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It’s nice to know how others view us: A journal of “considerable influence in Texas public life.”THE NEW YORK TIMES BOOK REVIEW, Oct. 22, 1967 “In 14 stormy years, the Austin-based biweekly paper has tangled singlehandedly with oil and gas interests, exposed statehouse scandals, often made life painful for politicians in the land of Lyndon.”TIME, Sept. 27, 1968 “A respected journal of dissent.”THE NEW YORK TIMES MAGAZINE, March 2, 1969 .. that outpost of reason in the Southwest . ..”NEW YORK REVIEW OF BOOKS, April 11, 1968 . that state’s only notable liberal publi cation . . .”THE WASHINGTON POST, Nov. 25, 1968 . . delights in exposing the peccadilloes of the Texas establishment …”THE PROGRESSIVE, November 1968 “One of the best publications in the country remains The Texas Observer.”THE NEW YORK POST, Dec. 18,1969 ,`.. . probably as close as any publication in America to the high European standard of informed reportage and commentary.” THE SOUTH AND THE NATION by Pat Wailers But a national reputation isn’t worth much unless it helps you, the occasional reader, decide that you need to be reading the TEXAS OBSERVER regularly. THE TEXAS OBSERVER 504 West 24th Street Austin, Texas 78705 scription for: Name Street City State Zip $6 enclosed. Bill me. I1I1 occupied whatever space there was in you and thereby identified you even gave you a meaning. No, not out of any kind of bulging and monstrous grief did a person hunt out his bottle. Rather, he drank because of a terrible opposite that total and absolute emptiness which comes from simply being alive: alive, say, on a late Sunday just as darkness has finally settled, when the long day has gone and the night stretches out around you like a huge, black, shapeless, and empty sack; alive, and fully knowing it, and having that fact mean nothing at all to anyone else; alive, and having no single place on earth you want to be because there exists no one place that could give you relief from yourself; alive, but in the vacuum between two meaningless opposing forces the week Amarillo To The Texas Observer: I can tell you, this is not peace country. Those eager for warm expressions of brotherhood must not misconstrue the claims of hospitality and friendliness the boosters up here paste on billboards on the outskirts of our towns and stick up the two-fingered sign and say anything like “Peace, brother.” Better to stick up the one-fingered sign and say “Fuck you.” One high school disciplinarian here has taken several measures to halt the threatening spread of peace. At the beginning of the school year he sent down a directive to the arts and crafts department that no one would be allowed to paint or craft peace symbols in his school. He announced early in the morning on October Moratorium Day that any students who left or were absent from school for the purpose of participating in Moratorium activities would be expelled from school, even if they had the permission of their parents. About 30 students wore black armbands that day, and with his approval some say by his direction all were ripped off by athletes and coaches during the day. Sometimes sleeves were ripped with the armbands, sometimes the assaults went beyond mere rippings. Feverish activity that morning produced hundreds of red, white, and blue armbands’ for “patriotic” students and faculty to wear, and at least one teacher gave demerits to students who attended his classes without one of the red, white, and blue bands around his arm. Sufficient intimidation followed that another black armband has not appeared in the disciplinarian’s school since, and this efficiency on his part will undoubtedly see him on to greater things. It must be said that a number of students like and agree with him, but 19 April 17, 1970 that is dying, all but its last soft idle sigh escaped, and the new one that is still gestating somewhere, not yet born; alive: but alive in the bland limbo of Sunday night darkness, in a bit of amorphous black Sunday wadding. Dallas has a voice which seems to say: Adapt to us. We are generally correct about things. Whereas Fort Worth is open, toneless. It says, Well, whatever it was that people brought with them, they’ve probably still got. You roll your own here. . Fort Worth drab, disheartened, disheartening; not truly caring too much. Dallas confident; a well-heeled bully. I struggle manfully to think important thoughts and always have to be content merely to think my own. Contributing editor Buck Ramsey tells how uptight Amarillo relaxed for a hippy millionaire others see him as a buffoon tyrant who is both laughable and threatening, and maddening in his repressive attitude. A descriptive anecdote: one student has told about entering a restroom in the school and finding the disciplinarian on his knees before a commode, puttering around in its water like a child playing. In a moment he fished something out of the water a cigarette butt as it turned out crumbled it between his fingers, smelled it, and told the student, “Just checking to see what’s being smoked around here.” Another practice, rich in analogical possibilities: he requires that students to whom he administers swats reflect upon a portrait of George Washington hanging on his office wall as he swats them. His tactics are apparently approved and applauded by officials and receive that tacit approval public silence gives. In a way, it is unfair to single him out because his attitude is more typical than extreme. Here it is widely believed that to condition a person for democracy, he must be raised to adulthood on authoritarianism. LONG HAIR, BADGE of individualism threatening the norm, disturbing the narrow vision. Long hair. Badge of traitors. Badge of dopeheads, impudent snobs, effete intellectuals, rotten apples, a whole damn zoo. The vituperations that should sicken the hearts of just men are more thrilling and inspiring here than the National Anthem and Star Spangled Banner. They incite and then justify chickenshit thoughts and acts. Like that of Agnew and Mitchell, the brand of “liberty” preached and popularized here is strictly negative and Letter from Amarillo