The State of Texas: The State Fair Is Finally Here
Plus: Texas sues to save the Internet, the Aggies and Longhorns could square off at the Texas Motor Speedway, and the ’New York Times’ investigates Texas-shaped things.
QUOTE OF THE DAY
“Not just any wife will let their husband hang Coca-Cola boxer shorts on the dining room wall.”
—Beth Ann Butcher to the Amarillo Globe-News. Beth Ann’s husband, Wayne, is an avid collector of Coca-Cola memorabilia. According to the Globe-News, Wayne estimates he has more than 300,000 individual Coca-Cola items, including Coca-Cola Barbie dolls, a forty-piece Coca-Cola Christmas village, a Coca-Cola fishing pole, and, of course, Coca-Cola boxer shorts hanging on the dining room wall.
The State Fair of Texas kicks off today in Dallas with a parade at noon, and there will be plenty to eat, plenty to see, plenty to do, and plenty to eat (Did we say that already? Seriously, so much to eat). The Dallas Morning News has you covered with a comprehensive guide to the fair. We’ll hook you up with some other helpful guides, because we just want you to be the best possible version of yourself while shamelessly (maybe some shame though) scarfing down deep-fried Jello-O and immediately proceeding to hop on heart-stopping, stomach-churning rides. Here’s how to do the fair without burning a hole in your pocket (hint: it helps to have an empty can of Dr Pepper on hand at all times). Here’s how to see Taylor Swift without actually seeing Taylor Swift. Here’s how to bring your licensed gun. Here’s how to give yourself a one-way ticket to heart failure by cooking up your favorite State Fair fried foods at home. Here’s how to know everything you could possibly want to know about that Big Tex fella. And here’s why the disembodied voice of Big Tex will be different for the first time in fourteen years. Here’s how to see the best live music (Nelly and some other people). Here’s how to see Michelangelo’s Sistine Chapel masterpiece without actually going to the Vatican (sorry, but there’s no guide telling you how to avoid God’s judging gaze while walking through the Michelangelo exhibit with a plate of fried Jell-O). Here’s how to stay safe, how to see the must-sees, and how to temporarily blind yourself from societal ills. If you want to do literally everything, here’s the official State Fair schedule. Good luck, and Godspeed.
MEANWHILE, IN TEXAS
Attorney General Ken Paxton filed a lawsuit against the federal government on Thursday along with attorneys general from three other states in a last-ditch attempt to save the world. Well, the world wide web, at least. According to the Texas Tribune, Paxton’s latest legal crusade against the Obama administration is picking up the scraps of Senator Ted Cruz’s failed efforts to stop a plan by the government to transfer oversight of a non-profit that controls domain names over to private global players. Cruz worried that such a move would allow foreign authoritarian regimes, like China and Russia, to censor the Internet, but his colleagues in Congress didn’t share his fears, as indicated by their passing a spending bill that left out his provision to stop the deregulation of domain names. The lawsuit picks up right where Cruz left off, though. “Trusting authoritarian regimes to ensure the continued freedom of the internet is lunacy,” Paxton said in a statement, according to the Tribune. “The president does not have the authority to simply give away America’s pioneering role in ensuring that the internet remains a place where free expression can flourish.” According to the Dallas Morning News, however, tech experts say domain name administration doesn’t actually have any effect on web content.
Texas college football fans are still patiently waiting for the revival of the Aggie-Longhorn rivalry, but if and when it does return, it could come back with a Texas-sized bang. Eddie Gossage, the president of Texas Motor Speedway, told SEC Country on Thursday that he wants to bring the big game to the big stage—the speedway. “I think everybody that lives in Texas would love to see them play again,” Gossage said. “It’s a crime they don’t. That would be a perfect game for us, because that’s a special one. That was one you always looked forward to. Maybe to revive it, something like this would help.” Gossage guessed he could pack about 200,000 fans in the stands for a game like that. Is this just a pipe dream? Probably. The athletic directors at Texas and Texas A&M declined to comment to SEC Country, so it seems like there’s a long way to go before this idea gets any serious traction. Still, Texas is clearly starved for the classic rivalry.
The New York Times has another story in which Texas is portrayed as a sideshow exhibit for non-Texas dwellers to gawk at. This time, the Times takes on a truly strange topic: the shape of Texas. Apparently Texans really like things that are shaped like Texas. Weird, right? As the Times’ Houston bureau chief Manny Fernandez puts it, “the shape of Texas shapes Texas,” which means…wait, what does that mean? Also, good luck unpacking this one: “The shape of Texas is the Rorschach test deep in the heart of the Texas psyche: the singular, curiously drawn image that somehow encapsulates, with a few right angles and big bends, a state of 27 million people.” Apparently, the Grey Lady is completely enamored by Texas-shaped steaks, and Fernandez has kept a running count of other Texas-shaped things in Texas: waffles, pools, sinks, tequila bottles, cutting boards, coffee mugs. Maybe Fernandez does have a point: there are a lot of Texas-shaped things here. Later in the story, there’s also some interesting stuff about how the shape of Texas has become a tool to monetize state pride. It’s worth a read while you sip on some Topo Chico or wait in line at Franklin Barbecue.
WHAT WE’RE READING
Texas’s refugee resettlement movement is bigger and better than ever Texas Tribune
Is Austin about to get gondolas? Austin American-Statesman
The menacing clown craze has arrived in Corpus Christi Corpus Christi Caller-Times
A chemical spill near a Beaumont bayou last week has killed a bunch of wildlife Beaumont Enterprise
A federal judge in Waco recently retired, putting a premature end to an investigation into allegations of his sexual misconduct Waco Tribune