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Don't Mess With "Don't Mess With Texas"
January 3, 2008 5:07 PM   Subscribe

It's getting tedious seeing wfrgms bring out the same old "Don't Mess With Texas" derail one more time.

To the Texas-haters: there's already enough legitimate stuff to hate on in the latest thread, so why bring out this tired canard again and again? I know, it's probably amusing to you trolling on Texas one more time, raising their predictable ire. It's a technique that has demonstrated results. But I don't think it's really that great for the discussion or our community.

I would like this thread to be about whether we need to have the tired "Don't Mess With Texas" discussion anymore, but some of you will probably make it into a referendum on whether it is a threat or not, once again. I'll have to live with that I guess, but please can this be the last time?
posted by grouse to Etiquette/Policy at 5:07 PM (240 comments total) 5 users marked this as a favorite

Links to the comments themselves: 1 2 3 4
posted by grouse at 5:11 PM on January 3, 2008


Yeah, he kind of needs to stop doing that.

wfrgms: stop doing that.
posted by cortex (staff) at 5:11 PM on January 3, 2008 [2 favorites]


Is there some reason you didn't link to the comments in question? Without CTRL-F-ing for whatever he said, I have no idea what this callout is about.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 5:12 PM on January 3, 2008


Oh just ignore the hell out of me. Yeah wfrgms, you could knock that off.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 5:13 PM on January 3, 2008


And it's whose, not who's.
posted by ludwig_van at 5:18 PM on January 3, 2008 [1 favorite]


What do you expect from a user who's unofficial motto is a threat?
posted by iamkimiam at 5:18 PM on January 3, 2008 [13 favorites]


Can I bring up that all my exes live in Texas?
posted by Astro Zombie at 5:20 PM on January 3, 2008 [7 favorites]


What do you expect from a user whose name is a threat to pronounciation?
posted by fandango_matt at 5:20 PM on January 3, 2008 [1 favorite]


I encourage everyone to move to Texas to generate the unique types of thick skin and simple-minded bullheadedness required to effectively and gracefully ignore questions as to whether the motto is a threat or not.
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 5:24 PM on January 3, 2008


it's tedious, and stupid, but really, get over it
posted by caddis at 5:25 PM on January 3, 2008 [2 favorites]


This is the part where I come up with something better to say than meh.
posted by Brak at 5:30 PM on January 3, 2008 [2 favorites]


Live Free or Die?
posted by buzzman at 5:32 PM on January 3, 2008


You know, some of us in Texas aren't fundy bushlovers. Some of us like the place. Some of us think you ignorant people can go fuck yourselves.
posted by mlis at 5:32 PM on January 3, 2008


Ha ha, wfgrms messed with Texas.
posted by klangklangston at 5:34 PM on January 3, 2008 [11 favorites]


I'm taking away extra points for overzealous use of the small tag. You've got negative points now, wfrgms! Let that be a lesson to you.
posted by iconomy at 5:34 PM on January 3, 2008


Heh, BUSTED!
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 5:38 PM on January 3, 2008 [1 favorite]


* imagines wfrgms at a chummy cocktail party, hovering on the edge of conversation with a sweaty gin and tonic in his hand, waiting for the tide to turn to any subject involving Texas so he can smugly insert "what do you expect &c." , and therefore cement his reputation as "that guy who always shows up at the party and never says anything but "what do you expect &c. *
posted by oneirodynia at 5:41 PM on January 3, 2008 [2 favorites]


"The New York State bird is no longer a hand gesture"

I forget who made that crack about improving manners in the Empire State.
posted by WPW at 5:42 PM on January 3, 2008


Yes, but the New York City bird still is.
posted by caddis at 5:46 PM on January 3, 2008 [1 favorite]


Top 5 Rejected Texas State Mottos

1) Live Free or Diebold, Inc.
2) Don't Mess With Our Taxes
3) Texas: Profit
4) Texas: Maybe Size Doesn't Count, But We're Still Bigger. And, No - We're Not Compensating For Something.
5) Houston - We Have A Problem
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 5:47 PM on January 3, 2008 [35 favorites]


I sort of chuckled at that line when I heard a comedian say it a long time ago when talking about New Hampshire. The fact that wfrgms has to twist the line since "The Friendly State" is the Texas motto, and then imply that "Don't Mess With Texas" (the successful anti-litter slogan) is a threat really stretches it past the breaking point. To be a threat, you need an "or' tacked on the end like they do in New Hampshire. New Hampshire will put a cap in your ass if you do not live free.

I don't mind Texas bashing since in many cases it is warranted. But the repetition of the stupid line is just lame. I think oneirodynia is right: wfrgms is the guy you tell friends not to talk about Texas around to avoid hearing that line.
posted by birdherder at 5:48 PM on January 3, 2008 [2 favorites]


fandango_matt: What do you expect from a user whose name is a threat to pronounciation?

I had a hard time figuring out how to yell out "Curse You, wfrgms!" until I realized that I settled on "Curse You, wəfrəgəms!"

Now wouldn't that make for a lovely state motto for Texas? Would look lovely on bumperstickers, belt-buckles, cattle brands and prison garbs.
posted by Kattullus at 5:48 PM on January 3, 2008 [1 favorite]


OOOOOOWWWWE THE STARS AT NIGHT, BUM BUM BUM, THEY SHINE SO BRIIIIIGGGGHHHHTTT....AAAAA DEEEEEEEP INNNA HEART OV TEXSUSSSS!

Y'all fixing to get het up behind this? Lova ya Texas, stay incomprehensible.
posted by Divine_Wino at 5:49 PM on January 3, 2008


Texas: That's Where I'm a Viking
posted by L. Fitzgerald Sjoberg at 5:49 PM on January 3, 2008 [10 favorites]


"The Friendly State" is the Texas motto

A small nit: the state motto is Friendship.
posted by grouse at 5:51 PM on January 3, 2008


Needs "Messes with Texas" flag.
posted by ardgedee at 5:55 PM on January 3, 2008


Ooh, is this the Emily Dickinson thread?

I hide myself within my flower,

CLAP CLAP CLAP CLAP
That wearing on your breast,

You, unsuspecting, wear me too—

CLAP CLAP CLAP CLAP
And angels know the rest
posted by The corpse in the library at 5:55 PM on January 3, 2008 [9 favorites]


As a two decades plus resident of Texas I'm going to go a little against the grain around here: I fucking hate Austin.
posted by Cyrano at 5:56 PM on January 3, 2008 [3 favorites]


Texas: He's really from Connecticut
posted by WPW at 5:58 PM on January 3, 2008 [10 favorites]


Says someone who lives in Houston. Blech.
posted by Big_B at 6:00 PM on January 3, 2008 [2 favorites]


note: Everyone needs a not-messing with Texas
posted by cortex (staff) at 6:01 PM on January 3, 2008 [2 favorites]


Yeah! Stop don't mess with Texasing.
posted by aubilenon at 6:05 PM on January 3, 2008


I thought this was a lame callout until this thread taught me that "Don't Mess With Texas" isn't even remotely the state motto. Now I expect wfrgms to submit how exactly he interprets "friendship" as a threat. Alternately: an apology for saying something stupid over and over again.
posted by Mr.Encyclopedia at 6:06 PM on January 3, 2008


Cyrano -- everyone in Houston hates Austin. It has been that way ever since they moved the capitol to Austin in 1840.

grouse -- I stand corrected. I am a transplant from California. I was just going off the sign I read on the freeway when I moved here. That "proud home of George W Bush" part wasn't there back then or I would have turned around.

Fuck You Texas (youtube, nsfw)
posted by birdherder at 6:12 PM on January 3, 2008


Tennessee's state motto is "Agriculture and Commerce" which strangely enough is ment as a threat to people not from here. Example: You come any closer and I'll be givin' you a taste of agriculture and commerce!
posted by nola at 6:12 PM on January 3, 2008 [1 favorite]


But I don't think it's really that great for the discussion or our community.

Ok, we won't talk about Texas anymore.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 6:15 PM on January 3, 2008


I got on my cowboy boots, jeans
And Hawaiian shirt, mirrored sunglasses
And a mobile phone
I guess I look like some Port Aransas
Dope dealer that's out on bail
Just trying to get home
Well I ain't in jail and I got me a guitar
Got a little band that's hotter than a rocket
Sometimes we're sloppy
We're always loud, tonight we're just ornery
And locked in the pocket

So screw you, we're from Texas
Screw you, we're from Texas
Screw you, we're from Texas
We're from Texas baby, so screw you

Now I love the USA
And the other states
Ahh, they're OK
Texas is the place I wanna be
And I don't care if I ever go to Delaware anyway
Cause we got Stubbs, and Gruene Hall and Antone's, and John T's
Country Store
We've got Willie and Jacky Jack, Robert Earl, Pat, Cory, Charlie and me
And so many more.

So screw you, we're from Texas
Screw you, we're from Texas
Screw you, we're from Texas
We're from Texas, screw you

Sing it with me--
Screw you, we're from Texas
Screw you, we're from Texas
Screw you, we're from Texas
We're from Texas, screw you!

Now Texas has gotten a bad reputation,
Because of what happened in Dallas and Waco
And our corporations well they are corrupt
And the politicians are swindlers and loco
But when it comes to music my friend
I believe these words are as true as St. John the Revelator's
Our Mr. Vaughan was the best that there ever was
And no band was cooler than the 13th Floor Elevators.

So screw you, we're from Texas
Screw you, we're from Texas
Screw you, we're from Texas
We're from Texas, screw you!

Screw you, we're from Texas
Screw you, we're from Texas
Screw you, we're from Texas
We're from Texas Screw you

Screw you, we're from Texas
Screw you, we're from Texas
Screw you, we're from Texas
We're from Texas Screw you

We're from Texas Screw you...


Ray Wylie Hubbard

posted by nola at 6:15 PM on January 3, 2008 [2 favorites]


Missouri's motto is "The Show-Me State," which is more of a come-on than a threat.
posted by Bookhouse at 6:15 PM on January 3, 2008 [6 favorites]


I stand corrected. I am a transplant from California. I was just going off the sign I read on the freeway when I moved here.

Well, "The Friendly State" is the state's unofficial motto.
posted by grouse at 6:18 PM on January 3, 2008


I spent a week in Houston one day...
posted by RussHy at 6:20 PM on January 3, 2008


The corpse in the library writes "Ooh, is this the Emily Dickinson thread?
"

"I hide myself within my flower,
"CLAP CLAP CLAP CLAP"


I think you're confusing Deep in the Heart of Texas with The Yellow Rose of Texas. Yellow Rose is the Emily Dickinson song, and it doesn't have any hand claps.
posted by mr_roboto at 6:21 PM on January 3, 2008 [2 favorites]


I didn't know what to expect from a state that puts "Drive Friendly" signs on the highway.
posted by RussHy at 6:21 PM on January 3, 2008


then imply that "Don't Mess With Texas" (the successful anti-litter slogan)

It may be successful as an anti-littering slogan, but as a sign it sucks. How do you know that "Don't Mess With Texas" is an anti-littering slogan? Because someone explained it to you. Is there anyone who has instinctively inferred what it meant? It is clever and the reason for it's popularity is probably the double-entendre, but I think it can only really be effective on those who know what it means to begin with.

Or maybe there's a big in-state ad blitz that outsiders don't see that explains it. But to me it's up there with "D.A.R.E. to keep kids off drugs*" for a slogan that's a clever in-joke but confusing to everyone else.

and yes, wfrgms: stop doing that.

* in a funny coincidence I now don't know what D.A.R.E. really stands for since all the Drugs Are Really Excellent stickers have overwritten that in my brain.
posted by Challahtronix at 6:24 PM on January 3, 2008


posted by Kattullus I had a hard time figuring out how to yell out "Curse You, wfrgms!" until I realized that I settled on "Curse You, wəfrəgəms!" Now wouldn't that make for a lovely state motto for Texas? Would look lovely on bumperstickers, belt-buckles, cattle brands and prison garbs.

