Friday, June 29, 2007


I meme what I say!

Tech and Sassywho both have tagged with with the Eight Random Facts Meme. Sassywho also got me with a book meme.

Y'all know the drill. Yer supposed to answer the questions in the comments. And if you're tagged, yer supposed to answer the questions in the comments here, *and* post this here meme up at your own joint and tag eight others. Here goes.

Eight random facts about ER

1. First job in the media: Gospel radio deejay, in the early '80s, at a station in the Arkansas Ozarks.

2. First job fired from: Gospel radio deejay, in the early '80s, at a station in the Arkansas Ozarks. (Played too much evvviiilllll contemporary Christian music to suit the Southern-country Gospel lovin' audience.

3. I am extremely nearsighted. I can get out of bed, but I cannot walk across the room without my glasses.

4. My favorite food is pan-fried steak, ribeye or T-bone, pan-fried by my own hand in my own pan on my own stove. Lawry's, garlic powder, fresh-cracked black pepper, thyme, rubbed on an hour before it hits a salted, dry piping hot pan.

5. My feet are size 13 in most shoes and boots, and size 14 in a few.

6. I consider "redneck" an ethnic group, soon-to-be minority ethnic group.

7. I was raised in a loving but conservative Southern Baptist church; a year ago, I joined a loving and liberal Congregational church; I may very well turn universalist before it's all said and done. God IS love.

8. I am not as redneck as some think I am. But I *am* pretty dadgum erudite for a farm boy from the Oklahoma Ozarks-Arkansas River Valley region.

Sassywho's book meme:

1. Total Number of Books I Own: 1,200-1,300.

2. Last Book I Bought: A trio: Wilma Ann Bailey, "You Shall Not Kill" or "You Shall Not Murder"? (Collegeville, Minn.: Liturgical Press, 2005); Marcus J. Borg, The Heart of Christianity: Rediscovering a Life of Faith (San Francisco: Harper, 2003); Marcus J. Borg, Reading the Bible Again for the First Time: Taking the Bible Seriously but Not Literally (San Francisco: Harper, 2001).

3. Last Book I Read: Marcus J. Borg, The Heart of Christianity: Rediscovering a Life of Faith (San Francisco: Harper, 2003).

4. Five Books that Mean a Lot to Me: "The Sins of Scripture: Exposing the Bible's Texts of Hate to Reveal the God of Love," by John Shelby Spong; "Rescuing the Bible from Fundamentalism: A Bishop Rethinks the Meaning of Scripture," by John Shelby Spong; "Jesus for the Non-Religious," by John Shelby Spong; "The Tao of Pooh," by Benjamin Hoff; "The HarperCollins Study Bible, New Revised Standard Version, with the Apocryphal/Deuterocanonical Books," Wayne A. Meeks, gen. ed., and Jouette M. Bassler, Werner E. Lemke, Susan Niditch and Eileen M. Schuller, assoc. eds.




Marshall Art



Frenzied Feline

Dan Trabue



Thursday, June 28, 2007


ER: Rated G

Online Dating

Mingle2 - Online Dating

What a hoot. Just 'cause I keep the cussin' to a minimum.


Wednesday, June 27, 2007


UCC props up the right side of its tent

By Elizabeth Hamilton
Hartford Courant

The United Church of Christ sidestepped the contentious issue of same-sex marriage as its biennial conference ended Tuesday, but extended an olive branch of sorts to conservative churches feeling alienated from the denomination.

Good. I am all for theological and doctrinal diversity in the United Church of Christ. Looks like me and Marshall Art still get to hang, as amazing as it sounds. :-)

Gracious! How sweet the sound ...

I really like this part:

The Rev. Davida Foy Crabtree, head of the Connecticut Conference of the UCC, said the debate centered on whether the denomination should "bring the resolutions to the floor and have them soundly defeated or take no action because we want to be a community of grace."

Read all about it.



'We Are Not Losing the War Against Radical Islam'

Hey, clip and mail this to any simpleton you know who thinks:

1. We face a monolithic enemy.


2. Those damn librals who hate Murka are forcin' the West to fight with one hand tied behind its back with, you know, loyalty to liberty, freedom of speech, the human and constitutional rights to dissent, and stuff like that.

