Tuesday, January 31, 2006


ER book review: 'Away Down South'

James C. Cobb, Away Down South: A History of Southern Identity (New York: Oxford University Press, 2005). 404 pp., notes, index.

By The Erudite Redneck

James C. Cobb must have read or seriously consulted every important work of Southern history, fiction and social commentary, and several scholarly reviews of every important work of Southern history, fiction and social commentary, in researching Away Down South.

And he probably did, being a longtime history professor in Georgia. It makes Away Down South a wonderful work of historiography and bibliography.

Need a synopsis of something from Faulkner? It's probably in here. Need to know the post-death role of Elvis in late-20th-century Mississippi? It's here. Giants of Southern history such as U.B. Phillips and Kenneth Stamps, they're here, of course.

Those are just a few examples of the numerous sideroads Cobb takes readers down, but he keeps generally to one main path: the identity of the South is not a story of continuity versus change, but of continuity within change.

That sounds like a little academic mumbo-jumbo. Well, this is an academic study, and his thesis wasn't exactly clear to me. Good book, nonetheless, although it flags at the end.

One reviewer called Away Down South "riveting." That's a bit much, but Cobb's reviews, summaries and commentary of works that came before can be breathless -- just one after another, but knitted together well for his purposes.

History profs can point to Away Down South as a great example of how to bring a large number of others' works together in synthesis.

Especially enlightening to me was his account of how leading ex-Confederates immediately reclaimed the South's cultural "master narrative" after Reconstruction ended, overwhelming the budding freedman interpretation of the war and its results.

This was born the "Lost Cause," which, like any good myth, served the reestablished establishment long and well as a cultural prism through which to view reality.

Cobb's assessment of the South's role in the evolution of American identity was equally interesting. The North fell out of the mix a generation or so ago, just about the time of the successes of the 1960s Civil Rights movement.

The South has been on the rise ever since, as the predominant influence on American culture.

The author does not neglect black Southern history.

Specifically, he draws direct connection between black cultural expression in the South and the Harlem Renaissance of the 1920s.

Generally, he spends quite a number fo pages discussing the idea of whether Southern blacks can be called "Southern" when white history and culture so obviously dominate the notion.

In a word, "Yes" -- because many Southern black describe themselves so -- which should not surprise any thoughtful Southerner, white or black.

Away Down South reminded me of Bernard Bailyn's Ideological Origins of the American Revolution (my review) in its use of sources -- Bailyn relied on colonial-era pamphlets; Cobb relied on both academic and popular books, essays and articles.

It also made me think of Alistair E. McGrath's The Intellectual Origins of the European Reformation (my review).

Why? Because each book is a history of ideas more than the people who espoused them. Writing such history can be tricky when all you have to go on is the words, with their temporal baggage, shifting meanings and swirling context, that people are forced to use to express their ideas.

Which is why, muddy thesis or not, Cobb's work joins Bailyn's and McGrath's in ER's personal Top 10 books of History.


Monday, January 30, 2006


Jesus saves; Southern Baptists frag

Compiled by The Erudite Redneck,
a recovering fundamentalist Southern Baptist

("Frag is a term from the Vietnam war, most commonly meaning to assassinate an unpopular member of one's own fighting unit by dropping a fragmentation grenade into the victim's tent at night. The idea was that the attack would be blamed on the enemy, and, due to the dead man's unpopularity, no one would contradict the cover story. Fragging could also imply intentional friendly fire during combat. ... from Wikipedia.)

The following is not surprising to me in the least. Fundamentalism breeds contempt for those who are different "from us" -- a group that grows larger and larger as fearful hearts and narrow minds grow more fearful and narrow.

Rachel Zoll
AP Religion Writer

After purging liberals from their ranks, Southern Baptist conservatives who won control of their denomination are now taking aim at each other.
The Rev. Wade Burleson, a Baptist leader from Oklahoma, says fellow conservatives who crusaded to only elect leaders who believe the Bible is literally true are carrying their campaign too far, targeting Southern Baptists who disagree with them on other issues.

Read all about it via the Los Angeles Daily News.

Not all Baptists are literalist-inerrantists, although the Southern Baptist Convention has run off virtually all voices of moderation.

See Cooperative Baptist Fellowship, largely refugees from the right-wing takeover of the Southern Baptist Convention. Key, to me, are the following:

Soul Freedom – We believe in the priesthood of all believers. We affirm the freedom and responsibility of every person to relate directly to God without the imposition of creed or the control of clergy or government.

Bible Freedom – We believe in the authority of Scripture. We believe the Bible, under the Lordship of Christ, is central to the life of the individual and the church. We affirm the freedom and right of every Christian to interpret and apply scripture under the leadership of the Holy Spirit.

Church Freedom – We believe in the autonomy of every local church. We believe Baptist churches are free, under the Lordship of Christ, to determine their membership and leadership, to order their worship and work, to ordain whomever they perceive as gifted for ministry, and to participate as they deem appropriate in the larger Body of Christ.

Religious Freedom – We believe in freedom of religion, freedom for religion, and freedom from religion. We support the separation of church and state.

And see Mainstream Baptist, the personal blog of Dr. Bruce Prescott, executive director of the Oklahoma chapter of Americans United for the Separation of Church and State. Yep, he's a Baptist, God love him.


Sunday, January 29, 2006


'The Plea of Crazy Snake'

Skipped church this morning to suckle at fonts of a different kind: Oklahoma history.

Got a paper to present this April at the state historical society's annual to-do, and am doing basic research. Luckily virtually everthing I need is here in my home office.

<<<---Crazy Snake.

So, rather than havin' a prayer to quote today, here's a bit from Chitto Harjo, also known as Crazy Snake, a Creek leader who testified before Congress in 1906:

Away back in that time -- in 1492 -- there was man by the name of Columus came from across the great ocean and he discovered this country for the white man -- this country which was at that time the home of my people. What did he find when he first arrived here? Did he find a white man standing on this continent then or did he find a black man standing here? Did he find either a black man or a white man standing on this continent? I stood here first and Columbus first discovered me.

Read the rest of an article about "The Plea of Crazy Snake," by John Bartlett Meserve, in The Chronicles of Oklahoma 11, No. 3 (Seotember 1933): 899-911.

It's just my personal opinion, but I think that, on a deep spiritual, karma-like level, most of the problems this country has can be traced back to the fact that whatever the hell else it is, it's essentially stolen property.


Saturday, January 28, 2006


ER still life: Nightlight Jesus in cow-themed coffee mug, with vintage Mountain Dew bottle, on home office bookshelf


Fenway's way or the highway!

Fenway, Esq. Step-granddog extraordinaire!


Friday, January 27, 2006


Overheard in the ER household XII

ER: "Alll right! Since you killed the Lord, you don't get no more red dot."

