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arndthwrld82

Texas culture and why so many native Texans resent it.

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Reposted from my response to another post in the Grand Texas Theme Park thread.

 

I spent several years living overseas and when I would tell people I am from Chicago they often would have never heard of it. In general people had heard of New York (for obvious reasons), California (Hollywood), and Texas (Cowboys, country music, etc...) One of the major reasons I chose to move here was due to the culture. Texas has a wonderful and unique culture that is distinctly Texan. Rugged individualism, patriotism, pride of place, heritage, friendliness, and of course all of the cultural stereotypes. Maybe it's something many native Texans can't see because they're so used to it but many states don't have this. Honestly, what is Illinois' culture other than thinking of Chicago, or Iowa or Indiana or many other states.

 

I read comments on this site all of the time and hear them in passing where people complain of Texas culture, show disdain for it, or want it to change or go away. I don't understand this sentiment. Culture is what makes so many things in life unique and special. We live in an era of multiculturalism and it's often stated on this site how great it is that so many people from other countries live in Houston and bring a small part of their culture with them. Why doesn't that apply to the local culture? Why do so many say that "other" culture is good but Texas culture is bad?

 

Trebelino, what good is cosmopolitanism or internationalism without the individual parts that make up those concepts (read: cultures). I'm not trying to attack you or argue with you, I just truly don't understand the double standard and I'm not just referring to you.

 

This might be a good idea for a new thread maybe I'll repost this somewhere else.

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With a population pushing 27 million you'll find some folks who don't like Texas and/or traditional Texas culture. I think you might find that a fair number of those folks don't have deep roots here and may be recent immigrants from other states where things are different. Of course, there are also folks who object to real or imagined elements of Texas culture, like everyone drives an SUV or everyone is a redneck. That's just cases of having blinders on.

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I don't resent it, I am proud of having a state culture. I just don't like country music and don't really want to talk about that stuff in general. And I do find people that are overly proud annoying (whether its TX, CA, NYC, anything). When I'm in another country I say I'm from Houston and NASA usually comes up, which works out for me since I am in Houston because of NASA.

 

Double Standard? maybe, but I would just rather be associated with Houston then Texas and don't like when people ask me if I ride a horse to work.

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Double Standard? maybe, but I would just rather be associated with Houston then Texas and don't like when people ask me if I ride a horse to work.

You should laugh in their face and tell them they watch too much TV.

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As a Texan and a Houstonian, I appreciate Texas/Houston culture.  In the burbs of Houston however, country music and ignorant beer swilling hicks ruled the day in the 70's and most of the 80's.  These weren't real Texas cowboys who loved nature, respected their papas, and woke up at 4am to do farm chores; they were drugstore cowboys who dipped chew, drank 'til they puked, and chased preppy boys who used big words through town with baseball bats.  Country music was their rallying call and beer was necessary for all social interaction.  If they made it to graduation or got their GED, they worked at a bottling company, in security, joined the police force or worked for Daddy.  These guys wouldn't miss the rodEO or a pasture party.  I consoled myself by imagining they had little or no internal dialogue.  These guys represented Texas "culture" to me for most of my life.

 

When I go to an event with loud obnoxious country folk, beer held high, sangin' along with their favorite country song, I get a little sick to my stomach.  When I see an amusement park in New Caney with a Texas (read COUNTRY) theme, I cringe.

 

I do not see Texas "culture" as an all positive thing.

 

When I went to Israel at 15, reruns of Dallas ran every single day on the television with Hebrew and Sanskrit subititles.  My house parents treated me like a second class citizen because they thought everyone from Texas was either spoiled and ungrateful or uneducated, fat, and poor.  Each time I spoke I could see the walls go up.  They had no interest in getting to know the kid from Texas.  Texas "culture" reared its ugly head again.

 

I have family who are "country" but they are kind.  I have friends who have farms and raise horses, real Texans; they too are genuine people.  In my experience, it seems that certain Texas subcultures, some who MOST exhuberantly embrace the images of Texas culture, represent the good things of Texas the least.

 

Actually, simply writing the above memories, sheds some light on my disdain for "Texas" themes.  It isn't the themes I dislike, it's the people wearing those themes as a banner for bad behavior and this is true of any subculture or subgroup.

 

Even though my dislike of certain aspects of Texas culture is somewhat unfounded, displaced frustration I guess, isn't a Texas "theme" tired?  How many Texas stars on people's fireplaces until someone says ENOUGH!  Do we really need more children learning english with a twang to preserve our Texas heritage?  Is a choo choo train, petting zoo, beer, fried stuff, and barns the best we can come up with?  I think there is more to us than that.

