Friday, April 29, 2005
Reporting from the Creek Nation
I must confess: I was pleaseder with those five minutes than the 25 or so this morning, for which I had been preparing, in some ways, for the past 2 years.
This morning, I "presented" from my head. Tonight, I spoke from my heart and experience. Not just thank-yous, but a little about what got me into this history biz, and what sustains me in it.
Read all about it, complete with a couple embarrassing details, at Dr. ER's place.
I grew up here in these hills and trees, not out on the plains where Dr. ER and I now live. I love those plains. But I love these hills. They are called the Cooksons. I know that because I'm from here. Where we live north of Oklahoma City once was called the Unassigned Lands. I know that because I read it somewhere.
So, in some ways -- and this is something I didn't see coming -- this was a kind of latter-day homecoming for me, bolstered by my oldest friend taking off work today to come hear me speak this morning. Majorly cool.
Enough "erudite" -- OK, tomorrow at high noon. Then, it's in my truck and on the highway another click or two east, to Mama's, for some "redneck."
She will be proud and pleased to see the plaque I got tonight, and I'm taking her a bound copy of my thesis, and she will read every word of it.
Then on into Fort Smith for some strong beer, and I aim to buy a new Western hat. The straw I wear now scratches my balding head because the band inside is old and cracked. It has seen better days.
Then, it's to the Arkansas River bottoms, to a the remains of a now-long-gone town called Paw Paw, to sit on a tailgate with a couple of friends, drink some beer, smoke a cigar and ponder life's mysteries.
(I said I'd bed back Sunday night. I forgot Dr. ER had this here laptop! Yes, the one I knew I'd be using to do the Power Point this morning. Duh.)
Thursday, April 28, 2005
Okie in Muskogee
Dr. ER has whipped up a kick-ass Power Point slide presentation, using photos she took down in "Little Dixie" -- southeastern Oklahoma -- a couple of years ago, at Boddy Depot Cemetery, some art I acquired from the Oklahoma Historical Society, a great image of "The Guardian," the American Indian statue atop the Oklahoma Capitol Dome, and some close-ups of some 1849-1851 newspaper articles.
It will greatly enhance my patented rambling-and-reading-and-rambling-some-more delivery. She hates that I read a lot when I do these kinds of presentations.
"You know this stuff better than they do," she'll say.
Maybe, but not necessarily. Lots of armchair historians in Oklahoma can put some perfessional historians to shame.
Besides that, when I'm writing about writing, I prefer to let the writing I'm writing about speak for itself -- and the only way to get that across in a presentation is to read. It kills me to paraphrase others' persuasive writing, so I usually don't. Interpret it, sure. But I let the writers speak for themselves first.
It'll be fun. It being persuasive writing, anti-whiskey stuff mostly by a frontier preacher and a missionary's son, it's good writing -- the kind that makes for great oratory when read aloud. A little erudite redneck theater thrown in, and it'll be fine.
Be back here Sunday night. Feel free to browse my archives, he said in a shameless attempt to keep his hits up while he's gone. Wish me luck!
P.S. I've put the conference agenda in the comments for anyone interested.
Wednesday, April 27, 2005
Our Redneck President
I think what commenter Bryan Kerwick has to say about President Bush and the way he is misportrayed in the media in this country, and therefore misunderstood by the world at large, is right on. Not bad for a yankee. But, he is livin' in Kentuck now.
Now, all you yahoos on the Right who were on my backside the other day for bein' a Lefty, call all yer friends on the other side and get 'em all riled up so they can beat me up for being a warmonger.
Again, where you need to put me, politically speaking, depends on what you're talkin' about.
And when you're talking about this-nation-under-God in the eyes of the world, I'm holdin' my nose, raisin' my hell over current domestic trends that are a threat to the body politick, and wavin' my flag all at the same time -- because we don't have but one or two friends in the world that haven't been bought and paid for. I am a friend of my country.
It's not the far Right's fault for takin' over. Who wouldn't? It's the assholes who knocked down those towers on 9/11.
That made wimps out of the great unwashed in this country, which is who elected this president, who is changing this country in ways our grandkids will be marveling at.
Reagan was all hat, no cattle. Bush Numero Two-O is a real cowboy -- a (not-so-erudite) redneck.
Tuesday, April 26, 2005
I am appalled at the very idee that my beloved homeland would be considered anything but -- the part that was Indian Territory at statehood anyway.
The Indians -- the Cherokees, Chickasaws, Choctaws, Creeks and Seminoles -- fought for the Confederacy, most of 'em. Even the western tribes, the Comanche and Wichita and the like, signed treaties with the C.S. of A.
That's about as Southern as it gets outside of the actual seceded states.
Any of y'all who insist, I WILL dust off the appropriate history books. Y'all know I got 'em at the ready.
A bunch of midwesterners and other damn yankees did settle the land run parts, in Oklahoma Territory, I'll give y'all that.
That's beauty of Oklahoma; It IS the South. It IS the West. It's IS on the Southern Plains, part of the Great Plains. It IS in the Southwest.
It is NOT in the goldarn Midwest. Period. It's just that a bunch of thievin' boomers and soomers came here FROM the Midwest.
However, I have given up that fight. Oklahoma City, which was born overnight in April 1889, a generation after the War of Northern Aggression, is the West, and no more part of the historical South than Evansville-fricking Indiana.
But pretty much east of Interstate 35, it's the Southland, y'all.
I don't reckon it'll do any good, 'cause this here feller doedn't even include TEXAS in the South, which has got to be some kind of bloggy declaration of war, if'n you ask me.
But who knows? Mebbe those of us who know the truth can show him the way. Go here and vote right, or as we say in "Little Dixie" (southeastern Oklahoma), "Vote early, and vote often!"
Second Level of Hell!
The Dante's Inferno Test has banished you to the Second Level of Hell!
