Posts Tagged ‘Texas’

The “Terror” of Gender-Neutral Toilets

Monday, May 30th, 2016

All Gender Splendor_Where Excuses Go to Die

Not since the Satanic Panic of the 1980s have we seen as much moral alarmism and fear mongering as we’re now enduring, with today’s terror over gender-neutral toilets.

Texas and 10 other states filed suit last week challenging the U.S. Justice and Education Departments’ issuance of an Obama directive instructing public schools to allow transgender students to use bathrooms matching their gender identity.

Supporters of the lawsuit, filed in a Texas federal court, say the move is designed to protect women and children (presumably from “unemployed homosexuals, deviants, rapists, transgenders, and other sodomites from every state”). Though the actual threat from these jobless homo-nazis is practically nonexistent, according to the Justice Department and others, Texas says it will forfeit $10 billion in federal funding for education rather than carry out the so-called “bathroom law.” BTW, asked if he knows of any instances in which a child’s safety has been threatened by transgender bathroom rights, Republican Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton has replied, “there’s not a lot of research.”

But foot-stomping is so much more fun (and vote-garnering!) than adaptive social functioning, isn’t it?

Confessions of a Texas Taunter

Monday, April 6th, 2015

TEXAS HATE LINEFor years I’ve sworn my epitaph will read, “…and he never set foot in Texas.”

  • Texas is one of the worst states to be either a child or an old person.
  • Its high school dropout rate makes the Alamo look like the Iwo Jima flag raising.
  • It seems fitting that this Lone Star of illiteracy is represented by a belt-buckle.
  • Gun-loving Texas is ranked last in the country in mental health spending and worst in health services, hospital care, and access to health insurance.
  • Its big #1 in carbon emissions and hazardous waste production is justified with claims of “per-resident emissions.”
  • Texans nearly top the list of most careless, worst drivers in America, but Houston scored 2014’s “Least Courteous” award. #guns
  • What’s not big in Texas? Voter turnoutcivic involvement, and political participation.

It’s a bit nitpicky to add that the average credit score in Texas has been the lowest in the country, because quality of life issues and countrified comedy gold are consequential, not illustrative. So instead, I’ll choose the one thing I’ve most openly mocked Texans for over the years – defending their vulgar bravado with “Don’t judge us ’til you hang with us.” (more…)

Music is Moral Law.

Tuesday, September 17th, 2013

Not havin’ the day you hoped for? Here’s some joy you can’t ignore

Are You Hep to the Jive_Cab CallowayI’m a big fan of Sister Rosetta Tharpe and Cab Calloway, of his high speed rhyming, wordless “scat” singing, and his manic energy. A friend who’s familiar with my admiration of the big band leader shot me this clip, and upon watching it I felt guilt, excitement, and the swelling of my heart – in that order. The magic here is its big middle finger to me-me-me.

It seems like we live in a world where everybody has to be everywhere at once, where, if we can’t have what we want, we know what it looks like to get it. It’s a world in which nearly all of our needs are digitally serviced, yet nothing does as much for us as music.

As important as music has always been to me, woven throughout my history and tied to just about every human connection I’ve made since my youth, I haven’t used it enough to help others. And by help, I mean I haven’t used it to brighten someone’s day, or as a means for giving others a way to communicate — i.e., the power to climb up and out. Not for years I haven’t.

Never mind bemoaning a bygone era in which we spent hours of super concentrated brain power creating vinyl-to-cassette compilations as gifts. Lots of writers have bitched about our loss of such human connections, not to mention the generosity on which they were based. But with music being so readily available today, what excuse could I possibly have to keep it limited to my own selfish enjoyment and confined to lightening only my load?

Evidently, I need to remember that music is not for the self-serving. It never has been (though it’s funny to me that music-based plastic purchase vouchers are called iTunes gift cards: they’re meant for sharing, but they’re more often used like isolation training. Maybe that’s the “I” part).

I need to be better about letting music help me help others. My maternal grandmother, for instance, is from El Paso, Texas, by way of Chihuahua, Mexico. She used to love listening to Freddy Fender. So this iTunes gift card here, the one held to the wall above my monitor by a magnet, saving itself for something I really want, should probably get put to use.

How suddenly stupid it makes me feel, looking at it. I have only one grandparent left, and no excuse not to spend my card on a way to brighten her day.


Music is a moral law. It gives soul to the universe, wings to the mind, 
flight to the imagination, and charm and gaiety to life and to everything.
– Plato