By Gazette staff | Photos and illustrations by Gazette staff and provided
The lawmaker, who is well known for making radical, bigoted remarks in his official capacity at the Capitol, knew he would be away from his office. In the event that Muslim constituents made a visit to his office, Bennett prepared a questionnaire.
When three Muslim students visited Bennetts office and asked to speak with the four-term lawmaker, they were handed the prepared questionnaire.
It asked the students, Sharia law says that it must rule over the kafirs, the non-Muslims. Do you agree with this? and Do you beat your wife?
As you might imagine, Bennett once again made national headlines and the incident was added to a long list of anti-Muslim events in Oklahoma. You might recall Bennett conducted an interim study on radical Islam last fall. At the capitol study, a presenter called CAIR a terrorist organization.
According to a statement Bennett sent KFOR, the questionnaire was based on what he had read in the Quran and other Muslim faith texts. Bennett, himself, is a reader of the Bible, which he says is the blueprint for living.
Until Bennett, who is not to be confused with Rep. Forrest Bennett, D-Oklahoma City, re-reads John 13:34-35 (A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another) and embraces the biblical advice, we sadly see Oklahoma Muslims repeating in this category.
Shortly after Trump won on Nov. 8, Gov. Mary Fallin excitedly met with Captain Orange at Trump Tower. During the campaign, her name was bandied about for leading the Bureau of Indian Affairs, possibly because of her daughters abiding love for wearing sacred tribal headdresses as a fashion statement. Other potential jobs mentioned for Fallin included the Bureau of Land Management, because there arent enough oil derricks in Yellowstone National Park, and the U.S. Geological Survey, because she recently discovered what causes earthquakes in Oklahoma.
After her meeting, Fallin met with reporters in front of those golden elevators that later served as a backdrop for Trumps post-Charlottesville great healing of our riven nation.
We discussed a wide range of issues and his plan and agenda for America and how I might be able to help, she told reporters. It was a wonderful discussion. Really enjoyed it. Very excited about the administration and all of the wonderful things that will be done for America.
Such an innocent, sun-dappled time that was. Anyway, Fallin wasnt offered a cabinet-level position, but in May, Trump appointed her co-chair of the Council of Governors, a body that was convened in 2010 to facilitate greater cooperation between states and the feds regarding homeland
Meanwhile, the real Trump Sweepstakes winner was former Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt, our new Environmental Protection Agency chief. Pruitt spent much of his tenure as AG railing against what he saw as anti-capitalist environmental regulations and trying to push through a state question that would have given factory farms a carte blanche to run roughshod over surrounding landowners.
According to a July 24 New York Times report, these days, Pruitt spends roughly half his time back in Oklahoma. The Times article reported widespread speculation in Oklahoma that Pruitt is seeking statewide office, which would mean we should all go home and hug our children and tell them we love them.
But then a subsequent Times article described the current EPA as a shadowy, paranoid institution where Pruitt is the first agency head to request 24/7 security. Pruitt has armed guards accompanying him at all times, just like all super-popular people charged with making sure the birds still chirp. EPA employees can no longer access the floor where Pruitt works without escort, and they must first leave their cellphones outside his office before meeting with him and are often told not to take notes.
This way, they cannot take cellphone photos of Pruitt, disheveled and alone, babbling to himself while eating a live, mercury-poisoned fish. Were not saying that Gollum-like behavior takes place, but thanks to the weirdly Howard Hughesian clampdown Pruitt enacted at the EPA, we dont know that it hasnt happened.
In recent years, our state has become the female incarceration capital of the nation. In domestic violence statistics, the Sooner State is sixth in the nation for women killed by their intimate partner.
It doesnt get any better in the workforce, as Oklahoma women with full-time jobs earned an average 77 cents to every dollar their male counterparts earned.
In areas of health, Oklahoma has the second-highest teen birth rate in the United States. Of course, unconstitutional bills filed by state lawmakers perennially assault womens health and reproductive rights.
At the Capitol, despite a female governor, only 13.4 percent of state legislators are female.