I loves me some Fareed Zakaria:

From a broad coalition promising to unite all Muslims, Al Qaeda has morphed into a purist Sunni group that spends most of its time killing Shiites. In its original fatwas and other statements, Al Qaeda makes no mention of Shiites, condemning only the "Crusaders" and "Jews." But Iraq changed things. Abu Mussab al-Zarqawi, the head of Al Qaeda in Mesopotamia, bore a fierce hatred for Shiites, derived from his Wahhabi-style puritanism. In a February 2004 letter to Osama bin Laden, he claimed that "the danger from the Shia ... is greater ... than the Americans ... [T]he only solution is for us to strike the religious, military and other cadres among the Shia with blow after blow until they bend to the Sunnis." If there ever had been a debate between him and bin Laden, Zarqawi won. As a result, an organization that had hoped to rally the entire Muslim world to jihad against the West has been dragged instead into a dirty internal war within Islam.

Read all of 'We Are Not Losing the War Against Radical Islam' by Fareed Zakaria.

And his book, "The Future of Freedom," also comes with the ER Seal of Approval.



Hmm, hm, hum, hmmm, hmmmmm ...

I was standing in the lobby of an office building just now, waiting to meet someone, humming a tune from the new Bon Jovi album, and the gal at the reception desk said to me:

"My grandma always said that when people are humming or whistling, it means their spirit is at rest."

"Wow," I said. "It is! Really, for the first time in quite awhile. I've gotten some resolution to some things that have been keeping me up at night."

"Glad to hear that. That's great!" she said.

"Hmm, hm, hum, hmmm, hmmmmm," I said.

Got a lot of work done on the house, finally -- I mean paid professionals have. Three trips strung over three weeks.

Finally let go of the fact that my summertime mad money is now gone.

Finally resolved some other, harder-to-quantify things having to do with me, and Dr. ER and Colorado and Oklahoma and all.

And, seriously, not to get all '80s on y'all or anything, but Bon Jovi's new CD, "Lost Highway," is great, mainly because he's not trying to be 20-something. He's singin' to 40-somethings. Good stuff, man.


Tuesday, June 26, 2007


Well, that's settled

Posted with a smile. I loves me some chicken-fried, Southern Gospel music, which I used to play at my very firstest job in the media. Here's a link to the ministry of one of the Ledbetter young'uns, all grown up.

Randy Ledbetter Ministries.



'Politics of conscience'

Sen. Barack Obama, speaking before the General Synod of the United Church of Christ:

But somehow, somewhere along the way, faith stopped being used to bring us together and started being used to drive us apart. It got hijacked. Part of it's because of the so-called leaders of the Christian Right, who've been all too eager to exploit what divides us. At every opportunity, they've told evangelical Christians that Democrats disrespect their values and dislike their Church, while suggesting to the rest of the country that religious Americans care only about issues like abortion and gay marriage; school prayer and intelligent design. There was even a time when the Christian Coalition determined that its number one legislative priority was tax cuts for the rich. I don't know what Bible they're reading, but it doesn't jibe with my version.

Read it all.


Monday, June 25, 2007


Bible reading: the be-all, but not the end-all

Trying to get the house ready to sell, and working for a living, plus working ahead so I can be off next week, is wearin' me out. And it's liable to break me.

I'm too pooped to pop, as Mama ER used to say.

So here, read this from Geoffrey. It comes with the ER Seal of Approval. :-)


Saturday, June 23, 2007


The bar games people play

Been a long time since I went to a bar right after work on a Friday -- I mean one less than perfectly civilized. The martini bar here in town I hit sometimes is actually the lounge of one of the finest and most expensive steak houses in the metro area. Very calm and refined.

But yesterday, I left work at about 6:15 p.m. and went to a Cajun seafood restaurant that has just moved into a new building since its original place got gobbled up by one of Oklahoma City's big-ass natural gas companies. The company has so much money it just literally is buying anything it wants that gets in its way -- including longstanding and cozy Cajun joints.

The new place is OK. But it's like any other new place. No character. No coziness. Blah. The food seemed just OK, too, not its usual very good to great, maybe just because the atmosphere is different.

Since it was just me, I sat at the bar, next to a big ol' honkin' black gal who'd just moved to the city from southwest Oklahoma and who I'll best just got a divorce. She and a girlfriend of color who looked to have some Indian in her were holdin' forth and hollerin' and whoopin' and havin' a good old time, flirting shamelessly with two much younger black guys down the bar. I'd say the women were in their mid-50s.

To my right was a tall white guy who was gulping beer. Seemed like just a regular white guy to me. Blonde. Short hair. Glasses. He was with two other seemingly regular guys. He said me, "Hey, can you believe there is not a huge flat-screen TV right there?" pointing to a space in the middle of the wall behind the bar, where some kind of big abstract art piece was hanging.

There already were two big TV's back there, on each end of the bar, just not right smack in front of where he and I were sitting. I stunned him when I said, "Dude, I could not care less whether there was not a TV in the world, let alone right there, right now. The biggest fights my wife and I have ever had had to do with a TV." He looked at me like I was a space alien. All he could sputter was "S-s-sports!" He resumed his beer gulping.

