Sunday, January 20, 2013

my sister was here, and this brought up a lot of topics, some of which, like my family in general, i rarely go into much here. but she's a new yorker in texas, and has a number of acute observations about the general state of things, and we of course having lived here for about five months have a few of our own.

texas has been extremely friendly, not only friendly but nice, people are genuinely welcoming and she noticed this also; she said, even on the road, at a rest stop, people have a lot to say and will tell you whatever you like. i notice that they bring up football a lot and you have to be conversant in the basics, like kliff kingsbury and tuberville, these guys who are big on the tech football team, the new coach and the old coach. these guys get millions, and have entire staffs to attend to their needs, and one would think some would be a bit miffed that people are starving, the economy goes to hell, etc. yet we pay huge fortunes to these, well, whatever, people don't mind, and besides, from their point of view, they have jobs and there are jobs around. football's just a common cultural focal point, like you have to talk that for a while before they get a feel for how much you really care about what they care about. but then she brought up natalie maines because she as a musician wanted to hear a story about one who was virtually banned from a town because of what she said.

i haven't been able to believe she'd be in such trouble just for badmouthing bush in england, but, as it turns out, two songs she wrote after that might have been taken very personally. one, quite obviously, was 'lubbock or leave it,' but the other, 'not ready to make nice,' basically slammed racism and whoever the person was who threatened her life over the bush comment. ok, so i'd never even listened to the words of 'not ready to make nice,' assumed it was about relationships, but in this case, it's kind of about relationships, yes, between her and the folks around here, or maybe even her family.

so you're wondering how people could take this stuff personally, but it's like, if you even appear to put your family in these songs, and everyone knows your family, then i guess, well who knows. my sister says people hold women artists to a higher standard, because women always have to be so nice and all, and if she's crabby or needs some peace and quiet before a gig, they're all like she's a b- in person, rhymes with rich, and all that.

so george strait was in town, king of the country singers, he played the arena friday night, so the restaurant was all full of these dressed up folks, cowboy hats and all, and i figure lots of them had come from all around to see him. he likes lubbock, he said, so he started his tour here, and his tour was 'cowboy rides away' so he's the cowboy, he's riding away, isn't going to tour any more, this is his last rodeo. so i'm curious; this is what, sold out i'm sure, big money and all, but, actually, remarkably polite, in terms of the traffic, and the people at the restaurant for example. country singers, i figure, they're the good guys, since they don't encourage young men to bash each other's skulls repeatedly and then get back into the game, and bash skulls more. i couldn't drum up much interest in pure country amongst the family, only the youngest really likes it. my sister didn't much care for it, didn't even know much about george strait. didn't know the song, somewhere down in texas, which is my favorite of the songs i know. one side of me wouldn't mind being george strait, wouldn't mind it at all. my sister says, you ought to just get a hat. i'd have me a persona, i'd get up there and croon away, and i'd be sincere, just like george himself, it wouldn't bother me a bit. unlike talking football, which, to tell you the truth, is getting to me a little.

these are details maybe, they bore you, you'd rather hear about my fam maybe than my dreams. ah, but i write about my dreams. that's sometimes as close as i get. this george dude, he's playing just four or five blocks from my house. this is kind of new to me. other folks will come through too, 'cause this is a city, and it's on the tour path. in fact, it's not far from wichita falls, amarillo, albuquerque, some of the others. some people say it's far from everything. i say, yes, distances are far here, but actually it's right down in the middle of it all. dallas, austin, san antone, and then ya got tucson, phoenix, denver, vegas, this is the grand tour these days. and you see a cactus or two from the plane, or maybe, you just keep on going to some place like china where there's real money. i don't know how it works. the sun shines a lot here though, i can see why george likes it. once you learn how to put on a good show, you just get up there and belt it out. over & over. as dreams go, you could do worse.

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