There are bright spots for women, like Sen. Kay Floyd, D-Oklahoma City. First elected to the House of Representatives in 2012, Floyd has fought to improve the quality of life of Oklahoma families and protect children and victims of domestic abuse. She is not alone. There are many other brave and courageous Oklahoma women lawmakers by her side.
Last November, Floyd accepted the 2016 Elected Women of Excellence Award from the National Foundation for Women Legislators. This past spring, the Oklahoma Commission on the Status of Women honored Floyd with the 2017 Guardian Award to recognize her contribution to guarding, protecting and preserving the rights of women and families.
Three cheers for Floyd!
Ironically, Hall replaced Dan Kirby as chair of the Business, Commerce and Tourism committee. Kirby resigned from the Legislature following sexual harassment claims leveled by former assistants.
Rep. Justin Humphrey, R-Lane, made international headlines during the session when he referred to pregnant women as hosts during debate on a bill he authored that wouldve required women to get written consent of the fetus father before getting an abortion.
Rep. Karen Gaddis, D-Tulsa, was elected to replace Kirby, which brings the Oklahoma legislatures female representation to 13.4 percent, among the bottom 10 in the country.
After some of the comments and actions from lawmakers this session, we can only hope that number will increase.
Kanaly and other Oklahomans planning the Capitol march anticipated a crowd of 2,000 people gathering around the south Capitol steps that morning. By the time the march began down N. Lincoln Boulevard, the crowd had swelled well past a couple thousand people. About 12,000 women, men and children of various races, religions, political affiliations and social classes united to advocate on a number of policies to impact change in Oklahoma.
In the past 12 months, there has been a number of marches, protests, rallies and candlelight vigils in response to police brutality, indigenous rights, racism and other issues of social injustice. Metro residents have made their voices heard.
The potential for the change to happen from the bottom up has never been greater than right now, Kanaly told PBS NewsHour. What we do with it is going to be key. It cant just be show up for this march for this one day, then go home and get on Facebook to complain. You have to keep doing something.
In reality, most Oklahomans probably knew exactly what they were voting for when they approved State Questions 780 and 781, which together reclassified lesser drug offenses as misdemeanors and funneled the money saved from reduced sentences to fund rehabilitative programs. Voters approved both state questions last November.
A few lawmakers who pride themselves as tough on crime types were apparently flabbergasted that the states people could make a decision to lessen any kind of penalty, despite a prison system currently well beyond its maximum capacity.
Rep. Scott Biggs, R-Chickasha, introduced House Bill 1482 this legislative session. Former Sen. Ralph Shortey, R-Oklahoma City, introduced Senate Bills 503 and 512. Among other things, both legislative attempts would have increased penalties if drugs were found within a certain distance of a public park or school, effectively reversing the will of the people in SQ 780 and SQ 781.
Neither of the lawmakers bills advanced to the governors desk this past legislative session. Rep. Emily Virgin, D-Norman, told Tulsa World in a March 2017 story that the notion that state voters did not know the implications of either State Question is insulting.
This idea that voters didnt know what they were voting on is wrong, she said. Ive heard from people inside my district and outside who said, I knew exactly what I was doing.
Hear that? State voters actually knew what they were doing. Then again, this is the same electorate that voted in some of these lawmakers.
Yes, we realize there are districts in this city with more tangible momentum than (the historic?) Shepherd Mall. The Farmers Market District (near downtown between Pennsylvania and Shartel avenues and Reno Ave. and Interstate 40), Film Row (west of downtown near the intersection of N. Sheridan and N. Lee avenues) and Wheeler District (south of the Oklahoma River near the Wheeler Ferris wheel, 1701 S. Western Ave.) are all clearly on the rise with plenty of new attractions.
Still, we here at Oklahoma Gazette like to peer into the future even the very distant future. Maybe the forgotten shopping mall found on NW 23rd Street between Pennsylvania and Villa avenues does not excite the average onlooker now, but just wait until a failed Silicon Valley trust-fund millennial comes along to throw some of daddys cash at the site.
Once that place adds an Apple Store, avocado toast bar and local hot sauce boutique, the young crowd wont be able to stay away. Current tenants like ASTEC Charter School and the Oklahoma Horse Racing Commission are about to be popping!
