Thursday, February 17, 2005

Is that salsa from New York City?

So PBS is doing another one of those ‘House’ reality programs. This time it’s set in Dubai’s backyard. It’s set in an 1867 Texas Ranch House. You can apply here.
This shall be interesting. I’m not a historian but the black codes were just lifted and although black men had the right to vote by 1867, it was still a turbulent time for African-Americans.

"From 1865 to 1868 white Texans committed over 1,500 acts of violence against blacks; more than 350 blacks were murdered by whites. These were attempts to reestablish white supremacy and to force blacks back into their "place." Only the intervention of Congress and the imposition of military rule in the state after 1867 eliminated the Black Codes and brought a modicum of safety to African Americans. The arrival of military and Congressional efforts to protect black rights ushered in the second phase of Reconstruction in the state. In this period African Americans made a substantial contribution to the transition of Texas from a slave-labor state to one based on free labor."The Handbook of Texas

Personally, it’s fun to see the romanticized ideals of periods long ago get crushed at the stinging reality, toilets and other modern conveniences are not available. That’s what made the other ‘House’ shows fun to watch, if but for a brief episode. I never caught ‘Frontier House’ but I did check out ‘Manor’ and ‘Regency’. I’m not sure what possessed these applicants to try out for these shows. Maybe one too many viewings of Dangerous Liaisons. However, I can tell you right away, the odors my brain conjured up reading the description of ‘Texas Ranch House’ are reminiscent of the odors one might smell on the West 4th street platform during rush hour in July. Mind you, the cattle probably smell the least after a hot day in the sun shoveling manure.

However, I do look forward to seeing the reactions when they find out that T-Bone they just ate was Bessie.