An ingenious way to deal with ticket scalpers

Okay, last ticket scalper/reseller post for a while, I swear.

A recent page posted on the Houston Livestock Show & Rodeo website ( details the plight that the local rodeo has to deal with in regards to ticket scalpers. When I went last year, I did happen to notice that resale of rodeo tickets is prohibited by the language on that ticket, though I’m sure they don’t bother in the majority of cases.

However, I’m really shocked by this (and I know the formatting is wrecked by my copy and paste–forgive me, please):


Don’t get drawn in by offers from “ticket resellers”!

They’re selling a ticket to the Jonas Brothers at RODEOHOUSTON in the lower level for $170 and an upper-level ticket for $80!

Did you know that for just $132, you could get a ticket to Jonas Brothers and Demi Lovato, PLUS Selena Gomez and Justin Bieber, Kenny Chesney, Tim McGraw, Rascal Flatts, Alan Jackson, Eli Young Band, Gary Allan, and Blake Shelton. Seriously—$132 (plus one $10 handling fee), nine shows, 11 entertainers.

This shows just how low the scalpers are willing to go. (The rodeo is being way too nice by calling them “resellers.” I assume they are trying to avoid potential defamation lawsuits. I have no problem calling them “scalpers” because I am, so far, a much less inviting lawsuit target. That may change in the future…)

The rodeo is one reason I’m proud to be a resident of Houston and one of the things I love about the city. The people that run it have gone out of their way to keep it affordable. It disgusts me that scalpers continue to rip off the rodeo–our rodeo–year after year. It’s one thing to rip off big-name entertainers; it’s no more excusable, but some of those entertainers can afford to leave money on the table. I do realize the rodeo is a for-profit enterprise as well, but it is an exceptional low to rip off an organization which keeps ticket prices low on purpose, whether non-profit or for-profit.

Anyway, one ticket at a scalper going for the price of an entire mini-season-ticket package is outrageous. Please don’t support these scum.

“We’ll censor anything, even the dictionary”

According to this story in the Press-Enterprise (Southern California), school officials in the Menifee Union School District have decided to censor a most-unlikely target: the latest Merriam-Webster dictionary. The reason? An allegedly too-precise definition for “oral sex.”

If it’s the same as this definition from then I honestly can’t tell what all the uproar is about. Quoted below just so you can see what I’m referring to:

Main Entry: oral sex
Function: noun
Date: 1973

: oral stimulation of the genitals : cunnilingus, fellatio

The reason given is, to me, lamer than a one-legged duck:

“It’s just not age appropriate,” said [district spokesperson Beth] Cadmus, adding that this is the first time a book has been removed from classrooms throughout the district.

Particularly troublesome–and according to the story, parents and members of the school board have a problem with this too–is that it is based on one parent’s complaint.

I concur in principle with Rita Peters, a school board member who is quoted in the story as saying “If we’re going to pull a book because it has something on oral sex, then every book in the library with that better be pulled.” I say “in principle” here because the far more likely outcome is that this silly run of censorship will be stopped dead in its tracks because nobody will want to go through an entire school library looking for mentions of such things.

It’s a slippery slope, and I don’t think there’s a single place where one can draw the line that will make every parent happy. Besides, the kids will learn about “the birds and the bees” at some point anyway. Should that be taught in first grade? Probably not. The age at which it is appropriate is a topic of debate and may not even be the same for every child. What is not appropriate, at any age, is teaching our children that censorship is an acceptable response to objectionable material.