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The State Fair Of Texas Evades Criticism By Hyper-Targeting Our Area Youth And Turning Them Into Blind, Lifelong Supporters.

Unlike seemingly every other media outlet in Dallas and, to a degree, the whole goddamn state, we here at Central Track aren’t exactly enamored with the State Fair of Texas. Why? Because, for starters, we’re not kids any more, and we’re no longer oblivious to the ways of the world. But also for a litany of other reasons, which we’ll happily run down for you here, one per day, over the entire course of the fair’s 2019 run, adding to the list we ran throughout the fair’s 2017 run.

At this point, our stance on the State Fair of Texas should be clear.

Likewise, over the course of publishing 46 entries into this series, the positions of those who blindly defend this bloated institution has also come into focus. To this set, the fair has been a fixture of their lives from a young age, and they feel personally attacked by our criticisms of something that they look so nostalgically upon.

Indeed, that’s exactly how the fair wants its audiences to feel about its offerings. In fact, you could argue that the fair’s entire infrastructure depends on this sentiment.

An interview with the fair’s top brass in the Dallas Business Journal earlier in the year stands as evidence of this. Asked how the fair goes about securing the many sponsors who underwrite its efforts on a yearly basis, State Fair of Texas president Mitchell Glieber offered up the following response: “It’s actually not a hard sell. The event sells itself because people come here as kids and they develop a love for the fair.”

In other words: The fair is able to exist today because of the decisions made by grown-ups who were once the children that sit so squarely in its promotional cross hairs.

Yes, this indoctrination of area youth is very much part and parcel to the fair. It can be seen in the way the fair gives free tickets to students of any school within a 100-mile radius, and the systemic way it has simply been accepted into the way things work around here is evident in the multiple annual “Fair Day” school closures in our area school districts.

Never mind the fact that parents are expected to take time off from work to take their children to the expensive-ass fair. Never mind the fact that, once on the grounds, these children will be subjected to the promotion of foods that they really shouldn’t be eating, the hawking of wares that they don’t need, the celebration of entertainment options that don’t represent they great state they call home and the display of poorly treated animals that also have nothing to do with Texas. Never mind, even, that the State Fair of Texas isn’t nearly as education- or scholarship oriented as it purports itself to be when positioning itself as a champion of our youth.

When defenders of the fair take issue with those who criticize it — and especially when those criticisms come from outsiders who didn’t grow up going to the fair each fall as they did — their fall-back stance is that their opposition simply does not “get it.”

Alas, it’s really the other way around. The people who’ve been groomed to accept without question the actions of a tired, stubborn organization, and who refuse to acknowledge that the fair really could stand to make a few improvements if it were held accountable as it should be — these people are the ones that don’t “get it.”

Why? Because the fair got to them and hooked them in before they could even question whether they should support such an institution. It’s like the fair’s top leader says himself: “It’s actually not a hard sell.”

Cover photo by Michael Barera via Wiki Commons.

More Reasons Why The State Fair Of Texas Sucks:

  1. Its history is super racist!
  2. It’s a major drain on Dallas police!
  3. It’s bad for your health!
  4. It’s so damn expensive!
  5. It’s not the economic driver it says it is!
  6. It’s a super shitty neighbor!
  7. It’s an altar to false idols!
  8. It makes Fair Park useless!
  9. It wastes city funds on out-of-towners!
  10. It exploits cute animals!
  11. Its executives take home too much money!
  12. Everything on the midway is a ripoff.
  13. It has willfully ignored its obligations and allowed Fair Park to fall into disrepair!
  14. It refuses to be transparent about the way it spends public funds.
  15. It can’t handle Fair Park’s long-term needs.
  16. Its lauded scholarship program is a joke compared to those of other, similar events.
  17. It uses fear tactics in its negotiations with the city.
  18. It goes out of its way to shield its crowds from the poor black neighborhood that surrounds Fair Park.
  19. Its low-level employees get burned by its executives’ bad business decisions.
  20. Its ticket-based economy is designed to squeeze even more cash out of attendees.
  21. It cares way too much about parking lots that go unused most of the year.
  22. It’s petty as fuck.
  23. It celebrates humanity’s fucked up relationship with livestock.
  24. It refuses to change.
  25. It can be easily debated.
  26. Its concert bookings could be heated up a few degrees.
  27. It’s tearing the Fletcher family apart!
  28. It’s spent a least $1 million to keep its books out of the public eye. What’s it hiding?
  29. It fired a beloved employee, claiming his request to attend a charity event was a contract violation.
  30. It has become a literal joke.
  31. Who’s buying what they’re selling?
  32. Its racist roots are still being unearthed by national scholars.
  33. It’s in bed with its would-be critics.
  34. It thinks you’re super dumb.
  35. It caters to Dallas’ elite in ways you’ve never even heard of because you’re such a plebe.
  36. No, seriously, its racist past is super troubling.
  37. Its attendance is in decline — to the point where other state fairs that last half as long draw bigger annual attendance figures.
  38. It caters too much to TX/OU weekend.
  39. Even its booze is gimmicky.
  40. It’s predictable.
  41. It uses its powerful friends to rush the city into meeting its demands.
  42. It’s a scourge on Dallas traffic.
  43. It uses gifts to buy City Council’s love and support.
  44. Big Tex was an inside job.
  45. Its exotic animal exhibit remains problematic despite repeated issues.
  46. Its gross fried-food obsession forces otherwise respectable area restaurants to stoop to its level.
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