50 Reasons Texas Is the Best State in America
Gawker has been stirring things up by putting out a list of The Worst 50 States in America, with Number One being the worst of the worst. (Amazingly, Manhattan-based Gawker picked New York to be least worst.)
Ain't bragging if it's true.
We expected Texas to be Top Three material at least, but instead the Lone Star State came in at 13. (Yay!?)
The Texan ego is as big as the state, and no matter how much you point out to them that, uh, hey what about all this extremely terrible stuff, they will not listen. If you guys would just shut up about it for a while, the rest of us might like you a little more.
No can do, Gawker. Here are 50 things that make Texas great (IMPORTANT NOTE: This list contains no mention of the Dallas Cowboys. We just can't bring ourselves to do that.):
50. Port Arthur: A gritty Golden Triangle refinery town that somehow produced Janis Joplin, Jimmy Johnson, Robert Rauschenberg and UGK.
49. Schlitterbahn is the greatest waterpark in America, and it makes excellent use of its Hill Country surroundings.
48. Chuck Norris. He doesn't sleep; he waits. And he's a Texas Ranger, dammit.
47. Dublin Dr Pepper -- for those people who think regular old Dr Peppers aren't Texan enough.
46. We gave the world the Quaid brothers, who have given us some great performances both off and on the screen. And we just don't mean Randy with the off-screen stuff, either.
44. Texas has produced some of the world's best music, but Bob Wills is still the king.
43. The stunning ecological diversity of the state, from the arid canyons of Big Bend to the shadowy forest of the Big Thicket.
42. No state income tax, suckaz.
41. Texas absolutely kicks ass in producing wind energy, and it doesn't get much greener than that.
Willie Nelson can do no wrong.
40. Willie Nelson. Beloved by the most stonered Austin dreamer to the most rigid born-again Baptist, and no one bats an eye when he racks up another weed arrest.
39. "Failure is not an option." Yeah, it was never actually said by Gene Kranz, but it summed up generations of work at NASA that hopefully will not end with the shuttle era.
38. Friday Night Lights. Not the book, movie or show -- the real thing. High school football in small-town Texas is something everyone should experience at least once.
37. Tex-Mex. Comfort food, hangover cure, drunken latenight scarfing: It has many purposes, all of them delicious.
36. Crossing the Pedernales near the LBJ Ranch is a classic Hill Country moment and it's always redolent of history both happy and tragic.
35. You want music festivals, SXSW, Austin City Limits and Summerfest are hard to beat.
34. When you say you're from Texas, no one in the world needs to ask where that is.
33. From a windswept dustbowl like Lubbock, Buddy Holly unleashed pop rock on the world that is still the basis for new and great music.
32. The cheapest and best oysters in the world are plentiful from the Gulf.
31. Watching families in their Sunday best getting the wildflower pictures that generations have taken before them.