Dr. ER: " 'Overheard!' "


Oct. 30 was the last installment of "Overheard in the ER household." As soon as those words above left my lips, they struck us both as bein' a perfect utterance with which to revive the series.

Rather than splain it, y'all tell us who you think I was talking to, and what the circumstance might've been. This might be fun. :-)

And, for yallses' edification are the previous Overheards in the ER household! Somes are hoot! :-)


Overheard in the ER household

Overheard in the ER household II

Overheard in the ER household III

Overheard in the ER household IV

Overheard in the ER household V

Overheard in the ER household VI (Ha ha. I must have miscounted. There is none! "Warning: Journalist doing math!")

Overheard in the ER household VII (Well, maybe I miscounted again! Can't find this one either!)

Overheard in the ER household VIII

Overheard in the ER household IX

Overheard in the ER household X

Overheard in the ER household XI


Vintage ER: 1986

By The Erudite Redneck

What's YOUR defining political moment, event or period of life?

The other night, I was going through boxes of old newspaper clips and undergrad stuff, looking for an editorial I thought I'd written for my college paper, headined "Bork the Dork."

Turns out I did not write it (it was bylined) -- although I do distinctly remember penning the head, since I was the opinion page editor in fall 1987.

(That's why I don't join the game of gotcha when people say they don't remember things like whether they were a member of such-and-such organization and such, like Alito and whatever suposedly offensive group he was supposed to have been a member at at Princeton. People forget stuff.)

What I did find was some yellowed, typewritten pages I'd written for the political science prof who was my adviser for the internship I had with a right-wing Repub congressman in 1986.

I was placed with the guy, a Reagan-coattailer from a former Confederate state, based on an essay and some questions I'd answered about my political leanings.

I had just read Barry Goldwater's "Conscience of a Conservative." I'm from rural OklaBaptistHoma. I was 21 and consciously seeking. No wonder they put me with a righty-right!

Anyway, here's some of what I wrote when I got back. It rings true to myself, lo, these 20 years later:

I came to Washington believing I was a Conservative Democrat. Now I'm not so sure, but I am by no means as conservative as (the congressman) and his staff. Conservative ideals, like most ideals, are honopable in principle, but I'm not so convinced they pan out in the Real World.

It all depends on your goals. If you believe in unqualifiedly free markets for the sake of free markets, I disagree. If you believe in free markets because they appear to allow the most equitable allocation of resources, let's talk.

I'm no longer convinced that the Soviet Union is the greatest threat to humanity's existence. I'm more inclined to believe the threat to be a reckless, hawkish Administration that pushes unrealistic, untested high-tech space weapons through a gutless Congress. (Sorry for that outburst). That and the acceptance of poverty, for whatever reason -- choice or circumstance -- as okay.

Admittedly, I've spent the past three months in the duirect line of fire of a very Reagan-like congressman. I usually react to extremes in a negative way. Give me a few months and I'll probably be more conciliatory toward this Administtration. Somehow, I doubt it though. My gut tells me something is very wrong here. (Gut was right. -ER)

Meanwhile, here are a few of the most memorial anecdotes from my experience:

One of the guys in the office, an otherwise very intelligent man of 22 years, has a button that proclaims, "I'm a Contra Too!"

In this office, House Speaker Jim Wright is The Great Satan.

The Strategic Defense Initiative threatens to replace Christianity as the salvation of the world. (Not really, but you get the idea.)

We end legislative staff meetings with prayer. ...

Also, one afternoon, I took a group of constituents over to the gallery of the House chamber. This was a group of students from a private school in (the congressman's state). The CIVICS TEACHER asked me why there was no one on the House floor! Geez!

Thus ends this trip down ER Memory Lane. How did you get where you are politically?



NYT: F-bomb Alito

A filibuster is a radical tool. It's easy to see why Democrats are frightened of it. But from our perspective, there are some things far more frightening. One of them is Samuel Alito on the Supreme Court.

Read the entire New York Times editorial.


Thursday, January 26, 2006


Page 23, Line 5

I just love this oldy-but-a-goody meme.

Grab the nearest book, turn to page 23, find the fifth complete sentence, and leave it in the comments with the name of the book and other info.

Says a little about ya, I think, to see what readin' material ya have close by.


"He believed that government had the duty 'to limit the amount of profits acquired by any industry'; moreover, 'there can be no lasting prosperity if free competition exists in any industry.' "

-- From Arthur M. Schlesinger, The Politics of Upheaval: The Age of Roosevelt (Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1960). He was writing about Father Charles E. Coughlin ("Father Coughlin").


Wednesday, January 25, 2006


Domestic livestock crossing

Gotta hurry! Fenway, the step-grandpup Boston terrier is comin' for a visit this weekend, bringin' Bird and her Yankee Beau, and the full-time critters around here ...

... are gonna go on strike or run away from home if ...

... they don't get a little publicity!

Ice-T, hangin' out on the back of ER's office couch, under some toy tractors; Riker, the stately and regal Pembroke Welsh Corgi; Bailey, the po' white trash weinie dog bein' held by ER -- and a close-up of Ice-T's bling!

(Photos by Dr. ER with ER's still-new digital cam!)


What Joe said

Sen. Joe Biden, D-Del., said Alito did not sufficiently answer questions of concern to Senate Democrats. ...

"I plan to vote 'no' on the nomination of Judge Alito to the Supreme Court," he said, "and I do so for three reasons: First, his expansive view of executive power; secondly, his narrow view of the role of the Congress; and third, his grudging reading of anti-discrimination law reflecting, in my view, a lack of understanding of congressional intent and the nature of discrimination in the 21st century."

Biden was my first choice in the '88 primary, until he withdrew for health reasons -- OK, and because Dukakis caught him "borrowing" phrases from speeched by British Labor Party leader Neil Kinnock. Smart man, he is, nonetheless.


Tuesday, January 24, 2006


Democratic strategy for 2006

Thanks to Bitch, Ph.D. for the apparent cold, hard truth.

My kingdom for some extra balls to send to the left side of the aisle.



How 'bout this weather, huh?

Busier than a one-legged man in an ass-kickin' contest today. Too busy writing to think -- ha ha. To think of something to blog about anyway.

There's always the weather!

Wildfires are the topic of the season around here, in Oklahoma (and Texas).

What's weird about the weather where you are?

To what do you attribute it?

Voo doo? Cyclical climate change? Human-induced climate change? The planet off its axis? Whut?


Sunday, January 22, 2006


Sunday prayer backlog

Church bulletins and Prayers of Confession piled up on my desk. Here are some, followed by some thoughts of my own. Which one(s) speak to you? How?


From today:

Lord of Life, we gather to worship in spirit and in truth, and that means being truthful about ourselves. When we look in the mirror, what do we see? And not just on the ourside, but on the inside? If Jesus looked at us, what would He see? In His name, we dare to pray, and to look without blinking. Amen.

