Monday, October 31, 2005


Costume party

What memorable costumes have you worn trick-or-treating as a kid or to Halloween parties as an adult??

Mama ER sewed me a great devil costume, complete with pointy tail and bought a great rubber mask and trident to wear -- to a church party!

It was back in the day before so many churches got so dang uptight. It raised a few eyebrows, but it wass all in fun. I was dang near trumped by the host, who borrowed a casket from somewhere and his teenage son was a bloody corpse all night.

In 1995 or '96, whenever Newt and the Repubs were making their successful effort to retake Congress, I went as the scariest thing I could think of.

I shaved my beard (last time I did, in fact), got a close haircut with whitewalls over the ears even, put on a three-piece, pin-striped suit, carried a Wall Street Journal and Milton Friedman's book "Free to Choose," and toted a small hatchet.

You got it: The scariest thing I could think of that October was a right-wing budget-cutting Republic congressman.

Many years ago, I went to a party as a sort of redneck Charles Manson type freak. Somewhere there is a picture of me with a hand-scrawled swastika penned onto my forehead. Not one of my proudest moments.

A few years ago, Dr. ER and I went to a Halloween party where the costume theme was "Come as a song title."

Dr. ER found the arm of a baby doll somewhere and stuck it in the front pocket of her keans. She was "Hand in MY Pocket" by Alanis Morissette.

I bought a pair of overalls for the occasion, printed off a cattle sale flier for an upcoming ranch dispersal sale at Muskogee, stuck a corncob pipe in my mouth and donned one of my straw Resistols. I was, of course, the "Okie From Muskogee."

!!! It's 6:25 p.m. Been dark for a half-hour. No kiddos to the door yet! Once again, I'm surrounded by sourpusses. No lights on on my end of the block except for mine: Two punkins carved just for the occasion by Bird, scary as all get-out. But it takes clusters of houses to get good trick-or-teat crowds ...



Ghost story: reprise

By The Erudite Redneck

Uncle B. was distant, to me, so when he died when I was 8, I didn’t cry. I didn’t know him that well. Somebody in my family might remember him picking me up and hugging me or talking to me or something, but I don’t.

Read all about it -- if you dare.



Oklahoma Mountain Haint

This is a rare photo of the elusive Oklahoma Mountain Haint (redneck ghost), spotted near Long, Okla., awhile back. They are attracted by the aroma of burnin' Oklahoma Ozarks hardwood, Tennessee whiskey and Arkansas coldbeer.

This is a better image. Haints have to hang around some to get relaxed enough to let their ghostly visage be caught on film. An interesting sidenote: Oklahoma Mountain Haints cannot be captured by digital cameras. It takes film, shot with a 23-year-old Pentax K1000. With a little tickle to yer gizzard. This haint was attracted by the burnin' hardwood, the smell of beer and sweet aroma of George Dickel whiskey. However it was the generous store of cracklin's and pork rinds that got him to linger long enough for me to get this remarkble photo. Somebody call the Enquirer.


Sunday, October 30, 2005


Overheard in the ER household XI

Dr. ER, who has clothing hanging on every available chairback, door and sticky-out thing in the house, in between washing and packing for another bidness trip:

"Cat! You pulled down one of my shirts! You son-of-a-bitch! Shit! Pissant!"





On walking the walk -- and Wal-Mart

Another provocative Prayer of Confession from Mayflower Congregational Church in Oklahoma City:

"Lord of Life, help us to be on guard against looking and sounding religious without actually being religious. The world is full of religious pomp and circumstance, but starving for true compassion. We should take Jesus at his word, and quit bowing and scraping long enough to lend a hand. As for honorary titles, beware. We are what we do, not what we are called. In Christ's name, Amen."

Scripture reading: Matthew 23:1-12.

From the church bulletin:

Does Jesus love Wal-Mart's low-wage workers?

"I work for Wal-Mart, writes Edward, a United Church of Christ member in California.

"If you have studied their practices," he continues, "you will know how unrealistic they are. Unequal pay for men and women, poor insurance for high costs, imported products at about 80 percent of their merchandise. For one of the giants in the retail world, they have not shown any real care and concern for their employees. Please consider looking into this. You will be as distressed as many of us are."

Read more from Edward and the what the church's minister for labor relations and community economic development -- !!! I LOVE THIS CHURCH !!! -- what the church's minister for labor relations and community economic development suggests right here.


Saturday, October 29, 2005


ER hometown news V

I loves my home county paper, the Sequoyah County Times. I loves all country weeklies and twice-a-weeklies.

Best readin' in a recent issue:

Friday, October 21, 2005 3:57 PM CDT

Road Oil On Vehicles Is Upsetting

Dear Editor:

On Oct. 10 when I came home from work, they had oiled the road (Wild Horse Mountain Road in County Commissioner District 3) before and after my house leaving me no way to get around except right through the middle of it.

Read all about it. It gets a mite heated.



Oh! State!

Scary doings tonight in Stillwater, with No. 2 Texas comin' to town. It's the ONLY time of the year I ain't hollerin' "Hook 'em 'Horns!"

Hoo boy. Time to Cowboy up -- and take it like men.




Oklahoma State University is known for its Halloween Homecoming celebration, featuring spookily decorated fraternity houses and a street fair with costumes.

This October, though, the real horror show might be the Saturday football game (6 p.m. CDT, on TBS) at Boone Pickens Stadium.

Read the rest of the sad tale.

Friday, October 28, 2005


Furry Friday!!!

Finally! Got caught up on work in record time -- so, here are the boys. Riker is the regal Pembroke Welsh Corgi. Bailey is the Po' White Trash Weenie Dog.

Bailey, who is a 'tard, can be the most frustratin' critter. He's like Bob in "What About Bob?" If Bailey could talk, he would say, " I need! I Need! I NEED!" But with a face like this, it's impossible to stay mad at him for long.

"Equal time, schmequal time!" Ice-T says. He had to barge his rakish, redneck yet handsome self in here. Hey, when yer a handsome critter, you can get away with such like.



Doggone it

Bailey and Riker (the hounds) are demanding equal time!

Alas! At 10:30 in the a. of the m. this morning, I installed a Kodak Picture CD dealywhopper on this here computer at work. Just to put doggie pics up.

Four-plus hours, a half-day of productivity lost and three trips up here and back by members of the in-house geek squad -- I STILL CAN'T PUT THEIR PICTURES UP.

As the NASCAR boys say when they don't know what else to say, "Somethin' broke in the engine."

Fie on this here contraption.


Thursday, October 27, 2005


Conspiracy! Paranoia! Cynicism!

A conspiracy theory worthy of Tug!

Paranoia worthy of Drlobojo!

Cynicism worthy of Anonymous!

The White House never intended Harriet Miers to be on the Supreme Court. Her nomination was a ruse to stir up Republicans in the Senate, give them something to bitch and carry on about while appearing statesmanlike -- and to distract them from the grand jury investigation.

The aim all along was to withdraw her name the day of, or the day before, indictments came down. This provides Republicans, and the hard right especially, some relief from *having* to oppose *their* president.

It comes just in time for them to circle the wagons in support of the president and administration when the going gets really tough. It assuages their guilt over doubting the president and gives them a way to atone all in one tidy news cycle!


Wednesday, October 26, 2005


Gorbachev: More butter please

Godless commie!


From The Associated Press

ADA, Okla. -- Mikhail Gorbachev, the last Soviet Union president and Nobel Peace Prize winner, said eliminating poverty is crucial in the fight against terrorism.

Read all about it.


This darn cat

This here is a $500 cat.

First, he showed up small enough to sleep on a potholder, with a busted shoulder and eat plumb up with fleas.

Since then: bed, toys, scratchin' post, shittin' shed, litter, feed, 'nad-cuttin'
and, most recently, poison remediation -- one dang bill after another!

Poison remediation? The critter got some kind of toxic shock from the flea-and-tick
treatment Bird put on him Sunday. A permethrin. Sheesh.

He's fine now.

Note he is surrounded by redneck accatrement (Rebel flag throw, NASCAR pillow case).


Tuesday, October 25, 2005


Christian differences

This is remarkably timely. :-)


Edward Fudge
Oct 25, 2005

A gracEmail subscriber writes: "I am concerned that people who claim to follow Jesus Christ do not understand the Bible alike on many topics. Are we right and others wrong, or vice-versa? Whoever is wrong cannot be saved."

