“The horrible thing about the Two Minutes Hate was not that one was obliged to act a part, but that it was impossible to avoid joining in. Within thirty seconds any pretense was always unnecessary. A hideous ecstasy of fear and vindictiveness, a desire to kill, to torture, to smash faces in with a sledge hammer, seemed to flow through the whole group of people like an electric current, turning one even against one’s will into a grimacing, screaming lunatic. And yet the rage that one felt was an abstract, undirected emotion which could be switched from one object to another like the flame of a blowlamp.”
— George Orwell, “1984”
Yeah, I’d say that thin, pasty-faced Brit nailed it. I’ve pretty much wanted to smash faces with a sledgehammer all week. Do you wear gloves for that sort of thing?
I don’t need much reason to hate the Sooners.
Switzer. Wilkinson. Charles Thompson selling blow to an undercover FBI agent. Brian Boswell on the needle. Marcus Dupree trashing his career. Slush funds. Loss of institutional control. Falsified high school transcripts. Hookers, strippers, cocaine, and automatic weapons in the athletic dorm. You understand this could be a really long paragraph and it would only include the stuff we actually know about, right?
But it goes so far beyond football cheating.
Oklahoma’s grossly underfunded public schools are a laughingstock. Cheating scandals on standardized tests. Holding school only four days a week due to operating budget constraints. Massive unfilled teaching vacancies due to extremely low pay – no teacher raises since 2008. Textbooks held together with duct tape. Charging kids a fee to play sports. Elimination of paid substitute teachers in favor of volunteers. For this fiscal year, Oklahoma City public school cut more than $30 million from their budget.
Since last year’s November election, seven Oklahoma legislators have resigned under cloud of either sexual or financial scandal and an eighth died in office before charges could be brought. Senator Bryce Marlatt was arrested in September for allegedly groping a female Uber driver. A former aide to Governor Mary Fallin, Travis Brauer is being investigated for taking unwanted upskirt photos of women on the Oklahoma capital grounds then destroying or altering a mobile phone and laptop in response to the investigation. Senator Ralph Shortey (I swear I’m not making up these names) is under a four-count federal indictment for producing and trafficking child pornography. Representative Dan Kirby resigned after being accused by two different women of sexual harassment; Kirby admitted asking an aide to send him topless photos and meet him at a local strip club.
According to Bob Burke, Oklahoma City attorney, historian, and author, “This current series of scandals is horrible for our image, but it is not the first time our public officials, as humans and subject to temptation, have betrayed the trust of the electorate.”
No sh*t, Sherlock.
In the words of Peter Gabriel, “Let me be your sledgehammer. This will be my testimony.”
Need I go on? That damn fight song the OU band plays ad nauseam. Their ugly alternative uniforms that look like chicken fried Indianan Hoosiers. The little toy Conestoga wagon, which is basically an Uber service for drunk frat boys. The RUF/NEKS and their paddles, offensive on both aesthetic and spelling grounds, is what the Aggie Corps would be if they were straight and permitted to wear baseball caps backwards.
Unlike Winston Smith, the poor schmuck in “1984,” we don’t need an Emmanuel Goldstein – an artificially manufactured, fictional object of our hatred. We don’t need to fall back on tired memes like mobile-homa. We have a state and “university” that genuinely, seriously deserves our bile, fury, and hatred squatting, taking an outdoor dump immediately to the north of our fair state then refusing to wipe it’s own ass afterward.
Actually, I don’t mean to backtrack, but I’m still trying to get the mental picture of an Oklahoma strip club out of my mind.
What would you see in such an establishment? Scars from old bullet wounds? Too-fresh-to-be-removed stitches from a recent cesarean section? Open, running herpes sores? Missing dentures? Breasts falling below the waistline? Tattoos with misspelled words? The gaunt, desiccated facial features that come from decades of methamphetamine addiction? The mind boggles.
What would you pay these women money to do to you?
Never mind. I actually don’t want to know.
So I’m left with my rage. I hate because it’s the only reasonable, logical response to the Oklahoma Sooners. I hate because it’s just and good and noble to hate what is vile and depraved. I hate because God wants me to hate.
I hate because OU sucks.
A 1986 graduate of the University of Texas, Jeff Conner has held many jobs in his life: husband, brother, uncle, son, oil field roustabout, short-order cook, sandblaster, irrigation pipe mover, musician, retail assistant manager, attorney-at-law, public school teacher, preacher, cartoonist, and writer. While he does have a hot, young wife, Conner is neither as clever nor as good-looking as he believes himself to be. Jeff is currently teaching 7th grade Pre-A.P. math, 8th grade math, and Pre-A.P. algebra in Elgin, Texas, #OTOTOF. Conner’s regularly submitted commentary appears in InsideTexas.com and Inside Texas Magazine. The opinions presented do not necessarily reflect the views of the Inside Texas editorial staff.