Exactly 170 years ago today, a group of fellas got together near where my grandmother lives today and decided slaves were a good thing, and Catholicism was not. They agreed to declare their independence from Mexico and -- thanks to risky strategy and under-the-table assistance from Andrew "I'll Bust Your Ass With My Cane" Jackson -- by the end of May they had themselves their very own country.
The Republic of Texas lasted for nine years and 11 months. It even had an embassy in London, in Hammersmith -- a bit of a walk from the restaurant that is an ironic favorite of Jenny and the boy. But a crippling war debt (Hmm, Texans running up war debts... that sounds familiar), forced the fledgling republic to abandon its sovereignty; it was annexed and became the 28th state of the United States.
The fact that Texas is not a sovereign nation-state has never been clearly communicated to the people of Texas. It is arguably more a separate entity from the United States than is Canada. It certainly has more people who are fiercely proud of where they're from. Have you ever heard a song about Winnipeg? Who pines for Thunder Bay?
A recent survey by Texas Monthly found that 70 percent of Texans would be in favor of seceding from the United States. It almost certainly would never happen, because there are far too many money-making opportunities in running the United States. But there are people actively working to reclaim Texas' sovereign status. An Interim Government of the Republic of Texas has set up shop in the nether reaches of northeast Texas and pumps out nationalist radio via Radio Free Texas.
Perhaps out of some strange sense of duty, I spent much of the day listening to Radio Free Texas, which isn't nearly as shitty as I expected. If genre-stretching country music is good (which is debatable), the station is a quality source. It certainly provided a number of great country music lyrics:
- "DHS 'bout to take my kids."
- "It's hard to dress a woman on $5.15 an hour."
- "I may not be hung like the horses, but the horses are sure hung like me."
- "Texas is the place I want to be and I don't care if I ever go to Delaware, anyway."
Considering the quality of the federal republic to which Texas presently belongs, I can't say I'm 100-percent against seceding. At the very least, though, I want a Texas passport.
Celebrating Texas Independence Day is pretty easy. Primarily, you need two things: meat and beer. The more you have of these things, the better. Ideally the beer should be Shiner or fizzy piss, but we're not picky. Similarly, beef is the meat of choice, but if you want to throw rabbit and quail on the grill, hell, man, that's your right. Once you've consumed as much of these things as you can possibly stand, go outside and do something stupid. If you manage to bust out a tooth, break your nose, or land yourself in jail, your Texas citizenship form will be issued immediately.