* * *

We may turn to Romans chapter 14 when we encounter differences among Christians regarding how best to please the Lord. Believers in the first-century Roman house-churches sharply disagreed concerning vegetarianism (illustrative of issues of personal piety) and the observance or non-observance of special days (illustrative of issues of congregational practice). Paul does not simply take sides in these issues. Instead, he points to three fundamental gospel truths which all Christians believe. Those truths are that Jesus died, that he rose, and that he is coming again. These three truths remind us in turn of three truths about Jesus himself. And those truths about Jesus Christ determine how believers ought to think and act when they reach honest but different convictions about how to please Christ.

Jesus DIED for us, Paul says first -- and he is therefore our SAVIOR. He can (and will) save all who trust in him, no matter which opinions they reach on the matters about which believers in Christ will honestly differ. Second, Jesus ROSE for us -- and he is therefore our LORD. Each true believer must try to please him as best one knows and is able at any time. Third, Jesus is COMING for us -- and he will be our JUDGE. We must live each day knowing we will give account to him. We must also leave the judging of others to him and not try to do it ourselves. "Who are you that judges another man's servant?" Paul asks. "To his own master he stands or falls."

The good news is that God "is able to make [the person] stand" who is wrong in his doctrinal conclusions but who is trusting in Jesus Christ for salvation. That is the only hope any of us has, since not one of us has figured out the truth on every subject and none of us ever will on this earth. Any religious system which speaks otherwise is contrary to the gospel of Jesus Christ and ought to be rejected.

Copyright 2005 by Edward Fudge. Permission hereby granted to reprint this gracEmail in its entirety without change, with credit given and not for financial profit. Are you seeking greater intimacy with the living God and a meaningful life in company with others? Visit our multimedia website at .


Worshipping or following?

Below is the Scripture reading from Sunday at the liberal Protestant church I've been attending. I'm not sure I ever noticed the last verse, 40, before, but I'm thinking hard on it right now.

I'm trying to make sense of all the hate and fear pretending to be "love for the sinner (yet hate for the sin)" being demonstrated in Jesus's name.

Near as I can figure, the error comes from concentrating on "worshipping the Christ" at the expense of "following Jesus," which means listening to what he had to say, and imitating him.

Jesus said, "Follow me." Where did he say "Worship me'? (Seriously. I can't find a reference.)

Look a the last verse. What think y'all?

The Greatest Commandment

Matthew 22:34-40 (New International Version)

34. Hearing that Jesus had silenced the Sadducees, the Pharisees got together.

35. One of them, an expert in the law, tested him with this question:

36. "Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?"

37. Jesus replied: " 'Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.'

38. This is the first and greatest commandment.

39. And the second is like it: 'Love your neighbor as yourself.'

40. All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments."

Then there's this (swiped from this site):

John 17:1-11. And now I am no longer in the world, but they are in the world ...

Jesus not in the world? A hard reality facing the church of the late first century as well as the twentieth century. There is the stunning account of Jesus feeding the multitude where, in response to the disciples' anxiety about from whence the food will come, Jesus says, "You feed them!"

The miracle of the multiplication is that what they had is enough. Even if they can't believe it. Even if for two millennia we continue to deny it.

God has no lips but ours with which to speak, no other hands with which to reach out and minister. The incarnational God continues to live in the flesh and walk about our world. God now in us. You and me.

Do we worship Jesus or follow Jesus? Worshiping without following may seem to compensate for his "absence," to keep him alive and well in our midst, still solely responsible for accomplishing things for which we pray. Following him means staying the course that he has set and acting for and with him.

Worshiping only seeks to create a safe haven in a world for which Jesus is liable. Following Jesus takes us to those unsavory places he went, eating with outsiders and outcasts, banqueting with the halt, lame, and blind, lepers and prostitutes.

Following Jesus is taking up the cross he promised and walking with him.

from Forward Day by Day (anonymous Episcopal clergyman) for April 7, 1997.

I have worshipped the Christ, in varying degrees of intensity, since 1972. I don't think I've ever really tried to follow Jesus -- and I think that most of the noise, especially the judgmental, threatening, hateful din coming from the extremes of the right, is neither.


Monday, October 24, 2005


Become a Republican!

Anyone who says there is no difference between Democrats and Republicans hasn't been paying attention.

Radicals are in charge of the GOP, and since the GOP is in charge of most of the federal government, radicals are running the country.

Read this and laugh to keep from crying, moderates, liberals, and old-style Repubs:

Become a Republican.



Miers schmiers: Meet Bernanke

Sadly, this nomination will not get nearly the scrutiny of an SCOTUS nominee -- and chairmanship of the Federal Reserve has more actual impact on our daily lives, as a matrer of course, than any SCOTUS memmber.

(Admittedly, SCOTUS can have more unexpected and drastic effect.)

This is the kind of thing that makes Dr. ER's eyes glaze over. Fed watching keeps my inner wanna-be economist titillated.)

From The Associated Press

President Bush on Monday selected Ben Bernanke, chairman of the president's Council of Economic Advisers, to replace Alan Greenspan as Fed chairman, according to an administration official.

Read all about it.


Saturday, October 22, 2005


Fred Phelps' head explodes

I'd say this is a good decision, and the reason we have courts. What part of "equal protection under the law" do some people not get?


The Associated Press
Saturday, October 22, 2005; 2:35 AM
TOPEKA, Kan. -- The Kansas Supreme Court on Friday unanimously struck down a state law that punished underage sex more severely if it involved homosexual acts, saying "moral disapproval" of such conduct is not enough to justify the different treatment.

Read all about it.


Headline goes here

Never let it be said that ER danced as the Bush administration fell into tatters. It's to the point where my concern for the presidency outweighs my dislike for the policies of the man holding the office.

This week anyway, the man is more to be pitied than censured.

There's always next week!


The next supposed Christian who tells me I should reexamine my "salvation experience" is going to get an ER Special Phileo Brotherly Ass Whuppin' in the name of Jesus.

It's happened twice in the past couple of weeks -- from people who so confuse their worldly politics with spiritual matters, and who so totally impose their political views on Jesus, rather than drawing their politics from Jesus's admonitions and examples, it ain't even funny.


I'm out of energy. Writin' are hard -- and when you write for a living, or even just string words together on deadline and hope they make sense -- it's hard to blog. Yesterday, just didn't have time, especially with my computer at work on the fritz.


Dr. ER is due back from Iowa City this afternoon, and Bird is comin' home today, too! Increasingly rare that we're all under the same roof. :-) :-)


Another Dale died, the last one. Bird/we had three goldfish at one time: Ralph Dale, Dale, and Dale Jr. We lost track of which one was which, but I found the last Dale on the bottom of the tank the other day.

Possible mission today: To Wally World to get more fish! Dr. is agin' it, though. Since I HATE being alone, and with Dr. ER travelin' so much, and Bird in college, every little bit of life in the house helps. I vote for more fish.

Pumpkin carving is also a possible agenda item for this afternoon or evening.


Oklahoma State plays Iowa State there today. GO POKES! I don't have much hope, though. The teams have even records -- but OSU played the college equivalents of 8-man teams to get the record it has, and ISU actually worked for its record.

Es todo.


Thursday, October 20, 2005


Two words

On Harriet Miers: Dead meat.

On Karl Rove: Deep doodoo.

On Dubya: Lame duck.

On the war in Iraq: So far ...

On the war in Afghanistan: So good.

On summer headlines: Cindy who?

On Oklahoma State football: Basketball! Wrestling!

On university of oklahoma football: So so.

On Oklahoma lottery: About time.

On Hurricane Wilma: Not again!

On Cafe Du Monde: Open again!

On South Asian earthquake: Beyond comprehension.

On illigal immigrants: Deter, remove.

On Bird flu: Modernity's comeuppance?

Out of ideas for serious pontificating: Erudite Redneck.


Wednesday, October 19, 2005


Make a joyful noise

Whap! Upside the head with a meme tag, from Tech.


Search your blog for the word "joy" used in the context of "happiness." If you cannot find the word in your weblog, you may use any of the select list of synonyms below.

joy, amusement, bliss, cheer, comfort, delectation, delight, ecstasy, elation, exaltation, exultation, exulting, felicity, gaiety, gladness, glee, good humor, gratification, happiness, hilarity, humor, jubilance, liveliness, merriment, mirth, pleasure, rapture, regalement, rejoicing, revelry, satisfaction, wonder

If your weblog does not include a built-in search engine, then you can use Google to search it only for the word you wish to find.

