By Jim Schutze
By Rachel Watts
By Lauren Drewes Daniels
By Anna Merlan
By Lee Escobedo
By Eric Nicholson
You know who Harlan Crow is! Son of Trammell Crow, Daddy Warbucks to the Bush family, sponsor of the American Enterprise Institute, collector of statues depicting the world's greatest dictators, special pal to Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas. Sure, you elected him to put a highway in the middle of your park, didn't you?
Then it's the huge head of Ross Perot Jr., son of another rich buckaroo, going on about how "You have to have something that's big and visual."
Well, sure, howdy. Now, that there Katrina storm, that was big and visual, wasn't it? Is that how you mean, Ross?
The video presentation at the luncheon was precisely and entirely cut from the exact same cloth they used to sell us on this thing in 1998. I speak of those glossy double-talk big-brother videos crafted by Rob Allyn, master of devious schlock, that aired again and again on local television before the election, giving us the idea we were voting for lakes and sailboats.
Now they have another video with brass fanfares and balloons and bottle rockets and the Collector of Dictators and the Son of H. Ross, all of it telling us to hurry, hurry, don't tarry, don't fret, just hurry up along little dogies and try to look enthusiastic. And in all of it, no one person or single image, nothing comes back more relentlessly than the great moon-shaped visage of Decherd. Every time I swallow down, he's back up there on the front wall, his face pendulous and pregnant with barely contained impatience.
"Downtown and the Trinity are inextricably bound to one another," he announces to me.
Yes! Yes! I do see that. It's because the Trinity is a river, and it flows right through the middle of downtown. How could you extricate it? The Trinity and downtown are just...just so...what were we talking about?
Oh, the Blow job. The job that Blow did. Yes. In his column on the Monday after the Trinity Commons fete, Blow said that he had interviewed Angela Hunt and had expressed to her his impatience over the Trinity project. Yes, he feels impatient. Blow is a columnist who normally writes about nice people being nice to nice people. Why is he suddenly overcome by impatience?
Oh, I don't know. Must be going around over there at the News. He gives very short shrift to Hunt's argument that getting the road out of the Trinity River project will get the project done faster.
And then he concludes: "So we've talked enough. No plan is perfect. Start the dirt flying."
Blow's column isn't just sort of like the official message delivered from the Jumbotron by the dictator collectors and Little Miss Laura Two Shoes (Many Personalities) last week. It is exactly the message. It is the party line, the official dictum as officially announced and purveyed.
Stop talking. Do not listen to that little council person over there in the red dress. Do not read accounts or listen to gossip that may conflict with the official dictum.
Get in line. Do as you're told. Every little chance you get, try to be more of an idiot.
Let me give you a journalistic contrast. Thank goodness, the people who own the company I work for do not get involved in local politics in the cities where they have newspapers. But let's just say they slipped and did.
If I were writing about an issue in which Village Voice Media top executives Michael Lacey and Jim Larkin were publicly involved—especially if I were expressing an opinion consonant with theirs—I would make sure my readers knew about what they had said and when and where.
And another thing: I'm quite sure if I failed to do that, especially if I made a conscious decision to fail to do that, they would can me. Right out the door.
That's simple. It's so obvious. Don't come aw-shucksing along with your hands in your pockets and a straw in your teeth and kick the can and spit out your company's party line without at least telling people that's what you're doing.
We're going to see more and more of this as the Trinity River referendum movement gathers steam. It has everything to do with the way they've put the thing together. From the very beginning the people pushing for a highway on top of the river have treated the public will with sleazy contempt.
Who knows what really happened to Laura Miller on this? One hundred shrinks with 100 couches and 100 digital recording machines couldn't put Humpty Laura back together again.
But the people pushing that road know exactly what happened to us, the public, because they're the ones who did it. And they will use every ounce of monopoly media propaganda they can muster to keep us from finding out.