This just slid across my desk from the Governor’s office:
“Roe v. Wade paved the way for the loss of more than 54 million innocent lives, with more than a million added to that total with each passing year. This catastrophic loss of life is a grim testament to judicial activism, and a tragic stain on our national conscience. In Texas, we’ve worked hard to strengthen our abortion laws to the greatest extent possible under Roe v. Wade. We will continue working to empower families and protect our children’s future, until the day abortion is nothing more than a tragic footnote in our nation’s history.”
We’re not breaking any new ground, just wanted to throw it up here. The 40th anniversary of the decision is tomorrow.
Peter Simek brings us an amazing story on FrontRow. For more than a year, the Dallas Contemporary has been selling donated artwork on eBay without the donating artists’ knowledge. Some works worth many hundreds of dollars were sold for as little as $25. The Contemporary’s director, Peter Doroshenko, called the eBay sale a “stupid mistake.”
This went up last week but I forgot to post about it. Here is the behind the scenesÂ of how it all went down, worth it at least for Dirk’s answers at the beginning.
Remember a few months ago when we all had a good laugh because a bunch of folks thought it might be a good idea to let this state of ours break off into the Gulf of Mexico, left to rely solely on gumption, oil reserves, and barbecue? It was fun, we had to call our out-of-state friends and say “No, you won’t need a passport any time soon,” and it allowed me to write a bunch of blog posts. Well, it seems one man isn’t letting the idea go. Meet Joel Connelly, a 35-year employee of the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, and, judging by his Google Image library, the all-time champion of any Wilford Brimley look-alike contest.
What would the rest of America gain — and lose — were the Texas Nationalist Movement to achieve its goal of secession?
He then begins his list: fewer awful presidents; greater respect for the law; fewer awful members of Congress; less climate idiocy.
If Texas were to secede, in sum, the rest of the United States would have fewer wars, enjoy a higher proportion of smart politicians in Washington, D.C.,Â and be better able to tackle issues ranging from climate change to gun violence.
None of this, mind you, seems to be tongue-in-cheek. He seems to be forgetting that the rest of the country has produced plenty of terrible presidents, and that, if Texas was to secede, I’m sure a state like Florida or Louisiana or maybe even Maine would happily grab the “craziest state” trophy and begin churning out Louis Gohmerts like they’re Nikes.
His list of things America would lose? Austin, essentially. That’s it:
America would lose on the technology front, the literary front, the culinary front and the music front were Austin, Texas, to be taken from it.Â Texas would depart just as changing demographics — the rising Hispanic population, emigration from the north — promise to loosen the good-old-boy grip.
Now I almost want to secede, just to prove Connelly wrong.
The Dallas Stars welcomed a sellout crowd to American Airlines Center Saturday night, but team owner Tom Gaglardi almost didn’t make it to his opening night bash. Attempting to ride up to the flagship level of the arena prior to the game, an elevator attendant asked to see Gaglardi’s ticket. A befuddled expression crossed his face as he sorted through the badges on his lanyard to see what might work instead. After being informed that Gaglardi was the team’s owner, the attendant eyed him with suspicion, but begrudgingly let him ride.
Gaglardi and team president Jim Lites hosted an “ownership party” on the deck of the Audi Club prior to the game. Among those attending were former Stars owner Norm Green and Don Carty, former American Airlines chairman who has just been named to the team’s new ownership advisory group. “It’s nice to see hockey back!” Carty said.
The game wasÂ the first for the Stars since the NHL lockout ended earlier this month. Lites said there was a mad scramble to get digital tickets to season ticket holders.
Led by 40-year-old Jaromir Jagr, the Stars prevailed, beating the Phoenix Coyotes 4-3.
Also at the pre-game party was Jason Farris, executive vice president of business operations and development. He mentioned that he was talking with officials at Klyde Warren Park about putting in an ice rink later this year.
Farris and his family moved to Dallas from Canada last January. He’s a former bank president and financial software company executive who’s also a certified hockey official. He’s the founder of a media company and the publisher of several hockey books. He also studied classical violin in Vancouver and produced a short film called “Chaconne in G Minor.” Farris has a master’s in science degree from MIT, a bachelor’s of arts in political science from the University of Toronto, and a bachelor’s in physics from the University of British Columbia in Vancouver. So, he’s pretty much an underachiever.
Saturday night all roads led to Uptown’s pioneering ZaZa boutique hotel, which threw a 10th anniversary bash for more than 1,200 of its nearest and dearest. Oilman Allan McBee, for example, was camped out in the lobby waiting for his wife, Lynn, who would arrive from a Joffrey Ballet performance at the Winspear, and a friend, who would come from the Stars game at the AAC. Benji Homsey, president of Z Resorts Management and Development, said the big shindig was a “thank you” to its supporters from the company, which also has a boutique hotel in Houston and will break ground on a third in Austin later this year. The Dallas property’s performing well, he added, with consistent annual occupancy rates in the mid-to-high 70s.