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I am a Houstonian first and foremost. There's enough culture here along the Upper Texas Gulf Coast that most wouldn't ever begin to associate with "Texana" that I have a hard time seeing myself as just a Texan. I'd choose a night out of zydeco and vietnamese infused crawfish over country and BBQ any day of the week. I associate my childhood with exploring bayous and climbing live oak canopies not dodging tumbleweed and stepping on cactus.

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I recently moved here from Columbus, and the entire time I was dreading it. I figured Texas was a place ENTIRELY of big oil, mega churches, oversized trucks, gun nuts, and wannabee cowboys. In my time here I've learned that this is mostly true, but theres WAY more to Texas that that. I live in Houston, which I think NPR recently declared the most multicultural city in America, and I can believe it. I just focus on what makes me happy, and pay no attention to the elements I dislike, because what's the point in being miserable all the time?

Also, correct me if I'm mistaken, but isn't more of what people imagine Texas is like more like what you might find in West Texas?

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Also, correct me if I'm mistaken, but isn't more of what people imagine Texas is like more like what you might find in West Texas?

You are correct. West Texas is quite a bit more like the stereotypes of Texas than the rest (most) of the state.

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I like the Texas culture and make no apologies. I hunt, like BBQ, and own a pair of boots. We have the largest rodeo and livestock show and its kind of awesome. If that embarrasses some of you, then not my problem. Maybe you shouldn't worry about what people in other towns think. Oftentimes the "enlightened" ones are the most narrow-minded anyway.

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It isn't the themes I dislike, it's the people wearing those themes as a banner for bad behavior and this is true of any subculture or subgroup.

 

This pretty much sums it up.

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I haven't met anyone in this state who disapproves or hides stereotypical Texas culture. I too have a pair of boots and a hat but wear them appropriately... Like to a country bar or the rodeo. I'm not ridig a horse, workin outside all day, or live on a ranch, so there is no need for me to wear chaps, spurs, boots, and a big hat.

I feel like the same about Scotland. I have some extended family there and visit as much as I can. You will find that most native men do own a kilt, but only wear them for special events, like weddings, or trying to be proud of their heritage at formal events. I've noticed it's mostly the older ones.

The same for here, world traveling businessmen who wear those ugly longhorn skull ties and boots at semi-formal and formal events. It's styish, and a tribute to a long gone era when cowboys wore only one pair of boots for working, riding, and going to church.

And anyone who assumes everyone in Texas rides a horse to work everyday has tunnel vision. I don't have a doctorate degree, but I know not everyone in Japan is a Sumo Wrestler, or that everyone in England has bad dental work. It all comes down to how people really see the world around them. Or they just don't have the time or care.

Edited by Montrose1100

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And, as if to underscore how stereotypical and stupid Texas "culture" is perceived, here is the Chronicle with a "Texas Citizenship Test". Predictably, it is more a test to guage your level of White Trashiness than Texan citizenry.

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Better than that, Lewis Black has come out with at new rant about Texas in response to Gov Goodhair's campaign to poach jobs from other states.

http://www.nymiddlefingertx.com/

I can't wait for someone to come up with a response. I googled sushi pizza and you can get that in Huntsville, of all places.

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Better than that, Lewis Black has come out with at new rant about Texas in response to Gov Goodhair's campaign to poach jobs from other states. http://www.nymiddlefingertx.com/ I can't wait for someone to come up with a response. I googled sushi pizza and you can get that in Huntsville, of all places.

 

Yelling your point really gets it across... Never been a fan of him, but I do really enjoy the Daily Show.

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Better than that, Lewis Black has come out with at new rant about Texas in response to Gov Goodhair's campaign to poach jobs from other states. http://www.nymiddlefingertx.com/ I can't wait for someone to come up with a response. I googled sushi pizza and you can get that in Huntsville, of all places.

 

Perry already had a campaign to poach California businesses. I guess NY is target #2. There's nothing wrong with trying, but I'd prefer it if we focused on our own job creators here in Texas, brought back proper science to our public schools, got rid of the stupid testing system which is dumbing down our citizenry, and properly funded our public colleges and universities. 

