Arkansas Times - August 14, 2014
Arkansas Times entertainment, culture, politics The Case For 5 A.M.
news + politics + entertainment + FOOD / August 14, 2014 / arktimes.com The case for 5 a.m. Seven reasons why closing the late-night clubs is a bad idea for Little Rock Arkansas Times AN EX HIB IT AT T HE HIS TO R IC A RKA NSA S MUSEUM of the SEPT 12. THROUGH DEC E M B E R From a spunky monthly launched with $200 in capital assets to one of the earliest alternative w e e k l i e s, t h e A r k a n s a s Ti m e s h a s b e e n T H E e s sential voice on politics and culture since 1974. Take a look back at the last 40 years of Arkansas history through the often-irreverent lens of the Times in a collection of archival covers, photos, art and memorabilia. Come To The Opening Reception On Second Friday Art Night, 5-8 p.m. Friday, Sept. 12 www.arktimes.com 2 August 14, 2014 ARKANSASâ€ˆTIMES arkansas’s source for news, politics & entertainment 201 East Markham Street, Suite 200 Little Rock, Arkansas 72201 www.arktimes.com firstname.lastname@example.org @ArkTimes www.facebook.com/arkansastimes Fabu lous Find s antique & Decorative Mall 7TH & THAYER, LR (501) 375-8400 AnniverSAry 20th Thursday, August 14 Friday, August 15 Tuesday, August 19 Wednesday, August 20 Big Silver w/ Jesse Aycock Bombay Harambee w/ High Magic & Swampbird CBGB: Colin Gilmore, Bonnie Whitmore, Graham Webber John Calvin Abney w/ Poor Uncle Fatty & Brother Andy Publisher Alan Leveritt editor Lindsey Millar SENIOR EDITOR Max Brantley MANAGING Editor Leslie Newell Peacock contributing Editor Mara Leveritt associate editors David Koon, David Ramsey COPY EDITOR Jim Harris entertainment editor Will Stephenson editorial art director Bryan Moats photographer Brian Chilson advertising art director Mike Spain Assistant art director Patrick Jones graphic designer Kevin Waltermire director of advertising Phyllis A. Britton DIRECTOR OF SPECIAL PUBLICATIONS Rebekah Hardin senior account executive Tiffany Holland account executives Darielle D’Mello, Jo Garcia, Thanh Rasico, Brooke Wallace Advertising Traffic manager Roland R. Gladden Advertising coordinator Kelly Carr SOCIAL MEDIA MARKETING DIRECTOR Kristi McKinnon SOCIAL MEDIA account executive Rose Gladner IT director Robert Curfman circulation director Jack Higgins controller Weldon Wilson billing/collections Linda Phillips office manager Kelly Lyles production manager Ira Hocut (1954-2009) Over 50 Dealers with selectiOns pickeD just fOr yOu! 2905 Cantrell · 501-614-8181 Mon-Sat 10-5 · Sun 1-5 Storewide Sales! Sale! Check out additional shows at whitewatertavern.com g r e u r s B & , s Brats k a e t S Make Weekends That Rock! association of alternative newsmedia VOLUME 40, NUMBER 50 ARKANSAS TIMES (ISSN 0164-6273) is published each week by Arkansas Times Limited Partnership, 201 East Markham Street, Suite 200, Little Rock, Arkansas, 72201, phone (501) 375-2985. Periodical postage paid at Little Rock, Arkansas, and additional mailing offices. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to ARKANSAS TIMES, EAST MARKHAM STREET, SUITE 200, Little Rock, AR, 72201. Subscription prices are $42 for one year, $78 for two years. Subscriptions outside Arkansas are $49 for one year, $88 for two years. Foreign (including Canadian) subscriptions are $168 a year. For subscriber service call (501) 375-2985. Current single-copy price is 75¢, free in Pulaski County. Single issues are available by mail at $2.50 each, postage paid. Payment must accompany all single-copy orders. Reproduction or use in whole or in part of the contents without the written consent of the publishers is prohibited. Manuscripts and artwork will not be returned or acknowledged unless sufficient return postage and a self-addressed stamped envelope are included. All materials are handled with due care; however, the publisher assumes no responsibility for care and safe return of unsolicited materials. All letters sent to ARKANSAS TIMES will be treated as intended for publication and are subject to ARKANSAS TIMES’ unrestricted right to edit or to comment editorially. FAMILY O AND OPE WNED R SINCE 19 ATED 59! SCAN THIS AND GO TO OUR WEB SITE! EDWARDS FOOD GIANT LIKE US! AVAILABLE AT THESE LOCATIONS: 1701 MAIN STREET 501-376-3473 10320 STAGE COACH RD 501-455-3475 7507 CANTRELL RD 501-614-3477 7525 BASELINE RD 501-562-6629 BRYANT 2203 NORTH REYNOLDS RD 501-847-9777 ©2014 ARKANSAS TIMES LIMITED PARTNERSHIP FOR SUBSCRIPTION SERVICE CALL: (501) 375-2985 WWW.EDWARDSFOODGIANT.COM www.arktimes.com August 14, 2014 3 COMMENT Democrats and poverty Why do liberals hate the poor? You somehow equate being unwilling to give up American sovereignty and not leaving our southern border unsecured as “Heartless” (Week That Was, Aug. 7). The reality is that Democrats want the borders open for no other reason than to provide a future voting base of