habit of referring to Richmond as “ournnation’s capital” lets you know exactlynwhere the Partisan is coming from.nPersonally, I’d enjoy the magazinenmore if its editors would stop givingntheir Scalawag Award to friends ofnmine, but the Partisan may be valuablenthe way an old musket is valuable: as anreminder of valor long ago, in simplerntimes, and maybe still serviceable in anpinch.nFor something entirely different,ncheck out Southern Exposure, the organnof a somber band of aging NewnLeftists at Durham’s Institute fornSouthern Studies, an organizationnspun off some years back by the pinkonInstitute for Policy Studies. The UtnenReader (a sort of counterculturalnReader’s Digest) recently gave SouthernnExposure an “Alternative PressnAward” as “an enduring catalyst fornsocial change in a place defined byntradition” — you get the idea. SouthernnExposure is the favorite Southern magazinenof non-Southern “progressives,”nsince it tells them that the South is stillnprimarily about oppression, injustice,nand struggle. Occasionally, though,nSouthern Exposure takes time off fromnits favorite causes to appreciate thenculture of the Southern common folk.nIts appreciation is selective (voting fornJesse Helms is not an acceptable folkway),nbut it has published some goodnstuff on Southern religion and music,nfor example.nOddly, Southern Exposure resemblesnthe Southern Partisan in somenways. For one thing, neither magazinenis a barrel of laughs. Exposure is deadlynserious, while the Partisan sometimesntries to be funny, but I almost alwaysnwish it hadn’t. Both magazines arenmostly predictable but occasionally tellnyou things that you won’t learn anywherenelse, some of them even true.nFinally, both represent authentic, indigenousnSouthern traditions. Maybenyou can link Southern Exposure to thenPopulist movement of a century ago, ifnnot to Marse Tom Jefferson himself; atnthe very least it’s working a field wellnploughed during the Depression by thenwriters and photographers of the WPAnand the Farm Security Administration.nSouthern Exposure isn’t the only remainingnoutlet for proletarian testimonialnand hardscrabble documentarynphotography, but it may be the onlynone with ink that doesn’t come off onn48/CHRONICLESnyour fingers.nIf the Southern thesis is stated by thenSouthern Partisan and the antithesis bynSouthern Exposure, I think a magazinenthat came out of Little Rock a fewnyears ago can be seen as the late-20thcenturynsynthesis. A book called Myth,nMedia, and the Southern Mind, byna University of Arkansas professornnamed Stephen Smith, documentednthe emergence in the 1970’s of a newnand different “myth” of the Southn(Jimmy Carter had a lot to do with this,nand so did Burt Reynolds) — not thenOld South, not the South of “We ShallnOvercome” either, but rather a downhomensort of place that had its problems,nbut that also offered good miisic,ngood food, good people, and goodntimesr That was the South of Southernnmagazine.nFolks with loyalties to other myths,nor vested interests in them, could notnhave been expected to like Southern,nand they didn’t. It quickly earned thenSouthern Partisan’s Scalawag Awardnfor an article asking whether the Southnneeds a new flag, and the editor ofnSouthern Changes (a Southern Exposure-likenmagazine published by thenSouthern Regional Council) dismissednit as nostalgic entertainment, not serious.nBut Southern quickly became anquirky, engaging, unpredictable magazine.nAnd a successful one, too, withnupwards of 200,000 subscribers.nSouthern wasn’t the first generalinterestnSouthern magazine (SouthernnVoices and Southern World each lastedna year or so in the I970’s), but it wasnbetter financed and better edited thannits predecessors. Linton Weeks, its editor,nenlisted dozens of talented Southernnwriters, well-known and obscure,nblack and white, most of them young;nhe published Lee Smith’s fiction, JohnnEgerton’s culinary essays, Roy Blount’snhumor, Florence King on Southernnwomen, Fetzer Mills on stock-car racing.nSouthern’s motto was “ThenSouth, the whole South, and nothingnbut the South.” If it was Southern,nSouthern was interested. This led tonoccasional false steps (I thought annarticle on upper-middle-class gay Birminghamnwas especially ill-advised).nBut many Southerners of a certainnage — roughly, well, thirty-somethingnor a little older—seem to feel thatnportraying the South warts and all is allnright, as long as it’s made clear thatnnnSouthern warts are more interestingnthan anyone else’s.nDiscerning readers will have noticednthat I write about Southern in the pastntense. Last summer, it went out ofnbusiness, but not for any reason thatnyou’re likely to suppose. That storyndeserves a letter of its own, and will getnit next month.nJohn Shelton Reed writes from ChapelnHill, North Carolina. He wrote annarticle and a book review fornSouthern magazine, and wasnplanning to write some more.nLetter From thenSouthwestnby Odie Faulkn”Which Way Did They Go?”nThere was a time when Texas stood fornmore than can be expressed in words. Itnwas a symbol of everything that wasngood about the American West ^ andnperhaps even of the United States itself.nTexas was a state of mind, a place wherenmen stood on their own two feet withoutnwhining to the government fornhelp, where men a little larger than lifencame face to face with death and destiny.nThis was the land of the Alamo andnSan Jacinto, a place where a small armynof Texans overwhelmingly defeatednSanta Anna and a superior Mexicannforce. It was a land that produced mennsuch as Sam Houston who, in his oldnage, began writing “I” instead of “S” innhis first name, thereby signing himself,n”I am Houston.” It was a land of TexasnRangers, men whose motto was “Onenriot, one Ranger.”nAcross the years since my youth, Inhave watched with fascination as thenmythic, symbolic Texas was used tonpromote everything from automobilesnto cigarettes, and I have gradually comento the conclusion that Texas will be fornthe I990’s what California has been fornthe previous three decades — the landnwhere new trends begin and the birthplacenof new cultural fads.nThe election of 1988 certainlynshowed that the state where Eisenhowernwas born and that produced LyndonnJohnson has become popular politically.n