Sunday, April 30, 2006


On 'crushed testicles,' outcasts, Isaiah, Jesus and queers in church

"There is no 'we' who magnaminously admit 'them'; there is a community of outcasts who together recognize their common need of undeserved grace."

-- Frederick J. Gaiser

Read "A New Word on Homosexuality? Isaiah 56:1-8 as Case Study," (pdf) in Word & World.

God is Still Speaking,

Peace out, dawgs.



About 'The End'

Never heard of Jurgen Moltmann, but I'll be looking him up. I like the sentiment expressed in the lead-in.


You scored as Moltmannian Eschatology. Jürgen Moltmann is one of the key eschatological thinkers of the 20th Century. Eschatology is not only about heaven and hell, but God's plan to make all things new. This should spur us on to political and social action in the present.

Moltmannian Eschatology










Left Behind




What's your eschatology?
created with


Redneck Feminist, RIP

Louise Smith, racecar driver, 1916-2006.

Checkered flag!

Read more.

(Clancy, you got yer 'Baman ears on?)


(DadGUMit, Talladega gettin' rained out is like Santa Claus not showin' up ...)

Saturday, April 29, 2006


Done, finished, complete, over

Did OK with my presentatin' this morning, but am now worn plumb out. Dr. ER, who can have a room eatin' out of her hand in seconds, laughs at how wrought-up I get before, but I do.

About 20 people -- but it was the quality of listeners, not the number, that counted. Two or three tribal leaders. Two or three professors. Two or three from the Oklahoma history "establishment."

Others who take history S-E-R-I-O-U-S-L-Y.

Crowds are always friendly at this annual shindig, but they *do* ask questions and they are *not* afraid to argue the fine points. So you better know your stuff.

I do.

But now I'm flat whupped.

And it's dreary and raining.

And I want to go to sleep.

But here I am at my "real" job, trying to get caught up.

Back to the grind!

Carrot at the end of this day's stick:

Steak supper with Dr. ER and Bird and her YankeeBeau tonight at The Ranchers Club in Stillwater. Hoo hoo!


Friday, April 28, 2006


History finds!

Woo! The state Historical Society is having it's annual to-do through Saturday (why yes, I *am* on the program, thanks fer askin') and the old, used, worn-out, some-body-died-and-left-us-a-bunch-of-crap-books book sale is going on!

Here's what I picked up:

Hot dang! A roll of microfilm! (I have a microfilm reader rightcheer on my desk next to my 'puter.)

"Special roll: 1880 Census of Cherokee Nation All Districts -- X-857 -- 1890 Census of Cherokee Nation: Canadian, Saline, Cooweescoowee, Flinto, Going Snake, Illinois, Sequoyah (districts)."

I know, because I have seen it before when using this roll at the Historical Society, that Great-Great-Grandpa ER's name shows up on the 1880 rolls as a legal resident by permit, and that one of his sons, a brother of my Great-Grandpa ER, shows up on the 1890 roll as an "intruder" -- an illegal alien.

How's *that* for somethin' to have around the house?

And I picked up the following books:

1. George August Lofton, SO: Or the Gospel in a Monosyllable, (Chicago: Fleming H. Revell Co., 1900).

(A lot more total depravity that I care for: "This is Old Theology versus New Theology; and it is hoped that this book will meet a painful want in this day of so many various ologies and isms in religion" -- and this in 1900!)

2. Helen Hunt Jackson, Ramona (Boston: Little Brown, 1916; reprint, 1884).

(Had my eye out for this for several years. The author meant it to be an "Uncle Tom's Cabin" for Indians. It's been in print since she wrote it in 1884, but, hey, I like old books, so this 1916 edition suits me fine -- especially for $1.50.)

3. Sandra Faiman-Silva, Choctaws at the Crossroads: The Political Economy of Class and Culture in the Oklahoma Timber Region, (Lincoln, University of Nebraska Press, 2000)

(The "Oklahoma Timber Region" is Little Dixie. Choctaw history is one of my interests, although this is more anthropology. A note on the Wikipedia link to Little Dixie: The region is not "Southern" just because of Southerners who moved in "after the Civil War." The dang Choctaws, who came from 1830 forward, were and are Southern, hailing from Mississippi, Alabama, Louisiana, which makes eastern Oklahoma "Southern," since -- oh, don't get me started.)

Off to the history center!


Thursday, April 27, 2006


Bird scare

Got a letter in the mail today from the Oklahoma Department of Public Safety informing me that a certain veehickle registered in the name of Mr. and Mrs. Erudite Redneck was impounded last Saturday in Enid, Okla.

Enid is about an hour-plus drive from here, and about an hour-plus drive from Stillwater, where Bird (20-year-old redneck redheaded stepchild o'mine) is living with her YankeeBeau and going to Oklahoma State University.

Of course, Dr. ER and my heart fell to our boots. Freaked out, we did. We were convinced that Bird and her YankeeBeau (a fine lad, fer a Ynkee, hailin' from Massachusetts) had been laid up in the hospital at Enid for almost a week and we didn't know.

Not. The long and short of it is we don't know why we got such a letter. We called Bird and she said she in no way was anywhere clsoe to Enid last Saturday, that she had, in fact, just driven the car to work in the TLE (Tire, Lube & Express) at the Stillwater Wal-Marts, and, of course, there were a few Bird tears in the middle of all the confusion and apprehension.

Huh. I asked her if she'd gotten a ticket from the state POE-lice, thinkin' that the state POE-lice would at least have her VIN number, license and all in their datebase, and that it might've just been a mix-up and we learned that -- yep, she did get a ticket last summer that she didn't bother to tell us about, not feeling obliged to, since she, somehow, paid the thing off herself. Fine.

But, huh.

We still don't know what the deal is. Just one of those deals, I reckon. Bird is safe. The car is where it's supposed to be. The wrecker service that the letter said was suppsoed to have impounded the veehickle didn't know jack about it.



Wednesday, April 26, 2006


Bush's praying 'ineffectual'

Latest horse manure from Focus on the Family Action**


WASHINGTON, DC -- President Bush, already facing the lowest approval ratings in history, is coming under fire from former supporters over what they call his "ineffectual and incompetent" use of prayer for national guidance and assistance.

"Every time the president is criticized, he insists that the nation is in his prayers," said the Family Research Council's Bob Jensen. "That may be, but it's becoming more and more clear that these prayers are either too infrequent, too brief, or not strongly worded enough to be effective."

Jensen added: "This nation deserves more than a president who just pays lip service to prayer. It deserves a president who demands that his prayers get real-world results."

Despite assurances from the president that he "prays every day" for the nation's interests both at home and abroad, the mounting crises of recent months—escalating gas prices, the botched Dubai port security deal, ethics scandals, and the rising death toll in Iraq—have left many unimpressed with the effectiveness of his devotion.

Francine Gundersen, an Iowa mother and churchgoer, says she voted for Bush but is now having doubts about his commitment to prayer, particularly with regard to Iraq, where her son, P.F.C. Jason Gundersen, has served since June 2004.

"Bush says he prays for the soldiers' safe return, but if that's the case, where is my son, Mr. President?" she said.

The White House Office of Communications, which has denied any wrongpraying, released transcripts of Bush's inner dialogues with God from May 12 through Oct. 22, 2005 and tried to paint the president as "very close" to the Almighty, saying he speaks with Him "regularly."