Other forgotten area malls are attempting to step back into relevance. Crossroads Mall has seen some success after being rebranded as Plaza Mayor at the Crossroads. Northpark Mall (now Shoppes at Northpark) is doing its best to stay hip as part of NoMa. But we believe Shepherd Mall given its close proximity to top-notch fried-chicken fast food staples like KFC, Golden Chick and Raising Canes is best positioned to become a true cultural force in this city: SheMa.
But considering how local media and law enforcement responded to the impending arrival of the face-painting invitational and hardcore music haven, it was as if thousands of Pennywises were crawling from the Oklahoma City sewers to take our children. KOCO had its chopper flying over Lost Lakes Amphitheater and Water Park, and The Oklahoman even interviewed a reformed Juggalo who was traveling from Florida for the event in the hopes of dragging a few of Shaggy 2 Dope and Violent Js acolytes into the church, where they would sing sweet verses to the Almighty instead of Fucking magnets/ how do they work?
Ultimately, there were no buffalo statue mutilations, appearances by the Yellow King or the Slim Jim shortages that many feared. Instead, Oklahoma City received an infusion of Faygo, the super-fizzy bargain soda that the average Juggalo would normally have to drive 227 miles to the Bosselman Travel Stop in Salina, Kansas, to enjoy. That sweet nectar of the evil clown gets sprayed at ICP concerts at a constant clip, which meant thousands of Sooner Juggalos and Juggalettes could forego Best Choice brand and soak up face-fulls of Redpop, Candy Apple and Moon Mist Blue, all delivered at high velocity. So far, thats not a crime in Oklahoma, but the Oklahoma State Legislature, instead of fixing the state budget crisis, is probably mulling a new law against cheap Michigan soda that a few low-information legislators might believe causes clown rampages.
According to Okie Mod Squad cofounder Lynne Rostochil, thats exactly what has happened at the Donnay Building since it opened in 1954 with businesses like The Patio restaurant.
This building and the businesses in it touch the core of people, Rostochil told Oklahoma Gazette in July. What I find interesting about this building is its not just history; these businesses are thriving with new memories being made every day.
Maybe thats what Braums Ice Cream and Dairy Stores officials saw when they looked closely at Classen Circle. They pondered, Why couldnt people make more great memories with Braums ice cream and other food items Fresh From Our Family Farm at that very spot in Oklahoma City?
In July, Braums officials submitted a rezoning application with the City of Oklahoma City that revealed their plans for a new restaurant on the property and the demolition of existing buildings including the Donnay.
One might call it the most ambitious on a much smaller scale urban renewal project since architect I.M. Pei unveiled his plan to modernize downtown Oklahoma City by demolishing 500 buildings back in the 1960s. (BTW, most Oklahoma Citians look back on the Pei Plan with distaste, as the city tore down one historic building after another in hopes to create viable retail or residential options that never took off.)
A group called Save Classen Circle Boycott Braums organized a protest hours after news broke of the rezoning application. The Tuttle-based companys attorney later asked city officials to move the application to a September planning and zoning meeting to allow for more time to meet with the community. Lets hope this community meeting happens.
OK, relax. Of course we know the Thunder rosters newest addition is former Indiana Pacer small forward Paul George and not a pair of English musicians born in the 1940s (one of which is no longer living).
Whether or not George stays after his contract expires at the end of this season, OKC has every right to be excited about watching one of basketballs best talents in a Thunder uniform.
Still, if Prestis goal is to get Russell Westbrook to resign with the team, trading for some top-flight musical talent would not be the worst idea. Westbrooks love for Taylor Swift and Katy Perry is well documented. We also know that his seemingly endless wardrobe includes band shirts for KISS, Ramones and Slayer.
Everyone loves Rumble, but if trading him for legendary metal vocalist Tom Araya of Slayer is enough to keep Westbrook in town, then it is time to send our bipedal bovine friend packing.
It turns out that one avid golfer has some more free time on his hands and will be able to give you the inside scoop on how the Sooners stack up this year: Bob Stoops himself.
