10.17.2005

A Guest Column on Houston

I just got this email from Eric. It was written in response to Ryan Kiblinger, who argued that Houston isn't really a part of Texas. Let me just add, I am in full agreement on Reason #6...
After the 'Stros completed last night's very routine
double play, I called Mr. Kiblinger to let him know
that the first World Series game in our great state
would be played in Houston, not in Arlington. His
response? With a bit of paraphrasing, he said that
Houston is not a part of our state because,
culturally, it bears no resemblance to the rest of the
state. I believe that he believes that Houston is
only a rancid ghetto built on a swamp, owing its
limited prosperity to the 1900 tragedy in Galveston.

Ryan asked me to list five reasons Houston is an
important cultural location in our state, confident
that I couldn't come up with that number. He's
already agreed with the first three, and I don't think
he can argue with the others:

1) Love it or hate it, Houston's petroleum/natural gas
industry is pretty Texan. You have Texans buying,
selling, finding, drilling for, transporting, and
refining "awl". You've got the roughnecks and the
J.R.'s (with apologies to the city of Dallas).

2) My dad's high school alma mater shuts down each
year for the Houston Livestock Show & Rodeo. It
doesn't shut down for the State Fair, the Ft. Worth
rodeo, or any other similar event. The Houston rodeo
is our state's Super Bowl of livestock shows and is
one of the country's most important rodeos. Ryan
thinks it's pathetic that so many people focus on the
concerts, but based on my brief time living in
Houston, I know that folks in Houston really and truly
love their rodeo.

3) So Gilley's isn't really in Houston, but Pasadena
is basically Houston, right? It makes me shudder to
think of Travolta playing a kicker, but how many
real-life honky tonks do they feature in movies?
Billy Bob's is just a Gilley's knockoff.

4) The city is named after freakin' Sam Houston. What
more needs to be said?

5) T.J. Ford and Vince Young are from Houston. I
challenge Ryan to claim that they aren't Texans.
They're Texans now, and they were Texans before they
moved to Austin.

I'll add a few more:

6) Ryan claims that Beyonce, while beautiful, is not
uniquely Texan. I argue that she's clearly Texan
because no other state could produce a woman that hot.

7) Maybe it's a bit of a stretch, but I think ZZ Top
does the state proud. They introduced us to the
beautiful marriage of classic cars and T&A.

8) Marvin Zindler qualifies because of his role in the
demise of the Chicken Ranch. He's always reminded me
of the creepy guy who hosted the "Faces of Death"
videos. Check out this great sand sculpture of the
guy
.

9) Red Adair is known to be a real SOB in person, but
he's as Texan as it gets. Our state's great
Hellfighter, born and raised in Houston...

10) Houston was our state's capital for a brief
period, and that counts for something. Folks
eventually wised up and moved it to Austin, but
Houston did put up a fight to keep it.

So even though Houston...

...is a wasteland of asphalt and concrete...

...is unbearably hot at 3:00AM...

...smells funny...

...floods frequently...

...has the state's worst traffic...

...is a vast, crime-filled ghetto...

... has no idea what zoning could do (residential
areas next to smoke-belching refineries?!)...

...has air you could swim through (humidity+heat+worst
pollution in the nation)...

...is the home of Tom DeLay...

...is the home of Enron...

...is the home of way too many fatasses...

...it's a good, Texan city that has contributed a lot
to our culture. Any good Texan should be rooting for
the Astros to take it to the Cards, then to the White
Sox.

Eric

1 Comments:

At 6:17 PM, Blogger Laura said...

Provoking me...my bro even emailed this one to me. I will not comment here, I will not comment here, I will NOT comment here...oops...

 

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