I see a sinner, a doubter, a hypocrite, a struggler, a wanderer and wonderer, a skeptic, a seeker, a lover and hater, a thinker, a feeler and a clinger, to the Cross of Cavalry and the earliest ideals of Jesus's followers -- in the face of suspicion from fellow Christians, hostile ridicule from non-believers, and against the grain of the prevailing winds of unthinking sheepery that self-righteous Christian leaders pretend is interpretation if not outright prophecy. Jesus saves, not "the Church," not "the Bible," which some would make a fourth personality of an already inconceivable triune God.

From Dec. 18:

Lord of Life, help us to know when to accept the unfolding of events, and when to resist them. Your servant Mary knew when to say yes, and the world has never been the same. But there are also times to say no, and to withdraw our compliance. Teach us to discern what the times require, so that we too may be faithful. In Christ's name we pay, Amen.

To me, this is a prayer for guidance for when to balk, rather than follow -- whoever the supposed leaders are, political, government, church, family. "I have decided to follow Jesus," the old hymn says.

From Dec. 11:

Lord of Life, help us to remember who is at the center of our faith. Not our politics, not our ambitions, not our personal agendas -- however important they may seem. At the center of our faith is a human being, who fulfilled the promises of the prophets, and became the face of God in our midst. If we do not listen to him, but simply borrow his name, then we are in danger of mistaking our desires for God's promises. As the celebration of the birth of Jesus draws near, help us to remember that we may have heard all about him, but have yet to be formally introduced. In Christ's name we pray, Amen.

I find this profound, and applicable to Christians on both the Left and the Right. However, the Christian Left is a small crowd. The Christian Right, much more numerous and powerful, march as "Christian soldiers" -- an oxymoron, in a spiritual sense, if there ever was one -- hell-bent, as it were, on making millions more in their own image. Both sides can be guilty of forgetting Jesus's message and example in their effort to live out a particular interpretation of what it means to be "a Christian." He who is first shall be last, and he who is last shall be first, the Lord said.

(The church: Mayflower Congregational UCC Church.)


Saturday, January 21, 2006


Custer, Messiaen, Monastrell

Saturday's to-do list:

1. Custer.

I am doctoring an article I started two years ago, for resubmission to a journal for publication. Scholarly publishing is a nightmare for one whose daily bread comes from daily newswriting.

Here's the thesis:

The prospect of having removed Sioux as warring neighbors, coupled with worries over the nature of the Five Civilized Tribes’ own land title, gave Choctaw newspaper commentary on the Plains wars and Custer’s demise a decidedly, and perhaps surprisingly, “anti-Indian” tone in 1876.

Researched and wrote it spring 2004. Submitted it to one journal that summer and had it rejected out of hand that fall. One of those you-did-the-wrong-article-do-the-following-instead kind of rejections.

Hubris runs amock, of course, in scholarly publishing. Pbhth.

Fall 2004, I was wrapping up my master's thesis and in the throes of the single hardest class I've ever had, on the Reformation, so I didn't mess with the Custer article again until spring 2005.

Doctored it up, and submitted it to the second journal in May. Last August, I got it back, marked up -- they actually sent it out for review! Woo hoo.

Between other projects, continued decompression from grad school and other distractions, I've just TODAY started to work on it again.

With any luck, I'll be able to resubmit it in February, and with even better luck, it will be accepted for publication, which means 2007 or 2008 or later.

For an article started in 2004. I must be crazy. :-)

2. Messiaen.

On the way home from work the other night, I caught the last movement of Olivier Messiaen's "Quartet for the End of Time." Astounding. I almost rear-ended someone, the music so ARRESTED me and TOOK ME AWAY. I cannot express how awesome it is.

And that was before I heard the story behind it. The local college has it on CD. I will be checking it out later today. Dr. ER has never heard it, which is surpising since there is a cello involved and she was a high school cellist and lover of all things strings.

3. Monstrell.

I am no wine connoisseur, although I am fairly knowledgable for a redneck. But somehow this blind redneck hog has stumbled onto this excellent Spanish acorn, Carchelo's Monastrell from Jumilla.

Dude. It screams to be consumed with steak or ribs or other barbecue -- or anything meaty and tangy. Had some with some Dr, ER-made gumbo the other night. Excellente.

There is a sirloin with "ER and Dr. ER" on it at the local grocery store, and some mushrooms and garlic cloves, and a veggie of some sort. ER is cookin' tonight!

So there. I'm exercising my mind with Custer, my spirit with Messiaen and my tastebuds with Monstrell today. What's cookin' over y'all's way?


Friday, January 20, 2006


Alternative views on Reagan

Mike at Mike's America -- put on some shades first, it is HOT AND HEAVY over there for all things Righty-Right -- and Mark at 4 Rows Back and TugboatCapn at Trucker Philosophy all have posts up this week celebating the 25th anniversary of Ronald Reagan's first inauguration, which is today.

Well. Reagan's presidency sealed me as a Democrat -- that and an internship with a hard-Right congressman. About the photo: I bought one of these from a classified ad in Mother Jones back in the day. It's to my right on my home office wall.

So this post is for alternative views of Reagan and his presidency. Not "anti-" Reagan, just alternative. Nouns and verbs, please, keeping the adjectives to a minimum.

Mike and Mark and Tug have gone way beyond veneration, to hero worship -- and that's fine, 'cause I've been known to wax worshipful (civically speakin) for Marse Robert E. Lee and FDR.

But some of their groupies were little kids during Reagan's presidency and know only what people tell them -- since most of them don't READ.

Reagan put his britches on one leg at a time just like every other mortal. He was no saint, he was no genius, he was not the greatest president ever. What are your negative thoughts?

I'll start: Illegal war in Central America; Boland Amendment; Bible and a Cake in Iran (but "we don't negotiate with hostages").


Thursday, January 19, 2006


Hey Shrub, Kiss THIS

Any of you alleged "conservatives" who do NOT throw a fit over this wholesale invasion by the Shrub Administration, just burn your GOP registration cards and quit pretending you're conservative.


Associated Press
SAN FRANCISCO - Google Inc. is rebuffing the Bush administration's demand for a peek at what millions of people have been looking up on the Internet's leading search engine - a request that underscores the potential for online databases to become tools of the government.

Read all about it.

Wednesday, January 18, 2006


Not that I "doubted"!

... although some of y'all HAVE ...

As seen at M. "Baskin" Robbins' Book of Voices:

You scored as Christianity. Your views are most similar to those of Christianity. Do more research on Christianity and possibly consider being baptized and accepting Jesus, if you aren't already Christian.

