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UK Fans Should Maintain Perspective When Team Loses

March 28, 2010

This op-ed was published on March 12 in the print edition of The Colonel.

UK has enjoyed one of the great basketball seasons on record.  John Wall has consistently bailed out the team with stellar defense and a great ability to drive to the hoop.  However, Lexington fans shouldn’t get too upset when the team loses in the tournament. It’s just not worth it.  UK has proven itself to be susceptible to an upset all season long. They can’t shoot from three-point range, and they just don’t seem to have the heart and maturity it takes to win against elite competition.

Don’t get us wrong. We think it would be great if UK were to win the tournament, but it’s just not going to happen. So don’t get mad now. We don’t need ten more years of brooding over this season, another deposed coach, and another beleaguered fan base like the one we saw after the 1992 Duke loss.

The fact still remains that no matter what happens in the tourney, Lexington and the University of Kentucky will still face significant problems. We live in a state with pervasive coal mining, which destroys our natural and social fabric. We attend a university that continues to short-change its students with ill-conceived curriculum and misappropriated funding.  And we, most importantly, live in a state that could potentially elect Trey Greyson as our State Senator.

So the moral of the story? Don’t get too emotionally invested in the Cats.  Channel that passion and allegiance to Big Blue Nation and redirect it to addressing the systemic evil that happens right under our noses every day.

If we don’t, we’ll just set ourselves up for another dissatisfied off-season, in which we continue to chase basketball success.

Fairfax County Elementary School Teacher: “No DNA Test Needed, I Know What I See”

December 13, 2009

WOODBRIDGE, Va.—Fairfax County Elementary School Teacher Jeanine Windstrom often feels like all of her fifth grade students have something in common.

“I can’t help but to notice a striking resemblance between all of my students,” Mrs. Windstrom said.  “It’s as if they all come from the same gene pool.”

Mrs. Windstrom’s class gained national attention earlier this week when an angry parent suggested that every student may have been sired by the former President of the United States, Bill Clinton.  The parent speculated that any illegitimate children belonging to the Clinton legacy may have been conceived while the President lived and worked in Washington.

“We all know about Clinton’s legendary exploits during the mid-late 1990s.  It’s quite possible that there are many other miniature Bill Clintons running around out there,” said a parent of Beltway Elementary School who did not wish to be identified for obvious reasons.

Mrs. Windstrom's fifth grade class at Beltway Elementary School, 2009.

Clinton tarnished his reputation when he was impeached in 1999 after having lied under oath and denied having a sexual relationship with White House Intern Monica Lewinsky.

“I did not have sex with that woman, Ms. Lewinsky,” Clinton famously said.

Now, it would seem that if the Clinton-Lewinsky tryst never fully materialized, there’s at least a classroom’s worth of other relationships that did consummate more prolifically.

President Clinton’s wife and current Secretary of the State Hillary Clinton could not be reached for comment.

UK Baseball Player, Accused of Canadian Citizenship, Sues University

December 12, 2009

LEXINGTON—A little more than a week after University of Kentucky standout pitcher James Paxton filed a lawsuit against his university, a startling leak from the NCAA investigative team handling the case may change the course of this unprecedented clash between student athlete and imperial power.

According to documents that surfaced after a janitorial staff member at the Indianapolis Marriott Hotel foraged through lobby trash cans, Paxton was to be summoned by collegiate officials because he was suspected as a student sympathetic toward “Canadian ideology,” in the memo’s parlance.  The janitor, who was not identified by the Marriott Hotel, turned his find over to the Associated press.

“Of course I’m sympathetic to Canadian ideology, or whatever that means,” said Paxton, who hails from Ladner, British Columbia.

Paxton found himself in an adversarial relationship with the University of Kentucky when the NCAA demanded to interview him.  Paxton refused, saying that he wouldn’t speak with the NCAA unless UK Athletics Department officials revealed to him why he was being questioned.  UK in turn refused to tell Paxton why he was being questioned by NCAA officials and threatened to remove him from the baseball team.

University of Kentucky senior James Paxton was to be censured by the NCAA for being a Canadian. "Socialism anywhere is a threat to free markets anywhere," NCAA officials said.

“After a regrettable and protracted process of dickering around with Paxton, we’re saddened to learn that all of this is about his national allegiance and proclivity to act like a Canadian,” said UK Athletics Director Mitch Barnhart Friday, after the Marriott documents had surfaced.  “Paxton just doesn’t get that we’re the boss.  He should have listened.”

The Indianapolis leak may be the biggest gaffe in NCAA history.  Evidently, a team of careless investigators from the agent, gambling, and amateurism committee had planned to censure Paxton because he was Canadian.

“Let’s make a list of things we hate about Canadians:  their accent, socialism, awkwardness, fashion, and irrational fixation on hockey,” said Chance Miller, who refused to budge after the xenophobic memo was released.  “Why UK couldn’t be forthright with Paxton is a matter I just can’t reconcile.”

