Roger Gray

January 1, 2003 by  
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by Roger Gray

None of the Keating Five are Available? OK, Let’s Run Sanchez –

Well, the election is over as I write this, and two things have finally come to pass in Texas. The slow-motion takeover by the Republican Party of all the levers of state power and the conversion of the Democratic Party into some sort of summer sleep-away camp for aging hippies and Panthers are both complete now. As evidence of the former, bills have been put into the legislative hopper outlawing gay marriage and allowing prayer in schools, two of the most burning issues facing our state (flash the “irony” light here). And to illustrate the latter, the Dems ran a tri-color ticket and couldn’t get any of the colors to come vote.

“OK, Here’s the Deal. I?ll Support Your Bill on Private Ownership of M-1 Tanks if You’ll Support My Proposal to Let Women and Minorities Vote Twice Just to be Fair – “

And make no mistake, if the Democrats had won, early bills would have been filed on the subjects of – well – gay marriage, affirmative action and somehow making abortion even more legal, as though these were the most pressing concerns of the people of Texas. Both of these formerly honorable institutions have been somehow shanghaied by the wingnuts of the left and right, and the things most folks are concerned about – schools, insurance, jobs and health care – will have to be wrestled onto the radar screen by people on both sides who give a damn. Of course, before that happens, we will have to wade through endless discussions about Darwin, pictures of naked statues in library books, appropriate treatment of the transgendered, flag burning, lifting that silly machine gun ban, bi-lingual cereal boxes, making the obtaining of a law degree a felony offense and Ron Wilson’s semi-annual rant about Texas A&M being an academic klavern of Strom Thurman moonies. These are the parties of Jack Kennedy and Barry Goldwater, and if those two could come back, they’d be doing tequila shots with Jesse Ventura and swapping war stories.

Mongo Santamaria!

I love jazz. Let me state that right up front. And in my opinion, Houston is long overdue for a true jazz station, with suitable apologies to KTRU, which unfortunately can’t be heard beyond roughly 50 yards of campus. But then I heard that the recently transformed KIKK-FM is now so-called “smooth jazz,” which is another word for Kenny G. If only the programmers at KTRU could be hired, then maybe we’d get more Miles, ‘Trane and Gillespie. Instead, it is sleep-inducing, seemingly endless soprano sax riffs that has Houstonians in offices around the Bayou City falling face first into their keyboards. They say they will program some real jazz, but trust me, it will be on Sunday after 7 p.m. This stuff is musical Cream of Wheat for listeners who find New Age music too edgy. Expect a station-sponsored John Tesh concert any day now.

Kathy! Louie! Come Back! All is Forgiven ?

It is looking more and more like the primary legacy of the Brown era in Houston will be unpaid-for stadiums, a gaggle of international sister-cities, all of which the mayor is compelled to visit periodically, mass teen-ager roundups in store parking lots and interoffice memos written with the grammatical flair of a 12-year-old dropout. The only thing worse is the crowd gathering to take his place. If Roy Hofhienz weren’t dead, this would kill him.

?If You Build It – They Will – Hate Us” –

The Dallas Morning News, a paper that doesn’t employ Bill Coulter as a columnist and therefore apparently has some sort of competency requirement, had a big spread on the proposed $800 million makeover of Buffalo Bayou, and the article fairly seethed with gritted-teeth admiration. They have been trying to do something with the Trinity River for years to no avail. And the prospect that we might be creating some kind of e-ticket humidity ride down our main city ditch has them green with envy. The thought of that gets me all tingly. ih

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