An uneasy beginning to my day because yet another of those creepy coincidence-thingies has just occurred. First of all there was a comment from my, er, 'good ol' Texan buddy' (how's my accent?), Michael Adams, who has been on the 'missing list' for a while; then, in the preview of this week's Spectator I read a review of a book all about Texas. The reviewer, Michael Moorcroft, continually refers to Texas using the feminine gender which was a bit confusing for this 'Limey' who assumes that all Texans, male or female, are John Wayne look-alikes!
The title of the book is "God Save Texas (‘A Journey into the Future of America’)" and it is written by Lawrence Wright - and no, me neither! The reviewer sums up, er, Mrs/Miss/Ms (delete to taste) Texas, thus:
There are contradictions in Texas which allow you to select almost any argument you like from her. She is beautiful and she is barren; corrupt and honourable. Whatever you want to say about her, she will supply abundant evidence.
Well, whatever 'she' is, I forgive 'her' everything for this fascinating snapshot of one Texan political 'wannabe' because I feel that only in Texas could this occur:
Mary Lou Bruner: a 70-year-old retired schoolteacher from Mineola who in 2016 ran as a Republican for an open seat on the Texas Board of Education. Because ten per cent of the public school students in the nation live in Texas, the state exerts a great influence on the textbook publishing industry. During her campaign, Bruner posted on Facebook that Barack Obama had worked as a male prostitute in his twenties. ‘That is how he paid for his drugs,’ she reasoned. Bruner went on to assert that climate change is a ridiculous hoax; that school shootings are caused by students being taught about evolution; and ‘dinosaurs are extinct because the ones on Noah’s Ark were too young to reproduce’.
Alas, the reviewer does not make clear whether or not Ms. Mary Lou won or lost her election but the mere fact that she ran at all for public office says all you need to know to convince you that Texas is the tops when it comes to eccentricity - although it still has some catching up to do in order to compete with the country that allowed Jeremy Corbyn to become the leader of Her Majesty's (not so) Loyal Opposition! I also warmed even more to Texas when I read this:
Wright describes the Texas legislature as ‘more functional than the US Congress, and more genteel than the House of Commons, but a recurrent crop of crackpots and ideologues has fed the state’s reputation for aggressive know-nothingism and proudly retrograde politics.’ Yet Texans are amongst the most tolerant people in the nation, with a tradition of taking others on their own terms, living and letting live.
Hitherto, I have been determined that if ever I pay a return visit to America I would repeat my one and only previous trip back to New England, a place with which I fell in 'lurve'! Mind you, since I began this blog I have been severely tempted to move Arkansas to the top of the list, well, I have it on very good authority - y'all know who I mean! - that 'Arkie booze' is the best! However, being a true-blue Englishman, I do have this weakness for genuine eccentricity and that must push Texas to the very top of the list.
God bless America!