Blue Oklahoma recently got a new look. Now it’s time for Okie Funk, established in 2004. Check out its new design.
Okie Funk also has an updated, more secure Drupal open source script, and it will soon open up for direct comments again. There might be some glitches or problematic appearance issues as I make some changes, but I will continue to post during this time.
So, folks, it’s been a long, long ride with Okie Funk.
In recent months, I’ve spoken to a lot of people about whether to even continue publishing Okie Funk and about moving to other formats for my political writing. I’ve even had some fantastical ideas about purchasing or working with local mainstream or corporate media outlets. Yet after a few experiments, and some soul searching, I decided to keep going with Okie Funk, primarily because of the lopsided political situation here and the heartfelt encouragement from people who follow the blog and my political writing.
Every voice counts and contributes. Quitting is not a good message to send right now because of the state’s extremist political situation and my own personal circumstances. For my sanity, however, I always reserve the option to walk away from it all if the stagnation and grind becomes overwhelming or my personal life demands it.
I believe I have a realistic and historical view of the impact or not of Okie Funk and its companion blog Blue Oklahoma, established in 2006, on the political scene here or, to put it another way, I know and concede their limitations. I’m first and foremost a full-time college professor, and the time I spend on maintaining these blogs is dedicated to making a difference, not money. There’s never been enough time or money for me to do what I’ve wanted to do with the blogs, but my love for the philosophical component of academia, the overwhelming, ecstatic joy of teaching and, frankly, the stability of having the same job for 25 years, raising children and spending quality time with my partner, family and friends, has always taken precedence in my life.
Now that I’ve said that, I want to announce that Okie Funk, as you can see by the new look, has started to accept donations to (1) recoup hosting, maintenance and development costs, and (2) to grow its audience even further. Simply click on the PayPal icon and contribute what you can. The amount of money Okie Funk receives will be directly correlated to the amount of time I, or any of the people who help me on this non-profit venture, can spend on generating content, not trying to resolve technology problems like fighting spammers or updating platforms or responding to glitches, which can be outsourced to paid experts. I’ll write more on this later in a fundraising post.
I’ll end this self-indulgence by republishing one of my first posts on Okie Funk, which dates back to June 1, 2004. Some of my students today were only eight or nine, a few maybe even younger, when I started Okie Funk and began this incredibly fun yet sometimes frustrating journey in an effort to change the political climate here.
It’s been a long ride as I mentioned, true, but it’s been worth it, and Okie Funk continues the fight for truth and social justice here in the reddest of red states.
Okie Populism, June 1, 2004
One of the most vexing questions in the political scene today is how a majority of voters in the South, Southwest, and Midwest consistently vote against their economic interests on the national level.
Oklahoma, for example, has voted Republican on the national level for two decades now, yet the conservative agenda consistently rewards a wealthy elite over middle-class and poor people.
Take President George Bush’s recent tax cuts which heavily favored the wealthiest people in the nation and consider the new corporate welfare state in which we live. Yet Oklahoma has one of the lowest per capita income levels in the nation and has recently suffered through high unemployment rates and cutbacks in education. How does granting huge tax breaks to billionaires and large corporations help the average Oklahoman?
Pundits argue the reason for this contradiction is that conservatives “play” Okies and beyond by emphasizing such emotional cultural issues as abortion or family values. Consequently, Okies may well feel such social issues outweigh their rights and success as professionals, workers and farmers.
Yet if Okies are not empowered financially and socially, how can they expect to have any voice at all in the national debate? It’s a paradox.
The neocons currently in power wouldn’t give the time of day to an impoverished or underemployed Oklahoman who wants to rant against abortion or the decline of family values. Conservatives support the measurement of capitalism in terms of bestowing power and voice to people.
If you have the money, you get to have some say. So why vote against your economic interests if you really want to change the culture?
The time is ripe for a new populist movement in our state, one based on the realities of our life here in this state, not one based on cultural issues we can never really resolve, that only serve to divide us.