If you've found the word and it was not used facetiously or sarcastically, good for you. All you need to do is link to your earlier entry, and write a few words about that joyous moment.

If, however, you have no joy (whole words only) in your weblog, you must dig deep in your soul and find something wonderful in your life right now. One little thing that fills you with warmth, that bubbles you over with quiet happiness, or tickles you with its good-hearted hilarity, or makes you glad you just took a breath, and are getting ready to take another.

It doesn't have to be anything big. A smile someone gave you; your cat on your shoulder; the way the light angles through your window and casts rainbows on your floor. All it has to be is something genuine, something real, something that matters to you.

Because we all need joy in our lives, and need to take the time -- from time to time -- to recognize it. And sometimes, we need to pass it on.

Even if we're a big pain in the ass when we do.

When you've dealt with your own joy, pass the quest on to five other bloggers.


First, the five I'm going to pass it on to:
1. AE at Arse Poetica
2. Russian Violets
3. Pecheur at Crushed Leviathan
4. Pastor Timothy
5. TugboatCapn at Trucker Philosophy

Heh-heh, "joy" popped up in a comment by Trixie on the infamous "Jesus is a liberal" post. (The comments are excellent reading, still.) It was a long comment, but here is the joyful part:

Philippians 2:1-4:
1 If you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any fellowship with the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion,
2 then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and purpose.
3 Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves.
4 Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others.

Cool. Thanks, Tech.


Tuesday, October 18, 2005


Open mic

This is my last day off before going back to work. I am desperately trying to get a short historical article done. So, my mind is preoccupied. Y'all run the joint today.

Anything goes. Usual standards apply: Keep the F-word to a minimum, and don't attack each other, or me, personally. But feel free to thrown down any idea and whip its ass.

Here's a few bits of red meat to get started on:

1. Karl Rove, Scooter Libby and the Bush administration will (skate, teeter, take a direct hit, fill-in-the-blank) this week when the grand jury reveals its findings.

2. The war in Iraq is -----.

3. The election in Iraq is -----.

4. The ought-6 elections here will -----.

5. Cats -----.

6. Crayola, the crayon people, discontinued "flesh" as a crayon color in what year? And why? (There happens to be a box sittin' here on my desk).

7. Pick another topic.



Monday, October 17, 2005


How to deal with "hate speech"

There's only one way to deal fairly with so-called "hate speech" in the United States: Drown it out.

CHELSEA, Okla. (AP) -- An effort by members of a Kansas church to protest at the funeral of an Oklahoma soldier Tuesday was drowned out by the roar of motorcycles.

Read all about it.

Here's a more detailed story from the Claremore Daily Progress, but I don't understand the lead paragraph: Read it here.

I was an undergrad in the 1980s. I'da never made it in the 1990s. The mere mention of "hate speech" or "speech codes" makes me nuts.

Hate speech, no matter how despicable, is protected by the First Amendment -- or should be. Period. Exclamation point. To think anything else is, quite literally, un-American.

Now, some of y'all might make an argument to the contrary. I've never seen a good argument for regulating speech. Enlighten me.



Jesus the Cable Guy

Great pic seen along U.S. 271 in Mena, Ark. Photo by Dr. ER.

People have always depicted Jesus as similar to themselves, which is why in Euro-American art He tends to be whiter than he could've been. (Actually, I think he probably looked something like Jamie Farr, who played the Lebanese Corporal Klinger on M*A*S*H: dark skinned, dark hair.)

In this pic, Jesus is depicted as a redneck, a la Larry the Cable Guy.

Ya gotta meet people where they are.


Friday, October 14, 2005


The Long and Short of it

I'm off to beautiful Long, Okla., where one of my bestest, oldest friends is buildin' a house.

Long, which had its post office from 1894 to 1937, was named for Peter Long, a Cherokee leader, according to this book. Long is not far from Short, which had its post office from 1908 to 1954 -- and which Mapquest cannot locate.

Short gots its name as a contrast with the name of the post office at Long, according to the same book. Both Long and Short are in the northern territory of my old stompin' grounds.

Tonight, around a fire, numerous coldbeers, and a few nips from Mr. Dickel, will ensure a fine time will be had by all, although the crowd will amount to only a few. Most of "us" are far-flung these days. Heated discussions will ensue. Politically, the home builder makes most of y'all cons and neocons look like moderates.

Except Tug. He and Tug seem to be cut from the same cloth, although Tug is a Repub and my friend is a lifelong Democrat. Still. Both Tug and my home-building friend bring out the conservative righty right, as well as the liberal wacko, in me. Which is why they both are fun to hang around.

I took off work this week to work on other projects, and I have so far only accomplished maybe 30 percent of what I wanted to do. I'm also off Monday and Tuesday, so there is time for me to pour it on next week. Maybe this short trip will spur me on, help me shake off whatever the hell is doggin' me and help me get my mojo back.

Adios, y'all.



Dream Machine shop

To y'all and all: Here are my own considered self-interpretations of my own crazy dreams (previous post):

Dream 1:

Most of my adult life, I have found myself straddling lines. Conservative culturally, liberal politically. Little bit country, little bit rock'n'roll. Baptist in fundamental theology and church polity, mainline-liberal on how that should be applied in the world. Activist at heart, stuck, with the rest of the working press, in a detached mode, striving daily, in my work-work, for the elusive objectivity.

The fundamental dichotomy in my life is expressed in the name of this blog: erudite redneck. Sometimes it goes more one way than the other, but there are always elements of both.

It seems to others sometimes that one side, or the other, is a put-on. Both are part of me, but I am sometimes painfully conscious of the appearances that naturally result from such contradictions, which could be the underlying angst over imposture that Dr. B pointed out.

The lines I'm straddling right now, the ones that have my immediate daily attention, are a real crossroads of time and cultures and interests.

For the project I'm working on, I'm dwelling on the 19th-century Indian Territory, specifically the Choctaw Nation (present southeast Oklahoma), microspecifically the tension between assimilationists and traditionalists, and micro-microspecifically as that tension was expressed by assimilations saying, "Hey, y'all white men, come on out here and take up Choctaw wives and farms," and traditionalists saying, "Y'all sorry white bastards stay the hell away from our women and stay the hell off our land."

The research itself is a dichotomy of erudite and redneck. Takes erudition to study the topic, which is, basically, a Western-frontier-cowboy-and-Indian kind of thing, ergo, rustic, i.e., "redneck."

Dream 2:

I feel inadequate to the task. It's a natural letdown from the high of finishing the degree -- and bein' history grad student of the year and liberal arts grad student of the year and all that shit. Big highs. Of course, they're followed by a low, and this is it. It will pass.

I also feel totally inadequate regarding some of the kinds of plain ol' everyday life things that everyone has: too much outgo, not enough income, bills, debt, stuff like that. Hey, that's life.

So, anyway, I do feel like I'm fixin' to be run over.

Dream 3:

More of the above. I was called on to do a task that I had some familiarity with, but no actual experience doing. Note in the dream that I didn't panic. I called for help, but I called for someone I thought had the know-how required. And I plunged forward. And that's what I'm doing with the things that are occupying my mind. Giving up is not an option.

Dream 4:

No frickin' clue. I woke up laughin' at myself for mistakin' bears for buffalo. I don't know what the significance was of one bein' a wild critter (bears) and one bein' docile (buffalos).

The mistake could have been as simple as my subconscious bitching that I need new glasses. I can't read the crawlies on the TV. But it'll be after the first of the year before I can afford a new pair. (I'm extremely nearsighted: No "$49" specs at the mall for me; hundreds of dollars, even with insurance.)

And Bird needs new specs, too, and since she's on my insurance, it's up to me -- and she, too, has to wait. It is gonna be a hugs-and-handshakes Christmas -- and THAT has me down, too.


Thursday, October 13, 2005


Speedin' in the ER Dream Machine

By The Erudite Redneck

Who needs movies? Who needs fiction? My dreams the past few nights have been plumb wack (how's that for mixin' dialects?) If I ever do go all the way off the deep end, this post might give some clues if there is an investigation.