Here is how you matched up against all the levels:
|Purgatory (Repenting Believers)||High|
|Level 1 - Limbo (Virtuous Non-Believers)||Moderate|
|Level 2 (Lustful)||Very High|
|Level 3 (Gluttonous)||High|
|Level 4 (Prodigal and Avaricious)||Low|
|Level 5 (Wrathful and Gloomy)||Moderate|
|Level 6 - The City of Dis (Heretics)||Very Low|
|Level 7 (Violent)||Moderate|
|Level 8- the Malebolge (Fraudulent, Malicious, Panderers)||Moderate|
|Level 9 - Cocytus (Treacherous)||Low|
Take the Dante's Inferno Hell Test
Holy-rolling Toward Theocracy
April 26, 2005
The Disappearing Wall
To the dismay of many mainstream religious leaders, the Senate majority leader, Bill Frist, participated in a weekend telecast organized by conservative Christian groups to smear Democrats as enemies of "people of faith." Besides listening to Senator Frist's videotaped speech, viewers heard a speaker call the Supreme Court a despotic oligarchy. Meanwhile, the House majority leader, Tom DeLay, has threatened the judiciary for not following the regressive social agenda he shares with the far-right fundamentalists controlling his party.
Read all about it.
A public service of the Erudite Redneck.
A call for "bow control"
By The Associated Press
OKMULGEE - A ... man armed with a loaded crossbow entered the ... hospital with the weapon pointed under his chin and fired it, killing himself, police said.
(He) walked into the emergency room at the Okmulgee Memorial Hospital about 2:30 a.m. Sunday and approached an attendant, who called for a nurse, Police Chief Edgar Best said.
"When the nurse came to the front, the man pulled the trigger and shot himself underneath the chin, and the arrow went up into his head," Best said.
No hospital employees or patients were threatened, he said.
(He) was taken by helicopter to St. Francis Hospital in Tulsa, where he was pronounced dead, a hospital spokeswoman said.
Monday, April 25, 2005
Jesus is just all right with me
Re, "Jesus is this really cool guy whose life and ministry can be reduced down to a take-off on a Dorito's commercial: 'Keep right on sinning, I'll forgive more.' "
That's closer to the truth than the writer, in a post below, meant it.
The whole dang point of the Cross is this: WE CAN'T HELP BUT SIN. What the hell, so to speak, part of "All have sinned and come short of the glory of God" do people not get?
Salvation, redemption, sanctification, etceterification -- none of it reduces the fact that we are all so much less than what God intended that nothing we can do, bearing the brand of Jesus or not, makes a whit of difference to the fact that we SUCK in God's sight.
There is God. It's not me. Holy, so to speak, CRAP. What can I do?
Nothing but throw myself daily, hourly, second-by-second, at the foot of the Cross and cry out, Oh God save me, a sinner.
That does not reduce "repentance" to a word from old hymns. But, repentance is a living-breathing thing almost, an attitude.
The people who were "saved" -- and I put the quote marks there only because some Christians honestly don't know what all that oh-so-familiar-to-others-of-us shorthand means -- before Christ were putting faith in the promise of a saviour-messiah.
Today, the saved put their faith in the historical fact of the man from Nazareth coupled with faith in his Godness.
NONE OF IT, at root, had much to do with keeping the law, whether the pre-Cross law or the post-Cross social mores masquerading as sin.
Liberty is what the Cross means. Freedom.
Not freedom to sin all you want -- in the Southern chicken-fried Baptist church I grew up in we called such salvation "fire insurance" -- but freedom to quit worrying so damn much about sin in general, and what others, apart from Christ, do in specific.
I sin. Oh, wretched man that I am! I sin. Jesus saves. It IS as simple as that.
I love this verse, the last verse of the hymn "Marvelous Grace."
Marvelous, infinite, matchless grace,
freely bestowed on all who believe!
You that are longing to see his face,
will you this moment his grace receive?
Grace, grace, God's grace,
grace that will pardon and cleanse within;
grace, grace, God's grace,
grace that is greater than all our sin!
John Donne: Holy Sonnet XIV
"Holy Sonnet XIV"
Batter my heart, three-person'd God; for you
As yet but knock, breathe, shine and seek to mend;
That I may rise, and stand, o'erthrow me, and bend
Your force to break, blow, burn and make me new.
I, like an usurp'd towne, to another due,
Labour to admit you, but Oh, to no end,
Reason, your viceroy in me, me should defend,
But is captiv'd, and proves weak or untrue.
Yet dearly I love you, and would be loved faine,
But am betroth'd unto your enemie;
Divorce me, untie, or break that knot againe,
Take me to you, imprison me, for I
Except you enthrall me, shall never be free,
Nor ever shaste, except you ravish me.
From Break, Blow Burn: Camille Paglia Reads Forty-three of the World's Best Poems (New York: Pantheon, 2005), 30.
Sunday, April 24, 2005
"Holy War Sunday"
(See bolded paragraphs below)
Look, friends. This is nothing personal. Some of y'all feel led of the Lord to be right-wingers. Fine. I feel led of the Lord to be a moderating voice.
I also feel led to provoke debate and argument, with my own words and with the words of others. It's what I do.
So, sometimes, like now, I reckon, this is not a blog just for entertainment. It's a place for the sharing of some of the most ideas being stuff debated right now.
So, if you want to laugh -- there is stuff here to make you laugh to keep from crying.
But if you want real humor, this ain't the place for it right now -- except for the Devil hisself, who probably does kick up his heels and hold his sides and LOL when two or three gather in the Lord's name and then get pissed off at one another.
Ha. Ha. Ha.
Nick, I truly am sorry if I personally offended you. But I am NOT sorry for feeling the way I do about what is being done in this country in the name of Jesus. It makes me sick.
What a weak Church, to crave the affirmation of the government! What of the sovereignty of God?
Y'all, my dislike of politicians -- and that includes the leaders of supposedly religious organizations that are nothing more than PACs -- goes back to CONSTANTINE. His conversion was the first worst thing to happen to the Church, IMHO.