After Big Game Bob made the shocking decision to retire as the University of Oklahomas football coach in June, an announcement that was delayed to give OUs softball and mens golf team a chance to celebrate national championships, Stoops has yet to take a high-paying television analyst gig. That should give him plenty of time to hit the links.
Stoops is an annual participant in the Pebble Beach Pro-Am, where he finished fourth in 2012 and once hit a hole-in-one according to Golf Digest, but his game can always drops a few strokes, and what better way than to do so with you? Thats right, you!
Stoops turned the program over to 33-year-old Lincoln Riley, but he left him senior Heisman Trophy contending quarterback Baker Mayfield and a strong recruiting class on which to build.
Stoops took over the program in 1998 coming off three losing seasons; the team was a shell of its former glory. Stoops won a national title and appeared in three other championship games while becoming the all-time winningest coach in school history in the process. Thats a lot to accomplish by the age of 57. Itll be awhile before he moves up to the senior tees on the golf course.
The tattooed and gruffly bearded Americana crooner uniquely rose to prominence by way of Oklahomas hardcore punk community. Moreland was born in Texas but settled in Tulsa as a teen thanks to his fathers military job.
As much as we love Moreland in Oklahoma, his music is truly the worlds now. The singer-songwriter has appeared on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, and his last few albums have drawn rave reviews from national music media. He is currently on the last stretch of a long tour through Europe.
Moreland released his newest album, Big Bad Luv, in May, continuing the relentless momentum of 2015s High on Tulsa Heat. Big Bad Luv sprinkles in a few more upbeat numbers in an overall more rock-centric album, but make no mistake; there is still plenty of heartbreak to go around.
Sometimes the best way to start the day is by letting all your emotions out. When you need an early morning release, go pour some Froot Loops and put on Cherokee or No Glory in Regret. After you thoughtfully crunch your way through breakfast, dripping slow tears into your cold milk, youll be more than ready to put past pain behind you as you march bravely toward the future.
Its an exciting time in downtown OKC as the MAPS project continues to pay off. There is only one problem: Did we really have to name the upper park after the Scissortail? Doesnt the state bird already serve as enough inspiration around the state? Skydance Bridge, which will connect the two parks, is designed after the bird. The new Oklahoma license plate features an outline of the bird. We get it; the bird has a cool tail.
Public input was used to determine the parks name, and we feel this was an opportunity missed to gain some viral fame. The city said on Twitter that it would not accept Parky McParkface as an option after Boaty McBoatface won an Internet contest to name a British research ship.
What about Kendrick Parkins, a name the city said would be considered? That wouldve been a great way to honor a great Oklahoma City Thunder teammate and get some Internet chatter.
Despite its rather boring name, Scissortail Park is scheduled to open in early 2019 and will bring development to an otherwise forgotten area of downtown.
However, none of those spots are what wed call thrilling. For the adrenaline junkie looking to catch up on emails or read through a few chapters of the newest James Patterson novel, the Silver Bullet roller coaster at Frontier City is highly recommended.
Some call the coasters penchant for stalling midway through its run on the tracks a negative. (There have been at least five stoppages on the ride in the last decade and at least three in the last two years.) We here at Oklahoma Gazette are glass-half-full types. Instead of looking at it as getting stuck, riders should enjoy their aerial perch as they patiently wait for emergency personnel to pluck them from the sky.
Lets face it; there is probably something in most riders days they were trying to avoid anyway a high school reunion or family dinner perhaps. But one ride on the Silver Bullet and boom, an instant, undeniable and verifiable excuse from any and all social engagements.
Oh, Im so sorry middle-school-friend Becky whom I have not seen in three years. I cant make it to your wedding to Steve the insurance salesman because Im stuck on a roller coaster high above the citys Adventure District. My best and sincerest wishes to you both.
Then Toby Keith decided to perform at President Donald Trumps inauguration, and we watched the rolling digit creak sadly back to its nil position. One of the best-selling acts from Oklahoma not rhyming with Darth Schnooks, Keith joined such illustrious performers as 1970s variety show star Tony Orlando, child warbler Jackie Evancho and 3 Doors Down, who have dined out on their single Kryptonite for 17 years now.