The fact that I remember these so well is disturbing in its itself. Interpretations appreciated.

Three nights ago:

I was at the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum for a Western black-tie event dee-luxe. Only the best cowgirl fripperies and cowboy fineries were allowed in the joint:

100X beaver hats, silver and gold janglin' around ladies necks and fellas' chaps and vests and buckles, lawdy the belt buckles was as big as a Plymouth hubcap, circa 1972. It wasn't really "black tie" come to think of it: Just cowboy godawful gaudy. There was dancin' and drinkin' and carryin' on I was there but not there.

Somewhere near the Ronald Reagan statue -- people rub his toe for good luck just like they do the Will Rogers statue in Statuary Hall in the U.S. Capitol in D.C., which galls me -- there was a portal to an alternatuive reality, and I could go back and forth.

On the "other" side it was a whole different place. The mud and dust and noise of a feedlot or stockyards, with cattle bawling and real workin' cowboys doin' their thing. I was there, but not there, too. It was clear, in the dream, that what was goin' on on the workin' end of reality was pullin' strings to make things happen on the gaudy side.

Cattle moved from one pen to the other on the workin' side? Gaudied-up people would giddy-up and move in a group on or off the dance floor. Cowboy cuts open a sack of feed and pours it down an empty trough on the workin' side? Waiter brings a fresh tray of vittles out on the gaudy side. Nut cuttin' on the workin' side? Lady slaps the shit out of a drunk dude in silver and black wearin' a 10-gallon hat that's never seen the sun on the gaudy side.

And I'm just slippin' back and forth between the alternative realities, watchin'. Pretty much the weirdest dream I've had lately.

But wait! There's more!

Two nights ago:

I find myself on the ground, under a van. I don't know how I know it's a van, but it's a van, and I know it. Somebody starts the van and I start to scramble to get out from under it as he-she starts to drive away -- I freak out and holler and carry on and he-she stops -- but I'm stuck, with my head inches away from one of the tires and in its track.

I relax, but then the person starts driving again -- and suddenly I am seeing things from above and away, and there is a cartoon version of my body sticking out from under a cartoon van, and as my head pops like a dang cantaloupe, my cartoon body sticks out straight as a board with a "TWA-AA-AANG" like Wile E. Coyote's does from under a boulder.

But wait! There's more!

One night ago:

I'm in a junior high or high school classroom, leanin' against a line of low cabinets lined up underneath the windows. Somebody runs up and says, "ER! We got a breach calf out here. We need you to come pull it!"

(Note: I have never pulled a calf or been present for such. Beyond reachin' up in there and tryin' to find the head and tryin' to pull it out, I'm not sure what else you do.)

I say, "Somebody call (Bryon S.)!" He is a high school friend who I'm pretty sure has handled such before -- and if not, he would fake it better than me, for sure.

I start trottin' off toward said cow-calf dilemma and say, "Man, we need some of them big handkerchiefs, some bandannas," and I reach to my back pocket and there is a couple of blue ones, and I tie one around my face, mainly because that shit is fixing to get everywhere and I do have a weak stomach for body fluids of all kinds.

I get it tied and get there. I don't know whether Bryon is there or not, but I am in it up to my shoulders and the shit is flyin' and it gets on my glasses, which pisses me off and I wake up.

But wait! There's more!

Last night:

I'm walking across a wooden bridge over a creek. On one side of the creek is a young boy at a fence calling to some ... BEARS! Holy SHIT! There are BEARS in that pasture! I holler at the kid, "BEARS! BEARS! Stay away from those ... wait a minute, those aren't bears ... they're fricking buffalo calves. Never mind."

I need help. :-)


Wednesday, October 12, 2005


Q&A on "Intelligent Design"

Blogger Mark has a wheelbarrow full of righteous indignation up at his place, which he is trying to pass off as "intelligent design debate." Not even close.

There is the usual laundry list of direct quotes, which one should double-check for legitimacy and veracity, as well as a gratuitous slap at the ACLU. It's his place. The amen chorus will egg him on.

This post, which I do not pretend to be an argument or a debate, is in answer to his -- here, because I've opted not to track what he considers "evil" mud into his blogging living room.


From Americans United for the Separation of Church and State:

Q: What is intelligent design?
A: Intelligent design, or ID, is a modified version of creationism promoted by Religious Right activists who have been unable to get full-blown creationism taught in public schools. ID purports that life on earth is too complex to have evolved through natural selection, and therefore must be the product of a designer, or intelligent force.

Q: Is ID a scientific theory?
A: Unlike traditional creationists, ID proponents frequently have advanced degrees and cloak their agenda in academic language, giving their movement the veneer of respectability. Proponents of intelligent design claim the idea isn’t religious. Yet the very name of what they are pushing belies that. Mainstream scientists, who no longer regard evolution as controversial, flatly reject intelligent design as pseudo-science and a thinly veiled attempt to bring religion into public schools. Proponents of intelligent design have not been able to get their papers published in peer-reviewed scientific journals. The battle here is political, not scientific. Science regards the issue as closed because intelligent design has no scientific merit. But that does not mean it cannot be forced into the schools anyway. The Religious Right is using the political system to give them something the scientific community will not.

Q: Isn’t the teaching of evolution anti-religious?
A: Evolution is neutral on the question of religion. The theory deals with how life on earth changed over many millions of years. It does not address the question of the origin of the universe and says nothing about personal morality. These questions belong to the realm of theology. Many religious leaders accept evolution, including Pope John Paul II, who has said that the Bible is a book about how to get to Heaven, not about how Heaven was made.

Q. Why is the Religious Right pushing for the teaching of intelligent design in public schools?
A. Religious Right leaders view intelligent design as a stepping stone to the introduction of full-blown creationism and religion into public schools. Phillip Johnson, one of the main proponents of intelligent design, pioneered a strategy called the Wedge in which ID is a vehicle to get people thinking about religion. He argues that by moving the debate from evolution vs. creationism to the question of God’s existence, people will be ready to be introduced to the truth of the Bible, the question of sin, and ultimately Jesus. Proponents of intelligent design are no different than other creationists who want to preach a religious message to students.

Q. What about equal time?
A. Religious Right activists often argue that students would benefit from teachers giving equal time to learning about ideas other than evolution. They claim that the more young people learn about different ideas, the more educated they will be. The problem with this claim is that intelligent design is not just another idea or scientific theory. It is a religious teaching that has no place in public school science classes. When ID advocates ask for time in science classes, they are no different than other creationists who want to preach a religious message to students. In 1987 the Supreme Court issued a decision in Edwards v. Aguillard that struck down a Louisiana law that required public schools to offer balanced treatment between evolution and creationism. No federal court has ever upheld school-sponsored religious indoctrination.


ACLU sues in Oklahoma

And some people think the ACLU is against religion. Some people can't read and comprehend. And some people who insist on calling the ACLU "evil" are either stupid or intentionally lying in the supposed cause of God. They are following their president's example.

Stigler is the seat of a county adjacent to the one I'm from.

Long live freedom -- OF religion or FROM religion, both of which are important parts of American heritage.


By The Associated Press
The Oklahoma chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union filed a federal lawsuit Thursday demanding that a Ten Commandments monument be removed from the courthouse grounds in the town of Stigler. ...

The ACLU brought the complaint on behalf of Jim Green, a retired veteran and a longtime resident of Haskell County. He objects to the monument because he believes the display violates the U.S. Constitution and trivializes religion.

Read all about it.

ACLU statement on Defense of Religious Liberty

March 2, 2005

The right of each and every American to practice his or her own religion, or no religion at all, is among the most fundamental of the freedoms guaranteed by the Bill of Rights. The Constitution's framers understood very well that religious liberty can flourish only if the government leaves religion alone.

The American Civil Liberties Union has a long history of working to ensure that religious liberty is protected. From the famous 1920 Scopes trial—in which the ACLU challenged a Tennessee law prohibiting the teaching of evolution in schools—to the current Ten Commandments case before the Supreme Court, the ACLU remains committed to keeping the government out of the religion business and protecting every American's right to believe as he or she wishes.

Recent ACLU involvement in religious liberty cases include:

December 22, 2004: ACLU of New Jersey successfully defends right of religious expression by jurors.

December 14, 2004: ACLU joins Pennsylvania parents in filing first-ever challenge to “Intelligent Design” instruction in public schools.

