Thursday, May 26, 2022 May 26, 2022
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All Clichés Are Bigger in Texas

D Magazine’s Lame-Duck Editor To Debate the Merits of Dallas vs. Houston on Public Radio, Ctd.

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I could be wrong, but I might have made an enemy today. His name is Scott Vogel, and he’s the editorial director of Houstonia Magazine. He was my sparring partner in the debate today about the supposed rivalry between Dallas and Houston. It aired on Houston’s public radio station, KUHF. I did the segment from the KERA studios, while Vogel and the KUHF host, Craig Cohen, were in Houston. So I couldn’t pick up any nonverbal communication. Maybe Vogel was smiling the entire time. Didn’t sound like it. Have a listen. If you don’t have 25 minutes to spare, here’s probably the best point I made:

When they came up with this television show that involved these scheming oil families, and they needed a mythopoetic city where they could set it, they didn’t say, “Let’s put it in Houston.” No, they called the show Dallas. There’s a reason that happened. And it’s because Dallas, for whatever reason, is more evocative. It has a place in America’s heart that Houston can’t lay claim to.

Cohen followed up on that and asked Vogel if Dallas has an identity that Houston has not yet developed. Vogel’s response:

One of the things I keep harping on and going back to over and over is the idea that you don’t have a certain identity might be one of our greatest strengths. The fact is that it’s open, that it’s sort of in the process of being born.

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