Tuesday, June 26, 2012


My wife and I have had a subscription to Texas Monthly for some time, and we read it with great pleasure; it is very good to get a little taste of home every now and again.  In the July 2012 issue, though, there is something with which I find myself annoyed.  Specifically, it is a comment in Nate Blakeslee's article "Drawing Straws."  In discussing the haphazard and minimally effective proposals for water use in the state, Blakeslee remarks that "The state water plan is to planning as chicken-fried steak is to steak."

I gather that the remark is meant to disparage the state plan, but the analogy is a faulty one.  While it is admittedly true that a steak is supposed to be a good cut of meat, cooked well (as in adverbially good rather than internal temperature and color of meat) and served to the pleasure of the diner, so that it is a good thing, chicken-fried steak is in no meaningful way inferior.  Sure, it may come from less favored cuts, but when it is tenderized, breaded, fried up, and served with cream gravy, it is a gustatory delight of exceptional quality--and, indeed, quintessentially Texan (particularly the Hill Country).  So to use it as a parallel for a bad idea is, well, a bad idea.

And for those of you who have not had the pleasure of eating a chicken-fried steak, you have a problem that needs fixin'.

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