We've been lax in our examinations of Ed Shane's monthly Flack Fest, Best in Texas, lately. Let's rectify that.
In the January issue, publisher Shane led off with this sterling bit of advice as the national and world economies fell apart.
"Be careful. I'm one of those people trying to offset the gloom-and-doom headlines with a positive attitude, so let me say this: Happy New Year!"
Wow, with that kind of depth, you have to wonder if Shane was ever a Bush speechwriter.
The Head Cheerleader continues: "I've been accused more than once of being a cheerleader. (The Houston Press thinks my being an enthusiast in this column is a bad thing. Sorry guys!)."
That's just more W-speak, Ed. And if you're going to take a shot at Houston Press, wind up and throw a real shot instead of trying to blow us off with a whimper. We don't care if you're an enthusiast or not, we just want you to be honest about your rag being a captive p.r. outlet masquerading as a journalistic endeavor.
Ed blathers on that in spite of layoffs and the economic crash, "Amidst all this, I can say 'Happy New Year' with confidence, because there are so many artists working to give us a respite against the bad news. They help us forget our realities."
Ed, you must've missed Toby Keith's performance at the rodeo.
They help us forget our realities...yeah, that's what it's all about, Ed. Sure it is. That sounds like something John Lovitz would say in a Saturday Night Live skit.
I'm going to keep Ed's advice in mind, though. No doubt when the bank forecloses on my house and the corporation lays me off, it will make me feel much better if I crank Pat Green's "Carry On" to max volume. Should fix everything right up for me.
If Texas music could help us forget our realities, all the psychiatrists would be out of business.
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Anyhow, as usual wily ol' Ed is preaching to his choir of lemmings -- and his top advertiser, Anheuser Busch --with his monthly pep talk about how wonderful Texas music makes the world and how wonderful the radio programmers are yada yada yada. Yeah, whatever. Just because that great Texas music fan George W. had McMurtry and the Gourds on his I-Pod doesn't mean he isn't still the dumbass who, in the memorable words of former astronaut Gus Grissom, screwed the pooch. For all of us. And I'd bet you voted for him twice, Ed.
All in all, Ed's "Letter From the Publisher" is just more of the banal, circular-logic mush he hands out monthly about how great the Texas Music Chart (which Shane Media owns) is, how great the annual "I've Made A Record...Now What?" seminar (which Shane Media puts on) went. Yada, yada, yada. Somewhere in all that, I must have missed how Texas music is going to keep us all from being in debt to the Chinese until our grandchildren are geriatrics or help my father find out where his 401K went.
Speaking of the chart, Texas Music Chart editor Katie Key must have had a Christmas hangover, because she somehow managed to limit herself to only 4 exclamation points in her chatty "Key Notes" column, down from a staggering 14. She also displayed her investigative reporter credentials by discovering that Jack Ingram balances his busy career and three children by (drum roll) drinking energy drinks. As usual with Best in Texas, news you really have absolutely no use for.
Cheerlead on, Ed.