Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Some Commentary on Dallas, its Personality, and its Art Scene

Some good stuff here, in two parts, from a Houston art blog reviewing Dallas and the art scene he found.

Dallas is a Jewel.

Dallas is a Rich Man with a Death Wish in his Eye.

And be sure to read the lyrics from which he derived the post headings:

Well Dallas is a rich man with a death wish in his eyes
A steel and concrete soul in a warm heart and love disguise
A rich man who tends to believe in his own lies
Yeah Dallas is a rich man with a death wish in his eyes

I feel like I could think about these verses for hours and their implication.  However, with that one line in particular "steel and concrete soul," seems to describe how I generally feel towards 'southern hospitality, evil eyes and a willingness to stab you in the back while smiling politely to your face (bless your heart).  But perhaps I see Dallas inverse to this description, as a warm heart and soul wrapped in a steel and concrete disguise.  Though I don't know which is more optimistic.
After the super bowl I wrote something about the split personality disorder afflicting the city, the tension between reality and...surreality?  
We are exporting a false persona and the world sees right through it. If we weren't ashamed of what makes us us, we might actually try to project some reality of what is beneath the mannequin-like botox of shiny glass buildings.
The real Dallas is what we keep hidden while we boastfully show off that which is little more than a generic knock-off model of somewhere else.  "Hey!  We got that too!"  But that isn't what people look for when they travel.  And it sure isn't what people appreciate when they live there.    
In that Super Bowl piece, I talk about transportation networks (of course I do) and how the infrastructure we've built does 1)a better job connecting regional destinations than local ones and therefore 2) more to divide than to unite us.  But it's the strength of the local connections that creates the multiplier effect, which is the foundation of all living systems.  In other words, your foot isn't attached to your head and for good reason.
If you indulge me for writing about the same thing over and over, it's because I find myself thinking about this every day.  Why?  Because my office is one mile from my home.  One.  Yet, it is virtually impossible to traverse from one to the other easily without leaving a crumb trail.  Sometimes I bike, sometimes I walk, occasionally I trolley, and because I had a meeting to get to this morning I even drove (ghasp! shrieks of "sell-out!" fill the air).  
And you know what?  It takes me 20-25 minutes no matter the form of transportation (I haven't tried hand-gliding from a downtown tower yet).  The reason for why it takes so long (and is rather unpleasant regardless of mode) is the same reason why I could be in Richardson or Mesquite or Grapevine in the same amount of time, the highway.  The infrastructure that divides more than it unites.