In Your Face
by Roger Gray
Ah, Dallas … Ya Gotta Love ‘em. Well … Maybe Not…
My cover story on the natural inferiority, in every area except their imaginations, of Dallasites versus Houstonians drew a long letter from one Chadrick Roberts. Despite the improbability of that name, I want to respond directly.
Chad, babe, sweetheart, you are proving my point. Your initial observation that “people in Big D care little or nothing about Houston…” echoes my observation that Dallas is a self-obsessed echo chamber seeing all other, even larger cities as somehow inferior. Your points in order:
Economy. No, Chad, the Houston economy has passed Dallas in both growth and job creation, according to the…ta-da …Dallas Morning News.
Environment. Yes, we do have the industry that you so despise, and yes, it has created pollution problems. So why is Dallas almost as polluted and under almost equally strict EPA mandates to clean up? Physician heal thy own ozone.
Airports. D/FW is bigger and almost indecipherable. Offsite parking for D/FW usually is somewhere near Mesquite.
Population. You persist in that Dallas trait of including Fort Worth in any comparison. Ask Fort Worth if they consider themselves part of “DFW.” I’ll tell you the answer, NO! (I have, tastefully I think, left out the bovine references that would accompany that response).
Skyline. Philip Johnson, the dean of late 20th century architects called Houston one of the most architecturally open and beautiful cities in the world. Dallas lines its buildings in neon lights. The prosecution rests.
Rail. I believe I complimented Dallas for moving ahead on that. But you don’t have Tom DeLay.
Cowboys. Yes, they have a great record, but they each have their own personal probation officer as well.
Humidity. Yes, we have it. And Dallas had almost two straight months of over-100-degree days last summer. That, my friend, is a toss-up.
Second-Tier City. You have the temerity to call Houston a second-tier city? In the area of the arts alone, Dallas comes off as a better-dressed San Angelo.
Chad, I know it’s hot up there, and that contributed to your fevered response. Just take a break somewhere cool…like the Galleria you guys Xeroxed from ours…that…well, OK…we copied from the one in Italy.
Oh, Rod? We Need Your D.C. Address. These Books Came for You …
Well, just as our own Mr. Paige goes to Washington to help the entire nation get its educational act together, we learn from a study of textbooks that HISD’s science books have sometimes silly, sometimes egregious, errors. One has Newton’s first law wrong, another shows the Statue of Liberty in reverse, and still another identifies Linda Ronstadt as a silicon crystal — OK, a really big silicon crystal. At least those fundamentalist loons in Kansas had the guts to do this kind of thing intentionally.
How Many Aggies Does it Take to Correct a Book? That Depends … How Big are the Pictures?
As mentioned, there have been problems with school textbooks. Specifically, the Texas Education Agency has been stung by critics for science texts that contain silly, sometimes serious, errors. So being composed of the astute bunch of rocket scientists it is, it decided to get some help. The TEA has signed a contract to have an outside panel of experts read the books and make sure they don’t get anything wrong. Who are these Einsteins, you ask? Why the faculty and students of Texas A&M. Aggie public school quality control…at last, an argument for vouchers. ih