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Mike, how can you live in Texas?

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  • Mike, how can you live in Texas?

    After this recent election and the wave of really reactionary politics in the US, I'm starting to wonder about you decision to leave Britain and live in the US.

    How can you, with your political views, feel that the US is a better country to live in? I mean, Thatcher and her tories drove you westward, and now Bush and his cohorts are proposing an amendment to the US constitution prohibiting same sex marriages. I would consider leaving a country with that kind of political thinking being dominant, not to mention other examples or a similar kind.

    I'm a bit curious to how you felt about such things. You're not a right wing person by any means, and the country you live in is not a place were your political views are considered "proper" anymore.

    I can understand that you have a family to think of, and your health to take care of, but if you really did move for political reasons before, have you not considered doing it again, now?

    Take care.

    /andreas

  • #2
    Mr. M has mentioned several times that despite their overwhelmingly Republican voting preferences, Texans have a strong "socialistic" bent. It is from a religious perspective rather than a government perspective, but it basically amounts to the same thing. Texans help people in need. Or so that is what I've gathered from his answers to this question before...

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    • #3
      From what I recall, Mr M voiced much the same opinion as TheAdlerian, suggesting that the West Coast (for example) wouldn't have provided him with quite so wide a range of contrasting opinions.

      Also, we shouldn't overlook the fact that Texans get to wear really cool hats.
      "That which does not kill us, makes us stranger." - Trevor Goodchild

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      • #4
        I believe MM lives near Austin, which is (from what I've heard - I'm visiting next year) like an island of sanity and free-thinking apart from the stereotypical redneck attitude of the rest of the State. After all, Stevie Ray Vaughan made his name there so it must be pretty good ;-)

        Ken (ducking from the inevitable flames) :oops:
        Ken Boorman
        ************
        Purveyor of the Runestaff and Stormbringer Legends
        ************

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        • #5
          MM moved to TX during the term of the female governor, I can't recall her name. Ah, Ann "Ma" Richards (Jan. 1991-Jan. 1995), says Google. She was probably more liberal (Democrat) and better suited the ideals of MM; he has mentioned that he was positive that she would make great progress for TX in terms of things that values greatly like multi-culturalism and social justice. If my memory serves me correctly, I saw an interview with her on TV on Larry King Live, commenting on the last CA gubernatorial race (when Ahnold "snuck" into politics); what a charming lady! I was impressed.

          Anyway, MM also moved to be closer to family here in the States. But then Richards was not re-elected in 1994.

          Thus began the reign of the Duby B! ::Star Wars "Imperial March" music plays::
          (He served as managing general partner of the Texas Rangers until he was elected Governor on November 8, 1994, with 53.5 percent of the vote. He became the first Governor in Texas history to be elected to consecutive four-year terms when he was re-elected on November 3, 1998, with 68.6 percent of the vote.)

          I doubt MM will stay in TX. He, in fact, has mentioned the thought of moving.

          _________________
          "Luke I am your father!...
          Now let's go have a barbeque!"


          "Fool me once... and... " :?:

          ________________

          That is the correct answer folks! :)
          \"Bush\'s army of barmy bigots is the worst thing that\'s happened to the US in some years...\"
          Michael Moorcock - 3am Magazine Interview

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          • #6
            MM originally moved to Bastrop, near Austin, because Austin is probably Texas' most liberal city (note that this is damning with faint praise!) It's a college town with a lot of younger people, and it's got a lot of government workers, and both are groups that tend to swing toward the left.

            It's also a very vibrant city, with lots of music (not just C&W, either), and an active nightlife area (the famed Sixth Street District). Austin is a very liveable city for its (medium) size; I have an uncle who lives there and I visited all-too-briefly out there a few months ago.

            So, I was a bit surprised that none of the Austin-area counties voted over 50% for Kerry in the last election. Texas' other large cities did vote that way, but not Austin, per the maps I've seen.


            Oh, also, Austin is home to the world's largest urban bat population. 1.5 million bats, all hangin' around under the Congress Street bridge. I would never have believed it if I hadn't seen it with my own eyes, because at sunset they all come out en masse in a vortex that can, at times, look like a tornado and takes close to a half-hour to wrap up.

