thought the Star-Telegram had cured itself of its patented
"Green With Envy" type verbiage. But we were wrong.
With about a year of not using that unfortunate type verbiage,
today, March 23, 2008 they did it again, in an editorial.
Here's a blurb containing the offense:
"Fort Worthians love to
think their community is unique among big U.S. cities. And
it is. Local downtown revitalization is a case study for
municipal leaders nationwide. The cooperative, progressive
elected leadership found here is the envy of cities that are
beset with political and racial divisiveness."
So, this latest
ridiculousness was the subject of our blog today. And it ended
up being the longest post yet. You
can read it all by going here.
on my Blog
I commented on an article in the 2/19/08 Star-Telegram in
which I verbalized my distaste for another Star-Telegram idiosyncrasy
that is sort of related to the 'Green With Envy' syndrome. So,
the Star-Telegram's Entertainment Writer posted a comment.
I'll copy the comment below. You can go
to the Blog and read the post to which he is reacting.
And the comments.
I don't consider it boasting or bragging, and if you'll Google any American Idol contestant, you'll find mentions of them in their hometown papers. Interesting that you should bring up Seattle, which plopped several contestants -- including the much-maligned Sanjaya Malakar, who was from Federal Way -- into the previous season of 'Idol.'
It is true that we often, although not always, refer to Bill Paxton's Fort Worth roots and Kelly's Burleson roots (and, if you were honest in your post, you'd note that we actually poked fun at ourselves at doing so in the 'Idol' article. I don't consider this bragging so much as giving readers a local connection to identify with.
This has become much more important in the current newspaper atmosphere. As the lead TV writer for the Star-Telegram, I'm writing about a genre that many newspapers, including our rival to the East, don't consider "local." But when you're writing for a Fort Worth audience, and Fort Worth and Dallas and other North Texas cities place actors on series and contestants on reality series, it IS local. Boasting has nothing to do with it.
Fort Worth Star-Telegram
|On December 10, 2006 a former mayor of Fort Worth, Bob Bolen,
wrote a column in the Fort Worth Star-Telegram in which he stated...
"Today downtown Fort Worth and Sundance Square are the envy of communities across the nation."
EYES COMMENT: Maybe
the former mayor can be forgiven his use of the "Envy
of" verbiage. Apparently he was mayor when downtown Fort
Worth was re-vitalized from what had been a very shabby,
run-down downtown. The re-vitalization left several large
parking lots in its wake that then became known as Sundance
Square resulting eventually in a wave of envy sweeping across
the nation as communities near and far coveted having large
parking lots in their downtowns. Apparently a very difficult
feat to emulate, hence the out of control envy.
January 19, 2007 in a restaurant review the
Fort Worth Star-Telegram's June Naylor
"Because Sundance Square has imbued Cowtown with a distinctive
personality envied by cities near and far, we cringe just a tiny bit each time
something corporate or (perhaps worse) associated with Dallas
comes to town.
EYES COMMENT: This
blurb manages to achieve both the "Green with Envy"
and the "Dallas Fixation" in one sentence. And who
is this collective "we" who cringe when something
corporate or from Dallas comes to town? If you've been to downtown
Fort Worth you might notice it could use a few more
corporate presences, like maybe a grocery store or a
department store. Yes, it is true, the most envied downtown in
America does not have a single grocery store or department
store, no Macy's, Nordstroms, Sears or even that corporate
wonder from Dallas known as
LOOK AT THE MOST ENVIED DOWNTOWN IN AMERICA AT NOON ON THE
BUSIEST SHOPPING DAY OF THE YEAR.
A singer named Pat Green moves to Fort Worth and the Fort Worth Star-Telegram
has the following ridiculous thing to say.
"Dallas, Lubbock and Waco are green with envy, because Fort Worth has
bragging rights to the 'Texas Transient.'"
EYES COMMENT: Bragging
rights because a person few have heard of has moved to town?
Who would brag about such a thing? How are these bragging
rights assigned? How was it determined that Dallas, Lubbock
and Waco had collectively turned green?
the Fort Worth Star-Telegram boasts about Fort Worth schools
being the envy of other Texas schools, while the
Star-Telegram's May 17, 2007 edition reported that well over
half of all 8th and 10th graders in the Fort Worth School
District failed the science portion of the Texas Assessment Test
with 617 seniors (16%) not allowed to graduate on time. We
don't know if this new news will put a stop to the envying of
the Fort Worth schools by those other Texas schools.
