted.

The only art-house movie theater in town is owned by the school and shows heavily edited films to protect our fragile little minds from the evil specters of sexuality and adult situations. After all, we aren’t really adults. Not until we are married and have at least 2.5 kids. Where is the average students desire to experience life and the world away from the overprotective eyes of the honor code office?

The city is over-run by mega-chain fast food restaurants. How BYU is one of the nation’s fittest campuses is beyond me. Sure, starving students have to eat cheap, blah, blah, blah. Again, there is little desire by the majority of our fellow students to experience anything out of the ordinary beyond the pre-cut, pre-fab slop that is force-fed down our collective throats.

Isn’t it shameful that Springville, a podunk town not even 1/5 the size of Provo has more of an art scene? Where is the liberality that inspires and drives the majority of university students to do great things? Oh, yeah. Liberalism in Provo? Ha ha ha ha!

There is no Provo-only culture. Any business that caters to a hang-out like atmosphere is instantly associated with some sort of evil. Coffee houses? Bars? Music Clubs? Not in this town mister.

I appreciate the few people in Provo who try to break out of the pre-fab mold and provide something new and interesting, but sadly, they are largely ignored by the BYU masses. Ever been to Stary Night, Muse Music, or Steamers? None of the people there look like BYU students. Most students could care less about cultivating any appreciation for a culture outside of the one presented in the chapel.

Wake up, Provo. The rest of the world would be laughing at us if they cared to know who we are. But that’s okay, because the campus is our world.

Oh wow. I had given up hope

Oh wow. I had given up hope that this piece of angry angst would ever see the light of day.


Flame on!



Your post is terribly accurate: collective throats, provo-only culture, self-absorbed solipsism. You write very well; thanks for the post.

There is no Provo-only

There is no Provo-only culture. Any business that caters to a hang-out like atmosphere is instantly associated with some sort of evil. Coffee houses? Bars? Music Clubs? Not in this town mister.

This would be to that great concept we call capitalism. If there were enough of a demand, then these things would be supplied. Unless of course, there is some sort of city laws that refuse these sorts of businesses, which wouldn't really surprise me.

I've been to Muse Music a couple different nights. Good times; not really my style though. It's the kind of place I'd like to hang out a few times a year maybe.

Where is the political activism?

Well since the vast majority of students claim to believe in the Republican party (though I would seriously question how many understand the differences), there isn't really anything to be active about. The president is a Republican, Congress has a Republican majoriy, the Supreme Court is more heavily Republican, so in the eyes of most students, things are dandy. Give it a couple of years when the tables have turned and it will be all sorts of talk about the evil people ruining the nation and how the end of days is near.

Where is the concern for the welfare of the world around you?

I would disagree on this. It isn't that there's no concern, it's that students don't have the understanding or resources to get started. Hence, you have people going to rest homes to sing to the retirees and tutoring in the local middle schools. There is a ton of service that goes on around here, it just doesn't seem to reach out to the national issues.

I think Provo students get an A+ in Self-Absorbed Solipsism.

Well some of them do, and some of them don't. That's a huge generalization. You could go anywhere in the world with a population as big as Provo and say the same thing, and be just as accurate. Is the glass half full or half empty?

It’s safer to admit you are a recovering alcoholic and violent criminal than to openly criticize George W. Bush. Free-thinking is tolerated but not accepted.

Ha ha, that is absolutely true. I have actually heard students say that God called Bush to be the president and supports him in all his decisions.

Provo definitely has it's embarassments. But there are good things, too. Where else can you get a pizza from any number of places for five bucks? What other university teaches as many languages as BYU? Look at how clean this town is. It's all about perspective.

I'm not really sure what it is that keeps some of you guys here. Especially you, Robot. I haven't heard you say a single positive thing about Provo, BYU, or the Church. Nobody's holding a gun to your head. Are you doing anything to make this place better?

Byu tech.

"Nobody's holding a gun to your head"

Sometimes I get the feeling that you wish Nobody would just pull the trigger. Silly rabbit.

"Are you doing anything to make this place better?"

