TLO at 10: Our Pal Patrick
10:06 AM EDT on May 11, 2017
When we first started TLO, I used to send Patrick long, dramatic, overwritten e-mails. They were complaints about things we published that I thought were too mean or too sexist and rants about people in the media I thought were ruining America and ideas of what we should do for the site.
Some of them had decent points, I guess? But most of it was the indignant self-righteousness of a young man who was still figuring out his place in the world, who was confused and growing up, and if I'm honest with myself, pretty filled with self-loathing. Going back and reading them doesn’t make me cringe, but that’s just because I can’t go back and read them. It’s too embarrassing.
I bring this up because it occurs to me, when thinking about how to start this post, I never really realized how patient of a guy Patrick is. Putting up with my nonsense for as long as did is borderline heroic, but he didn’t just put up with me – he always listened and encouraged and gave me a fair hearing even when I probably didn’t deserve it. I never felt like I was getting eyes rolled at me.
What I value about Patrick is that you can always count on him to give you an honest opinion about whatever it is you go to him with. There’s a tendency, especially with the advent of Twitter and all the nice little bubbles it produces, towards groupthink and to piling onto easy targets. We all make the same jokes and poke fun at the same people and have the same opinions and it becomes incredibly easy to never challenge yourself to think about anything differently. Why do that when you can just make a joke about “inbox zero” and get twenty-five instantaneous people liking your tweet? We all love that little dopamine hit.
Patrick is the friend I go to when I need someone to tell me what he really thinks. If I’m trying to work something out or need someone to read an article to help me clarify something in my head, he’s the guy I go to. Late at night when I try to sit down and do some reading, he’s the guy I always end up texting to bounce thoughts back and forth with.
That’s the part of Patrick that I like most. TLO, for both good and for bad, is unlike anything else in OKC and it’s because of his fingerprints and nothing else. He’s not going to write he doesn’t believe, and nobody has a better bullshit detector. That’s valuable to me and I hope it is to everyone else, too.
Here are a select few of my favorite of Patrick’s posts over the years.
Do you ever read something that just pisses you off for no other reason than the fact that it’s so good and so obvious that you can’t believe you didn’t write it yourself? This was that for me. Making Traber mad and getting us into a brief feud with the Morning Animals was the cherry on top.
The Aaron Tuttle Lawsuit
In retrospect, these are very funny, perfectly written, and completely satisfying to read through in order. Over the course of two years, you have Aaron Tuttle threatening to file a frivolous lawsuit, filing a frivolous lawsuit, losing a frivolous lawsuit, and starting a $65,000 Go Fund Me.
I guess nostalgia can be kind of like shooting a fish in a barrel -- Buzzfeed has practically a whole business model built around reminding people that slap bracelets once existed -- but these are the kinds of things I love because it's a bonding experience. Gathering with a small group of people and remembering that there was a place named UR Cooks with a very stupid business model is a way of understanding that there were others out there who have shared experiences with you.
Patrick is a lot of things, but he's definitely a funny guy. Ask him about his Ethan Hawke story sometime. One of my favorite things to do is sit in a bar with him and listen to him just start riffing about whatever topic comes up. The OU marching band releasing a list of demands is right in his wheelhouse.
Not much more fun than Patrick poking fun at OKC’s most un-self-aware elites. The Oklahoman should hire him as their replacement for Helen Ford Wallace.
On the other hand... I can think of a few thousand reasons why they’d never hire him… Here are a few of my favorites:
Lots of good people at the Oklahoman, but it's still the product of a right-wing billionaire with an immoral and puritanical editorial page. I've spent my whole life being both annoyed and dependent on the Oklahoman. I hope Patrick never stops writing about them.
I hope everyone has read this post, or does sometime. Also, I just noticed the URL of the picture linked here is rowdy-best-friend-ever. Losing a dog sucks. Long live Rowdy.
That's all for now! We'll be back with a few more thoughts on Ten Years Of TLO over the next couple days.