I have several friends who moved to Texas a few years ago. One set of them settled near by Rice University and are quite happy with their lives, while another set stayed less than a year before moving back, and ever since they’ve regaled all of us with hilarious stories of their interactions with what seemed like stereotypical ‘crazy locals’ of the religious variety. I always assumed that they were using poetic license to make the behavior more extreme and, therefore, to make the stories more funny.
Of course, there is the outlier. Admittedly, he’s a friend of a friend, and we weren’t close before he moved, but since then it often seems as if he has become one of those stereotypical crazy locals (and likes it that way).
So I pay more attention than I really should to news from Texas. I say “more than I should” because I often end up with a less than flattering impression of what’s going on there in the Lone Star State. On the one hand, there is always someone willing to opine at length about which new threat currently spells the downfall of western civilization, or is hastening the arrival of the End Times (always a favorite subject of mine). Other friends assure me that Texas has no more than the usual share of those with, ahem, ‘fringe’ ideas, just that in Texas everything starts to seem bigger. On the other hand, the bizarre seems to percolate much farther up the scale.
But I really don’t know what to make of the sudden momentum behind the secession petition craze, in which Texas seems to be leading the nation, though now that so many people seem to have thrown in for the idea, Governor Perry seems to be taking a much more pro-union stance and arguing that the U.S. needs Texan leadership.
It reminded me that the question of Texas succession has been a perennial fascination for some. Like obsession with the idea of apocalypse, it just suits some people to think about (and in many cases to wish for) an end to things as they are. Practical or not, many people find pleasure in the idea, and let’s be honest that imagining such a massive undertaking could be engaging, even if only as an intellectual exercise.
Oh, and it’s been eight days now, and so far no fire, brimstone or odd stars in the sky! More and more people are taking note…