"FWISD is still the envy
of the other larger urban districts in Texas academically and in many other
CLICK TO GET A
GOOD LOOK AT THE DOWNTOWN
THAT IS MAKING THE NATION GREEN WITH ENVY
the Fort Worth Star-Telegram has other cities salivating with
envy over Fort Worth's museums.
"Wealthy patrons and an enthusiastic city have welcomed some of the world's
most celebrated architects, including Louis Kahn, Philip Johnson, and Tadao
Ando, to create museums that make much larger and more cosmopolitan cities
salivate with envy."
Do cosmopolitan cities, with all their sophistication,
actually drool over some museums in Fort Worth? What
sophisticated, cosmopolitan city in America does not have
museums equal to or better than Fort Worth's?
this blurb the Star-Telegram has cultural institutions being
the envy of many prideful metropolises. We have no idea what
these Fort Worth envy inducing institutions might be. Or how metropolises
more prideful than Fort Worth were discovered.
also has cultural institutions which are the envy
of many metropolises which pride themselves on their sophistication."
EYES COMMENT: Is
no one curious which of the world's many metropolises which
pride themselves on their sophistication somehow manage
to suspend their sophistication long enough to be
envious of cultural institutions in Fort Worth? And another
note, does any actual sophisticated city brag about their
cultural institutions, let alone call their location "The
the Fort Worth Star-Telegram sports page it is revealed that
Fort Worth (population over 600,000) has a minor league
baseball field that is envied by the little towns in its
league, towns with populations in the 20,000 zone.
" La Grave
Field, in its
short existence, had become "the envy of the league...".
the headline "Yee Haw at Last" the below Fort Worth
Star-Telegram editorial does not exhibit the "Envy
Of" pathology, but it is a prime example of the
"Dallas Fixation" pathology, the "Dallas
Fixation" being a related twisted variant of the
"Envy Of" pathology and both strongly indicative of
a massive civic inferiority complex. This editorial also
exhibits the Star-Telegram obsession with what they apparently
perceive to be sophistication in other cities. This time it is
Dallas that exhibits 'faux sophistication'. Again, one
can not help but wonder how the Star-Telegram gleans this
information. Were reporters sent out to determine various
metropolitan areas levels of real as opposed to fake
sophistication? Shouldn't these important findings be printed
somewhere in the paper to help buttress the insightful
"After years of ignoring its western heritage and trying to deny any affiliation
with cowboys--the hat-wearing kind, not the helmet-wearing ones---Dallas finally
has found a city it wants to emulate: Fort Worth. Readers of the Thursday Star-Telegram learned about a western-themed
entertainment district that's being discussed for a site near the Dallas
Convention Center. One of those involved is none other that Billy Bob Burnett, an original
investor in the Fort Worth honky-tonk that still bears his name. A two-page advertising spread in the same paper beckoned NASCAR fans who
weren't interested in seeing the practice and qualifying races at Fort Worth's
Texas Motor Speedway to take Interstate 35E into Big D for the Chevy Speed
Stampede yesterday and today. Seems that despite all its faux sophistication, even Dallas' upturned nose
can smell the sweetness in cowboys, cattle and cars. Smells like money."
Dallas turns its back on its western heritage? Dallas has an
upturned nose? Who knew? As for turning its back on its
western heritage, in downtown Dallas, adjacent to the Dallas
Convention Center, Pioneer Plaza is the location of the world's
largest bronze sculpture. The sculpture depicts a cattle drive of 3
cowboys and 50 longhorns. The convention goers who frequent
the Dallas Convention Center likely enjoy this tribute to our
western heritage. Meanwhile over in Fort Worth at Fort Worth's
Convention Center, where very few conventions take place,
there is no notable tribute to our western heritage. It is not
known if Fort Worth is green with envy that Dallas has the
world's largest bronze sculpture or if Fort Worth is turning
up its collective nose at the Dallas display of faux western
thumbnail to view photo
The downtown Fort Worth skyline. Undoubtedly the most stunning
skyline of any American city with a population over a half
million. The skyline, readily recognizable as Fort Worth by
Americans near and far likely contributes to causing cities
and towns across the nation to be Green with Envy about
downtown Fort Worth and the stunning collection of parking
lots known as Sundance Square.
for a closer look at the downtown that is making the nation
Green with Envy
Worth's next door neighbor, Arlington, added some new trail to
its existing trail system in Arlington's River
Legacy Park, arguably the finest park in the D/FW
Metroplex. In another variant of the "envy of" type
mentality the Fort Worth Star-Telegram opined as to what
inspired Arlington to build this trail.
