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Old 05-24-2012, 10:30 AM
 
Location: Greenville, Delaware
4,633 posts, read 6,335,619 times
Reputation: 2354

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Well, that's one way of putting it. I could have said " whether or not Texas is in the South or the Southwest" or "concerning the regional identity of Texas", but ISTM that all of that really boils down to arguments in favour of Texas being part of the American South vs. arguments favouring Texas NOT being part of the South.

But really, what's this all about? Why is it so important to some people? After all, everyone agrees that Texas is Texas, and that it can't be defined too strictly in terms of a larger regional identity. Also, everyone posting on these threads seems to agree that at least the strength or purity of a larger regional identity varies across the whole State, differing at least somewhat depending on the area (e.g. East Texas vs the Panhandle or the Trans-Pecos).

Why is it considered so important by some to defend a particular regional and cultural identity for the State, and indeed with so much apparent ego investment in the case of some posters?
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Old 05-24-2012, 10:42 AM
 
995 posts, read 1,017,442 times
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It's probably just curiosity or confusion from people living elsewhere in the country, trying to somehow make sense of the state (which is really not possible). But then again, even people from Texas disagree on this topic. And many have never been outside the state, to see what many others really consider to be "the south". So they just argue over what they imagine "the south" to be, while acting like they are educated and knowledgeable

It's "much ado about nothing" really. Just some kind of need to associate or disassociate with one group or another, and an obsession over labels and categories.

Last edited by Sunderpig; 05-24-2012 at 10:52 AM..
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Old 05-24-2012, 10:54 AM
 
118 posts, read 123,959 times
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Texans like to think and talk about all aspects of Texas. It's fun and the Southerness debate is a classic.
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Old 05-24-2012, 10:55 AM
 
Location: The Magnolia City
8,937 posts, read 5,756,113 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by doctorjef View Post
Well, that's one way of putting it. I could have said " whether or not Texas is in the South or the Southwest" or "concerning the regional identity of Texas", but ISTM that all of that really boils down to arguments in favour of Texas being part of the American South vs. arguments favouring Texas NOT being part of the South.

But really, what's this all about? Why is it so important to some people? After all, everyone agrees that Texas is Texas, and that it can't be defined too strictly in terms of a larger regional identity. Also, everyone posting on these threads seems to agree that at least the strength or purity of a larger regional identity varies across the whole State, differing at least somewhat depending on the area (e.g. East Texas vs the Panhandle or the Trans-Pecos).

Why is it considered so important by some to defend a particular regional and cultural identity for the State, and indeed with so much apparent ego investment in the case of some posters?
I can't speak for others, but for me it's just the enjoyment of interesting debate. I assumed that that's why everyone participated. In real life, I'm not the least bit concerned with what someone thinks Texas is.
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Old 05-24-2012, 10:59 AM
 
995 posts, read 1,017,442 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Texas Liberal View Post
Texans like to think and talk about all aspects of Texas.
Yeah, but I still don't know why. Compared to other parts of the country, there's very little in Texas to celebrate or be proud of, unless one values the over-the-top ego / bravado / macho-ness, which is really childish.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Texas Liberal View Post
It's fun and the Southerness debate is a classic.
"Debating" in person in Texas often means mindless rants with emotion and no substance (brains in park, tongue in high gear). Online, it's not so bad.
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Old 05-24-2012, 11:03 AM
 
118 posts, read 123,959 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sunderpig View Post
Yeah, but I still don't know why. Compared to other parts of the country, there's very little in Texas to celebrate or be proud of, unless one values the over-the-top ego / bravado / macho-ness, which is really childish.



It's really kind of weird and annoying, especially trying to talk in rational and sensible terms with fellow texans. Debating really lacks when it descends into mindless rants with no substance.
To each their own. I like Texas and enjoy the debates. Naturally not everyone will. If you dislike these debates then you can simply not participate in them you know.
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Old 05-24-2012, 11:09 AM
 
995 posts, read 1,017,442 times
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I definitely avoid them in person. Only speaking here because it's free of all the hostility and hatred that's usually spewed out (along with spit and fingerpointing) face-to-face.
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Old 05-24-2012, 11:15 AM
 
118 posts, read 123,959 times
Reputation: 131
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sunderpig View Post
I definitely avoid them in person. Only speaking here because it's free of all the hostility and hatred that's usually spewed out (along with spit and fingerpointing) face-to-face.
Good post, I love irony.
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Old 05-24-2012, 11:16 AM
 
Location: Dallas-Fort Worth, Texas
908 posts, read 666,922 times
Reputation: 1038
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sunderpig View Post
Yeah, but I still don't know why. Compared to other parts of the country, there's very little in Texas to celebrate or be proud of, unless one values the over-the-top ego / bravado / macho-ness, which is really childish.
I'm not the biggest fan of the state of Texas, but you can't deny that it has one of the more interesting histories of all the states. Not to mention the location! South meets West meets Great Plains meets Mexico. This is all very interesting... pretty hard to say it's not.
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Old 05-24-2012, 11:19 AM
 
Location: Greenville, Delaware
4,633 posts, read 6,335,619 times
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I haven't gathered the impression that most people debating the topic on the various threads on the Texas forum aren't from Texas, though some like myself may now live elsewhere. The most recent thread is the one on whether or not East Texas is culturally part of the South. I decided to start this thread after I noted today that the East TX thread had gone on for seven pages, long after several posters declared they were bored with the whole topic of Texas and Southerness.

There are a few posters here who historically have been very obviously invested in the topic. I can think of one pro-Southern identity protagonist and one anti-Southern identity advocate in particular.

Yeah, of course there's some intellectual interest in the topic, especially as it is indeed fraught with some ambiguities in the case of Texas.

I haven't done a systematic survey of threads on other C-D state forums, but my impression from the ones I have explored is that the Maryland Forum has the second most active "Is Maryland a Southern State?" thread, after the long-running Texas Forum thread. With both of those forums, the topic will become quiescent for a while, only to be revived by someone. It makes for an interesting comparison, because like Texas, Maryland is on geographical and cultural borders, and historically Maryland definitely was a Southern state that almost certainly would have joined the Confederacy if federal troops hadn't speedily occupied the state before it had a chance to secede. Also like Texas, Southern cultural identity in Maryland has unquestionably diminished markedly during the last several decades (although this arguably started earlier in MD and has been more thoroughgoing than in TX). As a matter strictly of history and intellectual interest, that might help highlight the sort of factors that would make the debate about cultural identity of interest, but it still doesn't explain why people would get so wrapped up in it. I have my own views about that, of course, but at this point I'm just trying to stimulate a reflective discussion of the matter and don't really want to get into my own theories about the reasons for the interminability of the debate on this forum and why some posters seem so highly invested in the matter.
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