As any scholar of McConaughian history will tell you, it is actually Texas-born filmmaker Richard Linklater who ushered in both the McConaughey Golden Age and Renaissance with the films Dazed and Confused and Bernie, respectively. Without the first, Texas-born actor Matthew McConaughey might have been relegated to crime scene reenactments in Unsolved Mysteries or playing the hot guy in Trisha Yearwood videos, while without the second, McConaughey might still be languishing in his Lincoln Lawyer period of decline. Meanwhile, any scholar of terrible fucking governors knows that Texas is responsible for giving the country both George W. Bush and Rick Perry. These two equally important, though heretofore unrelated, branches of historical scholarship could be on a collision course as Texas declares tentative support for the idea of Wooderson as its governor, a proposal that scholars and laypeople alike agree will be a fucking disaster—unless we can get Richard Linklater in there to coax a great performance from Governor McConaughey.
Possible Gov. McConaughey announced last month that a bid for authority might be in the future, saying that he has “some things to teach and share,” according to Huffpost. And for their part, Texans seem to believe that a Hollywood actor who was once famous for playing bongos naked while stoned could do just as good a job as Greg Abbott, the current governor, with 45 percent of Texans preferring McConaughey to the 33 percent of Abbott supporters in a recent poll. I am certainly no fan of anti-mask Gov. Abbott, who used the pandemic to try and ban abortions and whined about the Green New Deal as his constituents died from power and water outages. But I am not sure Gov. McConaughey, whose political party remains a mystery and whose platform as of right now seems to be the idea that the “illiberal left” is the real party of intolerance, is any sort of solution.
This is where I believe that solution might lie in Richard Linklater. Since Matthew McConaughey seems to shine brightest when Linklater points a camera at him and lets him ad-lib, as he did in both Dazed and Confused and Bernie, I propose Richard for lieutenant governor on the condition that he never stops filming. Working with Linklater seems to heighten and/or revive McConaughey’s talents for about four years, giving us performances like those in A Time to Kill or Killer Joe (or True Detective for those of you who seemed to enjoy that mess), before McConaughey lazes back to his lethargic Failure to Launch complacency. So if we mandate a Linklater clause into his bid for governor, we would have at least four years of McConaughey actually trying to do a good job, which is four more years than we get from the average Texas governor.
It also opens the door for a Boyhood-like film about the Texas governorship, which could potentially make America at large rethink its dislike of the state in much the same way it made us reconsider our relationship to Ethan Hawke. Actually, what I think I’m saying is that we should all talk more about how good Richard Linklater movies are at making Texas seem not horrible, but also yes, sure, the lieutenant governor thing too.