Monday, April 24, 2006


Maybe they should consider renaming it "Sexas" for marketing purposes?

Flying into George H. W. Bush International Airport (damn, I should have chosen Hobby) and settling into the Houston Americas Hilton in advance of my 3 night stay here for the Texas Library Association annual conference has me thinking about my troubled feelings about this great state. On the one hand, it seems easy to dispise, particularly politically. A former slave state, the land of Tom DeLay and George the Lesser and George the Lesserer, and perhaps the most horrific state Republican party platform I ever did lay my eyes on, it's also humid to the point where a fax I was trying to send earlier today jammed because the paper had turned moist on me. In an air-conditioned building. And yes, I know, there are relatively progressive cities like Austin and remarkable citizens like Molly Ivins and some apparently beautiful countryside (the Hill Country, they say, haven't been there). But ugh, the arrogance and the country-sized largeness and the extremely prolific use of the death penalty!

Still, all in all, I find it tough to dislike a PLACE, given that it impugns everyone living in said place. Coolness is to be had everywhere, particularly in the least cool places (as Ghostworld so brilliantly demonstrated). Moreover, I have to admire the "Don't Mess With Texas!!!!!!" attitude, which to me mirrors the petit-nationalism of neighborhoods and cities that can be so profound and yet ultimately is so silly. The more I travel, the more chains I see around, the more I realize that every place is just like every other place, and the difference makers are the accidents of history and coincidences of topography that make up the narrative of each place. Certainly Texas has plenty of both, and learning about the early German settlers and the new Ethiopian ones; and viewing the dusty topography of a good Western or walking on the beach of the Gulf with the oil derrick islands on the horizon ... well, it's not "Texas'" fault that it was a slave state. It's just a collection of atoms that came together to form an abitrary land mass with political and natural divisions that someone mapped out and a bunch of people inhabit and now we call it "Texas."

Plus, there really are some very cool, and some very hot, people in this darn "state." I'm not tryin' to get metaphysical or anything, I'm just trying to explain that there's beauty in everything.

Even in this godforsaken backwards-ass netherworld...

(Just kidding, Texas readers, I really do love you all!)

P.S. I don't know if I addressed this before ever or not, but one of my favorite games, besides Euchre, is "Best movie set in or about a place." So here goes - What's the best Texas movie of all time? I myself am very partial to Slacker. Post your vote in "Comments"!

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