November 20, 2004: ACLU of Nevada supports free speech rights of evangelists to preach on the sidewalks of the strip in Las Vegas.

November 12, 2004: ACLU of Georgia files a lawsuit on behalf of parents challenging evolution disclaimers in science textbooks.

November 9, 2004: ACLU of Nevada defends a Mormon student who was suspended after wearing a T-shirt with a religious message to school.

August 11, 2004: ACLU of Nebraska defends church facing eviction by the city of Lincoln.

July 10, 2004: Indiana Civil Liberties Union defends the rights of a Baptist minister to preach his message on public streets.

June 9, 2004: ACLU of Nebraska files a lawsuit on behalf of a Muslim woman barred from a public pool because she refused to wear a swimsuit.

June 3, 2004: Under pressure from the ACLU of Virginia, officials agree not to prohibit baptisms on public property in Falmouth Waterside Park in Stafford County.

May 11, 2004: After ACLU of Michigan intervened on behalf of a Christian Valedictorian, a public high school agrees to stop censoring religious yearbook entries.

March 25, 2004: ACLU of Washington defends an Evangelical minister's right to preach on sidewalks.

February 21, 2003: ACLU of Massachusetts defends students punished for distributing candy canes with religious messages.

October 28, 2002: ACLU of Pennsylvania files discrimination lawsuit over denial of zoning permit for African American Baptist church.

July 11, 2002: ACLU supports right of Iowa students to distribute Christian literature at school.

April 17, 2002: In a victory for the Rev. Jerry Falwell and the ACLU of Virginia, a federal judge strikes down a provision of the Virginia Constitution that bans religious organizations from incorporating.

January 18, 2002: ACLU defends Christian church's right to run “anti-Santa” ads in Boston subways.


How DO you give a cat a pill?

Google "how to give a cat a pill" and you get a jillion sites with this here funny.

But seriously: How do you give a cat a dadgum pill? Ice-T is NOT amused.


Tuesday, October 11, 2005


Women in higher education

Tug, tongue in cheek (I assume!), wondered in the previous post, "Feminism?? What's that??"

This is:

By Dr. Erudite Redhead

I am going to preach to the choir today about the importance of networking and partnering with other women in higher education, and I mean all women -- no matter if our work is as a faculty member or an administrator, a researcher or a policy wonk.

Read all about it.


Monday, October 10, 2005


(E)R encounters feminism

By The Erudite Redneck

Heady days, they were, for a young R. Away from home for the first time. In college. Real college. Not the juco 45 minutes down the highway, but Oklahoma State University. The Real Deal.

It was a 165-mile drive from the house if I went through the metropolis of Tulsa, which I did not, or 195 miles if I avoided Tulsa and stayed on Interstate 40 -- the stretch of it that is mostly a country drive between Oklahoma City and the Arkansas border -- and two-lane state highways, which I did at first.

Driving through Tulsa was too unnerving for a young R who learned to drive in a pasture, then on dirt and gravel roads out in the sticks.

College! Mind wide open. Took some history classes -- and this way before I ever dreamed of getting a master's in history. It was 1987.

One of the first classes I took was "Women in American History," taught by a hot-shot brand-new female prof with a still-smokin' Ph.D. from Duke, I think, but I'm not sure. (I cannot remember her name, but once when I did recall it, I looked her up on-line, and I think she was at Stanford. She did not stay at OSU for long.)

It was me and a dozen females in the class. No doubt, I stood out: Jeans, boots, Western shirt, Copenhagen ring on a hip pocket.

Day 1: Prof passed out notecards and asked us to put down our name, our major and why we were takin' the class (a junior-level course; I messed around for a couple of years at a juco before haulin' off and movin' to Stillwater to do college for real.)

My turn came to stand and reveal myself, and boy did I:

"My name is Redneck. My major is journalism. I'm takin' this class because my best friend in high school says this country has gone straight to hell ever since we gave women the right to vote. I thought I'd check out his theory."

Not use of the pronoun "We" -- as in, "we men."

Crickets chirped. My heart beat grew noticeable in my ears, then louder and louder. There were only two senses of humor in the room: Mine and, thank God, the prof's -- NOT that she was amused. I think she recognized that before her stood a rare, rare thing: A redneck self-presented for reformation.

Plus, it was her first teachin' gig, I believe. And there's no way anyone can spend more than a half-hour in Stillwater and not realize it's a prairie college and all that implies, and a land-grant ag school, to boot. Used to be signs up at the back of some of the classrooms: "Please keep boots off the walls." Used to be signs up in the hallways, aimed at the dippers: "Please do not spit in water fountains." In other words, I was not the only redneck on campus, not by a long shot, just the only one standin' up in the "Women in American History" class, unabashed.

I tell you what, group work in "Women in American History" wadn't easy after an intro like I put on. Most of the gals in the class were serious feminists.

I was Public Enemy No. 1 -- until after a week or two, and they saw that I was stickin' it out, and debatin' them with the respect they were all due as human beans, and showin' that I was capable of changin' my views when presented with a good argument and hard evidence. Plus, I didn't try to change their ideas too much.

For a term paper, I dug my cowboy boot heels in a little deeper: "Phylis Schlafly and the Eagle Forum." Hoo boy. This was 1987, recall, the heighth of the Reagan Era.

Managed to make a B on it -- which is a credit to the prof, who made it clear she disliked the topic, but was as fair as could be, nonetheless. Besides, it was a serious research paper: Although it was ostensibly about Schafly, no way could I do it without some readin' of Steinem, Smeal, et al.

But I know she winced when I quoted someone referencing "The Feminine Mistake," which is, of course, a play on Betty Friedan's classic "The Feminine Mystique" -- about like the ACLU puttin' out a book on religion called "Wholly Babble." Meanin' it did not set too well with her.

Anyhoo, I set myself up by diggin' a hole, first rattle out of the chute, and worked my hind end off and got a B in the class despite my self. I wish I still had that paper. I'm sure it would be a real hoot.

That class turned out to be one of the most important ones I took as an undergrad. Helped pry my mind open, although it never was sealed shut.

I've kept virtually every book from every college class I've ever taken - and that's 191 hours as an undergrad, 33 as a grad -- excepting a college algebra text and a statistics book, which perished in a roar of flames and a sprinklin' of beer and pee pee in a small ceremony involvin' a few friends late one night in the middle of a dirt road, under the moonlight, in the Arkansas River bottoms in Sequoyah County, Okla. God, I hated that class.

But I loved my "Women in American History" class, and almost all others. Did my heart good one time when Bird, as either a high school junior or senior (now a sophomore at OSU) was needin' some resources for a paper of her own, and I could lend her my early edition of "Black Women in White America" (Gerda Lerner, ed.) one of the books in my "ER meets feminism" class back in the day.

Other books in the class were:

William L. O'Neill, ed., "Women at Work: Two Classic Studies Which Indicate How Far Women Have Come: 'The Long Day: The Story of a New York Working Girl, by Dorothy Richardson (1905) ... and How Much Remains the Same: 'Inside the New York Telephone Company,' by Elinor Langer (1970)" (New York: Times Books, 1972).

Mary P. Ryan, "Womanhood in America: From the Colonial Times to the Present," 3d ed. (New York: Franklin Watts, 1983).

Nancy F. Cott and Elizabeth H. Pleck, "A Heritage of Her Own: Toward a New Social History of American Women" (New York: Simon and Schuster, 1979).

Man (so to speak), lookin' those up on Amazon showed me just how dated those books are. But y'all academics take heart:

Publishers drop good books all the time, and, of course, "the literature" of yer discipline continues to evolve unabated. But stellar professors and excellent texts continue long in the memories of those who want to learn -- especially rednecks seeking erudition.



Livestock update; erudite aspiration

Ice-T (story, photos) is resting comfortably.


Maybe he'll never miss 'em.

Although it took a shoutin' match for us to come to terms, Dr. ER and I have decided to grant him a reprieve, for now. He gets to keep his talons.

But the doc said he would do fine without 'em. He said kitties use their hind claws for defense, and their front claws for offense.

So, if we do later decide to have 'em yanked, Ice-T won't be defenseless -- he'll be offenseless, which is what we want. But I'm going to try the cedar scratchin' post route first.

We'll see.