"The president spends many hours each day alone in quiet contemplation," White House press secretary Scott McClellan said. "These allegations are, quite simply, absurd. The president is as strong a prayer as any who has occupied the White House."

In an interview on Fox News, Vice President Dick Cheney defended Bush, saying the president puts as much energy into prayer as he does into domestic policies.

"Half the time, I can't even get him on the phone because he's busy praying for the American people, the same people who are now so quick to criticize him," Cheney said. "If something's wrong with those prayers, I would suggest that it's perhaps the fault of a supernatural entity. But it's not the president's. He is doing his duty."

While newly released portions of White House prayer logs show that Bush's praying has actually gone up in recent months, critics are seeking to subpoena the documents in their entirety to determine the strength of those prayers.

The harshest criticisms continue to come from members of the president's conservative base, who insist that the proper devotional words must be used in prayer.

"There is a real possibility that the president misrepresented the number of times he invokes Jesus' power each day in accordance with the strict guidelines of scripture," said Henry Holbrook, senior fellow at the Intercession Institute, a leading conservative prayer tank. "Is he clasping his hands together tightly enough? Is he using the proper forms of the pronouns 'thine' and 'thou'? What about the verb 'hast'?"

Susan DiDomenico of the National Prayer Task Force said her organization is seeking "full disclosure" of any and all prayers Bush may have skipped or manipulated to seem more effective or holy.

**Not really from Focus on the Family Action! It's from The Onion. Didja bite? Didja? Huh? Huh? Dang hard to tell -- up until: "The White House Office of Communications, which has denied any wrongpraying ..."

(Hat tip to Braingirl, who had her own fun with this "news story.")


Reason to keep church, state separate

University of the Cumberlands in Kentucky kicked out a student because he's gay, which is discriminatory on its face. That's its right as a private college.

But why should it continue to get government funding?

Read all about it.

The governor's distinction between "taxpayers" and "coal companies" is a nonstarter. Whether it's an income tax or a state-required or -sanctioned excise tax, it's still a tax, and the government is still directly funding this school.

More about the University of the Cumberlands, which is a Southern Baptist college.

Modern Southern Baptist fundamentalist motto: "Where we circle the wagons and shoot the wounded."


Tuesday, April 25, 2006


Redneck art from the ER household

Jack's shirt hanging inside Ennis's, with postcard from Brokeback Mountain, inside Ennis's closet door in his trailer.

By Dr. ER

Scary bovine with curly 'do.

By a younger Bird (discovered in an old drawin' pad!)

Indian Journal, intertribal Indian paper published in Muskogee, Creek Nation, Indian Territory, this issue Nov. 2, 1876.

Closest ER came to "art" tonight: Capturing image for use in upcoming history presentation.



'Horses of Gettysburg"

Woo hoo! Buddy of mine just handed me this from the mail: "Horses of Gettysburg"!

... "captures the relationship between soldiers and their horses during the battle ... and throughout the Civil War."



"... celebrates the honor and courage of the 72,000 horses and mules that fought ..."

I honestly can't wait to see it.



Live birth on live TV

I've lived my whole life in Tornado Alley. I've seen funnels and wall clouds. I've seen the damage tornadoes leave behind. I've written newspaper stories about death and destruction and injury from them.

Last night was a first, though. I saw this tornado "born" on live TV. (Photo by a viewer submitted to KFOR-TV, Oklahoma City.)

AMAZING, the weather and broadcasting technology I've seen in my life. Used to be, tornado watches were issued for entire swaths of territory, putting everybody on edge for hours. Used to be tornado warnings were almost always issued too late.

Nowadays, the danger is we take them too lightly. Last night, as the tornado sirens sounded in my neighborhood -- because they do still issue warnings by county -- I sat on my front porch, smokin' a cigar and readin' a book.

Dr. ER was whooping and hollering in the living room. (Read her fun account here.) I was going back and forth from the porch to the TV -- and happened to see the live birth, taking place, oh, maybe 20 or 25 miles away. Way cool.


Monday, April 24, 2006


ER's book proposal, threedux

One of the most enlightening experiences of my grad school experience (M.A. history, 2004) was the inside baseball we played with a professor in a seminar on the American west. She was trying to get a book published and let us in on the correspondence going on between her and the publisher.

Ultimately, the academic press rejected her manuscript, even after asking three outside reviewers, specialists in the field, to review it. That gives me pause in my own endeavor.

But another academic press *did* publish it and it's on store shelves now, and that gives me hope.

So, let's rejoin the continuing saga of ER's book proposal.

Chapter 1.

Chapter 2.

Chapter 3:

Dear Editor:

At your request, please find enclosed two additional chapters of my manuscript, “Catchy Title."

Enclosed are Chapter 4, “Provocative Subthesis" and Chapter 5, “Brilliant Synthesis.”

At this point in the book, Chapter 2 has provided historical context about Main Subject of Book and a short Chapter 3 has introduced the reader to the Individual Players.

I look forward to hearing from you.

Erudite Redneck


'The past is over'

"No war! And instead, we will open all of the malls in the world."

Little kids write speeches of contrition for President Bush. (MP3 files). They're sweet.

Out of the mouths of babes ...


(Thanks to Bitch, Ph.D. )

((The headline, from one of the letters, makes me think of Darrell Waltrip: "I've always said your legacy is what you leave behind you."))

Sunday, April 23, 2006


'Doctrine greater than all our sin! (?)

Doctrine, doctrine, God's doctrine,
doctrine that will pardon and cleanse within;
Doctrine, doctrine, God's doctrine,
Doctrine is greater than all our sin!

I don't think so.


"Seriously, this very idea -- that having received beyond merit should make us generous to others beyond deserving -- is the core of the gospel. The ministry of Jesus was, after all, not doctrinal. It was 'commissional.' That is, Jesus was not telling people what to believe; he was showing people what to do, and then asking them to go and do likewise."

--Dr. Robin R. Meyers, in "The Virtue in the Vice: Finding Seven Lively Virtues in the Seven Deadly Sins" (Deerfield Beach, Fla.: Health Communications Inc., 2004), 45.

Prayer of Confession today at this church, pastored by Dr. Meyers:

"Lord of Life, help us to remember that faith does not come by seeing, or by hearing, or by touching -- but as a derivative of grace. Like Thomas, we have our doubts, but apparently God loves doubters too. The resurection is not just for eye-witnesses. It is for all of us who believe that God has the last word. In Christ's name we pray, Amen."

Friday, April 21, 2006


Church check

By The Erudite Redneck

Twice this morning in the blogosphere people have questioned my Christian faith because my ideas don't line right up with *their* concept of what it means to be a Christian.

Both, a brother and a sister I've never met in the Real World, were especially personal and cruel in their attacks. I take their word for it when they say they are Christians, which is why it galls me when someone doubts my own profession of faith.

I'm sure the agnostics and atheists who hang around here some, and who are always, always welcome here, *love* it when Christians tear into one another. My hope is that the infighting is such a blur at times that Christ himself shines through.

But, whatever. That's not really what I intended to talk about it. What I intended to talk about was this:

The meanest arguments and fights I've gotten into online have been with professed Christians who, it turns out, aren't regular churchgoers. That makes me doubt everything they have to say. I'm not saying I don't believe what they say. But it does make me suspicious.

Christians, of whatever stripe, are not meant to be freelancers. We are meant to fellowship one with another.

