POSTED ON SEPTEMBER 21, 2011:
Love Letters/Hate Mail
(In response to "Bawdy Image" in the September 15-21 issue of Urban Tulsa Weekly)
I had the privilege of reading a recent article titled "The Bawdy Beautiful -- Alternative forms of fitness seduce their way into mainstream" by Ms. Jennie Lloyd. It was beautifully written and truly sparked my interest when I read that Teaze Dance and Fitness owner Lynn Crowe-Simon was considering branching away from Oklahoma City and opening a studio that offers pole-dancing fitness here in Tulsa! I would absolutely be one of the first people to sign up for this class! I really hope she follows through with these plans and we see this class come our way. I have friends from Tulsa who now live in California who have taken classes like these and had so much fun.
To be clear: I have no interest in being a stripper or learning how to be a stripper. Another thing I loved about Ms. Lloyd's story was the inclusion of their disclaimer, vehemently stating "We are not strippers!" I simply would love to take this class as a way to fine tune my form and perhaps to feel a little sexier as I continue to be dragged through my 30's against my will. I would never dream of putting my feet on a stage (though do not dismiss any other women's rights to do so), but I am giddy over the prospect of having this class offered in my hometown.
Keep those fantastic stories and even more fantastic finds coming Ms. Jennie! I'll be looking to you to uncover the best activities going on around Tulsa!
(In response to "Conspiracy Theories" in the Sept. 8-14 issue of Urban Tulsa Weekly)
Thank you for an interesting entertaining article. I'm looking forward to reading Jonathan Kay's book (novel?). I've been an armchair theorist for around 15 years now. The idea of a "conspiracy theorist underground" is, in and of itself, an amusing conspiracy theory. It implies shadowy cabals, clandestine meetings, and secret handshakes. On its face, the idea is patently absurd. By our very nature, we want publicity. We want people to think about our ideas. We want the validation of the unlikely event that some pet theory turns out to be correct. Look at the sources you mentioned: emails, RSS feeds, voice mails, Facebook groups. All pretty much totally public and visible. Kay missed quite a few, but we conspiracy theorists live in an obvious spider web world. Each node is a desperate little "Look at me! I'm over here!" plea for attention. There are probably as many different types of conspiracy theorists (and reasons that we believe the things we do) as there are conspiracy theorists. It would take a book to explore even the few I know about. There really seems to be just one common trait that almost all of us share: a mistrust of authority. Everyone knows politicians (and, thus, the government) lie. Elected officials are practically professional liars: their jobs depend on telling voters what we want to hear. We also all know that the mainstream media deceives us. Whether it's by mistake, slant, omission, cover up, or just outright lie. Every American (except the fools who believe *their* news source is fair, balanced, pristinely truthful, and infallible) realizes those two facts. Conspiracy theorists just take those facts and run with them. Most of us tend to wind up believing that the MSM no longer represents the "free press". That you've turned into the propaganda arm of the gover-business interests that *really* make all the decisions these days. That's why we wind up turning to alternative sources that are questionable at best. Take your article, as an example. It's full of brainwashing messages. I don't have it in front of me as I write this, so I'm sure I'll get the quotes wrong (this is one of the techniques we theorists use to delude ourselves), but I'll try to convey the tone of what I perceived (which, ultimately, is what counts in any form of communication). Ridicule is obvious: "You may laugh at such silliness, but..." If you can make people laugh at some idea, you make that idea unthinkable. Conflation isn't necessarily a brainwashing technique per se, but it is a logical fallacy used by brainwashers. "Some people believe President Obama was not born in the U.S. Some people have questions about the official story on 9/11. Some people believe both. Therefore, the 9/11 truthers are obviously as stupid as the birthers." This technique will pretty much inevitably gore someone's ox, so now they'll decide the UTW's an active participant in making sure people don't learn the truth about *their* pet theory. "Us vs. Them" is the most fundamental example: The idea of "Look at these idiots! How can they possibly believe such a thing, which is absurd? You don't want to be like *them* do you?" Analysis: I doubt anyone would believe that you know the "real" story behind the JFK assassination. But, by publishing such a biased column, the UTW places itself squarely on the side of "them" with everyone who questions any "official story" on the side of "us". And there's a breakdown of one way something totally innocent gets twisted into 'evidence' for a sinister conspiracy. There's a *lot* more to it than that, of course. Maybe I'll write that book after all. If it ever gets published, I'll give you full credit and send you a copy gratis.
Writer's Note: It is heartening that James Ashley (is that his real name?) didn't fall for my "brainwashing messages" (wink, wink). Goodness knows (insert subliminal message here) we have far too many sheeple in this country gullibly swallowing the official line. You may laugh at such silliness, but it wasn't that long ago I saw Elvis (really) outside a Denver Burger King, waving at passing motorists.
(In response to "Ride the Waves" in the Sept. 8-14 issue of Urban Tulsa Weekly)
I'm in Colorado a lot in the area between Salida and 15 miles north of Buena Vista where the Arkansas River is a beautiful mountain river. There are a ton of kayakers frequenting the river in this stretch and it brings a lot of money to the area.
There are restaurants in Salida where you can sit overlooking the river and watch the kayakers go by-very cool. Obviously, it is a much different river in Tulsa, but I can tell you kayakers are a dedicated bunch and if there was a facility to use, they would be there, creating activity and interest on the river. This is worth studying.
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