Now, for "Holy War Sunday," an editorial in today's Louisville (Ky.) Courier-Journal:
"At the rate things are going in American politics, next week will bring ads by the Noah's Ark Veterans for Truth claiming that the two Democrats on board were actually stowaways, whom God had intended for drowning but who snuck on cross-dressed as gayals."
Read all about it.
Take it. Leave it. Weigh in. Or not. But it's nothing personal, either dang way.
A friend sent these few paragraphs from The Associated Press story on the Frist meeting:
Critics, including a number of ministers and Democratic politicians,
said holding the event in a church was inappropriate.
At one of several rallies in the city on Sunday afternoon, about 100
protesters sat on the steps of the Jefferson County Courthouse as public
officials voiced their dissent.
During another protest, several hundred people gathered at a
Presbyterian church where progressive religious leaders condemned Frist
and others for using the pulpit to spread a political message.
In the name of Jesus?
From the Los Angeles Times via Yahoo:
By Peter Wallsten
Times Staff Writer
WASHINGTON — Evangelical Christian leaders, who have been working closely with senior Republican lawmakers to place conservative judges in the federal courts, have also been exploring ways to punish sitting jurists and even entire courts viewed as hostile to their cause.
An audio recording obtained by the Los Angeles Times features two of the nation's most influential evangelical leaders, at a private conference with supporters, laying out strategies to rein in judges, such as stripping funding from their courts in an effort to hinder their work.
Read all about it.
Said the friend who brought this story to my attention: "Facsists in the pulpits. Thomas Jefferson would be turning over in his grave. This kind of thinking makes us sound like one of the weird new Russian republics."
Fascist? A little extreme maybe. We'll see. Jefferson spinning? Yes. "Weird" republic? Absolutely. No wonder the rest of the word thinks we've gone mad.
The leaders in power today hate the government they lead and seek to undermine it. And to do what they do, and say what they say, in the name of Jesus diminishes the Cross and attempts to reduce the Christian faith to a faction of a political party.
P.S. Dr. ER's heart was on similar matters in the wee hours, I see from her own blog. See "Sotto Voce." Amazing woman, she is.
Saturday, April 23, 2005
But here's one for you to read first. Made me tear up three or four times, only partly because it's my own beloved Dr. ER's.
I will argue that the Choctaw Telegraph and Choctaw Intelligencer, which published in Indian Territory in 1849-1852, can be seen as prototypes of what is now called "civic journalism."
It is not biased journalism, although some moss-backed traditionalists think it is.
What it is is when editors decide that something is so broadly important to the community that the paper needs to not only take an editorial stand for or agin' it, but that said position should be the perspective from which ALL ELSE is seen, interpreted and reported.
In the Choctaw papers' case, it was the cause of temperance. The editors, and many other tribal leaders, saw the need to oppose alcohol in all its forms, always, forever and ever amen, not only as a moral question, but as an absolute matter of life and death, for the Choctaw republic and for the Choctaws as a people.
Those who know me might find it amusing that I would choose such a topic. :-) I am just wowed at the quality of these two little newspapers, and the editors' dedication to journalism and to their community.
It's refreshing, considering all the crap that passes for "news" today and for all the abuse heaped upon journalists as a class. It is particularly painful to those of us who work hard to do journalsim the way the Choctaw editors did: honestly and honorably.
Friday, April 22, 2005
Apology to Terminal Degree
TD, I was straightforward. You were snippy. I was, perhaps, somewhat of a jerk, maybe, I'm not sure, actually. Anyway, I'm sorry.
You were on the ledge, and it looks like you decided to jump (unless Blogger is being unbloggy again), since yer blog is gone.
Hope you landed safely, and here's hoping you come back to blog as some other persona and that it works out for ya this time.
Thursday, April 21, 2005
Firebrand lefty for Jesus
Christians on the Left tend to think "Jesus, D-Nazareth." (I'm generally with them.)
A lurker friend offered this observation via e-mail (and I do NOT know why he won't leave a comment hisself once in awhile!)
While reading the various postings on your board tonight, I thankfully
recalled that Jesus stayed away from the "partisan politics" of his day.
He was, however, "conservative" when it came to holding our sins against
He was "liberal" in displaying his love for all mankind and freely
sharing his compassion to those in physical and spiritual need.
Grace and peace,
Yes. Well, it goes without sayin' that Jesus was a better man than I am. Partisan politics do add spice to life, don't it? :-)
Wednesday, April 20, 2005
Klingons aid Dixie!
Go here and laugh.
Tom DeLay is out of control
WASHINGTON Apr 19, 2005 — House Majority Leader Tom DeLay intensified his criticism of the federal courts on Tuesday, singling out Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy's work from the bench as "incredibly outrageous" because he has relied on international law and done research on the Internet.
Tom DeLay ... words fail me at how outrageous this is. Not the rhetoric. Not even the points of his argument, because some judges do appear to stray into their own little worlds in deciding cases.
But because of the following paragraph, which was cut from many versions of the wire story because it was at the bottom:
One way would be for the House Judiciary Committee to investigate the clause in the Constitution that says "judges can serve as long as they serve with good behavior," he said. "We want to define what good behavior means. And that's where you have to start."
That's scary. The crazy bastard wants to use politics -- his own right-wing brand -- to define "good behavior" on the bench. That should've been the lead on this story! Read it here. The scary graf is on the jump.
Ann Coulter, loon
With"friends" like her, conservatives need no enemies. What a loser.
Tuesday, April 19, 2005
"It's time to get out of the sun. You're looking a little red."
I am not surprised at all. Nor should anyyone who knows me personally. Which is why I LMAO when somebody tries to pigeonhole me and call me a liberal. Or a conservative, for that matter.
It by-God depends on the question! On most cultural questions, and on international affairs, ol' ER is red. On economics, he's blue. But the lines get blurry fast.