poor and are willing to work with corporatist whore Chamber of Commerce Republicans who want to please their corporate masters by increasing the supply of cheaper labor. Why is this bad? Main reason is it creates a labor surplus for the entry-level jobs needed by the youth currently here and for blacks of all ages. You can’t increase the supply of a commodity and expect it to hold its value. Democrats are complicit in creating a surplus of low skilled labor. Liberal leaders don’t care who they hurt and are willing to work with open border Republicans to get unregistered Democrats. Why blacks don’t hold Democrats accountable for what is a tag-team attack on the poor I don’t understand. You keep repeating the absurd meme that conservatives hate the poor and minorities when conservatives want everyone to succeed. Keeping people poor makes no sense from an economic standpoint. We do have real evidence that Democrats support policy that hurts the poor (amnesty anyone?) and LBJ famously stated “I’ll have them ni**ers voting Democrat for the next 200 hundred years ...” when he started the War on Poverty. Add to that liberals insisting blacks be confined to seriously underperforming public schools as a payoff to the teachers’ unions and it’s hard to believe blacks think Democrats actually want to help them. I’ll believe liberals want to help the poor when Democrats start designing policy that doesn’t create more government dependency. Brice Hammerstein Sherwood For those interested, Clark Terry, a huge legend of the jazz world, is currently residing in Pine Bluff, and seemingly fighting some health difficulties admirably. Anyway, the most recent recordings I’ve heard with Sanders are on Kenny Garrett’s “Beyond the Wall” and “Sketches of MD.” The man is 70-plus years old and still recording with the biggest, forward-looking musicians — that should tell you something. munkle In response to Max Brantley’s Arkansas Blog post, “Think early closing for private clubs would depress crime? Try this”: I assume that if they offer a proposal to cut the hours of business for legitimate businesses, there will be an accompanying budget cut in the police department budget since obviously there isn’t a need for more to sit in donut shops waiting for those nonexistent calls? Floating shutting River Market hours at 9 p.m. and eliminating those late-evening activities on the riverfront will further cut the need for police. Why, you can do that Fourth of July celebration from noon to 3 p.m. and stop a lot of complaints from noise to drunk partygoers. What a great opportunity for the nannies on the City Board to turn the clock back to 1850! couldn’t be better Another stupid political machination by a small-minded politician(s). And I’m not particularly a supporter of late, late-night clubs. If you want to see the crime rate drop, you’ve got to actually study crime. This is been hinted at during these discussions, but never really addressed: Do a comprehensive study of crime in Little Rock/Central Arkansas. Study ALL the callouts by police and the types of crimes they investigate. Then let the people know what’s going on in their city. Then you would know what to do to actually make a difference in crime in our fair city. Cherry-picking the problems that happen at places that have the least political support only positions a politician for re-election. It’s not going to have any serious impact on crime. It’s all about the next election. Not about making anyone safer. Perplexed When I was younger, much younger, my father was complaining about me staying out past midnight. I didn’t understand what the issue was. I never got in trouble and my friends and I weren’t doing anything wrong. Simply spending time together. He said there wasn’t anything to be doing past 10 anyway. I asked him what he did after 10. He replied in a high-pitched really-sockingp-it-to-me tone, “I’m in bed”! I simply and calmly replied, “Then how do you know what there is to do after 10?” As angry as he was his argument was over. Just because the elders of this city are fast asleep during the night doesn’t mean that’s when the monsters are out. I work for the city in “emergency public service,” and I assure you, first-hand, nightclubs contribute very little to all of the problems we tend to during the night. The fact that they would even say this is laughable and proves, at least to me, that those that are in favor of this proposal are completely out of touch with the reality of what goes on throughout the night in this city. AtomicBang LI Let us find your underground utilities before you do. Flexible Solutions For Your Business Needs OUR MISSION ARKUPS will provide a reliable, cost effective locate service that will prevent damage to our partners’ facilities. From the web In response to Will Stephenson’s Aug. 6 cover story, “Where were you on Pharoah Sanders Day?”: Wow, I am a rabid jazz fan and after living in LR for more than 10 years, and I did not know that he was a native! 