Friday, February 24, 2012

Evil, Stupidity, Degeneracy and The Sky Blue Hope

It has been one of those weeks. The absurd has intertwined with degeneracy, evil, and brute stupidity.

The person, or persons responsible for Kelsey Bransby's murder and Alina Fitzpatrick's death still walk free among us. A New Mexico mayoral candidate has been filmed receiving a lap dance in his office. The husband of the Finnish president was caught ogling the breasts of a Danish princess. Some clod in the Indiana legislature claimed the girl scouts promote homosexuality. Mitt Romney's campaign is burning up money at  twice the rate of incoming contributions, thereby proving he's probably not as fiscally responsible as he'd like the electorate to believe. And, that in a crunch, the first baggage overboard in any political race is principle.

The Virginia state senate sent a bill back to committee that would have effectively outlawed abortion and perhaps even contraception. It had passed in the house, drawing national attention and as the senators probably realized, such acts are best accomplished quietly while no one is looking. Witnesses tend to contradict alibis.

Rick Santorum accused the president of having a phony theology. Billy Graham's son, Franklin insisted that the Muslim world considers Obama a son of Islam displaying the keen insight into that religion only a born again evangelical Christian can provide. Afghans are rioting in response to some dope burning Korans and because in that part of the world rioting is a major form of exercise and entertainment. Newt Gingrich claims the president shouldn't have tried to calm the situation by apologizing for the offensive mistake.

It is all madness and in these lingering days of winter there seems to be only one source of relief. Going into the all star break the Oklahoma City Thunder and the Miami Heat are tied with the best records in the NBA. Yes, OKC's Durant, Westbrook and the rest of the young guns down on Reno Street are not only playing with the big boys, they are beating them on a regular basis. On consecutive nights this week they layed waste to the two proudest franchises in the league when they whacked both Boston and the LA Lakers by fifteen points.

It is a long way from those dreadful days in back in Seattle when they were playing in a rotting arena in front of small, tepid crowds. Or, even the first couple of years in OKC when this current bunch were learning the game and getting slammed on a regular basis. The average attendance for the Thunder so far this season is 18, 203. The local arena's seating capacity: 18, 203. At this point you've got to know somebody who knows somebody to get a ticket.

When the Hornets came to town for two years immediately after the Hurricane Katrina apocalypse it was widely hoped by the locals they would stay. When Clay Bennett's cabal bought the Sonics everyone knew that wasn't to be and the collective groan could be heard halfway to Amarillo. Bennett and his crowd pulled the Sonics out of the Pacific northwest as everyone knew they would, but surprise, surprise. Unlike previous owner Howard Schultz, the retail coffee magnate, these guys actually knew what they were doing. Oh there was the initial mis-fire with P.J. Carlissimo as head coach, but other than that speed bump the franchise has been on the upswing ever since it rolled into town.

As any resident of Oklahoma City will tell you, not only is winning sweet, but so is the knowledge that people from places like Seattle, Dallas, New York and other parts unnamed are being driven completely berserk by our very presence in the league. The small town hicks shouldered their way into the country club and for the moment anyway are whipping the old money like they are stray curs.

How long can this last? Who knows. Somewhere down the road Durant, Westbrook, Harden, Perkins, Collison and the rest will be just fond memories. For people like me that is far off and not relevant. Celebrate the moment I say. Make that run to the finals and who knows what will happen? The town is festooned with sky blue flags of every size and it feels good.

Given what has and is transpiring in the world it is about time.


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