South El Paso

It was a throw-away line, supposedly to bolster a supporting character’s depth. Designed to serve as a hook for the viewer, one of those writer-like moves that is calculated to endear the viewer.

I’m not naming the program, but the routine was something about “Can’t escape from South El Paso.” So, I’m wondering, are the writers in LA, one would suppose that’s where this material comes from, are those writers so far out-of-touch with reality that they display South El Paso as a real place?

There is a South El Paso. It’s called Juarez. Ciudad Juarez. Mexico. There’s a river that separates El Paso, with less than a million people and one huge military base, and Mexico. South El Paso would be in Mexico.

Towards that end, it is amusing to me, there’s an East and West El Paso with concomitant rivalries, gangs, high schools, shopping and so on. To me, the difference is about three minutes on the freeway, maybe a five minutes in rush hour traffic. Not much of a geographical difference, as the city is a little U-shape around a small mountain.

But that geography does dictate certain limitations – my buddies on the west side? At their place, my “State-Wide Texas coverage” doesn’t make it over the mountain. Although, strictly speaking, I am still in Texas. Look at the map, it’s that little corner, way to the west. Old Mexico, New Mexico and Texas – all in one place.

Ozona, Kermit, South El Paso, Midland, where will it end? How many times does Texas have to be displayed as hicks on a back lot that looks nothing like the real scenery. Or, in some cases, places that don’t exist?

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