On a Texas Sunday morning
How I long to be there
With Marie who's waiting for me there..."
- 'Is This the Way to Amarillo?'
Form a line and we'll do the Texas Two-Step down to the Lone Star State!
Texas is, of course, the second largest state in America. How they must hate being reminded of that fact! It is also the only state to have existed as an independent nation before being subsumed into the USA. Its history is one of brave rebellion against the Mexicans - remember the Alamo! Now separated by the mighty Rio Grande Texas and Mexico have to my mind certain similar characteristics. Look at all the towns with Spanish names: El Paso, San Antionio, Laredo and, of course, Amarillo. They have a joint style of cooking: Tex-Mex. I invisage hot dusty plains peppered by bleached cattle skulls. This is serious cattle country, and with cows come cowboys in their ten-gallon hats. Now oil is the main source of wealth of course and the cowboys are outnumbered by oilmen like J.R. Ewing and George W. Bush.
The Texan is in many ways the archetypal American: a tough frontiersman, wealthy through his own efforts, a land-owner, a straight-talkin' straight-shootin' good ol' boy who likes things bigger and better than you can manage. He loves the open range and distrusts anyone wearing a suit. Particularly if they're Mexican.
My three films for the week are:
- Rio Bravo (1959)
- The Texas Chain Saw Massacre (1974)
- No Country for Old Men (2007)