One of the reasons I started back to church was Katrina -- not the act of nature itself, but the images of the poor on my TV. I had forgotten that the least among us exist not only on paper, not only in political discussions, but on the ground, in the Real World.

I am repenting of that, giving some money, contemplating how I might find other ways to put feet to my faith and help others as I try anew to follow Jesus.

The other reason I started back to church was this:

I kept finding myself getting involved in discussions and arguments regarding faith, politics and public policy. The only way I felt I could do so and be honest about it was to start showing up at the meetings of the faithful and sharing fellowship with other believers.

I grew up in a Southern Baptist church in a small town in Oklahoma. I am on the verge of joining a Congregationalist church now. I do not know the modern Southern Baptist Convention. It is not the SBC of my upbringing. Congregational churches are closer today to the no-creed-but-Christ approach that I grew up with.

What church denomination do you attend? Have you always attended your current denomination? If you don't attend but used to, why do you not? If you are agnostic now, or atheist now, and once believed, what happened?



Thursday, April 20, 2006


ER's book proposal, redux

(In reference to this.)

In my e-mail box just now! Woo!

Dear Mr. Redneck:

Thank you very much for submitting your proposal for (Catchy Book Title) to (Academic Press). Your project sounds interesting and I enjoyed reading the sample chapters. However, in order to get a better understanding of you how deal with and analyze the (Book Topic) I would appreciate receiving one or two further sample chapters from the main body of the manuscript.

I look forward to reading the additional materials and wish you a nice day.

Acquisitions Editor

Woo! And again, I say, Woo!


(whose excitement is tempered by his personal acquaintanceship with someone who got all the way *past* the formal outside review stage and *still* ultimately had her manuscript rejected. But hey, anything beats "no thanks"!)


Overheard in the ER Household XIII

ER, entering the livin' room this mornin' after gettin' ready for work: "Welp, I'm up to five different poultices, ointments, salves and smell-goods. Every part of my body's got *some* kind of grease on it."

Dr. ER: "LOL! That's an 'Overheard'!"

ER: "Well, crap."

Wednesday, April 19, 2006


'Breaking down "Brokeback" '

By Dr. ER

First, a very happy "Scott McClellan Resignation Day" to all (and lest you think I'm just speaking from a partisan perspective, let me assure you that I thought Ari Fleischer was a consummate professional; Scott, however, was not).

Finally, I've broken down Brokeback Mountain ... It's been an intensive, two-week-long study, too.

Read Dr. ER's thoughtful review of "Brokeback Mountain" here.



Censorship -- Add 1

(Continued from previous post ... )

From today's O'Colly:

Joey Senat
Guest Columnist

Who controls the content of The Daily O’Collegian? If it were left to OSU spokesman Gary Shutt and other OSU administrators, that job would fall to the journalism school director, who presumably would be called upon to censor news that officials didn’t want published.

Read all about it. It's really not as simple as who *owns* the paper.


Tuesday, April 18, 2006


Censorship: Bulls--t in any language

Student editors from Mexico were in Stillwater, OK, visiting The Daily O'Collegian, the student newspaper at Oklahoma State University, my undergrad alma mater, when the bullsnot flared up around an administration flack's attempt to censor the paper over President Bush's commencement visit and speech.

What timing.

Read my take on it from last week here.

The Mexican journalists wrote this letter-to-the-editor, which appeared in the The Daily O'Collegian, today:

Dear editor,

In Mexico, 56 journalists have been killed since 1983, 22 since 2000, according Fapermex, a Mexican journalism association. For us, freedom of speech entails a great danger. Losing one’s life for speaking up depicts the most extreme kind of censorship.

Censorship in Mexico is not a scandal. The press was controlled by the government for so long that we have lost our credibility. When coercion falls upon the media, most of the people simply don’t care.

Luckily, in the United States the scene is not as drastic, but censorship exists everywhere. Last week, a group of Mexican student journalists visited the O’Collegian. We learned the director of communication services had threatened to censor the newspaper. We felt identified.

Read all about it.


(Hat tip to Bird, for sending me the link)

Monday, April 17, 2006


Single Action Shooting Society

This is the coolest thing I've ever hyeared of! Don't care for Civil War reenactments. Kinda get into the Mountain Man Rendezvous once in awhile -- or used to. But SASS sounds f-u-n FUN!

The Single Action Shooting Society is an international organization created to preserve and promote the sport of Cowboy Action Shooting.

SASS endorses regional matches conducted by affiliated clubs, stages END of TRAIL The World Championship of Cowboy Action Shooting, promulgates rules and procedures to ensure safety and consistency in Cowboy Action Shooting matches, and seeks to protect its members' 2nd Amendment rights. SASS members share a common interest in preserving the history of the Old West and competitive shooting.

Read all about it.

SASS rules say you have to have an alias. What should mine be? What would y'allses' be???


Sunday, April 16, 2006


Whataway to break a fast!

There she is. Long time no see, ol' gal. Long time no see.

Drive by here at least once a day. But lately, I've been givin' you the cold shoulder ... It wasn't you, darlin' -- it was me. I had to sort some things out. Lookin' good, you.

Do what? Will I come in? Sure, if you'll have me back ... What? No need to explain? You're too sweet. But it *was* between me and the Lord. ...

It was a glorious Easter Sunday reunion!

After church, I came home and got Dr. ER, who planned to go with me but was not up to snuff early, and we made a beeline to the friendly neighborhood burger joint: Whataburger. Great burger place. Texas-based. You can't get 'em everywhere. Just in the South, and not everywhere here. Most excellent place to break 40 days and 40 nights without beef or pork.

We order -- double burger with cheese and bacon, please -- and wait. You have to wait at Whataburger. They only start cookin' after you order. This is a burger joint. But it's not fast food. Antici-pa-a-shun ...

I do what I can to prepare.

GLORY! Glory breaks open on a 5-inch bun!

This is *almost* burger porn!







Until all that remains is this lone survivor, a ketchup "tub" that got lost in the carnage!

Dr. ER is She Who Is My Wife. Whataburger was my helpmeat today (groan!) :-)


Until next time .... Hey, Dr. ER! Whaddaya wanna do for supper?!?




Dang if he ain't rose! Indeedy!

He Lives

I serve a risen Saviour,
He's in the world today;
I know that He is living,
Whatever men may say;
I see His hand of mercy,
I hear His voice of cheer,
And just the time I need Him
He's always near.


He lives, He lives, Christ Jesus lives today!
He walks with me and He talks with me
Along life's narrow way.
He lives, He lives, salvation to impart!
You ask me how I know He lives:
He lives within my heart.

In all the world around me
I see His loving care,
And though my heart grows weary
I never will despair;
I know that He is leading
Through all the stormy blast,
The day of His appearing
Will come at last.


Rejoice, rejoice, O Christian,
Lift up your voice and sing
Eternal hallelujahs
To Jesus Christ the King!
The hope of all who seek Him,
The help of all who find,
None other is so loving,
So good and kind.


He lives, He lives, Christ Jesus lives today!
He walks with me and He talks with me
Along life's narrow way.
He lives, He lives, salvation to impart!
You ask me how I know He lives:
He lives within my heart.

Nothing but the blood.

Happy Easter, all y'all!


(Photo by Dr. ER, last fall, outside Mena, Ark.)

Saturday, April 15, 2006


My step-granddog-in-(common)-law!