Keith left the Democratic Party in 2008, one month before Barack Obamas first presidential victory, but he did play the Nobel Peace Prize concert in 2009, when Obama won the award, so he continues to be a bipartisan event performer. However, he is unapologetic that his Red Solo Cup has MAGA emblazoned on it.
Theres no reason not to do it, Keith said about the inauguration performance during the 2017 Country Radio Seminar, as reported in March by The Boot. I know a bunch of people were committed. I know a bunch of people Im not naming names but theres a bunch of people that I didnt think would have considered it who were committed, and they backed out due to pressure.
Yes, pressure is the real culprit, not any concern about being associated with an apologist for hate groups who is currently under investigation by a special counsel and cannot get through a single news cycle without damaging the U.S. standing on the world stage. No, sir.
This summer, Keith released a new single, Wacky Tobacky, from his upcoming album, The Bus Songs. The song extolls the virtues of cannabis, à la his Weed With Willie. This puts Keith at odds with Attorney General Jeff Sessions, who wants to prosecute medical marijuana growers who are acting in accordance with laws in their states. He also reauthorized civil asset forfeiture in drug cases, which means that if Keith gets popped for Wacky Tobacky by the Drug Enforcement Agency, he could lose the bus from The Bus Songs. Still no reason not to do it, Toby?
But those inconveniences are nothing compared to having a satanic priest unleash a hellmouth on stage, and you thought you were there to see The Lion King. In August 2016, Church of Ahriman leader Dastur Adam Daniels held a black Mass at the Civic Center, including a ceremony known as the Consumption of Mary.
In the ceremony, a statue of the Virgin Mary is placed at the center of a Solomonic triangle and some devil worshippers dance counter-clockwise around the statue. (Counter-clockwise is bad, like being left-handed or parting your hair on the wrong side.) Then a priestess breaks open the statue, revealing a pigs heart, and eats it as if shes eating the heart of Mary. Its melodramatic to such a point that old-school Satan-baiters like Ozzy Osbourne or Marilyn Manson might deem it too over-the-top.
Daniels periodic grandstanding in the name of Baphomet caused more problems than just a need to call Buffy in to reseal the hellmouth. This month, Daniels filed suit against Putnam City School District, alleging that teachers and employees mistreated his three children and made false allegations to the Department of Human Services about their parenting. Daniels is suing for $300,000 in damages, which would buy approximately 30,000 pig hearts on Amazon.com.
We expected more from a restaurant with legacy in the name. Legacy Grill opened with tributes to famous Oklahomans, which was coordinated by Oklahoma Heritage Association, but its menu was only a slight retooling of the soul food offered at KDs.
Legacy Grill did about as well at honoring Oklahomas history as Gary Busey trying to remember facts from his Tulsa high school history class after a bender.
The restaurant location at 224 Johnny Bench Drive in Bricktown that is managed by Hal Smith Restaurants has reemerged as part of the Charlestons chain. The popular chain, which boasts three OKC locations among its 18 national locations, should provide stability to the downtown storefront, but we were hoping for something original. Too bad we couldnt get it at Legacy Grill.
Felton spent most of his childhood playing Potters personal adversary Draco Malfoy in the series of films based on author J.K. Rowlings teen fiction phenomenon.
The British actor, who turns 30 in September (seriously, where have the years gone?), enjoyed an extended stay in Oklahoma while shooting a film titled Whaling, which co-stars Tammin Sursok (The Young and the Restless, Pretty Little Liars). The films crew shot several scenes in Guthrie.
Like any good news outlet, Oklahoma Gazette directs its coverage to fit the interests and needs of its audience. Judging from our social networking feeds flooded with Felton selfies, blurry pictures at a distance of Felton at a neighborhood bar or thrift store and nearly stalkerlike updates on his location in the city, it is clear there was a fair amount of interest in Felton.
While it would have been tempting to focus all our attention on Feltons day-to-day activities in the Sooner State, the truth is social media seemed to have this particular news beat pretty well covered. On top of your great journalistic work in documenting Feltons shopping and eating habits over the span of his Oklahoma stay, we will merely add that Whaling is currently in post-production and its release date is still undetermined.