            It's breathtaking in a "hope they don't suck the cattle dry!" kinda way. :twisted: Mike, if you haven't seen it, it's worth the drive in from Bastrop...once anyway. :)

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            • #7
              My two cents-

              Jer captured MM's many discussions on this question really well, but I'm sure Mike could add a lot more, especially about the way Texas is romanticized.

              Bastrop (and Lost Pines) are close to Austin, but don't make the mistake of assuming they are very much alike. I once made that mistake in conversation with someone from Bastrop. People in Bastrop are very quick to tell you they are their own town with their own way of doing things.

              Austin is (by far) Texas' most liberal city. At the risk of sounding like the Greater Austin Visitor's Bureau, Austin also has one of the highest qualities of life among all US cities, not just smaller cities. UT is a part of both the liberal aspect and the liveable aspect, as are the cultural creatives in arts and technology. There is also an extensive park system that encourages a great deal of urban green space. The city also really supports and celebrates its creatives and independent small business owners. All of that really showed up in the elections, where Kerry actually carried all of Travis county, not just the city. Austin (and to a lesser extent San Marcos to the south) is a tremendous oaisis in the conservative/ ultra-libertarian desert of Texas.

              Pellaz, I love that you mentioned the bats! :D

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              • #8
                My only knowledge of Austin, is from one of my favourite films - Richard Linklater's "Slacker". It comes across as a pretty liberal kind of place - not like the usual "Texas" stereotype. Anyway, I think it's up to Mr Moorcock where he lives. He'll always be associated first and foremost with London, but I find it interesting how he has managed to enrich his writing with American themes as well.
                \"...an ape reft of his tail, and grown rusty at climbing, who yet feels himself to be a symbol and the frail representative of Omnipotence in a place that is not home.\" James Branch Cabell

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                • #9
                  remember that about half the US DIDN't endorse Bush (OK, so he won).

                  The irony of the following website is it's the wrong people apologising.

                  www.sorryeverybody.com

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Doc
                    My two cents-

                    Jer captured MM's many discussions on this question really well, but I'm sure Mike could add a lot more, especially about the way Texas is romanticized.

                    Bastrop (and Lost Pines) are close to Austin, but don't make the mistake of assuming they are very much alike. I once made that mistake in conversation with someone from Bastrop. People in Bastrop are very quick to tell you they are their own town with their own way of doing things.
                    Is Bastrop/Lost Pines more or less liberal than Austin itself? I've been there once, for a day (Dec. 18th, 1999, oddly enough :) ) and it looked like most other American suburbs...although it does have a left-leaning health-food store.... :D

                    Austin is (by far) Texas' most liberal city. At the risk of sounding like the Greater Austin Visitor's Bureau, Austin also has one of the highest qualities of life among all US cities, not just smaller cities. UT is a part of both the liberal aspect and the liveable aspect, as are the cultural creatives in arts and technology. There is also an extensive park system that encourages a great deal of urban green space.
                    Zilker Park, with Barton Springs, is my second-favorite place to go swimmin' in the whole wide world. (And, of course, the spring/pool was closed for cleaning the one day I could visit, recently. )

                    The city also really supports and celebrates its creatives and independent small business owners.
                    "Keep Austin Weird!"

                    All of that really showed up in the elections, where Kerry actually carried all of Travis county, not just the city. Austin (and to a lesser extent San Marcos to the south) is a tremendous oaisis in the conservative/ ultra-libertarian desert of Texas.
                    Yep, I stand corrected. 'Twas my roommate who pointed at my county-by-county election returns map and stated that Austin had gone all red. You'd think he'd have known better; he was born near Lubbock. :)

                    Pellaz, I love that you mentioned the bats! :D
                    I'm really glad we had the chance to see them. I'd read about them earlier during my work-related visit, but didn't think to ask my aunt to roll by there at sunset. We just happened upon Congress Street, toward the end of dusk, and even then, after most of the bats had already departed, out foraging for insects (and possibly carrying off small children and livestock), we had to park and watch. It was a tremendous spectacle.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Pellaz
                      Originally posted by Doc
                      My two cents-

                      Jer captured MM's many discussions on this question really well, but I'm sure Mike could add a lot more, especially about the way Texas is romanticized.