Christianity is the second of the Abrahamic faiths; it follows Judaism and is followed by Islam. It differs in its belief of Jesus, as not a prophet nor historical figure, but as God in human form. The Holy Trinity is the concept that God takes three forms: the Father, the Son (Jesus), and the Holy Ghost (sometimes called Holy Spirit). Jesus taught the idea of instead of seeking revenge, one should love his or her neighbors and enemies. Christians believe that Jesus died on the cross to save humankind and forgive people's sins.



















Which religion is the right one for you? (new version)
created with QuizFarm.com

I must confess a little apprehension that this contraption says I'm 42 percent Satanic. On the other hand, that's sorter the whole dang point of salvation ...



An Alabaman in (near) Paris

Some of y'all will remember Pecheur.

After he got done with seminary in Dallas -- I think but am not sure it was Dallas Theological Seminary -- he and his wife headed bck to L.A. (Lower Alabama) for awhile before loadin' up and headin' overseas, to France no less, for some kind of mission deal.

Lawsy, have they have a "fun" time adjustin' to the French and their Frenchian ways! Why don't y'all go by and give 'em a holler and a howdy and a word of encouragement?

Go here. Tell 'em ER sent ya.



The Bush Führerprinzip Doctrine

American Civil Liberties Union sues to stop domestic spying without warrants.

"President Bush may believe he can authorize spying on Americans without judicial or Congressional approval, but this program is illegal and we intend to put a stop to it,” said ACLU Executive Director Anthony D. Romero. “The current surveillance of Americans is a chilling assertion of presidential power that has not been seen since the days of Richard Nixon.”

Read all about it.

Read about the plaintiffs and other info.

On the "unitary executive" doctrine:

" ... The position taken by adherents of the 'unitary executive' doctrine ... holds that a U.S. President can not be restrained by any law, national or international. Critics note that such a stance, resembling the Führerprinzip, is not unlike the one seen in police states. With this in mind they point to a statement by Bush in December 2000 when he joked that 'if this were a dictatorship, it would be a heck of a lot easier – so long as I’m the dictator.'

Read all about the "unitary executive" doctrine.


Tuesday, January 17, 2006


Truth cubed Tuesday

Truth will out. Al Gore (D) and Bob Barr (R) are ushering it in.

An executive who arrogates to himself the power to ignore the legitimate legislative directives of the Congress or to act free of the check of the judiciary becomes the central threat that the Founders sought to nullify in the Constitution - an all-powerful executive too reminiscent of the King from whom they had broken free. In the words of James Madison, "the accumulation of all powers, legislative, executive, and judiciary, in the same hands, whether of one, a few, or many, and whether hereditary, self-appointed, or elective, may justly be pronounced the very definition of tyranny.

Read the text of Al Gore's speech.

The truth hurts, and Hillary Clinton spake it.

"When you look at the way the House of Representatives has been run, it has been run like a plantation, and you know what I'm talking about," Clinton (D-N.Y.) told an audience at the Canaan Baptist Church of Christ during an event sponsored by the Rev. Al Sharpton's National Action Network.

"It has been run in a way so that nobody with a contrary view has had a chance to present legislation, to make an argument, to be heard," she added to thunderous applause.

Read all about it. ("thunderous applause" version).

And here. ("muted response" version).

The truth is Ray Nagin, New Orleans mayor, is a racist.

"It's time for us to come together. It's time for us to rebuild New Orleans, the one that should be a chocolate New Orleans," the mayor said. "This city will be a majority African American city. It's the way God wants it to be. You can't have New Orleans no other way. It wouldn't be New Orleans."

I'll bet Creoles, Cajuns, Spanish, French, American Indians and, well, whites have something to say about that. Idiot.

Read all about it.


Monday, January 16, 2006


Gophers bite Cowboys in butt

NCAA wrestling: No. 2 Minnesota 21, No. 1 Oklahoma State 14.

Ouch! Sad times in Cowboy Country. (Clancy! I'm sure you witnessed the debacle. Not.)

The Golden Gophers (snicker) were giant killers -- 30-dual team record, dashed; 85-dual individual record of Steve Mocco, gone!

Read all about it.



MLK: 'The Drum Major Instinct"

Cracked me up, and saddened me at the same time, to see President Bush trot down to the National Archives this morning to stand next to the Emancipation Proclamation while the cameras rolled and to sputter about "greatness" and the obvious and such.

I would bet a case of George Dickel whiskey that George W. Bush has never read a word of what the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. said.

So sayeth MLK:

But this is why we are drifting. And we are drifting there because nations are caught up with the drum major instinct. "I must be first." "I must be supreme." "Our nation must rule the world." (Preach it) And I am sad to say that the nation in which we live is the supreme culprit. And I'm going to continue to say it to America, because I love this country too much to see the drift that it has taken. ...

So sayeth MLK:

And so Jesus gave us a new norm of greatness. If you want to be important—wonderful. If you want to be recognized—wonderful. If you want to be great—wonderful. But recognize that he who is greatest among you shall be your servant. (Amen) That's a new definition of greatness. ...

So sayeth MLK:

Yes, if you want to say that I was a drum major, say that I was a drum major for justice. (Amen) Say that I was a drum major for peace. (Yes) I was a drum major for righteousness. And all of the other shallow things will not matter. (Yes) I won't have any money to leave behind. I won't have the fine and luxurious things of life to leave behind. But I just want to leave a committed life behind. (Amen) And that's all I want to say. ...

Read all about it.


Sunday, January 15, 2006


'Religious Tolerance'

This is a way cool site, added to my Blogroll.

Religious Tolerance.

In the spirit of the vigorous but usully respectful debate for which the Erudite Redneck Roadhouse is known, here's the article I found while looking for various Christian perspectives and positions on abortion.

Abortion: Current beliefs by various religious and secular groups.

Here's another one: Abortion, Ancient Christian Beliefs.

Alito is going to be on SCOTUS. Roe vs. Wade is doomed. The topic will burn on the airwaves, in blogland, in the newspapers, at the water cooler and in the soul of the body politick like nothing has since slavery.

When Roe vs. Wade goes down, anti-abortion people will chase abortion into every state in the Union in an effort to stamp it out utterly.

This will be THE topic, barring a nuclear blast on this continent, for the rest of the lives of everyone reading this today.

Wherever you stand, it's time to bone up on why you're standing there and who, exactly, is standing with you.

It's NOT Christian versus non-Christian, despite what the religious groups making the most noise nowadays want everyone to believe.


Saturday, January 14, 2006


Cutest step grand-dog EVER

Fenway, way tuckered after playin' with Dr. ER. (Photos by Dr. ER)

This "dog" *might* make a regular cheese coney! Note that his noggin is on a bun warmer (he commandeered Dr. ER's heating pad)!

"Lert! Lert! Now I am A Lert!"

"Whatchoo lookin' at??"

