Ugly Betty News & Dalton Dies

January16/ 2000

.… EVERY day we have (1) Weather and (2) News.  Not necessarily in that order.  It’s always hot/cold/in-between and rainy or not rainy …. and “something” happens EVERY day.  To paraphrase that old saw “lots of planes land safely at the local airport but it’s only “news” when one doesn’t.”  Now it’s only “news” if it’s a “pretty young plane” not an “ugly betty plane”. ….. Can you feel the temperature rising minute by minute in our national pressure-cooker? …. And “Dalton died”.

You all recall the Eve Carson Tragedy in Chapel Hill in March 2008.  Beautiful young campus leader was tragically murdered as the random victim of two hoodlums.   The incident dominated regional news for over a month.  (NOTE: the two accused hoodlums were apprehended within 10 days but 18 months later have yet to be tried ….. another story for another day).

Newshounds among you recall the link between Ms Carson’s death and the murder of a Duke student several months earlier by at least one of the Carson suspects.  The Duke death initially received a precursory “crimes today in Durham” mini-article.  Once the link to Ms Carson was established the Duke student death “became relevant”.   He was “some Indian guy” with a hard to pronounce name.


Last month another UNC student, Courtland Smith, was killed in an early-morning altercation with law officers in the High Point area.  Mr Smith was, like Eve Carson, an attractive high achiever and president of the DKE fraternity.  Details of young Smith’s death and the factors leading to it are clouded in rumor and innuendo ….. as is our society’s morbid custom with such events.  Young Smith’s death rocked the UNC community and dominated regional media for a week.  Like Eve Carson ….. an official campus-wide event noted his death.

There are 30,000 students at UNC.  A like number at NCSU.  Add in Duke and the numerous other colleges in “the Triangle” there are easily 100,000 college students in this area.  Any actuary can tell you the annual mortality rates for that quantity in that demographic.  It’s much greater than 2-3.   …… The late vaudeville comedian Red Buttons had a famous “bit”.  The punch line was “(so and so) never got a dinner”.  He used it at roasts and such.  Most “average folks …. never get a memorial”. 

With death as with entertainment, sports and even politics ….. “pretty / attractive” sells better than “average / un-special”.  My purpose here is not to demand that “we” as a society get beyond our People Magazine view of “news”.  That option was voted on and defeated quite a while back.  The lowest common denominator won in a landslide.

As BobLee, the little Dutch boy with his finger in the leaking dike of societal order, I can not hold back the inevitable collapse of common sense.  Alls I can suggest is that you learn how to swim. The dike is leaking faster than we can bail.

You want more proof?

Last week there was a drunk driving tragedy in Raleigh.  A prominent (wealthy, duh!) cosmetic surgeon killed a “pretty young ballerina”.   The BAL test results have not been released but the “rich doctor” was, by all accounts, quite “drunk” and was going 85 in a 45 zone.  I know the exact location and the innocent young victim never had a chance with him coming at that speed.  Both the “drunk rich doctor” and the “pretty young ballerina victim” were/are Caucasian ….. or the tsunami of public outrage would be 10-fold.  As is, it’s just a regular tsunami.

Nearbout every week in a SMSA of well over 1,000,000 there are traffic fatalities, many involving DWI situations.  All ethnicities and incomes and degrees of attractiveness are involved.  Anyone can “get drunk” and surely anyone can be a victim of “a drunk driver”.  BUT …. Once again, when the article includes “wealthy doctor” and “pretty young ballerina” somehow it all changes – A LOT.


I noted some months ago that “running out of places to run away to” could be tied to our increasing inability to co-exist with each other.  That and 230 years is a pretty darn long time for a manmade fragile form of social government to function effectively.  Living cheek by jowl with each other doesn’t seem to be working out too well these days …. Does it?

You could, and likely do, simply blame “them” as in those of a different ideological persuasion.  Some of you no doubt blame “all of them” as in anyone with strong political opinions.  Is having ANY opinion on politics “the problem” in 2009?  I’m not shy in declaring myself a “Christian Conservative” because that (as I define it) works quite well for me.  It may not for you.

If you’re not vocal about what you DO believe in, those who oppose you WILL try to say “what YOU believe in” FOR YOU.  That’s happening a lot these days.

A number of factors play into who we evolve into “ideologically”.  I have several friends who would seem to share my upbringing and general life experiences who REALLY REALLY don’t agree with me on the socio-cultural-political condition of our country.  I don’t spend as much time with them as I used to.  Does that sound familiar to what’s happening with you?  Regardless of whether you are on “a side of the aisle” or squatting “in the aisle”.

I have no “advice” to pass on.  I do think we are headed at full-speed to a giant national train wreck of epic proportions.  Maybe you have “a solution”.  Does that solution involve “them” simply seeing it “your way”?  Most folks’ solutions tend to be that way.  I cannot forsee a Kumbaya Event that might jerk a knot in our Hell in a handbasket descent.

This website with my convoluted thoughts on complicated issues is alls I can offer you.

    “Dalton The Cooler” (aka Patrick Swayze) died.  Dave Glenn and I did a “Tribute to Dalton” on his radio show on Tuesday.  Ya jest know it went like this ……

St Peter:    “Name please?”
Patrick:    “Dalton The Cooler”
St Peter:    “I thought you’d be bigger?”
Patrick:    “Yeah, I get that a lot.”
St Peter:    “Unlike in “Ghost” this time it’s for keeps.  Come on in.”

Dalton R.I.P. ….. one day it will be Gus McRae and Woodrow Call.  Except HERE where BobLee’s heroes will live forever.


A Roadhouse Tribute Quiz    

Who played the evil “Wesley”?

Why didn’t Tinker see anything?

Who owned the Auto Parts Store?

How did Wade Garret die?

What instrument did “the blind white boy” play?


Is it just me …. Or does this upcoming UNC v ECU game not seem quite as Life v Death as past such games?

In ACC history has any FBer had more production per-play career than Zack Pianalto?  Between injuries that youngster makes stuff happen.

 Twittering w/ BobLee is a big hit.  Just hit TWITTER up in that upper right corner here …. and follow directions (easy, I promise).  When you get to BobLeeSays be sure to hit FOLLOW under my picture on the Left of that page. ….. more about BobLee and my “Following” in upcoming columns. 

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