LEFT: What a handsome fella! Apollo is his name. He belongs to Bird's YankeeBeau. They were here last night, with their critters. Ice-T was *not* amused.

RIGHT: Look at Fenway peeking around the coffee table, as Bird holds Apollo! Apollo is 3, and is a larger, more muscular version of little Fenway.

LEFT: Poor Fenway! He has a cherry eye! Still cute as a bug (for a Yankee).

RIGHT: Needless to say, Ice-T was *not* amused to have Fenway underfoot, not to mention Apollo. T stayed fairly scarce for the duration of the Good Friday evening visit of Bird, YankeeBeau and their kids, Fenway and Apollo. Here, Ice-T is shown relaxing with his "close personal friend," Scrat, reminiscing about the luv they shared on Catback Mountain.

Thanks and good (afternoon) everyone. A pretty nice kind of day in the great Southwest, everything lookin' pretty good.

(1,000 Coveted Redneck Points[tm] to anyone who can identify the source of that greeting, which actually is a morning greeting. Somebody would have to have historic knowledge of media personalities in a certain town in Texas. I don't believe anybody will get it, hence the buttload of CRPs offered.)

Sort of a laid-back day in the ER household. Dr. ER has lost herself in "Deep Space 9" and I'm fixing to recommence work on a presentation I'm doin' at a history conference comin' up.

Eggs, Paas and vinegar are bought. Eggs are boiling. It'll be potato soup and egg-salad sammiches for supper. Then we'll watch the "Moses, Moses" movie tonight.

So how're y'all?


Friday, April 14, 2006


Nixon, Bush, Bush, BULLSNOT


This just in: The bullsnot started even before the news got out! To hell* with the chief flack and ass kisser at OSU.

(*Outrage not reflective of ER's opinion on said p.o.s. flack's actual immortal soul).

John Estus
O'Collegian Staff Writer

A university spokesman threatened censorship of a Daily O’Collegian story earlier this week about President George Bush’s plans to speak at spring graduation ceremonies, saying the story would jeopardize OSU’s chances of receiving the high-profile visit.

Gary Shutt, director of communication services, told an O’Collegian reporter Monday evening that he would call the director of OSU’s journalism school and ask him to stop the newspaper from running any story addressing rumors about Bush or confirming the president’s visit.

Read all about the total, unadulterated bullsnot. Fire the flack. Today.


Original post:

Late yesterday, somebody came by my desk and said, "Hey, ER, the president is speaking at your alma mater's commencement!"

"The president of what?" I replied.

"The United States!"

Oh, joy.

Nixon in '74. Bush the First in '90. Bush the Junior in '06.

I am so proud.

Everybody I know figures he picked OSU -- plus the military colleges he's speaking at -- because they're very red campuses and will be very friendly.

That they will.

In Oklahoma, even Dems, for the most part, are respectful to a fault. To a fault.

The facts are in the comments.


Thursday, April 13, 2006


'Old Thoughts through New Eyes'

By Dr. Erudite Redhead (Dr. ER)

Though I've done a lot of different kinds of writing over the years, I will always love the poem as the best and most succinct form of expression.

The poems here are some I thought lost long ago -- but my mother recently found a bunch of hard copies that I'd done on a typewriter in the late 80's.

All of these were done in 1988 and 1989 and though ER didn't want me to, I changed 'em a little -- not much.

Go here to read Dr. ER's poems.


'A new command I give you'

Peace and grace to all -- especially to my Christian and Jesusian brothers and sisters with whom I am prone to argue -- on this Maundy Thursday.

"A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another."
-- Jesus, John 13:34-35

Growing up in a small-town Southern Baptist church, I heard *nothing* of the church calendar. I was full grown and living in Texas and attending a United Methodist church when I started learning about such observances, traditions and rituals, and that they can be important markers in the lives of believers.

Tonight, I plan to attend a Tenebrae service. If you feel so inclined, tell me about your Holy Week activities, and how they've changed, if they have, over the years.


Tuesday, April 11, 2006


Catback Mountain?


Jack Twist: Ice-T the cat
Ennis Del Mar: Scrat, the critter from
Ice Age.

Our story begins ...

Jack: "Jack Twist."
Ennis: "Ennis."
Jack: "Your folks just stop at Ennis?
Ennis: "Del Mar."
Jack: "Well, nice to know you, Ennis Del Mar."
Jack: "You ever rodeo?"
Ennis: "I don't rodeo much, myself. I mean, what's the point of ridin' some piece of stock for eight seconds?"
Ennis: "My dad...he thought rodeo cowboys was all f---ups."
Jack: "The hell they are."

Jack: "Mom never explained it to me. I guess it's when the world ends and fellas like you and me, we march off to hell."
Ennis: "Speak for yourself. You may be a sinner, but I ain't yet had the opportunity."
Ennis: "You know I ain't queer."
Jack: "Me, neither."

Jack: "Time to get goin' cowboy."
Ennis: "This ain't no rodeo, cowboy!"

[blankets rustle; collars jingle; animal sounds]

Ennis: "This is a one-shot thing we got goin' on here."
Jack: "It's nobody's business but ours."

Ennis: "Come on, now, you're sleepin' on your feet like a horse."
Jack: "You know, it could be like this, just like this, always."
Ennis: "Yeah? How do you figure that?"
Jack: "It'd be a sweet life."
Ennis: "No, I told you, it ain't gonna be that way ... if you can't fix it, Jack, you gotta stand it."

Jack: "For how long"
Ennis: "As long as we can ride it. There ain't no reins on this one."

Jack: "Swear to God, I didn't know we was goin' to get into this again. Yes I did. I red-lined it all the way. I couldn't get here fast enough."
Ennis: "The bottom line is, we're around each other and this thing grabs hold of us again in the wrong place, in the wrong time and we're dead."
Jack: "This is a g--damn bitch of an unsatisfactory situation."

Jack: "I wish I could quit you."
Ennis: "Why don't you? It's because of you, Jack, that I'm like this. I'm nothin'. I'm nowhere."
Jack: "There's never enough time, never enough. You know, friend ... you used to come away easy, now it's like seein' the Pope."
Ennis: "I just can't take this anymore, Jack."
Jack: "Damn you, Ennis."
Ennis: " Jack, I swear ... "


Story board by Dr. ER and ER. Photos by ER. Quote extraction and placement by Dr. ER. Direct quotes from "Brokeback Mountain," short story by Annie Proulx, screenplay by Larry McMurtry and Diana Ossana, motion picture directed by Ang Lee.

Note: The scene was not set up. Even the "Cowboy Up" sign always rests where you see it, on the hearth. We bought "Scrat," who is battery-operated and jumps around and freaks out when you take his nut away, like in Ice Age, just to see how Ice-T would react.

We cracked up when Ice-T started *makin' moves" on Scrat. It naturally occurred and ER, who usually keeps his camera by his recliner, caught it.

--ER and Dr. ER

Monday, April 10, 2006


Jesus and homos, redux

Man, a bunch of us did get into it over at Mark's place yesterday and today over his post wherein he declares that homosexuality is no way, no how, not ever -- EVER! -- genetic or in any other way based on anything but the choice of a man or a woman.

(It's the post under the one about his pug. I can't link directly to it for some reason.)

I do not want to get into the nuts and bolts of his assertions here.

So, let's talk about God's grace.