Barnhart and UK Spokesperson Dewayne Peaved admitted that they were a little gun shy when the NCAA investigators came knocking, and so they may have been wrong in refusing to tell Paxton why he was in trouble.

“Being Canadian may have cost him his scholarship, but it’s a minor infraction that wouldn’t have put the program in jeopardy,” Barnhart said.  “Nevertheless, the obstinate young Canuck should have just listened to us and done what he was told.  Now he’s in for the fight of his life.

Paxton’s baseball career is in limbo until this legal fiasco gets worked out.

“Canadians aren’t dirty people,” Paxton said.  “I just want to be vindicated.”  Paxton hopes to continue playing with UK this season.

Lee Todd Has Pool Party With Board of Trustees

November 3, 2009

LEXINGTON—Just after having announced that the University of Kentucky would accept a donation from Joe Craft, CEO of Alliance Coal, LLC, President Lee Todd, Jr. and several unidentified Board of Trustees members celebrated by having a pool party.

pool party

University of Kentucky President Lee Todd, Jr. relaxes in his backyard pool, located near the driveway of his Rose Street mansion.

“It was a long, hard, contentious meeting, and I felt like I needed to kick back, crack open a few cold ones, and crank the toonage,” Todd said as he reclined leisurely in his backyard pool.

Todd and several of his most trusted confidants were seen testing their luck behind the Rose Street presidential mansion.  The meeting, which was attended by scores of angry protesters, was a particularly difficult time for the beleaguered president, who has faced accusations of under-performance and under-compensation in recent months.

“Fortunately, the Good Lord gave us a perfectly warm autumn afternoon in late October,” Todd said.  “I wanted to take advantage of this time and get away from the hustle and bustle of my day job.”

Colonel reporters were unable to positively identify each of Todd’s pool party guests.

Breaking News: President Obama Wins Ironic Nobel Peace Prize

October 9, 2009

WASHINGTON D.C.—Just days after President Barack Obama announced that he would not rule out the possibility of sending an additional 40,000 troops to Afghanistan, the Norwegian Nobel Committee announced that he would receive a 2009 Nobel Peace Prize.

President Barack Obama speaks about winning the 2009 Nobel Peace ...

"Me? They picked me?" I'm honored and humbled," President Obama said Friday outiside of the White House. Photo thanks to AP

“This is kind of a name-it-and-claim-it award,” said Thorbjoern Jagland, the Chair of the Nobel Committee.  “Mr. Obama hasn’t done much to actually bring about peace in the war torn Middle East, yet.  We hope this award might be a new wrinkle in U.S. foreign policy.  It’s a real step of faith.”

Stateside, many detractors of the Norwegian Committee said that the decision empties the Peace Prize of any substance whatsoever, if it even had any to begin with.

“This reminds me of the school that put Johnny Fratboy on the Dean’s List in hopes that he might recognize what real accomplishment feels like and then in turn do something to get his life and academic focus in order,” said Kathleen McCaffery.  “Is this a sick joke?”

According to the Nobel Peace Prize committee, the prestigious award is bestowed upon those people who “have done the most or the best work for fraternity between nations, for the abolition or reduction of standing armies and for the holding and promotion of peace congresses.”

In the past year alone, Mr. Obama, the Commander-in-Cheif of the world’s largest military industrial complex, has sent 21,ooo troops to Afghanistan.  Many of them are still recovering from their combat experience in Iraq.  The United States military has lost at least 800 service men and women to violence in Afghanistan.

“We need to open up this war and expand it beyond counter terrorism strikes,” Mr. Obama said.

President Obama joins a well-known list of Nobel Peace Prize winners, including Desmond Tutu and Jimmy Carter.

Kentuckians Rally En Masse Outside Memorial Coliseum Against Homelessness

October 2, 2009

LEXINGTON—Hundreds of working-class Kentuckians, students, corporate go-getters, and senior citizens stood together in solidarity last week and camped out in tents, lean-tos, and awnings near the University of Kentucky’s Memorial Coliseum to send a message to Lexington lawmakers:  homelessness and cyclical poverty is not acceptable.

Richard Wilkenson, affectionately known as "HomelessHelper Rick," heads up a formal protest against homelessness and poverty in Kentucky

Richard Wilkenson, affectionately known as "HomelessHelper Rick," heads up a formal protest against homelessness and poverty in Kentucky

“Each night, over a thousand people are forced to spend the night on the street because they have no home and no reasonable access to affordable housing,” said Richard Wilkenson, who earned the nickname “HomelessHelper Rick” after using his vacation time to spearhead the event for the eight straight year.  “It’s sad that it has to come to this, but we have to make ourselves known to the community if we are going to see change happen.

Hundreds of people sleep in tents in front of the University of Kentucky's Memorial Coliseum.

Hundreds of people sleep in tents in front of the University of Kentucky's Memorial Coliseum.

