Nic Yeager

Nic Yeager is the culture fellow at the Observer and the author of the guidebook 111 Places in Austin That You Must Not Miss.
A still from OUTCRY, "Episode 2". Photo Credit: Courtesy of SHOWTIME.
Culture

Showtime’s ‘Outcry’ is a Nuanced Exploration of a Wrongful Conviction, but Neglects a Longer History of Moral Panic

After Greg Kelley was falsely accused of sexually assaulting a child in Leander, he endured a questionable trial and a drawn out appeals process. A new documentary series captures the case, but not the whole story.

It started with a case in a California preschool. Then another just up Interstate-5. Before long, there were two similar cases in Texas. Bizarre tales of the occult, animal sacrifice, and child abuse were coming out of day care centers … Read More

Shourav Dasari.
Culture

Young Texans Keep Spelling Bees Going From Home

When the Scripps National Spelling Bee was canceled in March, two former competitors from The Woodlands stepped up to organize a virtual bee. Now, other bees are following suit.

Holothuriidae. Bonduc. Bembicid. Foeniculum. Shourav Dasari swivels his desk chair to face a computer monitor and begins scanning an enormous Excel spreadsheet, a cascading list of the spellings and roots of all 475,000 words in the dictionary. Eurygaean. Diapir. Ballonne. … Read More

Shangela Laquifa Wadley
Culture

Texan Drag Queen Shangela Finds Drag Daughters in Small Towns in HBO’s ‘We’re Here’

HBO’s new docuseries We’re Here is a snapshot of how drag can foster queer community in rural areas across the country.

Texas-born drag queen Shangela Laquifa Wadley, also known as DJ Pierce, makes a splash in HBO’s docuseries We’re Here. Along with Bob the Drag Queen and Eureka O’Hara, the fierce Shangela travels to small towns to recruit local residents for … Read More

The Fiesta celebration in San Antonio.
Economy

7 Texas Arts and Culture Causes to Consider on Giving Tuesday

Today is #GivingTuesdayNow. If you’re looking for causes to donate to, consider supporting the individuals and organizations that make Texas’ art, culture, and media great.

As Texas has had to shut down in the past two months due to the novel coronavirus, many of those in its iconic arts and culture industries have taken a big economic hit. Cinemas, venues, theaters, and bookshops have generally … Read More

Culture

‘The Quarry’ Tells a Dark Morality Tale in a Modern Small Texas Town

A new film from Scott Teems, king of the Southern drama, follows a violent drifter who assumes the identity of a small-town preacher.

“You are no man of God,” a young Latino man named Valentín shouts from behind bars at a white man dressed as a minister in The Quarry. “You will burn in hell.” The unnamed and suspicious preacher he condemns is … Read More

for a show purportedly about animal abuse, maybe it should be a little harder to watch.
Culture

Tiger King Could’ve Told a Tough Story of the Legal Mistreatment of Animals, But It Didn’t

Netflix’s runaway hit is a salacious interpersonal drama that buried what could have been a hard-hitting exposé of the patchwork regulations that are failing to protect animal welfare and public safety.

Just three weeks ago, during a narcotics raid in Hidalgo County, authorities discovered a white Bengal tiger, a bobcat, emus, porcupines, and a kinkajou being held illegally. Most of the animals were taken to the Austin Zoo for medical evaluation … Read More

Ruby City's inaugural exhibit, Waking Dream, has moved to the website.
Art

Shuttered by the Coronavirus, Texas Art Museums Are Moving Online

While physical spaces are shut down, the digital world is letting Texas museums flourish.

Computer screens may not be able to capture the magic of museums, but they’re the next best thing with the majority of Texas cities now under shelter-in-place orders. In the face of this dramatic shift, most museum directors and staff … Read More

Books

13 Small Texas Presses to Read Right Now

These 13 Texas-based independent presses and publishers have offered diverse, boundary-pushing literature for years, even decades.

There’s no better time for reading than when you’re curled up in your home. Books offer a retreat from the chaos of the world—something we could all use at the moment. As the coronavirus pandemic spreads and the economy feels … Read More

The Trans Pecos Pipeline.
Culture

‘Trans Pecos’ Is a Beautiful Plea to Protect West Texas

This visually striking film captures the innate beauty of far West Texas and the threats posed to it by oil and gas infrastructure.

“To be part of this land,” rancher Pilar Pedersen says early on in Trans Pecos, “it’s just ephemeral. Nobody owns this land.” Living in West Texas’ Big Bend country makes her who she is, and the desert’s power humbles her. … Read More

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