Bird, her Yankee Beau and Fenway were here today to shop for dishes for the Beau's apartment, and to watch OSU beat Baylor in basketball on TV, and eat pizza. :-) The whole dang extended family was here! :-)


Friday, January 13, 2006


Transubstantiation into intolerance?


Great quote, from Dan Savage, from PZ Myers' Pharyngula, via Bitch, Ph.D.:

And finally, to Rob in Albany who felt my aside was proof of my intolerance and hypocrisy: Joking about Christianity isn't evidence that I'm intolerant—hell, I'm perfectly willing to tolerate Christians. I have never, for instance, attempted to prevent Christians from marrying each other, or tried to stop them from adopting children, or worked to make it illegal for them to hold certain jobs. I don't threaten to boycott companies that market their products to Christians, and I don't organize letter-writing campaigns to complain about Christian characters on television.

It would indeed be hypocritical for me to complain about fundamentalist Christians who've done all of the above to gay people if I turned around and did the same thing to Christians—but, again, I've done no such thing. Intolerant? Hell, I'm a model of tolerance! Oh sure, I joked about the Virgin Birth because I think it's silly and sexphobic. And I'm free to say as much, however unpleasant it is for some Christians to hear. Fundamentalist Christians, for their part, are free to think homosexuality is sinful and unnatural, and they're free to say so, however unpleasant it is for me to hear. But fundamentalists aren't willing to just speak their piece, Rob. Nope, they seek to persecute people for being gay, and that's where their low opinion of homosexuality—which, again, they have an absolute right to hold—transubstantiates into intolerance.

ER talking: Critics will say that homosexual activists don't want tolerance; they want acceptance or more: They want the law to enshrine them.

ER talking: Critics will say that fundamentalist Christians don't want tolerance; they want acceptance or more: They want the law to enshrine them.

From Mayflower Congregational Church's Covenent of Openness and Affirmation:

We know, with Jesus, that we are called to love our neighbors as ourselves, and that those neigbors include all human beings - encompassing our families, our Church, all other churches and faiths, and the world at large.

We also know that both society and the larger community of faith have often scorned, excluded, attempted "cures", and condemned lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgendered people in the name of Jesus, in the name of the Bible, and in the name of religious doctrine.

We know that Mayflower Church has been very public in its determination to be a reconciling force between gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered people as they are and the church, welcoming all people whatever their sexual orientation - not as doing something new, but as doing something very old, harkening back to the early church's radical hospitality. ...

Read all about it.


Thursday, January 12, 2006


Pissing away the First Amendment

Thanks to an Anonymous for pointing out the real news of yesterday's hearing on Alito, while the rest of the freest, and most self-absorbed, press in the world concentrated on Kennedy's tirade and Alito's wife crying!

Interesting NYTimes editorial Thursday on Alito hearings:

Some commentators are complaining that Judge Samuel Alito Jr.'s confirmation hearings have not been exciting, but they must not have been paying attention. We learned that Judge Alito had once declared that Judge Robert Bork - whose Supreme Court nomination was defeated because of his legal extremism - "was one of the most outstanding nominees" of the 20th century. We heard Judge Alito refuse to call Roe v. Wade "settled law," as Chief Justice John Roberts did at his confirmation hearings. And we learned that Judge Alito subscribes to troubling views about presidential power.

Read all about it.

God, grant us one more First Amendment -- we promise not to piss it away.

(for the tattered remnants of the American Press)


ER book notes

Somebody actually remarked about the WHAT I'M READING part of the sidebar, to the left, yesterday. I DO devour books.

What have you read lately?

Just removed from my list is a great, great book for anyone raised in a fundamentalist Christian tradition who ever struggles with what to do with the Bible, obviously sacred, but just as obviously not history, not science, and not to be taken literally but to be taken seriously. (Fire away).

John Shelby Spong, "Rescuing the Bible from Fundamentalism : A Bishop Rethinks the Meaning of Scripture" (New York: HarperCollins, 1992).

This review from Amazon.com sums up my thinking, as well:

Make no mistake about it, Bishop Spong is viewed as a radical by many in the Christian community and rightly so. In this book, he begins with the Old Testament's Book of Genesis and carries further into the New Testament, applying an acid test of criticism to all of the prevailing notions fundamentalist Christianity has managed to work into the fabric of mainstream theology. He examines sexual ethics, the role of women, and racism and makes a compelling case that if Christianity is to be "saved" it must deliver itself from the realm of thought that once kept in in the Dark Ages.

This book will pose as a threat to conservative evagelical types, as it strikes to the very core of what they believe. It provides an excellent perspective on what liberal Christian hermenetics is like in the context of debate.

You may disagree with Spong's views and assertions, but you will be forced to examine just why you disagree and provide a reasonable justification if you are ever to consider yourself intellectually honest.

I also just finished Jimmy Carter, "Our Endangered Values: America's Moral Crisis" (New York: Simon & Schuster, 2005). God bless James Earl Carter. This book reaffirms what I've thought for years about the fundamentalist takeover of the Southern Baptist Conviction, the fundamentalist takeover of the Republican Party, the devolution of political discourse in this country and the growing intolerance for dissent. War over diplomacy. Meanness over kindness. Individualism over community. This country's leadership, and a fat, gullible electorate, are pissing away the very ways and mores that have traditionally made the United States strong. Jimmy Carter, as usual, without any yelling and carrying on, spells out what's at stake and asks us if we really know what the hell we're doing with our American birthright.

What I'm reading now:

James Risen, "State of War: The Secret History of the CIA and the Bush Administration" (New York: Free Press, 2006). The New York Times reporter tells us more than we really want to know about the neocon loonies and law breakers in the Bush War Machine. (Just started this one last night)

James C. Cobb, "Away Down South: A History of Southern Identity" (New York: Oxford University Press, 2005). Shows, among other things, how white elites in the South managed to stop Reconstruction and take power back from the Yankee victors, then more or less systematically use violence and rhetoric to retake the "master narrative" of the war's meaning, the place of former slaves and the morality of it all. The birth of the post-bellum Southern and ex-Confederate mystique.

Neil R. Johnson, "The Chickasaw Rancher," rev. ed. (Boulder: University Press of Colorado, 2001; reprint, Stillwater, Okla.: Redlands Press, 1960). The story of mixed-heritage Chickasaw rancher Montford T. Johnson, who raised cattle on the western frontier of the Chickasaw Nation (present southern Oklahoma) and managed to be more or less left alone by Chickasaw leadership, and get along with the "wild" Comanches and Kiowas -- chiefly by not hirin' any dang Texans, in the 1860s-70s-80s.

