The Edmond Sun


October 18, 2013

AS I SEE IT: Turn off cable news, reclaim your sanity

EDMOND — The U.S government appears to have gone mad and you’re feeling the stress. Drink and drugs are not an option, so you’re looking about for substitutes to calm your nerves and occupy your mind. You’ve brought your unfinished macramé project down from the attic where it had been since the ’70s, and now your fingers are raw and your grotesque work of art hangs in the window. You’ve leafed through last year’s seed catalog and planned next spring’s garden, and you’ve rejected a rejuvenating shopping spree in fear the government shutdown will send the stock market into a downward spiral once again taking your 401(k) with it.

Things are bad no matter which way you turn, and fixes are far between and temporal, but whatever you do, do not return to watching cable news 24/7! The president and both parties are furious with each other, and the people who report their shenanigans do what they can to egg us on, too.

“Egg us on.” It’s been awhile since I last heard that phrase. It was Horace, the Roman poet (65BC to 8 BC), who first used it. I’d like to say I can read it in Latin, but a Middle English translation is the best I can do — “Ile egge them on to speake some thyng, whiche spoken may repent them” — and even that comes to you fresh off the Google screen. I do read, though, which is why all this televised squabbling hasn’t yet driven me to drink/drug/macramé/seed catalogs, and why I recommend reading instead.

Many young lovelies first learned the benefit of books in their teens when they took the paperback with the most colorful, most innocently provocative cover to youth camp in the hope of giving bashful boy teens grist for striking up a conversation. I know I did, but more recently I’ve learned that a well-chosen book makes an excellent companion in itself, one capable of shutting out an unruly world.

If you’re feeling laid back and want to keep it that way, read a book like Richard Adam’s “Watership Down,” which is so much more than a children’s book about rabbits. Choose one that’s more stimulating if you’re in a rut and require inspiration to climb out. Maybe a book that titillates, though I don’t recommend E.L. James’ “Fifty Shades of Grey.” I had to give up on Book I at page 23 when leather and whips came into play, but friends who finished the trilogy assure me that moral redemption occurs before Book III ends, which is exactly what I would have claimed if I’d read the series.

Oh, and about that Horace quote (I’ll egg them on to say something they’ll be sorry for), he also advised, “Mix a little lunacy in your wise counsel; sweet it is to be mad sometimes.” Could the government and the media be getting their talking points from an ancient Roman poet?

MARJORIE ANDERSON is an Edmond resident.

Text Only
  • Sheltons travel for better life for family

    Some time around 1865 a mixed-race African American couple, William and Mary Shelton, made their way from Mississippi to east Texas. Nothing is known for certain of their origins in he Magnolia state, or the circumstances under which they began their new lives in Texas.

    July 29, 2014

  • Film critic Turan produces book

    Kenneth Turan, who is the film critic for National Public Radio’s “Morning Edition,” has written a book “Not to be Missed, Fifty-Four Favorites from a Life Time of Film.” His list of movies span the gamut from the beginnings of filmmaking through the present day.
    There are some surprising omissions on his list. While he includes two films, “A Touch of Evil” and Chimes at Midnight” made by Orson Welles, and one, “The Third Man,” that Welles starred in but did not direct. He did not however, include “Citizen Kane,” that was the first movie Welles made, that is  often cited by both film critics and historians as a favorite film.

    July 28, 2014

  • Logan County’s disputed zone

    Watchers of “Star Trek” may recall the episode from the original series entitled, “Day of the Dove.” In this episode, Captain Kirk and his crew are forced by a series of circumstances into a confrontation with the Klingons. The conflict eventually resolves after Kirk realizes that the circumstances have been intentionally designed by an alien force which feeds off negative emotions, especially fear and anger. Kirk and his crew communicate this fact to the Klingons and the conflict subsides. No longer feeding upon confrontation, the alien force is weakened and successfully driven away.

    July 28, 2014

  • Russell leads in Sun poll

    Polling results of an unscientific poll at show that Steve Russell, GOP candidate for the 5th District congressional seat, is in the lead with 57 percent of the vote ahead of the Aug. 26 runoff election. Thirty readers participated in the online poll.

    July 28, 2014

  • Healthier and Wealthier? Not in Oklahoma

    Increased copays, decreased coverage, diminished health care access, reduced provider budgets and increased frustration are all the outcomes of the Legislature’s 2014 health care funding decisions. Unlike some years in the past when a languishing state economy forced legislators into making cuts, the undesirable outcomes this year could easily have been avoided.

    July 26, 2014

  • Medicaid reform a necessity

    Historically, education spending by the state of Oklahoma has been the largest budget item. This is no longer the case. In recent years, the state of Oklahoma spends more on Medicaid (operated by the Oklahoma Health Care Authority) than common education and higher education combined, according to the state’s Comprehensive Annual Financial Report.

    July 25, 2014

  • Remembering lessons from 1974

    This week marks the 40th anniversary of an important milestone in America’s constitutional history. On July 24, 1974, the Supreme Court voted 8-0 to order the Nixon White House to turn over audiotapes that would prove the president and his close aides were guilty of criminal violations. This ruling established with crystal clarity that the executive branch could not hide behind the shield of executive privilege to protect itself from the consequences of illegal behavior. It was a triumph for the continued vitality of our constitutional form of government.

    July 25, 2014

  • RedBlueAmerica: Is parenting being criminalized in America?

    Debra Harrell was arrested recently after the McDonald’s employee let her daughter spend the day playing in a nearby park while she worked her shift. The South Carolina woman says her daughter had a cell phone in case of danger, and critics say that children once were given the independence to spend a few unsupervised hours in a park.
    Is it a crime to parent “free-range” kids? Does Harrell deserve her problems? Joel Mathis and Ben Boychuk, the RedBlueAmerica columnists, debate the issue.

    July 24, 2014

  • Technology that will stimulate journalism’s future is now here

    To say technology has changed the newspaper media industry is understating the obvious. While much discussion focuses on how we read the news, technology is changing the way we report the news. The image of a reporter showing up to a scene with a pen and a pad is iconic but lost to the vestiges of time.
    I am asked frequently about the future of newspapers and, in particular, what does a successful future look like. For journalists, to be successful is to command multiple technologies and share news with readers in new and exciting ways.

    July 23, 2014

  • New Orleans features its own “Running of the Bulls”

    On July12, the streets of the Warehouse District of New Orleans were filled with thousands of young men who were seeking to avoid being hit with plastic bats wielded by women on roller skates as part of the annual “Running of the Bulls” that takes place in New Orleans.
    The event is based on the “Running of the Bulls” that occurs in Pamplona, Spain, that is  part of an annual occurrence in which a group of bulls rampage through the streets of Pamplona while men run from them to avoid being gored by their sharp horns. That event was introduced to the English-speaking world by Ernest Hemingway, who included scenes from it in his critically acclaimed 1926 novel “The Sun also Rises.”

    July 22, 2014


The runoff race for the 5th District congressional seat is set for Aug. 26. If the voting were today, which candidate would you support?

Al McAffrey
Tom Guild
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