The State of Texas: Oct. 18, 2013
Image of the Day
Want to relive the good ol’ days of Friday Night Lights but tired of plain ol- re-runs? For just $5, superfans can purchase this strange fanzine featuring comics, drawings, and other contributions, including a “removeable, cut-out-able Tim Riggins paper doll (complete with cowboy boots and a can of Lone Star).” Leather-clad, cross dressing Buzz Bissinger doll sold seperately.
That ad—the one featuring a British woman, on the toilet, dropping a big, long monologue about pooping habits—is real. And it’s from Texas.
Last Stop On The Ryan Express — One of Texas’ last remaining gods declared the end to his own reign yesterday. No, Willie’s still playing and smoking. It was Nolan Ryan, who announced during a press conference that he was retiring as CEO of the Texas Rangers. Or resigning as CEO. That toe-may-toe’s gonna be a toe-maw-toe, if Ryan says so. “I think you could use either word … Retiring, resigning, I don’t know,” Ryan told the Dallas Morning News. At the press conference, the 66-year-old legend said he wants to, quite literally, go to pasture, to spend time ranching with his grandchildren. Ryan threw down everything but the pitcher’s mound, even selling his stake in the team. If you notice that the more straight-forward coverage of the announcement and the major players’ polite comments reads a little funny, you’re not the only one calling a balk. The odd comments from Ryan “illustrated the awkwardness of a 25-minute Thursday news conference in which [Ryan] bid farewell with carefully chosen words and incomplete explanations.” The elephant in the bullpen is Ryan’s relationship with the Rangers’ president and GM, Jon Daniels, as the awkward Abbott and Costello pair could never decide who’s on first, er, in charge. Regardless of the reasons, commenters seem to agree that the stadium was too small for the two giants and that the polite, if extremely awkward, parting sure beats another Ryan/Ventura matchup.
The Thrill That’ll Getcha, When Ya Getcha Pictura — Nothing says “made it” like being featured on the cover of Time magazine. The story—titled “Why Texas is Our Future“—makes the case that “To a lot of Americans, Texas feels like the future.” Not all the author’s reasons for this massive generalization are positive. Mercifully, Tyler Cowen appears not to be some carpetbagging liberal generalist sent by the Time‘s NYC office to yeehaw about cowboys, guns, and othe tired cliches, but rather a self-described libertarian economist. (Article is subscription only, but read Time‘s extended listicle teaser here.) Discerning readers will note that this article has been done before, in book-form, by Texas Monthly‘s own Erica Grieder, the title of which Time‘s listicle cribs for its listicle subtitle. But as the piece seems to suggest, imitation is the highest form of flattery.
Toll Trolling — As promised, TxDOT released the names of those with the top toll fines, hoping to shame and embarrass the delinquents worse than that time mom dropped you off in front of the high school. Only time will tell whether this form of passive aggressive road rage proves effective. In the meantime, publications are rather enjoying doing donuts around the story. KXAN talks with one of the top toll violators, who, after viewing the list out of rubbernecking curiosity, was shocked to find his name there. The story’s even gone a bit national with CNN cheerfully writing: “Congratulations, Austin! All 25 are from your area.” Only Texas Tribune played it straight and bothered to point out at least one problem with the shame campaign. Namely that the TxDOT doesn’t always get it right. One example was a woman who’s son supposedly racketed up all the fines, except “When I went in to try to pay them, they showed me images of flash photos that were not of any car that we own.”
That’s All, Folks —Another glorious State Fair wraps up this Sunday. Obviously, the big event’s biggest news was the return of Big Tex, who is both taller and darker. The big guy’s comeback, however, overshadowed the near-loss of another icon attraction, the Big Star Ferris Wheel. Thankfully, Central Track is here to remind us what we almost lost. Never in danger was the fair’s amazing gastronomical selection, which even national publications reveled in, though there was that one killjoy offering “Tips for making healthier choices at the State Fair of Texas.” Yes, the fair had something for everybody, including alcohol for those under age. As the festivities end, so too does the tenure of president Errol McKoy after 25 years of making the event bigger and better than ever. ‘Til next year, Tex!