Friend, brother and commenter GP has turned me onto this great book by Philip Yancey, What's So Amazing About Grace? It is definitely now one of my top five books on faith and trying to live as a Christian -- or a Jesusian, as I've taken to calling myself, to distinguish where I am from the Christian-fundamentalist-political-media-industrial complex.

(This book by Gary Cox is reflective, but not in every detail, of where I am: Think Again: A Response to Fundamentlaism's Claim on Christianity.)

The following, my last contribution to Mark's post, can be the start for this one, it being Easter Week and all.

Fundamentalists welcome. Fundamentalists who consider me or others as something less than "Christian" because we don't think in locketep with yourselves are not welcome. Take it somewhere else.

In the spirit of the Lord, whores welcome. Addicts welcome. Thugs welcome. Sinners welcome -- those who are Christians and those who are not. Backslidden welcome. Alienated believers welcome. Unchurched welcome.

Agnostics and atheists welcome.

Homosexuals welcome. I will delete any abusive comments as fast as I can get to them. Maybe there won't be any.

People may repeat what the Bible says, in direct quotes with citations. Commenters may express what they think it means. No soapboxes allowed. No declarations of "universal" or "obvious" interpretations or other judgmentalism will be tolerated. Of course, this attempt at reasonable discussion may fail.

Actually, if I have an argument it's this:

God's grace is greater than all my sin, and yours, and that of any hetero or homo who is drawn to a relationship with God through Christ; God is to judge, not me; I am to try to love without fail; repentence comes after an encounter with grace, not before, or it is an attempt to earn something that is, um, unearnable; and God reveals Himself, and his plan for every human being's life in Him in His own way, in His own time.

There are pretenders, those who say "Lord, Lord" and all that. We will know them "when we all get to heaven -- what a day of rejoicing that will be." Not one minute before.

Therefore, it doesn't matter to me whether homosexuality is a choice or a genetic or other biological tendency. Jesus loves me. Jesus loves you. Jesus loves "fags."

Jesus even loves Fred Phelps, the freak -- and since I have no real idea what is going on in his heart, or mind (since he may very well be insane and thus unaccountable for himself), while I wouldn't fellowship with him, I will not condemn him to hell either.

What say ye all?



1870s Oklahoma

Yo, y'all. Today, I'm revising an article for resubmission to a history journal.

It's about how a couple of "Indian" newspapers in what is now southeast Oklahoma responded to the Northern Plains wars in the mid-1870s and, specifically, the demise of Gen. George A. Custer at the Little Big Horn.

(Both mourned Custer's death and basically said the Northern Indians deserved what was coming to them as the cycle of violence picked up a notch)

The reviewers said I assumed that the general reader, even for an academic history journal, knew too much about Oklahoma in the 1870s. They're right, of course. So, this morning, I've come up with the following, to insert.

Y'all who know something about Oklahoma-Western-Indian history, please check to see if I've left out any major element. Y'all who *don't* know much about this time and place, same deal: Is there anything I seem to have left out?

Remmber, though: This is 377 words out of about 10,000 ...

What is now Oklahoma bore an array of frontiers in the mid 1870s – physical, racial, tribal, political, cultural, commercial. To call the place unsettled would be an understatement as well as a pun. Settlement, in fact, Indian and white, sparked most of the upheaval.

The Five Civilized Tribes – Cherokee, Chickasaw, Choctaw, Creek and Seminole, to the east – having been diminished by their alliances with the Confederacy, struggled with Reconstruction along with the rest of the South. In addition to losing western territories as a result of new treaties with the victorious Union, the tribes dealt with new neighbors along their borders, including the Delaware, Shawnee, Kickapoo, Ponca, Pawnee and Osage tribes.

White settlers, including those residing legally under permits issued by tribal governments, whites who became tribal citizens by marrying tribal members, and intruders, illegal residents, were starting to strain the small tribal governments, which reacted by asserting their distinctiveness as Indian regimes.

To the west, the United States government, having abandoned treaty-making with Indians in 1871, poured in cavalry to subdue Plains tribes and created reservations upon which even renegade bands eventually were concentrated after capitulating at Fort Sill.

The Red River War, outfitted from Fort Supply, thundered across western Indian Territory and the Texas Panhandle in 1874-1875. Warhawks claimed the Army chafed under the restrictions of President Ulysses Grant’s “peace policy,” a faith-based (largely Quaker) approach that sought to assimilate the “wild” tribes rather than annihilate them – a contention that grew white hot after the Sioux’s slaughter of Custer and the Seventh Cavalry at the Little Big Horn.

Cowboys also left their mark on the territory in the 1870s, driving Texas cattle north to markets in Kansas along three of the great cattle trails: The Shawnee Trail in the east, the Chisholm Trail up the middle and the Great Western Trail to the west. Not that the trails and rangeland supported only the stereotypical cowboy-Indian cultural dichotomy: Some cowboys were Indians, and many Indians were cowboys, in 1870s Oklahoma.

Railroads, slow to extend to the region, pushed in, mostly in the east, where many Indians also were businessmen and industrialists.

Indian Territory endured one seeming incongruity after another, in intertribal and intratribal relations, Indians’ dealings with the United States and its citizens, and in business.

What say y'all?


Sunday, April 09, 2006


Finishing a thought on war in Iraq

By The Erudite Redneck

In a post last November, I explained my rationale for supporting President Bush and his war machine's attacking Iraq thusly:

If I KNEW somebody living in a house on the next block had absolute plans to come to my house, rob me and kill me and my family, and I couldn't get the law to do anything about it, why, then, I would feel utterly justified in going over there, busting his door down and shooting first. That's what happened with Iraq.

(Read the entire post here. Interesting comments, considering subsequent revelations.)

Of course, we didn't actually know what we thought we knew.

Lately, I've been finishing the thought.

IF, I KNEW all of the above about the somebody living on the next block, and I took the actions so described, I still would have to answer to the law. If I killed somebody to prevent him from killing me, if I broke into his house before he broke into mine, whether or not I thought the authorities were being responsive, I, myself, would still have broken the law.

I would deserve to be, and surely would be, charged with breaking and entering and murder. A jury might decide that I should be let go, although I doubt it -- even if I found an arsenal, drawing so fmy house and a plan for attack.

Which is why the president should be impeached. He took the law, and this country, and its reputation, and the goodwill the rest of the civilized world held for us in the wake of 9/11, into his own hands. It's time we take it back.

Impeachment is the equivalent of indictment. The trial in the Senate is a real trial. Impeachment, the two times it's been used, has been used as a political answer to dilemmas that the laws on the books could not deal with.

In this case, the laws on the books -- and the tradition that this country, generally speaking, does not start wars but finishes them (a laudable but, of course, not entirely accurate statement despite being our guiding principal) -- are not being applied because the president has set himself above the law.

Therefore, the only way for this country to deal honorably before the world with this president is to elect a Congress this November with the balls to take the political step of impeaching Bush and trying him in the Senate.

It's the only way I know of for the people of this country to repent before God, and before the eyes of the world. This country has become its own worst enemy. The only fix is impeachment.

And then we should elect a president who will look the American people, and the rest of the world, square in the face, and, while acknowledging the good of having removed a dictator, admit that we were wrong to attack Iraq.

The Prayer of Confession today at this church, which I am growing closer and closer to calling "my" church, by joining:

Lord of Life, we struggle with the tension between a hostile world and the radical demands of the gospel. It is in our nature to strike back, to circle the wagons, to kill others before they kill us. But we are called to something new and wonderful: the end of retaliation. We are called to be peacemakers by breaking the cycle of violence. Help us to do it, because we can't do it alone. In Christ's name we pray, Amen.

