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Tuesday, September 02, 2014

Sometimes We Just Can't Help Ourselves

Walking among us are a handful of truly amazing people.  Their lives seem burden free, they are always smiling, not a single hair out of place and when contrasted with ordinary folks like us, well, they are almost angelic.  You know who they are - they are the ones who command attention when they walk into a room, their fashion sense is always cutting edge and they are, as Marilyn Manson called them, the "beautiful people."

Meanwhile, the rest of us just can't seem to help ourselves - we get into trouble regularly, our clothing is less than fashionable, and it is nothing short of a miracle to actually leave the house with our hair looking even moderately presentable.  We make stupid mistakes, we don't know when to shut our mouths and rather than having the world as an oyster, it's more like a banana peel for us to slip and break our necks upon.  We're the average Joe and Judy and we're the ones who make the world go 'round.

There are a few pretty stark differences between the two classes, so, let's take a gander, shall we?

First, we don't possess a pedigree.  No blue bloods among us, we are the working stiffs.  This doesn't mean, of course, we lack any social graces whatsoever, but it does mean that we are not "A" list of guests to the fancy dinner parties at the Country Club.   Our kids are kids and they get bruised up, scratched up and no, they are not perfect little snowflakes to be pampered and coddled.  We like our kids to have a little bit of grit to them because as adults, we know they are going to have to put up with the beautiful people - as well as those who believe themselves to be beautiful.

Second, we react differently to negative stimuli.  For example, the recent news of the beheading of a second American journalist by the terrorist group, Isis, really pisses us off and we're not afraid to admit it.  We're the type of people who would much rather carpet bomb known areas of terrorist occupation and be done with it.  The beautiful people, however, would prefer to wring their hands and struggle over the politically correct approach and it usually entails a bit of "negotiation."  Even after all of the money spent in Iraq, Afghanistan and other parts unknown, the American public is getting fired up again to kick some ass - not talk about ass kicking.  See the difference?

Third, we tend to worry.  Not so much about our revenue stream but we truly fret over the well being of those we love.  When a loved one is sick and disappears off the map for a while, we get concerned, sometimes even frantic with worry.  We know that the love and concern we have for each other cannot be purchased with an American Express Platinum Card, nor can we sit back and appear nonplussed about it.  We worry and you can see it on our faces, in our speech and in our spirit.  We're just not refined enough to hide it.

Fourth, we tend to be far less dogmatic.  Whether it be our religious affections or the fight against GMO's, we hold strong to our beliefs, but don't typically beat people over the head with it.  The beautiful people, however, only associate with the like-minded and they use every means necessary to convert the uninitiated, the little people.  They will use political influence, they will use money, their charm and family connections to do whatever necessary to ensure that their message remains intact regardless of what is happening around them. 

Lastly, we need each other.  Even the greatest introvert among us requires human connections, real meaningful time with loved ones and a circle of friends.  Granted, it may only be a couple times a year, but it is needed.  We need to feel that those within our sphere of influence understands the fact that we're horribly flawed, almost without the possibility of redemption, but ours will always accept us - they may whip our asses, but they are always there.  We feel for one another and there is no high dollar dinner party that could ever replace that feeling.  The beautiful people prefer elegant settings void of real vulnerability.  To them, you see, to show vulnerability is to admit weakness and if you're beautiful, weakness is considered ugliness and there is no way in hell that can be considered acceptable.

I tip my hat to the average folks out there, my brothers and sisters in this struggle we call life.  We make mistakes and often these are really big mistakes that truly change our world and our outlook, but we keep on plugging along, don't we? 

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Russell For the Win

Runoff Election Pot Stickers
Oklahoma's 5th Congressional District has been and will be for a very long time a GOP stronghold.  Democrats have not been able to field a candidate with the stroke and resume' to stand up to even the weakest of Republican contenders and that trend is not going to change anytime soon.  The GOP runoff saw Lt. Col. Steve Russell soundly defeat former Edmond Mayor Patrice Douglas, thereby guaranteeing a Republican win in November.  Russell is, was and will continue to be one of the strongest candidates the GOP has presented in the 5th District in at least two decades.  And he is going to absolutely dominate the Democrats in the General Election.

This is not to say that Patrice Douglas isn't a nice person, or someone who attends the right church, wears the right clothes and drives the right automobile.  Her handlers in the runoff made a massive mistake in sending out a mailer that appeared to be an endorsement from the departing James Lankford.  They should have known better, but they did it anyway and if it weren't for that dirty tactic backfiring, Douglas would have had a much more impressive and competitive showing.  Granted, it wasn't a landslide, but it was a decisive victory.

Birthday Baby
Today is my daughter's 17th birthday.  Yesterday, she passed her driver's license test so now, she is a licensed driver and she is now a year older.  She and her brother have been through the wringer over the last few years, and her obtaining her license may be a small victory, but it's one that matters to her and yes, she is absolutely giddy.  Madison is a wonderful young lady, deeply emotional, feeling things at the very core of her being and not afraid to share her emotions - particularly if she's upset about something.  This last year, she transferred with her brother from Bridgereek schools to Norman High School and it was quite the transition - a small intimate classroom environment to a jam-packed monstrosity such as Norman High School has been an interesting challenge for her but she has taken it on and is coming out on top.

