RSS Feed

Category Archives: Texas

Fin De Semana 4-10-15

Posted on

An examination of the racial politics in the most iconic of Texas movies, Giant.

A quick Spanish primer for anyone headed to Texas.

Opening day down at the local ballpark.

What I’m Listening To

I’ve Got Standards-Randy Rogers and Wade Bowen

A surprisingly traditional and bouncy rejoinder to Nashville from two of the slickest (I mean that in a good way) guys in Texas Music. Good to know that no matter what, these two can fill a dance floor with two steppers and get a few licks in while they’re at it.

What I’m Drinking

In my own, personal version of opening day, the first Tecate of the spring has been cracked. It felt so good on my lips.

 

Los Tejanos: Juan Seguin, Jack Jackson and Texas History

Posted on

This time of year I often think about Juan Seguin and Sam Houston, the moral bellwethers of the Texas Revolution. Where Houston found a measure of redemption in the revolt against Mexico, Seguin ended up sowing the seeds of his own undoing. We often simplify the revolution as a bunch of intrepid gringo settlers defying the whims of a capricious Mexican dictator. The Alamo falls, San Jacinto happens and boom-Texas!

The reality is more complex and interesting. Santa Ana had left Mexico in turmoil. His habit of taking power, abandoning it and taking power again had created a civil and economic crisis. Mexican citizens wondered how best to save their country and bring lasting democracy. It was a time that calls to mind the heady days of the American Revolution. Texas was just one hotbed of fervor. Also the one with the most Americans wanting something closer to what they had back home.

More than anything else I’ve read on the subject Jack Jackson’s Los Tejanos best captures not only the revolutionary idealism, but the grinding reality and eventual compromise that left Seguin without a country and made Houston a hero. The art is amazing and the research is thorough. It doesn’t pull any punches but it doesn’t really cast any stones. Instead, it paints the two men as the canaries in the cage of Texas’ ideals. Houston, is shown as a pugnacious but pragmatic gringo is able to lead the new republic while Seguin has his hopes and ideals dashed one by one against the tide of history and Manifest Destiny. Both men ultimately see their work destroyed when Texas enters the U.S.

If your knowledge of the Texas history begins and ends with the Alamo, do yourself a favor and pick Los Tejanos. You owe it to yourself to see the bigger picture and to remember Juan Seguin.

Fin De Semana! 2-13-15

Posted on

Digging up the past at one of Texas’ oldest missions.

Texans and their tie to the land.

Most of us saw this coming. That, is those of us who don’t hold office.

Remembering Waylon Jennings, who passed away on this day.

What I’m Listening To This Week:

J.D. McPherson-Let The Good Times Roll-McPherson makes straight-up, unabashed old-fashioned rock-n-roll like no one else. Taking a more R&B based tack than rockabilly, he breathes new life into one of America’s most vital art forms. Part of this is in the way he approaches what has traditionally been considered a hide-bound genre. Using modern production techniques that owe more to RZA than Sam Phillips, his songs are sneaky. They’re full of little modern ticks that ear doesn’t quite pick up, making everything sound fresh. It isn’t until you listen closely that you realize these aren’t straight up recreations of 50’s rock, but crafty homages. This is a long, fancy way of saying I love this record and I can’t stop listening to it.

What I’m Drinking This Week

Tecate, because it’s in the high 60’s and sunny out right now. We’ve got another cold front moving in, so better drink up and enjoy the sunlight while I can, right?