Saturday’s event was quite a thank-you gesture. The 154-room luxury hotel was decked out with oversized tents, flaming sparklers, booze and gourmet grub, two deejays–one specializing in ’80s disco–a contortionist and a tarot-card reader. “Oh my god. It’s like the Blues Brothers meets modern cheese,” one 40ish businessman said, fighting his way through the crowd. “If we can’t score here …” Meantime, well-known socialite Kate Rose Marquez was getting her cards read by Valentina Burton, “the fortune teller of Dallas.” Anything positive? “She told me 2013 will be a year of fun, and that good things are coming my way,” said Marquez, at left in photo with Burton. “She also said I’m finally going to get something that I’ve been waiting for for a long time.” The party didn’t end ’til 2.
This week’s Sundance Film Festival is something of a seminal moment for Dallas filmmaking. Three films playing at the festival have strong roots to Dallas, including Shane Carruth’s Upstream Color, David Lowery’s Ain’t Them Bodies Saints, and Yan Tan’s Pit Stop. We’re celebrating on FrontRow with seven days of profiles looking at the people behind the strengthening Dallas film scene.
What’s remarkable about this year is not just that Dallas filmmakers have films at what is arguably still America’s most important film festival, but that they have some of the most talked-about films in competition. Carruth’s movie is his long-awaited follow-up to Primer, which won Sundance’s Grand Jury Prize back in 2004. Lowery is Dallas filmmaking’s rising star, whose short “Pioneer” (2012) raised lots of eyebrows on the festival circuit last year. His Ain’t Them Bodies Saints, which stars Casey Affleck (Gone Baby Gone) and Rooney Mara (The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo), had its world premiere over the weekend, and Indiewire called it a “triumph of visual poetry.”
As things grow increasingly dire, Lowery gradually chisels away at the scenario and constructs an extraordinary paean to ghostly southern imagery imbued with a lyricism reflective of his grand literary ambitions. Lowery has mentioned Robert Altman’s revisionist western “McCabe and Mrs. Miller” as a key inspiration, but “Ain’t Them Bodies Saints” equally suggests a less spiritual take on Terrence Malick’s cosmic visions of men and women dwarfed by natural wonders much sturdier than any of their flawed pursuits.
In other words, get ready to be as sick of hearing about Lowery as you are beginning to get sick of hearing about Ben Fountain.
We will have to ask his wife to confirm this, but Ben Fountain must now be insufferable. The onslaught of fawning press has now spread way beyond Dallas. A law-practicing FrontBurnervian points us to the current issue of Entertainment Weekly, whose back page, just off Amy Poehler’s left elbow, calls Fountain’s Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk: “the best book about the Iraq war and Destiny’s Child that you’ll ever read.”
This video of “My Country Tis of Thee” might not stay up for long, so watch it while you can. She absolutely killed it.
UPDATE: Oh, and there’s this:
Bill Clinton photobombs Kelly Clarkson. twitter.com/BrooklynSpoke/…
— BuzzFeed (@BuzzFeed) January 21, 2013
As we mentioned last week, beginning today the Dallas Museum of Art today will allow visitors into the museum without an admission fee. Special exhibits will still be ticketed, but the museum’s permanent collection is now open to any stragglers who happen to wander in the doors to warm-up.
Among those stragglers are two artists, “KITNFACE” and “Luckyirkman” (presumably the pseudonyms of the two artists, Lucy Kirkman and Justin Hunter Allen, who run Studio Don’t F*ck This Up (DTFU)). The artists are marking the new admission policy withÂ an unsanctioned exhibition in the DMA’s galleries. How are they doing it? Well, you need to download a booklet and Onvert Viewer, and then head the DMA’s American galleries with your smart phone which will – via codes — layer the artists’ images over the museum pieces. The end product is an infiltration of sorts, artists incorporating art into the art that’s already in the museum. Or, as the artists describe it in a release:
EA/AD uses augmented reality to discuss conventional barriers to museum freedums [sic]. Studio DTFU is pleased to present this exhibition as a continuation of the studio’s ongoing investigation in the display and marketing of digital art.