Check it out.
Pope Unspeakable Randy XI
Go here to find out. Just put your name or other handle where it says "user name." :-)
Monday, April 18, 2005
Copyright considerations, I reckon, preclude me from sharing it here. But I can show (off) the bib. I wadn't jackin' around.
Sequoyah County Times, 1957, 2005.
The Daily Oklahoman, 1995-1996, 2001, 2004.
State of Oklahoma. Department of Transportation. Survey Division. “Railroads of Oklahoma, June 6, 1870-April 1, 1978.” Rev. April 1, 1978.
Abel, Annie H. “The History of Events Resulting in Indian Consolidation West of the Mississippi.” In Annual Report of the American Historical Association for the Year 1906, Charles H. Haskins, sec. Vol. 1. Washington: Government Printing Office, 1907.
Baird, W. David, and Danney Goble. The Story of Oklahoma. Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 1994.
Bearrs, Edwin C., and Arrell M. Gibson. Fort Smith: Little Gibraltar on the Arkansas. Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 1979.
Burton, Jeffrey. Indian Territory and the United States, 1866-1906: Courts, Government, and the Movement for Oklahoma Statehood. Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 1995.
Foreman, Grant. Advancing the Frontier, 1830-1860. Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 1933.
Foreman, Grant. The Five Civilized Tribes: Cherokee, Chickasaw, Choctaw, Creek, Seminole. Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 1934.
Foreman, Grant. Indians and Pioneers: The Story of the American Southwest Before 1830. Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 1936.
Foreman, Grant. Pioneer Days in the Early Southwest. Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 1994. Reprint: Cleveland: A.H. Clark, 1926.
Foreman, Grant. Sequoyah. Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 1938.
Kingsbury, Paul, ed. The Encyclopedia of Country Music: The Ultimate Guide to the Music. New York: Oxford University Press, 1998.
Kukla, Jon. A Wilderness So Immense: The Louisiana Purchase and the Destiny of America. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 2003.
Miner, Craig. The Corporation and the Indian: Tribal Sovereignty and Industrial Civilization in Indian Territory, 1865-1907. Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 1976.
Morris, John W., ed. Geography of Oklahoma. Oklahoma City: Oklahoma Historical Society, 1977.
Morris, John W., Charles R. Goins and Edwin C. McRenolds. Historical Atlas of Oklahoma. 3rd ed. Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 1986.
Rampp, Lary C., and Donald L. Rampp. The Civil War in the Indian Territory. Austin: Presidial Press, 1975.
Sequoyah County Historical Society. The History of Sequoyah County, 1828-1975. Cane Hill, Ark.: ARC Press of Cane Hill, for the Sequoyah County Historical Society, 1976.
Shirk, George H. Oklahoma Place Names. 2nd ed. Normnan: University of Oklahoma Press, 1974.
Sober, Nancy Hope. The Intruders: The Illegal Residents of the Cherokee Nation, 1866-1907. Ponca City, Okla.; Cherokee Books, 1991.
Sturm, Circe. Blood Politics: Race, Culture and Identity on the Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma. Berkeley: University of California Press, 2002.
Thornton, Russell. The Cherokees: A Population History. Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 1990.
Wallis, Michael. Pretty Boy: The Life and Times of Charles Arthur Floyd. New York: St. Martin’s Press, 1992.
Wardell, Morris L. A Political History of the Cherokee Nation, 1838-1907. Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 1938.
“Dwight Mission.” The Chronicles of Oklahoma 12, no 1 (March 1934): 42-52.
Betz, Nick. Public Information Officer. Oklahoma Department of Transportation. Interview with author, 15 April 2005.
Blue Ribbon Downs. World Wide Web site. Www.blueribbondowns.net. Accessed 7 April, 2005.
Dwight Mission Presbyterian Camp, Conference and Retreat Center. World Wide Web page. Www.dwightmission.org. Accessed 7 April 2005.
Oklahoma Department of Libraries. Oklahoma Almanac Online. Counties. Sequoyah County. World Wide Web site. Www.odl.state.ok.edu/almanac/counties/sequoyah.pdf. Accessed 7 April 2005.
Sunday, April 17, 2005
I am a work of art
You Are Best Described By...
The Starry Night
by Vincent van Gogh
I scraped -- here he goes again -- gouged and raked 80-odd gallons of leaves, twigs and other debris from the front flower beds.
Here's how out of shape I am: At the end, I didn't even want a beer. Wanted orange Gatorade. Holy cow. Stop the presses. Then, I forewent the post yard work grilling. The End must be near, indeed.
I WILL spend a few hours on a couple of these writing projects that are haunting me.
I WILL take Dr. ER with me to pick out some bedding plants and other pretties for the recently scraped-gouged-raked front flower bed, and then I WILL install same.
I WILL get caught up with Bird; she looked aghast yesterday when I, thinking of summer, which is just around the corner, brought her a job application for a nearby Ace Hardware. I'm afraid she envisions extended periods of uninterrupted slumber.
Saturday, April 16, 2005
April 13, 2005
1234 Learned Lane
Dirt, OK 75345
Dear Mr. Redneck,
I am happy to notify you of your designation as the 2004-2005 Obscure But Important Person Outstanding Graduate Student in the College of Liberal Arts. The faculty is extremely pleased to have named you for this prestigious academic award and congratulate you on your achievements in the classroom, your accomplishments in campus and community activities, and your commendable work experience.
Your award, which carries a cash stipend of $250.00, will be presented ... etc. ...
Pee Aytch Dee, Ph.D.
Dean, College of Liberal Arts
Cool beans. :-) Although that "commendable work experience" makes me smile. Work is the horse, going back to school was the cart. :-)
Thursday, April 14, 2005
Food for thought!
Favorite comfort food:
Food that makes the best noise:
Ribeye steak dripping and sizzling on a charcoal grill.
