Is Anybody Out There?


Last month, we at the Observer basked in the spotlight–or at least the half-light–cast by our local paper’s Sunday “Life & Arts” section. The Austin American-Statesman ran a flattering story, complete with photos and sidebars and everything, about the history of this publication and the curious fact that, after all these years, it still exists. We’ll take all free publicity we can get, and so we were quite appreciative of the interest that reporter Patrick Beach took in our humble efforts, even if he did take pains to emphasize how, um, humble they in fact are. Beach accurately reported that we are now on sounder financial footing than we have been in years, but he could not resist a few digs at the prospects for Texas progressives in the Bush era. The headline read, “All That is Left.” And in the first part of the piece, Beach noted that the only thing our office lacks is a likeness of St. Jude, patron saint of hopeless causes.

We weren’t too bothered by that joke made at our expense, but in the next sentence Beach went after our readers. “This is where they put out the little paper read by Texas’ 19 or so remaining–and federally protected–liberals,” he wrote. Apparently the fact-checking at the Statesman is not what it could be: We’re confident that there are well over fifty bona fide liberals in Texas.

But maybe the problem isn’t the Statesman’s handle on the facts. Maybe it’s that many of these progressive types are in hiding. They don’t get out much. They keep quiet, unless they see an opportunity to quarrel with other lefties over who to vote for.

Do you know someone who fits this description? A La-Z-Boy liberal? A potential fellow traveler who, with the help of just the right magazine subscription, might be induced to join our hopeless fellowship and moon after decency and justice? If so, it’s time to out that person. Drag her into the fold. Get her to subscribe to the Observer, or buy her a gift subscription (see back page).

And of course, anyone who has a St. Jude statue stashed away in the garage is encouraged to donate it to us, so that we might display it proudly next time around.