4 August 14, 2014 ARKANSAS TIMES Sweaps · Special Surveys · Private Line Locating Mapping · Data Services · Support 2120 Maple Ridge Circle, Conway · (501) 328-2555 · arkups.com LIV SA MUSIC! • L A S E IV L • SIC! E SALSA MU IV L • ! IC S U SA M ! • LIVE SAL IC S U M A S L E SA USIC! • LIV M A S L A S FOOD E IV S E SALSA MU LATINO & T H E FESTIVAL AR BENEFITING N TA A R T S MUSIC GE T DIS RI C Sat. , Se P t. 13 L at i n B e at, L at i n Food T preSenTed by: S FROM R O D N E V D WITH FOO NTINa, E g R a , R O El SalVaD MbIa, MExICO, COlO , bRazIl. S a R u D N HO D FooD n A ip h s r sponso VEnDors: AbLe! tS AvAiL o P S e M o S 74 501- 492-39 CaLLe SoUL Salsa de verdad LIve enTerTAInmenT Traditional Latin dance music fused with the exiting sounds of American jazz, Salsa, Bachata, Merengue, and Cha Cha Cha Mariachi viva JaliSco alSo PerforMing SATURDAY, SEPT. 13, 2014 • 6-10 pm Argenta Farmers Market Plaza - 520 Main St, NLR $15 General Admission • $20 at the Door Free For Kids 12 and under! To purchase tickets, go to: arktimes.com/latinofood or for more information contact Arkansas Times at 501-375-2985 print your tickets and present at the door. food, Soft drinkS, Beer and SliceS Sangria availaBle for Sale. no coolerS PleaSe. the 2013 Latin Food and music FestivaL SponSored by: ARKANSAS'S SOURCE FOR NEWS, POLITICS & ENTERTAINMENT preSenTed by: eL LATIno And ArkAnSAS TImeS And benefITIng The ArgenTA ArTS dISTrIcT Enjoy a night of delicious Latin food, wonderful atmosphere, and even better company. www.arktimes.com August 14, 2014 5 week that was EYE ON ARKANSAS Draft Mike? We have a feeling he’ll be golfing in Searcy, but the one Democratic politician who seems immune to the dead-red tide in Arkansas is Gov. Mike Beebe. A Public Policy Polling survey released last week found Beebe leading Republican Sen. John Boozman in a speculative 2016 Senate matchup 46-40. Health care, by the numbers 192,210: Number of low-income Arkansans who have gained coverage via the state’s private option version of Medicaid expansion. 44: Percentage of private option enrollees aged 19-44, making the Arkansas Health Insurance Marketplace significantly younger overall. 22.5: Percentage of uninsured Arkansans in 2013, before major coverage expansion provisions of Obamacare, such as the private option, went into effect. 12.4: Percentage of uninsured Arkansans midway through 2014. The decline in the number of uninsured, cut nearly in half, was the largest drop in the nation. SINGING WORKS JUST FINE FOR ME: James Taylor at Verizon Arena last Friday. Quote of the week “We didn’t run. We ran the plays. Oh my God, all the old coaches that beat me, they said, ‘Man, your team is very well coached. …’ But I was losing! I didn’t like that, and I started biting, grabbing, slapping, trying to create turnovers, try to win the possession war.” — Former Razorback basketball coach Nolan Richardson, in his acceptance speech after his induction into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame last Friday, on his first season in Arkansas, just before his helter-skelter “40 Minutes of Hell” style was born. Little Rock: Where the gold rules and just about everybody is connected A Little Rock Board decision took a little more space than normal. Plus, it’s a good time for full personal disclosure. By Max Brantley Dogtown left The most liberal town in Arkansas: North Little Rock. At least according to survey data compiled across the country by political data analytics company Clarity Campaign Labs. Most conservative: Marshall, up in Searcy County. We should note, however, that Marshall has the oldest drive-in movie theater in the state, a quality-of-life factor transcending politics. M The judicial election problem Lame-duck Attorney General Dustin McDaniel said recently that Arkansas judges should be appointed rather than elected. The issue in a nutshell: 1) Appointment is preferable to election; 2) Appointment doesn’t remove judges from politics; 3) Appointment ain’t going to happen in Arkansas; 4) Secretly supplied money will play an increasing role in judicial politics; 5) More often than not, corporate money will prevail; 6) Every now and then a thoroughly disreputable judge will do him/herself in (Tiger Droppings, anyone?). Voters too often are none the wiser to such scoundrels. 