Austin Dispatches No. 246 Aug. 13, 2023

When Austin Dispatches was new, and statist meddlers gave lip service to the market, Miss KT and I sauntered hand-in-hand through the downtown Christmas Bazaar. The sight of hippie burnouts peddling hand-crafted gimcracks and knickknacks, intended to evoke a folksy nostalgia, put her in a funk.

"For the first time in my life, I have money, and now there's nothing worth buying," she said.

To my fellow Thirteener,1 I pointed out that the shabby crafts were likely inducing a Jungian ancestral memory of peonage;2 therefore, we were in the wrong place, and should be seeking out either glossy, professionally crafted merchandise for the haute bourgeoisie,3 or mass-produced objects made from industrial materials.4

"You're such a pill," she said.

Regardless, Miss KT only thought she had something to complain about then, a time of visible plenitude and the promise of more.5 Just consider the post-pandemic crap we endure now.6

Specifically, "spiteful mutants"7 at all levels seek to immiserate the rest of us, by depriving us of hydrocarbons, internal combustion engines, gas stoves,8 incandescent and halogen light bulbs,9 firearms,10 cattle,11 cash,12 mink furs;13 detached, single-family housing;14 and alternatives to mRNA injections.15

For example, the City Council continued its assaults on detached, single-family houses and the concept of private property to approve subdivision of lots for more density, i.e., crowded rental properties, subject to totalitarian surveillance ("10-minute cities"). The proof of that is in the spearheading councilwoman's denials at the July 20 council meeting.16 The subsequent Daily Texan quoted a local resident on what's likelier to happen: " '(Homeowner's) property values will soar, their taxes will soar and you'll find many of the older residents priced out of their neighborhoods.' "17 A correspondent to the Aug. 4 Chronicle calls the councilwoman the "new Benedict Arnold" for supporting infringements on property that "tear apart a neighborhood, make people live too close to others and offer no parking? Not to mention put more straws in the drought stricken aquifer, and a failing water delivery system."18

Meanwhile, City-sponsored reports conclude municipal fees and regulations already exacerbate the cost of housing in Austin. Instead, the City Council could've just read Austin Dispatches to learn that. However, the Chronicle reports developers said the City reports' cost estimates are erroneously low.19

Speaking of erroneous, artificial intelligence generated an image of a typical Austin house, in the July 17 Statesman. But there's no driveway or garage, and the front door is too narrow for movers to get furniture and appliances inside. Moreover, the image isn't even typical of the houses I've seen in my walks around the city. I'll stick with my real estate brain trust for help.20

As for the items the spiteful mutants still permit me to obtain, the chain retailers I've patronized have a disconcerting tendency lately to close locations or close altogether.21

e246fig2Incidentally, for some reason I don't understand, people have expressed surprise I patronize well-known, mainstream retailers to buy things. For purely functional products for domestic use, like shoelaces, or a toothbrush holder, I want those products immediately, not whenever the deliveryman for the e-commerce seller arrives. Moreover, I'm disinclined to buy one-of-kind, hand-crafted versions of such products at a boutique or an arts-and-crafts stall. Nevertheless, even the producers of books, audio recordings and neckties I buy dream of those items becoming best sellers. Now, however, far too many of the retailers I've patronized are going out of business because of economic mismanagement stemming from anti-pandemic efforts, or from being whipsawed in the kulturkampf.

Speaking of which, under-remarked amid the brouhaha about Bud Light's spokestranny is the nature of the product itself.22 The brewers that survived Prohibition diluted their product to imbibers too exhausted from fighting the prohibitionists to address their damaging aftereffects, or matured during the prohibitionist regime and thus too ignorant of real beer to object, to the point that drinking brands of flavored water helped define a "real American," who regarded home- or microbrewers reviving older flavors as subversive weirdos.23 (Similarities to the anti-pandemic lockdowns' consequences are, of course, coincidental.) Light beer is watered down even more.24 At least the TV commercials used to be entertaining.25 Therefore, Bud Light is the tranny of beers. In short, it's Carry Nation's fault some mincing freak annoys us today. Let's all gather, drink lots of real beer and piss on her grave.26

Cultural Canapés

The recent trend of federal officials discussing UFOs provides a good excuse for me to rave about the 1975 sociocultural study, "The UFO Controversy in America," by David Michael Jacobs.27 The excellent book -- published in a year full of them -- contains a scholarly yet eloquent, bemused take on paranormal phenomena joining Americana's stock of cornball humor:28

"Billy, where's your homework? And don't tell me the dog ate it."