Favorite picnic lunch:
Lunch meat, white bread, Fritos, sweet pickles, white onion, cola, cookies in a plastic bag from home, at a roadside park or any other pit-stoppish place on a road trip.
Favorite food scene in movie:
1. In “Twister,” when the storm chasers are at Aunt Meg’s house in Wakita, (Okla.), she is fixing steaks and eggs and feeding them all. There is a short close-up clip of a sizzling streak as she chucks it on a plate. The effect is lost on TV, but in the theater, he said, starting to drool, that gorgeous slab of cowflesh is about 20 feet wide and 15 feet tall.
2. Various scenes involving Kim Basinger in “9 1/2 Weeks.”
Favorite food lyrics:
We like beer flat as can be
We like our dogs with mustard and relish
We got a great pitcher what's his name
Well, we can't even spell it
We don't worry about the pennant much
We just like to see the boys hit it deep
There's nothing like the view from the cheap seats
--From “Cheap Seats,” performed by Alabama
Hot beer and cold stale hamburgers makes a meal sorta hard to enjoy
And it kinda makes you think of your mama’s chicken
Ah but that's the life of a rodeo cowboy
—From “Life of a Rodeo Cowboy,” performed by Merle Haggard.
Just before the battle, the General hears a row
He says "The Yanks are coming, I hear their rifles now"
He looks down the roadway and what d'you think he sees
The Georgia Militia eating goober peas
Peas, peas, peas, peas, eating goober peas
Goodness how delicious eating goober peas
-- “Goober Peas,” traditional.
Least favorite food lyrics:
And the hangovers hurt more than they used to
And cornbread and iced tea has took the place of pills and 90-proof
And it seems like none of us do things quite like we used to do
And nobody wants to get high on the town
And all my rowdy friends have settled down
-- “All My Rowdy Friends Have Settled Down,” performed by Hank Williams Jr.
Best food smell memory:
The sweet-sour-smokey-meaty-sugary-diesely-dusty-manurey smell of the average county fair or rodeo.
Favorite summer snack:
Watermelon, eaten with wild abandon, soaking my beard, for dessert, after a steak off the grill, after drinking beer and the odd shot while grilling, after a good day of working in the yard.
Food that reminds me of the ocean:
No food reminds me of the ocean. In Oklahoma, “surf and turf” means catfish and steak fingers.
Favorite winter snack:
Various sliced meat sticks, sliced cheese and saltines. Hardly occurs to me when it’s warm.
Most likely to eat for lunch:
Something from the cafeteria at work, which is really good.
Least likely to eat for lunch:
Nothing. I mean, I never skip lunch,l or I get mean.
Makes me gag:
Food tradition I hate:
Any food used only as a garnish. Keep the goldarn weeds off my plate! Don’t let fruit touch my meat!
Saturday night food:
In summer, very often somethin off my trusty Weber kettle grill. In winter, something very often from a slow cooker.
Favorite wild foods:
Persimmons (pie). Poke salat, although I can’t remember the last time I had it.
Favorite food for sex play:
An unfortunate incident years and years ago involving whipped cream that had been in the freezer and had not been allowed to thaw completely, then another unfortunate incident involving an item of food and a girlfriend’s roomate’s dog, have left me rendered permanently uninterested in such.
Favorite medicinal food:
Menudo, for hangovers. Chicken-noodle soup, for same.
Food that reflects my heritage:
The official Oklahoma State Meal (no lie):
Fried okra, squash, cornbread, barbecue pork, biscuits, sausage and gravy, grits, corn, strawberries, chicken fried steak, pecan pie and blackeyed peas. [H.C.R. 1083, 1988]
Food most like me:
Oddly, probably some Polynesian or Asian dish that mixes meat and fruit and is sweet and spicy and crunchy and gooey -- in other words, a mass of confusing outward contradictions and internal conspiracies. Chicken a la redneck. Erudite gai pan. Something like that.
Favorite raw food smell:
Anything from my own garden being cleaned, chopped, sliced or otherwise manhandled by my own hands over my own kitchen sink.
If you could have anything to eat, right now, what would it be?
One of my own steaks off of my own grill, hickory- or mesquite-smoked. Tater with butter, sour cream and bacon bits. Roll with butter. Some other vegetable. Bottle of Bass ale.
Wednesday, April 13, 2005
"Fahrenheit: April," by Dr. ER
Life not worth living
WASHINGTON -- A report released Monday by the Federal Consumer Quality-Of-Life Control Board indicates that the cost of living now outstrips life's benefits for many Americans.
"This is sobering news," said study director Jack Farness. "For the first time, we have statistical evidence of what we've suspected for the past 40 years: Life really isn't worth living."
(From The Onion)
"Now that's funny. I don't care who ya are."
--Larry the Cable Guy
Tuesday, April 12, 2005
'Pick your cynical hypocrites,' or, 'Don't complain with your bank account full' (or something like that)
Re: Nick Toper's argument. I agree completely that both sides have politicians that exploit "issues" to pad their own power. If the Dems use Social Security, civil rights, helping the poor, etc., to gain votes, but also destroy people by helping them, consider what the Republican philosophy does:
A CBO chart (link below) outlines how federal revenues have climbed since 1962, but notice the dramatic change in 1980-82. These are the years when Reagan and the Republican House were able to implement their fiscal policy designed to give them power over voters while “helping” them. In a nutshell, the policy is to cut taxes and spend like drunken sailors. They skyrocketed the debt, per Republican policy, until George H.W. Bush and Clinton responsibly decided to increase taxes to offset Capitol Hill’s inability to stop spending like mad. (Surplus revenue reached in 1999.)