According to the Kentucky Housing Corp., there are 5,981 homeless people within the Commonwealth of Kentucky.  This number is believed to exclude an additional 3,000 plus people who are considered “marginally housed” and cannot afford their current living accommodations.

“It feels so good to get out here and make a difference,” said Drew Wooden, a first-year student at the University of Kentucky.  “Rain or shine, I felt compelled to come to Memorial and participate in this event.  Everyone deserves a home.”

University of Kentucky student Drew Wooden braves the elements and passes time during the protest with a little outdoor Madden.  "Honestly, I don't know how homeless people keep from getting bored," said Wooden.  "I mean, I'm not really homeless, but I am bored, which is why I brought my PS3 out here."

University of Kentucky student Drew Wooden braves the elements and passes time during the protest with a little outdoor Madden. "Honestly, I don't know how homeless people keep from getting bored," said Wooden. "I mean, I'm not really homeless, but I am bored, which is why I brought my PS3 out here."

According to the Lexington Police, emotions have run high during the six-day protest, but no arrests have been made.  One young man, apparently unaccustomed to homeless living, was given a citation for public defecation, local authorities stated.  “He should have just used the port-a-john,” the officer said.

During the evenings, emotions reached a fevor pitch.  "I simply will not stand for our county to let people fall by the wayside," the mob shouted.

During the evenings, emotions reached a fevor pitch. "I simply will not stand for our county to let people fall by the wayside," the mob shouted.

Inspired by the impressive display, Lexington mayor Jim Newberry promised reform on public housing initiatives.

“Clearly, these people are making sacrifices and care about the plight of their community,” Newberry said.

The protest for the homeless is the second major event for social justice in Lexington this year.

Photos courtesy of reporters from Kentucky Sports Radio.

UK Welcomes Interdisciplinary Pioneer for Campus Lecture

September 20, 2009

LEXINGTON—The University of Kentucky coalition for the student affairs announced today that acclaimed interdisciplinary scholar and public intellectual Geraldine Tributary will visit campus on October 11 for a series of public lectures and luncheons.

Tributary, Distinguished Teaching Professor of English and Cognitive Studies at SUNY New Paltz and a three-time winner of National Endowment for the Humanities grants, is best known for developing an unrelenting literary hermeneutic, The (New) Probability Criticism, which creates a positive synergy between literary interpretation and statistical analysis.

“Interpretation has typically been such a subjective enterprise,” Tributary said in a recent talk.  “I feel that cultural critics, art appreciators, and lovers of the humanities alike can find commonality in what I like to call ‘the poetics of statistics.’  There’s a lot less room for argument that way, since it’s more empirical.”

Professor Tributary displays her findings graphically.  The (New) Statistics is widely regarded to be the next big thing as academics desperately forage onward to create an identity for themselves.

Professor Tributary displays her findings graphically. The (New) Statistics is widely regarded to be the next big thing as academics desperately forage onward to create an identity for themselves.

Typically seen as directly conflicting with literary criticism and other humanities based disciplines, statistics actually has a legitimate place in English departments, Tributary says.

Her talk, “ANCOVA (Analysis of Co-Variance) and Confidence Interval:  Establishing a Causal Model Between the River and Huck’s Subjectivity in Huckleberry Finn,” is expected to raise the ire of scholars who locate themselves within traditionally-drawn disciplinary boundaries.

“This is just another unfortunate case of scientists being unable to see outside their own worldview,” said Tony Maroittiti, an Stanford University Professor of English.  However, at institutions like the University of Kentucky, important trans-disciplinary research is making the likelihood of science funding in the humanities greater.  Those people who attend Tributary’s lecture will not be let down.

“Essentially, what I am claiming is that we can understand the river in Mark Twain’s Huckleberry Finn as a covariate with statistical significance,” Tributary said.  “I discovered as much after running a linear regression analysis on the novel and collating textual appearances of the river (codified as an explicit mention of “river,” “the river,” “the Mississippi,” “the great big muddy,” and “waters”).”  The theme appeared over 154 times in a 324 page novel.

Tributary went on to explain that she finds “a causal relationship” between Huck’s verbal mention of the river and his emergent homoerotic desire for his runaway slave companion, Jim.

“In this sense, I’m not only using core statistical methodology as a bedrock of my analysis, but I’m also referencing the psychoanalytic work of Leslie Fielder and Fredrick Crews.  This is true consilience of knowledge.”

Those interested in Tributary’s research are encouraged to peruse her recent scholarly publications on Twain, probability, and homoerotic desire.  A sample of her recent contribution to The Journal of Statistics, Literature, and Probability reads thusly:

Literature Review

Smitherman (1975) and (Feidler (1964)  argued that Huck was gay and that he was signifying, respectively.  Crews (1975) claimed that Huck was repressing the irresponsibility and failures of his father’s experiment as a public citizen.

Tributary’s lecture will be followed by a brief question and answer session.  It is free and open to the public.