The State of Texas: May 30, 2014
Quote of the Day
“He said it looked like a bar from Texas.”
— “He” is Kanye West, and Yeezus was none too pleased with a white bar he had built special for his wedding to Kim Kardashian. Or as least that’s according to the New York Post‘s insane report on Kimye’s lavish wedding. So Kanye sawed the bar in half himself, had two pieces of wood nailed to the front and said ‘Now … it’s art.'”
Buzzfeed’s gone Texan yet again. This time, it’s “25 Words That Have A Totally Different Meaning In Texas.” Some of the items are, well, debatable. Others are not:
Backdraft — Folks in Athens would be forgiven for being a little on edge after seeing a local fertilizer storage facility on fire. “As Athens Fire Department units arrived, the building was already fully involved in flames,” reports the Athens Daily Review. “Witnesses reported seeing a plume of smoke miles from the enflamed building and the flames could be seen for several blocks. Officers from the Athens Police Department evacuated a five-block perimeter in all directions from the burning building.” The plant stored the same kind of material, ammonium nitrate, as the West plant and “fire was at such a level when the Athens Fire Department got on the scene there was nothing to do but to back off.” At press time, the cause of the fire was still unknown. Thankfully, the plant didn’t explode, and no one was hurt.
Official Secrets — The Attorney General’s office has publicly declared that the state’s prison system can keep the source of its execution drug a secret. The official assessment is “a reversal by the state’s top prosecutor on an issue being challenged in several death penalty states,” according to the Dallas Morning News, which notes that the AG’s office “had since 2010 rejected three similar attempts by the Texas Department of Criminal Justice.” Numerous similar cases across the country—states requesting that the source of their drugs remain secret—have been brought before judges in the past few months, and now, in Texas, with the backing of the state, the issue seems to be pretty well shut unless anti-death proponents want to pull out the big lawsuit guns. Perhaps the most surprising thing about the announcement is the reasoning, which has no basis in fact. “The assessment … said pharmacies ‘by design are easily accessible to the public and present a soft target to violent attacks.’ He added that naming a pharmacy supplying execution drugs ‘presents a substantial threat of physical harm … and should be avoided to the greatest extent possible.'”
South X More Regulation — SXSW has gotten too big for its britches and it looks like Austin is one step closer to reining in the festival. In an unprecedented survey, the city spoke to 850 people, who all voiced preference these three things: “Fewer events. Less alcohol. Limit event overbooking.” They also want the convenience of RSVPs being given first priority to attending music shows, even though most RSVPs don’t bother going. That’s all according to the American-Statesman, which noted that the “survey is part of an ongoing city review of SXSW, which is looking at safety and cost of the weeklong festival.” While ideas are still being body-surfed through the crowds, officials indicated that they will almost certainly increase enforcement of fire codes. To be fair, the city is aware of how much of a buzzkill this sober-headed assessment of the festival is. Said the city’s manager of music and entertainment, “We’re looking at ways to improve it, not crash the party.” The special events program manager for the city added, ““It’s not to be a party-pooper, but to make sure they are following the rules,” which, unfortunately, is one definition of “party-pooper.”
Worst Service Ever — There’s plenty of discrimination happening because of someone’s sexual orientation, and then this happened. After eating at Big Earl’s Bait House and Country Store in Pittsburg, Texas, gay couple paid the bill and was then asked never to come back ever again. “[The owner’s waitress daughter] told them the rules are on the door and it says ‘Welcome to Big Earl’s, where men act like men, women act like ladies, no saggy pants and we reserve the right to refuse service to anyone,’ said owner Cheney,” according to KLRD. The couple’s offense? Their legs had apparently been touching under the table. One of them was almost amused by the statement and asked for clarification. “‘And that’s when she said to us … ‘to put it plainly, we don’t serve fags here.’” Cheney added, “I’ve served my country for over 20 years; I know what my freedoms are.” The story has gone somewhat national, as one might expect, and Eater reports that the restaurant’s Yelp page has been flooded with bad reviews. A gay rights attorney said there’s not much legal recourse for the couple against what amounts to a slur (they did get served after all).