Enter the Republican takeover again in 2000, and the deficit spending cycle begins anew and with great vengeance. With Republicans in control of the House, Senate and presidency, they’ve gone back to their formula of cutting revenue (taxes) and launching huge deficit spending. It’s a shrewd formula that keeps the party leaders in power: To wit, the party buys votes by giving taxpayers part of their money back (tax cuts) and the leaders get re-elected by spending billions on pork for their districts (keeping voters happy). The third leg of this stool is to keep telling voters – despite all evidence to the contrary – that Republicans are deficit hawks and out to stop reckless federal spending. The formula works for the leaders who control the party, and for short-sighted, gullible voters who get miniscule tax cuts if they’re only middle class (but if you're one of the wealthy in charge of party policy, buy yourself a yacht and call her "Tax Cut").
So is this good for America’s long-term future? The federal government has been running with deficit budgets for a long time, with big and small results in any given year. But only the Republican Party has embraced the idea of massive deficit spending as policy (albeit one to be denied steadfastly in public).
Do you really think America's economy is going to take off when the Repubs get the yearly deficits past $1 billion, or $2 billion, a year? When we become a second-rate economy overtaken by Europe and Asia, we’ll look fondly on these days of half-billion dollar deficits. Remember, don't put your measly tax cuts in the American stock market, though. That'll be a sucker's bet, too, after the Republican deficit (fantasy turns into a reality that screws) us all. [Edited for taste by ER; see the original comment if you're interested in the writer's exact phrasing.]
See Table 1:
"He reported faithfully what he observed, taking special pains to document many of his assertions. He cared little, or not at all, what imperialists, moralists, or even Christians would think of his observations and comments."
-- C. Merton Babcock, on Herman Melville, in introduction to Typee -- A Real Romance of the South Sea (New York: Harper & Brothers, 1959; reprint, London and New York: 1846.), xii
From the same book, a quote from Melville, (xi) on success, with which I concur:
"He who in great things seeks success must never wait for smooth water, which never was and never will be, but, with what straggling method he can, dash with all his derangements at his object, leaving the rest to Fortune."
Monday, April 11, 2005
The eyes have it
Call me Brother
My Unitarian Jihad Name is: Brother Nunchuku of Enlightenment.
"We are Unitarian Jihad, and our motto is: 'Sincerity is not enough.' We have heard from enough sincere people to last a lifetime already. Just because you believe it's true doesn't make it true. Just because your motives are pure doesn't mean you are not doing harm. Get a dog, or comfort someone in a nursing home, or just feed the birds in the park. Play basketball. Lighten up. The world is not out to get you, except in the sense that the world is out to get everyone."
(Thanks to Corndog for turnin' me on to the movement.)
Saturday, April 09, 2005
In which ER scrapes his nuts
Well, I finally got my nuts scraped this afternoon.
There is a single oak tree in my front yard. Last fall it produced an ungodly number of acorns. All winter I meant to get them up while they were just lyin’ there on the ground, pretty as you please. A stiff-tined rake usually does it.
But noooo. Busy with school – and damn close to crazy because of the Reformation class, Bird’s havin’ flown the nest for Oklahoma State – and bein’ estranged from dang near all things domestic, I just never got around to it.
Which is why, just judgin’ from the flower beds and the yard, our place looks like it’s been vacant awhile. Or did, until today when I finally spent most of the day bein’ redneck, and not so much bein’ erudite.
Spent two hours scraping my nuts – “scraping” because havin’ been left on the ground since last fall, them little buggers had snuggled into the ground real good, had started to germinate and some had ever sprouted.
So rather than just bein’ able to drag a stiff-tined rake across my nuts, I had to use some elbow grease and use the rake to gouge ‘em out, then scrape 'em and rake ‘em.
I gouged and scraped and raked from the trunk of the tree outward a couple of feet, then I gouged and scraped and raked from the dripline inward a few feet, creating a donut nut around the tree, about 4 inches high at its tallest, about 2 feet wide.
Then I sat on my backside, scoochin’ around, pickin’ the dang things up a handful at a time and plunkin’ ‘em into a plastic trash can I keep in the garage for just such yardly work.
Took two hours of gouging, scraping, raking and grabbing and handling and plunking to get the job done. Filled that sucker up twice: That’s 52 gallons of acorns (counting twigs and dead grass and leaves and such).
My inner redneck got his exercise today – augmented this morning by an hour and half or so cleanin’ the garage and loadin’ up the truck and haulin’ stuff to the transfer station, which is what they call a dump in town.
Trips to the dump used to put me in a good mood. I’m just so out of shape to do anything physical anymore I’ve just been dra-a-a-gg-ggiing. Well, I’m workin’ on it.
While I was handlin’ my nuts, it occurred to me that the reason I’ve been sad and mopey so much lately boils down to grief. I’m grieving several things right now. Maybe I’ll post about it, but not right now. Bird’s home, Dr. ER’s home and fried catfish beckons, across town.
Thursday, April 07, 2005
The legal counsel to Sen. Mel Martinez (R-Fla.) admitted yesterday that he was the author of a memo citing the political advantage to Republicans of intervening in the case of Terri Schiavo, the senator said in an interview last night.
Wednesday, April 06, 2005
Erudite Redneck haiku
Would that it were Moon Pies!
It nonetheless inspired me to revive the following, which was my very-second-ever post on this bloggin' contraption, back in August:
By The Erudite Redneck
Sooner State’s singin’ cowgirl
Odd Okie public emblem
We smile, nonetheless
Indians, they weep
(P.S. There is a rumor goin' around that Corndog is "mild-mannered." It is unfounded.)
Tuesday, April 05, 2005
Go here and get a glimpse of why ER loves Dr. ER so. Please leave comments. Between y'all and me, Dr. ER doesn't covet them like I do, but she do love good conversation (and the occasional rhubarb).
Monday, April 04, 2005
Just for Corndog!
In this town in Texas where I used to be a newsman, there was this tough-ass punk of a gangbanger. One of those guys that everynone in and near crime circles -- cops, prosecutors, fellow punks, bikers, garden-variety trouble, cop reporters and their editors -- knew of. He was always in and out of the pokey for minor things, but they could never catch him on anything big.