I was thinking a good slogan might be,

"Don't Be Dumb Like Wfrgms"
posted by fandango_matt at 6:24 PM on January 3, 2008


nola - guess they're implying you'll end up buying the farm.
posted by Abiezer at 6:33 PM on January 3, 2008


I'm confused, Georgia doesn't technically have a motto, but our seal is referred to sometimes as a motto in statutes. It says Constitution, Wisdom, Justice and Moderation Agriculture and Commerce

Eat that Friendship!!
posted by Megafly at 6:37 PM on January 3, 2008


I think the Georgia motto is "What a peach"
posted by nola at 6:40 PM on January 3, 2008


The Washington State Motto is "Alki," a Chinook word meaning "bye-and-bye" or "hope for the future." In other words, "Today sucks. Maybe tomorrow." I'm a native. Explains a lot.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 6:41 PM on January 3, 2008


It may be successful as an anti-littering slogan, but as a sign it sucks. How do you know that "Don't Mess With Texas" is an anti-littering slogan? Because someone explained it to you. Is there anyone who has instinctively inferred what it meant? It is clever and the reason for it's popularity is probably the double-entendre, but I think it can only really be effective on those who know what it means to begin with.

Or maybe there's a big in-state ad blitz that outsiders don't see that explains it. But to me it's up there with "D.A.R.E. to keep kids off drugs*" for a slogan that's a clever in-joke but confusing to everyone else.


It is on roadside signs that say "Dont Mess With Texas" and then lists the fine for littering. At rest areas it is on the trash cans. All of the ads talk about the slogan with an anti-littering message.

And yes there is a big in-state ad blitz from time to time. It would be a waste of tax dollars for Texas to spend money with ads saying not to litter that ran in other states.

I'm sorry you are confused by this. There is no conspiracy. In fact, TxDot does go after people who misuse the trademark for non-anti-littering purposes.
posted by birdherder at 6:42 PM on January 3, 2008 [3 favorites]


As a Texan, let me just arrogantly scuff my boots and spit.
posted by Pants! at 6:44 PM on January 3, 2008 [3 favorites]


Says someone who lives in Houston. Blech.

I ain't claiming Houston is paradise. But I've been to Austin plenty and seen the same problems there I see here and don't see much there that I can't do here. And these days, without much difference in drive time.

I think people tend get a little overexcited when Travis county turns blue every four years.
posted by Cyrano at 6:45 PM on January 3, 2008 [1 favorite]


Don't tread on wfrgms.

Seriously. Don't. Or else.
posted by The World Famous at 6:46 PM on January 3, 2008


I go to Texas for drill, and every now and then the guys will start up with that Texas pride crap. It's like meeting people who think wrestling is real.
posted by atchafalaya at 6:49 PM on January 3, 2008 [1 favorite]


Screw Texas. I hate the whole mindset almost as much as I can't stand "NYC is the capital of the world" or "Only in America."

The only state I hate worse than Texas is Rhode Island. But not by much.
posted by nevercalm at 6:50 PM on January 3, 2008


But it makes them happy atchafalaya, don't pick on them they don't have the sense to know beef ain't barbeque.
posted by nola at 6:52 PM on January 3, 2008


It is real!
posted by RussHy at 6:52 PM on January 3, 2008


Cyrano -- you're right, Austin does have some fucked up traffic and with the tollways and the suburbs has turned into a mini-Houston. They've torn down a lot of what made Austin weird and replaced it with overpriced condos and lofts. But, Austin is still pretty progressive politically which pisses the rest of the state off -- all the time, not just during the presidential election cycle.
posted by birdherder at 6:52 PM on January 3, 2008


THESIS: "Don't Mess With Texas"

ANALYSIS: Anti-littering campaign slogan - often used out of state by young, drunk Texans on road trips - often paired with "hook-em horns" resulting in the mild befuddlement of onlookers.

MATERIAL THREATS: None, really. Outside of a handful of usually unloaded shotguns in pickup-truck gun racks and one wayward non-native village idiot, nothing is really bigger in Texas except for hairdos and cellphone towers. 90% or more of the state is grid-locked into squabbling "ranches" of cattle - or more often parched grasses or scrub forests. Material resources and terrain are mostly featureless but plentiful.

RECOMMENDED ACTIONS: Ignore as usual. When passing through the state - litter with abandon. Everyone else does. Continue program of using 6th Street in Austin to lure artists from points elsewhere in the state, like Denton or Lubbock, selecting the cream of the crop for extradition and further development. The project codenamed "Luby's" proceeds flawlessly. Cardiac health issues are at all time highs throughout the state.
posted by loquacious at 6:55 PM on January 3, 2008 [4 favorites]


Texas! That's where I'm a threat!
posted by iamkimiam at 6:55 PM on January 3, 2008 [1 favorite]


The only state I hate worse than Texas is Rhode Island. But not by much.

You've obviously never been to Florida.
posted by jonmc at 6:55 PM on January 3, 2008 [3 favorites]


I think you're confusing Deep in the Heart of Texas with The Yellow Rose of Texas. Yellow Rose is the Emily Dickinson song, and it doesn't have any hand claps.

Deep in the Heart of Texas works, too. (Heck, you can sing one of those to the tune of the other without much work.) So does Amazing Grace. And the theme to the Beverly Hillbillies.
posted by The corpse in the library at 6:55 PM on January 3, 2008 [1 favorite]


Don't Thread On Mefi.
posted by fandango_matt at 7:01 PM on January 3, 2008 [1 favorite]


And the theme to the Beverly Hillbillies.

Come and listen to a story bout a man named Matt
ran a website where people liked to spat
then one day in the middle of a thread
a guy named wfrgms went and lost his head
(..loony that is, coo-coo go nuts..)


Well the first thing you know grouse calls him out
mechazens in the grey all begin to shout
Said Texas ain't so great, don't you see
so they loaded up the page and complaints is what they see...
(complaining that is, groaning, moaning)

Well now it's time to say goodbye to Matt and all his 'fites
They would like to thank you nuts for clicking on the sites
You're all invited back to this community
To have a heaping helping of online hostility...
(internet style...set a spell..take your pants off)
posted by jonmc at 7:05 PM on January 3, 2008 [10 favorites]


Speaking of state mottos, why does this one remind me of this?
posted by Brak at 7:07 PM on January 3, 2008


wfrgms - it always comes out in my head as Ralph Wiggums (I know the s is superfluous).
posted by caddis at 7:08 PM on January 3, 2008


Hate the sin, love the sinner.
posted by unknowncommand at 7:09 PM on January 3, 2008


Last comment, I swear. What the hell does this mean?
posted by Brak at 7:10 PM on January 3, 2008


But, Austin is still pretty progressive politically which pisses the rest of the state off -- all the time, not just during the presidential election cycle.

Is it all local? I never hear about people being pissed off about what Austin does progressive-wise (but the big, earth destroying oil company I work for is loaded with expats who would vote blue if they could, so maybe that's part of it.) Because I looked up the 2004 election results and there was about a 50,000 vote difference between Kerry and Bush in Travis county. Easily within the margin of error of the UT student body (I went to school in Nacogdoches, and it was a common complaint of the locals during election years how the college students skewed the results. Bigger student-to-local ration there though, obviously.)

There used to be a Mefite who was fond of the phrase: If I owned Hell and Houston, I'd live in Hell and rent out Houston. Said it a number of times. Don't remember who it was, though.
posted by Cyrano at 7:10 PM on January 3, 2008


I'm taking away extra points for overzealous use of the small tag.

Yeah, he's actually taking the trouble to mutter it.

Embarrassingly, I've just discovered that Minnesota's motto is French. Don't mess with l'etoile du nord, or we'll... um... poke you with a croissant.
posted by nanojath at 7:38 PM on January 3, 2008 [2 favorites]


The corpse in the library writes "Deep in the Heart of Texas works, too. (Heck, you can sing one of those to the tune of the other without much work.) "

No way, man. Yellow Rose, Amazing Grace, and E.D. are a line iambic tetrameter followed by a line of iambic trimeter. The first line of Deep in the Heart is a tetrameter, sure, but the second line (the refrain) has seven syllables! And there are no trimeter lines at all. You really need to force that rhythm.
posted by mr_roboto at 7:41 PM on January 3, 2008 [1 favorite]


You know what else originated in Texas?

Astroturf.
posted by Tube at 7:42 PM on January 3, 2008 [3 favorites]


hey - what do you have against rhode island?
posted by lunit at 7:44 PM on January 3, 2008


The unofficial state motto of Minnesota is:

"I'm thinking of heading up to the cabin this weekend, but I got to get them durned snow tires on, and, you know, that's a pain. But then, the pipes gotta be checked, and I already went and bought the ice fishing house, so, you know, I might as well get some use out of it, and, anyway, Doris says if I can catch some crappie she can make a nice beer batter recipe from it, and she makes that good green salad, you know. So I think maybe I'm gonna go, but we'll have to see what Paul Douglas says the weather's gonna be like, because, man, them 10-below days will cut right through you, although it might not be a bad idea if the weather's really cold to take the car out anyways, to make sure the battery is charged, and, if I'm gonna be on them roads anyway, I might as well go up to the cabin. So I guess I'll be getting to them snow tires."

Believe it or not, this actually is a threat.
posted by Astro Zombie at 7:44 PM on January 3, 2008 [39 favorites]


Man, hate Texas I guess. Just don't hate me. I hate people assuming things about me because I am a Texan... it somehow feels like bigotry to me.

That's all I have to say.
posted by Unicorn on the cob at 7:44 PM on January 3, 2008


Your pickup lights, are in our sights-
Don't fucking mess with Texas.
You toss that cup, we'll string you up-
Don't fucking mess with Texas.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 7:53 PM on January 3, 2008 [2 favorites]


Also, blinky text doesn't work there.
posted by pompomtom at 7:55 PM on January 3, 2008


Ok, you're right. I don't hate Rhode Island. Texas just moved up a notch, the fuckers.

And yes jonmc, Florida's up there, for sure. Can't even figure out a ballot.....
posted by nevercalm at 8:01 PM on January 3, 2008


"wəfəragums" as in

Come on wfrgms
I said come on wfrgms!
Everybody to the limit
Who's that? It's to the limit!
Everybody come on wfrgms!
posted by Ambrosia Voyeur at 8:07 PM on January 3, 2008 [7 favorites]


It's ok, wfrgms just hasn't been getting enough sleep lately.
posted by mathowie (staff) at 8:12 PM on January 3, 2008 [8 favorites]


Michigan's erstwhile tourism jingles -- "Say yesssssssssss! to Michigan! Say yes-yes-yes! Say yeeeeeeeeeeeeesssssss!", replaced a few years later with "Yes!, Michigan, the feeling's forever!" -- made it sound like the Paul Janka state.
posted by FelliniBlank at 8:34 PM on January 3, 2008


Everybody come on wfrgms!

Don't come on me, bro.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 8:37 PM on January 3, 2008 [1 favorite]


It's ok, wfrgms just hasn't been getting enough sleep lately.

Yep. He's been distracted by supporting Holden and fundraising for GiveWell!
posted by ericb at 8:41 PM on January 3, 2008


Hey for real now Texas, I know you didn't invent problems and craziness, that's a world wide concern, I got a lot of love for y'all, your state has shown me several large good times and I've wanted to hug as many Texans as I've wanted to punch and on balance that's about as good as it gets.
posted by Divine_Wino at 8:46 PM on January 3, 2008


Meh.
posted by CitrusFreak12 at 8:48 PM on January 3, 2008


Old Don't Mess With Texas commercials.
posted by dog food sugar at 8:50 PM on January 3, 2008


at least your state's motto isn't "will the last one who leaves michigan please turn off the lights?"
posted by pyramid termite at 8:52 PM on January 3, 2008


Don't meth with sexists.

My commonwealth (KY) has "Unbridled Spirit" on its plates now. It makes me think of two things: 1.) unbridled bullshit and 2.) bareback sex.
posted by bonobo at 9:04 PM on January 3, 2008


off topic: So far, no iowa fpp on the blue?