Gadflies sting, don't they. But, fortunately for you, it is the sting that keeps you from eating your own children (metaphorically speaking).

BYU is a day-care, not a university. Its holy purpose is to get as many 19 year-old 'women' pregnant as quickly as celestially possible. It's a wonderful place where babies and newly-weds become social merit badges of righteousness. Obviously, the quicker you get married, and the quicker you get pregnant on your honeymoon, the quicker you get your free pass to the CK.

What am I doing to make this place better, Farker? I stand up to foolish, false, oppressing priests, like you, who proclaim their spiritual myopia as Jesus' view and guilt others into obeying their social, herd morality mentality.

I think that Mormon boys and

I think that Mormon boys and girls are generally brought up to believe in the inherent goodness of our country and good intentions of our government. So, the Iraq war for example, was a good idea to them to get rid of a bad leader, but now it is getting a little sour. Maybe we are a little clumbsy but our intentions are good.
Anything that challenges these types of notions are probably from the dark side so they don't give it the time of day. In their minds they are doing good and following their conscience when in fact they are entirely manipulated and their opinions are the ones their sinful masters desire them to hold.
There was a great movie called, "The Truman Show" that dealt with this issue surprisingly well. At one point the director of the Truman Show was asked something about how Truman accepts his environment as reality or something like that. He answered that we accept the reality that we are presented with. I think this is the problem with the students of BYU generally speaking. This could be partially rectified if people would get outside of their usual sources of information and began to listen to what the rest of the world is saying.

O Provo

Provo is a cultural and political wasteland, despite being the home of a major national university.

I've got to laugh a little bit at this post, because it could only come from someone from Provo. I'll be the first to admit that the denizens of Provo are a bit, let's say, provincial, but you could say that about any other semi-isolated city of 100,000 people, college town or not (I'm from Ohio, and that state is full such comparable college towns). If you spent your whole life in Provo and then went to a Michigan State or an NYU for a visit, I could understand where you might get this idea. But in my experience, the majority of "educated" people aren't. In our society, college has become a kind of degree-mill farce, but we'll leave that soapbox for another day...

Where is the average students desire to experience life and the world away from the overprotective eyes of the honor code office?

Actually, I think a lot of us came here for that very reason. I did, anyways. I grew up where there were not a lot of LDS and it's nice to be in a place like this for a change; good people, hard-working families and individuals with strong values. A high school friend of mine wanted to go to college in California, and senior year of high school he toured Berkeley. Well, the day of the tour just so happened to be "Naked Day" at Berkeley. There were people just walking around, buck naked. Gross. I'll take "Y Days" over "Naked Day" any day of the week.

Where is the liberality that inspires and drives the majority of university students to do great things?

Like "Naked Day"? I'm glad we have undergraduate research and student mentoring programs instead.

Wake up, Provo. The rest of the world would be laughing at us if they cared to know who we are.

Actually, much of the rest of the world knows who are, due largely to BYU football. And they respect it, too (our culture that is, not the football program ;).

why I love provo...or at least I try to :)

1)Amazing outdoors and so close by. (8 national parks within 6hrs drive).
2)Sometimes perfect weather. (no hurricanes...yeah I know about the earthquake thing)
3)Hot BYU coeds(supposedly voted hottest campus coeds by Maxim or something like that)Although the coeds are pretty uptight about wanting that perfect RM.
4)Clean town and campus. ( yeah there is smog in the winter, but its still fun).
5)Close to a big city and close to rural landscape. Best of both worlds.
6)Pretty decent cafe scene (borders, sundance cafe etc.) Very hippie stylish. I guess we are in the West and it is after all the trademark hippie Provo culture.
7)Comparatively low smoking population. Hate those bars full of cigarette smoke.
8)A very unique mix of American Culture, like the California(surfer/party)-Utah(mormon)blends and the Texas(cowboy/steak eaters)-Utah blend. After all it is Provo. And then you also have the traditional Mormon culture with it own uniqueness of architecture, and interesting social activities like FHE activities, however immature gives a college student to relive his early teen years:).
9)Famous enough town to be mentioned in a big Hollywood film (Ocean's eleven). Brought much publicity to the town around the world.