Norman Davies, "Europe" (New York: HarperCollins, 1998; reprint, Oxford University Press, 1996). I'm on page 700-something of this 1,392-page tome. It is a sweeping, sweeping history of Europe, written more from a central-Eastern perspective. The world doesn't begin and end in London, in this one, in other words. Hard book. If not for Western civ and humanities classes back in the day, and a class on the Reformation in fall 2004, I couldn't have followed much of it so far. Great book, though. Lots of sidebars, breakouts and vignettes on special people, places and things.


John Shelby Spong, "The Sins of Scripture: Exposing the Bible's Texts of Hate to Reveal the God of Love" (San Francisco: HarperSanFrancisco, 2005).

John Eldredge, "Wild at Heart: Discovering the Secret of a Man's Soul" (Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 2001).

So, what's on YOUR nightstand-end table-toilet tank? :-)


Wednesday, January 11, 2006


'The Alito Bandito'

Remember this little guy? This here is a genuine artifact of pop culture: The Frito Bandito pencil eraser.

Been thinking about it this week just because of the similar sound of "Alito" bein' in the news so much. And because of another rhyme with another Supreme Court nominee:

Back in the day, I, or helped write, an anti-Robert Bork editorial for my college paper. The headline? "Bork the dork." It drove the Reagan youth mad -- MAD, I tell you! Bwah-ha-ha!

About Alito:

Some if not all of the righty-rights are bitchin' about the bloviating going on so far in the hearings. Which tells me most of the righty-rights, if they've read any recent political history at all, have looked only at freshman government textbooks.

Mark at 4 Rows Back has a particularly "light" commentary on the subject, calling the hearings a "waste of time."


To him and others: Oh, come on. Are all y'all really that naive? The hearings have become a venue for each party to shore up their base. Quit actin' so dadgum high and mighty -- and surprised.

Mark's wrong, too, I think, about "what Americans want."

What we want, apparently, is the status quo, which is what you get when everybody is "split" on virtually every issue, which we are. Shame, and dangerous, that we remain at this collective indecision with so much at stake and with such buffoons in power.

About The Frito Bandito:

Latino backlash in the 1970s caused Frito Lay to discontinue the Frito Bandito character. You could join The Frito Bandito Club and get cool Frito Bandito Club stuff!

I remember him well. I used to confuse him with Gene Shalit, the then-wild-haired and still-mustachioed movie reviewer on "The Today Show."

A few years ago, Dr. ER, who also has fond memories of The Frito Bandito, and I were in a junque shop in Arkansas where we saw a Frito Bandito pencil eraser like the one pictured at top, for, like $5.

And we didn't buy it. And have no idea why. And we regret it. We both had one when we were little. (Dr. ER remembers chewin' off his little holstered pistoles). And we have looked for one in every junque shop we've been in ever since, with no success.

So, anybody has one to sell, or knows where we can get one, let me know.


Monday, January 09, 2006


Meet Bobo (pronounced BAH-BOW)

This little dude, Bobo (BAH-BOW), is about 38 years old. Yes, he has the mange.

Our bonding occurred when he was 3 and I was 7, when I was quarantined in the hospital with spinal meningitis, and Mama ER had the sense not to let me have him, since he would have to be destroyed. I cried for him, but he had to stay away. So, he got to live.

Bobo lives on the top shelf of my computer desk here in my home office.

I am confident enough in my orientation to admit I still have, and love, my teddy bear. Call me Radar! Heck, there are stuffed animals all over this house -- and that's only partly because until recently two stuffed-critter-lovin' females lived here.

Now there's just one female livin' in this casa. But we both love our stuffed critters.

'Fess up! What stuffed critters do you have livin' at YOUR Place, and in your heart and memory?


Sunday, January 08, 2006


Bible drill

Tell me about your Bible(s).

What translation is it? What tradition, editor, etc.? I'm thinking about buying myself a new one, for a return to something akin to regular reading and study.

What do y'all use? What do you recommend?

Mama and Daddy ER bought me my first Bible in 1971, after I learned to read. It's a basic King James Version, not annotated, no frills. Just the Bible. It's covered in notes and underlines from a little ER's hand.

Mama ER bought me a Scofield Reference Bible (1967 edition) in 1979. King James Version. It was meant to be a Christmas present, but it had half of Numbers and no Deuteronomy! So, I returned it for a replacement. This one, too, is filled with marginalia and underlines. This was the one I used during my most intense time of Bible study.

Then, I wound up with a Ryrie Study Bible, probably in 1980 or '81, in high school. 1978 edition. New American Standard Version. No marks in this one. I just didn't much care for it, and kept relying on my ol' Scofield.

Sometime in there, I got The Living Bible. 1973 edition.

In college, probably in 1985 or '86, I bought an Oxford Study Bible as a textbook for use in a class on the New Testament. If I decide not to buy a new one, this is the one I think I'll use. Problem is it's hardcover, I'd prefer a softcover.

Maybe I don't need another Bible! Maybe I should read the ones I have more.

But what say ye and y'all? Tell me about your Bible(s). What are your recommendations?


Saturday, January 07, 2006


Meet Fenway, my step grandpup!

Bird and her Yankee Beau are back from Massachusetts, and they are here showin' off Bird's Christmas present from the Beau: This here Yankee puplet!

Cute as a junebug, ain't he?? For a Yank.

Here. Just so Ice-T doedn't get jealous.

Here are some calves we keep in our livin' room. FIVE Coveted Redneck Points(tm) to anyone who can tell me where this picture was taken. If you've seen the place, you might recognize it from the stuff in the background.



Cat as cat can

Cat dials 911! Saves hurt owner!

I'm sure Ice-T (shown here high as a kite on New Year's Eve; he relapsed into his street-cat ways) would do the same for me.


Friday, January 06, 2006


God help us all

Comments on now. I don't know why i turned 'em off.


It's time for us all -- myself included -- to shut up, and pray.



JERUSALEM -- The question first appeared on a religious Web site: Is it right to join nationwide prayers for Prime Minister Ariel Sharon even if you despise him for forcing Jewish settlers from the Gaza Strip?

Rabbi Shmuel Eliyahu replied it is not. It's wrong, he said, to offer prayers of hope if you believe otherwise in your heart.

The exchange - posted shortly after Sharon suffered a massive stroke Wednesday - highlighted the passions binding an unusual nexus of ultra-nationalist settlers, doomsday zealots and Christian evangelicals such as Pat Robertson. In the span of a few years, their views of Sharon have swung from ally to betrayer of biblical prophecy and his people.

Read all about it.


Guest: Nick Toper on 'Good Democrats'


(Read below, then go and read M. Brandon Robbins great answer to it.


In the spirit of comity, I offered Nick the chance to guest blog on the topic of his choice. Here 'tis. (I think he thought I said "comedy.") :-)


By Nick Toper

I called this place the cyber equivalent of Berkeley the other day. ER, in his largesse, has given me the opportunity to inject a little common sense -- uh, sorry, did I actually type that out loud? I mean, of course, "a different perspective" -- into the proceedings.

