To Comfort The Afflicted
And Afflict The Comfortable

To Comfort The Afflicted And Afflict The Comfortable

Saturday, January 28, 2023

Observercast

Skipping Stones But Not Stories

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Skipping stones across the ever-flowing river of life, I wonder when an elected Oklahoma Republican or party leader will find the courage to denounce the lying, traitorous, bigoted, grifting ex-president who still dominates their party. Probably a long wait. They seem envious of his behavior. Other little rocks to toss include:

  • An “art” display at a Shawnee mall was taken down after shoppers complained because it featured celebrities wearing Nazi uniforms, some also sporting swastika arm bands. After getting his desired publicity, one of the [ir]responsible gallery owners just could not understand the controversy.

This, of course, is reminiscent of the publicity-seeker [and I know his name] who stuck a crucifix in a jar of urine. “Just spell my name right.”

Art, of course, is a matter of taste. Defining it is tricky. I think Paul Weiss is somewhat successful when he defines it as the transfer of emotions from the artist to an audience. But the disgust a creator might feel toward public officials or a religion is not the same disgust that the public might feel toward the perpetrator of the shock schlock. In this context, according to Weiss, these artists failed.

Weiss also says that the goal of art is to create beauty. I’m not so sure about that.

  • In the same vein, a [beneath publicizing] fashion house launched an ad campaign featuring children holding teddy bears wearing bondage outfits. Gosh, no one had any idea what they were holding. No one had a clue as to how such a campaign materialized – just in time for massive holiday publicity.
  • On Halloween, Gov. Kevin Stitt’s 20-year-old son, John Drew Stitt, drunker than Cooter Brown and admitting it, was confronted at a Guthrie haunted house by Logan County deputies. He and his pals were also toting a box with four firearms, one of which belongs to the governor.

According to KFOR-TV, “An officer with the Oklahoma Highway Patrol, which provides security for the governor and his family, came to the scene and escorted Stitt’s party to Stillwater after ensuring there was someone able to drive.”

Logan County Sheriff assured the world that young Stitt received no special attention. And three days later KOCO-TV got around to reporting the story by claiming that John Drew “was treated harsher than most” underage drinkers found in similar situations.

Yep, no trip to the clink and that police escort back home sounds pretty rough to me.

And where was our staunch family-man governor? Shouldn’t retrieving his drunken, underage son be his job and not that of state employees? The OHP trooper providing the escort was not providing security at the time – at least we hope not. That trooper was called away from regular duties to “harshly” provide safe transport for the wayward kid.

  • I recently received my eighth complimentary tote bag from a do-gooder organization to which I have contributed no funds. Poor algorithms here. And about as much money to waste as the outfit that keeps sending me butterfly cards [with envelopes].

I wonder, too, about those other great causes that flood the TV channels with appeals for money. Almost enough to turn a skeptic into a cynic.

  • Texas Sen. Ted Cruz was booed when he told an Austin audience that the answer to school shootings was to put more officers on campuses. There were 376 officers – some still employed – waiting for more than an hour before taking action at the Uvalde Elementary School last May while a gunman murdered 19 children and two teachers. Maybe that 377th“good guy with a gun” would have been the one act.
  • Someone with sharp eyesight spotted a 14-year-old Jerry Jones in a photo of those protesting the integration of a North Little Rock school in 1957.

That reminded me of the day six years later when the principal stepped into our eighth grade English class in Missouri to announce that President Kennedy had been assassinated. The laughter and cheers among my 13-year-old classmates [including some who became my best friends] at the death of “that N—— Lover” made an indelible impression.

At that age, our ideas and ideals have been fashioned largely by our home circumstances. We can hope for growth – in others since we are so perfect.

  • An Oklahoma legislator has introduced a bill to make Daylight Savings Time permanent. Is this not the height of human arrogance?

If we are going to have one, unchangeable time reckoning, I reckon I would prefer the one established by Nature. It served our unirace for ages: the sun overhead at noon.

We can arrange our schedules as we see fit by trying to fit in with Nature instead of adopting the false notion that we are in control.

  • Fred McGriff has just been granted baseball immortality with his selection to the Hall of Fame by one of its old-timer committees. His raw numbers are gaudier than his nerd stats, but he will raise the overall quality quotient at Cooperstown. His exclusion was looking sort of personal.

It would have been nice if he had received a little more attention nationally – where the focus was on the steroid guys who were eligible but not selected.

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Gary Edmondson
Gary Edmondson
Gary Edmondson is chair of the Stephens County Democrats. He lives in Duncan, following a sporadic career as a small-town journalist, mostly in Texas, and as an editor of educational audio-visual materials. Some days he's a philosopher/poet, others a poet/philosopher.