Austin Dispatches No. 168 Oct. 23, 2013

For money this month, I’m charging admission to my apartment, where visitors can watch me conduct a job search. It should rival commercial haunted houses for frights.[1]

I maintain that regime uncertainty, from the federal government’s economic meddling, particularly Obamacare, have kept me jobless for a record 19 months.[2] This is professionally, financially, commercially and socially inconvenient. On the other hand, you can’t beat the hours.

Most gallingly, many people I encounter who learn of my plight and my explanation for it convey an attitude that my lengthy unemployment really stems from some personal failing they can’t quite identify. Even Austin’s slackers are irked at me.[3] 

Maybe because I’m relying on my own resources, instead of mommy and daddy. My past work history includes two remunerative contracts where the client hired me sight unseen, and one contract where the interviewers, both wearing slicked-back hair, hired me within five minutes.[4] That last miffed Miss KT, thinking of her years of struggle. “Why don’t you tell me how much I don’t deserve this job over dinner at Chez Nous tonight,” I replied.

In fact, I’ve been able to avoid collecting unemployment. The paltry sums aren’t worth the conditions, which once cost me a potential job. In 2001, I had to attend a mandatory class on how to search for work online, the same and only day Dell would see me about a contract. I sat in the Rundberg Lane unemployment office, fuming as the bureaucrat taught things I already knew. Or maybe the slackers’re irked because they can’t match my panache or savoir-vivre. I think I’ve done pretty well at making lemonade. Apparently, these other people – these strangers – would rather see me mean and evil, because I’m feeling squeezed, than wise up, get off their asses and make some deposits in the favor bank.[7] Fuck ‘em where they breathe.[8]

Must Be the Absence of Banjos

The Long Center for the Performing Arts, plagued by money problems from the start, is asking City Hall for “hundreds of thousands” of dollars.[9] It’s the same approach the Rockefellers took in the ‘50s to fob money-draining arts institutions from their tab onto the citizens’ under the guise of “public support of the arts.”[10] The center and its patrons should quit straining over an upper-class lifestyle they haven’t the wealth, taste or breeding for – as demonstrated by the mediocre, middle-brow fare performed there. Instead, they should put up some flashing neon signs, cover the floors in sawdust, stock up on cold longnecks, and above all, permit smoking. Then they’ll keep the place in the black.

For that matter, much of Austin’s proclaimed “weirdness” doesn’t match the reality. For example, this year’s ACL Festival’s closing headliner was … Lionel Richie? We at Austin Dispatches have no strong feelings about Richie, but given the past impression Austinites, particularly the festival promoters, have tried to convey about the event, doesn’t it seem somewhat self-sabotaging for its biggest name to be a quintessential AOR, easy listening-format pop singer who’s the antithesis of Austin alternativity?[10] Although not as sabotaging as the heavy rains that canceled the last day,[11] to The Daily Texan’s relief.[12]

Wrangling between city management, the firefighters’ union, and the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission has prevented hiring new firefighters.[13] If you think that squawking’s bad, just wait until someone burns to death because the responsible parties deemed “diversity” more important than competence. Also, the Chronicle story fails to consider whether the fire department should be a private operation.[14] In a related vein, the Chronicle frets that too much diversity among the identity groups who’ve fielded Democratic candidates for House District 50 could yield a Republican victory in the special election.[15]

Austin’s planning staff came close to admitting the 1984 comprehensive land development plan is a failure, in recent neighborhood meetings – so instead they want everyone to agree to a new plan. Southwest Austin residents, particularly from Oak Hill, were openly skeptical.[16] Rating agency Moody’s Investors Service thinks the consortium running Texas 130 could default on its debt because the toll road isn’t getting enough traffic.[17] Austin Energy electricity fees will increase $5 to $6 per month starting in November.[18]

Statesman columnist John Kelso writes that the city’s repaving of Lavaca Street will take away the parking spaces for the great Texas Chili Parlor between 14th and 15th streets.[19] More broadly, the Oct. 4 Business Journal reports both the city’s current and proposed special events regulations pick companies’ pockets and cripple small company gatherings.[20] Club de Ville, a quintessential “Austin experience” type place where I’ve actually had a good time, has shut down from unpaid rent.[21]