I'm not sure whether I actually saw what happened next, but I'm pretty sure I did -- but I wasn't really paying that much attention at first. One of the guys with the TV guy, a kind of dark-skinned (Chickasaw-type) late-50-something metrosexual, small of build, open of collar, previously seemed to have a geographically and ethnically obscure, plain old American accent (I know, it's dialect).

But suddenly I realized he was to my left, two women down, chatting one up -- and I swear he suddenly had this North African-Moroccan accent thing going on, or maybe a French-Belgian thing, but it was so over-the-top I thought of Pepe le Pew. But the gal was buyin' it. I chuckled and sipped my Beefeater martini.

Food came. Catfish. Hushpuppies. Fries. Cole slaw. Red Stripe. I ate fast cause I was starved, vaguely aware that around me people were getting louder and the bar and restaurant were getting crowded. I glanced at the entry and saw people waiting for seats for the restaurant as well as the bar, so I decided to pay and leave.

Before I could, though, the TV guy to my right proved that he had drunk past his inhibitions. His everyday-guy voice had turned as lispy as any gay caricature. He was gushing and touching everyone around him -- you know, the hand on shoulder, or arm, light touch kind of thing.

He jumped up and flew around me to the gal to my left, and hugged her. Full-body hug. Think Pepe le Pew again. He was babbling. Just a happy-go-lucky-sloppy gay drunk. He went to the next woman, and full-body hugged her.

One of his two friends to my right said something that indicated they knew he was gone and it was time take him home. They walked behind me and pried him loose from somebody else he was hugging.

They started hustling him out, and as they glided behind me, I felt a slight tweak on each hip, just above my belt line.

I'd been lightly frotteurized!

I blew Red Stripe through my nose, laughing. The gal to me left said to me, “I think he’s gay.” I said, “YA THINK?” I guess she’d seen what he did as he passed.

She asked me if I was mad. And I laughed again and said, “Look, this is a conservative city in a red state. He probably keeps himself under wraps most of the time in self-defense. He got loaded and out he came.”

Earlier, she’d said, laughing, that she hated men. Then, misty-eyed, she said something about me being a rare reasonable man. Oh Lord, I thought, everybody in here is getting drunk but me.

I looked to my right and the three were leaving, the gay guy with his arms in the air, blowing goodbye kisses to everyone he could see, dancing along as his friends hustled him along out the door.

Not kidding. I wasn’t offended, although it was an unusual set of circumstances, all around. If he’d walked up and kissed me on the mouth, I might’ve kicked his ass right there on the spot. But if he’d hugged me like he did everyone else, I’d probably have scrunched up and pushed him off the way my cat, Ice-T, does me when I scoop him up unexpectedly to mess with his mind -- and the way the girl kitty does when Pepe le Pew puts his moves on her. And if he’d have touched my privates, one of us might be hospitalized right now.

Or maybe not. Back in the day, when I worked at a small-town radio station, friends of mine would come and hang out with me when I worked alone in the middle of the night. One night, one of ‘em reached out, as I was talking on air, and put his hand on my thigh, right up against my crotch. We’d always suspected he was gay, but it had never been a problem.

I podded down the mic, turned and said to him, “I’ll kill you, you son of a bitch.” I meant it, or thought I did. We never spoke again. I could have handled it better, and I wish I had. I think I probably would now. In fact, maybe I did, last night.

On the other hand, technically, I guess I was assaulted. Barely. But, no harm, no foul. What do y'all think?


Friday, June 22, 2007


Work is getting in the way of my blogging!

Y'all all are just gonna have to talk amongst yourselves.


Thursday, June 21, 2007


$3.06 per word?

I am swingin' for the fences! I just submitted a short thing to Reader's Digest, which pays up to $300 for up to 100 words.

Let's do some timeses and gasentas ...

I turned in 98 words. That's $3.06 per word, if they accept it and pay their top dollar. And that would be a record for me.

Several years ago, I wrote forewords for two of the "Complete Idiot's Guide" books -- 500 words each, for $500 each -- $1 per word.

Words come cheap. I know, because not only do I get paid for writin' in the RW, but I also pay freelancers.

A dollar a word is exceptional -- and $3.06 per word would be a lifetime achievement!


Wednesday, June 20, 2007


Put this guy in boots and a cowboy hat, set the spot in Weatherford, OK, and you've got an awesome spot for alternative energy in western Oklahoma

This kicks ass.

(Tip o' the Resistol to Arse Poetica.)



