Richard Justice, the Houston sportswriter, catches a lot of guff for his flip flopping, his treatment of local amateur bloggers and his pride in the University of Texas .
All of that's OK with me. Flip flop away. Be snarly with Bloggerville. Hook 'Em.
But what irritates is when he slips into another voice at the drop of a hat for a few paragraphs in his blog. It has a jarring effect and comes out of nowhere, almost as if he is mind melding with another being -- or multiple beings.
A theory, as yet unproven and dismissed by mainstream journalsim, is that the Justice Mind Meld originated at The University of Texas School of Communications in the 1970s. Austin at the time was a roiling petri dish for the young avante garde of the Southwest and many were devoted fans of the TV sci-fi series Star Trek.
It was there that Justice, the aspiring young sports writer, befriended a fellow student who was equally ambitious. Their paths would cross again in the City of Houston a quarter century later.
In effect, Justice (top photo, right) became Spock to Jeff Cohen's Captain Kirk (bottom photo, right) at some point between Austin and Houston. Or maybe it was the other way around. But that's not important.
The point is that the mind meld phenomenon, as it's mutated over the years, has become an irritant to today's readers of Justice's popular, and often frightening, weblog in the Houston Chronicle.
The Justice Mind Meld suggests he's channeling Drayton McLane Jr., Joe Bob Briggs, Dizzy Dean and Pa Kettle -- all at the same time! And then he readjusts his phasers to veer back into regular sports blogging.
Latest example from a post he submitted the day after the Texans' victory on Sunday....
Personally, I'll take an ugly victory over a dazzling defeat, but that's just me.
I've been that way ever since the time I complained that the steak was tough at dinner, and Daddy slapped me upside my coconut and told me a lot of people didn't even have steak, even tough steak, which it was, and there was no reason for it since we killed the cow ourselves. He could have cut us a couple of those nice sirloins, but, nooo, he had to sell those to the rich folks.
Considering how often we had fried baloney and called it steak, I should have kept my trap shut.
See? That's the Justice Mind Meld. He doesn't talk like that when he appears on ESPN, or when he talks on local Houston radio station KGOW-AM.
The question is: Can It Be Stopped? And if not, how much worse will it get?