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Los Tejanos: Juan Seguin, Jack Jackson and Texas History

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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 2-28-15

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Bobby Bones plays terrible misogynistic music on his show, goes out of his way to antagonize female artists like Kacey Musgraves and then does this. He’s got bad ratings in Nashville and probably relies on this sort of drama to get ratings so I guess we’re all feeding this beast by talking about it.

Speaking of Kacey, here’s her new song. 

Still fighting over the Alamo.

Coyotes, the first vanguard in the West’s colonization of the east. Within a century your kids will be saying “y’all” and wearing Tony Lamas. (I kid, I kid.)

What I’m Listening To:

Mayeux and Broussard- High Times and Good Rhymes

I saw these guys a long time ago in the Phoenix Saloon on a sleepy Sunday afternoon. I immediately looked them up as soon as I got back home. They’ve got a sound that sticks with you like good barbecue. And like good barbecue these songs are greasy, smoky, and country as hell. If my Dad had been with me he might have been able to close his eyes and be transported back to Armadillo. These are all top-notch compliments. The new album is High Times and Good Rhymes. It came out this week. Goes good with barbecue. And beer. And lazy afternoons in a good bar.

What I’m Drinking

It’s cold again. I’m the only one not upset about it. I’ve got a crisper drawer full of odd winter beers from all the six packs of stouts, porters, etc. I’ve picked up over the winter. Really gotta do some house cleaning to make room for spring. If it ever gets here.