Mighty big Shoulders

Jim Shoulders, "Babe Ruth of rodeo," died this morning at his ranch in Henryetta, OK.

When I was a teen ER, I used to want to ride bulls. Some of my friends did. Problem was, the beer window was too narrow. Took about three Coors for me to get the guts to do it, and three and a half to get me too loopy to try.

(Photo from National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum).


Tuesday, June 19, 2007


By the way, wish me luck!

I should know this week or next whether I will be among those who make it to the interview stage for one job in Denver -- working with politicians and lobbiests and government types, doing research and writing and speeches and other public presentations.

And I just now sent off an application for a job working with college students.

The money is best with the first one. The opportunity for my own continued education is best with the second one. I think I actually want the first one most.

Yer prayers, good vibes and happy-happy thoughts, please!



You know yer a Texan or an Okie if:

(Thanks to the Dallas Ranch Branch of the Extended ER family!)

1. (Texas) You can properly pronounce Corsicana, Palestine, Decatur, Wichita Falls, San Antonio, Burnet, Boerne, Nacogdoches, Mexia, Waco, Amarillo, and Waxahachie.

(Oklahoma) Chickasha, Poteau, Pushmataha, Miami, Potawatomie, and Oolagah.

The rest are in the first comment!



No idols "in the form of anything"

Belated report of Sunday's Prayer of Confession at this church:

Lord of Life, we often think that we are called to a life of law-abiding decency and nothing more. If we please our parents, avoid embarrassment, achieve the American Dream, and keep any family failures hidden we will be successful. In short, we idolize decency. But God is calling us to something deeper, richer and more risky than mere decency. God is calling us to live and love extravagantly, and to remember that when we need forgiveness, it is available. In Christ's name we pray, Amen.

Exodus 20: 3-4: "You shall have no other gods before me. You shall not make for yourself an idol in the form of anything ..."

I often accuse biblical literalists of making an idol out of the Bible itself. I think many of them do.

Sometimes I idolize my righteous anger, my reputation, my sense of accomplishment, my income, my job, the stability of my life -- because for all the upheaval in it, I do have a job, a dry bed and a place to poop. :-)

What false idols do you have to guard against? Comment anonymously if you like.


Monday, June 18, 2007


'War's sacred toll'

"However much religious impulses can be complicit in violence, that ineffable and precious touch is the absolute opposite of war. Human beings can never kill each other without killing God."


Read all of "War's sacred toll," by James Carroll, in today's Boston Globe.



Global warmin' -- hittin' where it hurts?

Now, THIS is a crisis!

Jack Daniel's water supply is drying up.

I'm not a Jack man. But Lynchburg, Tenn., where Jack Daniel's is distilled, is only 12 miles from Tullahoma, Tenn., where George Dickel is distilled! Dang drought!

Dickel beats 'em all, although I just discovered Elijah Craig, a good bourbon. Sigh. I imagine that the drought in Tennessee extends up into Kentucky.

Name YOUR poison!


Sunday, June 17, 2007


'It smells of boy in here'*

GRRRRRRRR! Friday night, I came home from work to find a veritable Spirograph drawing of red-mud bicycle tire patterns on my driveway.

The Flanders** kid next door apparently had ridden his bike around and around around and through and through and through a mudpuddle against the driveway, leaving the mess. GRRRRRRRR!

Now the little s---t is with some friends popping firecrackers under a pan or bucket or something. They're in their own back yard but they're spooking Bailey and Riker, who are barking and carrying on while I'm trying to work.

Boys should be raised on farms, away from towns, so they can be as muddy and loud and boyish as they want to be! Like I was. GRRRRRR!

It's official now. I am an old fart.


* For source of quote: See ER's first use of it, in pre-Ice-T days.

** Not his real name. So-named because my neighbors are home-schoolers the mama of whom was praying for a Lexus when we first moved in here.


'Baby, listen to Gary England'

Bird sent me this. It is such a hoot. Sen. Inhofe is in fine form dismissing the notion of global warming. Gary England is a local TV meteorologist in Oklahoma City. He can be goofy, but I like him. The day after this aired, England laughed with those who were laughing at him about Jon Stewart's take on one of his scary-ass weather promos.


Saturday, June 16, 2007


The find took a heavy toe on the officers

Stolen Legs Are Recovered.

Puns, please.



'Holy Joe'

OK, I've slapped Jack Chick around enough for now, until the next time I go vote and have to walk by a rack of tracts at the local Southern Baptist church, my polling place.

But I've always liked this one. The whole your-life-is-being-taped thing at the end is a way to express the Scriptural assertion that we will give an accounting of our lives. It's hokey, but as a modern parable, it works.

