Oklahoma is quickly becoming the Sodom and Gomorrah of the heartland.
In less than 24 hours, we’ve learned that:
A) Oklahoma brewers will soon be able to serve cold, tasty beer directly to thirsty customers.
B) Potheads from Hooker to Beaver to Valley Brook will have a chance to forget to vote for medical marijuana legalization in the not too distant future.
C) Hell has frozen over.
Seriously, what is going on here? Oklahoma’s been fighting the war against fun since the great Land Run of ’89. Now you’re telling me adults may soon be able to drink a beer at a brewery and then go home and smoke a joint to fight “stress,” “anxiety” or “insomnia” in the privacy of their own home? That’s terrifying! What’s next on the agenda? Properly funding education? Repairing roads and bridges? Getting decent license plates? If we’re not careful, all of our state’s many fine traditions may become extinct like the dinosaurs who died when Noah refused to save them.
Anyway, let’s touch base on these two topics. First, we’ll start with our good friends at Devon Energy convincing Scott Pruitt to let brewers serve craft beer directly to customers.
If you remember correctly, the ABLE Commission flexed a little muscle while shitting the bed and ruled that SB 424 allowed breweries to sell cold beer like Ogletoberfest for off-premise consumption only. The decision, which was apparently made in a brazen attempt to show everyone just how awful and bureaucratic our puritanical government can be, pissed off everyone because it totally contradicted the intent of the legislation.
After a public hearing, negative media attention and even lawmakers saying ABLE got it wrong, the agency announced they would seek an official opinion from Devon Energy / Attorney General Scott Pruitt. That decision was released yesterday. The verdict? Expect Vast to re-open as Frack Brothers Sky Brewery in the next few months…
Edmond, Oklahoma has long been known as the “White Flight” capital of the OKC metro area. Well, at least it was before Deer Creek became a thing.
For several decades, wealthy Okies have moved northeast to the plush confines of the city’s gated neighborhoods and Super Targets. Now, it appears that superheroes will be joining the ranks of doctors, realtors and Devon lawyers. Apparently, Marvel Comic’s own Spider-Man owns a chemical plant in the cradle of chain restaurants, mega-churches and dog food factories.
Spider-Man’s latest tale is making a stop in Edmond.
There hasn’t been a much action in the Marvel Comics version of Oklahoma since Thor left. For a while, the realm of Asgard, home of Thor and the other Norse gods, resided in semi-rural (and fictionalized) Broxton, Oklahoma, but following the end of that storyline, Marvel’s Oklahoma has been relatively quiet.
That ended in last week’s issue of “Amazing Spider-Man,” where an explosion at a chemical plant in Edmond, Oklahoma, draws Spider-Man to the city. The chemical plant is owned by Peter Parker’s company. When a worker there is injured, Spider-Man demands a new and expensive procedure be used to save the man. But what he doesn’t know is that something sinister appears to be behind this miraculous cure.
That’s a bizarre choice of location for a comic book, but maybe it makes sense. Peter Parker might have chosen Oklahoma as his site for a chemical plant because of our generous corporate subsidies and tax breaks. And he could basically do whatever they want to the environment, and no one will do anything! Wanna perform radiation experiments or strip mine for adamantium? Go for it. Not only would we get some interesting new local superheroes to talk about, but it might generate 30 new high paying jobs.
But what will Spider-Man do with his time in Oklahoma? Having grown up in Queens and experienced all sorts of weird and traumatic things, Edmond might be pretty boring to a science whiz with super-powers. Here are some suggestions for how he can spend his time in the home of Shannon Miller:
Yesterday morning, we leaked an image of the new Oklahoma license plate design a few hours before Mary Fallin’s officially unveiling at the Capitol. In case you don’t have a social media account and have missed all the complaining, here’s what it looks like:
Please keep in mind, that’s an image of an actual license plate. It looks a lot more dark, drab and dreary than the extremely bright rendering being pushed by the Governor.
The new plate, which was apparently inspired by The Hunger Games trilogy, Twitter Brand Identity Guide and Colorado’s majestic peaks and iconic mesas, has been universally panned. In fact, the thing is so bad that even the KFOR Social Media Bandit voiced some frustrations. Check out this Facebook post:
If you’re out of touch like me, perhaps you’re wondering who those bros pictured above are. I’ve been getting targeted ads on my Twitter feed from McDonald’s for weeks now, telling me that they support Okies and urging me to check out the Swon Brothers’ exclusive new video. Because I wouldn’t feed McDonald’s food to a stray dog, nor would I intentionally listen to a band of guys who look like American Eagle sales associates, I ignored these ads.
But the curiosity eventually got the best of me, and I bit. Who are these guys, why haven’t they shaved, and can they convince me that I want to buy a double cheeseburger?
I guess people who watch network TV or remember TLO articles from three years ago are already familiar with these former contestants on ‘The Voice.’ I’ve never seen that program, so I’m going to assume it’s either a singing competition or one of those mid-morning talk shows for bored housewives. These Okies from Muskogee were proteges of Blake Shelton, and popular enough to have landed a short record deal with Arista. Their Wikipedia entry says they released one album in 2014 on the major label before parting ways due to “artistic differences,” which implies an argument over using Axe Body Spray inside the recording studio.
They may not have released an album in two years, but the Swon Brothers have at least grabbed an advertising deal with McDonald’s. Aside from interrupting my Twitter feed every ten posts, apparently they’ve also invaded local Mickey D lobbies with lifesize cardboard standees that must make Cardboard Traber feel inadequate. If you take a picture with the Cardboard Swons and use a special hashtag, you’re entered into a contest to win free tickets to see them perform at the Adventure Road stage at the Great State Fair, or something like that. Check it out:
Pawnee, Indiana, is everyone’s favorite fictional city full of a small group of dedicated individuals who live to make the city a better place, as well as massive swarms of jerks who are fundamentally incapable of voting in their own self-interest.
Sound like any place you know?
The fictional Pawnee, Indiana, is not only the setting of Parks and Recreation, but I’d like to argue that it serves as the template that the City of Oklahoma City has been trying to follow. I couldn’t tell you who in the city government was Leslie Knope, but there are probably like 87 Ron Swansons, just with the way our political demographics work out. And just like Pawnee, we have a raccoon problem.
According to KFOR.com:
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