I think about a world to come where the books were found by the golden ones, written in pain, written in awe by a puzzled man who questioned, "What are we here for?" All the strangers came today and it looks as though they're here to stay.

-David Bowie "Oh! You Pretty Things"

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

King of the Hill

My brother moved to Denton, Texas in 2006. He had never lived away from our home town of Grand Rapids, Michigan, had never lived away from our small suburb home in the township of Cascade. I remember visiting Micah once he had made his mark in Texas. He worked at a fast food restaurant called Chicken Express, drank a lot of Southern Comfort, and watched, primarily, Bonanza, The History Channel, and King of the Hill.

I moved to Texas a little while later after having failed at my objective of getting published in New York City. There are a lot of people who say a lot of things about Texas, but most of them are inaccurate. For one thing, the state is enormous. Someone who knows everything about Houston knows nothing about El Paso. For another thing, people only seem to report one dimension of a series of multi-dimensional relationships. Needless to say, I grew tired of people saying, "Everybody in Texas is such and such."

In May, I moved back to our home town of Grand Rapids after living in Texas for three years. I only lived in two towns, Denton and Fort Worth, but I had traveled to Dallas, San Antonio, Austin, Houston, College Station, Corpus Christi, and Amarillo. I gathered some important data about what it means to be a Texan, and I thought about chronicling it on this blog. But then I realized that something like that would be redundant.

After all, the most accurate depiction of Texas is Mike Judge's King of the Hill. Texans are interesting and beautiful and annoying, polite and bigoted, brave, bold, and occasionally dangerous. They're a fantastic people full of quirks. Not everyone is like the Hill family, but so far as I am concerned King of the Hill covers about as many dimensions and regions as anything I've ever seen. And it's not simply some sort of National Geographic special either: it's a fantastic comedy that I watch whenever there's nothing else on in a hotel room, and also at other times.

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