"The Invisibles," by Jim Schutze, July 17
You Can't Go Home Again
Jim Schutze has described what I've suspected since I left Dallas: that it's perhaps the most neutral place in the world. And yes, that's not necessarily a bad thing. Just as it's a curse to grow up in interesting times, it can be a curse to grow up in an interesting place.
I grew up in Irving and Richardson before moving on to towns with more character (which means any character at all)—Austin and now Brooklyn. After I left the Dallas suburbs, I at first resented where I was brought up. I felt I had been stunted, cheated out of a more stimulating environment.
When people would ask where I was from, I was embarrassed to say "Richardson," and then have to clarify, "Dallas. Er, a suburb of Dallas." Seattle, The Bronx, Jerusalem, a weird small town in Vermont—tell people you're from any of these places, and you've got instant cred and fodder for conversation. Tell them you're from a suburb of Dallas, and you'll get a confused nod and maybe a, "Why don't you have a Texas accent?"
But as I eventually learned, and as Schutze argues, that's just one of the many advantages of growing up in Richardson, Irving, Frisco, etc. Your identity is entirely independent of where you're from. Austinites, Los Angelenos, Gothamists, Chicagoers...these are all types of people. Of course people from these locales aren't indistinct masses, but they are all molded by where they came from, and they all have some local pride and a sense of home. Just by mentioning they are from these places, they say something about who they are, while taking slight credit for the coolness of those places. If they haven't accomplished much, that's OK, they're from freakin' Manhattan!
Dallas, however, is a generic, simulated environment that doesn't much influence its inhabitants in any way. You learn only the basics of life. Everything else, you learn when you leave.
Grow up in the Dallas suburbs, and once you leave, it will be like you were plopped on Earth fully formed, coming from nowhere. You can't be content that you're a worthwhile person just because of where you grew up. All you have is yourself. You are adaptable to just about any situation.
More than anywhere else, the Dallas suburbs set you free to follow the fate of your DNA. That's why, as Schutze says, these are the people of the future. And the future will be fortunate to have them.
That said, I will never live in Dallas again.
Rhys Southan, Brooklyn
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"America's Tease," by Richie Whitt, July 24
Having such high expectations going into a season is kind of scary, but if this team is anything like those '90s teams, they will thrive on it. The brighter the spotlight and the higher the pressure, the better the triplets and company played. It's time for T.R. and T.O. to show they've got it too. Can't wait to find out, that's for sure!
Fraggy, via dallasobserver.com