Some Completely Random Observations About Life, Politics and Culture

1) OK, since a blog is all about calling attention to yourself (it is, isn’t it? or is that just me?), let me refer you to an article of mine just published:

What’s been funny about the whole experience is that I’ve heard from friends in Austin, Dallas, Houston — in fact, from all over the state.  “Did you hear from any of our friends out-of-state?” my husband wanted to know.

No, I realized, I hadn’t.  Not a word.  Which is strange, because everybody we know reads The New York Times.  Could it be that they’re sick of Texans and aren’t as interested in us as, say, we are about ourselves?  Too painful to contemplate.  Maybe they just didn’t see the piece.

2) Am constantly amazed to hear the odd assortment of people who are now pledging loyalty to Obama.  I mean, really conservative, right-wingers.  They’re voting for him, they’re enthusiastic, they’re even precinct captains.  Strange and getting stranger.  Don’t they realize that he’s left-of-center and doesn’t stand for anything they support?  Just a question.

3) I’d really thought I couldn’t loathe Ralph Nader more than I already did.  Had even avoided that documentary about him, because I knew it would just re-enrage me, and who needs that?  But now, here he is, running for president once again and I want to scream bloody murder.

What a shame that he’s squandering a once-noble legacy of consumer activism.  Sad that this may be what he’ll be remembered for — as a spoiler, an egotist who can’t bear to leave the spotlight, one of those sad figures who fails to realize that it’s his turn to back away and remain quiet for a time.  Remarkably like Bill Clinton, who’s recently managed to turn back a tide of affection and respect for his work and status as a former president.

4) Watching the Academy Awards with friends last night, I was struck again by the wonderful talent and warmth of the movie “Once,” which won for its original song, “Falling Slowly.”  Please — see it, if you haven’t already.  Or see it again, if you’ve already seen it.  Once isn’t enough.

4 comments… add one
  • Hot damn, congratulations!

    I also got my say as a Texan in the big world here:

  • I read your columin in the Times’s “News of the Week” a.k.a. “Ain’t It Awful” section yesterday.

    Although you have a lively writing style, I think you very seriously underestimate the nation’s Texas fatigue.

    At this point there’s just no way to make the place seem cute or spunky or interesting to the rest of us. It’s kind of like telling a crowd of parolees about how quirky and lovable the prison guards are.

    Dead silence in the audience, not even the scuff of a foot.

  • Dana Link

    I love serendipity. I really do.

    I discovered this here blog a few weeks ago while angrily reading the opinion section of You had an piece about politics that was the sweet voice of reason and grammatical soundness in a sea of poorly written and mind-numbing blogs.

    Today I was reading a NY Times op ed on Hillary’s apparent self-destruction, and at the end of the column was a wonderful headline that caught my eye: “We’re Big, We’re Back, We’re Texas.” So I click, and who should I discover has written this article but the very lady whose blog I’d been looking for a good reason to compliment for its wit and wisdom.

    I guess the rest of the country really is sick of us Texans. But the way I see it, this state is actually the most important one in the union right now, because we’re poised to send a big fat message to the “Bushies” by way of voter turnout. Sure, more democrats than republicans voted in New Hampshire, but we expected that. It’s New England, blue as the sea and the sky.

    Texas, on the other hand might have blue toes and a blue heart, but these parts are dwarfed by the blinding redness surrounding them. Until now. According to the Secretary of State’s website, 348,966 Democrats had cast ballots in the 15 largest Texas counties as of Feb. 24, to the Republicans’ 109,227. Wow. I guess Texas Republicans are really ambivalent about Mr. McCain. Maybe that’s because Bush beat him for the 2000 nomination by subtly labeling him a nutjob.

    Granted, these are primary election numbers, and the wingnuts are gonna come out of the woodworks for the general. But if Texas, turns blue, or even purple, the world will see that even Bush’s home state has turned away from him. Getting a Democrat back in the White House will be the cake.
    The icing would be spitting in the eye of the previous resident in the process.

  • Steve Link

    Obama supporters are an odd assortment, indeed.

    I call Amarillo my hometown. Although I am native to Childress, I spent my adolescence and teens in Amarillo, and my dad still lives there, so it is my hometown.

    Amarillo was Republican before being Republican was cool for Texans. During the 1964 presidential campaign, the Amarillo Public Schools dismissed classes so that we could go to the Amarillo Gold Sox baseball stadium to hear Barry Goldwater speak. My friend’s dad across the street was a local officer in the John Birch Society. You get the picture.

    My dad, a WWII vet, has voted Republican in every presidential race since Ike was a candidate. In reference to his R voting pattern, his mother loved to tell me that “your daddy was raised better than that,” but he liked Ike (and all the R’s that followed).

    I just spent two weeks on elder parent care duty with my dad. A recent fall was hard on his brittle 88-year old bones, and he was in and out of the hospital with the complications. We had lots of time together to talk politics. We’d never had conversations like these, however. My dad announced that he was voting for Obama!

    This was odd for an additional reason: my dad occasionally displays a latent racism that is a remnant of the overt racism of his youth and his upbringing as a poor white kid in the rural Panhandle of Texas. And he’s voting for Obama?

    He found it difficult to explain. I think it shows the extent of Texan fatigue–even an old, hard-headed, semi-racist, working-class, right-wing Texan and white man is so tired of the last seven years of our national leadership that he intends to vote for a left-of-center, young, African-American politician with whom he shares little in common other than basic humanity and a hunger for hope.

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