On the Street: Oil and Vinegar, 55 Points, More Ink, and Other Important Discussions of Our Time

“The Paper Within the Paper Though Technically Without the Actual Paper”

Letters (to the On the Street Penthouse Suite)

#1 Change I Can Believe In

Election night brought a flurry of ecstatic (drunken?) text messages signaling the changing of the guard.

To recount (I knowâ?¦):

From Jessica aka Lady G: “OBAMANOS!”

From former Current scribe/rabble rouser Keli: “Just+Like+That! Boom! President Obama!”

From Potter Belmar Jason: “Woo Hoo!!!”

From Dr. Duy Tran (aka Saigon Pimp): “Yes we did!”

From someone I don't know in the 716: “Obamanos!”

From Lady Tiana: “Fuck Yeah.” (Without an exclamation point it should be noted. Bold. Assured. Almost as she's been here before.)

I need to get on some sort of text message plan because my bill keeps adding up. Those texts right there, that's $1.20 in measly U.S. change. Can you believe it? I'm just sayingâ?¦

#2 Manifesto a La Nacion

From the Artist Formerly Known as Mantecatron:

“Notice "San Luis Potosí, Octubre 5 de 1910" at the lower right corner. I'm curious as to where this was printed. San Antonio? ¿Quien sabe?”


#3 Flushing Him Out

An excerpt from an extended exchange between myself and friend of OTS Rain about flushing out the thief who stole his bike and perhaps has revealed himself on Craigslistâ?¦

“I know some people out on that side of town. I'm going to call around about him tomorrow. I don't think he thinks very much. He's a tweeker for sure.”

That could be a great opening line from a Dashiel Hammet novel.

#4 I Make Love to Pressure

A great t-shirt design for former Spur, sharp shooting myth and legend, Stephen Jackson.


Which prompted friend of OTS Menudo T. Williams to write:

“That's a great shirt, but what's with the bucked teeth. Doesn't Nathaniel (of Free Darko) know he got his grille redone over the offseason?”

It seems Stephen Jackson had major dental surgery over the off-season to repair the damage done from his famous altercation outside an Indiannapolis strip club a few years back when got run over by a car and shot a few rounds into the air and, so it seems, got his mouth all jacked up.

#5 Wasilla Hillbillies Looting Neiman Marcus from Coast to Coast

Michael in Austin sends in interesting election related gems.


An excerpt:

“One aide estimated that she spent "tens of thousands" more than the reported $150,000, and that $20,000 to $40,000 went to buy clothes for her husband. Some articles of clothing have apparently been lost. An angry aide characterized the shopping spree as "Wasilla hillbillies looting Neiman Marcus from coast to coast," and said the truth will eventually come out when the Republican Party audits its books.....”

As well as:

“Africa is a country?”

And I can't get over the reporter criticizing Palin's intelligence by questioning her "knowledgeability". When did that become a word. I thought the noun form of the word knowledge was...knowledge.

Downtown Highlife (Rides Again)

Somehow I have no access to fotos from the ride (which is probably a good thing for various reasons.

T-shirts were silk screened in the parking lot at Bluestar before hand. The line was constant. Carlos the Carpenter and I worked non-stop like we were fry cooks at a late night diner and the bars just got out. Luckily, Justin from Fl!ght later gave us some tips which sped up the process. Basically — use more ink.

Updates to follow if any images surface but I'm not counting on it.

55 (Spurs Micro-Management: Read at Your Own Risk)

The Spurs have had a rough start. In some ways it's been a triumph of youth over age, which on the Spurs team isn't actually a good thing as we're still “old as dirt.”

In the off-season the Front Office re-signed 35 year old Michael Finley and similarly aged power forward Kurt Thomas, both to contracts for two years that pay them at least two million a year. Yikes.

Perhaps while RC Buford was an assistant at the University of Kansas back in the 80s he discovered forgotten secrets from the Kansas Ponce de Leon, the goat gland doctor, Dr. Brinkley. (hyper link)

But let's go with the assumption that is not the case. After a few games it seems like “what were they thinking.” Finley has been generally bad for a while now so bringing him back at all was highly questionable. Kurt Thomas was brought in at the end of last season and it was assumed he just needed time to learn the System and get familiar with people. Yes, he did miss too much of pre-season with an injury (not a great beginning) but his play has been very slow, inefficient and earth-bound.

Who has been playing well? In addition to Tim Duncan (possible D&D playerâ?¦and it didn't even hurt to write that), our best players have been the most athletic — Tony Parker, Roger Mason, and Walter Hill. If I recall, in addition to Tim, they have the highest PER on the team (PER being a nerd stat used to determine a player's overall contribution per the minutes they play.)