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As a Texan and a Houstonian, I appreciate Texas/Houston culture.  In the burbs of Houston however, country music and ignorant beer swilling hicks ruled the day in the 70's and most of the 80's.  These weren't real Texas cowboys who loved nature, respected their papas, and woke up at 4am to do farm chores; they were drugstore cowboys who dipped chew, drank 'til they puked, and chased preppy boys who used big words through town with baseball bats.  Country music was their rallying call and beer was necessary for all social interaction.  If they made it to graduation or got their GED, they worked at a bottling company, in security, joined the police force or worked for Daddy.  These guys wouldn't miss the rodEO or a pasture party.  I consoled myself by imagining they had little or no internal dialogue.  These guys represented Texas "culture" to me for most of my life.

 

I recognize your description precisely, and while these types latched on to an identity you equate with "Texan", I see them as more pitable redneck than anything. I'm thinking of one guy in particular that was a transplant from Ohio early in High School.

 

In my experience, these types are everywhere. It may take more of an ethnic angle (think Jersey Shore) or regionalist (deep south comes to mind), I think they are just lower middle class white kids looking for some kind of tribal identity to belong to absent anything meaningful. Lord help you if you get one from the New Orleans area going.

 

Having lived here my whole life, the only stereotype of Texans as a whole that comes to mind is one that I have to infer from others who aren't from here.

 

Houston is getting recognition of late for what it is, I just hope people don't decide we are the next big thing and show up any faster than they already are. I keep thinking that we are what we are largely because The Cool Kids never noticed what we were doing.

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I notice then when I go to other countries people assume texans ride horses and wear cowboy boots and hats. It is what it is. I also noticed going to other states none of them are really as proud as Texas. That's cool and somewhat unique.

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I notice then when I go to other countries people assume texans ride horses and wear cowboy boots and hats. It is what it is. I also noticed going to other states none of them are really as proud as Texas. That's cool and somewhat unique.

Texas is also the only state people from other countries recognize (Well, CA too) but that's what having an identity gets you. Go to another country and tell them you're from South Carolina.

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As a Chicago suburbanite and someone who has done a fair amount of travelling in the US I can say for certain that the reason(s) nobody outside the States would be familair with the culture are pretty sound.  Chicago is a reflection of the surrounding areas, whereas a "real" city such as NYC or LA influences the surrounding area, in some ways as far as the states to which they are bordered.  The mentality here (I still live in the Chicago 'burbs yet plan to move to Houston early next year) is heavily influenced by the rural areas, and most of the immigrants coming to Chicago come from second world countries or the old Eastern Bloc in droves.  I could go on but I won't.  Nowhere else in the world that I know of, including Houston, would have pride in things like hot dogs with mustard or mismanaged sports teams that lose every year or a way of speaking that resembles that of a handicapped or semi illiterate person, even for people who live in the far north suburbs or well to do areas like Wheaton!  Houston has a culture that is cosmopolitan and international for the simple reason that people there come from "better" cites and participate in its culture, not get dominated by what's already there.

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I recognize your description precisely, and while these types latched on to an identity you equate with "Texan", I see them as more pitable redneck than anything. I'm thinking of one guy in particular that was a transplant from Ohio early in High School.

 

In my experience, these types are everywhere. It may take more of an ethnic angle (think Jersey Shore) or regionalist (deep south comes to mind), I think they are just lower middle class white kids looking for some kind of tribal identity to belong to absent anything meaningful. Lord help you if you get one from the New Orleans area going.

 

Having lived here my whole life, the only stereotype of Texans as a whole that comes to mind is one that I have to infer from others who aren't from here.

 

Houston is getting recognition of late for what it is, I just hope people don't decide we are the next big thing and show up any faster than they already are. I keep thinking that we are what we are largely because The Cool Kids never noticed what we were doing.

 

Texas culture and why so many native Texans resent it.

Texas pride and why so many native Texans apologize for it.

Texas bravado and why so many native Texans ______ about it.

 

I remember reading an old-timer on some forgotten forum say that when Southern California was mushrooming, it just couldn't do anything right in the eyes of the Eastern establishment, who were constantly criticizing it.  Now SoCal has settled down into a known quantity that did not run New York out of business, so it no longer draws much ire.  Texas is the leading edge of that great Sunbelt migration, and therefore it takes the blame for whatever anyone dislikes about the new kid on the block.  

 

Now if Kinky Friedman has a place in the East Village, I am sure there's something good about New York;  there will always be native Texans who identify with what it has to offer artistically, intellectually, stylistically, and see us not collectively devoting sufficient love or priority, here, to those pillars of the Establishment.  They infer that we ought to know better, that as up and comers we ought to set ourselves up to do better, and that we do not in fact know better than the folks we are eclipsing on the coasts:  something unfair is happening.  Success is going to what doesn't deserve it;  to what doesn't deserve to be identified with.  