Also, reducing the mystery of salvation and the start of a conscious relationship with God to the recitation of "The Sinner's Prayer" does a disservice, I think, *to* that mystery and the profundity *of* the start of God consciousness.

On the other hand, bozillions of people's Christian life has started by kneeling and praying with a preacher, or some other witness.

And while the words uttered themselves don't mean much, the attitude of surrender before God, under Grace, in redemption, as expressed in the Cross of Christ -- whether all those particulars are recognized immediately, or ever -- does matter.

And, while "Holy Joe" himself is as overdrawn as every other Chick character -- they are comic book characters, after all -- he's overdrawn as an example of Christian faithfulness and devotion, and Jesusy kindness.

Which is why I like him.

Read Holy Joe.


Friday, June 15, 2007


Just for Geoffrey

Here's the rest of This Was Your Life!

I really don''t have a tremendous amount of trouble with this one. It's another allegory, although based on literalism, as all Chick tracts are.

Except where Jack Chick disagrees with a literal reading of the Bible.


Thursday, June 14, 2007


Beware the evil TOOTH FAIRY

I do believe that Jack Chick has outdone himself. The tooth fairy leads to a school murder!

Check it out.

Said the friend who told me about the tract:

Personally, I believe if Jack is going to take credit for the "millions"
he's ushered into heaven, he ought to subtract those who opted to stay lost because the tracts totally turned them off to Christ. No idea how many that would be, but it would certainly bring down his numbers.


Wednesday, June 13, 2007


Let Junior be Junior

After sleepin' on it, I'm willin' to give Dale Earnhardt Jr. the benefit of the doubt on his Big Move.

Even though it'll mean no more Bud, no more No. 8 and no more team rivalry with Hendrick Motor Sports.

Even though the very idea of Junior bein' on a team with Jeff Gordon and Jimmie Johnson made Dr. ER and Bird so mad they saw red last night -- and still do. I'm still gagging, myself, but it's Junior's call.

I'm reminded of an exchange from "Tombstone."

Doc Holliday: And you must be Ringo. Look, darling, Johnny Ringo. The deadliest pistoleer since Wild Bill, they say. What do you think, darling? Should I hate him?

Kate: You don't even know him.

Doc Holliday: Yes, but there's just something about him. Something around the eyes, I don't know, reminds me of ... me. No. I'm sure of it, I hate him.

ER, thinkin' of Jeff Gordon: "I don't know, reminds me of Junior. I'm sure of it, I hate him."

I didn't like Gordon and Johnson before. Now I really hate 'em. (Not in the eternal, damn-their-souls-to hell sense.)

Let Junior be Junior. Before long he'll put Jeffy and Jimmie in their place -- on their own team.


Tuesday, June 12, 2007


I'm still speechless

Ya know how George W. Bush, seen mostly as a good ol' boy, likeable fella, latest generation of a political dynasty, who people liked to begin with, landed the world's goodwill after 9/11 -- then pissed it away?

Dale Earnhardt Jr., seen mostly as a good ol' boy, likeable fella, latest generation in a racin' dynasty, who people liked to begin with, landed the goodwill of the racin' world when his daddy died racin' -- and it looks like Junior is fixin' to piss it away.

Say it ain't so, Junior.

If you don't get this, don't ask. The ERS are sick over it.



White people suck

Finally watched "Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee" last night, from HBO.

It's a lightly dramatized account of Sitting Bull's resistance after Custer's demise, Sitting Bull's flight to Canada, eventual surrender and murder -- I use the term deliberately -- on the Pine Ridge Reservation in 1890.

Most of the M.A. in the header was earned studying 19th-century American Indian history. Most of my work had to do with the Five Civilized Tribes, but I spent a semester reading about 40 books, plus numerous primary documents, on the Indian wars and the Custer debacle and aftermath. The government considered sending the Sioux to reservations in Indian Territory, now Oklahoma.

"Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee," based on part of the book by the same name by Dee Brown, seemed dead-on accurate, historically. I'm sure some of the personal aspects of Charles Eastman's life were contrived, specifically, the movie said he was a warrior during the Battle of the Little Big Horn -- was he? -- but, hey, it's a movie.

I watched it to get in the mood to write a short proposal for a history conference in November. All it did was depress me.

Y'all godfearing neo-America-Firsters, if you read some actual history, would realize that this country was never blessed by God as much as by technology and the clash of cultures that allowed Europeans to roll over this continent. I mean, unless you believe that *was* the blessing of God: enabling whites to kill, steal, cheat, swindle and otherwise run roughshod over native peoples. Which some do believe.