Assuming this theory is pointing in the right direction, I have hopes that our young French center named Ian, once he returns, can make a substantial contribution, or at least something, especially on defense. If he does pick up the slack that does alter the identity of the team considerably: an athletic Center, an MVP Power Forward, mediocre Small Forwards (a weak spot), a very effective Shooting Guard (Roger Mason) and a superstar PG (Parker). That still makes us very thin but if our new sharp shooting power forward named Tolliver can at least make shots, and new young gunner named Farmer can get playing time over Finley and hit a good % of his shots, we should at least be a competitive .500 team until Manu returns. We'll see.

Tony Parker's 55 point outburst the other night was at least a good sign.

Oil and Vinegar

First the “Oil” (whatever that means)â?¦

What an impressive showing to see Obama succeed. While many feared some sort of shenanigans from one of the states in contention (and isn't is odd that in years past the discrepancies with exit polls have been in highly contested states, and not say Delaware or Idaho or some other random state people generally don't think of except when discussing grape soda or potatoes. Let's be honest.)

For those who thought America could never elect a black President, this was a moment of vindication. Even Jesse Jackson, perhaps not a personal fan of Obama, was seen getting choked up from the emotion of the moment.

It was a crushing victory that emotionally sends the GOP running to the center of the country geographically and to the far right politically. Moderate republicans (which were almost extinct circa 2001-2005) have tried to slip towards Obama or have been thrown out of office. The hard liners seem to be minority and the GOP is in disarray. And the flap over the Wasilia Hillbillie seems to indicate an internal battle within the GOP over the future of the party. I can only imagine some want to cut all ties with Palin right now and let the slate be wiped clean. Others, possibly see Palin as the folksy female Reagan that can help lead the GOP back to the White House.

Back to the “oil”â?¦

Even McCain's farewell speech was actually pretty good. Without even focusing on the words he spoke, it was a paradox to see him not resemble a zombie for the first time in months and to actually speak and act like a normal human being.

I can only guess without cheap drama coaches around him telling him how to talk and stand, he was back to his normal self. (It should be noted, Al Gore seemed to have the same lame coaches for the 2000 election. Could he have been any more stiff back then, while at the same time trying not to act stiff? What a disaster that was.) Anyway, it was odd to see McCain seem the most compelling in the darkest moment of his defeat. No longer was he crumpled over like someone's annoying grandfather, made worse by trying to act way too nice and genuine and safe, and anything but ANGRY. One would think being genuine is the first step towards being genuine, but evidently not in the political process.

Now the “Vinegar”â?¦

Though it was a crushing defeat, I have to discount that notion because of the electoral college. The electoral college remains an impediment to true representation and in good faith it would be wrong to bemoan it in one scenario and then look the other way when it helps serve my purpose.

The last I looked Obama had 49 million votes to McCain's 47 million votes. To me that doesn't seem like a crushing defeat. So, what does that tell us?

Racism is neither dead nor getting stronger. It's basically where it was a few weeks ago. Nothing changed overnight, and if we can somehow remember as far back as 3 weeks ago, we will recall the hateful language that was reported being used by McCain supporters at various rallies.

Also, more vinegarâ?¦

â?¦though the voters want change, the changes they want aren't clearly defined. For some, it's everything. For others, it's more efficiency. Obama was never really tested from the Left at all during the campaign. He was tested from the Right, but that only seemed to pull him further to the right to assuage them.

The accusations against Obama from the Right are silly, but if they were even halfway true I think it would bode well for actual change to occur. In other words, Obama doesn't associate with radicals, he isn't a black nationalist, he isn't a socialist. But the hint is there and as odd as it sounds, it is these moments that give him some unpredictability, and in my opinion, hope.

Predictability is not what we need for the next four years. More of the same is not going to inspire the huge swell of support (fanbase?) that has developed over this campaign.

Also, I can only hope that the Left holds Obama to the fire over specific issues and doesn't let him slide on everything in the same way the Right did for Bush, even when it was against their best interests (not to mention the obvious interests of the majority of the population.)

I more and more wonder if politics is nothing but pure melodrama which allows us to project all our dislikes on a villain and project all our desires onto the hero. Yeah, that pretty much sounds like politics. What I'm hoping for is the ambiguous grey tones of 70s era cinema, in which issues weren't forced into simple polar opposites. In other words again, if liberals take too much joy in seeing the Right fail, they'll be blind to what is, or more importantly, ISN'T going on in government that actually should be happening.

I'm sure conservatives had no greater joy than in seeing liberals complain about Bush without any recourse over the last 8 years, and especially during the low (high?) points of 2001-2005.

Anyway, to mix it all together, things are moving in a good direction emotionally even as institutions are falling down all around us. Hopefully, we'll be able to replace them with something new and appropriate. Okay, gotta go and buy some stock in windtricity.

And so goes another week on the streets of San Antonio. As always, to be continuedâ?¦

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