6 August 14, 2014 ARKANSAS TIMES oney talked at last week’s Little Rock Board of Directors meeting. Asked to choose between the eloquent opposition of the city’s own professional planning staff and the people of Broadmoor, Fair Park, Point O’ Woods and the historic University Park neighborhood (developed for the city’s then-emerging black professional class), five of 10 directors and Mayor Mark Stodola (all white) voted for Murphy Oil. All three black directors were on the other side, with Joan Adcock and B.J. Wyrick. Stodola, Stacy Hurst, Dean Kumpuris, Gene Fortson, Lance Hines and Brad Cazort approved a vast 20-pump Murphy Oil malt liquor and Slim Jim outlet (convenience store) at the foot of homes in University Park. This is on a site where Doug Brandon for years quietly sold high-end furniture. The decision wrecks dreams of redevelopment of University Avenue south of I-630. Director Hurst never would have allowed it in her University protectorate north of I-630, home now to spiffy shopping centers thanks to a planning process she championed. Murphy offered no case for a zoning variance except its profits. There are six such gas/ store operations within roughly a mile radius. It brings no benefit, only harm, to the neighborhood. It will spur no future development. max Murphy’s Wayne Gibson, brantley email@example.com a school board member in El Dorado, got off on the wrong foot by insulting the public’s intelligence. He claimed the store would spur economic development and city tax revenues. Out of the same mouth he claimed it would create no additional traffic because it would draw only from existing traffic. A new store doesn’t make cars in a city use more gas or their drivers buy more Honey Buns. Murphy will take business from competitors. Then Gibson talked of Murphy’s corporate citizenship and its funding of the El Dorado Promise, a college scholarship for every graduate of El Dorado public schools. Bad idea. Murphy, to the giant oil company’s credit, has kept its global home in El Dorado. It has invested heavily to Continued on page 12 brian chilson OPINION Cotton’s ‘some folks’: Obamacare helps 230,000 Arkansans olitics depends to an unfortunate extent on popular delusion, and those who practice it most effectively practice it best upon themselves. Obamacare and Arkansas’s peculiar version of it, the “private option,” furnish a good case study. Gallup released a survey last week that generated the best headlines for Arkansas in years. “Best state in America: Arkansas ...” began the headline in the Washington Post’s political tipsheet. Gallup reported that Arkansas had reduced the number of its uninsured more than any other state since the last big element of Obamacare kicked in last fall. No one could have been surprised because Arkansas had lagged every state but Texas in the proportion of its people who were uninsured and thus without sure access to medical care when they got sick, so any significant progress would P be dramatic. Also, among the states with the highest share of poor, only Arkansas and Kentucky impleERNEST mented the facet DUMAS of Obamacare that insures the poorest of the poor. A year ago, 22.5 percent of adults were uninsured, one of the highest rates in the country, but the share of uninsured had fallen to 12.4 percent early this summer. In other words, the uninsured were reduced by nearly half in nine months. Medicaid enrollment grows by the week, and by next spring, after the second enrollment period for the subsidized private insurance market, Arkansas should have one of the highest rates of medical coverage in the country, which will be dramatic for a state that has always been measured, by statistics and legend, as the unhealthiest place in the union. The statistics only imply that this is a very good thing because libertarians say government-insured coverage accounts for nothing but bigger government. But progress is actually measurable in human terms. The Arkansas Hospital Association reported that emergency-room visits since the first of the year had dropped 25 percent and that hospital admissions were down even more. That was supposed to happen theoretically as insured people visited the doctor before their illness drove them to the ER and then to an extended charity stay at the hospital. Back to the politics. Both Gov. Mike Beebe, a Democrat, and Rep. Davy Carter, the Republican Speaker of the House, quickly crafted statements touting the Gallup survey as proof that legislators and the governor did the right thing when they adopted the “private option” for covering Arkansas’s adult poor. Other Republican lawmakers who favored it were proud, and the Arkansas surgeon general, the state’s chief health advocate, said it was a banner day for Arkansas. The bipartisan bragging was justifiable, but not unreservedly. The private option accounted for most of the gains in coverage but other factors were in play, too. And all of them — the private option, pure Medicaid for the frail, 38,000 adults and families privately insured through the new insurance market, coverage for young adults on their parents’ plans, renewed coverage for people with preexisting conditions — are traceable to a single act: the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010. Yes, Obamacare. None