The Scripture reading: Matthew 5:38-45.

Either the verses mean what they say, or they don't. Myself, I am striving -- and failing often -- to live peacefully among men. Add that to the values I look for in voting for candidates for office.


Saturday, April 08, 2006


ER's Excellent Adventure

Thursday morning, hauling it south out of Oklahoma City to Dallas on Interstate 35, at about the Arbuckle Mountains, I realized I was free -- free! free! -- for the next 24 hours. Free of the house and my routines.

Felt so good, I called in a $100 pledge to my favorite NPR affiliate.

After scootin' across the Red River, I felt so happy to be in Texas, I stopped at Foster's Western Shop on the north side of Denton, at the exit to Krum, and thought hard about buying a new straw, what with spring havin' sprung and all and me bein' in such a good mood. Nothing suited my fancy, though, so I got back in the truck and headed to I-35W, the turnoff to where I was going by way of the west side of the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex (three separate link there), the home of old friend and commenter GP.

Lawsy, GP had whupped up a feast on his backyard grill -- them havin' had rain in Texas and not bein' under a burn ban, they can do that. Marinated-barbecued-smoked chicken! (GP was consciously sensitive to my beef and pork Lenten set-aside, for which I was muchly grateful).

Plus hot rolls! Sliced cukes! Corn-on-the-cob! Bread-and-butter pickles and olives out of the jar! At high noon on a Thursday! Dude. I was sated.

Then we headed to GP's church for a 1 p.m. weekday afternoon Bible study. GP usually goes to the 8 p.m. Thursday study, but since we were headed to the Texas Rangers game later, he went to the 1 p.m. gathering. As we were walking up, one of the older ladies announced, "We got men!" We were the only two guys present, and dang near the youngest people there (both of us in early 40s)

The study was on Matthew 23. Jesus is majorly pissed in Matthew 23. The whole chapter is a sustained rant against the hypocritical scribes and Pharisees. The strongest language attributed to Jesus in the Bible is in this passage. He calls them snakes. He basically says hell is too good for them.

Why? Because of their hypocrisy -- their regular espousing of one world view while regularly living another way. And that was one of the lessons of the day for me: A reminder that hypocrisy goes much deeper than inconsistency and is more or less constant, not something expressed in anger or spite or pique. It's living a life that is a sustained lie or bundle of lies.

Back to the house. GP and I immediately walked the two blocks to the local grade school to retrieve GP Jr. He is quite a lad. Walking him to and from school -- he's a kiddiegartner -- is a regular routine for GP Jr. and his daddy. Warmed my heart and made me a little jealous to get to share that. GP Jr. will have warm memories of these times.

Then, ol' ER, who had gotten up early for the trip, and whose belly was still full of GP's barbecued chicken, had to have a nap. GP Jr. was kind enough to let me have his room for the visit -- he got to "camp" in a sleeping bag GP's office, so he was way cool with it -- so I conked out on his bed for an hour or so of snoozing while GP and GP Jr. played outside.

Came time to go to the game. (I will spare y'all the several tense minutes while GP, at the last minute, couldn't find the tickets). We sat on the right-field home run porch, row 2, about 12 feet inside from the first-base line. A line drive might’ve took one of our heads off! The crowd was way sparse, though, so we moved back several rows and had plenty of room to move around.

What a game. R.A. Dickey, the Rangers's starting pitcher, was practicing his knuckleball. Detroit batters hit SIX home runs and one RBI off him in 48 pitches. A sight to behold. Yep, it tied a record.

Short game: 2 hours and 40-some-odd minutes. (I will spare y'all the several tense minutes where I got separated from GP and GP Jr. and wondered how the heck we were going to find one another. Thank God for cell phones so simple that even I could find the "numbers previously dialed" function and call GP.)

Back to the house, where I was famished and had more chicken, since the only thing I could eat at the game, considering, was popcorn and nachos. (I will spare y'all details of my triggering of the GP household intruder alarm system -- about 15 minutes after lights out, when I decided to open a window. Sigh.)

Up early Friday morning. Kids off. Mrs. GP to work (GP had a late-starting work day). GP and sat around, reading the papers, drinkin’ coffee, marveling over the Scooter Libby revelations and the fact that Jesus and Judas were on the front page, talking about grace and ungrace, the central nature of what the Resurrection means and how it relates to being a Christian, talking about different concepts of the Resurrection, what truly are the fundamentals of the faith, and so on.

GP headed to work and I headed north -- to as far as Gainesville, Texas, famous nowadays for its outlet mall. There, I headed west on U.S. Highway 82 to Muenster, Texas, which is on the eastern fringe of the territory I used to cover as a journalist working from Wichita Falls, Texas.

At Muenster, a German town (obviously), I stopped and had a chicken schnitzel sandwich, kraut and potatoes at The Center restaurant. Then headed across the street to Bayer's Bakery (and convenience store and Exxon) and bought two strudels as big as my forearm and I am not exaggerating, one apricot and one apple-cheese.

Headed west as far as Saint Jo, which bloggy buddy Trixie blogged about a while back, then took off north on a farm-to-market road to and through Capps Corner and Illinois Bend, places I hadn't been in years. The Illinoise Bend Community Church was settin' up for a tent revival. True statement.

I’d forgotten how strikingly different and beautiful northern Montague County is from the flatness of the Red River bottoms on the north side of the Oklahoma line, and the rolling plains south of Highway 82. The land is breaky, with what used to pass for mountains back in the day. Good timber and pasture.

Between Capp's Corner and Illinois Bend, I looked off to the left and wondered, "Why is there a golf course way out here?" since it seems so landscaped. No. There were cows and calves out there. Somebody had grubbed out the brush, decades ago it looked like, and kept it clean, but left old timber along the creeks. Probably overseeded the native pasture with ryegrass, I'm guessin' -- but it was a beautiful sight to behold.

Scooted north into Oklahoma, across the "new" (1994) Taovayas Indian Bridge across the Red River ("new" because I wrote stories about it when they were putting it in, which reminds me I also wrote news and features stories out of Muenster, Saint Jo, Capps Corner and Illinois Bend, back in the early '90s, collecting datelines like Comanches counted coup).

At State Highway 32, I turned back west and hit U.S. 81 at Ryan, Okla. Decided to head south again, to get a look at Ringgold, Texas, which was supposed to have “burned down” in some of the recent wildfires.

Close to it: Several slabs, lot of burned vehicles, one old couple sifting through the remains of their house and the post office looked like it was in a new trailer – but I don’t know that the post office burned down. Ringgold looked like hell and smelled like it.

Back north on Highway 81, stopped at Terral, Okla., site of the annual Terral Watermelon Jubilee. Yep, I wrote stories about that in the ‘90s, and, the watermelon get-together was grist for my very first paid-for piece of writing not for a newspaper for which I was working. State tourism magazine took my 2,000 or so words and whacked it to around 700 words – but still paid me $100 dollars, so I was happy.

Stopped at a roadside store in Terral for a Coke and at the counter asked the guy about a new Copenhagen countertop and window ad I’d been seeing everywhere in Texas and now at this store in Terral:

For some new cut of Copenhagen, with a cowgal, behatted and bejeaned, with a finger hooked under her belt, seemin’ to be pulling the front of her britches down to regions that were not fit for mixed company when I was growing up, or even in the dadgum ‘90s when I was spending half of my nonsleeping, nonworking life in Texas dance halls chasin’ women. Hoo wee.

