Saturday, November 24, 2007

A confession, a regret

(Dada note: Sometimes the blog you set out to write isn't the blog that results. What follows has nothing to do with what I had originally intended to say, which will have to wait for another day. In the meantime, forgive my self-absorption as I herein confess my sins.)

Well, I guess I'm a Texan. This isn't an easy confession. I think we often cling to experiences from childhood to define the rest of our lives, no matter how invalid over time they become. Being Oregon bred and born and California raised underlies all other experiences of my youth. I think of it as "who I am." What that does is make me a west coaster at heart (if not in reality).

But I've been living in Texas for over thirty years and whenever asked by a stranger, "Where you from?," I'm always sure to excuse my Texas residency with something like, "But it's as far west in Texas one can go," or "It's as far east in Texas I ever hope to be."

None of my origin or anecdotal apologetic footnotes--as hard as they try to dismiss it--can justify that living anywhere on the fringes of Texas does not make one somehow less Texan. And being lumped in with all Texans is one of the big regrets of life I will take with me to the grave.

Don't get me wrong. I wouldn't feel so guilt ridden if this was El Paso, New Mexico. But it isn't. Yet, for over the thirty plus years I've lived in El Paso, I've come to appreciate and love it. After all, we're only 6 miles from New Mexico, 8 miles from Old Mexico, either of which we're more part of than Texas, right?

But contrast my angst of who I am with that of our president. I wish I could be more like him. Being a yankee born in New Haven, Connecticut, he's Texan through and through. He's got the 'good-old boy' Texas drawl. I don't know if he had it during his Yalie years, but rest assured, when among his daddy's Texas mogul cronies, "Dubya's" definitely pure blue blooded Texan.

I wish I could be adaptive like that, but I can't. I've tried to develop the twang but I can't. (But that's one of the things that makes El Paso uniquely un-Texan--we don't talk like folks from Pecos just a couple hours east of here.)

So my apologies from this Texan, where, as noted on National Public Radio this morning, "if Texas were a country, it would be the seventh-largest carbon dioxide polluter in the world." Where our "National Car of Texas" is a 14-mile-per-gallon Chevy Suburban and "where the bigger the truck you drive and the bigger the gas guzzler you are, the better off you are." And as our governor, Rick Perry, admits, "if global warming is man made, it was caused by Al Gore's mouth."

Yes, and if arrogance and ignorance sometimes makes Texas the brunt of other's jokes, we have precisely the right person in our governor's mansion.


enigma4ever said...

You don't have to confess or apologize...there is ONLY one person that should apologize....the Great Pretender...who sits there pretending that he is the President and that he is from Texas- yet his Drawl ( cough gag...or Whatever the fuck that is...) anyways that damn drawl comes and goes.....I watched To Kill a Mockingbird tonight, and it strikes me that the Southern Folks of my family sound like those in the movie- they speak slowly...carefully- gentle like...there is a big difference than the blowhard addlebrained Bush....he is a fake yellowbellied coardly cowboy...he is NOT a Texan....

So don't be apologizing for anything...ever...just keep speaking your truth from down there yonder...and remember he lives Near Waco....
( and that says it all don't it?)


I would have loved to have been a fly on the wall when Bush had to serve some Humble Pie to Guest of Honor MrGore....THE Al Gore...

Oh HOW Inconvenient....

Meanwhile Condasleeza is pressing her Prada and waxing her Stilletos getting ready for the Charades tomorrow....

D.K. Raed said...

It's not where you're from or where you live, it's who you are, Dada!

And Engima is right, that butchered TX bark of Dub's has to be something he perfected over many long nights at his favorite saloon, choking down the Jim Beam & losing his pilot cert. His mom & dad don't have a hint of it. Why, yesterday on C-Span I watched an old clip of GHWB speaking & he used the word "nuance" & even gave it a little french nasal flourish. So much for TX blue-blood bush.

Now about that 14mpg Suburban ... jeez around here that'd probably be considered a gas miser! We also don't have the very strict calif emission control I'd enjoyed. End result: nice meandering sidewalkers are subjected to an unending blast of foul air from all these uncontrolled massive pick-up trucks. And will someone please explain to me why a pick-up truck now seats as many people as a sedan? Why'd you get the dang P/U in the first place if you really wanted a family car?

