Happy Birthday Texas.
We promise, we'll keep it down and stay off your lawn. We understand you're getting old and yes, you're starting to show your age a little but that's OK. Yes, you're turning grayer around the edges than Charlie Sheen's publicist according to some but to most of us you're still among the best when compared to your peers.
Our problem, of course, is what to get you as a birthday present.
Being a little short of $25 Billion closing your budget hole is out, and we're not 100% sure that building a wall between you and Mexico is all that great of an idea. There's the Governor's mansion of course, you could use a new one of those, but then that would mean having to submit to the design whims of Anita Perry and her Classic doesn't mesh with our modern. We toyed with the idea of getting you a gift card of course, but then we realized that you're already the custodian of funds of thousands of those. If folks don't believe us you could show them your unclaimed property rolls. Our final idea was to give you a real, effective government, but then we realized that'd mean the one we currently HAD would come back to our communities and join HOA boards. Ugh.
Then it hit us. Why not give to Texas the idea (and wish) for a competent media?
After all, it doesn't cost much (anything) it's desperately needed, and it's something most of us can agree is severely lacking. A media that would act as a citizen watchdog and not an apologist for the government. Not a media that focuses on why Government is good and citizens are bad. Not a media that hires out of towners and teen writers to write their (frequently corrected) Metro columns while continuing to employ an editorial board that's out of touch with 90% of the populace all while griping that they are continually overlooked for a Pulitzer. And not a media that's perpetually un-curious and views itself as above the little people who pay their salaries.* While we're at it, I'd like to see a media with a tech writer who's not so far up Steve Job's asshole that Job's Dr's are using them as a medical source. Sports, well...that's for another blog.
Nope, what we want is a media that cares about the people in their communities and view them as more than just another bump (or dip) in circulation numbers. A media that remembers the days when their job was to cover State and Local news, leaving the National news to those who have a clue. A media that isn't hung up on "World Classiness" or what the news-ish sites are saying, one that's ahead of trends instead of perpetually chasing them, and one that doesn't try and mask cleverly disguised advertisements as a "features" section. And most importantly, we want a media that welcomes opposing points of view and doesn't try to wipe down the memory hole anyone who dares disagree with them.
Of course, having a media like this would involve having a blogosphere that would try to keep the media in check. An independent blogosphere that does more than just regurgitate press releases from favored political parties while blockquoting others with little value add, or using profanity just because....well you know. A blogosphere with original content that's witty, only slightly profane, and not a little bit rough around the edges.
Yup, that's the media and blogosphere Texas needs.
Of course, we'll have to replace what we have now but, judging by readership numbers, you're already doing a fine job of that.
Happy birthday Texas. Here's hoping you get what you deserve.