an exploration of urban identity in the middle of Texas
“Austin ain’t what it used to be” is the moldiest cliche under the violet crown, yet Austinites can’t stop talking about how the golden age of “real Austin” disappeared five minutes before you moved your sorry ass to town. In the 1980s, we kicked ourselves if we had missed the cosmic cowboy era of the 1970s. In the late 1990s, we pouted over missing the slacker joys of the previous decade. No doubt, in twenty years, some hipster blowhard will be telling a sad-eyed newcomer, “Man, you should have been here in 2013… Before it all went to hell!”
So we weren’t surprised when we saw the heated response to Richard Parker’s recent article in the New York Times, which had the audacity to suggest that maybe, just maybe, not all was well in Lance Armstrong’s hometown. TEOA editorial board member Carrie Andersen noticed an extensive Reddit thread dealing with the article and sent it my way. I took the comments verbatim, re-ordered them, and made this crude animation set in (what else?), a Starbucks. Voila! Urban nostalgia meets documentary theater of the absurd
Remember this is actual whining about the good old days as well as some real insights about what it means to live here in 2013. We didn’t make this stuff up.
[May 2014 update: I'm sad to report that the cartoon has been sent down the memory hole, erased forever by the morons at Xtranormal. Here's some news that everyone likes to read: "When the previous version of xtranormal.com closed in August of 2013, it seems that all of the videos and user accounts on the website were lost."]
Randy Lewis is the editor of The End of Austin.