It gets in your blood.
I haven’t lived in Texas for twenty-five years, but I am a Texan. I understand how statements like this annoy people who aren’t Texans, and I must say that having lived “abroad” for so long and hearing how so many Texans–especially the empty boot politicians that run the goldarn place these days–present themselves to the rest of the world, I understand why non-Texans feel this way. Hell, I feel that way whenever I hear Rick Perry brag about all the people the state has put to death. So I’m not bragging about being from Texas. In fact, most of the time, especially lately, I’ve been embarrassed by it.
But my Texas–the one I’m not ashamed of–is the Willie Nelson, Townes Van Zandt, Larry McMurtry, Molly Ivins Texas of high spirit, no horse shit (but plenty of bull), raise hell on the bastards and care for the least of your brothers. In other words, the old liberal/libertarian Texas passed on to me by my native Texan parents. My favorite memories of Texas are Saturday nights listening to live music and hanging out with friends in the Continental Club (and Liberty Lunch, Soap Creek Saloon, Antones, The Beach…).
And, of course, football. It has been said that football is the national religion of Texas. I disagree. Religion is the religion of Texas. But Texas is polytheistic. There is the God of Heaven, and there is Football. To paraphrase Carlos Fuentes, you can be a Texan and not believe in God, but you cannot be a Texan and not believe in Football.
It gets in your blood–music, politics, sports, especially football. That is what this blog is about. It is not about Texas (I live in the Midwest now–and happily so). But it is about high spirit, the human condition, and the pursuit of excellence in music, sports, art, and politics (o.k., in politics it may be more about irony and absurdity than beauty and excellence, but every now and then…). For better or worse, I learned these things growing up in Texas.