Your Gov Perry is paraphrasing Robert Murray (remember the Crandall Cyn Mine asshole?) who actually said, "90% of global warming is caused by Al Gore". Jeez, maybe he needs to start mining in TX (just not in your area)!

ps, I didn't realize El Paso claims an un-texas accent ... but looking at the map, there is really no reason the little tentacle that TX reached out & grabbed should sound any different than its NM neighbors. oh, and I just found out the other day (looking at protest songs from the 60's) that Phil Ochs was an El Pasoan (is that right, or is it El Paso-ite?).

D.K. Raed said...

pps, I think I'll follow your example & wait for 30-yrs before I call myself a Utahn. Then again ... I'd have to start saying things like Pork the Core in the Corpart, and eating green jello ... naaaah, no way!

Fran said...

Once an Oregonian/West Coaster always an Oregonian/West Coaster.

But you did not divulge what caused you to settle in the big T.
I'm sure the weather is nicer (more sunshine) than Oregon, perhaps less expensive & congested than California.
Just curious....

Texas does have it's rep, and it is funny that you make jokes to try to establish you are not like the rest of them, or should I say the worst of them?

As for W, well, let's just leave him out of it. Although I really wonder what kind of karma will
boomerang back to him one fine day?????

So you live in a red state, surrounded by red states.... but it is clear by your writing, you are true blue.

All states have the blowhards who drive vehicles big enough to need their own zip code, for no good reason, but I bet Texas has Pruis or Hybrid owners too (things are all spread out in Texas, it can be a long way to anywhere), and they may not maintain the Texas oil tycoon stereotype, they have the last laugh as they drive right on by the gas station, or when they do stop there, don't leave with an empty wallet. Smartass people or polticians can make jokes or who are in denial about global warming now, the truth will catch up to them or this planet-- it already is.

Hey! At least you are poised to leave the country if need be.

Other "blue states" like Oregon-- half the state is red (most of Eastern Oregon).... so Blue is a state of mind.

You & your wife & editor are the left wing faction of Tejas.
We've not heard much of the Editor of late? Is he off on one of those lengthy exec vacations?
I hear some Texans do that. ( Bush joke, tee hee)

dada said...

enigma: I would have loved to have been a fly on that wall with you when Bush met Gore. I have this fantasy that when the doors closed on 'em, they let fly with a flurry of obscenities that lasted the whole half hour.

And isn't this whole Bush mid-east photo op sweet? Bush desiring "peace" before he blows the shit outta Iran (and the world?).

d.k. - Yes, Phil Ochs is an El Pasoan, not an El Paso-ite.

And you mean to tell me, governor Perry stole that line from a coal miner (owner).

Dang, I didn't know they talk "funny" in Utah. "Pork the core in the corport", I'd love to hear that. I remember "Mac" from my army days. From Boston, with heavy accent, he was going crazy one day, searching for his "caw keys". We were all puzzled, knowing he didn't have a car. Turned out he was seeking his khakis. (We were so relieved.)

But we raise a good point here, don't we? I mean, I wonder what we must sound like to people from Utah, Boston, Texas...we of 'no accents'? (vbg)

fran: Thanks so much for the reaffirmation of something I'm reluctant to let go of--my heritage. TY, TY, TY!

And, yes, I'm aware there should be an East Oregon, West Oregon (much like El Paso is NOT Dallas), but even in the western half of the state, you have pockets of red, don't you? (Thinking of Salem vs. Eugene.)

Anyway, you ask how I ended being a Texan. I think I've mentioned before: it all happened the day in the spring of '64 when I went to join the navy and the recruiter's office had a sign on the door, "Gone to L.A., be back tomorrow," so I walked across the street to the army recruiter. What a huge fork in life's road that turned out to be.

D.K. Raed said...

No Dada, it's "corpart" ... they reverse o's and a's, mainly in rural areas. Also, many of the women here have a timbre to their voices, such that when they talk, they sound like they're ringing a bell. Nice for singing, though.

haha re: accents ... I was once amazed to have someone tell me they couldn't understand my accent. Once in awhile, I'm even accused of being Canadian!

Yeah, Perry probably did steal that Al Gore/global warming line from Murray, but who knows where Murray stole it from? You know how "good" thoughts get passed around the republitorium.

dada said...

I like your "republitorium"...a place filled with a pre-screened conservative "oddience"...

enigma4ever said...

ohhhh kind of like the Romans had "Vomitouriums"....

D.K. Raed said...

Republitoriums are where repukes go to re-puke. Vomitoriums are where the initial puke is safely stored, so that it can be re-puked by repukes. The oddience are the only people who can watch this happening and NOT puke.