WTF Friday: Mind Playing Tricks On Me

Not Rick Perry
Wikimedia Commons
Not Rick Perry

These are dark times in Austin. Deranged, ethereal powers lurk in the shadows, and not just in the Cloak Room, where that’s normal. They’re plotting against us: But what kind of plots? And who are they? Will they come for us soon? What’s he building in there? How long do we have?

People are acting crazy this week: Like, more so than usual, even this close to an election. But maybe… they’re right? Just because this state is getting increasingly paranoid doesn’t mean they’re not out to get us. I mean, look: Not even the governor is safe from the designs of the shadowy cabal.

1) Rick Perry, the state’s kind-hearted paterfamilias, is in a spot of trouble—a testament to the cruel powers of our police-/nanny-state. Here’s what he did, in case you hadn’t heard: A communist, drug-addicted district attorney named Rosemary Lehmberg kidnapped and held to ransom close to three hundred children, and Perry politely suggested she step down until the matter was resolved. For this, Texas Democrats threw him in a dungeon, forcing him to fight for his political life in a series of gladiatorial matches which will culminate at the Ames Straw Poll. It’s terribly unfair, really.

Anyway, Perry’s been having an identity crisis. There’s the glasses: But he’s also flirted with non-traditional identities for a Texas governor, like being Californian, and Jewish. In the course of filing a motion to quash Perry’s indictments, Perry’s lawyers are helping him figure out what he’s not.

“A Texas Governor is not Augustus traversing his realm with a portable mint and an imperial treasure in tow,” the motion argues. “No governor can say of his or her state what the Sun King said of France: “L’état, c’est moi.”

Screen Shot 2014-09-12 at 2.26.50 PM

No, Perry’s not Louis XIV. But Perry wouldn’t be so out of place in a toga. Perhaps it’s something he should explore more fully. Remember Caesar’s last words to Brutus: “Adios, mofo.” And of course there’s his famous declaration upon crossing the Rubicon: “Why don’t you just let us get on down the road?

Think about this, Governor. This could be a fun roleplay for the state after what’s been a sometimes grim 14 years. We’ll call you “First Citizen of the State,” and your Texas Enterprise Fund the “Imperial Treasure.” You can send your legions to foreign borders while aides feed you grapes on a daybed. It’s everything you ever wanted, and there are no debates. Call us.

2) The governor’s legal team might be seized by visions of grandeur, but the thoughts of our other statewide officials are on pettier schemes. Take Todd Staples, the state’s agriculture commissioner. Staples, as he wrote in an op-ed for the Austin American-Statesman this week, is “very concerned.”

Recently, I learned some Texas school districts, such as Dripping Springs ISD, have adopted a policy deemed “Meatless Mondays” for some of their campuses.

[…]

Restricting children’s meal choice to not include meat is irresponsible and has no place in our schools. This activist movement called “Meatless Mondays” is a carefully-orchestrated campaign that seeks to eliminate meat from Americans’ diets seven days a week — starting with Mondays.

Yes, Texans, the vegetarians are here, and they’re coming for your patties. If nObama had his way, we’d all be eating kale, all the time.

Texas is a meat-based culture—meat before all, really—and it seems somewhat unlikely that this “carefully-orchestrated campaign” Staples sees in the shadows will be seizing bratwursts and sirloin anytime soon. But the horror conjured by the idea that Texas kids might have cheese pizza instead of sausage* pizza one day of the week says something about Staples’ commitment to his job, I guess.

The funniest thing might be this attempt at inclusion, though: “While we have plenty of room in the Lone Star State for vegetarians,” Staples writes, “we have no room for activists who seek to mandate their lifestyles on others.”

That’s kind of nice, except “we have plenty of room” sounds like the kind of thing that holds true until there’s not enough room anymore. When Staples is king, and we run out of water, beware: We’re eating the vegetarians first.

*May contain no actual USDA-recognized meat products

3) Two of the three members of the state’s Railroad Commission, which oversees oil and gas exploration, are now convinced Vladimir Putin is behind efforts to slow fracking in Texas.

¯\_(ツ)_/¯

4) Remember that Dewhurst guy? The lieutenant governor, David. He suffered through a pretty stupid primary recently, which he lost to Dan Patrick. He’s a lame duck now and is probably leaving professional politics for good in a couple months, so he might as well drop his tea party pretenses, right? There’s no reason to put on a show anymore.

And yet…

This week, the Mexican government issued a statement protesting Texas’ national guard deployment to the border:

Mexico asserts that it is irresponsible to manipulate the current state of border security for political purposes. It reiterates that immigration must be addressed from a comprehensive and regional perspective, with a mid-term vision and with shared responsibility, to ensure peace, inclusion and prosperity in the region.

The measure taken unilaterally by the Texas government is clearly erroneous and does not contribute to the efforts being made by our countries to create a secure border and a solution to the issue of immigration.

Governor Perry’s office shrugged. But Dewhurst, in his infinite wisdom and infinitely questionable political skills, saw… a plot. TO DISHONOR THE MEMORY OF THE FALLEN.

“I find it puzzling and frankly offensive that the government of Mexico chose the 13th anniversary of the most tragic attack on our homeland to call on Texas to throw open our international border to illegal immigration, trafficking in drugs and human lives, and potentially even terrorists who wish to harm America,” Dewhurst said in a statement.

Setting aside the issue of the Dewhurst team’s questionable reading comprehension, consider the idea that it’s offensive for foreign governments to say anything to the United States on September 11. For the rest of this century, perhaps, we should set aside the second week of the ninth month as the “No Saying Mean Things to America Zone.”

But that’s not all, of course—the Mexican government’s statement was actually dated September 10. Great job, everybody. Great job, Dew.

You know what? In spite of everything, I’m actually going to miss that guy.

Christopher Hooks is a freelance journalist in Austin.

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Published at 3:55 pm CST
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