The Austin Independent School District is fretting that middle-class parents are fleeing its schools, “taking with them a crucial chunk of revenue, higher-performing children and strong political support for bond proposals.” Nice to see the Statesman spell out the real issue for AISD so early in the article – note how self-serving the district’s concerns are.[22] That’s because government schools are – and always were – intended to propagandize on behalf of the State, not teach children.[23]

Bevo and Butt-heads

For Banned Books Week, The Daily Texan ran a front-page feature where University of Texas minions recommended utterly predictable selections of dull works.[24] What’s more, none of those books are actually banned. Some of them I had to study in school.[25] Once in a while, someone in a hinterland school district expresses concern that the education establishment uses these books to push a pinko social agenda under the guise of learning, i.e., brainwashing children against intermediate institutions between the individual and the central government.[26] The “rube” expressing concern plays his role by allowing members of said establishment to congratulate themselves for their open-mindedness, even though they’re demonstrably intolerant toward dissenting views.[27]   

For example, the university held a symposium whose participants still insist on global warming, though their colleagues elsewhere have been caught lying about the topic.[28] Similarly, the university’s academics are fuming about a UT scholar whose research on homosexual parents reaches conclusions incompatible with the prevailing fashionable views among his peers.[29]

Would the educrats interviewed in the Sep. 25 Daily Texan speak on behalf of books that critiqued global warming or homosexuality? To ask the question is to answer it. Or, to put it in terms even they can understand, they don’t have the guts to shit in their own rice bowls.

Speaking of which, a Chinese visitor stabbed an ex-girlfriend in the nose with a fork at the Engineering Science Building on Sep. 25.[30] Now I know you’re expecting a sociobiological tirade about this being an example of the foreign hordes overrunning our country, but in this chink’s defense I want to point out he was assimilated enough to use a fork instead of chopsticks. For its part, the campus police offered a strained thanks to the student who overpowered the assailant.[31]

In good news for a change, the Oct. 1 federal shutdown closed the LBJ Presidential Library and Museum.[32] Now if we could only get rid of it.[33]      

The Eagle Has Two Valises

You wouldn’t know it to look at him, but Alex Jones is younger than me. The October issue of his Infowars magazine unwittingly moves into the realm of art criticism: An article finds fault with the occult symbolism of a December 1972 “Surrealist Ball” at a Rothschild Dynasty estate near Paris, with Salvador Dalí in attendance.[34] Unfortunately, for reasons of length or editorial reticence, the article misses the chance to address the paradox of an art style rooted in Catholicism being enthusiastically embraced by old-money establishment Jews.[35] The article also could’ve remarked on the open spectacle of artists using anti-bourgeois art as a means of social climbing – Dalí was too blatant about this trick for the art world’s comfort.[36] Café revolutionaries love to blow hard about fighting the power until the power covers the check with what amounts to spare change. It’s not that avant-garde artists are incapable of good work, just that we ought to call them on their conceits more often.[37]

As for occultism accusations, they have implications Jones and company might not want to pursue. For example, Gary North has speculated the Framers staged the 1787 constitutional convention as a Masonic coup d’état against the Articles of Confederation – an angle even anti-Constitution anarchists won’t touch.[38] Further back, the American Revolution’s principles share an Enlightenment basis with the globalists Jones denounces, and the Enlightenment itself has some tangled influences traceable to Gnostic heresies, a source of much misery in the world.[39]

Alamo Drafthouse banned Madonna, a Motown guidette whose true talents have been in marketing and promotion, from its theaters after a report she texted on her cellphone during a film festival screening. This goes against Alamo’s emphatic prohibition, as anyone who’s watched one of its theater announcements can attest.[40]

Media Indigest

The September issue of Texas MD magazine profiles the Second Street practice of “Austin’s own rock ‘n’ roll dentist.”[41] As further proof nothing can stay a joke, the article reminded me of the “DJ Dentist” sketch from the Seattle comedy show “Almost Live!” two decades ago.[42]

