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L Happiness Is Printing By 1? IFUTURA Phone 512/442-7836 1714 SOUTH CONGRESS P.O. BOX 3485 AUSTIN, TEXAS Newspapers Magazines Political Specialists Signs and Placards Bumperstrips Office Supplies 100% Union Shop PRESS ‘me Aroynt ye, runnions Chicago Mark my words, Texas will rue the day it succumbed to the blandishments of liberals, lushes and libertines and legalized liquor by the drink \(as I so cogently pointed out in my Observer articles which defeated this insane proposal some years Having traveled the country wide, I am keenly aware of the cost of getting crocked in various states; and I have consistently defended the Texas brown-bag law as a thoroughly sensible and economical way of insuring that citizens could get the drunkest for the leastest. For the price of a cheap bottle and a bucket of ice, you could absolutely plaster a whole tableful of people for what one round of weak martinis cost in any New York bar. Granted that Texas’ traditional liquor laws may have boosted the state’s homicide rate and compounded the highway toll; but social Darwinism dictates the destruction of those who lack either the wits of the capacity to survive in their cultural environment. And as one who did survive this new liquor policy as an insidious conservative plot into which Texas’ insecure liberals have been sucked. How about flim-flammed? just to avoid any double out and spend an evening boozing it up will be those with money \(mostly Connally Democrats and a few stinking rich who cannot afford it. \(This would include a substantial number of Texas Observer readers who will henceforth be taking even more bread out of their babies’ mouths as they while away the evening at Scholz’s or some other gathering place to talk reform The sad thing is that this has all come about because so many half-way intelligent Texans are ashamed of theii state and keep trying to reform it. They fancy that Texas is provincial and backwoodsy and the laughingstock of the nation just because some Dallas courts hand down 2000-year sentences for marijuana or whatever. They’re right, of course; but patterning the state’s liquor laws after New York’s or California’s or anyplace else’s isn’t going to do it, and in fact only deprives Texas of one of it’s last remaining elements of regional quaintness having to bring your own bottle that have always charmed the really sophisticated Northerner. In Texas, liquor-by-the-drink is not a victory over the Baptists but a surrender to national social pressure. If Texas liberals had any sense of political tactics, they would abandon their penny-ante reform efforts and either Communication’ noisily applaud or indignantly defend, on spurious and chauvinistic grounds, whatever folly the state’s lawmakers and courts choose to perpetrate. Make absolutely certain that the action of some legislator or grand jury or hanging judge receives the kind of conspicuous popular support that makes national news and thoroughly embarrasses the state’s power-politicians who always try to endear themselves to the crackpots without I suppose a journalist can aspire to no higher reward than to be quoted by his peers in time of trouble. Thus, while I could not have been more surprised to see my name and my words on your pages couldn’t help feeling a certain sense of satisfaction and of vindication. At the time of the 1965-66 Daily Texan crisis, which it seems that history will persist in attributing to me, I experienced precious little support from peers, profs or anyone else except for that certain element of intellectual guerrillas headquartered at the YMCA across from the campus whom I hardly knew. Thus, perhaps a word of support to the now generation of Texanoos is the least I can offer. I have, quite frankly, lost touch with UT and the Texan in the more than five years since I was graduated. I haven’t seen the newspaper and don’t know what have been its most recent claims to fame or friction. But I know the Texan prepared me well for V” becoming identified with them. Alas, where the liberals saw the liquor issue as a contest between Texas cosmopolitans and Texas rednecks, it was in fact an economic battle won by those whose sense of social insecurity has only caused them to saddle poor people with the necessity of buying a drink instead of a drunk. I’m sure .that Mr. Connally and Mr. Erwin and Mr. Johnson and the boys in Dallas and Houston are very pleased that tourists will now find Texas just as up-to-date as Kansas City, and make it their next-year’s convention .site. Which doesn’t much matter, I suppose, if you can still go out in the evenings. and make do with ordinary beer. Bill Helmer Mr. Helmer is the Observer’s specialist on libertine affairs. After founding the John Dillinger Died for You drinking society here in Austin, he moved on to Chicago where he is an editor for Playboy magazine. IDialogue professional journalism, and it would not have done so had it been a Journalism School house organ, rather than a competitive, crusading daily newspaper. I can appreciate the unique freedom of the collegiate press more than ever after two and a half years as a staff member and for two years managing editor of a newspaper in a country where overt June 18, 1971 23 A IDA PRESS 504 West 24th Multi copy service. Call 477-8351 MARTIN ELFA NT Sun Life of Canada 1001 Century Building Houston, Texas CA 4-0686 On the Texan