Oklahoma Citians: Don’t forget to vote in the election tomorrow, Tuesday, March 3.
It’s important. It involves all of us here in central Oklahoma because what the Oklahoma City Council decides about downtown projects or its public transportation systems affect us all, whether we live in Oklahoma City, Midwest City, Moore, Edmond or Yukon.
Are we all in this together or not? That’s not the question. That’s a transition into a new paragraph. Paragraphs. I’m drowning in paragraphs. Of course we’re all in this together.
I want Oklahoma City to be a fun, vibrant place. I want all of us to lighten up, have some fun, groove to the tunes. I want to dance with the ducks on the sidewalks around the Bricktown canal. I want to sing original songs from my heart in front of Chelinos. Please. One dollar in my guitar case. Only one dollar? Songs should cost two dollars. How much should a song cost? If that’s what we’re arguing about, then we’re going to be okay.
So what I think is important in tomorrow’s election is Dr. Ed Shadid. He should definitely be reelected to his Ward 2 council seat. He asks tough questions. He’s for a green city, a fun city, a diverse city, the city of love and compassion. I bet he would pay two dollars for a song if he liked it.
If a space ship from another planet landed in the middle of Oklahoma City, I would absolutely want Ed to be the first person to initiate contact. Ed, what did they say? What do they want? What do we do now? I know this: Ed would speak truthfully. Truth can be scary, but it’s always beautiful in the end.
Here’s my more extensive endorsement of Ed.
Vote. Please. Dr. Ed Shadid for Ward 2.
Because this water drown my family
This water mixed my blood
This water tells my story
This water knows it all
Go ahead and spill some champagne in the water
Go ahead and watch the sun blaze
On the waves
Of the ocean--from Jay-Z's song "Oceans"
Can we look at the Advanced Placement history course fiasco in larger ways? Is it a typical, conservative political Oklahoma muddle or does it have huge significance in how our students here view the world?
How can we teach United States history without teaching its connection to world history and even current geopolitics?
As you know a state lawmaker, Dan Fisher, who happens to be a Baptist minister in Yukon, initially introduced a bill to do away with high school AP history courses in Oklahoma because they don't teach enough "American exceptionalism." After a public outcry he removed the bill for a rewrite, which was an exceptional move on his part.
Here are some of them:
"Everyday, I do see beauty and light in my country, in my life, my beautiful wife, my children, my friends, my home, the feasts I’m proud to offer like the flawed fictional character Okonkwo in Things Fall Apart, but that doesn’t mean we should ever for one minute scrimp on the historically sordid and evil. In fact, the focus should always be on the sordid and evil, on the truthful realities that hurt us as deeply as we can possibly be hurt emotionally, because that’s by definition learning or education. It might mean, if we do learn, that collectively we have less sordid and less evil."
So, yes, it also includes more references to Chinua Achebe's famous novel Things Fall Apart, one of the most important novels about Africa ever published. What does that novel have to do with Oklahoma and the Trail of Tears? Why would that even matter in a high school history course? Only the TLO post can answer those questions.
How can we connect the history of the Igbo people in Africa directly to Oklahoma? What does this have to do with a state lawmaker's efforts to do away with Advanced Placement history courses in our high schools?
The answer to those questions can be found in the witty and irreverent blog The Lost Ogle tomorrow. It will be a wordy answer, one with many words. Words make me thirsty. Words make me hungry.
Words, words, words. All these words floating around space. Can the green spaceships find them before it's too late. It reminds me of the lines from Bob Dylan's "Tangled Up In Blue":
Then she opened up a book of poems
And handed it to me
Written by an Italian poet
From the thirteenth century
And every one of them words rang true
And glowed like burnin’ coal
Pourin’ off of every page
Like it was written in my soul from me to you
Tangled up in blue
From my soul to you, tomorrow, on TLO.--Kurt Hochenauer