They finally did. It was all over the front page of the paper. Caught. Red. Handed. Cops had him dead to rights. So, there was his picture, big as day, and a write-up, probably even a sidebar and a locator map to show where they busted him.
And his full real name. And his street name, which was "Coon Dog," which is a fairly respectable street name for a two-bit punk in a one-horse, two-dog Texas town.
Except the reporter got his street name wrong.
"Smith," the reporter reported,"whose street name is 'CORNDOG,' pleaded not guilty at his arraignment," or some such.
We were pretty sure that his fellow street punk-gangbangers would njever "Corndog" live it down, when he finally got out of the state pen. Yuk-yuk.
No offence, Corndog the blogger, but that's a right fine handle for a mild-mannered, well-educated, gentlemanly Vitginia gentleman such as yerself. Not so for a Texas street thug.
Same reporter did a couple of other asinine things we never forgot.
"At 26, she was reared in (Smalltown)," he wrote of one hapless lass.
But the following beats ALL. (OBSCENE SEXUAL REFERENCE AHEAD.)
In a feature about a young man meant to tell the touching story of how, after years of self-denial, he had finally come to accept his homosexuality and, as painful as was for all involved, finally outed himself to his friends and kin and conservative Texas parents, this same reporter wrote, and this is a fairly close quote:
"Jones said that he now acknowledges his homosexuality freely, but that he doesn't cram it down anyone's throat."
I am not clever enough to make that up.
Sunday, April 03, 2005
622/1,000 ... Dr. ER blogs! ... "Dear Erudite Redneck"
First: Woo hoo. I'm 622 words (10 footnotes and about 40 separate sources, all but two from my personal library; I am a sicko) into my 1,000-word history of my home county. Just now hitting statehood, in 1907. Plenty of room left.
Numero two-o: Go by and see Dr. Erudite Redhead's growing series on a weddin' she and Bird went to awhile back. Question: As, um, Peyton Place-slash-country musicish as both of our lives have been, why the hell don't we-can't we write fiction! Sigh. I am investigating "autobiographical fiction." That sounds like something I might could pull off.
Numero three-o: From a reader ...
DEAR ERUDITE REDNECK:
(In a rant about Congress's intervening in the Schiavo case) you quoted John Quincy Adams, "“America does not go abroad in search of
monsters to destroy. She is the well-wisher to the freedom and independence
of all. She is the champion and vindicator only of her own. She will
recommend the general cause by the countenance of her voice, and the
benignant sympathy of her own example. She well knows that by once enlisting
under banners other than her own, were they even the banners of foreign
independence, she would involve herself beyond the power of extrication, in
all the wars of interest and intrigue, of individual avarice, envy,ambition, which assumed the colors and usurped the standards of freedom. The
fundamental maxims of her policy would insensibly change from liberty to
force. … She might become the dictatress of the world. She would no longer
be the ruler of her own spirit.”
That quote caused me to stop and think about our nation's foreign policy, not
the Schiavo case. The Schiavo case has obviously brought many of us weigh
in with our opinions. Which we have, can and will continue to bring forth in
heated debate. But not here!
Back to the JQA quote. I had never thought of our foreign policy in that
way. I must say that my opinions have shifted ever so slightly. At least
the quickness of agreeing with the actions our country has taken overseas.
I think it is obvious that we are viewed as the bully or dictatress in some
areas of the world. Justified? I don't know.
Question to you.... If JQA had been faced with the vast amount of weapons
of mass destruction as we see today would he have modified his statement, at
least to some degree? If he had seen a dictator such as Hitler and
witnessed the results of allowing him to go unchecked would JQA been so
quick to take the same position going forward?
Now I am starting to wander from his point...
ERUDITE REDNECK'S REPLY:
The nut of my thinking at the time, I think, was this:
It's all hubris. We in this country tend to think we can do as we damn well please in the world, and that idea extends increasingly to domestic stuff, too, no matter what the supposedly conservative Congress claims.
It was hubris that caused the GOP to think it could, and should, act to reach over into the legal-judicial affairs of Florida, and further into the personal affairs of the Schiavo family.
We tend to mistake our scientific and technological prowess, and business acumen, for the ability to change the world "over there" and to micro-govern internal affairs "over here." Same spirit is at work: arrogance.
On your point about Hitler.
The US, as a whole, didn't give a shit about Hitler, although FDR and other thinkers did. It took Pearl Harbor to get the America First crowd to shut the hell up, and for Congress, as was then the style, to act. We did kick the nextgen Huns' ass, but it was the Nips who got us into it.
Not too unlike it was Osama who provoked us to attack the Taliban, and then, apparently, Dubya et al., figgered we might as well take out Saddam while we were at it.
I still say Iran and Syria better watch themselves. The spirit of "Manifest Destiny" has been reawakened among lots of powerful folks in this country, and I think it still has some ass to kick.
How would the Founding Fathers have dealt with WMD? I am reminded of a story I heard someone tell about how Marse Robert E. Lee woulda handled it:
Hitchin' an A-bomb up to Jeb Stewart's saddle horn and slappin' some hindflesh, he said, "Jeb, drag this thing to Washington!"
I think, like Truman, they would've used the weapons they had at their disposal and like every American administration since Hiroshima and Nagasaki, they'd used an exquisitely fine balance of military power and diplomacy to continue to promote our interests "over there" and defend ourselves "over here."
Saturday, April 02, 2005
“Smells like a used book store in your office,” says Dr. ER, who has a nose that won’t quit and used to work in a library, and is a lover of the printed word her own self, so I reckon she knows.
Sigh, here’s why:
Another day, another project left unwritten, another trip to another book store.
“Howdy. My name is E. Redneck. I’m a bookaholic.”
