The Aug. 25 issue of New York magazine features its “Approval Matrix” on p. 184 — a rather Spy magazine-like device in which recent cultural events are mapped out on a grid according to how “highbrow” or “lowbrow” they are and how “despicable” or “brilliant.” In the “brilliant” but “lowbrow” quadrant, for instance, New York places Stephen Colbert’s droll campaign against American towns named Canton (including, of course, that “incorporated outhouse,” Canton, Texas).
But right spang on top, prominently displayed in the “highbrow and despicable” region, is the Dallas Opera’s recent hiring of “lovable executive director” George Steel, hiring him away from Columbia University’s Miller Theater. Considering the hordes of Texas artists who mosey up to the Big Apple every year (see, for example: Sime, Tom), one might think they’d recognize their own omni-cultural thievery — which New York accomplishes without even actually working at it — and cut us a little slack. We successfully lured away one arts manager.
But, no. “Damn you, Texas,” is what we get. With an image, naturally, of some horse-riding cowboy twirling a lariat. Mighty original, New York. You’ll get no sympathy here. We’d expect others to “cowboy up.” But you can just go sit in your season seats at the Met Opera and sniffle softly through the next production of La fanciulla del West.
Buck Jones image from bearalley.blogspot.com