Good job everyone.
posted by empath at 9:11 PM on January 3, 2008


Let's argue about something else

It's not "Drive Friendly", it's "Drive Friendlily". Sure, you can "Think Different" and "Think Pizza" and "Think Differently", but you can't "Drive Friendly", only friendlily.
posted by null terminated at 9:15 PM on January 3, 2008


"The Yellow Rose of Texas," like a lot of traditional songs, uses ballad meter; so did Emily Dickinson, and that's why you can sing most of her poetry to that tune. Also, the "What the Thunder Said" section of The Waste Land sounds like a Dr. Seuss book.
posted by cobra libre at 9:19 PM on January 3, 2008


*Bracing for discovery of my repeated line about Michigan: "What do you expect from a state that is shaped like a bitch-slap?"*
posted by The Deej at 9:19 PM on January 3, 2008 [1 favorite]


Blind Lemon Jefferson
Jack Teagarden
Bob Wills
Aaron "T-Bone" Walker
Clarence "Gatemouth" Brown
Sam "Lightnin'" Hopkins
Willie Nelson
Jimmie Vaughn
Stevie Ray Vaughan
Luann Barton
"Long Tall" Marcia Ball
Billy Gibbons
Robert Earl Keen
Lyle Lovett
etc., etc. etc.
posted by timeistight at 9:26 PM on January 3, 2008


Billy Gibbons
Dimebag Darrell
Scarface
Bushwick Bill
etc, etc..

(I'm here to help)
posted by jonmc at 9:28 PM on January 3, 2008


Hell, as long as we're talking about Texas, I'd like to share the state song with y'all. It was drilled into us as young Texan schoolchildren, and whenever I have occasion to relate the lyrics to friends they find the egotistical bombast positively side-splitting. There are other verses, but this is what we had to sing in elementary school. Regularly.

Texas, Our Texas, all hail the mighty state!
Texas, Our Texas, so wonderful so great!
Boldest and grandest, withstanding ev'ry test
Oh empire wide and glorious, you stand supremely blest.

God bless you Texas, and keep you brave and strong,
That you may grow in pow'r and worth, throughout the ages long.
God bless you Texas, and keep you brave and strong,
That you may grow in pow'r and worth, throughout the ages long.

posted by mumkin at 9:32 PM on January 3, 2008


One day I'm going to show up at work naked.

And when people ask me about it, I'll say, "Never mind me, I'm just having a naked dream. Carry on."

And they'll totally understand. Because hey, we've all had those dreams.
posted by Afroblanco at 9:51 PM on January 3, 2008 [1 favorite]


Last comment, I swear. What the hell does this mean?

My first guess would be, "Fat dudes, lady cops," which I think describes certain parts of our fair state very well (I'm looking at you, western Maryland).

I don't speak latin, though, so no promises.
posted by god hates math at 9:52 PM on January 3, 2008 [4 favorites]


Ernest Tubb
Jimmie Dale Gilmore
Terry Allen
David Allen Coe
Don Walser (AKA pavarotti of the plains)
town van zahnt

(I got your back)
posted by nola at 9:54 PM on January 3, 2008


Official Indiana State Motto: The Crossroads of America
Implied Indiana State Motto: What, leaving so soon?
Unofficial Indiana State Motto: Don't mess with Texas.
posted by logicpunk at 9:55 PM on January 3, 2008


^Obscure Strongbad reference for the freakin' win! *applauds*
posted by Quidam at 9:58 PM on January 3, 2008


The only state I hate worse than Texas is Rhode Island. But not by much.

DON'T MESS WITH LITTLE RHODY.

I live in Rhode Island, and I totally think of it as the retarded nephew of the other forty-nine states, but that's also why I love it. Poor retarded Rhode Island, put a pig in its trousers again.

Our official state motto is "HOPE," but the unofficial motto is definitely "Whatta you, a asshole?" (Note: That is not a typo.)
posted by grapefruitmoon at 10:03 PM on January 3, 2008 [1 favorite]


Well that's obnoxious.
posted by cortex (staff) at 10:05 PM on January 3, 2008 [1 favorite]


Clean up on aisle 6
posted by nola at 10:07 PM on January 3, 2008


Michigan's "If you seek a pleasant peninsula, look around you," has always brought to mind the rejoinder, "Dude, I said a pleasant peninsula."

Also, unofficial motto: "Fuck Ohio."
posted by klangklangston at 10:24 PM on January 3, 2008 [1 favorite]


Previous list of swell Texans
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 10:28 PM on January 3, 2008


I'd like this one to be the leading Dem's future accomplishment:

Taxed Stetson Whims

(that doesn't excuse the other 999)
posted by maryh at 10:43 PM on January 3, 2008


I hate people who hate Texas for the wrong reasons.
posted by fleacircus at 10:47 PM on January 3, 2008


maryh: "(that doesn't excuse the other 999)"

Not even "Ad Them Sexist Towns"?

Aaaaw.
posted by Effigy2000 at 11:15 PM on January 3, 2008


Effigy2000: once I thought it would be cool to post a bunch of peace treaty text into a thread that was about to get deleted. Guess what happened to me?
posted by Meatbomb at 11:17 PM on January 3, 2008 [1 favorite]


Man, I am tired of defending my state from people. Maybe I'm just touchy (because I'm from Texas right?) but it seems like when people from other states do dumb shit, everyone stands around and says "wow, what an idiot." But when Texans do dumb shit, people take it as an invitation to guffaw and bring out the tired old stereotypes. It gets kind of old, you know? And you can't even commiserate with the people from Ohio who have to patiently tell people that not *all* of their rivers catch fire and actually that was a pretty long time ago, or the people from New York who have to remind people not everyone who lives there is an asshole. Or the people from Massachusetts or California or New Jersey or whatever. Because half the people making fun of Texas probably come from those states. Awesome. And then people say that Texans bring it on ourselves, that we invite it by being proud of our state. Well, Texas has some cool things. It has an interesting history, or at least a moderately unique one. It's kind of pretty here, it's pretty big, I don't know. I like it pretty well. And every time someone says Huh huh huh Texas lol, I want to protect it more. And then I come across as a Big Texas Person, which I am not. So, in conclusion, fuck y'all, I'm tired of this shit.
posted by MadamM at 11:25 PM on January 3, 2008 [17 favorites]


"If you seek a pleasant peninsula, look around you,"

That's insane. I think all state mottos should be written in a style befitting a frivolous upper class gentleman contemporary with the Victorian era.

(I realize it's translated from Latin (Si quaeris peninsulam amoenam, circum spice, apparently)

Texas new motto: "Those who upon Texas mess, desist, or face grave consequences!"
posted by delmoi at 11:31 PM on January 3, 2008 [2 favorites]


I hate people who hate Texas for the wrong reasons.

Yeah? Well, I hate Texas for its statewide love affair with atonal chamber music, its obsession with spats, its unadorned, utilitarian igloos. Also I hate that Texans have no word for "blue" or "crunk."

I suppose you hate me too, hater.
posted by maryh at 11:31 PM on January 3, 2008 [11 favorites]


I hate Texas and America for all the right reasons.

Yes, I am messing with you.

You wanna make somethin' of it?
posted by blacklite at 11:40 PM on January 3, 2008


Effigy2000, I kind of liked "Handsomest Sex Twit" too, but that doesn't seem specifically Texan.
posted by maryh at 11:55 PM on January 3, 2008


Texas is an outrage when your husband is dead
Texas is an outrage when they pick up his head
Texas is the reason that the president's dead
You gotta suck, suck, Jackie suck
posted by Sailormom at 12:04 AM on January 4, 2008


But does he hate LA?
posted by miss lynnster at 12:08 AM on January 4, 2008


Well, I'm really late to the thread here, but I thought I should add a reply here since I was quoted in the first few comments.

I've always hated the "look at what an ignorant fuckhole Texas is" posts. I started off by responding negatively to those threads, telling various people to go fuck themselves/eat a dick/etc. I eventually decided to disregard all Texas-related posts not only because of the inevitable shit-on-Texas responses but also the the agreement of others here via favorites on those comments.

Here's the deal. I come from a long lineage of Liberal, Latino Texan natives. We do a lot of good in this state and it really sucks to see people here broadly swipe everyone here as ignorant rednecks. Believe it or not, there is a strong democratic presence here. Did you know there are prominent attorneys fighting the deportation of illegal immigrants here? I doubt it. Did you know that the democrats recently won control of the Dallas District Attorneys Office? I doubt it.

We're trying to do as well as we can and we're trying hard. That's why your swipes at Texas are so insulting. To the good ones here it feels like you're talking down to us. Like we're children that need to learn a lesson.

I hope you can see why I find the typical Texas response so offensive.
posted by puke & cry at 12:17 AM on January 4, 2008 [16 favorites]


proud citizen of oregon, the beaver state, here to tell you our fur-bearing mammals will stack up with any in the union.
posted by bruce at 12:44 AM on January 4, 2008


I only hate Texas because I heard a white middle aged fat man in a cowboy hat call someone a raghead without my leaving the airport. Too bad it's smack-dab between us Californians and the South. We could make such beautiful meals without that pile of barbecue in the middle.

Texas: Dry-Humped by Oklahoma!
posted by Ambrosia Voyeur at 12:56 AM on January 4, 2008


Ha ha ha, Texas has a commercial littering campaign: Don’t mess with Texas” which always forges the 500 dollar potential fine to my brain…and so we have a member littering comment space with it too, damn my brain.
posted by thomcatspike at 12:57 AM on January 4, 2008


Oh miss lynnster, you must know that people who love LA deeply also hate LA with the same depth. And as far as regional threats go, we Californians have a damned BEAR on our state flag. Bears trump monkeys, bears trump armed 5 yr olds, bears trump the jealous gods of men. 'Californian' is the granfaloon to beat, Texan poseurs!
posted by maryh at 1:29 AM on January 4, 2008 [1 favorite]


California's OFFICIAL state motto is a vacuum cleaner.

And it makes me proud.
posted by wendell at 1:38 AM on January 4, 2008


Wha..? Action Vacuums has that kind of pull? (Or suck, depending on your pov.) At least it's not "Dyson! I'm bagless!"
posted by maryh at 1:52 AM on January 4, 2008


Wow. He really loves that joke.
posted by EatTheWeak at 3:25 AM on January 4, 2008


Bears trump monkeys, bears trump armed 5 yr olds, bears trump the jealous gods of men.

Or they would, if there were any of them left.

Hey, I may have lived a few decades in Texas, but I was born in California, so I still lay claim to, "I keed, I keed..." rights.
posted by Cyrano at 4:15 AM on January 4, 2008


Don't Fuck With Florida.
posted by saladin at 4:49 AM on January 4, 2008 [1 favorite]


Effigy2000, we can all get those 1000 anagrams from the anagram-server, please don't break MeTa with your text dumps in the future.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 4:53 AM on January 4, 2008


"My commonwealth (KY) has "Unbridled Spirit" on its plates now. It makes me think of two things: 1.) unbridled bullshit and 2.) bareback sex.

posted by bonobo


Well, with that username pretty much everything would make you think of bareback sex, I'd guess.
posted by mr_crash_davis at 6:25 AM on January 4, 2008


Honor the Texas flag - I pledge allegiance to thee.
Texas: one and indivisible.
posted by dirtdirt at 6:36 AM on January 4, 2008


I was thinking a good slogan might be,
"Don't Be Dumb Like Wfrgms"


Or a good song:

Do not be dumb, Like Wfrgms
CLAP CLAP CLAP CLAP
Posting in threads on Texas
posted by PeterMcDermott at 6:36 AM on January 4, 2008 [1 favorite]


Recently visited Washington state, and my wife and I were amused by the anti-littering campaign there: LITTER AND IT WILL HURT, which seems a lot more threatening than Texas' slogan.

When we dropped the rental car off and were getting shuttled back to the Seattle airport, the driver asked where we were from. Texas, we replied. He then immediately assumed we were stereotypical Texans and went off on how great guns were, how stupid it was that Washington didn't allow prayer in schools, and the evils of illegal immigrants. Thanks for pigeon-holing us, asshole!
posted by picea at 6:37 AM on January 4, 2008


And you can't even commiserate with the people from Ohio who have to patiently tell people that not *all* of their rivers catch fire

that's true - the ones clogged up with dead fish don't have enough oxygen to burn
posted by pyramid termite at 7:04 AM on January 4, 2008


Texas' threat is better than Quebec's passive-agressive bitterness: "Je me souviens".