Hey, I'm not saying the Indians were all sweetness and light, and Big Evil Americans just wantonly raped, pillaged and burned their way across -- although very many did.

Some of the natives were wretched, by any standard, and some were savages, by any standard -- not just "differently cultured" or whatever -- and many were wretched savages.

And some were just bad, scalping, mutilating, bloodthirsty sumbitches.

White people suck, but no more than some and no less than most. What gets me is the claims of God's blessing on the American enterprise, based on outcome, when some of the most blessed people I've ever known were poor as dirt and abject failures.

Success is no indication of blessing, despite what the Prosperity Gospelers say on late-night TV. And success can be fleeting, as we're finding out -- a couple hundred years being a blink in time.

Wovoka, the Paiute prophet, was right: The white man, and his ways, are disappearing. White settlement? The Winning of the West, as it was known in an earlier generation?

Native Americans saw it as illegal immigration.

What goes around comes around.


Sunday, June 10, 2007


Houseplan M-820: 'The Jesus'

A friend of mine is a home builder. He names his houseplans after books of the Bible.

I told him he should design a house with no bedrooms, and call it The Jesus -- since it would have no place to lay your head!(Matthew 8:20.)

He told me he thought about calling one The Exodus -- but he thought better of it since, he said, the whole point is to get people to go INTO the house.

I said, no! Call one The Exodus! Give it a walk-out basement!

Thanks. Thank you. I'll be here all week.


This is all in fun. Houses are on my mind, since I'm getting one ready to sell and getting ready to find another one. And as one of de branches, divine thoughts are never far from my mind and heart.

Help out! Name a house for a Bible book or character or event, and tell the design distinction that makes it fit its name.

Oh, before I leave the stage, here's another one:

A series of three, upscale to midscale to affordable: The Shadrach, The Meshach and The Abednego. They each got a hell of a furnace!

Thanks, thank you.

Wocka, wocka.


Friday, June 08, 2007


'Flight F-I-N-A-L' -- a few kind words

In recognition of today's flight of the Atlantis, the first shuttle flight of 2007, let me say a few kind words about this album, "Flight F-I-N-A-L-- A Dramatic Comparison to Death," by Forrest McCullough, which I own. I took it with me when I left home way back when. It came out, I think, in 1965, when I was 1. Mama ER must have bought it. But I don't know. As a little ER, I listened with rapt attention and it helped me imagine -- without which none of us can "see" God in this life.

I insist on a few kind words for it because there is nothing but ridicule and mockery about on the Internet, as far as I can tell.


OK, "the blood-sprinkled concourse" might seem a bit much -- but not to one who knows these images as part of his heritage of faith and now recognizes the deep value of metaphor.

Here's the whole thing. It is an LP album.

Side 1.

Side 2.

It's an allegory. And if we start making fun of allegories then we have to line 'em all up: "The Pilgrim's Progress," "The Pilgrim's Regress," "The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe" and well. half, at least, of the Bible itself.

I'm not willing to do that. So, I hereby defend "Flight F-I-N-A-L" as an allegory of a certain way of interpreting an important part of the Christian story.


Thursday, June 07, 2007


PART 2: How summer-is-comin' American is this?!? Free rootbeer floats from 8 p.m. to midnight (Central) tonight at Sonic Drive-Ins!

Ha! What fun!

It's exactly 2 miles from my house to the nearest Sonic, which is about how far it was from the place where I grew up to "town," the difference bein' back then it was 2 miles of cows in pastures and maybe five seven house, on both sides of the two-lane state highway, and now, here, it's 2 miles of suburb, but still a quick trip.

I pulled in at 8:43 p.m. and there was, in fact, a traffic jam. I came in the "back way" to this particular Sonic, meaning from a neighborhorhood street; the traffic jam was along the major thoroughfare that makes up part of the crossroads there (this is at Kelly and Second Street, for y'all who know the area).

Once I got onto the property, it took just 2 minutes for a space to open up.

I pulled in and ordered "one rootbeer float."

"Just one?" the gal said, since families were pullin' in in SUVs and extended-cab pickups and cans and such loaded with kids.

"One'll do," I said.

Ten minutes later, out it came, toted by a red-faced, worn-out sweat-drippin' young thing. I tipped her four bits from the door pocket and should've been kinder.

Inside the place, the guys were high-fivin' and having a grand time -- I mean, they were ALL workin' their hind ends off, inside and out, but the dudes seemed to be havin' more fun.

The carhops, every one that I saw, all had looks on their faces that said, "WHAT THE HELL WERE THEY THINKING???!!!???"

And they all still got about 2 hours to go.

