Let Freedom Ring
Let Freedom Ring
No shortage of Texans have been popping up on year-end lists — from veterans like Spoon and Miranda Lambert to relative newcomers like Austin’s Shakey Graves and Denton’s Sarah Jaffe.
With three documentaries in the past decade, Austin transplant Margaret Brown has tapped a rich cast of colorful characters—regional docents and witnesses to history—to discover the larger truths of culture and place. Her first film, Be Here to Love Me: A Film About Townes Van Zandt (2005), is a lyrical, engaging portrait of the troubadour-ambassador and native son whose short, storied life (he died at 52) presents like the Stations of the Cross for artistic suffering.
Tonight, Hannah Overton—whose case has been chronicled extensively in Texas Monthly—walked free after serving seven years of the life sentence that she was handed by a Corpus Christi jury in 2007.
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.
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.