Mario, Donkey Kong and Galaga are just a few of the old-school video game cabinets available at Rewind Pub or FlashBack Retro Pub at 814 W. Sheridan Ave. Classic video games are fun, especially when paired with the right 80s soundtrack, but if Oklahoma City has two barcades, does that mean the trend is losing steam?
Instead of being reactionary, what if OKC became a trendsetter for the rest of the countrys bar scene? Lets see; were just spitballing here, but yall like cats, right? The Japanese trend of using cats to help soothe patrons at cafes has made its way stateside, with Meow Parlour in New York City, but we can do better than that. Maybe a cat bar with a side of fencing. Snuggle kitties while you watch your possibly inebriated friends fence.
The latest trend in Tokyo is the penguin bar. At Penguin no Iru Bar, patrons can watch their cute bird friends waddle and splash in cool water while they sip drinks. Is this something OKC Zoo can put together? It might allow the zoo to stay open past 5 p.m.
Speaking of sticks, for every Goulash On A Roll, there is a solution: Chicken-Fried Steak on a Stick. This is, after all, the official food of Oklahoma, but it usually isnt terribly portable. Look at the Steak Sandwich Supreme at Del Rancho. Theyve never found a bun big enough to cover that damn thing. But a CFSOAS allows discriminating gourmands to eat the fried ball of cow on a tongue depressor without getting their hands greasy. Furthermore, the accompanying paper bowl of gravy allows for rapid spinning of the CFSOAS for even coating as well as Jackson Pollock-style culinary splatter art.
Oklahoma Gazette offers this idea without strings attached. We consider this a public service and will even offer a truck name: Stick It 2 You.
Please dont play all cool and pretend like you dont know about the former News 9 meteorologist. Dont pretend that you didnt shed a tear and become emotional as station members gathered around Lacey Swope during her final broadcast.
Dont pretend you didnt replay the farewell videos News 9 created, remember all the good times and curse the name of News On 6.
Why did the Tulsa station take Lacey Swope from us? What do they have that we dont have?
For six years, Oklahoma City metro viewers tuned in to watch Lacey Swope, morning and noon meteorologist, deliver the days forecast. Did we need an umbrella? Sunscreen? Or should we expect to hunker down in a storm shelter as an early afternoon severe storm rolls through the Sooner State? Lacey Swope would tell us!
Lacey Swope was everything anyone could ever want in a meteorologist. With a positive and energetic attitude, she informed viewers of the forecast, everything from blizzards to droughts, floods and tornadoes. She did it while sporting trendy knee-length dresses with a statement necklace to tie the look together.
Now she delivers the forecast to Tulsa viewers at News 9s sister channel News On 6.
We miss you, Lacey Swope!
The chain Italian-style restaurant closed its Oklahoma City operation in February 2016. It moved into the first floor of a historic six-story building in 1988, though its upper five floors remained sealed and unused. NewsOK.com reported in June that the space is in the process of being purchased by Cedars Group LLC with the intention of turning the space into a hotel or offices.
While many locals and out-of-town guests have no doubt sat for a meal or two at Spaghetti Warehouse in the last two or three decades, Oklahoma Citys dining palate has matured well beyond generic plates of pasta. One can hardly walk local streets these days without tripping over a local pho or ramen shop, a reality that few could have imagined in the 80s. Thriving district culture has brought locally owned restaurants and dining groups to a new plateau. Chic new food and bar concepts pop up almost every month.
Oklahoma City truly thanks Spaghetti Warehouse for believing in the downtown area at a time when not many did. But the citys tastes simply outgrew the longtime Bricktown staple. Next time youre enjoying a pork belly steamed bun or an artisanal farm-to-table arugula salad, offer a tip of the hat to the bygone downtown eats of yesteryear.
The mural in question, painted by 66-year-old local muralist Bob Palmer, was located at 4616 N. Western Ave., the home of Alotta Action Advertising. When much furor arose after this sweetly nostalgic vision of rural Americana was blotted out with blood-red latex paint, Nondoc contacted Alotta Action owner Jen Hutchings while she was on vacation in Key West, Florida, and presumably hoping not to experience a lot of action. But she did, and she was pissed.
