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A Fine Weekend to Secede From Small-Mindedness

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Blame the mild spring and slow summer, or whatever it is that sets these souls a-reeling,  but there do seem to be an awful lot of people who are desperately eager to hurtle a century and a half backward in time. Just think about those Texan secessionists forever clamoring to be walled-off, sanctified, vacuum-sealed and shot into space. Presumably they’ll want their guns and trucks jettisoned with them into the white-hooded cosmic void of their deep desires (a little bit Game of Thrones, a lot more Hee Haw).

There are people in England, likewise, who would break with continental Europe even before England has had a sporting chance to work out the finer points of hot- and cold-water plumbing. And it looks like they'll get their way, oopsie. Now, I’m generally in favor of seceding where others have failed, but I don’t dream in sepia. Remember that in recent years, it took the music Richard Youngs to keep Scotland attached, to the Saxon south. And I’m with him, and Kubrick, and Wire (the band, not the television series or the magazine), and the other reasonable public policy-makers on this subject. If you've got to have a matte-flag backdrop for your moon-landing selfie, it had best include some pink.  

Even that cool-headed Charlie Rose seems a little maudlin lately.

To be sure, reading stuff, keeping track of names and figures, and trying not to get mixed up when placing bets in huge denominations on the outcomes of the shell-games of the hidden hands, it’s all so confusing. Especially when those hands are so well-manicured. Yeah, dog, it’s still an election year, and presumptive victors are popping up all over the place, only they all seem to be half-dead hangers-on from bygone years, like the zombie cucurbits that insist on hanging around my compost pile, reliving their salad days in seasons past.

My physician's suggestion, and as usual I'm paraphrasing the good WebMD: In feverish times, take a dip.

Discovery Green. June 24 (7 p.m.)
This Friday evening, it behooves you to hire a transom or stretch limo or some similar prole conveyance and hie thee through the brambles and gator hollers of downtown to Disco Green, that you may hear Lonnie Holley's personalized, forward-thinking forays into the place where redemptive self-empowerment curls up in bed to write a few notes on modern phrasing. 

TIM KERR, "Your Name Here"
Hardy & Nance Studios, June 25 (6-9 p.m.)
On Saturday, June 25, there's more free fun afoot, first of the quiet sort, with "Your Name Here," an exhibition of Tim Kerr's recent paintings at Hardy & Nance studios, where he is concluding a residency.  The show features a number of portraits of seminal Houston musicians and artists like Conrad Johnson, Archie Bell and Mance Lipscomb, as well as other historical heroes from a little farther down the way, including Harvey Milk, San Francisco's first openly gay elected public official. When the construction of Houston 2 is complete, the city will commission a few bronze cast replicas of his famous dreadlocks, too.

Fret not, sports fans, when Houston 2 is complete, the city-owned baseball stadium will be named George Foreman Grill, and the county-owned football stadium will be renamed Gilleys (with no apostrophe of possession).

PRIDE 2016
Citywide, this weekend
Of course, the main event, the reason for the season, is LGBT Pride. The parade is wildly popular, and the afterparties usually rank among the year's best. 

Even Rich's is reopening.

Feel free to observe or ignore any registered trademarks per your own inclinations. Pride is unbranded, unbridled and all-inclusive. Our human rights are inalienable, but hard-won. There are ever those people who have a hard time with the basic recognition of human equality and dignity. The work is never done.

But Pride is huge in Houston, as are the attendant parties. And from Frederic Prokosch to TS Eliot to Dawn Powell to William Gaddis or Bret Easton Ellis, it's long been known that the presentable history of American culture is measured in socializing. Anything else is barbarism.

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