"If imitation is
the sincerest form of flattery, well our neighboring city of
Arlington has just paid Fort Worth a huge compliment with
the dedication of a new section of trail in River
EYES COMMENT: The
rest of the editorial bragged about Fort Worth's paved trails
along the Trinity River, implying those trails somehow
inspired Arlington. Apparently the Star-Telegram is oblivious
to the fact that paved recreational trails have been built all
over the nation. The trails at Arlington's
River Legacy Park are heavily used, unlike the Fort Worth
Trinity trails upon which one can often pedal for miles without
encountering another person except for the occasional homeless
person living under a bridge..
Below is a good example of why it seems
delusional for Fort Worth, well Fort Worth's paper of record,
the Star-Telegram, to opine that Fort Worth is making other
cities and towns near and far Green with Envy. Seems more
likely people in other cities and towns are shaking their
heads in wonderment at the puzzle of how a city that is the
Envy of the World could be so littered and have so little
regard for its appearance, particularly at the freeway exits
to its top tourist attraction.
|There are two
exits from the I-35 freeway, with exit signs telling drivers
this is the way to the Fort Worth Stockyards. Neither of these
freeway exits is landscaped, both are usually heavily
littered. Is there any other tourist attraction in America
where the freeway exits are this unkempt? The photo you
see to the right is the view when you take the northbound exit
to Northside Drive.
Northside Drive exit to
the Fort Worth Stockyards. Photo taken June 29, 2007. There is
less litter than we usually see here.
|If you have had
the pleasure of driving in other parts of the nation, the West
Coast for example, you may have noticed that many towns and
cities landscape their freeway exits. And keep them cleaned
up. For example, in the photo on the right you see the freeway
exit from I-5 into the town of Mount Vernon, Washington,
population 26,232. Fort Worth's population is 624,067, almost
24 times bigger than little Mount Vernon, yet little Mount
Vernon manages to landscape and keep tidy all 3 of its I-5
freeway exits, while Fort Worth's exits to its most popular
tourist attraction are littered eyesore messes.
Kincaid Street exit to
downtown Mount Vernon, Washington. Photo taken November 3,
2006. In the spring in this view you would see tulips and
other flowers. And no litter.
PEOPLE GREEN WITH ENVY
Last July my husband and I
visited the Dallas area for the first time. We bought the
Sunday, July 8, 2007 Star-Telegram. In the A & E section
the lead article was under the big headline "We were
robbed'. The article was about an AIA sponsored public
vote on America's Favorite Architecture. The theme of the
article was that Fort Worth was robbed by not having any
buildings on the list. With the prime crime being that Fort
Worth's Kimbell Art Museum was not on the list. The article
said "The Fort Worth building that cemented the
reputation of Louis Kahn...heralded as one of the icons of
modern architecture is not in the top 10, 20, 100 or even 150
favorite buildings..." The article goes on to say
"this is a stunning, some would say outrageous
Well, where do I begin? The
keyword is icon. To be an icon the iconic item must be widely
recognized. While perhaps architects may have found this
building significant as an example of modern design back in
the early 1970s, obviously the building is a big zero in the
American National consciousness in 2007. Now, there were many
surprising buildings on that list that gave one pause to
wonder, such as Seattle's new library? How do a lot of
Americans know about that new building? And why was Seattle's
Safeco Field on the list? And not the Ballpark in Arlington?
I've seen both buildings, they are somewhat similar. I suspect
the reason one made the list and the other did not was that
Seattle sees a lot more tourists, from all over America, than
does the D/FW area. And that new Seattle library is a stunning
piece of architecture. What strikes me is that this Fort Worth
newspaper's article's theme suffers from the same strange type
of delusion as all these "Green With Envy" examples
you have gleaned from that newspaper. I would think a more
useful theme might be to examine why it is that structures in
the Fort Worth and the Dallas area apparently do not register
with the rest of America while structures in other parts of
America are known far and wide across the country. I bet a
large percentage of north Texans would recognize the Space
Needle. What structure in north Texas do you think the rest of
the country recognizes on sight as an iconic image? Maybe the
new Dallas Cowboy stadium will fill that void.
Betty and David P.