What a hoot. Whoever thought of this at Sonic is a gentleman (or lady) and a scholar, and a genius.

An Okie, I'll bet.



How summer-is-comin' American is this?!? Free rootbeer floats from 8 p.m. to midnight (Central) tonight at Sonic Drive-Ins!

I am so going to the Sonic after supper. (Wikipedia on Sonic here.)

Dr. ER LOL's at me for this kind of thing.

But back when I was a cub reporter and poor as dirt -- but I repeat myself -- a new furniture store in town was givin' away free lamps! Just lil ol' desktop, or nightstand, lamps.

I stood in a long, winding line for THREE HOURS with a bunch of other folks to get a FREE lamp -- and had the best time with all of 'em. I still have the lamp, and as I told Dr. ER on the phone just now, it WILL be makin' the move to Colorado.

I can't imagine it not.

I expect there to be a traffic jam around my neighborhood Sonic.

If you're a Sonic-goer, what's your favorite treat?

Mine's Pickle-O's (breaded deep-fried dill pickle slices), where available, the onion rings, any flavor of slush, and limeades. Well, the burgers and coneys, too, but duh.

Oh, and the breakfast burritos, toaster sandwiches and tots. And the malts, definitely the malts. And cheesy fries. And the coney. Did I say coneys?

Oh, and vanilla Cokes. And cherry Sprites. Dr. ER sometimes just MUST HAVE a Sonic DP 'cause they have that used-to-be-everywhere, now hard-to-find rabbit turd ice!

I *lived* on the BLT's on Texas toast, used to. Oh and two or three of the junior burgers are just right sometimes. The double cheeseburger with jalapenos once in a gre-e-aa-t while. ...

Oh, hell's bells, I don't own stock in the company or anything: The Sonic just rocks. And, as far as such goes, they seem to be a "good corporate citizen."

Ya got 3 hours and 7 minutes from right now to getcher free rootbeer float. :-)


Wednesday, June 06, 2007


Old Testament: An issue of 'audience and purpose'

This sounds very familiar. Oh, I think *I've* said it, in reference to the Law specifically but the Bible in general, and been dismissed by fundies.

The original author, purpose and audience is crucial for understanding the meaning of any sctipture and its relevance today.

Edward Fudge is a Church of Christ minister. Not the United Church of Christ, but the very conservative kind.

Fundamentalists are no more "conservative" than I am. They're reactionary.


(gracEmail) Old Testament literalism
Edward Fudge
Jun 5, 2007

Edward Fudge


A gracEmail subscriber asks how someone can support a literal contruction of scripture but not wish to execute rebellious children as the Old Testament prescribes. Did God decide that the Old Testament was too harsh and replace it with a milder set of rules? Why is the Old Testament still in our Christian Bible?

* * *

The real issue here is not one of literalism but of audience and purpose. The Hebrew Bible, which Christians call the "Old Testament," is the record of God's dealings with his covenant people the Jews, plus the Jewish oral traditions of God's earlier involvement with pre-Jewish humankind from Creation to Abraham. Many of us Christians and Jews alike believe that God had a hand in the origin, transmission and written preservation of those oral traditions, so that they are altogether trustworthy for their intended purpose.

We moderns naturally shrink back from the harsher laws found in the Law of Moses, such as the imposition of capital punishment for a variety of offenses including juvenile rebellion, sexual sins, blasphemy and Sabbath-breaking. We often forget that these laws set the boundaries for a theocracy whose subjects were a band of newly-freed slaves, whose neighbors worshipped fertility gods with orgaistic rites, regularly practiced child-sacrifice and other societally-suicidal abominations, and whose own laws defined justice in terms of the power balance between the offender and the offended.

We often overlook also that the Mosaic Code contained numerous safeguards against miscarriages of justice. It allowed no criminal convictions based on circumstantial evidence. Convictions required two eye-witnesses, and perjured witnesses faced the same penalty to which their false testimony subjected someone else. The Law of Moses also contained every major element of our modern civil system, including concepts of civil duty, ordinary and gross negligence, actual damages for medical expenses, physical impairment and lost wages, and punitive damages for outrageous conduct.

The Mosaic Law was never intended for non-Jews living outside Israel. Its universal and permanent principles are all fulfilled in Jesus Christ, as the Book of Hebrews illustrates. Salvation comes, not by our keeping any set of laws, but by relying on Jesus' atoning work in our stead, as Romans and Galatians point out. The Old Testament system did establish fundamental justice and morality in a primitive world, and highlighted human sin and the common need for redemption. It demonstrated both the goodness and the severity of God and his rule over the nations. And it preserved the people of Israel definably intact for a millennium-and-a-half until the coming of Jesus Christ the Jewish Messiah and Savior of the world.