Fuck - let it go Quebec. That bitterness isn't getting you anywhere.
posted by GuyZero at 7:04 AM on January 4, 2008 [2 favorites]


It's good to see I'm not the only one who feels like the pitchforks, flames and slack-jawed yokel jokes and gun references are aimed at me... (holds hands with Puke & Cry and MadamM)

Seriously though, would you have us "normal folks" move away, and go to somewhere like San Francisco, Portland, or anywhere in Canada, where there are lots of people just like us?

Some of us Texans are trying to infiltrate and change the regime from within. Don't discourage us from trying to slowly steer this giant state towards sanity, because some days, I feel like I'm hanging on by a thread.

Even if my vote feels like it doesn't count here, I'm going to fervently vote Democrat until I just can't find the strength any more. Then I'm moving out of the country.
posted by Unicorn on the cob at 7:27 AM on January 4, 2008 [3 favorites]


Hey there MeFite, stuck in a controversial thread, can't wait to flamebait? Texas too crowded, and you're looking to put your unique flavor of snark? Look no further than gool ol' Virginia!

You want fightin' words? Brutus said "Sic Semper Tyrannus" after killing the shit out of Caeser, and we made it our state motto, plus even our flag is a depiction of a dude getting his shit totally ruined. Shit, our flag might as well be the scene from Friday of Chris Tucker yelling "You got knocked the FUCK OUT man!"

When it comes to culture, we're like the Neopolitan Ice Cream of peoples to complain about! Not only do we have two flavors of redneck (Farmer and Mountain folk), we have government stiffs and obscenely rich fucks too! We have our fair share of gang violence as well, but admittedly we import that from DC.

Plus, most of your favorite Republican jerks live here; We're home of George "Macaca" Allen, and Newt Gingrich shopped at the Grocery Store I used to work at, to name a few. We're where most of them keep their fancy homes that won't fit in DC (well, us and southern Maryland, but screw them.)

Thread about gun violence? Two words: Virginia Tech.

Let Virginia be YOUR strawman in 2008!
posted by Uther Bentrazor at 7:32 AM on January 4, 2008 [7 favorites]


Texas: Despite what Steve Miller says, our state doesn't rhyme with "facts is" "justice" or "taxes."
posted by SpiffyRob at 7:42 AM on January 4, 2008 [5 favorites]


It is on roadside signs that say "Dont Mess With Texas" and then lists the fine for littering. At rest areas it is on the trash cans. All of the ads talk about the slogan with an anti-littering message.

And yes there is a big in-state ad blitz from time to time. It would be a waste of tax dollars for Texas to spend money with ads saying not to litter that ran in other states.

I'm sorry you are confused by this. There is no conspiracy. In fact, TxDot does go after people who misuse the trademark for non-anti-littering purposes.

those signs are far outnumbered by everything else that just has the slogan; when I drove through years ago every road sign that was "folded up" because it was not in use (the bottom half folds up to cover the top half of the sign) had the plain "Don't Mess With Texas" sticker on it.

I am not confused and I am not claiming there's a conspiracy. I'm claiming that, as you point out, until you see a trash can at a rest stop , a local TV commercial, or a road sign on a highway, you don't know what it means. You are far more likely to see "Don't Mess with Texas" (with no context or explanation) stickers/shirts/shot glasses everywhere else. Considering it's ubiquity seeing the sticker itself on a trash can doesn't mean much.

Why do you think the slogan/campaign is so successful? Isn't it because it plays off the stereotype? Do you really think Texans are appropriating the slogan because they really hate litter?

Here's a "Don't Mess with Texas" signed pic of Nolan Ryan trying to convince a litterer to pick up the piece of lumber he just dropped.
posted by Challahtronix at 7:46 AM on January 4, 2008 [1 favorite]


I messed with Texas once.

Texas bit me.

Who the fuck names their dog 'Texas' anyway?
posted by quin at 8:10 AM on January 4, 2008


all i have to say is that if god had intended texans to ski, he would have made mountains in texas.
posted by lester's sock puppet at 8:42 AM on January 4, 2008 [1 favorite]


Don't fuck with Fuxas.
posted by breezeway at 8:43 AM on January 4, 2008


Holy shit! Nolan Ryan. Holy shit! a talking muffin.
posted by taliaferro at 8:53 AM on January 4, 2008 [1 favorite]


I'll say the same thing here I said in the "Talking about Bush = all Americans think they are superior to the rest of the world" MeTa thread.

Yes, [Texas / America] has some problems.

Yes, [Texas / America] is not perfect.

Yes, a lot of what happens in [Texas / America] affects the rest of the [country / world] negatively.

Yes, [Texans / Americans] know this; we are reminded on a daily basis. We see the transgressions first-hand, up close and personal. They affect us directly; it's not just slagbait on the internet, for us.

But if you think that the best way to express your frustration at [Texas / America] is by slagging on MeFites, or otherwise being hateful or stereotypical toward MeFites, even those who openly agree with you on the topic at hand, you are just making noise. Because we know, remember?

And we are often embarrassed by the actions of our [state / federal] government, and by our neighbors and fellow [Texans / Americans]. Because, for the most part, the [Texans / Americans] at MetaFilter are the good guys -- the exceptions to the cousin-fucking, immigrant-beating, science-denying, Bush-loving rule. So when you beat up on us, you're just beating up on the sympathetic and thinking people who would do good and change things if given the chance.

And if you need to do that because it just feels good, or because you can't control yourself, or muster the ability to be thoughtful when you castigate, I guess that's fine -- we're [Texans / Americans], and we do have thick skins and bull heads, and we'll roll with it.

Just don't forget that when you beat up on all [Texans / Americans] at MetaFilter, you're not making change, really. You're just making MeFites feel defensive or sad or angry about where they live. It's low-hanging fruit, it's unbecoming... and sometimes, it does feel like bigotry.
posted by pineapple at 9:03 AM on January 4, 2008 [10 favorites]


Man, I am tired of defending my state from people.

Then don't. A perfectly good reply to "Texas is full of ignorant thugs" is to chuckle or sigh and say "Yeah, the ignorant thugs that give it a bad name are hard to live with for the normal people there." Follow that with a "...but we're not all ignorant thugs, you know..." if you want.

The first step, in an AA "admit you have a problem" sense, is to admit that even if you're not an ignorant fucktard, Texas politics is dominated by mean-spirited fucktards and the ignorant fucktards who vote for them.

Even if my vote feels like it doesn't count here, I'm going to fervently vote Democrat until I just can't find the strength any more.

You're never going to change anything. Every year that you stay, three more horrible people who don't care about anything except pretending that sex doesn't exist and keeping their property values up will move to Plano or The Colony from Michigan or Ohio or some other chunk of Yankeeland.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 9:10 AM on January 4, 2008 [1 favorite]


all i have to say is that if god had intended texans to ski, he would have made mountains in texas.

Oh, but God did intend Texans to ski. That's why we used to own Colorado.
posted by pineapple at 9:12 AM on January 4, 2008


Uther Bentrazor - Is that guy holding a big metal cock in the Virginia flag?
posted by Artw at 9:30 AM on January 4, 2008


The first step, in an AA "admit you have a problem" sense, is to admit that even if you're not an ignorant fucktard, Texas politics is dominated by mean-spirited fucktards and the ignorant fucktards who vote for them.

The first step, in an AA "admit you have a problem" sense, would be to constantly acknowledge in the relevant discussions when your particular flavor of hatred is informed by having lived in the state, and violently hating and loudly renouncing every minute of your experience.

A perfectly good reply to "Texas is full of ignorant thugs" is to chuckle or sigh and say "Yeah, the ignorant thugs that give it a bad name are hard to live with for the normal people there." Follow that with a "...but we're not all ignorant thugs, you know..." if you want.

Sure, that works. But even better would be if the original statement was "Some Texans are ignorant thugs" -- so that the reasonable people didn't have to always bring a position of defense and constantly be conjuring the appropriately apologetic, chuckly reply.

It just gets tiresome, is all we're saying. A long time ago, in another place, someone pointed out, thoughtfully and without attacking, that when Americans belittle Canada, it can be frustrating for Canadians, and it usually comes off as thoughtless and rude. Her statement gave pause to a lot of people who'd had little occasion to consider how it felt from the other side; now, I try to choose my words very carefully, when expressing generalizations online about other countries and places.

Is that too much to ask of users here? If it is, then by all means, keep on keepin' on.
posted by pineapple at 9:32 AM on January 4, 2008 [3 favorites]


So do we have to say "Texas, by which i mean the stae of texas, and not all the individual people of texas, because some of them do not actually agree with or partake in this activity, executes a whole lot of people often in quite questionable cases"? Because that's dumb. Can we come up with some kind of acronym or something instead?
posted by Artw at 9:44 AM on January 4, 2008


do we have to say "Texas, by which i mean the stae of texas, and not all the individual people of texas, because some of them do not actually agree with or partake in this activity, executes a whole lot of people often in quite questionable cases"?

I wish you had read my original post. It's at the top.
posted by grouse at 9:46 AM on January 4, 2008


So do we have to say "Texas, by which i mean the stae of texas, and not all the individual people of texas, because some of them do not actually agree with or partake in this activity, executes a whole lot of people often in quite questionable cases"? Because that's dumb.

Only if, in your mind, a factual statement like "The State of Texas executes a lot of people in questionable cases" is somehow slagging on Texas as an entire group of citizens.

It's really more of the "Texans are ignorant fucktards" statements that could stand a re-thinking.
posted by pineapple at 9:52 AM on January 4, 2008 [2 favorites]


The terms of the discussion appear to have expanded since then.
posted by Artw at 9:52 AM on January 4, 2008


That's insane. I think all state mottos should be written in a style befitting a frivolous upper class gentleman contemporary with the Victorian era.

Indiana: Here doth the majestic byways of the realm converge.

(That's for our official motto. Now I just gotta work on our unofficial one, "The northernmost southern state.")
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 9:54 AM on January 4, 2008


Aw, you guys. I almost feel bad for old wghbvgr or whatever his name is. When he came up with that line a few years back, he chuckled. Then he chuckled some more. "That," he thought to himself, "is funny. That is really fucking funny! That is the funniest thing I've come up with in, like, forever! Holy crap! Threat! State motto! Unofficial! Funny!"

Proud, he dropped it whenever the topic of Texas came up in conversation, invariably to fairly positive response. Oh, nobody fell about guffawing, but really, W.D.Y.E.F.A.S.W.U.M.I.A.T. (as he'd abbreviated it on the index card he kept with him at all times so he wouldn't fuck it up) isn't a side-splitter. It's subtle wit; a bon mot, if you'll allow.

Pleased with his creation's reception thus far, he bode his time until he could present it to a larger audience. Making the rounds of his preferred web forums, he eagerly and thoroughly checked each thread for mention of some crazy shit that'd recently gone down in the Lone Star State. Days passed and became weeks. "Come on, come on," he inwardly seethed, "the fuse has been lit, and this bombs got to blow."

And then: there. There! On popular community weblog Metafilter on September 27, 2007; there it was. "In the Texas Legislature you can pass laws using persuasion...or just pressing other members' buttons before they come back from the washroom." Sure, it was just a frowned-on single-link Youtube post. Okay, so the relevance was a bit thin. It mattered not a whit: the time was at hand.

wfrbwghx's hands trembled as he typed. And then it was done. Reading over what he'd written several times, he was eventually certain that he'd gotten it exactly right. Everything looked good in preview. Hardly able to contain himself, he hit Post Comment.

He tried to go on about his day, but how could he? Time and time again he was called back to the computer, refreshing and re-refreshing the thread in search of confirmation of his comedic acumen. Soon and sure enough, his comment was picked as a favorite by another member of the site. And then again. And again, and again, and again, and...that was it. Five "favorites".

wvvtbfxbxrx was overjoyed. Validation was his. This, however, was only the beginning. If the world had thrilled at the first appearance of his finest work to date, just imagine their delight at its second showing! He'd have to downplay it this time, just sort of sneak it in there. He imagined it almost being more of a reference to that first, glorious unveiling than a retread of the same material. And so when, a few months later, opportunity presented itself again, he smiled calmly, entered the HTML code for small text, and spoke.