 

Going with what seems to work will always draw more "voters with their feet" than refinement will.  It's why popular movies and popular music and popular sex are so often so worthless.  Is it any different with urbanization?

 

Not if resentment is what's going on.  But I suspect that an embarrassment is closer to the truth.

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When I went to Israel at 15, reruns of Dallas ran every single day on the television with Hebrew and Sanskrit subititles.  My house parents treated me like a second class citizen because they thought everyone from Texas was either spoiled and ungrateful or uneducated, fat, and poor.  Each time I spoke I could see the walls go up.  They had no interest in getting to know the kid from Texas.  Texas "culture" reared its ugly head again.

 

They should have known better. Did you confront them and denounce them right before you left?

Are they still alive?

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I don't resent Texan culture, I resent the stereotype of what my culture is because I am from Texas.

 

At least from my perspective.

 

I am proud of my state's heritage (and I think thanks to public school curriculum anyone who cared about Texas history is as well proud), but that doesn't make me a gun toting, horse riding cowboy.

 

I think anyone who is confused about the varied cultures that made Texas what it is should visit San Antonio and hit up the Institute of Texan Culture http://www.texancultures.com/

 

Bonus points if you visit when the Texas Folklife Festival is happening (and extra credit if you find me performing).

 

I've attended this festival every year since 1985, and if I've learned anything it is that Texas culture as dictated by stereotype is far from correct. Texas is comprised of pockets of communities that immigrated from all around the world, and it all adds to the vast tapestry that is the REAL Texas culture. I wouldn't want to live anywhere else because of it.

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Texas is also the only state people from other countries recognize (Well, CA too) but that's what having an identity gets you. Go to another country and tell them you're from South Carolina.

 

3 words can explain that:

 

J. R. Ewing.

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Samagon is a Folk Life Fest nerd??? cool!  where do you perform? Up until 2008 and I had been to every one since 1978.  And when I lived in SA as an adult I worked it every year I was there  from '95 to 2006 doing various volunteering gigs. My hangout was generally  with the Germans,   or in Lebanese-ville next to the building (I worked with one of the Karam family for a number of years). Good times! I need to go back.

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Samagon is a Folk Life Fest nerd??? cool!  where do you perform? Up until 2008 and I had been to every one since 1978.  And when I lived in SA as an adult I worked it every year I was there  from '95 to 2006 doing various volunteering gigs. My hangout was generally  with the Germans,   or in Lebanese-ville next to the building (I worked with one of the Karam family for a number of years). Good times! I need to go back.

 

I perform with my family in the dutch folkdance group, if you watched the performances on the Lebanese stage, you've probably seen me at least once. 

 

my parents forced me to join them when I was too young to disagree, and now that I'm older, I enjoy acting a fool in wooden shoes with my family.

 

I wouldn't go so far as folklife fest nerd, it's more that I've come to enjoy sharing part of the culture and heritage I grew up with, and experiencing the same from other people, but then, I guess that is probably what a folklife fest nerd is :)

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Going with what seems to work will always draw more "voters with their feet" than refinement will.  It's why popular movies and popular music and popular sex are so often so worthless.  Is it any different with urbanization?

 

 

 

While I completely agree with your assertion that popular movies and popular music are mostly worthless; I must ask, what is popular sex? And how can such a a thing be worthless?

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I don't resent Texan culture, I resent the stereotype of what my culture is because I am from Texas.

 

At least from my perspective.

 

I am proud of my state's heritage (and I think thanks to public school curriculum anyone who cared about Texas history is as well proud), but that doesn't make me a gun toting, horse riding cowboy.

 

I think anyone who is confused about the varied cultures that made Texas what it is should visit San Antonio and hit up the Institute of Texan Culture http://www.texancultures.com/

 

Bonus points if you visit when the Texas Folklife Festival is happening (and extra credit if you find me performing).

 

I've attended this festival every year since 1985, and if I've learned anything it is that Texas culture as dictated by stereotype is far from correct. Texas is comprised of pockets of communities that immigrated from all around the world, and it all adds to the vast tapestry that is the REAL Texas culture. I wouldn't want to live anywhere else because of it.

 

I've never heard of The Institute or the Festival but both have been added to my "To do" list. Thanks!

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I've never heard of The Institute or the Festival but both have been added to my "To do" list. Thanks!

I've never been to the festival, but the institute is well worth a visit.

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