So let's all chew on this list of 21 Sure-Fire Ways to be a Rock-Solid Democrat (forwarded to me by Mrs. Toper yesterday, with a smiley-face bearing note that I should "share this with your friend (ER)."

Additions, of course, are welcome -- especially from Rem, Mark Manness, Pastor Timothy (I heard a rumor you and ER had patched things up) and any of the Anonymi who are part of the vast right-wing conspiracy.

Ways to be a Good Democrat

1. You have to be against capital punishment, but support abortion on

2. You have to believe that businesses create oppression and governments
create prosperity. (This one is really important)

3. You have to believe that guns in the hands of law-abiding Americans are
more of a threat than U.S. nuclear weapons technology in the hands of
Chinese and North Korean communists.

4. You have to believe that there was no art before Federal funding.

5. You have to believe that global temperatures are less affected by
cyclical documented changes in the earth's climate and more affected by
soccer moms driving SUV's.

6. You have to believe that gender roles are artificial but being
homosexual is natural.

7. You have to believe that the AIDS virus is spread by a lack of federal

8. You have to believe that the same teacher who can't teach 4th-graders
how to read is somehow qualified to teach those same kids about sex.

9. You have to believe that outdoorsmen don't care about nature, but loony
activists who have never been outside of San Francisco do.

10. You have to believe that self-esteem is more important than actually
doing something to earn it.

11. You have to believe that Mel Gibson spent $25 million of his own money
to make The Passion of the Christ for financial gain only.

12. You have to believe the NRA is bad because it supports certain parts of
the constitution, while the ACLU is good because it supports certain parts
of the Constitution.

13. You have to believe that taxes are too low, but ATM fees are too high.

14. You have to believe that Margaret Sanger and Gloria Steinem are more
important to American history than Thomas Jefferson, Gen. Robert E. Lee, and Thomas Edison.

15. You have to believe that standardized tests are racist, but racial
quo! tas and set-asides are not.

16. You have to believe that Hillary Clinton is normal and is a very nice

17. You have to believe that the only reason socialism hasn't worked
anywhere it's been tried is because the right people haven't been in

18. You have to believe conservatives telling the truth belong in jail, but
a liar and a sex offender belonged in the White House.

19. You have to believe that homosexual parades displaying drag,
transvestites, and bestiality should be constitutionally protected, and
manger scenes at Christmas should be illegal.

20. You have to believe that illegal Democratic Party funding by the
Chinese Government is somehow in the best interest to the United States.

21. You have to believe that this message is a part of a vast, right-wing

Thursday, January 05, 2006


Fundamentalism is dangerous

Whether Taliban or 700 Club.


Background material:

Almost invariably, fundamentalist movements are led by authoritarian males who consider themselves to be superior to others and, within religious groups, have an overwhelming commitment to subjugate women and to dominate their fellow believers.

Although funamentalists usually believe that the past is better than the present, they retain certain self-benefcial aspects of both their historic religious beliefs and of the modern world.

Fundamentalists draws clear distinctions between themselves, as true believers, and others, convinced that they are right and that anyone who contradicts them is ignorant and possible evil.

Fundamentalists are militant in fighting against any challenge to their beliefs. They are often angry and sometimes resort to verbal and even physical abuse against those who interfere with the implementation of their agenda.

Fundamentalists tend to make their self-definition increasingly narrow and restricted, to isolate themselves, to demagogue emotional issues, and to view change, cooperation, negotiation and othr other efforts to resolves differences as signs of weakness.

To summarize, there are three words that characterize this brand of fundamentalism: rigidity, domination and exclusion.

-- From fellow traditional Baptist and former Southern Baptist Jimmy Carter, in Our Endangered Values: America's Moral Crisis (New York: Simon & Schuster, 2005), 34-35.


--ER (who admits to sometimes being "angry and sometimes resort[ing] to verbal ... abuse -- I am, after, all a recovering fundamentalist and a redneck)

Wednesday, January 04, 2006


NBC loses it

Have y'all seen the promos for NBC's new series "Book of Daniel"?

Sacrilegious, for sure.

Read all about it.

Here's what We The Mortified & Offended can do about it:

Don't watch it.

Click off of NBC.

But don't insult the Holy Spirit by insisting that a stupid show by stupid programmers -- total MOE-rons, considering the tenor of religious debate in this country -- is going to do much in the way of discouraging people from Christianity.

What passes for mainstrwam Christianity is doin' a right fine job of that all on its own.

News flash: The world is lost. Would that cultural Christians would stop being surprised by stuff like this,



Bad, good, crazy

Numero uno.

This looks bad. This here looks reeeaaall bad. The Habana Inn is THE gay hangout in OKC. I find it hard to believe that anyone would see the parking lot as a place to "pastor" police officers.

Charged does not mean guilty, however.

Leading Southern Baptist pastor busted for soliciting gay sex. From KOCO-TV. Thanks to Raw Story.

Numero two-o.

This look good. This looks real good. NOT that el presidente, yet again, appears to have broken the law he has pledged to uphold, but because another Dem grows some cajones.

Associated Press

WASHINGTON - The top Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee told President Bush Wednesday that the White House broke the law by withholding information from the full congressional oversight committees about a new domestic surveillance program.

Read all about it, from The Startle-gram (affectionate nickname for Fort Wotrth Star-Telegram), also thanks to Raw Story.

Numero tres.

Then there's this, and it's plumb crazy:

Someone, in all seriousness, told me today ... OK, suggested strongly ... that I should quit opposing President Bush, and just forget about all the policy disagreements I have with the Republican Party in general, and Bush & Co.'s brand of it specifically, because ...

Because Bush is a Christian! So, the reasoning of this very, very confused person goes, if I am a Christian then I should support Bush.


God forgive me for not taking my Christian conscience to the streets in protest! THAT's what I would do if I had the balls to act on my faith. Gotta work, though. Gotta keep a job.



Bleak day for newspapers


This story from The Associated Press via the Houston Chronicle explains it some. Major papers in Oklahoma and Texas had 1A "Found alive"-type heads, by the way.


Original post:

Nothing hurts a newspaper reporter or editor worse than getting a story wrong except getting a story wrong at the exact moment that it can't be corrected before the press start.

The story out of West Virginia presented just such a situatio. Papers in the East, South and Midwest couldn't switch gears, literally, in time to change that now-awful and ubiquitous front-page head: "They're Alive."

West Coast papers had a little more time.

Check out today's front pages, courtesy of The Newseum.

Awful news day.


Tuesday, January 03, 2006


'Are you the one?'

I challenge any and all to listen to this entire 30-minute sermon (click on the Dec. 4 sermon), from Dr. Robin Meyers, pastor of Mayflower Congregational Church in Oklahoma City, then engage me in it.