Only one favorite this time. This he found curious. A little unsettling, perhaps. But no matter. There would be chances aplenty to share this small, precious gift. The internet's a big place, after all. Bigger, even, than FUCKING TEXAS WHOSE STATE MOTTO IS A FUCKING THREAT HAHAHAHAHA OMFG STFU.
posted by 2or3whiskeysodas at 10:14 AM on January 4, 2008 [26 favorites]


Uther Bentrazor - Is that guy holding a big metal cock in the Virginia flag?
posted by Artw at 9:30 AM on January 4 [+] [!]


Well, they say it's a large dagger, but I think we both know the truth.

But even better, that "guy" is actually a lady (Virtus), showing off her tit!

From Wikipedia: Virginia's Virtus is a figure of peace, standing in a pose which indicates a battle already won. She rests on her long spear, its point turned downward to the ground. Her other weapon, a parazonium, is sheathed; it is the sword of authority rather than that of combat. Virtus is typically shown with a bare left breast; this is commonly recognized as the only use of nudity among the seals of the U.S. states.

Heavily armed naked chicks who just fucked a dude up. Beat that, Texas!
posted by Uther Bentrazor at 10:42 AM on January 4, 2008 [1 favorite]


The seal of Texas appears to be Christmas themed.
posted by Artw at 10:48 AM on January 4, 2008


lol at all the morons who thought "Dont' Mess with Texas" was anything other than an anti-littering slogan. Making claims about something when you are ignorant of the truth is funny. Kind of like the guy who said there were no mountains in Texas. Oops.

I'll take "Ignorant Assumptions" for $800 please, Alex.
posted by dios at 12:33 PM on January 4, 2008


Isn't it because it plays off the stereotype? Do you really think Texans are appropriating the slogan because they really hate litter?

"Don't Mess Up Texas" versus "Don't Mess With Texas". A simple prepositional change would have destroyed the unspoken double meaning.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 12:37 PM on January 4, 2008


Any place that produces a Janis Joplin and a Stevie Ray Vaughan can't be all bad.







Probably
posted by Kirth Gerson at 1:05 PM on January 4, 2008


And the California flag has a bear. Not a teddy bear. A big, brown, Stephen Colbert-hating, Conan O'Brien-fighting, ill-fitting hat NOT-wearing bear. Plus a red star for all the Commies. And the word "Republic" for the Republicans. And our state seal has a fully-clothed (although it looks like she's wearing a mesh top) "armed chick" who is supposed to be Minerva, Goddess of Wisdom (Wisdom is important, but still carry a spear), plus a guy digging a hole with a pickaxe (not too wise, he should use a shovel) and a bunch of boats barely avoiding running into each other in the bay. What does it say about California? Not much.
posted by wendell at 1:21 PM on January 4, 2008 [2 favorites]


So it's agreed: Texas is awful and should be nuked from sapce, but certain Texans are OK. Right? Right?
posted by Mister_A at 1:24 PM on January 4, 2008


bruce: proud citizen of oregon, the beaver state, here to tell you our fur-bearing mammals will stack up with any in the union.

You should be glad you specified "in the union", because our Canadian beavers would clean up against your puny Oregon brigade if you'd left that unqualified.
posted by ssg at 1:30 PM on January 4, 2008 [1 favorite]


Texas is awful and should be nuked from sapce

It's the only way to be srue
posted by cortex (staff) at 1:31 PM on January 4, 2008 [4 favorites]


Question to you statisticians: Is this the longest callout thread ever in which the subject didn't show up to defend him/herself (and not because they were banned, as far as we know)?
posted by evilcolonel at 1:44 PM on January 4, 2008


And the California flag has a bear.

An extinct bear.
posted by grouse at 1:50 PM on January 4, 2008


An extinct bear.

Pshaw. It was only a sub-species of the grizzly.

Besides, it had a nasty habit of eating the white folk that were oppressing the Indians.
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 2:37 PM on January 4, 2008


My commonwealth (KY) has "Unbridled Spirit" on its plates now. It makes me think of two things: 1.) unbridled bullshit and 2.) bareback sex.

Look, we've been in therapy for years over that whole "united we stand, divided we fall" crap. It's just going to take a while to construct a new vision of ourselves as independent and strong and whole and we're taking baby steps and trying to forget about that whole war last time anyone tried to leave. We can't spend all our time obsessing over getting our affirmation exactly, precisely perfect, because...because....it's important to concentrate on going forward now and even if we struggle to stay on our feet at least this way we don't have to stand with those people and their damned stupid, selfish spending and their fucking tacky museum.

Now where's the whiskey? I need another drink.
posted by dilettante at 4:14 PM on January 4, 2008


Sure, that works. But even better would be if the original statement was "Some Texans are ignorant thugs" -

When you qualify to such a degree by saying "some" before every critical comment you make you wind up saying nothing. Because: some of X is a quality of every where and applies to everything.

And I think the issue is in the case of Texas that it sure appears to the outsider (given all this quantifiable evidence, anecdotal and factual) that most Texans are "ignorant thugs." Not just some.

Though, in the political sense, I personally wouldn't use "thugs" but I certainly may use "ignorant" as the facts could bear that out in the social awareness sense.

So. How do you point to a place where there are more "problem" people than not and identify the reality if you can't risk offending a minority?
posted by tkchrist at 4:30 PM on January 4, 2008


it sure appears to the outsider (given all this quantifiable evidence, anecdotal and factual) that most Texans are "ignorant thugs." Not just some.

I don't think there really is such evidence. I think you are taking evidence of some Texans being ignorant thugs and applying it to all of them.

This is the sort of bigotry I object to.
posted by grouse at 4:36 PM on January 4, 2008


How do you point to a place where there are more "problem" people than not and identify the reality if you can't risk offending a minority?

You are asking how to make offensive (and wrong) statements without offending the people it is offensive to. The answer: you can't.
posted by grouse at 4:41 PM on January 4, 2008 [1 favorite]


I'm also stunned that no one has bothered to point out (unless I've missed it--please point it out if I have) the simple fact that "Don't mess with Texas" isn't even actually, y'know, a threat.
posted by 2or3whiskeysodas at 4:43 PM on January 4, 2008


Most people in most places are just people. If you've been around a bit and spent time around people, this shouldn't be a surprising idea.

Some Texans are ignorant thugs. Some Oregonians are tree-hugging trustafarians. Etc. Most folks are just folks.
posted by cortex (staff) at 4:43 PM on January 4, 2008


Well, 2or3whiskeysodas, this is the fifth thread where this has been discussed, and I believe it was first pointed out that "Don't mess with Texas" isn't a threat in the first one.
posted by grouse at 4:49 PM on January 4, 2008


I don't think there really is such evidence. I think you are taking evidence of some Texans being ignorant thugs and applying it to all of them.

Exactly. I find it very telling that a good chunk of the blue-staters here would rather chop off their left hand then even hint at a remotely sexist or homophobic or racist remark, but they have no problem sweeping some 22 Million people under the same rug just because they happen to share a common border area.

Dallas, Austin and Houston all have thriving gay scenes (San Antonio may too, I'm just not sure). Dallas County is every bit as blue right now (at least on a local seat level) as Travis County.

A lot of the folks here railing against Texas haven't been there. It's eerily close to the conservatives that hail NYC or Seattle or Portland or SFO as liberal havens where they want to expose your children to pot brownies from the age of four and have orgies in front of their pre-pubescent kids and Fuck France, what do they have to offer that I can't find in the Good Ol' USA? And really, it's quite unbecoming.

But fuck it. If any of you all that haven't ever been here want to come to Dallas and see what it has to offer, I'm more than willing to be your tour-guide. We've got a guest-bed. Come on down. Live it for a little bit.

I'm not saying it's the best place in the world, but it's where I live, and I'm okay with that, even as a bleeding-heart liberal. Put the hackles down, folks.
posted by Ufez Jones at 4:55 PM on January 4, 2008 [7 favorites]


Most people in most places are just people. If you've been around a bit and spent time around people, this shouldn't be a surprising idea.

This bears repeating. I don't want to hug most people, but I don't want to judge them either.
posted by Ufez Jones at 5:00 PM on January 4, 2008


I don't think there really is such evidence.

In the political sense I we can see that there is. The post about executions is one example. You telling me there is 55% of Texas opposed to the death penalty? Or 55% opposed to a constitutional ban on gay marriage? Demonstrate that and consider my point of view substantially changed.
posted by tkchrist at 5:03 PM on January 4, 2008


Ufez Jones I lived in Texas. My sister was born there.
posted by tkchrist at 5:05 PM on January 4, 2008


I once had a marvelous lost weekend in Dallas involving ignorant, thuggish amounts of mezcal, and I have universally loved every Texan I have ever met in person. But I don't assume that represents Texas any better than the clichés I see on TV and in the movies (or in the Whitehouse). As for how to talk about the majority of [x] who statistically are known to [y] without being called a bigot - the answer is very, very carefully, and only if absolutely necessary.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 5:09 PM on January 4, 2008


tkchrist - By that definition, all red states would qualify as ignorant and thuggish. Feel free to make that argument, but then why bother to piss on Texas, specifically?
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 5:12 PM on January 4, 2008


Someone once told me Western Australia's state motto used to be "State of Excitement" which I have a hard time believing.
posted by ponystyle at 5:12 PM on January 4, 2008


Most people in most places are just people. If you've been around a bit and spent time around people, this shouldn't be a surprising idea.

Yeah just folks.

That's bullshit. Empty aphorism.

If your saying most people are "basically good" well... I guess. I suppose most people...let's say 80% will tend to always want to be compassionate and kind when they have an immediate opportunity. A small minority are truly bad actors motivated to do evil deeds. I don't think anybody is accusing Texans of all being EVIL.

MOST people on this planet are not very bright and are somewhat lazy. Sorry. But if you have been around you would also know this to be true. I have lived in 4 different countries. I grew up overseas. I have traveled through most of the continents of this world. People may be kind face to face but they are also easily misled.

The net result is "birds of a feather." It's no accident there were 4000 White Supremacists in Hayden Lake Idaho. They did not spontaneously evolve there.

People go to where their values are best reflected. And right now there are populations concentrated in various distinct areas of the US (and the world) that share some very fucked up ideas.

Do ALL people within an arbitrary border share these identical notions? No. Of course not.

But sometimes it's important to show that that is a distinction without a difference. In terms of political reality.

It's why one Texas poster called Austin the "Green Zone" of Texas. Because there were more of the "other" surrounding them. While I agree being mean to every Texan is silly but by the same token let's stop pretending it's just "some"bad people like that is a minority.
posted by tkchrist at 5:22 PM on January 4, 2008


Feel free to make that argument, but then why bother to piss on Texas, specifically?

Who says I am? I'm not. I think pretty much all of "Jesusland" (just for the sake of convenience so you know where I mean) is going to be a huge problem for the country in 10 years. Even more than now. And I think we all know that's true.
posted by tkchrist at 5:24 PM on January 4, 2008


You telling me there is 55% of Texas opposed to the death penalty? Or 55% opposed to a constitutional ban on gay marriage? Demonstrate that and consider my point of view substantially changed.

I can't, and that's getting dangerously close to a straw-man argument. Does WA-state have legalized gay marriage?

Ufez Jones I lived in Texas. My sister was born there.

Fair enough. I hope you don't think I was singling you out, 'cos I wasn't. I've posted elsewhere on this very topic. It's more of a rant that has been building for a while.

I know it's all fun and games to poke at certain people over the webs, but I've spent significant time in various places (including Portland, Seattle, Vancouver, San Francisco, London, Rome, Honduras, Mexico, etc. etc.) and it really boils down to the fact that most people, most places care more about making ends meet and watching the train-wreck of Britney's little sister, for example. People in various places around the globe are fascinated by puerile celebrity pig-shit and their own lives.

Humans are humans, and unfortunately, they act as such. The sooner this was accepted, the better I was. I won't vouch for anybody, regardless of location, but myself.
posted by Ufez Jones at 5:30 PM on January 4, 2008


Does WA-state have legalized gay marriage?

No. But most of Washington doesn't support a constitutional BAN.
posted by tkchrist at 5:35 PM on January 4, 2008


That's bullshit. Empty aphorism.

No, actually, that's plain goddam fact. You can have as much of a grudge as you want against this or that giant swath of people you don't know, but there's a hell of a lot more that two random people in this country (or on this planet) have in common than there is difference. Declaring that a whole state, for example, can get fucked because you don't like some of the cultural differences is pretty weird stuff.
posted by cortex (staff) at 5:37 PM on January 4, 2008 [5 favorites]


Humans are humans, and unfortunately, they act as such. The sooner this was accepted, the better I was. I won't vouch for anybody, regardless of location, but myself.