of the statements from politicians even mentioned Obamacare or that the private option was even remotely related, although Beebe made passing mention of the Affordable Care Act. As far as I can tell, every Republican politician in Arkansas has condemned Obamacare to perdition and virtually every Republican candidate for office runs against President Obama and the law that opponents gave the sobriquet “Obamacare.” Beebe and most Democratic officials haven’t uttered a kind Continued on page 33 Ross needs to go for the heart I n recent years, neuroscience has entered the discipline of political science, providing us new insights into what is going on inside citizens’ brains as they ponder politics. Among other things, that research has provided clear evidence of what those of us who have been around politics for a long time know well — emotions are more powerful than rationality in molding political attitudes. While the head matters in guiding voting decisions, the heart typically matters even more. An inability to nudge the passions of Arkansas voters helps to explain the quandary facing Democratic gubernatorial nominee Mike Ross as the campaign for governor enters the stretch run. When the 2014 election season began, most expected that Ross would lead the Democratic ticket, running a few points ahead of U.S. Sen. Mark Pryor. Thus, if Pryor could keep his race against Congressman Tom Cotton close, Ross was well positioned to edge former Congressman Asa Hutchinson (perceived as the weaker GOP candidate and less able to take full advantage of a pro-GOP nationalization of the race). Instead, in polling across the last several months, Ross has run several points behind Pryor, with the senator surprising national and state political observers by stayjay ing even with the barth deeply ideological Cotton; in contrast, Ross has consistently trailed Hutchinson by a handful of points. Ross has run a steady campaign, consistently besting Hutchinson in fundraising and making no identifiable mistakes. Moreover, Ross has made a clear, logical argument for his candidacy as a continuation of the pragmatic progressivism that has made Mike Beebe the most popular governor in America across his nearly eight years in office. That overarching theme has been fleshed out by his articulation of stances on specific issues that are thoroughly popular with voters who decide Arkansas electoral outcomes: unwaveringly supporting the private option, advocating an increase in the state minimum wage, prioritizing an investment in universally accessible prekindergarten education and presenting a plan for tax cuts that will continue to make the Arkansas tax code marginally more progressive. In terms of making a rational argument for his candidacy, Ross has done everything right. The problem: While the “head” has been present in abundance, the “heart” has been lacking from Ross campaign communications to date. In dramatic contrast with the Beebe 2006 campaign’s emotionally potent advertisements (featuring his rise from a tar-paper shack and the linkage of his waitress mom’s working life to the minimum wage), it is difficult to recapture any moment from an advertisement run by the Ross campaign (or any of the groups advertising on his behalf) to date. The absence of emotional resonance in the ads helps to explain why the Ross campaign lags no matter how many things it has done correctly. As Washington Post political writer Chris Cillizza put it recently: “In an age in which political ads never really stop and fast-forwarding through commercials is all the rage, making commercials that stand out is the coin of the realm.” The cacophony created by the U.S. Senate race has created a challenge for any other candidate on the ballot in getting their message across on television. Because Ross is both less known statewide and is a Democrat in a time when generic Republicans are advantaged in Arkansas, it’s a particular problem for him. Still, several issues that have been a focus of the Ross campaign in recent weeks — domestic violence, most obviously — present opportunities for the sort of emotionally impactful advertising that could break through the campaign clutter. With the Senate race clogging the airwaves for the remainder of the campaign, the Ross team will also have to seek out other avenues for communication with voters. Fortunately for him, there is more than one way to skin the emotional cat during a campaign. As someone who saw the potency of an emotional-laden ad in the closing days of my own campaign a few years back, radio advertising — comparatively inexpensive to produce and easier to target toward demographic subgroups of voters — may be one answer to Ross’ communications quandary. Viral web advertising and direct mail provide other outlets for more cheaply communicating with targeted groups of voters. Often