That mural was ugly, and we are going to put a new mural on it, Hutchings told Nondoc as she was presumably living on sponge cake and watching the sun bake all those tourists covered in oil.
Months later, the wall was still red as raw tuna, leading some observers to think that Alotta Action had created a minimalist mural depicting a close-in, microscopic shot of a blood corpuscle. But then in late summer, a new image appeared, almost as if the wall were a sacred shroud or a tortilla.
It was Jesus.
At least, it looks like Jesus. It could be just a hippie, but a hippie mural wouldnt have the power to cynically deflect criticism from residents angered by the loss of a beloved painting by Palmer, who told KOCO that the erasure of his work was like a kick to the stomach.
As for the artistic merit of the new mural, its no verdant view into cherished memories of summers spent cooling in the clear waters of a rural stream. Its Jesus, and if Oklahoma has nothing else, it has a ton of Jesus Christ depictions. So heres another one, and lets just say its not the Mona Lisa.
With the help of their family, including son Ryan, Tate Publishing became known as a vanity press, meaning most of their clients paid the Mustang-based company to have their works published.
Following a $2.2 million lawsuit filed by Xerox Corporation against Tate Publishing and Ryan Tate, the company ceased operations in January.
At the time of the closure, Mustang Times reported Tate Publishing, between its Mustang and Filipino offices, was working with 35,000 authors. While it promised to work with authors by returning manuscripts for a fee, authors and musicians began routing their complaints to the Oklahoma Office of the Attorney General.
While the AGs office was already more than a year into their investigation into Tate Publishing, 4,849 complaints were lodged against the company between Jan. 17 and May 4. Those complaints led Oklahoma Attorney General Mike Hunter to respond with four felony embezzlement charges, a misdemeanor embezzlement charge, three felony extortion-by-threat charges and a felony racketeering charge against Richard and Ryan Tate as operators of Tate Publishing. Canadian County Sheriffs deputies arrested and booked the Tates, who posted bond.
A Canadian County judge scheduled a pre-hearing conference for the alleged felons on Sept. 6.
Now, considering that Oklahomans spent years driving around our fair state with plates declaring that Oklahoma is OK, which means its a lot like lima beans, the 24th season of Survivor and the latest Macklemore single, this issue caused a surprising level of pique. Perhaps because it was preceded by Allan Housers Sacred Rain Arrow design, Oklahomans reacted as if Gov. Mary Fallin had slapped Red from Angry Birds on our tags.
Some people on Twitter, perhaps suffering from tunnel vision, thought the new design looked like the Twitter logo. They arent incorrect. If you took the bird from the Twitter logo and saddled it with a janky, unwieldy tail that didnt proportionately evolve after the Pleistocene epoch, youve got the new Oklahoma license plate.
Still others were convinced that a Hunger Games fanatic designed the new plate to express her or his undying devotion to Mockingjay. Indeed, if one were to squint at the design like Donald Trump looking at an eclipse, it triggers visions of Katniss Everdeen avenging the death of her sister Prim by drawing her bow on Interim President Alma Coin. Does this mean that Oklahoma is bucking to be District 12 in Trumps Panem? May the odds be ever in Oklahomas favor.
When Oklahoma Gazette graphic designer Anna Shilling created the cover for the July 12 Let It Be Paul story by Ben Luschen, she depicted Paul McCartney in four stages of his career: the British Invasion mop-top, the Sgt. Peppers Lonely Hearts Club Band mustachioed drum major, the Let It Be/McCartney beardo and the indefatigable elder statesman. This gorgeous cover captured some of McCartneys personality and character, but it also inspired a remix.
Once it reached Wayne Coyne, he summoned his artistic fortitude and hurled a flaming pie at Macca. Soon, the youngest and the eldest McCartney were trading pink teardrops, the Pepper era Paul shot green lasers from his eyes and the bearded courtly sheep farmer Paul bled profusely from his forehead. The composer was artfully decomposing.
Besides, apart from 2009s Zombieland, its rare to see celebrities transformed into ghoulish stumblers. McCartney seems game for the occasional left turn; maybe he could show up in a Robert Kirkman side project, like Fear the Rocking Dead.