"No, Mrs. Smith. I was walking to school when a flying saucer landed and little green men stole it from me."

Austin Death Watch

A CNBC ranking rates Texas the worst state in America to live and work.29 Unfortunately, this doesn't automatically mean the sort of people who've ruined Austin while complaining about Texas being Texas will leave, thereby improving the quality of life for those of us who stay.30

For instance, Austin residents will pay nearly $100 more yearly in rate and tax hikes to pay for what the city manager terms a "back-to-basics" budget proposal of ... $5.5 billion.31 Subsequently, the City Council proposed amendments that would add a mere $44 million.32 For all the blather about sustainability in this town, municipal financial practices are anything but sustainable.

The July 19 Statesman reports the number of street bums in Austin has increased, despite the millions in taxpayer dollars City Hall has squandered. Moreover, the Muslim councilman tut tuts the bums for ... " 'transphobic language.' "33 He has to go back.34

A consulting firm reports Austin has paid "$73 million in costs stemming from police misconduct lawsuits in the past 10 years," although that sum could just be City Hall being generous with taxpayers' money.35 Also, an audit finds municipal data on a city Web site is inaccurate.36

On the Town

July 21: The remodeled H-E-B at North Hills shopping plaza looks great, better than its Parmer Square counterpart. But what's with the floors at both locations? Did H-E-B contract with the workers who maintain Austin's streets?

Bevo and Butt-Heads

The Pflugerville school district responded to a budget deficit by eliminating positions and cutting administrative department budgets.37 Quite the contrast to its Austin counterpart.38

Neighborhood News

KXAN-TV's traffic Web page reported collisions at MoPac Expressway and Parmer Lane, and at Burnet Road and Esperanza Crossing, on Aug. 1, at Gracy Farms Lane and Schwab Way on Aug. 4, at Braker Lane and Burnet on Aug. 10, and at Lamplight Village Avenue and Metric Boulevard on Aug. 11.

Simon Property Group plans to renovate The Domain.39


Home Archives


1 Howe, Neil, Bill Strauss, and Ian Williams. 13th Gen: Abort, Retry, Ignore, Fail? New York City: Vintage Books, 1993.

2 Hunt, Harry T. Lives in Spirit: Precursors and Dilemmas of a Secular Western Mysticism. Albany, N.Y.: State U of New York P, 2003: 176.

3 Twitchell, James B. Living It Up: America’s Love Affair With Luxury, corr. ed. New York City: Simon & Schuster, 2003.

4 Kron, Joan, and Suzanne Slesin. High-Tech: The Industrial Style and Source Book for Home. New York City: Clarkson N. Potter, 1978.

5 McCraken, Grant. Plenitude 2.0. Toronto: Periph.: Fluide, 1998.

6 AD No. 238n6 (Sep. 18, 2022).

7 Dutton, Edward. Spiteful Mutants: Evolution, Sexuality, Religion, and Politics in the 21st Century Whitefish, Mont.: Radix, 2022.

8 Britschgi, Christian. "They Are Coming for Your Gas Stove." Reason Aug./Sep. 2023: 10.

9 Scocca, Tom. "The New Light Is Bad: There's Something Off About LED Bulbs -- Which Will Soon Be, Thanks to a Federal Ban, the Only Kind You Can Buy." New York Magazine 27 Mar. 2023: 32.

10 Backus, Lisa. "Judge Denies Injunction Halting Assault Weapons Ban." New Haven (Conn.) Register 6 Aug. 2023: A9.

11 Abrahams, Jessica. "Irish Farmers Revolt Over Plan for Cattle Cull to Meet Green Target." Sunday Telegraph 4 Jun. 2023: 15.

12 Polleit, Thorsten. The Global Currency Plot: How the Deep State Will Betray Your Freedom, and How to Prevent It. 2020. Trans. Auburn, Ala.: Mises Institute, 2022: 130-131.

