Steer Campaign

For the record, my favorite Bum Steers cover is from way back in 1976. It features Governor Dolph Briscoe smiling and waving from a herd of cattle with the line “Find the Bum Steer in This Picture.” I realize it’s not the most original joke or the smartest image—it’s entirely possible that I’m the only one who finds it funny—but its tone has always struck me as just right when it comes to capturing the spirit of the Bum Steers issue.

Tilting at Gas Wells

In November the citizens of the North Texas city of Denton went to the polls for the midterm elections. They filled in their ballots for the various political races—governor, senator, and so on—and then came upon a very curious proposition. They were asked to vote on an ordinance banning all fracking, a technique used in oil and gas drilling, within Denton’s city limits.

Weary Blues

In live music, there aren’t a lot of moves with a higher degree of difficulty than leaving your big hit single off the set list. And Ryan Bingham just stuck the landing. In November, at Holy Mountain—a small Austin club where he was kicking off a winter run of solo acoustic shows—Bingham’s best-known song, “The Weary Kind,” went unplayed.

La Paloma

If there’s one genetically modified organism we Texans can get behind, it’s our beloved grapefruit, the pride of the Rio Grande Valley, whose warm temperatures and loamy soils, combined with the aforementioned technological tinkering, produce fruits that are vibrantly red, unusually sweet, and, as New York Times reporter R. W. Apple Jr.


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