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Conspiracy Theory

Lawrence Wright once wrote a piece on Dallas for The New Yorker: "Dallas presents itself as brash and cocksure, infectiously optimistic and full of answers," he declared, "but anyone who has come to know the city well will recognize a paranoid side, which is also mirrored in

[Ross] Perot: thin-skinned, suspicious, intolerant, easily offended, yet perpetually hungry for approval."

During the course of his research, Wright interviewed another writer and longtime Dallas observer named Jim Schutze: "Dallas has this sense that other people are always making judgments about it, that some committee meets in New York or Washington to decide how Dallas has done this year," Schutze explained. "There's not such a committee -- is there?"

[American perceptions about Dallas have been formed in part by: the Kennedy assassination; J. R. Ewing (the villainous oil baron on TV's "Dallas"); the savings-and-loan scandals; and the oddball eccentricity of Ross Perot. "To the extent that anybody really does have a notion of Dallas, I guess there is a danger that Perot contributes to its image of being a crackpot place, which has a long history of producing political weirdos," Schutze added. "I guess the reason this bothers me is that I think it's true."]

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