Texas Outlaw Writers Newsletter: Our First Anniversary Edition!

Texas Outlaw Writers Newsletter: Our First Anniversary Edition!
CAKE! Happy Anniversary to us! Photo by Joshua Chun on Unsplash

Thank you, gentle readers, for getting us to our First Anniversary! Thanks to you, we've made it this far! Seriously, thank you for supporting us through your readership, your subscriptions, your tips, and your feedback.

We continue to try to get our newsletter out midweek, with at least 3 or 4 articles from the Outlaws. It's like a Substack, but you get 3 to 5 for the price of one! A little something for everyone's taste.

Back in September, we started a Texas Outlaw Writers companion podcast. Available on all of the podcast providers, we try to send out a notice to our subscribers when we get a new one mounted. (You can and should, of course, subscribe through your podcast service, too.) We have taken a long holiday and will get back to producing those in the next few days. Some of our podcasts this season will include the Outlaws in a roundtable talking about topical news, and on others, we'll scare up a guest to chat with. Those usually drop on Friday or Saturday.

Sure, I could take this time to make a few George-Santos-in-drag jokes. Or lob a joke about what Mother must be telling former VP Pence over those Top Secret docs that were found in their home. He must have seen them, he's always in the closet.

But no, maybe it's a better use of our time to review some of the Outlaws' Greatest Hits. If you haven't been with us from the beginning, you might like to check out some of the pieces that were popular with our readers.

Roger Gray is the master of snark. He had a couple well-received pieces... He (and our readers) enjoyed his "investigative report" on Gilley's. OK, nothing "investigative," just his press junket to visit the famed institution 'back in the day.' In another piece titled, "You Hate Me, You Really Hate Me,"  Roger spills out all the inside dirt on what it's like to have a career in the big-time media.

In her popular piece "Pedestals and the Bittersweetness of Firsts," Myra Jolivet starts with the (Will Smith) "slap heard round the world," and leads us to understand how folks on a high pedestal are often unfairly cast as representatives for an entire community. Good or Bad. Myra also had a hit with "Peek-a-Boo, I See You..." a post about Texas's growing trend toward book-burning.

After 53 migrants were found dead in the back of an overheated semi-truck trailer, James Moore wrote a dark but very popular piece called "Governor Death."  From Abbott's handling of the crisis on the border, to his (lack of) approach to gun safety, to the state of state health care... Abbott, Jim says, is terrible for the people of Texas. In "Streets of Laredo," Jim remembers meeting a drifter when he was a young reporter in Laredo. The unassuming hitchhiker ended up taking the old-guard powerbase of that border town and turned the place upside down. All for the better.

And me? I guess folks enjoyed my in-depth study of the architecture of Taco Bell, "Taco Bell is Dead! Long Live Taco Bell!" (They're beautiful boxes, really.) My piece on how funerals are not quite what they used to be also struck a chord. "The Death of the Funeral" outlines just how different (and often crazy) funerals have become. And in "Dad Rock-Not Fade Away," I conclude that yes, our generation's music was and IS still more popular than anything else that's going on. (And even Gen X, Y, and Z admit it.)

So once again, a big thank you for all your support. Check out one of our legacy posts if you missed them, and this week's articles are listed below.

And one more thing... I know I said I wouldn't bring up George Santos in drag. But what can be happier than a Republican Drag Queen dressed in a bright red dress dancing the night away? Nothing. Nothing could be happier... so before we go any further...

Now, enjoy your reading and the rest of the week with a big Santos, excuse me, Kitara smile on your face.  

This week was so jam-packed with crazy, that Roger couldn't stick to one subject. After all. George Santos? Really? And classified documents in the garage like a stack of old National Geographics? And the Governor plays football analyst and general jerk. And the year is just starting.

Really? In the Garage? | Texas Outlaw Writers
Biden, Santos, Patrick, Abbott and the Cowboys. It’s a target-rich environment.

Republicans have made a little game out of holding the "debt ceiling" hostage. It's another cynical attempt to rile up their base with promises of all manner of fiscal reform - though it is money already obligated for debt. Debt, previously voted on and approved. Threatening to "default" is a dangerous little gimmick that the GOP plays with at the entire country's risk. Myra Jolivet is not having it.

Some Things Should be Off Limits for Congress - The Economy | TX Outlaw Writers
Taking no action on the debt ceiling would trigger what experts call catastrophic economic consequences for Americans and the global economy. But that hasn’t stopped extreme members of the Republican party in Congress from using the debt ceiling to get their way in spending cuts.

Texas has become so entrenched as a one-party state, there is very little that independents or Democrats can do to break through the gerrymandered gridlock. In the meantime, Dan Patrick and his cronies continue to reduce taxes for the wealthiest in the state and put it on the backs of the middle class. And now the Lt. Governor, in the dis-interest of transparency has barred the media from the Senate floor. Jim Moore wonders why we don't just hand the state over to Elon Musk.

All Hail the Mighty State | Texas Outlaw Writers
Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick’s latest fascist edict is to ban the media from the Senate floor. This adds another level of constraint to the dissemination of the truth to keep voters informed and able to make decisions that rid the legislature of people like Mr. Patrick.

"ChatGPT," the new Open AI software that, at its core, is a chatbot that mimics a human conversation. But it has the entire web to draw its conversation from. This last week, the bot passed the final exam for the Wharton School of Business's MBA degree. Chris Newlin figured if it could do that, it could at least write his post this week.

A Robot Wrote this Article. No, Really. | Texas Outlaw Writers
Is it hyperbole anymore to think that those scary, sci-fi movie warnings are at hand? AI “learns” from continued use, it builds upon data points that are continually being added to the internet. And these days, how hard is it to imagine that the machines really are smarter than we are?