Next into the critter clinic is Bailey, the po' white trash weenie dog. He's dragging his hind legs once in awhile again. Lower back trouble. Dr. ER is takin' him in this afternoon to have him and his meds checked.

Meanwhile, Riker, the well-bred and regal Pembroke Welsh Corgi, is poutin' out in the back yard. He is getting no attention, which I plan to remedy after awhile. Maybe we'll share a cigar.

That is my planned reward for making major progress on a paper I'm presenting at the Sixth Native American Symposium: Native Women in the Arts, Education and Leadership, one month from today, at Southeastern Oklahoma State University in Durant, Okla.

The paper is a chapter from my master's thesis, with a new top and new bottom. I have avoided working on it all summer. I took off this week to get it in hand, and to do some other things I've been putting off.

So. Hard. To. Get. Going. Must. Not. Let. Blogging. Side. Track. Me ...


Saturday, October 08, 2005


Dems! Swing your partners!

I got one word to say about the following:



By Nina J. Easton, Globe Staff | October 7, 2005

WASHINGTON -- Two leading architects of the platform Bill Clinton used to snatch the White House from Republicans in 1992 yesterday released a study arguing that the Democratic Party must focus on appealing to swing voters, not mobilizing its traditional liberal allies, because the ranks of party supporters aren't big enough to win elections.

Read all about it.

By Thomas B. Edsall
Washington Post Staff Writer
Friday, October 7, 2005; A07

The liberals' hope that Democrats can win back the presidency by drawing sharp ideological contrasts and energizing the partisan base is a fantasy that could cripple the party's efforts to return to power, according to a new study by two prominent Democratic analysts.

Read all about it.

Oh. This bein' a family fight, the right-wing Focus on the Family should have just stayed the hell out of it. But, of course, they, mistaking themselves for a mainstream political organization and a legitimate news source, did not:

by Pete Winn, associate editor

Former domestic policy analyst says most Americans don't live on the far left.
Liberalism doesn't win elections. That's the advice that former Clinton Domestic Policy Adviser William A. Galston and a colleague have for the Democratic Party.

Hold yer nose and read all about it.


Friday, October 07, 2005


I'll take Oklahoma

By the Erudite Redneck

A couple of years ago, at a drug store just off Dupont Circle in Washington, D.C. ...

Me: "Howdy. How're you? I am flat out JONESING for some nicotine, ha, ha."

Scowling man behind counter: "Grrr."

Bird: Rolls eyes, at me.

Me: "Y'all got any of that nicotine gum? I see you do. Well, I can't see that far, so I can't tell which one I want, really, blue or green. I want the 2-milligram, regular, not mint."

Scowling man behind counter: "Grunt."

Bird: Rolls eyes, at me.

Me: "Well, can you let me see one each of the boxes, so I can tell which one I need?"

Scowling man behind counter: "Grrr. Rowr. Grumble. No. If I take it off the shelf, you have to buy it."

Bird: Growing anxious.

Me, thinking, "Bull shit," but conscious of Bird's suddenly rapid breathing and my own reddening neck: "Well, then give me the green box, but please make sure it's 2 milligram."

He grabs the box, and stuffs it in a plastic bag. I pay. Outside, I tear into the bag and see that it's mint, which I didn't want. Whatever.

Bird: "People don't know how to react to you."

Me: "Well, hell, I was just makin' conversation."

Bird: "They don't do that here."


Compare with ...

Just now, at a Walgreens here in a "suburb" -- that's giving it more credit than it deserves -- outside Oklahoma City.

Woman, walkin' by as a I pluck a pint of peanut butter ice cream off the refrigerated shelf: "You got some good stuff, there!"

Me: "Yep. You caught me cheatin'!"

Both of us: "Ha, ha, ha!"

Me, at the front counter: "Hey."

Young woman behind counter: "Hey."

Me, lookin' at the bundles of cigars on the wall behind her: "I need some of them maduros. They're the dark ones, second from the left."

She retrieves them and puts 'em on the counter.

Me: "I know it's counterintuitive (yes, I said "counterintuitive," for I am, after all, an erudite redneck) but I also need a pack of nicotine gum. But I can't ever remember which one I use. Let me come back there so I can see."

Young woman: "OK."

I step around the counter, glance up, grab the gum I need, step back around the counter and put the gum down next to the cigars.

Me: "This stuff," I say, pickin' up the the nicotine gum," keeps me off the Copenhagen. "These," I say, pickin' up the cigars, "are just for fun."

Young woman, in the melodious twangy drawl of southeastern Oklahoma, called "Little Dixie," where all the females sound like Reba McEntire: "Well, I figured they were just for fun, or somethin'. For looks. Social smokin' or something."

Me, fairly meltin' in my boots: "Well, not quite. But you don't inhale cigars. Anybody who inhales cigars is a fool."

Young woman, out of the blue: "Oh! I've got a gray hair!"

Me: "Do what? No way! What are you 23? You can't have a gray hair."

Young woman: "I'm 22. I've got a gray hair. I was blonde my whole life, but I've been brunette for the past couple of years. Now I've got a gray hair!"

Me: "Naaah. Maybe it's just a blonde one tryin' to be free."

Young woman: "Humph."

She says something about "back home."

Me: "Where's home?"

Young woman: "McCurtain County."

Me: "Whereabouts?"

Young woman: "Well I went to grade school at Valliant (population 771 -- ER) then we moved to Broken Bow (population 4,230 -- ER), but I graduated high school in Tulsa (population about 400,000 -- ER)."

Me: "I damn near took a job at the newspaper at Valliant, many moons ago, when I was desperate and right out of college. Now I work at --------. I moved up."

Young woman: "Ha, ha, nobody reads it," meaning the little-bitty paper at little-bitty Valliant.

Me: "Aww, now. It serves a purpose."

Young woman: "I went from a class of 70 at Broken Bow to a class of 2,000 at Tulsa."

Me: "Boy! You went from the small town of Valliant to the metropolis of Broken Bow, to the megalopolis of Tulsa! My daughter graduated from ---- ---- ----- with a class about that size (about 2,000). She can't even imagine my own class. Back in the day, I graduated from ---- (population then about 1,500), with a class of 106 -- and the only reason it was that big is because two K-8 school fed into it!"

Young woman: "My mama graduated from Eagletown (population 1,161, now), with a class of 30-something!"

Both of us: "Ha, ha, ha."

Me, pickin' up sack of cigars and gum, havin' paid: "Well, thanks. See ya."

Young woman: "Thanks! You have a good night!"

Me: "You bet."

I love Washington, D.C. It's a fine place to visit. But for livin' I'll take Oklahoma.



'Naditude adjustment

By The Erudite Redneck

Pssst. Ice-T doesn't know it, but his Big Boy days are numbered. Monday morning, he will be worked like a calf.

'Nads off! Declawed! Shots! $200!

('Nads? Quoth Butthead: "Kick him in the 'nads, Beavis!")

Ice-T will be relieved of the catboy parts of which he is so proud. I swear he prances around displaying them like fuzzy dice on a rearview mirror. If the mirror was on the back of a car. Under the bumper. And were testes. Never mind.

He has morphed from cute kitty into Baddest Attack Cat in the Known Universe. Of course, Dr. ER noticed the Descending of the 'Nads before I did. She would, being a she. I don't think I noticed they had descended because I hadn't noticed they had NOT descended.

You didn't get that close to the cats we had when I was growing up. They were as wild as the rats they were meant to keep in check in the hay barn.

The dogs were just country dogs that you rassled around in the yard with but didn't get too chummy with. Vagabonds, all. They hung around as long as they wanted to, but sometimes would be gone for days, or longer at a time. Rakes. Ramblers. With all their parts.

And the cattle were cattle. Steers are made, not born -- and you put no more thought into workin' them than you do clippin' your toenails.

But Ice-T is my buddy. My pal. Knowin' his little 'nads are on the choppin' block, knowin' how PROUD he is of 'em -- I feel his pain.

In other words, I have already thought more about Ice-T 'nads than I have ever thought about any other 'nads before -- excepting, of course, my own and numerous plates of calf fries sliced thin, fried to a crispy crunch, sprinkled liberally with salt and doused in a little ketchup.

They tell me that de-'nadding him will calm Ice-T way down. Havin' never had a feline for a pet before, I don't know what to expect.

