“Old-timers’ Day” [May 2005] is the best thing that’s been in Texas Monthly in years. I’ve always enjoyed both Gary Cartwright and Dan Jenkins, but this was like sitting and listening to them argue and tell stories over a long lunch. Please persuade, cajole, bribe, or threaten both these guys into writing a monthly series so I can get my fix. Oh, hell. Just go ahead and turn the whole magazine over to them.
Race Relations 101
Thanks for printing “Pug” [May 2005]. It ought to be required reading for all white folks who walk this earth.
I have never seen anything else that so well captured the pain and dignity of the people in the colonias and their struggle for justice and a better life [“In America,” May 2005]. Steve Brodner’s drawings speak more poignantly than all the studies and statistics about the Valley.
James C. Harrington
After reading “Where We Rank” [May 2005], I don’t think the question is which Republicans should run for what offices but whether they should run for cover. Their report card is in, and they failed. No pass, no play.
Texas Monthly: First in pessimistic trash. Fiftieth in retaining reader interest.
Girl Talk and Talk and Talk
In Evan Smith’s interview with Liz Smith, we are treated to hearing from yet another “feminist” (isn’t that supposed to mean “pro-female”?) who describes family-centered women like Laura Bush as “Stepford Wives” [Texas Monthly Talks, May 2005]. Fortunately, having already read Don Graham’s portrait of another literary narcissist, in “Mary, Quite Contrary,” I was mentally armed with the perfect response to Ms. Smith’s opinions: Would you please please please please please please please stop talking?
Ah, Sweet Mystery
Gary Cartwright has always been bold, but he transcends even that when he steps up to confess and profess a belief in God at a time when to do so quickly aligns one with the likes of the dangerous right-wingers, who would have us all believe that God is political and find Bush, DeLay, Frist, Robertson, Falwell, et al. to be righteous dudes [“Me and Him,” May 2005]. Thankfully, Cartwright’s article, by way of Roy Abraham Varghese, shares with us that God is really neither religious nor scientific and, by implication, certainly not political. At best, we can deduce what many of us have always known somewhere in our hearts and minds—that God is simply indescribable. And it is in that simplicity that the mystery most deeply resonates.
Mr. Cartwright takes comfort in the words of a handful of scientists at a science and religion symposium. What he fails to mention is that polls have shown that scientists continue to have a much higher rate of disbelief in God than the general population. A quotation such as “It’s simply incoherent to claim that a universe of pure matter—with no purpose, no intellect, no consciousness, no will whatsoever—can give rise to conscious, thinking, willing beings” is equivalent to saying, “Thirteen and a half billion years of evolution of the universe and life is just too complex for me to understand. It must be magic!”
EDITOR’S NOTE:We inadvertently misstated one of the statistics in “Where We Rank” [ May 2005 ]. Texas ranks fiftieth in the percentage, not the number, of high school graduates age 25 and over. We regret the error.