I Agree. And I don''t think most individuals are "bad." In fact one on one my personal experiences have left me far from cynical. But it's in the aggregate. "People." Once they form political communities that you see the nasty shit surface.
posted by tkchrist at 5:38 PM on January 4, 2008 [1 favorite]


Declaring that a whole state, for example, can get fucked because you don't like some of the cultural differences is pretty weird stuff.

And that is something I never said. So weird indeed.
posted by tkchrist at 5:39 PM on January 4, 2008


Texas is a big state, north to south and east to west
Alaska doesn't really count, we're bigger than the rest
You can waltz across it, though, so grab your yellow rose
And sing another song of Texas, this is how it goes

One more stupid song about Texas
For miles and miles it rambles on
Biggest egos, biggest hair, biggest liars anywhere
Let's sing another stupid Texas song

By God we're so darn proud to be from Texas - yahoo!
Even of our pride we're proud and we're proud of that pride, too
Our pride about our home state is the proudest pride indeed
And we're proud to be Americans, until we can secede

One more stupid song about Texas
You've heard it all before so sing along
Biggest belt buckles and boasts, love that big old Texas toast
Let's sing another stupid Texas song

Our accents are the drawliest, our howdies are the y'alliest
Our lone star flag's the waviest, our fried steak's the cream-graviest
Our rattlesnakes the coiliest, our beaches are the oiliest
Our politicians most corrupt, our stop signs most abrupt

Our guitars are the twangiest, our guns are the kablangiest
Our cattle the long-horniest, our yodels the forlorniest
Our cookoffs are the chiliest, our Waylon is the Williest
Our sausage is the smokiest, our neighbors are the Okiest

From Texarkana to El Paso, Dalhart down to Orange
Every spot in Texas has got what you're looking for
Aren'cha glad that Texas put the stars up in the sky
If heaven isn't Texas, pardner, I don't want to die

One more stupid song about Texas
Just 'cause we're braggin', that don't mean it's wrong
Biggest heads and biggest hearts, biggest various body parts
Let's sing another stupid Texas song

Toss your hats into the air, we're obnoxious, we don't care
Let's sing another stupid Texas song

One more blusterin', bumptious, bald faced, brazen
High flown, high-tone, dander-up, panderin'
Pompous, puffed-up, snotty, swaggerin'
Stupid Texas song

--- The Austin Lounge Lizards (NOT TEXASIST)
posted by eriko at 5:41 PM on January 4, 2008 [4 favorites]


No. But most of Washington doesn't support a constitutional BAN.

Nor do I. In fact, I'm vehemently against it. So when you and I go to bed at night, we're in the same place. My gay neighbors can't get married, nor can yours. It's a fucking shame.

I Agree. And I don''t think most individuals are "bad." In fact one on one my personal experiences have left me far from cynical. But it's in the aggregate. "People." Once they form political communities that you see the nasty shit surface.

I can't disagree with that a bit. But it goes both ways. Anyone that feels so fervently about a single issue is going to become so single-headed that they wind up spitting venom towards anyone that disagrees with them. This transcends political ideals.

Most rational people know this. It's the "nuke Texas!" or "LOLTXNS!" posts that make me feel like I've no reason to read MeFi. We eat, we pee, we poop, just like everyone else that lives elsewhere. I'm just tired of the hate. Is it that hard to see?
posted by Ufez Jones at 5:49 PM on January 4, 2008


No, actually, that's plain goddam fact.

I suppose I should have answered this first. Okay. Yes. People are people. People are not sea urchins. People are not light switches. Yes it is a fact. People are people.

What does that mean? Really? I'm not attacking you cortex. But seriously. People are people? It's also a Depeche Mode song.

We can both be right.

It is also a fact that the observation that "people are people" is an empty aphorism to the facts at hand.

And those facts are that we are discussing a political community as drawn up and held together in this case by the geographical borders of a US state. it more than cultural differences at work here. It is political.
posted by tkchrist at 5:49 PM on January 4, 2008


I'm just tired of the hate. Is it that hard to see?

No. And I am with you. It's exhausting.

But I resist being forced to over qualify criticisms with phrases like "some people." When we do this we end just swapping recipes and talking about Britney. Not much happens.

Even though I fully realize that on the internet everybody is the magic exception to every rule ;-)
posted by tkchrist at 5:54 PM on January 4, 2008


It's not just one political community. That's the point. We have conservative Democrats elected from the countryside and Republicans running the most populous county in the state. We have a lesbian sheriff in Dallas. We have people on our state board of education that don't think their uncle was a monkey. We have state reps from both parties supporting the Texas Speaker of the House and state reps from both parties that are doing anything they can to get rid of him. We have huge swaths of the state that practically no one lives in. We have the most wind generation in the country. We have people that are arrogant about the state, and we have other people that are embarrassed by those people.

In other words, we have a lot of different kinds of people here. A lot of them may disagree with your political beliefs and mine. But they're ordinary people, just like you.

Texas is just a place. So is Pakistan. So is Wales.

So I guess what I'm saying is: Don't mess with Texas.
posted by Pants! at 6:02 PM on January 4, 2008


But they're ordinary people, just like you.

Which has never been in dispute and is irrelevant. It is also not in dispute that the world is complicated. Nor is it in dispute that world is populated by people. Sigh.

Okay. So I guess in places like Texas where there appears to be a great deal of regressive legislation and politics it's merely an illusion or some by product of some accidental force and there is no majority political community responsible. Got it.

I guess democracy really is broken.


We shall never speak of this again.
posted by tkchrist at 6:10 PM on January 4, 2008


Okay. So I guess in places like Texas where there appears to be a great deal of regressive legislation and politics it's merely an illusion or some by product of some accidental force and there is no majority political community responsible. Got it.

That's neither the point nor the moral of the story. I'd love to see you point out what Washington is doing that is *massive major progressive* as a state over Texas.

I guess democracy really is broken.

Sadly, yeah. I can't dispute this. Like I said earlier, we'll both go to sleep in the same political bed tonight.

Anyhow, this has gone long far from the initial point of the thread. If you still want to debate TX stuff, MeFiMail me, tkchrist. Otherwise, I'm out.
posted by Ufez Jones at 6:21 PM on January 4, 2008


* pops open Lone Star tallboy, kicks up cowboy boots, waits for thread to close *

Yeehaw, y'all.
posted by 2or3whiskeysodas at 7:04 PM on January 4, 2008


pops open Lone Star tallboy, kicks up cowboy boots, waits for thread to close

He likes Texas. He likes beer. He likes...Texas beer.
posted by eriko at 8:25 PM on January 4, 2008


For whatever it's worth, the Austin Lounge Lizards song quoted by eriko isn't TEXASIST either.

It's a satirical jab at the commercialization of the "Texas Music Scene" -- inhabitants of which have learned that when you write a really cheesy "Texas Is The Best State ForEVER" song... not too far off the lyrics quoted, in fact... it is likely to appeal to the drunken Texas high school kids who buy records, and to the calculating advertising whizzes who like to put the songs behind regional television ads for boots, trucks and beer. And if you score getting a song placed in a Chevy commercial, that's a big enough check to keep your two-bit little band in gear trailers and guitar strings for a year while you hump the catfish-festival circuit, trying to write and sell some real music.

So, the Lounge Lizards were riffing on how Texas musicians sell out -- not how Texans are ignorant pride-besotted thugs.

And those facts are that we are discussing a political community as drawn up and held together in this case by the geographical borders of a US state. it more than cultural differences at work here. It is political.

Nope, still just a US state.
posted by pineapple at 8:42 PM on January 4, 2008


If Texas is so cool, why do you guys keep coming to Colorado.

Help beautify Colorado: Put a Texan on a bus.
posted by Balisong at 8:56 PM on January 4, 2008



-------------------------------------------------
Hello. I'm the poster whose statement generated this callout.

I knew that it was a lame and jokey statement to make. And I knew that eventually someone would bitch about the fact that I pretty much dump this statement in any Texas thread.

I don't have particularly good reasons for doing this. It's just a stupid little comment. As we all know Metafilter doesn't do Texas threads particularly well. (I'm certainly guilty of contributing to that fact.) I guess if anything I just like to stir the pot a little.

For those of you interested my exact words were, "I'll say it again: What do you expect from a state who's [sic] unofficial motto is a threat?" I did note that this is an "unofficial motto" and that I have said this before in other threads. In this particular case I even used the small text tag to minimize the statement within the thread.

Let's be straight up though: Texas has a distinct image among American states. And I'd venture to say that overridingly that image is held negatively by most Americans, particularly in this post-George W. Bush era. (I feel a little funny mentioning it, but I think the Dixie Chicks articulated it well when they said they were ashamed that Bush was from their home state. Of course we all know what happened to them.)

We can split hairs over how many mentally disabled people they execute every year or whatever. I think the bigger point is that Texas doesn't so much suffer from classic Red State image problems as she revels in them in. Texas seems to be proud of her swagger, her cowboy president, her rugged rejection of book'learn'n and other frilly niceties. Is it a stereotype? Sure. Is it accurate? Maybe, maybe not.

That said, part of the reason I do this is because I know that the Texans who come here to MetaFilter in no way resemble the stereotype of their state. If you check out grouse's profile he says he is a PhD Student in Computational Evolutionary Biology. I think that's fucking awesome. Texas needs about another ten million guys just like him.

So why poke Texan MeFis in the ribs? Quit simply I think I do it because they come from a state where at some point some committee decided that a great anti-littering slogan would be, "Don't Mess With Texas." I mean, what the fuck? Wouldn't a more compelling statement say something along the lines of, "Don't Mess Up Texas?"

And if a simple anti-littering campaign articulates this threat, this statement which is both full of bravado and unyielding state pride, what does that say about the rest of Texas? I mean, if something as innocuous as an anti-littering campaign is presented in such a manner, you better damn believe that the rest of Texas is a classic lock you up and throw away the key, we don't have none of that around here, he needed kill'n, type place. Guys, that's your bag. Deal with it. Laugh, cry, or try and change it, but don't deny the reality of the situation.

Look, I spent the first 22-years of my life in South Fucking Carolina. I know about vicious idiots and moronic policy. I can honestly say that pretty much every stereotype about my home state is dead on. My home state elects Governors who think that free condoms at health clinics is a misuse of tax payer dollars. They still have very earnest debates about the level (a lot, or just a moderate amount) to which the state should support the Confederate flag. Like most other Red States we're close to first in everything bad and near last in everything good. Our headlines are other state's punchlines. Hell, fucking Christian Exodus has their office in my home town.

I live in Chicago in part because it is an awesome city, but also because my home state is such a shithole.

So slag on my home state all you want, I'll never call you out in MeTa. For one I'm too thick skinned for it, and for two no amount of offensive or off base comments about my home could rival the sheer stupidity, and shallow viciousness I've seen on display there first hand.

Lastly, I've been here longer than ~96% of you posting in this thread and this is the first time I've ever been called out (unless you count the noisy Asian neighbors AskMe.) I wish that grouse had not answered my own childish comments with this equally weak call out. I wish that he had contacted me privately. I certainly never meant to come across as a complete asshat and I think that if he had actually articulated his feelings to me privately then we could have reached an amiable agreement.
-------------------------------------------------
posted by wfrgms at 9:13 PM on January 4, 2008 [6 favorites]


Come and take it.
posted by Iron Rat at 10:06 PM on January 4, 2008 [1 favorite]


Not directed at anyone in particular, just the thread in general.
posted by Iron Rat at 10:08 PM on January 4, 2008


I'd love to see you point out what Washington is doing that is *massive major progressive* as a state over Texas.

Washington didn't put a ban on even civil unions into its constitution.

Washington doesn't have a law banning the sale of vibrators. AFAICT.

Washington banned the execution of the mentally retarded.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 10:25 PM on January 4, 2008 [1 favorite]


Well, the sale of vibrators may be banned (which I have never personally heard of, but I'm certain someone here can point me to a source), but I can drive about .5 miles and look at 5 rows of them down the street at my local porno store, which is almost as big as a Sears. True story.

