SocraticGadfly: Texas exceptionalism, wildlife style, in "Deep in the Heart" film

July 11, 2022

Texas exceptionalism, wildlife style, in "Deep in the Heart" film

Sorry, Texas Observer, but color me meh about this new Texas wildlife video you tout. Ocelots are the only truly rare species to Texas. Egrets? All over the place in multiple species, along with their heron cousins. I've seen black bear multiple times in Big Bend.

Bison are only rare to Texas today because none of the larger wildlife refuges in this state, unlike Wichita Mountains on the other side of the Red, stock them. That's not to mention that if you're dumb enough to get close enough to a bison to risk goring, how much of an environmentalist are you?

 Talking about "rare animals like the ocelot" implies the others are rare, too. Ahh, it's narrated by McConaughey! Branding alert! On the movie itself, watching the trailer at its website? Unless "trivially" true, Matty, it's semi-true that "Texas gives life to animals found nowhere else." Don't cite the Kemp's ridley sea turtle; just as the ocelot is found in plenty in Mexico, the turtle is in other Gulf areas and the Atlantic as well.

The blind catfish is the one exception, and that's almost surely due to lack of looking for such a critter elsewhere. I'm sorry; according to a Florida Museum webpage, the "Mexican blindcat" is ... uh ... in MEXICO and per name and pix, it's blind and a catfish.

The trailer goes on to say, via chyron, "Texas' First Wildlife Movie." Folks, we're in the land of Texas exceptionlism! Sadly, not the first time the Observer has gone there. Bernard Rapoport's turning in his grave again.

Meanwhile, further down the homepage, the Texas exceptionalism (even though I've already busted it) comes out in spades:

Deep in the Heart is a visually stunning celebration of what makes Texas unique — its diverse landscapes and remarkable wildlife behavior that cannot be found anywhere else in the world. Told through the eyes of wildlife species ranging from the mysterious blind catfish to the elusive mountain lion, the story follows our ever-changing relationship with the natural world and showcases our ability to destroy, conserve, and recover wildlife and the habitat we mutually depend on.

Oy. But, that's not all.

Look at the "partners." King Ranch? Wrecker of South Texas with overgrazing? Ranch scion Jay Kleburg, ex-GOP now ConservaDem candidate for land commish, is involved with the movie. How much did the King Ranch overgraze South Texas in the past? Another partner? The Cynthia and George Mitchell Foundation. As in "Mr. Fracker." Sounds like greenwashing as well as Texas exceptionalism.

(The Mitchell Foundation was created in part for greenwashing, it appears. And in their backyard in The Woodlands, it succeeded years ago. But, despite George's background, the foundation's greenwashing and more makes it hated by wingnuts.)

Oh, but THAT's not all. Something I missed early on? Neoliberal capitalism!

You can by a book about the film for $45, which that one's probably not outrageous. But, a "gimme" ballcap for $25 or T-shirt for $30? High-grade bullshit.

Bernard's turning in his grave because the Observer crapped the bed on this one.

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