Sunday, July 26, 2009

sunday musings while wondering whatever happened to volney meece and why i haven’t made it to the indian hills powwow locally or the blackeyed pea festival in athens, texas [southeast of dallas, right past gun barrel city].

the opening line there is a takeoff on what my memory says a longtime daily oklahoman sports write, volney meece, used to say: ‘midweek musings while wondering whatever happened to ....’ the line would be a spring board each time to his reminding me and the rest of oklahoma about some temporarily forgotten person in sports history.

volney meece went from tonkawa, to norman and ou sports, to oklahoma city and the daily oklahoman and times and eventually served 21 years as the executive director of the football writers association of america, who created a scholarship in his honor that keeps his name alive now . He was a member of the oklahoma sports hall of fame. he also was one of the few people to have created a later occasionally imitated phrase - he reported a diminution in oklahoma city university basketball talent in 1985 as the bottom dropping out of the '
talent bucket'. the only pictures online of him do not reflect what i remember as a somewhat jonathan winters like friendly round face.

when he died in 1995 his friend and student max nichols memorialized him in Focusing on Success Made Volney Meece Great, that perked my memory bank. it talked about his choice to report the positive in sports and provided one quote that seems destined to be repeated when i write about more modern times and news reporting in general:
'He is one of few newspaper men and women who managed to avoid becoming a cynic or an expert.'
but it nichols description of meece's reporting which reminds me of how he made me happy and the era i grew up in:
'Sports pages once were enjoyable _ an escape from the real world of war, crime, corruption, budgets and all the problems that go with money. Volney joined The Daily Oklahoman and Times staff during that era _ in 1950, when Bud Wilkinson was at his peak as University of Oklahoma football coach and the Oklahoma City Indians played baseball in the Texas League.'

this was my growing up story. we went to every oklahoma football game and believed the sooner myth even when notre dame destroyed the 53 game winning streak. and i worked at texas league stadium, home of the oklahoma city indians, for 2 years and imagine now that i saw him in the press box. my memories of him are also contemporaneous and consistent with mike mccarville, a troglodyte whose blog is presumptively irritating otherwise. [link on request] but he was part of my happydays memories and i quote a bit more of nichols article with respect and a hope that i would be judged well by his standards. anyone with a back then picture or the accurate opening quote please contact me.

'He called his column "So They Tell Me," and every day he managed to lace his column with several yarns that brought chuckles. It was great for the digestion of readers like my father, who read the Times after dinner every evening before television led to the death of afternoon newspapers. He disliked the strikes, problem athletes, prima donnas and increasing emphasis on money as much as anyone, but he never lost his sense of humor about it. In the press box, he would joke such things, but he rarely complained about them. At the same time, he maintained his stance as a professional reporter. He avoided the temptation to become an expert _ a major pitfall for sports writers. He reported on what others said and did, rather than what he thought should be done, through four decades of covering champions and losers alike. He accepted the humanity of coaches and athletes.'

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Sunday, July 19, 2009

ps on owm and sontamayor

after completing the entry below, i decided to look for a cartoon to add. a daily oklahoman entry got the most space on google, as folks all over the country tried to figure out whether it was racist, stupid, poorly conceived, or all the above. check out a local lawyer of interest's take on it along, with the cartoon itself and a good array of comments:
okc law dork
in the end above you see relevant 2007 and 2009 cartoons. blogger insists on putting them at the top against my wishes.

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[old white] mens and sonia sotomayor - the ‘honorable senators’ from alabama and oklahoma put the moron back in oxymoron

a choctaw woman i know had a wonderful way to express women’s somewhat jaded response to the silliness of my gender. she would say with simple exasperation ‘mens’. as the honorable sonia sotomayor faced questioning by male senators, she would have probably been happy to say the same thing, perhaps making it ‘old white mens’.
oklahoma’s dynamic owm performed predictably: tom coburn, the doctor, tried to play lawyer and then dropped in a ricky ricardo joke/quote - would he have dropped in a stepnfetchit joke line if clarence thomas - or barack obama - was testifying.
tulsa world.
jimmy imhofe decided early against her and made sure the hearings didn’t change his own bias.

’From the outset, I have opposed the nomination of judge sotomayor based upon her record and past comments. the theater of this hearing does not change that.’

of course he was speaking of the wise latina woman quote which provided the fodder which the owm ran into the ground. it was up to one jefferson beauregard sessions iii* , a son of selma, alabama, to symbolize the ultimate intellectual and moral depravity of their performance and position. in 1986 sessions and sotomayor were both nominated as federal judge by ronald reagan. both had been federal prosecutors and to varying degrees advocates for their own people. no one found sotomayor's prior advocacy inappropriate and she was approved. sessions record of unbelievably prejudiced/racist remarks and actions was so offensive that even the not notable senator from alabama who had sponsored him voted against him and his nomination died in the judiciary committee. shan .
before these hearing, sessions said he was was hurt by accusations that he was a racist back then and said that use of accusing sotomayor of being a racist was not appropriate now.
the briefing room but of course when the hearings began he was right up there with the rest of the boys using her comments to call her a racist in fact if not words. all these guys’ shenanigans brings out a response that’s been sitting in me for a long time. I’m not going to thank them for it but i am going to offer my own words and then turn the stage over to a white woman and a black man whose comments I’ve only barely been able to edit down.
This is the most recent example of my mind and heart wandering to thoughts of the good/bad old days of out front prejudice when you didn’t have to look behind the words and deeds of white men and institutions for racism and sexism. i still remember cringing when i first heard heard the term ’discrimination’ applied to white males when injustice to minorities was finally being partially remedied. the underlying concept was bogus then and is still now - but it has become enshrined in the law and everyday life. offense against prejudice expressed in derogatory language or jokes has become ‘political correctness’. elimination of prejudice and discrimination in our society and institutions has been subsumed under terms like ‘multi-cultural’ and ‘diversity’.

