Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Mess with Texas and I'll Mess with Your Face

When asked what they think "Don't Mess with Texas" means, people I meet "up north" generally translate it into something along the lines of: "Texans are haahhd, so don't fuck with us, or we will mess you up." AKA, I'm talkin' about steppin' off.

They're usually shocked when I tell them it comes from an anti-litter campaign. I even saw someone with a shirt that said "Let's Mess with Texas!" It's true: northern hipsters have started a pro-littering campaign.

Why would you want to make this Indian cry?

22 comments:

  1. Iron Eyes Cody, the man in that public service announcement, is actually Italian. Just a tidbit I picked up recently.

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  2. Ha! Good tidbit. Maybe that's New Jersey.

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  3. but is that the way george w. bush used it?

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  4. I don't pretend to understand how right-wing cokehead douchebags use expressions. But I am from Texas.

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  5. i know, i'm just saying the use has changed, among a lot of people (right-wing people anyway) who use it, from its original source:)

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  6. Siiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiigggggggggggghhhhhhhhhhhhhhh

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  7. how come i lived in texas n years and didn't know that

    DON'T MESS W TEXAS U MOFOS!

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  8. i should clarify, i saw the slogan on the anti-litter stuff, but thought it came before

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  9. Maybe you gotta be FROM Texas ... so it's deep, deep in your psyche.

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  10. We got these ads all the time on our TV stations when we lived in Shreveport in the late 80s. I think I even remember some kids doing parodies of them for the Forest Hill Elementary School Talent Show at one point.

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  11. I was born in Lubbock. I never went back, except once, on a cross country road trip. We were passing through. And got a ticket. We were passing through pretty fast.

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  12. I'd do that too. Definitely an asshole-of-Texas contender. (Lubbock, not you!)

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  13. That's my new moniker. Asshole of Texas. I like it.

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  14. A ton of awesome people have come out of Lubbock -- Buddy Holly, Terry Allen, Jo Carol Pierce, Butch Hancock, Joe Ely, Jimmie Dale Gilmore -- but the point is that they came OUT of Lubbock.

    EG, it is heroic of you to try to restore the original intent of "Don't Mess with Texas" -- in much the same way that it's heroic to remind folks that "under God" didn't get added to the Pledge until 1954 -- even though people totally don't want to hear it, and on this I stand with you as a fellow Texan. (Even if you ARE from that portion of Texas that most of us refer to as "New Mexico." Where does Mountain Time start exactly? Van Horn or some shit?)

    This may be another instance of a phrase that has widened in scope . . .

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  15. Excellent connection, Martin! It's getting to the point where I can't remember what I've blogged about already. I'm worried I'll turn into one of those grandpas who keeps telling the same four stories over and over again.

    It's true, El Paso is really more New Mexico than Texas, which may be why I refuse to identify with the shit-kicking, misplaced-superiority-complex interpretation of DMWT...

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  16. I think right-wing cokehead douchebags (from Texas and out) and nutjobs (from Texas and out) use the phrase the same way Northerners use it. Probably has to do with the phrase having been coined during a Democratic governorship.

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  17. Iron Eyes Cody (according to both Wikipedia and Snopes) was born in Louisiana, for whatever that's worth. His original name was Espera Oscar di Corti.

    He married a woman who was Native American (not certain what tribe or tribes), and they adopted children who were Native American.

    I'm not sure if there's a similar phrase or slogan associated with Minnesota (where I live and have lived most of my life), though if there was, it might be, "Come live here through more than one winter."

    I've actually seen a picture postcard that identifies the mosquito as the Minnesota state bird.

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  18. Francois, I think that's true -- I just want non-nutjob Northerners to know the actual source.

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  19. I think the mess with your face part is infinitely more compelling. I mean, where did THAT come from. Mess with your face. Pretty smart. That's right up there with pop a cap in your ass.

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  20. I modeled it on Watts's "Break his heart, I'll break your face" :)

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  21. As a Brit. all I can say is where was Steve Reevis when he was needed, much cuter. I have to say I don't think too badly of Texas .I don't think we've got a county thought of as being full of macho red-neck types. The two things are not compatible here . Sunderland could be once considered full of men of steel ( ahem ...there's a joke in there ). The redneck types are more Essex ,all tans , white stilletos and Thatcherites .

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  22. Oh my, it's out of topic, but I couldn't help myself seeing another "one eye tear" scene.

    I've been noticing it lately. I guess it's really hard to cry on cue, so directors are content with just one tear drop.

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