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Sunday, December 7, 2008

Big D, Little A Double L A S

After an exciting three day drive from Seattle to Dallas I have arrived in the city, if not of my birth, at least of my formative years. The food is great. Barbecue, Tex-Mex, Southern soul (white guy version): all fantastic comfort foods without a single hint of nutritional smugness.

A traditional Republican stronghold, Dallas is looking a bit like a whipped puppy. The traditionally troglodytic Dallas Morning News is lamenting that the state is simply misunderstood after eight years of Delay, Bush and snake handler National rule. In the pages of the paper they write that they are not the dunderheaded barbarians and crazed cowboys that the media presents to the rest of the nation. I am skeptical. Hubris has been laid on the soul of this town with a backhoe, and I see no sign of contrition. I have been slapped in the face with a thinly veiled "Merry Christmas", with the "Christmas" emphasized in order to make sure I was on the right side of the culture wars. When did "Merry Christmas" become a blunt instrument?

I will say about North Dallas is that they really take care of the place. As the cheap Mexican labor that does the landscaping becomes rarer, I suspect that will change. The local media would have one believe that Dallas is immune to the downturn that is ravaging California and Michigan.

All the green in Texas is pretty much limited to the Christmas tree lots and the odd live-oak tree this time of year, but after Puget Sound's oppressive pine and fir forests it is nice to be able to see for a few miles in all direction.

I turned the satellite radio service on in my Honda for the trip, and it was a lifesaver. West Texas is still nothing but Limbaugh and preachers on the dial for hundreds and hundreds of miles.

To my Mother I suggested that Texas change its motto from "The Lone Star State" to "America: We're really sorry about that whole Bush thing" She was not amused.