Neighborhood News

On Oct. 8, commentator Lisa Fritsch announced her candidacy for the GOP gubernatorial nomination at Mighty Fine Burgers in the Shops at Arbor Walk plaza.[43] If anything, the Gracywood neighborhood halfway through National Night Out was even more devoid of activity Oct. 1 than the neighborhood I visited for the same event last year. UT picked a Houston developer to redevelop the western parcels of the J.J. Pickle Research Center at West Braker Lane and MoPac Expressway.[43]

Home Archives


[1] Skal, David J. Death Makes a Holiday: A Cultural History of Halloween. New York City: Bloomsbury, 2002: Ch. 3.

[2] Copelin, Laylan. “As Oct. 1 Nears, New Law Baffles.” AAS 15 Sep. 2013: A1+; Higgs, Robert. Crisis and Leviathan: Critical Episodes in the Growth of American Government. New York City: Pacific Research Institute for Public Policy/Oxford UP, 1987: Ch. 8.

[3] Long, Joshua. Weird City: Sense of Place and Creative Resistance in Austin, Texas. Austin, Texas: U of Texas P, 2010: 70.

[4] AD No. 104 (Dec. 22, 2007); AD No. 118 (Oct. 27, 2008); Eisler, Dan. “Re: Fwd: Job Hunter.” E-mail to Mike Eisler, 24 May 2013.

[7] Wolfe, Tom. The Bonfire of the Vanities. New York City: Farrar Straus Giroux, 1987: Ch. 17.

[8] Mean Streets. Warner Bros./Taplin-Perry-Scorsese Productions, 1973.

[9] Coppola, Sarah. “Long Center Seeks City Aid.” AAS 25 Sep. 2013: A1+; Faires, Robert. “A Place to Gather Again.” AC 21 Mar. 2008: 34-37.

[10] Kostelanetz, Richard. “The New Benefactors.” Liberty Jan. 1990: 58-60.

[12] AD No. 83 (Sep. 7, 2005).

[10] Ramirez, Ramon. “ACL Fest 2013: Our Picks.” AAS 29 Sep. 2013: D5-6.

[11] Dinges, Gary. “Weather Forces First ACL Fest Cancelation.” AAS 14 Oct. 2013: A1+; Voeller, Amanda. “Heavy Rains Prompts ACL Cancelation.” DT 14 Oct. 2013: 1-2.

[12] Williams, Elizabeth. “Festival Finally Leaves Limits: Farewell to Hell.” DT 14 Oct. 2013: 8.

[13] King, Michael. “Burning Down the House.” AC 27 Sep. 2013: 10.

[14] Poole, Robert W. Cutting Back City Hall. New York City: Universe Books, 1980: 67-71.

[15] Hooks, Christopher. “HD 50: Will Dem Split Enable GOP?” AC 4 Oct. 2013: 18.

[16] Smith, Amy. “Tuning In to Austin.” AC 27 Sep. 2013: 12.

[17] Wear, Ben. “Tollway Bond Rating Drops.” AAS 22 Oct. 2013: A1+.

[18] “Council Approves Electricity Bill Fee Changes.” Austin Energy Customer News Oct. 2013: 2.

[19] Kelso, John. “Chili Parlor Feeling Pinched.” AAS 29 Sep. 2013: B1+.

[20] Grattan, Robert. “Cracking the Code: City Permit Plan Frustrates Business Owners.” ABJ 4 Oct. 2013: 18.

[21] “The Big News.” ABJ 18 Oct. 2013: A3.

[22] Wermund, Benjamin. “Austin Schools Battle Middle-Class Flight.” AAS 29 Sep. 2013: A1+.