We remember cringing when we read that 'We were robbed"
article last summer. You only touched on part of what was
goofy. The reporter's list of other buildings in Fort Worth
that were robbed of recognition was equally odd. The funniest
one was the Star-Telegram thought the Fort Worth Public Market
Building should be on the list, saying it has been a landmark
for more than 75 years. And yet, just a few short years ago,
the Fort Worth Star-Telegram helped hype a very lame
development called the Santa
Fe Rail Market as being the "First Public Market in
Texas". Not just in Fort Worth, but all of
Texas. We pointed out to the Star-Telegram the existence of
the Fort Worth
Public Market Building and its historical marker which
seemed to indicate the Fort Worth Sante Fe Rail Market was not
Fort Worth's first.
live in Waco. I had no idea until I read it here that my town
was green with envy because Pat Green had moved to Fort Worth.
Who is Pat Green?
EYES COMMENT: We believe
Pat Green is a country western musician. Obviously highly
regarded and sought after by many Texas towns and cities
because if you get him to move to your town it gives you some
sort of bragging rights and somehow makes other places green
live in one of those towns not near, but far, from Fort Worth,
that being New York City, and I must confess I did not know
there was an epidemic of green with envy jealousy regarding
Fort Worth's downtown. I've actually been to Fort Worth and to
its downtown, and like others of your readers we too could not
figure out what Sundance Square was, let alone that it was the
object of such envy. What I am wondering is how do these
people who write in that paper find out about all this envy?
I can't imagine how that research is done. Have they ever
published a list of all the towns and cities, far and near,
who have succumbed to this epidemic of envy?
does this green with envy drivel get past the editors of that
paper? I particularly find this quote quite sad, "museums that make much larger and more cosmopolitan cities
salivate with envy." What are these larger, more cosmopolitan cities who
are drooling due to some museums in Fort Worth? I really would
like to know.
San Diego, CA
town is, well, a bit more sophisticated, all in all, than Fort
Worth, and, well, the population here is much better educated, but still, it does not take a shrink to point out the obvious, that being that the use of the
"envy of" verbiage and the "Dallas
Fixation" is indicative of what amounts to a civic inferiority complex.
Additionally it is, well, bad manners to brag like this. I mean it'd actually be worse if it were actually true that other cities envied Fort Worth. To brag about this
faux envy is very tacky. It's like telling your neighbors my house is the envy of the neighborhood. What'd make that analogy perfect would be if the bragging neighbor's
home was the house that the other neighbors considered an eyesore in bad need of landscaping and a new paint job.
seem to be having way too much fun making fun of this paper's
idiotic editorials. But I've gotta admit, I am a lifelong
resident of Oklahoma City and I'll be darned if I can think of
anything about Fort Worth I'd be green with envy about. I'll
have to ask others if they are green with envy or know anyone
who is. Doesn't anyone call this paper on this nonsense?
Oklahoma City, OK
EYES COMMENT: Yes, we
have sent a message to the Star-Telegram pleading with them to
cease the cringe provoking embarrassing "green with
envy" verbiage. We may have suggested that whoever was
responsible for that journalistic fraud should be fired.
Unless he or she could provide documentation identifying the
cities, towns and communities that have become infected with
pernicious envy of Fort Worth. We have not heard back from the
Star-Telegram. We suspect it is only a matter of time until we
once more read an editorial bragging about something in Fort
Worth causing an envy epidemic across the nation.
||Saw nothing all that exciting
in Fort Worth to get someone
feeling envious. Why brag about a downtown being a great place when it
isn't? Why lie to us in a newspaper? That vacant Day
after Thanksgiving street reminds me of a modern day ghost town or something off a Si-Fi movie. Being noon and
only one person was to be seen? Hmmm. I live in a small town with a population of a thousand.
There's always someone walking about or a stray dog or some
other living breathing creature. Whoever is bragging
about Fort Worth making other places green with envy is
basically a liar. Please Ms/ Mr/ Mrs. Pinocchio, quit lying to your readers. Face the fact that your area needs some major
help if you rely on this type nonsensical self flattery to
build up your self image!!!
EYES COMMENT: Yes,
the local paper of record has a long history of
misrepresenting local matters. There was the time the paper
did not quite tell the whole story when some obscure lobbying
group named Fort Worth a "Most Livable
Community". And then there was the way they have reported
what is now called the "Trinity River Vision". Early on
the Star-Telegram reported the "vision" would make
Fort Worth the "Vancouver of the South". Which fit
right in with another notorious Star-Telegram
misrepresentation, that being repeating over and over again
that a lame little, now failed, so-called Public
Market, was modeled after Vancouver's neighbor, Seattle's Pike Place Market.