"Central? Get me high-speed Internet!"

Oh, Lawsy. I have done it. I have done gone and done it. I've done it, doggone it. Doggone if I haven't done gone and got high-speed Cox Internet.


Nothing to keep me from posting millions of pix now, of Ice-T the cat! (Except that I am, yea and verily, a word man.)

On the other hand ...

Heres a pic of what's left of the second-to-last radio station(s) I worked at, at the edge of some woods in rural eastern Oklahoma, dang near totally overgrown with growth. Worked there in the summer of '86 the last time, I think. Took this picture last summer.

Crystal, ain't it a shame!


Monday, January 02, 2006


Meet Büch Literate

By The Erudite Redneck

Brother ER whipped me up one of the best presents ever for Christmas: CDs of the ol' Erudite Redneck hisself back before he decided he had a voice for newspapering, back when he fancied hisself a radio man.

Yep, right out of high school, I marched right up to a little two-bit Gospel station and asked 'em if I could get a job emptyin' trash or something. I just wanted a job at the place, no matter what.

"No," the man said, "but we need an afternoon announcer."

"!!!," I said. "!!!!!"

And that's how I wound up with my first job in the now-pilloried "MSM" -- main-stream media.

I could tell a bunch of stories from my time at that little station in the Arkansas Ozarks. One I'll tell right now: It insulated me early on from gettin' fired from a media job. (They say if you haven't ever been fired from the media, you're not trying). How? By me gettin' fired from that first radio job.

The Highway 64 Freewill Baptist Church (name altered slightly to protect the ninnies) in Hogeye, Ark., (town name changed) wrote a letter to the station manager allowing as to how they -- and I mean "they," since every dadgum member of the church, it looked like, signed the thing -- were not going to listen to the station, or buy from its advertisers, as long as I was on the air!

It was 1982 or '83. There was no format to this radio station. They turned me loose in a studio with an RCA audio board that actually had that famous RCA Victor logo, the little dog lookin' into the big horn-like speaker on a Victrola, "His Master's Voice" on the front -- and I am telling the truth with my hand up.

Had to fold down the front of the board and blow dust off the tubes once in awhile. Had two belt-drive turntables flanking it, with two cart players and a reel-to-reel at top.

Now, those of y'all who know anything about radio and music know that "dead air" is a mortal sin. You know about segues, and you know that there is an art to fade-outs and cold breaks and fade-ins and cold starts.

Those of you who know anything about Southern Gospel music know that most of it starts cold and ends cold -- with so much of it being mostly vocal and four-part harmony at that.

Nowadays, I reckon it's real dang easy to segue from one song to another. Back then, on those old turntables, it took a kind of physics. Those old turntables, even playing 33-rpm albums, took about a turn and a half to get up to speed. I prided myself in bein' able to time a song by, say, the Happy Goodmans that ended cold and, oh, a Hinsons song that started cold -- with not a lick of dead air in between.

But it wadn't playin' the Goodmans and the Hinsons that got me fired. It was playing the Imperials and Petra and some other contemporary Christian stuff that got the Highway 64 Freewill Baptist Church in Hogeye, Ark., so fired up.

They said I was aplayin' the devil's own music. So, I got fired the day the letter came in the mail, about 8 minutes before I was supposed to go on the air.

Fortunately, I had just lined up another part-time radio gig at a station about 25 miles away, in Oklahoma, that played top 40 stuff. The owner of the Gospel station looked me in the eye and said, "You know you will go to hell for playing that music."


But neither of those is the station my dear Brother ER recorded for me back in 1984, and preserved all these years, and burned onto CDs for me for Christmas.

At this station, which played easy listening and oldies Top 40 (1960s and '70s stuff), my on-air name was the short form of my given first name and my middle name.

For purposes of this blog, then, my on-air name then, as a shortened form of Erudite Redneck, was:

Büch Literate.

"Büch Literate here with you at 7:12 on Monday night. Partly cloud and 78 outside. Nice and warm in here with this new one from Paul Anka."

Something like that. We played some old Büch Literate deejaying at Mama ER's house, and Dr. ER thought I sounded pretty good. Myself, I was FLOORED that I sounded halfway intelligent.

Back then, at age 20 or 21, with no mind whatsoever of going into the news business, heading to college the next fall specifically to studio radio-TV-film and to concentrate on production and performance, I was working hard to get rid of my eastern Oklahoma Ozarks twang. I have since let all that go, as anyone who has heard me speak, at least in the past 22 years, can attest.

"It's 8:45 on the Erudite Redneck Blog Show, with Büch Literate. A little nippy this evening since we've had the air conditioning on today, what with highs in the 70s the past day or two to start the new year! Up next, comments from some of the best blog readers in the country. See ya on the other side of this break."



Hot times in the country; fire in the city

Yikes! While we were in the wooded hills of eastern Oklahoma for New Year's, these dang prairies and plains out west, around Oklahoma City, like to burned plumb up.

Here's a roundup of the fires in Oklahoma and Texas.

It mentions Ringgold, Texas, a wide spot in the road just west of the North Texas town of Nocona -- namesake of the cowboy boots -- that DID, apparently, burn to the dang ground.

Thirty homes, poof. 100 people homeless, like that. I made lots of trips through Ringgold and into Nocona when I was workin' out of Wichita Falls, which is about 50 miles of Nocona.

We got home last night a little after 9 p.m., after most of the fires in the Oklahoma City area were put out. The biggest ones were north of us about 10 miles, around Guthrie, Okla., and one to the southeast, maybe 15 or so miles, in northeast Oklahoma City.

The closest one was five miles or so southwest of us, off a major retail corridor in northwest Oklahoma City. That one made CNN, I think, 'cause it got damn close to a Wal-Mart and a Lowe's.

Calm prevails, so far today.

Dr. ER and I had a fine time New Year's Eve. She hit two Indian casinos -- one Choctaw and one Cherokee; we are international that way with our gambling expenditures. I contributed $60 to the Choctaw "racino" -- horse race track and casino -- in Sallisaw before headin' across the road to Shorty Long's, just a regular ol' country beer joint.

Hoo boy. Somebody needs to remind me that, at 41, when I run around and act like I'm 21, then I'll feel like I'm 61 and all stove up the next day! That Oklahoma 3.2 beer at Shorty Long's was one thing; the multiple trips out to the parkin' lot to sneak sips of Christmas-gift George Dickel like to done me in.

New Year's Day repast, at the hand of Mama ER:

Meat loaf, hog jowl and blackeyed peas, fried taters, creamed corn, corn bread, green onions and radishes. Now, THAT's eatin' and a right fine way to start the new year and help flush out the cobwebs of the old one.

Hope y'all started out the year with an equally fine mess of vittles -- and that y'all, too, have avoided the fiery winds of fate so far.


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