Last night, the great Daniel Vaughn took his turn on No Reservations, showing Anthony Bourdain around Austin’s Franklin Barbecue. You can watch some of the show here. Over on SideDish, Nancy has started a discussion of the episode. She didn’t pull any punches.
The Daily Beast follows up with some ObamaCons, conservatives who supported the president’s election in 2008, to find out why many of them are sticking by the guy. Among those interviewed is our own Wick Allison, who once called Obama “a true pragmatist to lead the country” butÂ recanted his endorsement last year.
That still doesn’t mean he’s voting for Mitt Romney:
Wick Allison, former publisher of The National Review under William F. Buckley and current publisher of The American Conservative, also reaffirms his Obama decision, albeit in anguished lukewarm tones. “I will probably vote for Obama, unless I have a Gary Johnson—inspiration in the voting booth. (My vote in Texas is wasted anyway.),” Allison wrote in an email. “Romney is the opposite of conservative, with a plan that is fiscally reckless and a foreign policy that is unnecessarily militant. Obama has done about the best that could have been done, considering the united GOP opposition in Congress. My questions about Obamacare and my disappointment that we are not already out of Afghanistan are not enough to make me embrace a candidacy that even George W. Bush would have been repelled by–and, having had time to reflect on his own record, perhaps is.”
“Cuban-Americans rally at the Kennedy Memorial in downtown Dallas,” 1980
Share your ownÂ Ghosts of Dallas.
OK, I agree that Hank Williams Jr. shouldn’t have been taking potshots at “queer guitar pickers” during his Sunday show in Fort Worth. But the DMN‘s Thor Christensen is flat wrong writing off Hank’s anti-Obama political rant as mere narrow-mindedness. Sure, the country singer’s a profane, hell-raising redneck–he’d wear the tag proudly, I bet–but his rowdy conservative take on the country’s direction is a legitimate part of the political conversation. Even if it offends progressive city slickers.
Then again, Thor needs to fine-tune his politics-and-country-music understanding in general. He writes, for example, that Merle Haggard is “almost as conservative” as Hank, which ain’t exactly true. The ever-evolving Hag championed Hillary Clinton in ’08. And he has had nice things to say lately about the president. As part of his homework, Thor might want to check out the song “Guns and Religion” by Garland’s great Austin Cunningham. It’s a more artful take on Hank’s basic rural view, recorded awhile ago.
After such a long weekend, I assume you’re all extremely well-rested.
That’s good, because if you do as I say and see The Second City Does Dallas at the Wyly tonight, it could turn in to a bit of a late evening. This is because not only do you get the scripted comedy stuff, you also have the opportunity to stick around afterward for a improv set. I recommend this–Chicago’s The Second City has 50 plus years of experience being funny. As far as the actual show goes, it’s still a preview, but I’ll tell you a secret. I love preview performances. And then I love going back again later in the run to see what stuck. The Second City’s touring company wrote the show loosely based on conversations with people such First Baptist pastor Robert Jeffress, city manager Mary Suhm, The Dallas Morning News’ Robert Wilonsky, and our own Tim Rogers. Tickets are still available online.
And would it be too corny to suggest hot dogs for dinner? There’s The Stand (which serves Nathan’s, which is Coney Island and not Chicago but so what) and Bowery. Neither are very far away from the Arts District, and should be quick enough to get you to the theater on time.
Also tonight, the author Tess Gerritsen will give speak and sign copies of her latest novel, Last to Die, at Highland Park United Methodist Church. This should be particularly intriguing for fans of the TNT show Rizzoli & Isles, since the show happens to be based on the characters in Gerritsen’s 10-book series. This is perfect. I needed a good reason to stop watching old episodes of Grey’s Anatomy and start watching…anything else. Anything. The event is free to attend.
For more to do this evening, go here.
A cute invitation arrived last week for the annual North Texas Commission luncheon. Â Wrapped in a manila folder and labelled “Classified,” it announced the theme of this year’sÂ meeting: “Protecting Our Country. Defending Our Economy.” The two presenting sponsors are Lockheed and Bell Helicopter.
“Protecting Our Country” means, of course, protecting our profits and our CEOs’ salaries. “Defending Our Economy” means, do not under any circumstances cut the government spending that keeps our companies afloat. Most corporations have a fond attachment to government spending, but only the defense lobby is able to raise it to the level of Moral Imperative.Â (SeeÂ this excellent analysis byÂ theÂ Economist entitled “Always More, or Else”.)
We all know U.S. military spending outstrips the rest of the world combined. But since our $16 trillion debt does not seem deter Congress (or Mitt Romney, who has promised an increase) from spending more, perhaps a little satire will help. At the luncheon on September 20, some frugal patriot should donate copies of Christopher Buckley’s latest novel, They Eat Puppies, Don’t They, for the goodie bags. The great thing about a novel like this, centered as it is on the defense industry, is that people at the luncheon can play a game of which fictional character in it they resemble the most.
A couple announcements were made today regarding education in Dallas. One is that Byron Sanders, vice president of Group Excellence, a tutoring company, has been made the executive director of the Dallas Education Foundation. The foundation is the fundraising arm of DISD. I first heard of Sanders through his work at Dallas Kids First, then he snapped some photos for us at our education panel, then I heard him audition to be a speaker at TEDxSMU (that’s him in the video above).Â He easily won the audience vote. He’ll be giving his full-length talk talk later this year at TEDxSMU.
The other bit of news is from Teach for America. You may (or may not) remember that the former executive director for TFA was Charles Glover. Glover was called to join superintendent Mike Miles’ cabinet and is now the chief talent and innovation officer. TFA announced this morning that Alexandra Hales, who’s been interim executive director, is officially taking Glover’s place.
I know all three people (Sanders, Glover, Hales). I’ve had coffee with them. (Well, not coffee because I rarely drink coffee, but at least water, maybe even dinner.) I’m very impressed by everything they’re doing. If we’re going to turn around DISD and Dallas education, it will be under the leadership of these three people. I think these were smart moves all around, and I wish them all luck.
Abel Gonzales Wins Fifth Big Tex Choice Award. The man who brought us fried butter; fried Coke; fried cookie dough; and fried peanut butter, jelly and banana sandwich has done it again. This year he won the “Best Taste” award for his deep fried jambalaya. And yet Zac still won’t go to the State Fair.
Swine Flu Could Kill You. Speaking of things that aren’t good for you, an Ohio woman was killed by the H3N2v virus after she touched some pigs at a county fair, so this year contact with pigs will be limited at the State Fair. This news surely saddens local pig huggers.
Rangers Beat Royals 8-4. Adrian Beltre and Nelson Cruz hit home runs on consecutive pitches in the sixth inning. So when Cruz led off in the ninth, Royals pitcher Louis Coleman beaned him. The dugouts emptied, but no punches were thrown. After everyone settled down, Michael Young hit a home run off the next pitch.