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tough times
The OKPOP Museum has received Bob Wills' 1948 Flxible Clipper bus as a donation for its collection. The museum will be constructed in Tulsa's Brady Arts District. (Photo provided)

The price of oil is in the toilet, as are Oklahoma’s state revenues. Earthquakes are now a weekly occurrence in the Sooner State, and powerful economic leaders are bitching at each other in public and on social media.

Internationally, Iran and Saudi Arabia have ceased diplomatic relations and find themselves in a “war of words” that could potentially turn into a war of bullets and missiles. North Korea is testing nuclear weapons again.

Meanwhile, some Americans are mocking their president for crying over the thought of murdered children, and the heel-height of presidential candidate Marco Rubio’s boots is garnering headlines and public chatter.

It’s no wonder, then, that people actively seek out positive news, inspiring stories and exciting community developments in the face of all the negative.

On Friday, OKC many residents viewed the lighting of the long-dormant Tower Theater’s neon sign as a beacon of hope. Others attended concerts or went to the movies. The next day, fans packed the Lloyd Noble Center in Norman to cheer an exciting OU basketball team to victory over Kansas State.

Yes, the first full week of January was a stressful one. Here’s hoping the next 51 involve fewer negative headlines. In the meantime, there’s a National Championship football trophy on the line tonight.

May sports, arts and cultural activities pull us through the tough times.

Things we saw (and heard)

Sean Penn sat for secret interview with ‘El Chapo,’ Mexican drug lord — New York Times

OKC adds LGBTQ as protected class — The Norman Transcript (via Freedom Oklahoma)

Oklahoma City Museum of Art is exclusive U.S. venue for Matisse exhibition — Art Daily

Missouri bill defines sex between lobbyists and lawmakers as a gift — Kansas City Star.

Trump’s ‘Strange New Respect’ moment — Politico

Quotes to note

I learned from media reports today that Dan Boren is considering a race for governor in 2018. I will advise against it. In my opinion, it is not a good idea. I have had a policy of never endorsing or campaigning for any candidate for governor. I will continue that policy regardless of who the candidates may be.

— OU President David Boren in a curious statement to the AP about his son’s interest in running for governor, 1/10/16

Call the fire chief, baby, they’re burning the nets down!

— Dick Vitale during OU’s 109-106 triple-overtime men’s basketball defeat at Kansas on ESPN,
1/4/16

 

I come out the bank, I see the police, I’m walking to my car, I see one of them point to my bag like ‘him.’ They come bumrushing me at the car, put me on the ground.

.

— Rapper Blac Youngsta (a.k.a. Sam Benson) to the Atlanta Journal Constitution after he was incorrectly detained by police, 1/9/15

 

It appears that since 2008 our state government cannot balance the budget with our state tax system being unable to generate funding for our basic public services.

— Rep. Ed Cannaday, (D-Porum) in a blog post examining causes for the state’s budget shortfall, 12/31/15

 

Marco and I have shared, similar values, such as working for a smaller federal government and putting an end to wasteful spending.

— Sen. Jim Inhofe on NewsOK.com in his endorsement of Marco Rubio for president, 1/9/16

Vine Time

Highlights from NonDoc

DID YOU MISS?

Tower Theater

Lights up: Tower Theater turns on the neon in OKC” by Josh McBee

DID YOU MISS?

Joe Allbaugh

NRA board member Joe Allbaugh named Oklahoma Department of Corrections’ interim director” by William W. Savage III

DID YOU MISS?

Banning refugees would deny Christianity’s’ vulnerability” by Ben Janssen