Here’s today’s catch:
1. Allan Nevins, ed., James Fenimore Cooper: The Leatherstocking Saga (New York: Pantheon, 1954).
Subtitle says it all: “Being those parts of The Deerslayer, The Last of the Mohicans, The Pathfinder, The Pioneers, and The Prairie, which specially pertain to Natty Bumppo, otherwise known as Pathfinder, Deerslayer, or Hawkeye; the whole arranged in chronological order from Hawkeye’s youth on the New York frontier in King George’s War until his death on the Western prairies in Jefferson’s Administration.”
I’ve skimmed The Last of the Mohicans. Reading this abbreviated version of it and the other four books in the series -– not too abbreviated; it’s still 833 pages – will fill in gaps in my understanding of the evolution of the image of the American Indian in literature and popular culture.
2. Bernard DeVoto, The Course of Empire (Cambridge: The Riverside Press, 1952).
Now I have the complete trilogy. The others are Across the Wide Missouri (Cambridge: The Riverside Press, 1947) and The Year of Decision, 1846 (Boston: Little, Brown & Co., 1943).
All are first editions, which means nothing except to a BOOKAHOLIC -– AHAHAHAHAHAHAHAAHAHAHAHAA -– someone help me, please -- UUUNNNNGGGGGHHHHHHH
3. Victor Murdock, “It May Chance of Wheat” – A Grain of Wheat Paces Civilization (Kansas City, Mo.: The Lowell Press, 1965).
Another sign that I need help. Murdock was a former congressman, federal trade official and general mucky-mucky who wrote a column for 14 years in the Wichita Eagle -– about WHEAT.
Egad. As a former Texas farm-and-ranch editor, current newspaper columnist, grown-up farm kid and bread eater, I COULD NOT RESIST a compilation of columns about wheat!
4. In today's mail came something Dr. ER picked up for me in Ohio while visiting her sister and had shipped with some other stuff. Dr. ER is an enabler, Dr. ER is!
C. Fred Williams, S. Charles Bolton, Carl H. Moneyhon, LeRoy T. Williams, A Documentary History of Arkansas (Fayetteville: University of Arkansas Press, 1984).
It's just what it sounds like: snippets and whole examples of primary documents from Arkansas history, from letters, journals, public documents, stuff like that, from Spanish explorers to secession to the Little Rock school crisis and such. YUMMY.
All in all, not a bad haul. And I coulda done worse. Books I put back on the shelf included a 1976 reprint of the 1897 Sears, Roebuck & Co. catalog, and ... and ... well I’ll be danged -– I can’t remember now, which means I didn’t really need the dang thing anyway.
But clearly I NEEDED a book about wheat, a five-in-one volume of Fenimore Cooper and the third link in the DeVoto chain of books about the frontier and the Western movement.
Clearly. Needed. (Hiccup.)
“My name if E. Redneck, and I’m a bookaholic.”
And all the people said, “Hi, E. Redneck!”
Friday, April 01, 2005
When I started out to work on an M.A. in the summer of 2001, all I wanted to do was get me some more letters to go after my name, and to earn a credential to write history -- and to be taken seriously as a writer of history.
Looks like I pulled it off, or will, eventually.
Y'all who have been with me in spirit all along, bless you. :-)
Here, for giggles, is the abstract of my thesis:
NAME: (Erudite Redneck)
TITLE OF THESIS:
Civilized Scribes: Voices of Opinion in the Choctaw Press, 1849-1852
DIRECTOR OF THESIS: Dr. (Fellow Erudite Redneck)
ABSTRACT: Blistering topics -- slavery, the abolition movement, threat of secession, the glorious past and uncertain future of the Union – filled the nation’s newspapers in the years just after the Mexican War: the Choctaw Nation. The prospect of statehood for former Mexican California, what to do about New Mexico and its border with Texas, and how, exactly, to prosecute the “manifest destiny” that United States leaders envisioned for their country tore political scabs from sectional divisions only temporarily smoothed over by previous generations of compromisers. The constitutional tempest struck the Five Civilized Tribes -– Cherokee, Chickasaw, Choctaw, Creek and Seminole -- whose fortunes were tied directly to the United States. The Choctaw Telegraph, in 1848-1849, then the Choctaw Intelligencer, in 1850-1852, caught, repeated and refracted the rebellion talk and, like newspapers all over the continent, added their own voices to the journalistic cacophony. Contrary to some scholars’ assertions, such Indian voices can be discerned. The Choctaw editors’ voices were distinctly Southern in tone, content and rhetorical inflection –- not quite proto-Confederate, but, from the vantage of the twenty-first century, they were definitely antebellum accents from the Lower Mississippi Valley: Christian, racist, proud, nationalistic -– and Indian. Like white editors in the West, the “Civilized” natives also kept an eye on “wild” Indians on the still largely unexplored Plains. They joined Americans in their fascination with all the gold in California, as well as reports of similar wealth hidden in the nearby Wichita Mountains. The editors commented on local, state, national and international affairs. They condemned crime in their midst. The editors editorialized against alcohol in a crusade for the soul of the Choctaw nation. Except for their occasional use of Choctaw type and their place of publication, at Doaksville, Choctaw Nation, Indian Territory, a few miles north of a crook in the Red River east of present Hugo, Oklahoma, the Choctaw Telegraph and Choctaw Intelligencer could have been mistaken for white frontier newspapers. A close reading of their editorials, however, shows that they were not typical frontier newspapers. They were Indian newspapers. Their editors were “Civilized Scribes.”
Copyright 2005. All rights reserved.
Honors and benefits!
Hello Mr. (Erudite Redneck),
Just wanted to let you know that you have received the E.E. Dale Award for the Outstanding Graduate Student for the 04-05 year. There will be an awards ceremony on April 24, at 3:00 in Pegasus Theater. We need a bio from you to put into the awards brochure. You can email the bio back to this address.
History & Geography
The Oklahoma Historical Society has selected my thesis, "Civilized Scribes: Voices of Opinion in the Choctaw Press, 1849-1852" to receive its Best Thesis on Oklahoma History Award for 2004.
Too cool! :-)