Lubbock Or Leave It
I've put my heart and soul into Lubbock. It therefore pains me to tell you I gave a kid some advice you might not approve of. I told him to leave it. More after the jump.
The essence of this blog is that you only get one chance at life and after your dead your life, your accomplishments, and even your fore bearers don't really matter. With that in mind, why struggle?
I have family and business interests and a great job here. There are many reasons why I work as hard as I can to make Lubbock a little bit cooler place to be. I'm happy that I work at one of the coolest radio stations in the world (seriously, you are welcome to try to find a better rock station anywhere) and I'm happy that my haunted houses have made October a month that thousands of Lubbockites look forward to.
The point is, there is a dark side to Lubbock. Crime is ridiculously high for a town this size. There are still racists, and homophobes and tactless rednecks that make their presence known the minute that you least expect it. The town responds to progress at a snails pace and City leaders don't lead anything. There are no real public works projects or efforts to make Lubbock a better, more inviting place to live. Then there are the backwards thinking folk that only recently let us have beer in town and it was just last week they decided that the "dirty tattooed folk" could have a convention here.
The council here just banned synthetic marijuana and when our mayor took the adult stance that "it's not up to me to tell adults what to do with their bodies", a concerned, but ignorant citizen responded with the baseless and cowardly "are we to say that the mayor doesn't care about our city or our people?". As you can see, even members of the populace think that Lubbock citizens need to be diapered by others (Oh, and the best part is, I talked to a guy at a smoke shop and he said there's already another formula being made right now that won't be affected by this unenforceable law).
So in Lubbock you fight archaic attitudes and zealots who won't be happy unless you are firmly under their thumb. They don't believe you are capable of making the decisions that are right for you. Whether it's booze, tattoos, or how many times a sign can blink while you're at a stop sign, these people want to control it (all that while railing against the U.S. governments "over reaching").
Now, as I said, some of us have a reason to stay here and fight. My point to this young man was that in 30 years I've only seen Lubbock move inches forward. With only one life, why should YOU waste 30 years waiting for something like a city to get better, cooler or more tolerant? Most students at Tech realize this and get the hell out of Lubbock the minute they get their degree. It is out and out embarrassing how few students stay in Lubbock after their schooling.
So, if you don't have roots here, if you don't have family here, pack your things and escape in the dead of night. You don't want to wake up 30 years from now and realize how little things here have changed. You are not going to wake up in a "better Lubbock" tomorrow. You can see Lubbock 30 to 50 years into the future by moving to a more progressive city now. You don't have to be beat down by backwards attitudes and small town thinking, you can go somewhere where you can flourish right now!
So, in conclusion, I'm sure there is some red faced moron just waiting to finish the last of this article so they can type "if you don't like it leave". Sorry, I'm here to fight the fight. I am one of the people responsible for moving this city forward the few inches it has gained. I have too much invested to give up the good fight and this city needs someone to call out the people who want the town to stand still or move backwards. My point is, if you are a young person, understand that it does not 'get better' quickly around here and you owe it to yourself to be happy every minute of your life. Maybe one day, in the future, when you visit your friends in Lubbock, we'll have advanced this town past it's 1950's attitudes. In the meantime, go anywhere that let's you grow as a person and be happy.