“That new?” I asked the guy behind the counter, peckin’ on the ad.

“Yep,” the guy said. “Old man was in here the other day, saw it, and grabbed his heart. I said to him, I said, ‘Don’t that make you wanna go dancin’?”

“Dancin’ ain’t what comes to mind when I looked at it,” I said.

“Well, there was a lady present at the time, so I had to clean it up.”

“Welp,” I said, “it’s damn near enough to make me want to dip again.”

“Yep,” he said.

“Yep,” I said.

Back in the truck, I see the door to the place is slamming and unslamming in the wind. I jump out and follow the directions I’d seen posted on it on my way in: “WIND WARNING! Close the door behind you,” it said.

A note about U.S. Highway 81: It follows the path of the Chisholm Trail (note on link: hardheaded Okies insist that the Chisholm Trail carried that name only in what is now Oklahoma, not all the way up from South Texas). Glancing on either side of the road, it does seem like a natural draw.

No doubt about where I was as I headed back north; Oklahoma, where the wind comes sweepin’ down the plain – and where dust and smoke were flyin’ sideways from out west in Oklahoma and the Texas Panhandle, both of which had erupted in flames again the day before.

Hard drivin’ with sustained winds in the 40s and gusts higher than that. Bleak, too, with an overcast sky and big rain drops on the back side of a cold front mixing with the dirt and smoke – but just for a little bit until the rain cleaned the air, or I drove north out of it.

Back at Ryan, I drove through slowly looking hard at everything, trying to remember whether it was Ryan or Ringling, Okla., not too far away, where one New Year’s Day I had to cover a double-homicide: a boyfriend killed his girlfriend and her baby, in a particularly gruesome manner, the details of which I’ve forgotten.

Damned if I didn’t win a state journalism award for the two stories I wrote that day. Shit. A woman and her baby get dead and I get an award. The world sucks sometimes.

North, at Waurika, I slowed down and considered driving downtown because the annual Waurika Rattlesnake Hunt is this weekend (did stories on that), but decided not to – although the chance of getting’ to eat some non-Lenten-violative snake meat was tempting. The dang Chisholm Trail Historical Museum was closed.

North of Waurika to Addington, Okla., where I did a story about two airmen who burned up in some kind of freak accident involving a firefighter training exercise and the malfunction of a newfangled firefighting vehicle – I think, since details have fuzzed up in my mind over the years.

North of Addington at Comanche, Okla., I remembered being here with a once-good-but-now-lost friend who was servin’ with me on the board of directors for a longstanding annual cattle show. We were in Comanche to either weigh steers or to pick up the scales and haul them back to Texas, or both, I can’t remember. That’s the only time I’d ever been in Comanche before.

At Comanche, I stopped and bought some polished-rock bookends for Dr. ER and for myself a chunk of Oklahoma coal (from a mine around Coalgate, in Little Dixie, the man said), and a chunk of sulfur (from somewhere in Texas, the man said). Now, with a match, I can smell what hell smells like, I reckon.

North of Comanche, I started “drawing a yellow line”! That means I’d never driven that way before. Several years ago, I bought a road atlas for the purpose of using a highlighter to mark every U.S and state highway I’d driven on in every state. The atlas succumbed to an unfortunate spitcup incident and was disposed of. The phrase “drawing a yellow line” continues in the ER family lexicon.

North to Duncan, where I saw the perfect mix of Oklahoma cowboys-Indians-commerce: The Chickasaw Nation's Chisholm Trail Casino, Cook-Out Café and Smoke Shop. Yeehaw! As cool as the Chisholm Trail Church of Christ down the road.

I drove into downtown Duncan for a looksee and spied a used bookstore, Books Galore. Not. Crappy Books Galore.

“Howdy! How’re y’all?” I said to an old couple behind the counter.

“Still alive and kickin’ – just not as high as I used to!” the old man said.

“Har, har,” we both said as the old lady ignored what the old dude said, because he probably says it to every stranger who comes through the door. But I got a laugh out of it.

“Y’all got any Oklahoma history? Any history books of any kind? But especially Oklahoma history?” I asked, because a scan of the store revealed nothing but cheap paperbacks, standard-issue romance, Westerns, pop psych, pop religion and such.

The lady rustled around the stacks behind the counter and held up a book: “We got this. But it’s $15 dollars!” It was “Our Oklahoma,” by Muriel Wright, Choctaw, descendent of a chief, and Oklahoma historian extraordinaire, from 1949, not in too good of a shape, so I declined and high-tailed it. Of course, I’ve regretted not buying the dang thing ever since.

The rest of the trip passed without incident or interest, other than the fact I continued to “draw a yellow line” through Marlow, Rush Springs and Ninnekah, to Chickasha, through which I’ve passed many times, and where I’ve eaten ribs and bales of French fries several time at Jake’s.

The H.E. Bailey Turnpike passes through Chickasha, but I stayed on the road less traveled, Highway 81, through Pocasset and Minco to Union City, where I took State Highway 152 east to Mustang, then Highway 92 north to Route 66 at Yukon (home of Garth Brooks), to the Kilpatrick Turnpike around the northwest side of OKC and finally back to the house – after detours for a Coke at the Sonic for Dr. ER and a fresh bottle of Dickel for myself, to wash the road dust out of my throat.

And I still got three days off to go! :-)


Thursday, April 06, 2006




* ?
** ??


Wednesday, April 05, 2006


ER's book proposal

Curriculum vita updated, check.

Summary of book, check.

Who will want to read it, and why, check.

How it relates to existing scholarship, check.

Specs (65,760 words), check.

Note on illustrations, check.

Names and addresses of three experts in the field, as possible reviewers, check.

Target and secondary audiences outlined, check.

Note on sections previously published, check.

Table of contents, check.

Bib, check.

Two sample chapters, check.

Woo hoo! It is all fixing to be in the mail.

Finally. Took half the day.

OK, actually, it took almost one year and half the day to get done and sent off. I just couldn't bear to get back into it until today -- and even today I had to force myself.

Worked and-or thought about this thing every waking moment from late 2001 to late 2004. I needed a break.

Break over. Cowboy up.



ER review: 'Brokeback Mountain'

Dr. ER bought the movie and we watched it last night. At the end, she was sniffling and wiping tears -- and I have to admit the shirts thing is an awesome metaphor.

The movie is so much better than the short story, which is so rare. Larry McMurtry is ALL OVER this flick, and I mean that in a good way.

Dr. ER and I both are familiar with Childress, Texas, which added interest, and we both know Lake Kemp, which is spittin' distance from where we used to live in North Texas, and was mentioned in passing (when Jack and the new ranch foreman were talking on the bench outside the benefit supper-dance).

The sparseness of the original story allows room for the Wyoming (actually Alberta) scenery to become an important secondary character almost in the movie, and it provides room for the deliberate pacintg of the movie.

We both hooted when we saw Randy Quaid was the sheep foreman! And, being raised in Cow Country, I just can't look at two men on horseback amid a bunch of sheep without laughing.

The short story upon which 'Back was based fails. Annie Proulx, on her Web site, says she aimed to explore "the homophobia of the West" or some such. Didn't happen.