10)........I love it because I will have memories(both good and bad) of my college life in this town....Everyone has special memories attached to their college town.

Provo is what you make of it. Like any other place, it does suck sometimes, and it can be quite frustrating to have some stupid uptight, self-righteous people inhabiting this amazing city.
If you can learn to look beyond that, you will find an amazing town with vibrant culture unique in its own.

And after all that, Provo Tourism Board better hire me:)

i'm too tired to give my

i'm too tired to give my lengthy opinions, but i am just going to say that its good to stumble upon this site and find out that there are byu students who have open minds and are not scared to question things. It seems as though there is this belief that you are getting into 'dangerous territory' if you have an open mind and are willing to consider others' ideas and opinions, which is ridiculous. this type of healthy discussion and discovery in most cases only brings greater understanding and love for other people, which i seem to recall as being a good thing according to Jesus, and other awesome people. You guys are rad. happy birthday.

Patience, all

Before anyone actually takes Robot's comment seriously here, I think we should step down on this one and give him a break. According to this he has seen some recent disappointments in this area, and I'm sure we've all been there and can sympathize with his frustration.

We all have different coping mechanisms; some eat ice cream, others go shopping, or watch Jerry Maguire with a box of tissues. Robot writes angry comments on ProvoPulse.

Perhaps we could all chip in and get him a gift to help him through these troubled times, you know, to let him know that we care.


"BYU is a day-care, not a university"

What ever gave you that idea? Bizarre.

As for me, I like to know that someone is looking out for me. Sure, I may be a legal adult, but I need someone to make sure that I'm living in the right type of housing, and for someone to make sure that the things I read on the internet are good for me. Sure, I know how to dress myself, but it always helps to have a code I can use for a reminder. Oh, yeah, I do like to make decisions, but being a real adult and making my own decisions regardless if their consequences are inline with an abstract standard is entirely overrated.

I doubt that.

I doubt the world really knows what mormon culture is all about. If I am in the mormon culture, and I laugh at some of this crap, there is no doubt in my mind that the rest of the world would laugh too... however I frankly think that they just don't give a damn... just like we don't give a damn about berkely naked days.

For what it's worth

I love provopulse. I hate provopulse. I love provopulse because it is a great site to come to discover similarites and become acquainted with new ideas and perspectives. To laugh at our culture, throw questions, and appreciate provo's uniqueness. But I hate provopulse (Nothing to do within Maseballs control) how it turns into war of words, insults, and even back biting against BYU and the church; all of which I don't think Mason intended this site to be.

It may have been dumb for Mephi to insult robot or whoever it was, but to be fair there have been a lot of posts insulting what a lot of people value in provo. And when that happens people are of course going to get upset. A lot of these blogs seem to be missing this point- regarding, "respecting", others' values. (I don't know if this is coming out how I intend it.)

For example: Since were on the love/hate provo: I've been dating someone for well over a year now, and I rarely miss a day where someone will say something retarded like: "Wow and you go to BYU?" or "What's the problem, why aren't you guys married yet?". And yet there are a lot of things I love about provo/BYU, like everyone else.

I guess what I'm trying to say is that we're all hear because the benefits outway the costs (So there's gotta be something!). And we all value something out of this culture, shared or different. We should be making the most of it. I've appreciated all the views, but lets move the back-biting towards peoples' values, religion/beliefs, and of others to another site.

You've finally reached the end of my huge post. Congrats!

I love Provo I Hate Provo

I am from Portland, Oregon and am constantly assaulted by "I Hate Bush", "Lick Bush", "Bush is a Traitor", bumper stickers. Live sex acts are allowed at our local night spots. Aggressive Pan-Handlers block the sidewalks in the downtown park blocks. Oh, and probably one third of the cars I see still have a Kerry for President sticker on their rear bumpers.

So; if you are a liberal, progressive, commie, traitor,pervert come on down and muck it up! Portland Loves You!

So I'm not the only one...

Finally, someone who shares my views!!!

