As some of you may have deducted from the Willie Nelson link in the right hand column of this page, ABFWOT originally hails from Texas. South Texas to be not-so-exact, but for six years I also lived in Austin, a city I have often suspected of being my soul mate. I left Austin (and Texas) in 1996, the summer that Ann Richards lost her gubernatorial reelection to one, young George W. Bush. In the years following, as you might have heard, little George rose through the ranks to become president of our country and I rose through the ranks to become a professional ad slinger eventually ending up in the very sophisticated and confident city of New York.
As you might guess, or as you might not guess, (I shouldn’t give you credit you haven’t earned), being an ex-pate Texan in Manhattan during George Bush’s America has presented its set of challenges. Namely, people are mean. And catty. And bitchy. And most of all, they hurt my feelings when they are snobby towards Texas. ESPECIALLY if they’ve never been there. Those are always the people who seem to know that they would never WANT to visit there because, indeed, it must be the scariest place on earth.
Well, brothers, I’ve had quite a chip on my shoulder for the past 8 years that I have lived in New York City and endured this cockamamie bullshit. You see, along with being a Texan comes something called Indoctrination of Texas Pride (ITP). Because, after all, we could be our own country. * I butted heads with more than one co-worker, party-goer and blog commenter these past eight years because I, along with thousands of other Texans, am not a conservative, Republican, gay-hating, abortion-clinic-bombing, black-person-dragging-from-the-back-of-my-truck**, ignorant, southern yokel, despite what your President’s behavior might lead you to believe. And while we’re on the subject of the President (not to mention his forefathers), I have just one thing to say: Boarding School in Massachusetts + Undergrad in Connecticut + Business School in Massachusetts = your fault, Yankees! ***
But I digress. What I’m here to discuss today is not the embarrassing , or racist , or megalomaniacal Texans of which there are many , many . What I have compiled for you (and for my own little Texan self-esteem, which truly was getting trampled under the very couture heals of the mean, mean Manhattanites) is a list of fucking awesome Texans. Texans that even the most liberal, artsy, intellectual and Brooklyn (it’s an adjective now, you know) bohemian couldn’t dis.
Originally, this list started out full of ridiculously famous people who are awesome and also from Texas. People like Wes Anderson and Richard Linklater. (I like film.) But then, a funny thing happened. I recently got really into the indie music thing. Now, before some music snob challenges me on that one, I will qualify that by saying, I’ve gotten into it more than before which was not at all. Now I sort of compulsively surf the internet looking for new and unusual bands, I get into debates with people about it, I go to at least one live show a week and I even attended SXSW this year, something that a native Texan/Austinite usually avoids like the plague. While I was at SXSW I noticed a funny trend. Half the bands that everyone was talking about are from Texas. Yes, even that hipster scene of all hipster scenes, the indie music circuit, is coming from GWB’s “home” state.
So, here for my amusement is a work in progress. My ongoing list of people from Texas who are awesome. Producing great music, films, literature, new mineral compounds—whatever. I like the arts. Most of the people from Manhattan who were mean to Texas like the arts. Therefore, my list is concentrated on artists, but if I think of someone else who’s awesome, like say, the guy who invented air conditioning, (it would make total sense if he was from Texas), I will add it here later. Also, please feel free to email me if you know of someone I should consider that you don’t see here. I won’t open up comments for fear of the mean, mean bitches that hate on Texas all the time and make me cry, man. But, if your email is particularly nasty, I might like it enough to share it here.
So, without further ado, (because really there is no more ado left. I have used it all on this very, very long introduction), I present to you, after the jump, my list of awesome Texans alternatively titled, “Texas: The new Brooklyn?”
*That’s some genuine ITP, right there for you. Also, it’s true.
** Neither my parents nor I ever owned a truck. This qualifies us for handicap benefits in Texas.
*** And I don’t mean the baseball team.