Regarding Early American, KITNFACE types of the project, “u78uy8888Â½Â½Â½Â½Â½Â½Â½Â½Â½Â½Â½]” fc i can haz museum sho nao?” In sÆƒuÄ±ÊÉÉ¹p uÉÉ”Ä±É¹ÇÉ¯âˆ€, Luckyirkman takes a subtle approach to the American landscape and the history of the Ab-Ex mark. When asked to comment on the work, Luckyirkman says,
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A very alert FrontBurnervian lets us know that the new Book of Lists from the Dallas Business Journal has been loosed on our fair burg. Its cover features a cool digital illustration called “Planet Klyde,” by their art director, Michael Samples. According to the publisher’s note, Samples created the illustration by stitching together 42 images taken from the middle of Klyde Warren Park and one taken from the penthouse balcony of Museum Tower. To Samples I say, “Jolly good show, ol’ chap! Nice work!” And then I say, “Was it your idea to photoshop the D logo off our building, or was that a directive that came from your publisher, Tracy Merzi?” And then, as Samples is trying to stammer out an answer, I say, “Boom, roasted!” At which point I follow up with a taunt: “Are you that scared of us? Do you feel so threatened by the awesomeness of the D logo and all that it stands for, the hard-hitting journalism leavened by life-altering reader service, that you couldn’t print it on your list thingy? Because if you do feel that way, we understand. And we forgive you. Here’s hoping that you can crawl your way out of the basement of Chateau Plaza and one day get your own logo on a building someplace where people can see it.” And then I throw my head back and laugh a throaty, evil laugh that quickly deteriorates into a meaty, hacking cough because I’m still fighting off this nasty bug that’s going around.
A few weeks back, President Obama got in a bit of a pickle after the New York TimesÂ pointed out that, you know, there aren’t really that many women making decisions in the Obama administration. John Kerry, Chuck Hagel, and John O. Brennan had just been nominated for high-level positions, and only about 43 percent of Obama’s appointees have been women. The number’s still a leap from George W. Bush — roughly one-third of his appointees were women – but still, people expected better.
It’s even more surprising when compared to Rick Perry, whose senior staff is nearly two-thirds women.Â According to the Texas Tribune:
In all, about 60 percent of the 256 governor’s office employees are female. Among Perry’s most senior staff –Â those charged with making key decisions for the governor –Â two-thirds are women.
“Rick Perry has never needed a binder full of women,” said Deirdre Delisi, Perry’s first female chief of staff, alluding to Mitt Romney’s comments during a presidential debate about how he sought help recruiting women for cabinet posts while he was governor of Massachusetts.
Perry’s opponents suggest that his tenure has not been kind to Texas women. The state’s longest-serving governor has worked to further restrict access to abortion. And he has been unwavering in his desire to force all Planned Parenthood clinics –Â which may not provide abortions if they accept state or federal tax dollars –Â out of a program that provides family planning services to the state’s poorest women.
Last weekend, I got to pose as a TV producer and go up in the press stands where the networks are currently watching President Obama watch the big parade. In other news, happy Martin Luther King, Jr. Day.
As I understand it, it’s a school holiday. Oil & Cotton kindly fills in the blanks with a special MLK interpretive sculpture camp this afternoon that revolves around his “What Is Your Life’s Blueprint?” speech. For lucky parents who also have the day off, this is a prime opportunity for lunch and coffee at Bolsa Mercado.
Downtown, the International House of Blues Foundation’s Martin Luther King celebration also gets underway shortly. It’s free family fun with dance and music, including a performance by the wonderful Dallas Black Dance Theatre, so just drop in anytime until noon. Erykah Badu will give the keynote speech, but several students are slated to present, as well.
And finally, the Dallas Museum of Arts kicks off the return to free admission by opening its doors on a Monday. Amazing. What do we get? Well, Jerome Weeks over on Art & Seek already gave us with this adorable photo of our Peter Simek. But the museum store is offering a free gift for the first “DMA friends” to stop by, plus you can take advantage of tours and musical performances in the galleries. The DMA’s director, Maxwell Anderson, will talk briefly at 2 pm. Later in the evening but still in the Arts District, I’d make plans to attend the Dallas Institute of Humanities’ yearly symposium at the Dallas City Performance Hall. The topic for discussion is “The Role of the African American Church in the Civil Rights Movement,” and the guest is Ambassador Andrew Young, a pastor and close friend of King himself. It’s an incredible opportunity to hear from someone who was right there, for everything.
For more to do tonight, go here.
After the first round of our Survival of the Cutest tournament concluded on Friday, we were left with our Sweet 16. Some of last week’s matches were extremely close. (Freddy beat Todd by only a few dozen votes.) Other competitors dominated their opponents. (Looking at you, Hamilton and Nemo).
But this new week brings a whole new set of match-ups. Juno and Cohen, after scoring big wins in the Round of 32, now must contend with one another. And after each earned narrow wins, Freddy and Bear will face off.
Only your votes will determine who gets to the next round. Remember that you can cast a ballot daily. So do it.
The best part about this isn’t the catchphrase – “With Wonder I’m ready. Wonder: 100 percent.” – it’s the disclosure at the bottom of the video:
When this commercial was originally completed by Troy Davis and GeoMedia, Inc, Jason Kidd was on the Dallas Mavericks. He was then traded to the New York Knicks before this commercial could air. I was hired by Great Job, LLC to replace Jason Kidd’s jersey with a generic Wonder jersey.
It’s seamless, fella.
Also, this appears to be the happiest Jason Kidd has ever been playing basketball, FWIW.