In the short story, the violence directed at the boys is suggested but not clear. The violence done to Jack at the end of the movie is clearer than in the book, but question marks are deliberately left. Even the guy who spied 'em doin' it through the telescope (Randy Quaid) didn't do them harm -- just gave 'em shit, as if he wasn't surprised that they wound up gettin' after it. Bein' shepherds and all.

Antisheep and antisheepherder mythologizing in Cow Country has it that doin' it with another boy isn't but a step removed from doin' it with a sheep. I am not trying to be a smartass.

This is me bein' a smart ass: That's why sheepherds wear tall-topped boots with their britches legs tucked in 'em: To have a place for the sheep's legs.

"Brokeback Mountain" is a great flick. I cannot see myself being one of those boys -- and that is one of the circumstantial truths that helped me shake -- is helping me shake -- the judgmentalism I grew up with.

I can imagine myself doing all manner of sin; the fact that I cannot imagine myself being homosexual, or engaging in a homesexual sex act, suggests to me strongly that "sin" has nothing to do with such orientation, at least no more or no less than any other sexual orientation or kind of sex act.

But I absolutely can see those boys in that situation. I came away from the movie "getting" the multiple layers of tragedy involved, and feeling real empathy for two men tangled up in "something" in a world where they couldn't be themselves.

What do y'all who have seen it think. What do y'all who haven't seene it think?

For a better discussion of the Western genre, including a good thread on Brokeback Mountain, go to Bitch, Ph.D's Monday post, "Why I Love Westerns."


Tuesday, April 04, 2006



Eerie visage of Bast observed hovering over ER household kitchen floor, near ER's stash of Texas Miller Lite. Note striking resemblance to Ice-T and odd facial expression, perhaps reflective of ER's taste in beer? ...



Carter for President

You heard me. Bring back Jimmy.

His latest book is dead-on right:

"Carter spends significant time contextualizing his own spirituality, as if to underscore the urgency of his message that fundamentalism in any form is bad, especially when it encroaches on government. Indeed, Carter persuasively links fundamentalism to harmful policy, the subjugation of women, general xenophobia, and a host of other ills occurring all around him."
(--from Amazon)

Jimmy Carter for president.



Monday, April 03, 2006


Convalescent kitty & etc.

Here is the convalescent kitty hisself, Ice-T, on a heatin' pad holdin' up his poor sore toesies after gettin' declawed. Dr. ER has been the epitome of a kittynurse during this familial travail!

Here is a close-up of the poor kitty's poor sore, shaven toesies! They look like little monkey hands. Shown next to one of the little voodoo cat toys he got to enjoy durin' his revovery, which is proceeding nicely. He doesn't holler with every step anymore. Ah -- and I just heard Dr. ER with him in the other room, declare, "He's gettin' a case of the ass, again!" Things are turning to normal, indeed!

Here is a new one of the step-granddog, Fenway! His team whupped the Texas Rangers today, on Opening Day!

Finally, for you-know-whats and giggles, here's an ER Household Still Life(tm): The garage! Part of it, anyway. Only once has either of us parked a vehicle in it -- when a hailstorm was coming. What a wreck! Two things in this photo are noteworthy. One is screamingly obvious, the other one much less so, but a hoot, so to speak, nonetheless ...


Sunday, April 02, 2006


Jesus is a feminist

(From the producer of "Jesus is a liberal.")

This church rocks.

Scripture reading: Genesis 1:26-27:

God spoke: "Let us make human beings in our image, make them

reflecting our nature

So they can be responsible for the fish in the sea,

the birds in the air, the cattle,

And, yes, Earth itself,

and every animal that moves on the face of Earth."

God created human beings;

he created them godlike,

Reflecting God's nature.

He created them male and female.

(-- from The Message)

Prayer of Confession:

"Lord of Life, help us to overcome the long and sad legacy of treating women as second-class citizens. Forgive us for not understanding the equality of creation, and for abusing and controlling women. Mich of what we do is born of fear and insecurity. Help us to recover the teachings of Jesus -- the world's greatest liberator of women. Amen."

Note, forthcoming book by the pastor of this church:

Why the Christian Right is Wrong.


Saturday, April 01, 2006


Ice-T Returns; ER Leaves Home

Guest blogging by Dr. ER at ER's request (and let me get all whining out up front -- I can scarcely remember how to type; haven't looked at e-mail in 3 weeks or so and write today through the glorious fog of pain drugs, have developed a fine case of agoraphobia, and am basically satisfied to be a broken chick 'cause the thought of my workplace makes me bring up my breakfast). There.

ER brought Ice-T home and, within 20 minutes, abandoned the poor kitty to my care to go watch OSU play baseball. Probably for the best; ER doesn't do baby talk well and doesn't have a motherly gene in his body. Though the kitty loves his "daddy" the most and apparently didn't settle down for the vet this morning until ER got there.

I guess the only thing that puzzles me is that they don't send the kitties home with something akin to the Lortabs I'm taking for my broken hip -- shoot, it seems like they'd give them some kind of pain pill, but they don't. So yeah, T is hurting and he makes these very sad moans when he walks. I just wish I had some kitty Tylenol or something.

But not long after ER left, Ice-T did manage to jump onto the bed and go to sleep on ER's confederate flag blanket; he really just wants to be alone, truth be told.

And drlobo, no Egyptian gods visited me in the night because, taking advantage of T's absence, Riker, the septuagenarian attack corgi, slept with me and staved off any lip I might get from the supernatural side.

So we're a fairly pitiful couple, T and me. We're trying to out-whine each other but I do take my animal stewardship role seriously and am loving on him...hmm, a whining wife with a broken hip and a crying kitty with shaved feet, in pain, with underlying attitude. No wonder ER went to watch baseball.

And tell me this -- I asked ER this question this morning and I didn't get a satisfactory answer...why don't they play baseball in the rain? I don't mean thunderstorms, I mean just plain ol' rain. In NASCAR, it makes sense that they don't drive in the rain, but baseball? It's like Jerry Seinfeld says in his opening bit for "The Hamptons" episode (the episode with the ugly baby and the coining of the term "shrinkage.") -- though we humans love water, are made mostly of water, live on a planet largely made of water, we're scared, it seems, by small, flying water. And baseball is scareder than most.

T. and Dr. E...Over and out.


Play ball!

It took a couple of 12-hour days to git-r done this week, but I'm off work now until April 12! Woo hoo!

Two words: Base ball. Wait, that's one word.

Anyhow, I plan to replenish my spirit with at least three baseball games in the next few days.

Game two of this series at Oklahoma State.

Game two of the Central Oklahoma-Southeastern Oklahoma series starting today across town. UCO baseball here.

And, next Thursday night, the big carrot on the stick of my vacation week: Texas-Detroit, in Texas, with good friend GP. Texas Rangers here.

Next weekend, I might go see Oklahoma-Memphis in Triple A play in Oklahoma City -- my favorite kind of baseball, actually. Oklahoma RedHawks here.

I'm not a baseball fanatic or anything. But I do loves me some games sometimes, and vacation time falls at the best part of the seasons for college, conference play, and for Triple A and the Majors, the beginning.

It's in the air! Opening Day Monday. Even the movies on the Turner Classic movie channel last night were baseball-related.

Besides that, I got a little researchin' and writin' to do this week on some history projects I'm workin' on.

First, though, I'm going to reeeelax -- after I go pick up Ice-T at the vet's.

Then, play ball!


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