those more targeted communications can speak to subgroups of voters in a way that emotionally resonates. With his Republican opponent apparently maxed out short of a majority based on polling across the months, Mike Ross maintains a path to the governorship. With just over 80 days left, the key is for him to add emotional artistry to the technical merit of his candidacy. www.arktimes.com August 14, 2014 7 pearls about swine Razorback football preview, part two he second phase of the Arkansas football schedule is predictably nasty. When things went sharply south in 2013, it was largely due to a horrid four-game stretch in October that was earmarked by all the customary trappings of a team in the throes of collapse. The Hogs were hopelessly outclassed and did themselves no favors by being sloppy and, at least on a couple of occasions, appearing to have no interest in finishing out games with any measure of pride. That was abundantly evident when Alabama and South Carolina tuned them up and set them down a pretty rough path to the finish. The good news is that the guts of this 2014 slate won’t bear witness to a quitter, though it won’t seem to be ripe territory for much in the way of inspired football, either. If Pearls’ forecast in the last edition — a 3-1 start for the squad against the most unconventional early-season battery of opponents in a long while — had you thoroughly convinced I was teletyping from the moon, have no such trepidation. We’ll fall back toward Earth a bit during the middle part of this trilogy. The schedule just lends itself to that kind of malaise. Texas A&M at AT&T Stadium, Sept. 27: It’s not hard to forget that the Hogs had a clean three-year sweep of a then-Big 12 foe from 2009 to 2011 in Arlington, Texas, and it’s just as easily remembered that once the lopsided Bobby Petrino-Mike Sherman battle of wits had left the sidelines, the Aggies punished Arkansas so badly at Kyle Field in an SEC matchup in 2012 that the margin of victory was greater than the Razorbacks’ three wins in JerryWorld combined. That was in essence the coming-out party for Johnny Manziel, and he was steady if a more ancillary figure last year when the Aggies extracted a much tougher win over the Hogs. Accordingly the 2014 matchup returns to Arlington, for a neutral -site matchup and represents the start of another epoch in the teams’ rivalry. There’s no Johnny Football and no Mike Evans out there this time, but the Aggies still have a wealth of tragically unheralded tailbacks that will again play a substantive role in Kevin Sumlin’s attack. These Hogs won’t feel quite as comfy in the space-age confines as Petrino’s squads did, but it will be an entertaining shootout of sorts. The end result is a scoreline that looks similar to the one of a year ago, where Jim Chaney’s offense gamely tries to play catch-up but is ultimately punchless over the last critical period. Aggies 41, Hogs 30. Alabama, Oct. 11: Yes, it’s 104-0, a T THE UNIQUE NEIGHBORHOODS OF CENTRAL ARKANSAS Full of interesting voices and colorful portraits of 17 Little Rock and North Little Rock neighborhoods, this book gives an intimate, block-by-block, native’s view of the place more than 250,000 Arkansans call home. Created from interviews with residents and largely written by writers who actually live in the neighborhoods they’re writing about, the book features over 90 full color photos by Little Rock photographer Brian Chilson. Payment: CHECK OR CREDIT CARD Order by Mail: ARKANSAS TIMES BOOKS, P.O. BOX 34010, LITTLE ROCK, AR 72203 Phone: 501-375-2985 Fax: 501-375-3623 Email: JACK@ARKTIMES.COM Send _______ book(s) of The Unique Neighborhoods of Central Arkansas @ $19.95 Send _______ book(s) of A History Of Arkansas @ $10.95 Send _______ book(s) of Almanac Of Arkansas History @ $18.95 Shipping and handling $3 per book Name ____________________________________________________________ Address __________________________________________________________ City, State, Zip ______________________________________________________ ALSO AVAILABLE Phone ___________________________________________________________ Visa, MC, AMEX, Disc # _________________________________ Exp. Date __________ ARKANSAS TIMES squeaker tilted toward the poor, luckless Tide, in the post-Petrino years. Matching 52-0 blastings notBEAU withstanding, hear WILCOX me out: This will be a game of which Hog fans can and will be proud. Don’t mistake this for ordaining a miracle, but note that things look murkier for Bama right now than they’re used to. Despite being absurdly talented as is the custom, this is an offseason of uncertainty by the program’s untenable standard: They’re facing a massive question mark at quarterback trying to replace A.J. McCarron, and the defense got awfully porous late last year in a two-game skid to end what long seemed destined to be a three-peat