“Be patient toward all that is unsolved in your heart and try to love the questions themselves, like locked rooms and like books that are now written in a very foreign tongue. Do not now seek the answers, which cannot be given you because you would not be able to live them. And the point is, to live everything. Live the questions now. Perhaps you will then gradually, without noticing it, live along some distant day into the answer.” — Rainer Maria Rilke
Yeah, it’s got some silly shit like Oral Roberts University. And its progressive power is usually blotted out by blood red Oaklahoma City in electoral politics. But before we go giving all the credit to teenagers on Tik Tok for the sorry-ass turnout at this weekend’s Trump Rally, consider this: Tulsa was a boneheaded, tone-deaf place to hold that rally anyway.
Tulsa is NOT the Trumpy base. Tulsa is filled with open-minded, creative, diverse, forward thinking people like my dear friend Jeff Martin, owner of Magic City Books downtown, who has brought basically every interesting cultural figure you can think of to Tulsa, who sold and gave away a truckload of books by Black authors this weekend, who has been giving out gave out water and supplies to protestors since protesting began this month.
Jeff is a singular presence and a miracle worker. He is far from the only person doing amazing progressive cultural work and organizing in Tulsa.
Jeff brought me to Tulsa a few years ago while I was on book tour. It was one of the highlights of almost a year on the road, a town filled with friendly interesting people, great food, beautiful sites and plenty to do. I would recommend anyone visit as soon as it is safe to do so. And see Tulsa as a reminder that we blue state dwellers all too often think the red-leaning parts of America are an endless sea of small minded bigots.
We are wrong.
Tulsa is one of my favorite cities in America. It’s purple America. And purple America are our allies and friends in this fight too.
“Charlie Loves Our Band” by the New Jersey folk rock band From Good Homes pays tribute to their most loyal fan in the group’s early days. It’s an incredibly sweet reminder that, when creating anything, you have to start with one “Charlie” and can always go somewhere higher from there.
“City Rising From the Ashes” is one of a dozen great songs on the self-titles dystopian hip hop album Deltron 3030 from the year 2000 about the year 3030.
1. The most common title words in this block are “City, Cherry, Child, Chill and Choice”
2. In one string of songs “City of Dreams” by the Philadelphia bar room rockers Marah and “City of Dreams” by The Talking Heads sit next to each other.
In my ongoing quest to speak to all of the world’s most interesting creative people, I’ve been interviewing writers and broadcasters in the true crime genre I admire for The Blotter Presents podcast. Most recently..
I spoke to Ms. Judge on the May 6 episode of the program (#142) about her journalistic background as a midwesterner who cut her teeth reporting from the deep south, “Criminal” not being crime-solvers or moral arbiters, what counts as a story about crime or wrong doing and the placement of the now immortal “I’m Phoebe Judge. This is Criminal”