Just so's ya know... I'm guessing the 5 aisles of vibrators in every color, size and shape may be breaking a law, but they ARE here.

I know that's not a big deal, but it's the truth. I own one too, woo hoo, come arrest me!

Having quickly googled, it appears realistic dildoes that have veins in them are illegal. (I secretly laughed when I read this.)
posted by Unicorn on the cob at 10:54 PM on January 4, 2008 [1 favorite]


As someone who once lived in Texas, I can note my own experience that "Don't Mess With Texas", for better or worse, is pretty much about its residents' collective attitude and has little to do with littering, at this point, and was chosen for the same unspoken, but widely understood reason.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 11:02 PM on January 4, 2008


The law is obviously rarely enforced, but someone was arrested relatively recently in Lubbock; the stories (google for lubbock "something sexy") don't definitively state the year.

God only knows whether it was just prudes who hate sex toys, or the owner hadn't paid his/her protection money to the local potentates, or what.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 11:37 PM on January 4, 2008


I'd like to know how long you lived here, Blazecock Pileon, because it sounds like you're full of shit to me.
posted by puke & cry at 11:38 PM on January 4, 2008


Aw, puke & cry, you're just pissy because Texas sucks so much!

Don't forget to get a mint on your way out from the basket by the cash register, they're chocolate.
posted by blacklite at 12:26 AM on January 5, 2008


Wait untill the next New York thread comes along. I have some complaints.
posted by IronLizard at 12:48 AM on January 5, 2008 [1 favorite]


And by New York, I mean Giuliani.
posted by IronLizard at 12:51 AM on January 5, 2008


tkchrist: "When you qualify to such a degree by saying "some" before every critical comment you make you wind up saying nothing. Because: some of X is a quality of every where and applies to everything."

And when you skip the "some", you are still saying nothing, because there is always an exception.

"Some Texans are inbred idiots": True. Also, pointless, because some residents of every state are.
"Texans are inbred idiots": False, because not all of them are, and therefore pointless.

Given the choice between making a true and pointless statement or a false and pointless statement, why would you pick the latter?

What you really want to say (and what I think most of us Texans would be OK with) is something like "The majority of Texans are blah blah blah". And it allows you to say things which are both true and pointful. (Note: yes, I realize you've been making exactly this point about majorities in Texas. What I'm saying is that maybe when we discuss things Texan we should skip the pointless and false preamble of "all Texans are right-wing fuckwits" and go directly to pointful and true "the majority of Texans are right-wing fuckwits")

tkchrist: "People go to where their values are best reflected."

So my dad, long-standing ACLU member and former head of the Houston Humanists (an organization promoting atheism) moved to Texas because that's where his values were best reflected? Bullshit. People go where there's work. A huge chunk of Houston moved here from the northeast (Massachussets, Connecticut, etc. etc.) because the economy there was terrible and the Houston economy was booming. Another huge chunk moved here from Mexico for similar economic reasons. Another huge chunk moved from Vietnam due to economic and political conditions. Of the people I know who have moved to Texas, or whose families moved to Texas, I can't think of a single one that did so because it was where their values were best reflected.

wgrgrhrr: "I mean, if something as innocuous as an anti-littering campaign is presented in such a manner, you better damn believe that the rest of Texas is a classic lock you up and throw away the key, we don't have none of that around here, he needed kill'n, type place."

Why? I don't think "If A then B" constructions work that way. "If Bob says he doesn't like something as innocuous as tea, you better damn believe that he hates hippies, black people, and classical music as well."
posted by Bugbread at 5:30 AM on January 5, 2008 [1 favorite]


You know how people from Europe or Asia periodically post a comment along the lines of, "Hey you Americans are doing some stupid shit. Why don't you cut it out?" That's pretty much how most of the rest of the U.S. feels about Texas. It's not any more fair to the Texans who don't support the stupid shit, but that's what you get when your place of residence is known for stupid shit.

Also, lots of folks are ignorant thugs individually. Most folks are ignorant thugs when you collect them into herds.
posted by Kirth Gerson at 5:31 AM on January 5, 2008 [1 favorite]


I wish that grouse had not answered my own childish comments with this equally weak call out.

Nice try, but I don't think there's really a moral equivalence, as I certainly didn't make this callout to "stir the pot."

I wish that he had contacted me privately. I certainly never meant to come across as a complete asshat and I think that if he had actually articulated his feelings to me privately then we could have reached an amiable agreement.

Perhaps. But given that you have to know the reaction this gets, and you've already been asked once before in public to knock it off, you can perhaps forgive me for not contacting you privately.

Anyway, I'm glad to hear you recognize the lameness of repeating the comment now. Thanks for responding here.

***

Regarding the Stupid Texas Song, at a concert I went to, I believe Hank Card said that it had originally been written for Asleep at the Wheel, but they refused to play it. But he might have been kidding.
posted by grouse at 6:51 AM on January 5, 2008


So, I haven't been in MeFi long, but basically what I can see from here is that we're whining over wfrgms turning MeFi into Fark by having a Fark-like MeTa thread.







Carry on.
posted by RobotHeart at 7:04 AM on January 5, 2008


I make those bumperstickers into "don't mess with Jess" stickers. They work.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 7:35 AM on January 5, 2008 [1 favorite]


What do you expect from a magician whose unofficial motto is a threat?
posted by cortex (staff) at 8:05 AM on January 5, 2008


You know, for all the people in this thread and the FPP who are telling everybody that they used to live in Texas, and IT SUUUCKED, so they moved away?

If you guys would have stayed, and done what I am doing (fervently trying to get people to see the light; I have converted half my family, who were lifelong Republicans, into Dems now) then yes, we would have a chance to turn the tide. 45% could become 55% if people wouldn't throw up their hands in exasperation and move.

I have a really gorgeous house on an acre of land; I built it myself. I love my job, and I live cheaply on a good salary. The weather is wonderful. I have many dear, interesting, creative friends. THAT is what keeps me here. I wish all of you that left had stayed. We could have banded together and gone on protests and marches, handed out flyers and gone to rallies.

Someone dear to me is very politically active, and was there with protest signs the night Bush was elected and marched on the capital in Austin. At least we are TRYING, not just running away and pointing fingers and laughing.

I'm sorry, I should stop.

"Note: Everyone needs a hug."
posted by Unicorn on the cob at 8:21 AM on January 5, 2008 [1 favorite]


Texan here. I live a stone's throw from where all of those vein-less vibrators can be purchased (though I'm almost positive that the last time I was in the store, I giggled at some throbbing vein monsters. The sex toy laws are on a local level, much like elsewhere in the nation), I live down the street from Ufez and his gay neighbors, and I've never, ever executed a retarded person.

The only thing I really, really hate about this state? The goddamn heat. Other than that, I wouldn't trade the varied interestingness of the people, their swagger, and the fact that I can say "y'all" in public without making the needle skip for anything.

I left Texas a couple of times, but something kept drawing me back. You left Texas? Hope you're enjoying yourself in L.A. or New York with all the other other shallow people.
posted by item at 8:36 AM on January 5, 2008 [1 favorite]


And if a simple anti-littering campaign articulates this threat, this statement which is both full of bravado and unyielding state pride, what does that say about the rest of Texas?

I understand the point about the "Don't Mess With Texas" campaign, I really do. I just don't agree that it's a justification for intentionally stirring up shit -- which you've openly acknowledged has been your continued goal. (I also think the "Yeah, I stirred up shit, but my crime is lesser than this weak MeTa" argument is almost always silly. The "I've been here longer than you, nanny nanny boo boo" cheapens your non-apology further.)

I also am having a hard time understanding why all of the "Litter Campaign = Unofficial State Motto" crowd seem unwilling to acknowledge that the campaign wasn't actually intended for you. It's an internal message, aimed at the 24 million people who are most likely to see it and most likely to litter. Sure, you saw it, and sure, you've interpreted the message as you saw fit... but the state of Texas was not aiming the message at you; you were an indirect target, so the Texas Department of Transportation didn't actually come to your house in Chicago and piss in your Cheerios.

Guys, that's your bag. Deal with it. Laugh, cry, or try and change it, but don't deny the reality of the situation.

As I think every Texan who's weighed in has agreed, we know what it's like. Did you think we were just now learning from you and all the other Texas slaggers at MeFi what it's like living in Texas?

We absolutely do try and change it. We don't "deny reality." All we're asking is that you re-examine the value of the argument: "Many Texans are ignorant thugs, ergo, we will shit on all Texans at MeFi equally, by refusing to use more thoughtful language." Kirth Gerson said: "It's not any more fair to the Texans who don't support the stupid shit, but that's what you get when your place of residence is known for stupid shit." I really, seriously cannot comprehend this sentiment. Y'all know that it's not fair or right... but that's just "what we get"? Why?

Is it more important to you to make this totally stale, one-off joke over and over, than the fact that some people are going to start believe that you're a bigot?

I live in Chicago in part because it is an awesome city, but also because my home state is such a shithole.

Wow, how lucky for Illinois. Are you honestly suggesting that people who live in a state like South Carolina or Texas have no other truly honorable choice but to move to another state?

I'm not asking rhetorically. There's been a lot of "Texas sucks so bad that any smart person should move" sentiment in this thread -- despite the intellectual dishonesty that comes from the suggestion that people who move from one state to another always do so because they have the resources to afford a whimsical move of political agenda (for example, I truly doubt that any MeFite who once lived in Texas and now lives somewhere else, left solely because they just couldn't handle the Texas conservative agenda... as opposed to "family relocated, the job market died in my town, I got into university somewhere else, we were in the military," etc.). ROU_Xenophobe in particular pats himself on the back at every available opportunity for having left Texas for New York, ad aeternum. So, I'm asking wfrgms, ROU, Blazecock, tkchrist, and any of the rest of you who've said or implied that respectable people leave Texas, to answer this question for me.

Are you honestly suggesting that people who live in a state like Texas have no other truly honorable choice but to move to another state?
posted by pineapple at 8:43 AM on January 5, 2008 [11 favorites]


Thank you, pineapple. Seriously.
posted by Unicorn on the cob at 9:02 AM on January 5, 2008


I mean, if something as innocuous as an anti-littering campaign is presented in such a manner, you better damn believe that the rest of Texas is a classic lock you up and throw away the key, we don't have none of that around here, he needed kill'n, type place.

thank god the rest of the country never acted like that
posted by pyramid termite at 9:03 AM on January 5, 2008


Forest for the trees here:
The Don't Mess With Texas campaign is designed to raise awareness about THE EVILS OF LITTERING. As wild as it is, these people hold cleanliness as a value. I wonder what other ideas those crazy, evil Texans care about?

Or was this just a fluke?

Don't be confused between the product* and the way it's advertised.

*Texas/Texans/Not Littering/Users on Metafilter/Ideas.
posted by iamkimiam at 9:07 AM on January 5, 2008


MASTURBATE MEH!
posted by stinkycheese at 9:10 AM on January 5, 2008


But seriously wfrgms, if you feel this way about Texas/Texans/whatever, what's the point of putting your negativity about it out in the world?
posted by iamkimiam at 9:12 AM on January 5, 2008


I guess if anything I just like to stir the pot a little.

Around these parts that's known as "trolling."

I wish that grouse had not answered my own childish comments with this equally weak call out.


I'm sure you do. But in fact this callout is not "equally weak," it's perfectly justified. You were being an asshat and you got called on it. Suck it up and knock that shit off.

(Yes, Texas has lousy politics these days, as do many other states, but it's considered acceptable to knock Texas because it's in the South and it has a culture of bragging. The Texans I've known have been fine people, and they don't deserve the easy prejudice thoughtless people subject them to.)
posted by languagehat at 9:23 AM on January 5, 2008


I didn't leave because of conservative anything, actually. I hated living in Texas, but I was used to living in North Carolina which is only somewhat less conservative (though I did live around Chapel Hill). I didn't like living in an area dominated mostly by conservative Baptists, but I was used to it.

I hated the endless heat. I hated winters of bland temperatures and depressing brown grass. I hated the dinky little trees, unless you water them for 50 years. I hated the flatness. I hated the endless suburbia, especially the new McMansionvilles that were starting to cover everywhere between McKinney and Plano I hated living a two-day drive from biscotti's family, and a different two-day drive from mine. I hated not being able to get sweet tea hardly anywhere. Having to sit through the occasional commencement speech about OMG TERROR ONLY BUSH CAN SAVE YOU by Kay Hutchison was just a sort of icing on the cake.

