The Metro columnists for the Dallas Morning News, Steve Blow and Jacquielynn Floyd, sparked much anger yesterday with their nominations for the DMN’s Texan of the Year — respectively, Big Tex and the West Nile mosquito.
Blow’s column especially struck a nerve. No surprise that D Magazine editor Tim Rogers was appalled. “Steve Blow makes me embarrassed to live in Dallas,” Rogers tweeted. “This [column] actually appears in a major newspaper.”
But when you’ve got Channel 8 reporter (and DMN cheerleader) Brett Shipp tweeting his incredulity (“Seriously?? […] Not enough true heroes in our state? BIG Tex?”), you’ve got issues.
I disagree with the naysayers. I think the columns were wonderful. They were a brilliant, subversive mockery of the very idea of the award itself.
This is a good thing. Because the paper should never again name a “Texan” of the year, for three reasons:
- The DMN doesn’t cover Texas. (You think it’s up on all the great candidates from Abilene?)
- Because of this, the award carries no weight. (Quick, who won last year? The year before? The year before? Remember the year the city of Houston won?)
- To once again reach a level of relevance, it must be proud to focus on Dallas.
A Dallasite of the Year would be taken seriously and engage the community in the discussion. Blow and Floyd must know this and therefore made the most ludicrous choices available to bring into focus the absurdity of the current process and the enterprise.
Who should win a Dallasite of the Year contest, then? There are a few good choices already in the pool of nominations. The paper is currently in the throes of a week-long ink-gasm over the opening of the Perot Museum, so Michael Sorrell’s choice of its CEO, Nicole Small, makes sense.
Here’s my suggestion: Gary Griffith.
Don’t know who that is? That’s because you’ve got the attention span of a teenager. Griffith is a Republican businessman, which means our voting records and bank accounts don’t align. He’s a former city councilman who for the past five years has been president of Safer Dallas Better Dallas, which works behind the scenes to raise money for law and order initiatives. (I’ve done a tiny amount of nonpaid consulting with the group.)
Check out its website to see what the initiatives the group has started with Dallas Police Department, including funding DPD efforts in “hotspots,” the most-troubled crime areas in town. Or read today’s paper to see the latest effort it’s help engineer — funding the first year of a new Animal Cruelty Unit in the DA’s office.
You won’t see Griffith’s name in many of the news stories about these efforts. That’s because he goes into the meetings with his partners and says, “What do you need to do your job better, and once we raise the money, we’ll make sure you get the credit.” I know — I’ve been in meetings where it’s happened.
I think that’s one example of a Dallasite doing great work behind the scenes. I’m sure if the paper focused on its city and not its outsize ambitions in designing its award, its nomination process could find several more local people just as deserving. Pretty sure even its Metro columnists could do that.
The DART blue line launches today. And, with it, another day of me wondering why I took light rail every day in Atlanta but am too lazy to do so here (even though I live above a DART station downtown).
Former Mayor and current U.S. Trade ambassador Ron Kirk is set to golf today with President Obama and former President Clinton. Obviously, he is Golfer 3. (Joke for two people.)
I said last week there was a scenario where Texas A&M would play BOOMER SOONER in the Cotton Bowl, and I was roundly mocked by my friends. So … suck it?
If you missed Unfair Park's Joe Tone clarifying people’s problems with the southern Dallas golf course, please read it now.
They don’t know when they’ll file, but if you’re not at the gate when they do, sorry, you missed it.
Also says if you tell him when you’re coming to the museum, he’ll sing a song and tie a balloon for you.