Monday, March 3, 2008

Don't Mess With Texas

As I mentioned in my previous post, there is a big primary election Tuesday in Texas and Ohio*. I've already posted a few things about Ohio, so here are some of my postcards from Texas:

I have visited Texas several times, both to visit friends and to attend conventions. I particularly enjoyed San Antonio and Corpus Christi. San Antonio is a terrific convention town. I appreciate the way all the major hotels and convention center are all connected by the River Walk. Corpus Christi is blessed with Gulf breezes and beautiful beaches and the nearby Padre Island National Seashore.

  • Prior to European colonization, Texas was inhabited by Native American nations such as the Caddo, Comanche and Apache.

  • Claimed by Spain, the territory was controlled by Mexico after their independence in 1810.

  • Texas declared its independence from Mexico in 1836, and functioned as an independent republic for nearly a decade.

  • In 1845, Texas joined the United States as the 28th state, initiating a war with Mexico, that cost Mexico one third of its territory.

  • In 1861, Texas seceded from the Union, and was "reconstructed" in 1870.

Perhaps more than any other state, Texas is in love with its distinctive shape:
Today, the outline of Texas is familiar enough to be a well-known image, an icon. The shape has also become a symbol, that is, something concrete implying a much larger idea which can raise strong feelings. The curves and straight lines of the Texas border serve as neon signs, billboards, book covers, television images, packages, and brochures to advertise calculators, trash bags, insurance agencies, cigars, houses, used cars, railroads, cans of beans, clothing, cosmetics, and the state itself. The gloriously uncopyrighted shape of Texas has become swimming pools, cakes, masks, hats, shirts, piñatas, buildings, evergreen topiaries, sculpture, and balloons.

The official slogan of the Texas Department of Transportation is "Don't mess with Texas." It was created as part of an anti-litter campaign, but has grown in popularlity as an unofficial slogan for the state, and The Department of Transportation has sent cease and desist letters to several organizations in an attemp to make them stop using their trademarked slogan.

*Yes, I know that Rhode Island and Vermont are also holding primaries... but I don't have any map postcards from your states, rendering you less important. Perhaps you can help me remedy the situation.

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At Tuesday, March 04, 2008 , Blogger La Gringissima said...

You forgot to mention that Mrs. Cartophiliac went to the University of Texas at Austin for her master's degree.

Hook 'em Horns!

Go Bucks! (oh, wait, wrong school ;-)

At Tuesday, March 04, 2008 , Blogger Cartophiliac said...

Cartophiliac has long ago forgiven you for your academic transgressions...

Go Blue!


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