                      Bastrop (and Lost Pines) are close to Austin, but don't make the mistake of assuming they are very much alike. I once made that mistake in conversation with someone from Bastrop. People in Bastrop are very quick to tell you they are their own town with their own way of doing things.
                      Is Bastrop/Lost Pines more or less liberal than Austin itself? I've been there once, for a day (Dec. 18th, 1999, oddly enough :) ) and it looked like most other American suburbs...although it does have a left-leaning health-food store.... :D
                      Even though I, too, see it as increasingly suburban, everyone I know from Bastrop would shudder at the thought of being part of a suburb. Most of them see the recent suburban development as being the growth of Bastrop's suburbs. From what I know, it is like a lot of Texas' small towns. I wouldn't necessarily say it seems liberal or conservative. Instead, you have a lot of fiercely independent minded people who have a great tolerance for just about anything. Maybe that's why MM doesn't seem out of place. :D

                      Austin is (by far) Texas' most liberal city. At the risk of sounding like the Greater Austin Visitor's Bureau, Austin also has one of the highest qualities of life among all US cities, not just smaller cities. UT is a part of both the liberal aspect and the liveable aspect, as are the cultural creatives in arts and technology. There is also an extensive park system that encourages a great deal of urban green space.
                      Zilker Park, with Barton Springs, is my second-favorite place to go swimmin' in the whole wide world. (And, of course, the spring/pool was closed for cleaning the one day I could visit, recently. )[/quote]

                      I have a friend who swims Barton Springs nearly every day. Apparently, if you go there before 6:30, there are a good many serious athletes training. To me, it's much to fun a place to waste time doing serious training. :D

                      The city also really supports and celebrates its creatives and independent small business owners.
                      "Keep Austin Weird!"

                      All of that really showed up in the elections, where Kerry actually carried all of Travis county, not just the city. Austin (and to a lesser extent San Marcos to the south) is a tremendous oaisis in the conservative/ ultra-libertarian desert of Texas.
                      Yep, I stand corrected. 'Twas my roommate who pointed at my county-by-county election returns map and stated that Austin had gone all red. You'd think he'd have known better; he was born near Lubbock. :)[/quote]

                      North Austin, Pflugerville, and the other parts of Travis county close to Williamson county aren't much like south and central Austin. It can be odd, sometimes. Also, I had to mention San Marcos because I work there. They might throw me out if I didn't mention that it was liberal, too.

                      Pellaz, I love that you mentioned the bats! :D
                      I'm really glad we had the chance to see them. I'd read about them earlier during my work-related visit, but didn't think to ask my aunt to roll by there at sunset. We just happened upon Congress Street, toward the end of dusk, and even then, after most of the bats had already departed, out foraging for insects (and possibly carrying off small children and livestock), we had to park and watch. It was a tremendous spectacle.[/quote]

                      What a great accident! I often run on the town lake trail. You can always tell when you're close to the Congress Ave. bridge becuase you can smell the bat guano about a hundred yards away. It used to be unsettling, but now it's part of what makes my run fun. Nothing like looking up and seeing thousands of resting bats.

                      Pellaz, you sound as much like the Greater Austin Visitor's Bureau as I do. Seriously, though, it's as great a place to live as it is to visit. It's one of the only places I've ever lived where the "touristy" things to do are actually what the locals do.

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                      • #12
                        I just returned from Austin on Wednesday. The bats are an amazing site. Luckily for me, they hadn't migrated to Mexico yet. After a half hour, they were still coming out.

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                        • #13
                          Only small problem I'd mention with Austin is the pollen.

                          The "Wildflower Research" center is in or near Austin, and the environs and attendant
                          pollen count make it clear why.

                          For those of us with serious allergies, it makes visiting Austin un sac mixte.
                          I've got friends there who keep pestering me about when I'll visit again. I tell
                          them I've got to steel myself sufficiently to face the allergy symptoms that always
                          accompany said visits.

                          LSN

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                          • #14
                            Patrick- I trust you had a great visit. For selfish reasons, I hope you weren't out promoting your book--author visits are always a good time. If so, I'm sorry I missed it.

                            LSN-
                            You're absolutely right. I painted my rosey picture without the blanket of yellow pollen that we get every year, and I painted it while I am on my usual antihistimines. I guess if you have to have a drug dependency...

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                            • #15
                              Wow, some fellow Austinites here, eh?

                              The cedar pollen is horrible. Sometimes I'll wake up to see all the cars around turn yellow. If you aren't allergic to cedar, you will be if you spend an extended amount of time here.

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