I mean, he won't just become a bump on a log, will he? I kind of like the way he flies around the house and sneaks around and hides and pounces. A 'nadectomy isn't like a cat lobotomy or anything, is it?

Thursday, October 06, 2005


Knott another one

By The Erudite Redneck

It's about 12:30 p.m. At 1 p.m., an old friend of mine will be memorialized at an Episcopal church in Houston, too far away for me to attend. The widow is the only person I would know at the service. I did send a funeral spray.

His name was Knott -- his last name anyway, which I don't mind divulging, although there is no need to reveal his full name here. I hadn't seen him but one time in 15 years, a few years ago when he and his wife and their toddlers came through -- out of their way, in fact -- on a trip up here to see his parents.

He died last Friday of complications from pancreatitus, less than 48 hours after stomach pains bad enough to send him to the emergency room. He was a few years older than me. I'm guessing he was 44 to 46.

Back at Oklahoma State, we were sort of running buddies -- although the nature of our friendship was not unlike the kinds of relationships I've had with many girls and women: Shaky, argumentative, mutually self-destructive.

But I liked the guy, and I will miss him.

He was a student journalist when I was a student journalist, then he was a working journalist for a while, before it became clear that he really was not cut out for the job. It was apparent in college, too, but hey -- it was college.

I was his editor when he was the lead reporter on a double homicide. A teen offed her parents in cold blood. He covered the story from the arrest to the beginnings of a trial, when she confessed. He was present in the courtroom.

He MISSED THE CONFESSION. The only reason we got it before deadline was because it was the lead story on the campus radio station, which had a reporter sitting next to Knott in the courtroom.

"What the hell were you doing?" I asked. "Looking at (Beautiful Woman Attorney's) legs," he replied, as if that let him him off the hook. Which it did, because it was college and he was who he was.

One night when I was in charge of laying out the front page of the college paper, I designed the page around a hole -- a blank space -- left for the start of a nothing story he was supposed to be working on all day.

Deadline loomed. He finally turned his story in. I was the copy editor as well as the layout editor. I whipped through his story, slicing and dicing and chopping and rearranging and rewriting, as usual, and when I was done, there wasn't enough left to fill the space on 1A, let alone the jump page!

Made me nuts. It was feature story! On the autumnal equinox! Nothing! He quoted "a geography professor who did not want to be named"! I dang near had a stroke. Had to tear up the page and start over.

Another time, in a story over a controversial asbestos removal project in the Student Union, he quoted a graduate student, which was a no-no. Grad students are NOT experts, not even for a college paper. I wanted to kill him.

Dressed him down over it, in fact, at the entry of the Student Union, in front a jillion students, God and everybody -- and that is precisely when we started to become friends, for some reason.

After we became friends, we started working together more, rather than him just turning in a story and me ripping it to shreds. Working with him made me the editor I am today -- and I'm a pretty good one. Not just with the copy editing, but with working with reporters, as we say, "on the front end" of stories.

I owe it to Knott.

With a name like that, I told him one day, "You should have a column! Think of the names for it!"

Hunting column: Knott By a Long Shot.

General column: Knott Again, or Knott Today.

Advice column: Knott My Problem.

You get the idea. It was a running joke for 20-plus years.

During the 1988 elections, he and I split a fifth of Old Granddad and tried to call Ted Koppel one night. It was about the first time the media reported on itself and its role in electing a president, and Koppel was taking calls!

We made it through about five layers of telephone screeners until some assistant producer realized we just a couple s---faced college kids from Oklahoma.

He used to always "forget" where he'd parked his pickup, after he'd had a few. As he was harmless, and knew not to drive, cops often drove him around to look for his wheels the morning after.

He regularly broke into a chapel on campus, always sober, to play the piano. The cops got to where they treated him like Otis on the Andy Griffith Show: Just calmly led him out of the chapel and scolded him.

During a huge street party the summer I was editor of the student paper, 12 of my staff got busted for public drunkenness, loaded into a paddy wagon and hauled to jail. He was not among them.

He got a great picture of some of them sitting in the back of the paddy wagon, taking just as the back doors were opened at the jail. That was my boy. He knew how to drink -- but more importantly, he knew when not to -- when "Knott" to.

After college, I headed for Texas, and he headed to a stirng of short-term newspaper jobs. The last one, I think, was at the paper I was working at in Texas. He was hired on my personal recommendation, despite my doubts, but he was my friend.

He got fired after not too long for accidentally swapping the attribution on controversial comments from a prominent local accountant with controversial comments from a prominent local attorney, in a controversial story about a suspicious fire at a historic downtown watering hole where all the downtown movers and shakers headed after work.

He and Captain Morgan had it out and then he moved on, eventually to Houston, where he became a paralegal.

E-mail, as it has done for so many people, allowed us to maintain our friendship in a way we couldn't have otherwise. Just last week, he e-mailed and said I should write a blog in the form of a lawsuit against God -- over Hurricane Katrina and Hurricane Rita.

He recalled that I had written a newspaper column in the form of a lawsuit against God during a drought in the mid-1990s in Texas. He remembered that.

The headline has couple of meaning. "Knott another one" means he was unique. And it also is my personal exclamation: "Knott another one!" As in a friend dying. This makes three in just a few years.

I remember him today, and always. It's 1 p.m. To (my friend) Knott.


Wednesday, October 05, 2005


The War Between the Sons

By The Erudite Redneck

It's come right down to it: In the mail today was a ballot asking me, as a dues-paying member of a local camp of the Sons of Confederate Veterans to vote for one of three options:

1. Maintain the camp's affiliation with the national SCV.

2. Dissolve the camp's affiliation with the national SCV.

3. Maintain minimum affiliation with the national SCV.

Why? Because neo-secessionists have taken over the leadership of the national SCV. Racist fringe elements also are jockeying for power.

In this situation, I and probably most of the rest of the mostly graying membership of the local camp are conservatives. We oppose turning the SCV into a political organization. We want it to stay the same.

We proffer the view that the Confederate dead did what they thought was right, we respect their courage, manhood and military valor, but we do not want to "apply their ideas to modern politics or culture." Grave tending and re-enactments, y'all.

The radicals who have taken over the national SCV promote "the assertive, in-your-face declaration that the Confederacy was a good idea that ought to be adapted today."

Here's a summary of recent events, from the Mountain XPress in Asheville, N.C.:

It's been 139 years since the Civil War ended. But judging by the latest infighting within the Sons of Confederate Veterans, which came to a head at the group's recent national convention in Dalton, Ga., a truce in the long-running cultural war about the meaning of Southern pride may still be generations away.

The nation's pre-eminent Confederate memorial group, the SCV has always led an uneasy existence. But lately, these descendants of rebel soldiers are finding that paying tribute to the "Lost Cause" has become, in some ways, more divisive than ever as they grapple with troubling questions of heritage and hate.

Read all about it.

Here's a backgrounder, "The War Between the Sons," from the same source.

What I don't know is what other subdivisions of the SCV are doing.

My camp is in the Oklahoma Division of the SCV.

It's in the Department of the Army of the Trans-Mississippi.

Here is a link to Indian Territory leaders in the Confederate Army. My own ancestor, though, fought as an infantryman out of Arkansas. He died in 1930 in his 90s; Mama ER, who is 83, remembers him.

I've been ignoring the controversies for the most part, hoping it wouldn't come to this. The Southern Poverty Law Center has always been wary of the SCV, sometimes calling it a hate group. Since so many people associated with the League of the South, a de facto neo-confederate nationalist group, have infiltrated the SCV, should it rightly do so today?

Other history-heritage groups are forming, made up of other disenchanted -- and broken-hearted -- former members of the Sons of Confederate Veterans.

Damn the radicals. Damn them. I will probably vote to secede from my beloved -- and ruined -- Sons of Confederate Veterans. Secession does run in the family.



Harriet Miers' blog!

Oh, this is a hoot: Harriet Miers' blog.



'I Love Rock 'n' Roll'

Cool music meme, as seen at Trixies's and Tech's.

1. Go to

2. Enter the year you graduated from high school in the search function and get the list of 100 most popular songs of that year.

3. Bold the songs you like, strike through the ones you hate and underline your favorite. (Do nothing to the ones you don’t remember or don’t care about. A bit of coding help: Use <> and < /s > to strike through a line; just remove the spaces between the brackets. Use <> and < /u > to underline; once again remove the spaces between the brackets.)

