Many of us have long thought the ballyhooed rivalry between Fort Worth and Dallas is kind of – sorry, La Palin – retarded. For further proof, listen to today’s cute-as-a-migraine report on NPR’s “All Things Considered” called “Dallas, Fort Worth Battle for Cultural Supremacy.” Listeners must sit through a canned catfight between commentators pretending to take sides – FW has “skyscraper envy,” says the fake pro-Dallas side, while the fake FW cheerleader declares this city is “where the West begins and the East peters out.” After all that, they give the impression that the sum of Fort Worth’s cultural scene is the Kimbell and the Stockyards, while Dallas’ sole artistic resources are its new downtown performing arts center and the Turtle Creek Chorale.

Then, in an odd bit of shaming intended to be whimsical, a New York arts commentator for NPR abruptly interrupts to finish the piece with: “Oh, Fort Worth and Dallas, stop the fighting. The truth is, you’re both culturally impoverished shitholes.” Okay, he didn’t use those words exactly, but that’s pretty much what he meant. Bizarrely funny.


  1. WTF does New York City have to do with anything? What a typical and typically gratuitous mainstream-media move: inserting New York City into a story that is not even remotely about New York City. Not that NPR’s senseless deed is without precedent. You’d think that Culture-with-a-capital-C exists only within the confines of the five boroughs to skim Rolling Stone magazine or watch any broadcast TV morning show. New flash: Culture is everywhere, genius is everywhere, and to think –– and, more significantly, to broadcast –– otherwise is to continue promulgating the silly myth that success is only ever fully realized in the Big Apple. A lot of our arty-farty friends and neighbors are proof that artistic manpower is doing just fine here, fuck you very much.

    More troubling is the foundation of the (patently toothless) debate: Are we debating performing arts or visual arts? Apples or oranges? Perhaps NPR should have taken the high road and said, “Look, Fort Worth –– with its THREE world-class and internationally renowned museums –– is clearly the visual arts capital of the Southwest, and Dallas, with its new performing arts center, is clearly the performing arts capital of the Southwest. Who knew so much culture existed in a place (the Metroplex) that to most outsiders is often dismissed as a backwater of cowboy boots, barbecue, big hair, twang-y music, and Friday night lights?” (The short answer, for the record, is oil money; oil barons’ society wives had to have something to do while their husbands were off doing whatever they did when not counting their vast riches, and what better, more ladylike distractions than fine art, ballet, opera, and music?)

    NPR would do well to investigate the issue further. The sheer amount of world-class culture in North Texas is beyond compare.

  2. Wow, Anthony the Transplanted Pittsburghian, is becoming quite the Fort Worth/Dallas homer.

    He wasn’t born here, but he got here just as fast as he could (or rather, just as fast as he could after first supporting the Steelers as they steamrolled over the Cowboys to establish themselves as the Team of the 1970s, something that he rarely lets a Cowboys fan forget).

    Where were you when we needed you, eh Brute?

  3. I’ve lived in a bunch of different cities, including New York City (for, like, four years), but Fort Worth is the only city where I’ve lived that’s just as awesome as my hometown. I love both equally.

    And as I’ve said many times before, I feel bad for you Cowboys fans. Really. No animosity. Just pity.

    And it’s “PittsburghER” (as in “ham-“), not “PittsburghIAN”! 😉

  4. no need to aplogize to Palin for using the word retarded. try the millions of kids and adults living with an intellectual disability that you mocked by using it. What’s the matter? No thesaurus nearby or are you still thinking you’ll get hipster points by demeaning people with special needs.

  5. Who says “culture” must be ballet-art-classical music-opera? Rich, spoiled people, I guess. What’s wrong with twang, Friday night lights, barbeque, etc. ? Why must Texan culture be derided in favor of that other snooty crap? A large problem with Texas is we have so many “transplants” that even among us, being truly Texan is a bad thing. How about this: Let Texas be Texas, and Texans be Texans. If you want to live like you’re on either coast, or the midwest, then pack up.