[23] Gatto, John Taylor. The Underground History of American Education: A Schoolteacher's Intimate Investigation Into the Prison of Modern Schooling, 3rd rev. ed. New York City: Oxford Village Press, 2006; Gatto. Weapons of Mass Instruction: A Schoolteacher’s Journey Through the Dark World of Compulsory Schooling. Gabriola Island, B.C.: New Society Publishers, 2009; Iserbyt, Charlotte Thomson. The Deliberate Dumbing Down of America: A Chronological Paper Trail. Ravenna, Ohio: Conscience Press, 1999; Rushdoony, Rousas John. The Messianic Character of American Education: Studies in the History of the Philosophy of Education. Nutley, N.J.: The Craig Press, 1963; The Twelve-Year Sentence: Radical Views of Compulsory Schooling. Ed. William F. Rickenbacker. 1974. Rpt. San Francisco: Fox & Wilkes, 1999.

[24] Dearman, Eleanor. “Readers Bound by Banned Books.” DT 25 Sep. 2013: 1+.

[25] EAD No. 9n62 (Oct. 23, 1999).

[26] Sommer, Carl. Schools in Crisis: Training for Success or Failure?, rev. ed. Houston: Advance Publishing, 2009: Ch. 10-11.

[27] Sowell, Thomas. Inside American Education: The Decline, the Deception, the Dogmas. New York City: The Free Press, 1993: Ch. 7-8.Stephen Cox

[28] Delingpole, James. Watermelons: How Environmentalists Are Killing the Planet, Destroying the Economy and Stealing Your Children’s Future. London: Biteback, 2012: Ch. 2; Watson, Brandon. “Adapt or Fry: UT Climate Adaptation Symposium.” AC 27 Sep. 2013: 16.

[29] Knoll, Travis. “Regnerus Talks, but Not in U.S.” DT 3 Oct. 2013: 4.

[30] Rudner, Jordan. “Attacker Followed Victim From China.” DT 27 Sep. 2013: 1-2; Rudner. “Student Stabbed in Nose With Fork.” DT 26 Sep. 2013: 1.

[31] Long, Alberto. “UTPD Praises Student Response to Fork Attack.” DT 3 Oct. 2013: 1-2.

[32] Green, Anthony. “Government Shutdown to Close LBJ.” DT 1 Oct. 2013: 1-2.

[33] AD No. 76 (Jan. 17, 2005); AD No. 142n24 (June 16, 2011).

[34] Salazar, Adan. “Rothschild Ball Exposes Elite’s Fascination With Occult.” Infowars Oct. 2013: 50-52.

[35] Hughes, Robert. The Shock of the New, rev. ed. New York City: Alfred A. Knopf , 1991: Ch. 5; Johnson, Paul. A History of the Jews. New York City: Harper & Row, 1987: 317.

[36] Descharnes, Robert. Salvador Dalí: The Work, the Man. Trans. Eleanor R. Morse. New York City: Harry N. Abrams Publishers, 1984; Schaffner, Ingrid. Salvador Dalí’s Dream of Venus: The Surrealist Funhouse From the 1939 World’s Fair. New York City: Princeton Architectural Press, 2002.

[37] Limaye, Kanchan. "Adieu to the Avant-Garde." Reason July 1997: 36.

[38] North, Gary. Conspiracy in Philadelphia: Origins of the United States Constitution. Harrisonburg, Va.: Dominion Educational Ministries, 2004; Royce, Kenneth W. Holgram of Liberty: The Constitution’s Shocking Alliance With Big Government, rev. ed. Ignacio, Colo.: Javelin Press, 2012.

[39] Shafarevich, Igor Rostislavovich. Sotsializm Kak Iavlenie Mirovoi Istorii. Paris: YMCA-Press. Trans. William Tjalsma. The Socialist Phenomenon. New York City: Harper & Row Publishers, 1980.

[40] Swiatecki, Chad. “Alamo CEO Causes Commotion.” ABJ 18 Oct. 2013: A2.

[41] Marmel, Jody Joseph. “On Top of the World.” Texas MD Sep./Oct. 2013: 16-17.

[42] “DJ Dentist.” Almost Live! KING-TV, 22 Feb. 1992.

[43] Tilove, Jonathan. “Radio Commentator Joins GOP Battle for Governor.” AAS 9 Oct. 2013: B1+.

[43] Buchhold, Jan. “Hines’ Selection Leaves Local Firms in a Pickle.” ABJ 27 Sep. 2013: 2.