To steal one from Steve Earle, our divorce from Austin did not work out. Upon returning, we’ve noticed a few changes, including an alarmingly Atlanta-esque number of cranes downtown. But over the past 18 months, mostly what’s changed is us – we’re married, employed and thoroughly disabused of any romantic notions about the California lifestyle.
Regarding the Golden State, well, what I can I say, given such a short stay? As an impartial observer, I’m amused at how similar the populations of California and Texas are, given their antipathy toward one another. Both are large states with multiple metropolitan areas jammed with SUVs driven by people who share a charitable view towards plastic surgery and $200 blue jeans. Californians sneer at Texans for their conservatism and then give the world Nixon, Reagan, Charlton Heston and Schwarzenegger. If there really were a day without a Mexican, both states would fall flat on their faces economically and likely starve from burrito deprivation.
There are differences as well, but, outside of the politics in Berkeley and Hollywood, it would be myopic to even mention them. Having driven across the country several times, I am profoundly saddened by the sameness of the Assimilated States of America. You have to look hard between the Home Depots, Wal-Marts, Taco Bells and forests of mobile phone towers to catch the faintest glimmer of what everyone from the Native Americans through Jack Kerouac saw. For more on that, please check out Fast Food Nation and your local zoning board.
As you’ve also noticed, what’s also changed is the title and URL of this blog. Given recent traffic counts, I figured I wasn’t risking much by flipping my handle and kicking out the beer cans and pizza boxes. Whether that’ll translate to a higher post count is TBD, but every New Year begins with the highest hopes.
So, dear readers – all one of you – thanks for your continued and utterly undeserved patronage. Happy aught-seven!