So, yeah, I'm tickled to have left. Every time I go into the backyard and have to crane my head to see the tops of the trees, it pleases me. When the leaves turned and fell in big drifts down the street in the cool air, it made me happy happy. When I was shoveling a foot of snow out of the driveway a couple-few weeks ago, I was tickled to do it because dammit that's what winter should be. I'm happy that I live in an old first-ring suburb where you can walk to the bagel place or the drugstore, and it's never too hot to do so.

That only a few cars here are covered with conformity ribbons is just a plus. That when I asked my intro class how many of them had had a prayer over their real, proper high school graduation, only one or two out of 200+ raised their hands instead of nearly all is just a plus.

Sorry to have pissed you off, though. I'll shut up about it. If you want a list about what sucks about WNY, I'll be happy to provide one of those too. Most of it is pretty obvious.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 9:26 AM on January 5, 2008 [1 favorite]


I can't believe no one has referenced "Don't Lay that Trash on Oklahoma" (1980-1997).
posted by unknowncommand at 9:59 AM on January 5, 2008


I'm really ticked off you guys are dissing on the best character in Red Vs Blue! She was awesome. If it weren't for her, that whole series woulda gotten old by the end of the second season. Thanks to her it didn't get old until the beginning of the third season.

You're all a buncha meanie beanies.

Long Live Texas!
posted by ZachsMind at 10:26 AM on January 5, 2008


if you feel this way about Texas/Texans/whatever, what's the point of putting your negativity about it out in the world?

Yeah really, Metafilter is not place for negative comments about anything. It's all sweetness and light here, c'mon.
posted by stinkycheese at 10:30 AM on January 5, 2008


Texas hoedown, this is the lowdown,
You're full of shit, destined to go down.
Let's go down and herd 'em up
And if you agree, then let's word 'em up
And if you don't...then shut the fuck up.


Something along those lines, yes?

Also, if you can spin a whimsical tale here from time to time, you'll apparently get a ghetto pass for being a raging asshole otherwise.

Everybody does this Texas bashing thing though, it seems. It's hardly confined to MeFi.
posted by First Post at 11:26 AM on January 5, 2008


Metafilter: if you can spin a whimsical tale here from time to time, you'll apparently get a ghetto pass for being a raging asshole otherwise.
posted by stinkycheese at 11:29 AM on January 5, 2008


I was born in Cleveland, Ohio, which stole the slogan "there is no there there" from Oakland, Ca. Where the river caught on fire. Hometown of Dennis Kucinich, Drew Carey, Arsenio Hall and Chief Knockahoma.

My parents wisely moved out of there when I was 5. Wish they'd taken me WITH them, but I caught up with them in Los Angeles. (joke) Spent 40+ years living in L.A., half of it in the San Fernando Valley, and not Loving It, sorry Randy Newman. And I have frequently badmouthed "L.A. people" and "Valley people" as a group, a group to which I did not belong.

And I have watched almost 50 years of blanket badmouthing and stereotyping the State of California and everyone in it and my general response is "big deal". You non-typical Texans are too thin-skinned. If you're not proud of the dominant culture of where you live, point out that you're IN Texas, not OF Texas.

(PS: My current location on the Central California coast contains a lot of cattle ranchers who are stereotypically Texan, vintners and aging hippies who are stereotypically Northern Californian, surfers who are stereotypically Southern Californian, retirees who are stereotypically Floridian, college students who are stereotypically "any college town" and yes, farm workers who are stereotypically Mexican, along with some people who don't fit any stereotype but just seem stereotypically something. It's a great place for an introvert to observe variations of human nature.)

But you know what I blame for the tendency to stereotype entire states within the U.S.ofA.? The Electoral College.
posted by wendell at 11:47 AM on January 5, 2008 [3 favorites]


it sounds like you're full of shit to me

"Don't Mess Up Texas" vs "Don't Mess With Texas". Don't blame the messenger: It's all in the preposition they chose, and how it was re-appropriated by their culture henceforth.

Nobody with a damn lick of sense is fooled, despite the massive (insecure) protestations.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 1:50 PM on January 5, 2008


Nobody with a damn lick of sense is fooled

nobody with a damn lick of sense cares
posted by pyramid termite at 2:22 PM on January 5, 2008 [2 favorites]


I hated the endless heat. I hated winters of bland temperatures and depressing brown grass. I hated the dinky little trees, unless you water them for 50 years. I hated the flatness. I hated the endless suburbia, especially the new McMansionvilles that were starting to cover everywhere between McKinney and Plano I hated living a two-day drive from biscotti's family, and a different two-day drive from mine. I hated not being able to get sweet tea hardly anywhere. Having to sit through the occasional commencement speech about OMG TERROR ONLY BUSH CAN SAVE YOU by Kay Hutchison was just a sort of icing on the cake.

Well, except for the part about the distance from your families, ROU_Xenophobe, it sounds like your real problem was with having chosen the North Dallas suburbs, out of the 270,000 square miles of Texas. That's like someone spending a year in Gary and deciding he's an expert on Indiana. There are real, big, green, leafy, old-growth trees all over the state -- even right here in the Metroplex, in neighborhoods you didn't choose. The flatness is because you chose to live in the Blackland Prairie ecoregion. There are plenty of areas in Texas where the primary lawn grass isn't Bermuda -- which goes dormant in the winter by design, as a water conservation effort (but I guess that's not as important as aesthetics). I could list a dozen places off the top of my head that one can get true sweet tea in these parts too. And if Hutchison's rants on terror bother you, I can't wait till you get cuddly with Giuliani; it's not like Texas has a monopoly on neocons.

But I'm sure not trying to talk you back, and really, I don't care why you left. I care that even after you've gone, you've still got such a hard-on for us all. You went north; you've got your precious winters and bagel shops and perfect trees now. If your raison d'etre at MeFi is going to be constantly ripping on the knuckle-dragging retards who you so joyously left in your rear-view mirror, GYOFB, is all.

despite the massive (insecure) protestations*

Like I said, anyone who has a need to call an entire state full of people insecure, or ignorant thugs, or "people who think wrestling is real", or assume that everyone here is like one racist asshole in a Texas airport, or just like the white supremacist clusters in Idaho... you go on with it. Do it proudly, and don't justify it. But neither do you get to whine and moan if I think you're just another flavor of bigot.

I do have a thick skin, believe it or not, which is why I don't really bother with the Texas-bashing when it turns up in the blue or green. This is really the first significant time I've weighed in at MeFi on the "Texas: Ignorant Thugs or Totally Teh Awesome?" debate. In fact, it's not the bashing as much as the inconsistency that irks me. We wouldn't tolerate it here if it were about a particular race, or religion, or other sociopolitical group... so I don't get the members who are totally okay with blanket denigration of 24 million people because "other sites do it" or "but, hurfdurf Bush! executions! Waco! Neanderthals, amirite?"

If you're not proud of the dominant culture of where you live, point out that you're IN Texas, not OF Texas.

Wendell, maybe I'm not that bright... being a Texan and all... but isn't that what we're doing in this MeTa? (Unless you meant in the original FPP?)

* (BP, I really don't mean you in particular as a bigot, as I'm not too inclined to read kneejerk judgment from you -- you just had the pullquote that I wanted.)
posted by pineapple at 5:27 PM on January 5, 2008 [5 favorites]


Yeah, I was out of line. Hence the apology in the last comment. Right there at the end?
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 6:05 PM on January 5, 2008


I read "Sorry to have pissed you off, though" as "sorry you didn't like what I said," which I usually take on the internet as a sort of passive-aggressive non-apology. That's on me; sorry. Thanks for being decent.

And, for what little it's worth at this point, I really am sorry that Texas treated you so badly during your time here. I hope if y'all are ever back down, you'll let me buy you a drink. We'll make it a MeetUp.
posted by pineapple at 6:24 PM on January 5, 2008


It does look like that, I admit. Didn't mean it that way though.

It's not that Texas treated me particularly badly. I just *really* didn't like it. Not meaning to slam on it, but the place just felt wrong. It's a big world and people like all kinds of things, though. Even Brussels sprouts, liquorice, and Texas.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 6:33 PM on January 5, 2008 [1 favorite]


Why does this matter? The motto of Scotland, engraved on the coins and shown on the Royal Coat of Arms, is nemo me impune lacessit; literally, "no one provokes me unpunished", and loosely, "who dares meddle with me?" No one gets het up about this, so what's wrong with Don't mess with Texas?
posted by Burger-Eating Invasion Monkey at 9:09 PM on January 5, 2008


Nobody with a damn lick of sense is fooled, despite the massive (insecure) protestations.

Fine. Here's my thinking. I think you had a predisposed idea of what this place was like before you ever got here, and you used your apparently limited time here to fit into your already existing prejudices.

You didn't bother to say how long you'd lived here and instead decided to make even more vague, non-substantiate comments. So excuse me if I don't take your complaint seriously.

Of course, to a carpenter everything looks like a nail, and to a drama queen everything looks like an outrage.
posted by puke & cry at 1:37 AM on January 6, 2008 [1 favorite]


I lived in East Texas for about 10 years. Terrible climate, great food, nice people, except for the ones who drag retarded black folks to death behind their pickups...I never liked them at all. But the others are just like you and me.
posted by RussHy at 8:25 AM on January 6, 2008


Since this thread has long since devolved into self-parody and chatter, I'd like to point this out:

Oklahoma went for Bush in 2004 by something like 61-35%. Nothing will dissuade me that Kerry could have at least knocked off ten points off that figure by simply running a ten second commercial a few times featuring stock photos of Bush doing the hook-em-horns thing at Texas football games. Seriously, I know my Sooner brethren would have been unable to vote for him if they were thinking of him as a Bevo-lover.

Terrible climate, great food, nice people, except for the ones who drag retarded black folks to death behind their pickups...I never liked them at all. But the others are just like you and me.


Further off-topic, and a clear abuse of the small tag. At my last job I had to talk to various government officials in Texas on a repeated basis. One of my contacts was a secretary to the DA in Jasper County, home of that particular incident. One time I asked her about that trial, and she didn't tell me about the horrific crime, or the attention, or the embarassment to the community. No, she complained to me that she had to make muffins for the jury every day of the trial, and no one even thanked her for it. Not that it's a great story, but hey. Jasper County.
posted by norm at 9:19 AM on January 6, 2008


More chatter:

I lived in Texas for six year - four years in Houston and two years in San Antonio. I don't think Blazecock was too far off in his assessment of "Don't Mess With Texas". Texans are proud of their state and that makes it an appropriate general statement as well as the anti-littering statement.

I was glad to leave BUT I do miss certain things:
- I've never met a more friendlier group of people and that includes Canadians (I live in BC, Canada now and they're a close second)
- Taco Cabana
- the Hill Country
- never having the opportunity to live in Austin
- the wildflowers
- decent Mexican food (although it was second rate to California's Mexican food)

I don't miss:
- the heat, holy mary mother of god, the heat
- bugs the size of Volkswagens
- sweet iced tea (it's the norm here in Canada as well, bleh)
- Texans that think Texas is the best place on earth (we all know it's British Columbia )

The reasons I left really didn't have much to do with the state itself, except for the heat.
posted by deborah at 3:21 PM on January 6, 2008


- bugs the size of Volkswagens

Oh yes, I remember them. The first summer we spent there, visiting my sister-in-law in Houston, I saw hummingbirds circling her porchlight at night. When I remarked on how cool that was, she got all sarcastic, "Yes, those are the famous Texas hummingbirds." Turns out they have flying cockroaches the size of chipmunks! Oh yes, I remember.

*shudders, opens another beer*

I remember hearing two mosquitoes arguing about whether to suck me dry right there by the banks of the Angelina, or to take me somewhere else so the big ones wouldn't take me away from them.

*guzzle, belch*

I remember the sight of dozens of molting Bald Eagles roosting in the dead trees on the road to Houston.

*shakes head*

And wildflowers on the highway.
posted by RussHy at 1:04 PM on January 7, 2008


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