Some film folks wanted to spend $30 million to make a movie about the 1993 shootout between the feds and the followers of David Koresh up in Waco. And they thought the state was going to offer them tax incentives to shoot the movie near the scene of the crime and give it some actual Waco, Texas, verisimilitude. They had even scouted some sites with a member of the state's film commission. Then, much like the actual Branch Davidian debacle, some state official decided to burn the deal down. The tax incentives were jerked away because some guy on the film commission claimed he found "factual inaccuracies" in the script. This would be factual inaccuracies concerning an event about which the facts have never been clear in the first place? Go figure. But a flimsy excuse is still an excuse. The movie people claim it is censorship wrapped up in politics. But the film commission claims that even though what it is doing might seem like censorship, it's not really censorship and blah, blah, blah, and there is no politics involved. It turns out Texans are a sensitive bunch and they made a rule about it: If you want to get a tax break to make a movie in Texas, you can't be planning to show either "Texas or Texans in a negative fashion." That's actually part of the tax incentive deal, an idea introduced a couple of years ago by State Sen. Steve Ogden, who seems like a pretty ordinary Texas Republican guy when he is talking about things like the budget (he's smart about stuff like that) and until he opens his mouth and starts to pray (I heard him pray once at the beginning of one of those big toll road projects) and becomes a henchman for the God of development, roadbuilding, paving and generally fucking with the environment (a God Texans love to invoke), who Ogden claims (like James G. Watt before him -- remember him? The Reagan appointee who wanted to destroy the environment, insulted the Beach Boys and said charmingly of his own staff, "we have a black, a woman, two Jews and a cripple and we have talent" before being forced to resign) gave man the job of controlling and taming the earth and all the creatures on it (or paving the earth and killing all the creatures on it, or something like that). I guess Ogden's God (obviously a spindoctor deity at heart) must have handed down a similar directive about controlling movie content and keeping Texas and Texans unsullied (keep in mind that Ogden is always screeching about big government and how its rules intrude and hinder the work of ordinary people). Utah is the only other state with such a provision in its tax incentive regulations. Maybe Mormons and Texans both have things they need to hide. But in the effort to make Texans look good in the movies, Ogden and the film commission have simply made Texas look silly -- again -- this time in front of the world at the Cannes Film Festival. But Texas doesn't need some Hollywood types to make it look silly. Gov. Rick ("I'm not really a seccessionist, I just can't stand the thought of THAT WOMAN being governor") Perry takes care of that all by himself. The man can't help showing Texas and Texans in a negative fashion. Maybe Ogden can think up some sort of regulation that would take away Perry's salary for doing and saying dumb stuff. It would save Texas money. It would save Texas face. Somebody might make a movie about it if they received the right incentive.
A Report from the Stephanie Klein Universe: The queen of hubris and bullshit wrote a bit about the final episode of the television series Lost last week. She really gets into it and apparently likes to bring the full power of her undergraduate education to bear on the topic. In other words, she loves to show off. Which led her no doubt to write the following paragraph:
"FYI: Everything that rises must converse by Flannery O'Connor, the book Jacob is reading as Locke is pushed out the window by his father, 'aims to expose the sinful nature of humanity that often goes unrecognized in the modern secular world.'"
Well. FYI. Not really. Everything that rises in Stephanie's universe must (unfortunately) "converse" even when it would be better to simply shut up. Or maybe things "converse" in the Cliff's Notes version. However, in Flannery O'Connor's version of the world, things that rise must "CONVERGE." It's Everything that Rises Must Converge. And talking about it doesn't help. And just where did that unattributed quote about humanity and sin come from? Surely not from Steph herself.