13 "Denmark Bans Breeding of Mink After Mass Cull." Daily Telegraph 22 Dec. 2020: 9; Horton, Helena. "Peers Will Be Able to Keep Their Ermine Under Fur Ban Plan." Daily Telegraph 27 Feb. 2021: 7; "Mink Cull." Earth Island Journal Winter 2021: 10; "Sweden Bans Breeding Mink for Rest of 2021." Daily Telegraph 28 Jan. 2021: 8.

14 Kotkin, Joel. The Coming of Neo-Feudalism: A Warning to the Global Middle Class, rev. ed. New York City: Encounter Books, 2023: passim.

15 Berenson, Alex. Pandemia: How Coronavirus Hysteria Took Over Our Government, Rights, and Lives. Washington, D.C.: Regnery Publishing, 2021: 222, 328.

16 McCarthy, Elia. "Smaller Single-Family Lots OK'd." AAS 22 Jul. 2023: 1A+; Sanders, Austin. "Doors Will Open for You." AC 28 Jul. 2023: 12-14+; Saravia, Pili. "City Council Considers Affordable Housing, Environmentalism, Picket Fences." DT 25 Jul. 2023: 2.

17 Saravia, op. cit.

18 Klempner, Art. "The New Benedict Arnold." AC 4 Aug. 2023: 4.

19 Sanders. "Red Tape Raises Rent." AC 4 Aug. 2023: 12.

20 Maxin, Ryan. "AI Offers Look at 'Typical' Austin Home." AAS 17 Jul. 2023: 1B.

21 McLoughlin, Bill. "Fallout From Bed Bath & Beyond and Tuesday Morning Closings May Not Be What You Think." Furniture Today 8 May 2023: 2.

22 Smith, Benedict. "Mayor Resigns After Referring to Bud Light As 'Tranny Fluid.' " Daily Telegraph 14 Jul. 2023: 15.

23 Ogle, Maureen. Ambitious Brew: The Story of American Beer. Orlando, Fla.: Harcourt, 2006: 225-231, 264-271.

24 Ibid., 281-286.

25 Deford, Frank. Lite Reading: Everything You Always Wanted to Know About the Lite All-Stars ... and Less! Harmondsworth, U.K.: Penguin Books, 1984.

26 Asbury, Herbert. Carry Nation. New York City: Alfred A. Knopf, 1929: Ch. 5-13.

27 Fisher, Lina. "UFOs? UT Prof Says: Let's See Some Evidence." AC 4 Aug. 2023: 9; Jacobs, David Michael. The UFO Controversy in America. Bloomington, Ind.: Indiana UP, 1975; Mitchell, Ellen. "Are UFOs a National Security Risk?" The Hill 27 Jul. 2023: 13.

28 Miller, Christopher. American Cornball: A Laffopedic Guide to the Formerly Funny. New York City: Harper, 2014.

29 Martinez, Amethyst. "Texas Tops List of Worst Places." AAS 21 Jul. 2023: 1B+.

30 Fehrenbach, T.R. Seven Keys to Texas, rev. ed. El Paso, Texas: Texas Western Press, 1986.

31 McCarthy. "$5.5B City Budget Draft Unveiled." AAS 18 Jul. 2023: 1A+.

32 McCarthy. "Austin Council Members Seeks 15 Budget Amendments Over $1 Million." AAS 12 Aug. 2023: 1B+.

33 McCarthy. "Austin Homelessness Growing." AAS 19 Jul. 2023: 7B+.

34 AD No. 208n3 (Aug. 18, 2019).

35 Seipp, Skye. "Police Misconduct Cost $73M." AAS 11 Aug. 2023: 1B+.

36 McCarthy. "Audit: City Site Misreporting Data." AAS 28 Jul. 2023: 1B+.

37 Figueroa, Fernanda. "Pflugerville Schools' $7.3M Deficit Prompts Further Cuts." AAS 22 Jul. 2023: 1B+.

38 AD 245n10 (July 16, 2023).

39 Chmais, Sahar. "Multimillion-Dollar Renovation Underway at Domain." ABJ 11 Aug. 2023: 2.