Culture. Yeah, umm, Provo has none (unless you count the styles worn by many a girl at BYU, which I guarantee would get you ostracized from society anywhere else).

Many kids I know here stare at me in disbelief when I tell them I used to go to pubs and coffee houses regularly. That's right, PUBS. It's like saying the F-word. Where else can you watch rugby, and why would you watch it anywhere else? No, you don't have to drink to go to a pub -- they have food and other drinks. For anyone who has never been to an Irish pub to enjoy fine friends or a fine game of rugby, I have one word: GO!!! Same with coffee houses. Some bits of society/culture you just can't find anywhere else!

It's definitely time for BYU kids to get out more. If any of them came to Beantown with me (ahh, Boston. A great city) and went through a day in my life they would get a taste of culture they've never had before...and learn to stop and LISTEN to the street performers, not scoff at them (oh, wait, there aren't any streeties in provo)!!!!!!

ah, here is the real Mephi I know and love.

If you want to keep going, here is my other cheek.

I know you enjoy pointing out and making fun of my personal problems in front of your friends of Jesus, but if you ever tried walking in my shoes, you'd stumble in my footsteps. And as you are stumbling, you'd reach out your hand for understanding, but instead of getting a thankful grasp of support, you'd find someone that points out how you are stumbling and call his friends over to share in his sadistic enjoyment. Then, instead of lifting you up, they would grap your reaching hand and push you down. They would push you down into the mud of weakness, unlike their cleanliness of strength, and they would laugh and laugh at their good fortune. After that, those that pushed you down would go to their Sunday podium, and they would cry themselves convinced of how lucky they are to be chosen 'saints' of the last days, in the world of 'unclean', unchosen men.

It's interesting how 'Christians' are buddy buddy - until you disagree with them. Then, their 'neighbor' instantly becomes the 'devil' who's 'worthy' of their crown of scorn and thorns.

But, it's okay, mephi. I know that deep down you just want to be a sunbeam for Jesus.


I hope robot writes a blog about you and all the horrible people that pull this kind of crap. I enjoy his blogs, because i think he's real with life, rather than the painted picture that so many people here tend to live in.

Did you just equate voting

Did you just equate voting for Kerry with live sex acts and panhandling? And then communism?

Another provopulse user's

Another provopulse user's credibility bites the dust. Sad to think there are a significant number of people in our church with similar attitudes.

I was just in Oregon over

I was just in Oregon over the weekend. I love the no sales-tax. Wasn't thrilled with having to wait in line for a gas station attendant (pumping your own gas in Oregon is illegal), but was happy enough to pay less per gallon there than I do at Costco here. I'm sure it's complicated, but I would think that a state that requires employees pumping gas instead of customers would logically have higher gas prices. After all, they have to earn more to pay those employees, right?

I paid $2.53 a gallon there yesterday.


It's a little ridiculous for you to act as if you're a victim, Robot. Certainly not some sort of martyr to some sort of cause.

Didn't you say a couple months back that you had been married two years?

Honest mistake.

You'll have to excuse me if I misinterpret the vitriol which flows with such ease from your mouth as such instead of a cry for help.

I think Mephi was gently

I think Mephi was gently kidding you, Robot. At least, I thought it was funny. And gentle. But hey, what do I know, I'm not condescending.

re. equate voting for Kerry

Thats it in a Nutshell, except that I would add TRAITOR to the list(since Kerry is one).
So; if you are tired of boring, conservative, republican Provo, then come on down. Did I mention that we have euthenasia?

Do they have tax on their

Do they have tax on their gasoline? That would explain a fair amount of the relative cheapness in Oregon.

Oh gag, jwatz. If anybody

Oh gag, jwatz. If anybody asked me what it was about the "Provo attitude" that I find so objectionable I would point to you as the not-so-shining example. Did you have any "choice" words to say about women, blacks or homosexuals, hmmmm? Eh, whatever.

Proximity to an oil refinery

Proximity to an oil refinery can also result in a lower gas price. I bet it's a lot cheaper to transport refined gas to Portland than it is to Provo.