Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Happy Birthday, Texas!

“Texas is a state of mind. Texas is an obsession. Above all, Texas is a nation in every sense of the word. And there’s an opening convey of generalities. A Texan outside of Texas is a foreigner. ”
—John Steinbeck, in 1960, documented in his book Travels with Charley:
In Search of America.
I truly love being a Texan. When people ask me where I'm from I always say Texas and rarely bother with telling them I'm from America. When you say Texas, people always know where it is.

(Not that I'm not proud to be an American, but I'm a Texan born and raised!)

Sure the jokes about cowboys and riding a horse to school get old, but hey, at least I'm from somewhere that people have heard of before.

Saying I'm from Austin is even more awesome. (I consider myself an Austinite. We moved quite a bit when I was young and honestly I think I learned and grew the most there.)

But here lately, I feel just the tiniest bit of shame telling people I'm from Texas. Sure there have always been the questions about how I feel about Bush, because apparently all Texans don't want to stab themselves in the eye and scream at the top of their lungs the enlightening fact that he's not a real Texan love him and everyone else in the world despises him.

But here lately topics like thisthis or even this make everyone think all Texans are close-minded bigots who can't mind their own business and don't give a crap about children once they have exited the womb.

As for the scholarships for white males, I don't have the statistics but I get it. I'm not going to say I think it's right, but honestly in my opinion there shouldn't be scholarships for any particular type of person, black, white, hispanic, male, female, whatever. I think it's especially irrelevant given how few people actually make the effort to apply for scholarships. (Sidenote: That story was written by one of my best friends. Great reporting, PG!)

As for second article, people are clearly getting the idea that Texans hate women. Apparently even Texan woman hate women.  Luckily telling people I'm from Austin tends to have a redeeming quality in this general area (because we're all pot-smoking, bleeding-heart hippies, dontchyaknow.) The whole idea of a sonogram isn't really such a big deal but this bill is just tip-toeing toward something much larger and detrimental to women's rights.

But no worries, Texas politicians apparently don't simply devalue women, they hate children too. Texas Gov. Rick Perry (oh that hair) doesn't seem to see the dire situation the state of our education system is in. Education is for sissies.

Remember that time Perry actually refused federal education grants that were part of a stimulus package? Well now that the Texas budget has been run into the ground and the Lone Star State could end up in a Calfornia-like budget hole (except Texas-sized of course). They have proposed cutting more than $9 billion from the education budget. Now Perry and his homeboy Attorney General Greg Abbott have the audacity to sue the federal Department of Education over strings attached to the funds that they have apparently decided they want now.

I'm so not proud of our politicians sometimes (OK, a lot of the time).

But today is Texas Independence and despite all the negative stereotypes that are sometimes assumed and the politicians totally running our poor state into the ground, I'm proud to call myself a Texan.

Some of the best come from Texas: Walter Cronkie, Willie Nelson, Lance Armstrong, Tom Landry, and Nolan Ryan. Oh and don't forget LBJ.

So happy 175 years, Texas.

P.S. It is so difficult for me to comprehend the fact that America is only nearly 235, Texas is only 175 and most places in Europe are like 9,000... Give or take a little.


  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. Walter Cronkite -- born in St. Joseph, Missouri & lived in Kansas City until he was 10.

    But Dan Rather was born here.

    Don't you love how annoying I am? =)

  3. oh that california-sized you suck.

    i just spent the last hour skyping with friends back home and it reminded me why the heck i left. honestly, did i really think things had changed all that much in 6 months? do i really think i'll find a job when i return? you think there's any kind of public transport? nope!

    sooooo maybe this whole asia thing is a pretty good idea. there's even a new idea about returning to prague for a moment or two. i dunno. we should chat.


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