season. The absence of McCarron’s self-assured moxie means that top-shelf targets like Amari Cooper have to work a little harder to get loose, and early on in 2014 it’s still going to be a chore. The backfield is obviously not a problem with T.J. Yeldon, Kenyan Drake and Derrick Henry having all the appearance of a three-headed monster, but Arkansas fans make Reynolds Razorback Stadium imposing for a change. For the first time since the Tide escaped Fayetteville with a narrow comeback win four years ago, the Hogs’ home-field advantage is palpable. The defense plays out of its mind for a good three quarters and the offense ensures that there won’t be another shutout, but it’s still not quite enough in the end to keep Arkansas from falling to the Tide for the eighth straight season. Crimson Tide 28, Razorbacks 27. Georgia, Oct. 18: The SEC game in Little Rock this fall is a critical one for the reasons above. If Arkansas sits 3-3, 0-3 at the midway point, the fear of another precipitous fall lingers even though there’s been cause for celebration at the effort put forth. The Bulldogs mark the third straight opponent that is trying to groom a replacement signalcaller, a terribly unenviable spot to be in. At this stage of the year, Georgia won’t be making the same progress in this realm as the Aggies or Tide, and it will hurt the Dawgs. This is a War Memorial crowd that matters, one that senses it could be curtains for the old venue soon enough, at least as far as games of gravity are concerned. There will be urgency on the sidelines and in the seats, and it will motivate the team beautifully. The Hogs’ determination takes the Continued on page 33 8 August 14, 2014 ✁ ✁ THE OBSERVER NOTES ON THE PASSING SCENE Celebrate President Clinton’s Birthday Saturday, August 16 – 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. FREE Admission T The key he Observer has been thinking a lot about guilt and innocence recently, a cerebral by-product of a story I’m working on about a guy who spent a lot of years in the Concrete Hotel for a crime he may well have not committed in the first place, put there partially on the word of a cop who later resigned after admitting he cooked up evidence in a very similar case. Stay tuned for that one in the Arkansas Times soon. I am, in general, a guilty sort. A confession then, after all these long years: When I was 6 years old, already a scribbler, Santa brought me a diary with a lock. You cannot imagine, dear friend, how thrilled I was with the prospect of having a place to write things beyond the grasping, ammunition-gathering eyes of my older brother. The Lad Observer wrote little snippets of my day in that diary for two weeks — all my secret fears, unspoken slights and desires, which ain’t much when you’re 6 years old. If The Observer had a second birth as a writer, it was there. Writing, writing, writing, sometimes long after supposed lights out, by the yellow glow of Pa’s tar-spattered G.I. flashlight. I learned the delicious feeling of words curling out of my brain and through the Mercury dime-sized spot all writers have in the middle of their foreheads; of seeing thoughts manifest themselves. I learned of the power of revealing the truth. I learned to trust the truth to see me through. Then, I lost the key. Lost? Filched by my asshat brother? Who knows, but it was gone. Oh, I could have pried open the lock with one of the old, nicked screwdrivers that lurked in the bottom of Pa’s toolbox. But what use is a locking diary with a broken lock? So, sadly, I put it away for awhile, in that world before step-by-step YouTube videos on how to pick diary clasps. A few days later, while accompanying Ma and Pa on their weekly jaunt to the Safeway store, The Boy Observer was wandering the aisles, no doubt sucking on a root beer barrel bought from the honor system nickel candy bins, when I saw a stack of diaries just like mine, this being surely the same place Santa had purchased mine. I moved in closer and saw that to each, strung to the clasp by a hair of white twine, was a key. Under the covers at night before lights out for real, I had studied every groove of that key, concealer of all my mysteries. These were exactly the same. My allowance was gone by then, spent on root beer barrels and slushies at Markrum’s store and who knows what, and I knew Ma would never buy me another when the other wasn’t even half full yet. Just break the lock, she’d say, not understanding what that lock meant to me — which was, of course, everything. Before I could think, I did the unthinkable. The twine broke with a “tik” and then the key was in my pocket, heavy, so hot on my leg that I thrust a sweaty hand in after it and crushed it in my fist. I found my parents and walked with them, guilty hand in shameful pocket, silent and tormented as they paid for the groceries. I was sure a klax