For more on using the Bible, click here or go to .

Copyright 2007 by Edward Fudge. Permission hereby granted to reprint this gracEmail in its entirety without change, with credit given and not for financial profit. To visit our multimedia website, click here or go to .


'Homo Redneckus: Redefining White Trash in American Culture'

I got three words for William Matthew McCarter, author of 'Homo Redneckus: Redefining White Trash in America." (pdf) (html version)

Oh, HELL yeah.

(Notes: "Homo" in this instance has nothing to do with sexual orientation, which I thought might've needed pointed out in light of recent posts; and it's a 39-page read but well written, although I've only read some of it. I hope he distinguishes between rednecks and white trash, 'cause there is a peckin' order.)


Tuesday, June 05, 2007


On a lighter note

My first birthday after Bird went away to college, she got me the most meaningful present up to that time: a Zippo lighter!

I love Zippos. Daddy ER and all his brothers used 'em. They're fun. And the name is cool.

But I lost it! It broke my ol' redneck heart. Bird got me another one for another birthday or Christmas. It's even orange, a la Oklahoma State University. But I never forgave myself for losing the first one. I am such a sentimental sap sometimes.

Yesterday, while loading up junk in the garage to haul off to the dump, as I was hoisting my old recliner onto the truck, out tumbled the lighter! It was dented, but looked to be in usable shape. Later, though, I noticed that the bottom of the case had been punctured. If I refilled it with fluid, it would leak.

Rattling around in my head was a vague recollection of some kind of no-questions-asked Zippo guarantee. I googled Zippo. (Oh, is that a cool sentence or what?) And yep, there is the World Famous Zippo Guarantee, with instructions on what to do.Very cool.

More cool Zippo ads here.


Monday, June 04, 2007


Charges dropped against Hamdan; chief defense attorney, a Marine colonel: 'A system of justice that does not comport with American values'

This got about 10 seconds on the news tonight.

Charges dropped against Gitmo detainees.

Why can we not get this right?

"Total disregard for honor and integrity in the presidency and the Republican Congress that wrote the faulty law, ER?"

Oh, besides that, I mean.



Northern Rebels: Green Mountain Independence?

Read about the Vermont secession movement.

"The U.S. Government has lost its moral authority. It is owned, operated, and controlled by Corporate America. It has no soul." -- from Secession: A Radical Act of Rebellion Against the Empire.

"Radical Nonviolence and the Power of Powerlessness"

By Thomas H. Naylor

1. Human killing is an act of nihilism.

2. Violence begets more violence, not the other way around.

3. By whose authority other than the law of the jungle do those who kill or sanction killing set themselves up as prosecutor, judge, and executioner?

4. War is the ultimate form of having—owning, possessing, controlling, manipulating, and killing.

5. Just as active participation in the death of a human being is an expression of life’s meaninglessness, so too is the passive approval of state-sponsored executions, wars, and military combat.

(Continued in the first comment.)



Sunday, June 03, 2007


'O How I Hate Amazing Grace'

I'm taking advantage of the clear weather to attend the Church of Serious Yard Work today. But I just listened to a sermon I recently missed while traveling. It is perfectly appropriate for the talk around here lately.

Grab a refreshing beverage of your choice, take 25 minutes and listen to Dr. Robin Meyers, senior minister of Mayflower Congregational UCC Church in Oklahoma City, on "O How I Hate Amazing Grace."


Saturday, June 02, 2007


'The Omega Glory,' 'Harry Potter' and the Bible

Sometimes when I hear or see people quoting the Bible, as if just repeating the verses makes their point for them, it reminds me of the original Star Trek episode "The Omega Glory." (Wikipedia plot synopsis here.)

Long story short: The Enterprise stumbles across a tribal people who have "sacred words" they repeat with no knowledge of what they mean, the meaning having been lost to antiquity. But repeat them they do.

It's the mangled words of the Pledge of Allegiance and the U.S. Constitution that they venerate, but they don't know that, until Kirk, of course, explains it. Corny as hell, but a great Star Trek, if you ask me, although most people don't like it.

And sometimes when I see people throwing Bible verses at each other in an argument, I think of a Hogwarts wand duel in the Harry Potter books and movies: juveniles wielding power they don't fully understand or control, in an effort to hurt others and defend themselves.


Friday, June 01, 2007


God help me, I agree with Peggy Noonan

Leading Democrats often think their base is slightly mad but at least their heart is in the right place. This White House thinks its base is stupid and that its heart is in the wrong place.

Read all about it.

God bless these united States.


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