There is nothing more irritating than the disingenuous population of Austin taking on a cause that doesn’t make any sense.
In this case, the details seem rather small. A group of Austin protesters would like to permanently change “Bowie St.” in downtown Austin to “David Bowie St.” The street is currently named after Jim Bowie, the Texas revolutionary hero who died at the Alamo. David Bowie has no connection to Austin.
“We decided to do the demonstration just because it would be fun, first of all we could play music and just get people together,” Swenson said.
The SXSW shop sits right across the street from the changed sign on Bowie Street. Organizers put speakers at its entrance playing David Bowie music, while fans in Bowie attire and face paint gathered together.
“Seeing so many people standing on this corner, taking photos and just having fun, after losing someone who’s so important to a lot of people,” Swenson said.
Other people there said they were there because of the impact Bowie had on their lives and they wanted to honor him.
“We love David Bowie, and we want David Bowie street to stay,” Ellen Burris said.
“I think it’s amazing, I think we should change it,” Justin Kanewski said.
“It’s a small thing, but it’s really big for the culture and really big for this city,” Chris Chipman said.
“David Bowie meant more to Austin than you people will ever know,” exhales eight second vape “This town needs to respect that.”
*Commencing Austin rant sequence in 3…2…*
Jesus fucking Christ. Do you people even know who James Bowie was? There wouldn’t even be an Austin if it wasn’t for James Bowie. All these vegan restaurants and ironic festivals you love so much would be dust in the wind if James Bowie didn’t help Texas win its freedom from Mexico. Didn’t you pass Texas history in 7th grade?
Yeah, sure, David Bowie was great. He was also from England and had zero connection to Austin. I know it’s tough for many of you to swallow because Austin is so fucking cool and hip you probably thought David Bowie flew in and performed at least once at SXSW and maybe even had a house here (Sandra Bullock does! Matthew McConaughey lives here, too!), but the truth of the matter is that Austin has essentially no significance in his life, nor does he have one in this city’s.
It’s times like this where I like to break out my favorite paragraph about Austin from that Vice piece everyone here hates so much:
The following is an actual exchange I had with somebody in Austin not too long ago:
“We have to go to that place—they have whiskey-infused bacon!”
“Whiskey-infused bacon! That’s so cool!”
“But like, why? Why is that cool? How is that more than just a thing? Why should I be excited that some dude made bacon and left it in a bottle of whiskey?”
“Come on, don’t be a party pooper.”
There are so many “crazy” and “awesome” things in Austin! The taco cannon! The mustache competition! The pun-off! Everyone is really excited about all of these things. People are very excited to see horribly self-involved white people tell puns at a bar. That’s something you do in Austin; it’s part of the scene. Why do you go to the pun-off? Because it fits a certain collection of circumstances and idealized cultural values that supposedly makes Austin what it is. By virtue of its own perceived audacity, a pun-off, whiskey-infused bacon, or a ratball bad taco somehow becomes really cool.
But you’re not keeping Austin weird. You’re engaging in this fake, utterly distasteful blend of irony and feigned enthusiasm that will eventually cause the city to self-implode under the density of its own facetiousness. Soon you won’t be able to identify a single genuine emotion within its borders. You don’t actually care about whiskey-infused bacon. You don’t give a shit about whiskey-infused bacon. You’re pretending to, because that’s what keeps the whole city from feeling like a big lie.
Stop ruining this once great city with your stupid movements.
A fourth-generation Austinite .