notmine comments: maureen dowd talked about a ‘gaggle of white republican men afraid of extinction’ in her white man’s last stand

'After all, these guys have never needed to speak inspirational words to others like them, as Sotomayor has done. They’ve had codes, handshakes and clubs to do
Like the president who picked her, Sotomayor has been a model of professorial rationality. Besides, it’s delicious watching Republicans go after Democrats for being too emotional and irrational given the G.O.P. shame spiral.
W. and Dick Cheney made all their bad decisions about Iraq,
W.M.D.’s, domestic surveillance, torture, rendition and secret hit squads from the gut, based on false intuitions, fear, paranoia and revenge.
Sarah Palin is the definition of irrational, a volatile and scattered country-music queen without the music. Her Republican fans defend her lack of application and
intellect, happy to settle for her emotional electricity.
And then there’s the Supreme Court, of course, which gave up its claim to rational neutrality when the justices appointed by Republican presidents — including Bush Sr. — ignored what was fair to make a sentimental choice and
throw the 2000 election to W.
Faced with that warped case of supreme empathy, no wonder Sotomayor is so eager to follow the law.'

a huffington blogger:
Never have I wanted more to throw a brick through the screen of my television.
But yesterday's cavalcade of conservative GOP Senators decrying Sotomayor's statements about her heritage and the role of judges in making law -- boldly honest statements she had to know would come back to bite her someday -- also
reinforced that age-old Republican canard, that conservative and white people don't make decision based on their culture. It's what I have often called the privilege of being generic.
When Chief Justice John Roberts reaches back to his heritage and personal values to make decisions, he's simply allowing timeless principles to guide his thinking. But Sotomayor using the experience of being the first and the only in so many places of power is shrugged off as bias -- an unforgivable unfairness for GOP Senators, mostly because it doesn't benefits their causes.

eric deggans
ps. there may or may not be a cartoon at the to p of this page. i decided to google for an appropriate one and was brought back to the daily oklahoman's bizare most 'internetted' entry. check out a local lawyer of interest to see the cartoon and her and others' take on it:
* yes, that really is his name.

Friday, July 03, 2009

i'm home, dear
oh, were you gone
i suffered cyberinterruptus a month ago
oh that's what it was

this particular holiday celebration has never excited me. both terms in 'liberty and justice for all' always strike me as somewhere between inexact and irrelevant to the real world. but i always enjoyed the quality time the 4th gives me with my puter. and this time i can celebrate my return to the net with unabashed joy.

three noteworthy additions
1 - i'm now living on the second floor so i get to actually watch the free fireworks show for the first time while listening to my neighbors celebrating their liberty with real guns.
2 - i'm working hard at getting down adding my liberty slideshow to today's blog and with a little luck it will appear in the final version of this blog somewhere along here.
worth 1000 runs 'contests' to encourage photoshoppers to play with photos on particular thems. they recently ran one i've called their most recent one liberty redux using the statute of liberty as a base. somewhere within or elsewhere, there was a suggestion that the white house press office should have simply photoshopped airforce one on a pic of the ol girl instead of sending the real thing by for a flyover. at least obama wouldn't have had to apologize.
3 - and that provides me a not bad seque to some good ol gw irony. even in the new era, living in oklahoma still invites comparison to living in utah with baptists substituted for mormons. and northwest oklahoma had a firm lock on redness way before it became symbolic of your politics rather than the color of your neck*.
so it shouldn't surprise me that gw should take the lead from richard nixon and pick the area for public return from an ignominious end to a presidency. nixon went to enid; gw is going to the 4th of july rodeo in woodward, oklahoma, as part of his going to small venues with 'real' folks plans. here's some notes from the washington post story:
WOODWARD, Okla. (AP) — When the middle-of-nowhere town of Woodward invited George W. Bush to its Fourth of July celebration, no one really expected the former president to accept. But he did. Now this community of 12,000 is scurrying to get ready for what some locals are calling the biggest thing ever to happen to Woodward, a place where cattle outnumber people.
About 9,200 tickets have been sold, which would be the biggest crowd for Bush since he left office in January. Over the past five months, Bush has made about a half-dozen public appearances. He seems to especially enjoy rubbing elbows with regular folk. He paid a visit to a Dallas hardware store in February. Three days later, he dropped in on a political science class at Southern Methodist University.
Asked why Bush accepted Woodward's invitation, his spokesman in Dallas, Rob Saliterman, said only: "President Bush believes there is no place better than Woodward, Oklahoma, to celebrate the Fourth of July and looks forward to being part of this event."
Though Bush left office with a dismal 34 percent approval rating, he remains popular in Oklahoma. The state hasn't voted for a Democrat for president since Lyndon B. Johnson in 1964 and was the only state in 2008 where every county voted for Republican John McCain. Bush carried 81 percent of the vote in Woodward in the 2004 elections.
"Maybe some young kids and old Democrats didn't vote for him, but I think the rest of us did," said Kris Day, who owns The Cowboy's Tack Shop with her husband. ...
Seats for the speech range from $25 to $500 for the "Oval Office Ticket," situated in the first rows, close to Bush, VIP parking and
complimentary beverages. ...

*note to self - remember when conservatives used to affiliate red with badness and communism.

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