Tuesday, January 16, 2018

What Makes You Think Fort Worth Is A Backwards Backwater?

I would never have used a illustrative graphic using the barnyard profanity you see here, had it not been made socially acceptable by the mentally stable genius currently pretending to be America's president.

A couple days ago I got an email from someone who asked not to be referenced, identity-wise, in blog mode, who asked the following interesting question...

What makes you think Fort Worth is such a Backwards Backwater????

Now, that question can be taken two ways.

One way would be, "How dare you think Fort Worth is such a Backwards Backwater?"

Or, the way in which I chose to interpret the question, "What the hell do you think is wrong with Fort Worth which keeps causing it to be such a Backwards Backwater?"

Well, let us all look at what Wikipedia has to say about a Backwater...

If a river has developed one or more alternative courses in its evolution, one channel is usually designated the main course, and secondary channels may be termed backwaters. The main river course will usually have the fastest stream and will likely be the main navigation route; backwaters may be shallower and flow more slowly, if at all. This results in a more diverse environment of scientific interest and worthy of preservation. Backwaters also provide opportunities for leisure activities such as canoeing and fishing.

The term has been applied as a metaphor to physical and social areas that have been bypassed. It may apply to places that have been neglected in economic development, or in the expression a "cultural backwater"

Okay, now do you get why and how Fort Worth is a Backwards Backwater? Both meanings of that Backwater word are applicable.

The Trinity River as it flows through Fort Worth is pretty much in Backwater mode, with the Trinity River Central City Uptown Panther Island District Vision ineptly trying to turn the river into even more of a brackish Backwater.

Cultural Backwater? This is a town which thinks it is doing some marvelous thing instigating Rockin' the River Happy Hour Inner Tube Floats in that aforementioned Backwater river polluted with e.coli, benzene, arsenic and alligators. And pretends it does so at an imaginary island listening to music from an imaginary pavilion whilst being located at an imaginary urban world class music venue, with performance stages made from abandoned subway shacks.

With that world class music venue at that imaginary island sporting world class concrete enclosed outhouses and outdoor showers to wash off the river water, if one is inclined to attempt to wash off the e.coli, benzene and arsenic.

Speaking of outhouses. Most Fort Worth city parks do not have modern restroom facilities or running water. Most do have outhouses. Outhouses worthy of a city park in a third world city, or an American city which does not mind being a Backwards Backwater.

So, really, is it all that difficult to understand the fact Fort Worth is a Backwards Backwater?

Need a further example. Ride Molly the Trolley to the location of the Rockin' the River Happy Hour Inner Tube Floats. Only a  Backwards Backwater would have a public transit system consisting of a bus converted to look like a trolley, whilst charging its victims five bucks to take a tour of Fort Worth's low highlights.

And then there are Fort Worth's miles upon mile of city streets without sidewalks. Again worthy of a third world country, or an American city which does not mind being a Backwards Backwater.

Recently the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, in a rare instance of actually focusing on the multiple reasons why Fort Worth is such a Backwards Backwater, published an opinion piece focusing on what Fort Worth might want to try and do to fix what ails the town. This was blogged about in Bud Kennedy Fort Worth Fix Gets Over Dallas.

On the day that opinion piece appeared there were multiple comments commenting which ironically were reinforcing what is dire need of a fix in Fort Worth. Yesterday morning those comments had been deleted. But then last night the comments magically reappeared, along with many more comments, many also embarrassingly, ironically and cluelessly exhibiting the very type attitudes which Bud Kennedy indicated were in need of a fix.

If you click on the link to the Star-Telegram Here’s how to fix Fort Worth. (It’s not about Dallas, or pilots, or the cow.) the comments may still be there, maybe with even more.

I copied the comments I saw last night, but don't know if I want to copy them all here. Suffice to say there were one or two comments which were rational, among the dozens which where not rational.

I will just copy four of the comments. The first two appeared at the top of the comment list and are two of the comments I refer to as rational. The two which follow the rational comments are examples of the not so rational comments....

John Laird · Works at Retired Journalist
Excellent column as usual. Thoroughly researched. Creatively written. Compellingly presented. Thanks, Bud.

Randall Arnold · Author at Unsettled Space
Many comments here are shamefully reactionary. I wish people would read and process more thoughtfully. Bud raises valid, fact-based points here. Emotional responses are unhelpful.

Preston West
We’re supposed to be ok with being called dumb rednecks huh?!

Mary Beth Nicholson · Sul Ross State University
Spoken like a true liberal Dallas wantabe!
Screw you, Bud Kennedy, do us all a favor and move to Dallas!


UPDATE: Reading through the comments there are two more I feel compelled to share. The first reactionary one demonstrates that bad education problem, while the second comment also comments on the bad education problem, but not in a reactionary way...

Janice Hallmark · Carter- Riverside High School
I want the world to know that Fort Worth is the greatest big city in the U. S. All those things said about Fort Worth by this so- call writer is so untrue.

Bo Bolinger · The University of Texas at Austin
Thanks for a great article Bud. Your opinions really seem to get people fired up. This is an uphill battle as it seems the consensus is to keep Tarrant Co dumb and useful!

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