You’ve Gotta Give It To Texas (TwitterJailed)

The things you love and hate about a place are flip sides of one another.

My dad tells me that the law has to be followed and faith had in it, and sometimes this goes against my instincts. You’ve seen my blog posts and the things I say on Twitter. You know how much I rail against institutional injustice.

Tonight I’ve been watching the Wendy Davis filibuster on #SB5. We’re now down to the last 28 minutes, and it’s been asked that something be reduced to writing – in “as big a font as possible.”

I’m in Twitter jail as I write this. I would (please, Twitter, please listen to me!) pay $5/month to know I wouldn’t go over my rate limit.

Politics are theatrical. In college, one of my drama classes was with a director, Kaz Braun, who had escaped the Communists. Later, I took an honors seminar with him; the topic was THEATRICALITY. I did a presentation on a segment of the Liz Taylor version of Cleopatra and played the segment of the film that dealt with her arrival in Rome. I talked about political theater and making an impression; Kaz gave me some positive feedback.

Watching Wendy Davis’ filibuster and the coordination of multiple roles between members of her (and opposing) parties, it’s fascinating to watch how the process of political theater is borne out. Sides debate one another, rules are obeyed…it’s like watching mathematicians try to keep track of parenthetical parts of equations.

I love how Van de Putte keeps coming up and being like, “So, like, parliamentary inquiry, can we talk about this other thing?” I don’t entirely get where she’s coming at it with her pulling up of women being recognized – so far, the body’s done nothing (that I’ve seen, in terms of points of order) that discriminates against recognizing women in terms of participation in parlimentary democracy. And the Gallery’s gone out of control again.

Texas has a fierce individualism that must speak to some part of my familial DNA; my brother and sister each made Austin their home, for periods of time. I can hear that individualism being screamed down from the Gallery in a building that I saw from 6th street and (is it called) Capitol st.(?)

The same ferocity of belief that I resent when it comes to religion and textbooks reflects in the passion of Sen. Davis and her supporters and the doggedness of their opponents. We love and hate the life’s flip sides.

We’re down to thirteen minutes, and the guy at the mic just said “we’ll suspend the roll call vote till we have order” – but they’re still calling the rolls! “We tried to do it,” said the president of the debate, because at this point we all know that the women of Texas and the members in the Gallery are going to keep screaming until they hit midnight, Austin Time.

What does he mean by “it”? We tried to hold the roll call? The vote? Table things? Stop the filibuster? Are the women in the gallery jubilant? Are they enraged? Where is Senator Davis in the video coverage? (After all those hours on her feet, I’d chip in to get her a back massage!)

The more time that goes on, the more happy and frantic the sounds from the Gallery seem to become. There’s an endless sea of men in suits with shirts and ties on the screen; all are shaking hands, all are civil. At one point —

I’m out of twitter jail!


At ten past one, it seems the chamber is emptying out. In my best estimate of humanity, I imagine a series of cordial hand-shakings and casual invitations to barbecues and iced tea buffets.

The sound returns.

And at twenty minutes past the hour, or thereabouts, it looks like TX Republicans are filtering back into the chamber–

News outlets are reporting that Texas has passed SB5 (#sb5); it’s currently 12:22 am.

So yeah. You’ve got to give it to Texas.

Just not for the reasons I had hoped when I started writing this blog.

Updated, 8:42AM EST 6/26/13 – According to reports, the vote that took place after midnight was ruled invalid by Texas Governor Rick Perry some time after this blog was posted and I went to sleep. Glad to hear it.

Updated 9:18PM EST 6/26/13 – And now Texas Governor Rick Perry has called for a “special session” of the Texas Legislature for July 1st. Gotcha. :/

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