She's 17 today and I am immeasurably proud of her for surviving as well as she has given the circumstances she's faced. 

Well, have a wonderful day.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Brakes Are Out, No Point In Steering

"Having nothing, nothing can he lose." ~Henry VI

There comes a point in the human pathos when one is pushed so far against a wall, there is nothing left and the aggregate emotional result is quite scary.  We've seen it take place in Ruby Ridge, in Waco, we've seen it even in personal relationships wherein a spouse just disappears off the face of the earth because of incessant fighting, pushing and control issues.  The puzzling part is that there is no magic formula to determine when this will take place because every human being is different, possessing differing levels of tolerance.  For one individual, everything short of physical violence is tolerable, whereas another individual may get fed up with mere back talk.

It is most tragic when it happens to our young people - when kids feel as though they have no alternative but to cut themselves or to get involved in drugs and alcohol or worse yet, to contemplate suicide.  When this takes place, immediately we as adults begin to try to affix blame.  The parents, the bullies, the environment, and even the devil himself is often blamed for a tragedy that probably could have been avoided with a few kind words and an open mind.  You see, our young people want a voice, they want to be heard but they also need to know that there are boundaries - that with that free speech, with that voice there comes responsibility and consequence.  For example, a sassy mouth should get a child into some amount of trouble with the custodial parent, but that trouble shouldn't include torture and abject demoralization.

We're in a really weird place culturally.  The Christian community seems laser focused on church growth rather than discipleship and the birth of video churches on every corner has watered down the reality of the Christian faith and we suffer as a result.  We lack connections, we lack the desire to truly connect with one another on a meaningful level and we end up eating our own wounded rather than nurturing and caring for the least among us.  This impacts us so negatively that we find ourselves constantly facing the difficult decision to completely lose our minds and do something stupid, or lay down and take the lashes our humanity dishes out and we have no real recourse other than a bunch of feel-good dogma, wrapped in Amercan Idolesque video productions.

So, what are we left with?  Each other.  Because when the dust settles, we're all we have left.

Friday, August 22, 2014

Friday's Faith, Freedom, Firearms, Flatulence and Football

Welcome to the end of yet another exciting, action packed week  here in the blogosphere and yes, there are still a bunch of you hanging out, chatting it up with your resident 400lb Gorilla of Oklahoma media.  And for that, I thank you.  Let's see what the hell is going on in this crazy, silly, madcap world in which we live...

Harder, Faster, Longer
Amazing art by Jason Coates
I've had a few inquiries as to the new nature of the blog and some of my ongoing commentary in social media - that I've become more aggressive, harder and less tolerant. Um, yeah.  I have.  I've been wrestling with some of these health issues and it gets frustrating and I've stared my own mortality in the face and it really pisses me off.  I'm not old enough to be going through some of this crap but since I am, I'm not going to waste any time - I'm cutting to the chase and if y'all don't like it, there are other tepid, feed-you-want-you-want-to-hear blogs and news services out there that will tickle your ears and put your intellect and emotional well being to sleep.  Have fun with that.  Meanwhile, the rest of us will be over here, shaking the trees and taking folks out of their comfort zone. 

I'm back.  I'm pissed off.  I'm tired.  I'm restless and most of all, I've reached that point of complete saturation wherein the status quo is bothersome and an insult to our intelligence.  Let's fight back.  Let's call it like it is, damn the consequence.

Football Fistfights
When I played ball in high school, our coach and the coaching staff always told us that no matter where we are, we are ambassadors of our school and that should be taken into consideration.  We can be as mean and nasty on the field of battle as we choose, but we are to be gentle as doves off the field.  For some reason, that is beyond some people today.  The Stoops organization at OU can't seem to control his people because once a year at least, we hear of some football player getting into an altercation with someone - but this time, it was a woman.  A football player beat the shit out of a woman in public.  Really?  What the hell is wrong with Stoops and why is the rest of the team not whipping this young man's ass?  It's all about the cash flow, no doubt, but good heavens.  A ball player beats the shit out of a woman at a bar and the guy still has teeth in his mouth and law enforcement will take their sweet time prosecuting this pampered punk as a result.  The cure?  Double tap center mass - learn to defend yourselves, ladies and do so with lethal force.  Clean out the gene pool.   Boomer Sooner, y'all. 

Some Encouragement
This weekend, I challenge you to do something you probably haven't in a long time.  Take yourself out to see a local band.  Go enjoy a few adult beverages, listen to some local artists do their thing.  If you're a musician reading this, you know how many hours and hours you put into working a set list, creating a few hours of entertainment and it is amazing to see people have a great time with you.  So, friends, go enjoy some local talent.

Be safe.