I don’t know about you, but I noticed allergy season just shifted into sixth gear, maybe seventh. If allergies were a taser, I’m this guy.
I have chronic, severe allergies. I receive two shots a week for them. Dogs, cats, dust, mold and pollen rule mine and many other people’s days. To demonstrate my moronacy, I am responsible for two house dogs, but they are worth it.
Depending on which report you read, Oklahoma City falls within the 2-8 rankings for worst cities for allergies, and the United States has a lot of cities. In fact, the internet says there are 19,354 of them in our borders. I’m blaming our high ranking on the state legislature. Why not? The blame train is running at high speed, and rightfully so.
One city that is our “there is always Mississippi (except for teacher pay)” when it comes to allergies is Memphis, Tennessee. The home of Graceland, blues and mucus always lands in the top two on allergy lists. To once again demonstrate my intelligence, I grew up an hour outside of Tennessee’s jewel of the Mississippi Delta. You would think I would of learned to move away from the pollen and mold. Nope, I’m stupid.
Here’s your Friday Night in the Big Town….
Move over decrepit old buildings. There’s a new obsession in Steve Lackmeyer’s heart!
Yesterday afternoon, Lackmeyer posted a lengthy blog post on NewsOK.com complaining about a new mural
that was recently that is going to be painted in Bricktown. I guess Steve is upset the mural is weird and isn’t some basic, clichéd, Chamber of Commerce-inspired work that pays homage to Oklahoma City’s obscure musical history.
East Bricktown is quickly emerging as the center of a new live music hub for Oklahoma City. The Criterion is successfully drawing large crowds even on nights when the competing entertainment draw is an important Thunder playoff game down the street.
The entire area is getting built up with hotels, retail and housing. Other music anchors include the ACM@UCO Performance Lab and the Bricktown Event Center. And in the heart of it all, you have a street named after one of the greatest music legends to hail from Oklahoma City: Charlie Christian.
Charlie Christian and fellow jazz great Jimmy Rushing still lack any big tributes, however, beyond the street name in Christian’s honor.
Wait a second? “Beyond the street name in Christian’s honor.” Uhm, isn’t that a pretty big honor? That would be like saying outside of naming the airport after him, there are no big tributes around town to Will Rogers.
A great potential canvass for a mural, meanwhile, emerged when owners of the southwest corner of the former Stewart Metal Fabricators property chose to turn their spot into surface parking. That left the plain concrete wall of the Bricktown Event Center exposed and prime for some cool art.
The owners of the property, Brent and Brett Brewer, teamed up to split the cost of the mural 50/50 with Downtown Initiatives, a non-profit operated by Downtown Oklahoma City Inc. The Brewers envisioned a mural linked to the city’s music culture or history – maybe something honoring Christian and Rushing…
Could Bricktown get the sort of brilliant mural done of Woody Guthrie done by Aaron Whisner in Tulsa? It’s iconic, loved by locals and visitors.
Yeah, Steve Lackmeyer is suggesting that we ripoff ideas from Tulsa for our public art. No thank you. I’d rather have a mural of pink sea horses mating than steal a public art idea from Tulsa. That would be like suggesting OSU incorporate some of OU’s pre-game traditions in football. Also, why does all public art have to be about Oklahoma history? Can’t we have paintings and stuff that has nothing to do with our state? Art should be an escape, not a reminder that we still live here.
Whisner, however, wasn’t even given a chance to compete for this project. The folks at Downtown Oklahoma City Inc. instead went with Jack Fowler, whose work includes some great portrait pieces.
A 2011 interview in the Tulsa World might hint Fowler might be ideal for promoting Oklahoma City’s musical heritage or culture:
“I’m proud of where I’m from, and I’m proud of the heritage that these people have helped create,” said Fowler, 34, who recently “retired” from teaching elementary school to become a full-time artist. “I honestly think not enough people know just how many fascinating people have come from Oklahoma. There are so many incredible stories that haven’t been told nearly enough, to nearly enough people. I’m just trying to tell a few of them in my own way.”
Downtown Oklahoma City Inc., however, gave Fowler no direction on what might be the best fit for the wall. Instead, they gave Fowler total autonomy over the mural’s depiction.
So we get “Bricktown Octopus.”
As the son of a professional artist who has some weird, abstract public art around town, I have no problem with Downtown OKC giving Jack Fowler artistic freedom. That’s how art should work. We all have different styles and taste. When you micromanage art to please everyone, you basically turn it into a print you buy at Hobby Lobby.
Let’s take a look at a rendering of this “Bricktown Octopus” mural that’s ruffled Steve’s beret:
Apparently Tulsa is electing a new mayor.
We know this because Rogers State University held a debate last night between incumbent Tulsa mayor Dewey Bartlett and his main challenger, City Councilman G.T. Bynum.
Everything in the debate was going along smoothly until some guy named Paul Tay jumped in front of the cameras demanding to be heard. Paul Tay is kind of like the Biker Fox of Tulsa politics. The only difference is that instead of riding around on a bicycle and chasing raccoons, he wears a cowboy hat and runs for mayor every four years.
If you only do one thing today make sure you watch this video. It’s the only time you’ll hear “Come on, Matt Damon, get me out of here” in a political debate:
Pretty soon the people in Mississippi are going to start saying “Thank God For Oklahoma.”
In what’s the newest most obvious sign that we should all flee the state while we still have a chance, KFOR reported this week that both South Dakota and Mississippi will soon pass Oklahoma in the national teacher pay scale rankings. As a result, Oklahoma will be ranked 50th in the country for teacher pay. For those who received their education in an Oklahoma public school, that means we’ell be ranked dead last.
Earlier today, KOCO Channel 5 shared some terrifying news on social media that “a large piece of concrete” fell off the Belle Isle Bridge. The notification immediately got the attention of all those people who like and share Facebook posts without actually reading more than the headline, like TLO’s own FNITBT Maester Adam Holt:
Wow. A large piece of concrete fell off an Oklahoma bridge. That’s impossible! Thanks to the leadership of our Governor and Legislature, Oklahoma has some of the best roads and bridges in the country. How could something go wrong with one? It must be the work of ISIS, Draymond Green or Barack Obama.
Let’s check out the story to see exactly how large the piece of concrete is, and if there were any injuries:
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