Weekly Wire
Austin Chronicle Enough Already!

Sprawl-Induced Gall

By Wayne Alan Brenner

MARCH 6, 2000:  I don't wanna. That's it. The bottom line: I just don't wanna. I don't wanna be stuck in traffic for hours on end due to the influx of so many new people into this once mid-sized and easily-navigable burg -- or due to the road construction and building construction and construction construction everywhere at once. I want all these people who moved here after I did? I want them to get the hell out. (Unless, of course, they're already friends of mine. Well, yeah: of course.)

I don't wanna get all excited about some new band or solo act that's wicked good and has worked really hard and seems about to break through to the success they so certainly deserve -- only to have their talented selves dissed by the media Powers That Be somewhere between here and New York or L.A. or wherever. I mean, come on: Poi Dog, Spankers, Sincola, Laurie Freelove, 8½ Souvenirs -- where're your goddam ears, you A&R execu-shits?

I don't wanna see even more green places get eaten up by the cancer of urban sprawl that'll result in little more than abandoned strip malls and dreck-spewing industrial subdivisions and iron-gated communities of paranoia in the long run. Are we doomed to take all the things about this place that make it so wonderful that everybody wants to move here -- are we doomed to take those things and destroy them to the point where even fourth-generation natives will want to move away? Look at Dallas, look at Houston, right? You like it so damned much -- move there!

I don't wanna see UT build yet another stadium for gridiron muscleheads, at least not until they've spent the simoleons necessary to create a task force that'll hire someone to track me down and make me pay the $25 worth of fines I still owe the Perry-Castañeda Library from years ago, so they can use that money to buy more books or underwrite more literary programs or something edifying like that. Hell, why not kill two birds with one stone and have the next Ricky Williams & Co. tackle my accounts-overdue ass as part of their spring training? (But, the clavicles: Gently with the clavicles, please.)

I don't wanna get another phone call from the subscriptions department of the daily newspaper hawking their paltry wares at special low, low prices, not when I could get information a bit less biased from, say, any of Rush Limbaugh's toadies; and especially not since former staffer Hank Stuever, a wonderful writer now with The Washington Post, no longer whores himself for their miserable collection of praline recipes and new and used car advertisements. I mean, if I'm that desperate for the latest installment of Mother Goose & Grimm, I can bloody well get it online, can't I? You bet your sweet Dilbert I can.

I don't wanna see another megachain engulf and devour smaller local bookshops or coffeehouses or toy stores or music stores, I don't wanna see another chain anything, in fact, unless it's another franchise of Einstein Bros, of course, because they totally rock, and they haven't built an outlet right next door yet, which they should, most definitely, after buying the property from our picture-perfect neighbors who don't seem to like how seldom we mow the bloody lawn. I mean, to hell with checking the edges of one's flower bed with a perforation gauge, for chrissakes -- gimme a toasted garlic bagel with a schmear of lox & cream cheese, or shut the hell up.

I don't -- are you listening? -- wanna mow the lawn.

I just don't wanna.

Need I add? NYAAH!

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