The State of Texas: March 13, 2014
Continuing it’s trend of history-ish programming, the History Channel will soon debut Texas Rising, which will “detail the Texas Revolution against Mexico and the rise of the legendary Texas Rangers.” It’s an all-star cast including Bill Paxton, Brendan Fraser, Jeffrey Dean Morgan, Ray Liotta, Thomas Jane, Olivier Martinez, Chad Michael Murray, Michael Rapaport, and Max Thieriot. Basically the Lone Star Justice League. Hold on to your cowboy hats.
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As the Matthew McConaissance continues in earnest, scholars are poring over the actor’s life looks for talmud-like lessons. In the last instance, Slate has explored the origins of McConaughey’s famous “Alright, alright, alright,” a meditation for those of us who are a bit more cosmically inclined:
Class Project — With abortion clinics closing all around the state, efforts to get around the law have only increased. It appears one of the main tactics is exporting the whole effort. And that took on a more official form thanks to a UT student who has creatd a “travel fund” for woman in need of the procedure. As the Texas Tribune reports, the project began in November and “Since then, Fund Texas Women and its donors have paid for plane and bus tickets, hotel accommodations and other expenses totaling about $10,000 to help 35 women receive abortions, including trips to New Mexico and Colorado for those past the 20-week mark.” The groups efforts are, obviously, very controversial and it should be interesting to see how pro-life proponents respond to yet another salvo in war that has no apparent end.
Dust-Up — Speaking of Brendan Fraser, recall the scene in his classic film The Mummy, in which he’s chased by a face-shaped wall of sand. It appears that fiction is now a reality for our state (sans Frazier himself). “A wall of dust as tall as 1,000 feet and 200 miles wide that roared across parts of West Texas and New Mexico is yet another sign of how rain-starved the region is,” according to the Dallas Morning News. The sand wall began in Amarillo and only picked up as it moved toward Lubbock. And with that—coupled with the Azle earthquakes—just about the only thing missing from the list of End Times events in Texas is a storm of locusts.
Texas-jam — As if experiencing the terrible traffic jams wasn’t bad enough, a recent analysis has pinpointed exactly where you’re inching along at one mile an hour (and subsequently going insane). “In Texas, the top 15 worst sections all sit in Dallas, Houston or Austin, with fewer than expected in the Bayou City,” according to the Houston Chronicle. “The worst overall is Houston’s US-59 northbound from Greenbriar to I-45. It came in at No. 21 in the list of the world’s worst corridors, and caused 53.4 hours in traffic delays in 2013.” Other ignoble mentions include Austin’s Mopac Loop 1 and I-35W, southbound and westbound, in Dallas. Honestly, flying cars can’t come fast enough.
Late Night With Rick Perry — Jimmy Kimmel’s been hosting his show from Austin all week. And in case you missed it, Rick Perry made an appearance on Tuesday. He got booed at the start, as is wont to happen to many right-leaning politicians on a late-night show. But the maybe-future presidential candidate held his own and also got some claps. Especially when he repeated his crowd-pleasing line about the horrible effect marijuana arrests have on our nation’s youth. Perry talked about a few other things, too, including that “his mother made his underwear when he was a child.”
SXSW Tragedy — In related, but much more upsetting news, a car crashed into a crowd at SXSW last night, killing two with “at least 23 others were injured, five of them critically,” according to the AP. The driver was allegedly drunk and pursued by police before driving into the crowd-filled downtown area, where the car plowed through a barricade. It didn’t stop there, “The driver drove for two more blocks — through a crowd of pedestrians — striking numerous people who were lined up outside” the numerous venues. Police eventually subdued the driver, who had stopped his vehicle and took off on foot. Details are still being parsed out, but send thoughts/prayers/good vibes to those affected.