Here are the top 100 songs from 1982, the year I graduated.

1. Physical, Olivia Newton-John
2. Eye Of The Tiger, Survivor
3. I Love Rock N' Roll, Joan Jett and The Blackhearts

4. Ebony And Ivory, Paul McCartney and Stevie Wonder
5. Centerfold, J. Geils Band
6. Don't You Want Me, Human League
7. Jack And Diane, John Cougar
8. Hurts So Good, John Cougar
9. Abracadabra, Steve Miller Band
10. Hard To Say I'm Sorry, Chicago
11. Tainted Love, Soft Cell
12. Chariots Of Fire, Vangelis
13. Harden My Heart, Quarterflash
14. Rosanna, Toto
15. I Can't Go For That, Daryl Hall and John Oates
16. 867-5309 (Jenny), Tommy Tutone
17. Key Largo, Bertie Higgins
18. You Should Hear How She Talks About You, Melissa Manchester
19. Waiting For A Girl Like You, Foreigner
20. Don't Talk To Strangers, Rick Springfield
21. The Sweetest Thing, Juice Newton
22. Always On My Mind, Willie Nelson
23. Shake It Up, Cars
24. Let It Whip, Dazz Band
25. We Got The Beat, Go-Go's
26. The Other Woman, Ray Parker Jr.
27. Turn Your Love Around, George Benson
28. Sweet Dreams, Air Supply
29. Only The Lonely, Motels
30. Who Can It Be Now?, Men At Work
31. Hold Me, Fleetwood Mac
32. Eye In The Sky, Alan Parsons Project
33. Let's Groove, Earth, Wind and Fire
34. Open Arms, Journey
35. Leader Of The Band, Dan Fogelberg
36. Leather And Lace, Stevie Nicks and Don Henley
37. Even The Nights Are Better, Air Supply
38. I've Never Been To Me, Charlene
39. '65 Love Affair, Paul Davis
40. Heat Of The Moment, Asia
41. Take It Easy On Me, Little River Band
42. Pac-man Fever, Buckner and Garcia
43. That Girl, Stevie Wonder
44. Private Eyes, Daryl Hall and John Oates
45. Trouble, Lindsey Buckingham
46. Making Love, Roberta Flack
47. Love's Been A Little Bit Hard On Me, Juice Newton
48. Young Turks, Rod Stewart
49. Freeze-frame, J. Geils Band
50. Keep The Fire Burnin', REO Speedwagon
51. Do You Believe In Love, Huey Lewis and The News
52. Cool Night, Paul Davis
53. Caught Up In You, 38 Special
54. Why Do Fools Fall In Love?, Diana Ross
55. Love In The First Degree, Alabama
56. Hooked On Classics, Royal Philharmonic Orchestra
57. Wasted On The Way, Crosby, Stills and Nash
58. Think I'm In Love, Eddie Money
59. Love Is In Control, Donna Summer
60. Personally, Karla Bonoff
61. One Hundred Ways, Quincy Jones
62. Blue Eyes, Elton John
63. Our Lips Are Sealed, Go-Go's
64. You Could Have Been Wih Me, Sheena Easton
65. You Can Do Magic, America
66. Did It In A Minute, Daryl Hall and John Oates
67. I Ran, A Flock Of Seagulls
68. Somebody's Baby, Jackson Browne
69. Oh No, Commodores
70. Take It Away, Paul McCartney
71. It's Gonna Take A Miracle, Deneice Williams
72. Love Will Turn You Around, Kenny Rogers
73. Don't Stop Believin', Journey
74. Comin' In And Out Of Your Life, Barbra Streisand
75. Gloria, Laura Branigan
76. Empty Garden, Elton John
77. Yesterday's Songs, Neil Diamond
78. Crimson And Clover, Joan Jett and The Blackhearts
79. Every Little Thing She Does Is Magic, Police
80. Here I Am, Air Supply
81. I Keep Forgettin', Michael Mcdonald
82. Get Down On It, Kool and The Gang
83. Any Day Now, Ronnie Milsap
84. Make A Move On Me, Olivia Newton-John
85. Take My Heart, Kool and The Gang
86. Mirror Mirror, Diana Ross
87. Vacation, Go-Go's
88. (Oh) Pretty Woman, Van Halen
89. Should I Do It, Pointer Sisters
90. Hot In The City, Billy Idol
91. Kids In America, Kim Wilde
92. Man On Your Mind, Little River Band
93. What's Forever For, Michael Murphy
94. Waiting On A Friend, Rolling Stones
95. Do I Do, Stevie Wonder
96. Working For The Weekend, Loverboy
97. Goin' Down, Greg Guidry
98. Arthur's Theme, Christopher Cross
99. Through The Years, Kenny Rogers
100. Edge Of Seventeen, Stevie Nicks

Tuesday, October 04, 2005


On 'the Truth' II

Apparently, there's a glitch in the post "On 'the Truth' " -- I can't open up the comments. Below is the most recent comment, from Pastor Timothy, and my own response:

Yes, the word Humanism has been corrupted, but in today's understanding of it, and theology, we need to reject humanism. The Reformers would not hold to this position, as it stands today, because it puts man as the center of all things, instead of God at the center of all things.

I would love to see what you think are false charges against Catholicism. I think for a lot of Protestants, especially me, the problem the pope brings to the church is the most serious, since, as we see it, rules for Christ and sits as the visible representative for Christ. I don't think Augustine, or Peter would hold to that at all.

IF this is not the place to discuss this, then let me know.

BTW, I do accept that there are Christians who are Roman Catholic, I'm just besides myself why they remain Roman Catholic. :)
God bless

Posted by Pastor Timothy to Erudite Redneck, B.S., B.S., M.A. at 10/04/2005 10:42:47 AM


Pastor Timothy, I think you are mistaken. The very earliest Reformers, coming out of the Renaissance, were humanists, in the sense that Man, as the highest of God's creations, was regarded as the measure of all things.

I'm not getting into any anti-Catholic crap here. Y'all do what you will. I think it's an insult to the Cross for believers to beat each other up over these things. I think it's arrogant to concentrate on where we disagree rather than on where we do agree.

For myself, I believe that no man comes unto the father except through Jesus. I am NOT so sure anymore that the saved have to necessarily even know about it.

Rejecting the Gospel is one thing. Not buying every single point of doctrine is another. If prayers are made to saints who cannot act as intercessors, so what -- if prayers are also headin' up postmarked "Jesus"?

And pope schmope. I'll quit worrying about the role of the pope in Catholicity when there is an utter dearth of Jimmy Swaggarts, Jim Bakkers, Benny Hinns and other Elmer Gantrys bringing shame to Christianity.

Besides, Orthodox do the saint thing in some form, too, I think -- and if anyone has a claim to being the "first" church, it's probably them.

Just rambling, y'all.



Harriet Miers

With virtually nothing else to go on, Dr. and I have decided, for the moment, that we can live with Harriet Miers' nomination to SCOTUS because we like her accent.

That gal is a Dallas, Texan!

Most insightful observation so far: Don Imus declared, looking at a series of photos of her through the years, that her various hairstyles represent the history of the women of country music.

It helps that some on the far righty right are hollerin' like somebody peenched their toe. Focus on the Family was oddly acquiescent, yesterday anyway.

My one concern, and I don't really know whether it's a concern:

Not having ever been a judge, I wonder whether she will be as enamored of the principle of "stare decisis" -- "let the decision stand" -- as judges usually are. Could bode ill for some cherished rights based on previous court decisions.

Seriously: The president made his nomination, after consulting with the Senate. That was his duty. The Senate's duty is before it. Let all voices be heard. Git'R Done.


Sunday, October 02, 2005


On 'the Truth'

Prayer of Confession this morning. Note today is World Communion Sunday. Note the sermon title: "In Seeking the Other We Discover Ourselves: Deepening the Christian Dialogue with Islam."

Lord of Life, help us to remember that we do not have the market cornered on the truth. There are brothers and sisters who walk with us on this planet who also seek to know God, and to do God's will. On this day when we share the bread of heaven and the cup of kindness with Christians around the world, let us also stand together with all the pilgrims on the earth. In the name of Abraham, Isaac, Sarah, Hagar, Ismael and Jesus we pray. Amen.


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