A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006.

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Entry from January 21, 2007
“Keep San Antonio Lame”

"Keep San Antonio Lame” is a 2004 imitation of the popular slogan “Keep Austin Weird.”

The seemingly endless imitation Texas city slogans include “Keep Dallas Pretentious,” “Keep Dallas Plastic,” “Keep Dallas Douche,” “Keep Houston Dirty,” “Keep Denton Chido,” “Keep Abilene Boring,” “Keep College Station Normal,” “Keep Georgetown Normal,” “Keep Round Rock Mildly Unusual,” “Keep Wimberley Weirder,” “Keep Lubbock Flat” and “Keep Waco Wacko.”


(E-mail from Aaron Forland)
in the interest of historical accuracy, i coined the phrase “keep san antonio lame” during a conversation with a group of fellow san antonio artists including justin parr and derek alan brown during a conversation at flight gallery (then located at the now-closed blue star art silos) in conversation some time in early 2004. in september of 2004, i created the design featuring the alamo substituted for the “a” in lame. in association with justin parr of flight, i manufactured and distributed the initial run of hand-screened vinyl stickers starting in october of 2004. if you visit the myspace profile i created for the ongoing keep san antonio lame campaign (http://www.myspace.com/ksal), on the blog page you will see the profile was registered on myspace in october of 2004. in december of 2004, also in association with flight/parr, i manufactured and distributed the first run of t-shirts, with initial sales starting a day or two before christmas of that year. i can document these claims if necessary.

i have run into a number of people since who claimed they or a friend originated the phrase and/or had heard and used it prior to 2004, but to the best of my knowledge, this is not the case. the most funny/ironic reference above is the claim on the shinerfest site that it was originated by austinites as a pejorative aimed towards san antonio, as it was always meant to be a jab at austin’s “keep austin weird” as well as an ironically loving tribute to san antonio. austin has a long and storied tradition of claiming bits and pieces of san antonio’s cultural produce as its own, and this was another layer of underlying meaning intended when i originally brought it up.

San Antonio Current
Letters to the editor
04/21/2005
Recently, I began seeing some little black stickers around town that stated, KEEP SAN ANTONIO LAME. I was expecting nothing very cutting edge from this city. But, then I found a Myspace.com web page put together by a guy named Aaron of Silo 18 at Blue Star. Essentially what was being stated was the opposite. The site was championing San Antonio’s lameness.

Let’s face it, San Antonio is a BIG small town. I think John Lisle of 99.5 KISS FM put it best when he described San Antonio as, “the Barney Fife of metropolitan cities - we have a gun, we just don’t have any bullets.” I really do enjoy reading the Current and being in the advertising business; I think that it is a very good source for advertisers. But come on, I think you need to forget where you live. Just embrace San Antonio and its lameness and stop wishing it were something else. If you need cool, head up to Austin. Embrace San Antonio and our choices without judgment. Keep Austin Weird and please KEEP SAN ANTONIO LAME!

Carlos Zapata, San Antonio

San Antonio Current
Lame is as lame does
By Aaron Block
07/07/2005
Samuel Butler may have felt that “neither irony nor sarcasm is argument,” but local artist Aaron Forland disagrees. The mind behind “Keep San Antonio Lame,” the slogan that graces T-shirts and stickers and has been spotted as far away as Los Angeles, sees his four-word response to the ever-present lament that San Antonio has no “scene” as a combination of both, with tongue firmly planted in cheek.

The concept grew from a conversation about the “Keep Austin Weird” phenomenon, which also evolved from a single mind, that of Austin Community College librarian Red Wassenich. “I don’t think Austin is very weird, and I don’t think San Antonio is very lame,” says Forland. The slogan is not necessarily a rejoinder to the effort to save local business in Austin, which he supports, but rather an attempt to draw attention to the talented, creative individuals who populate San Antonio’s cultural beat, and the venues that support them. The message: If this is lame, it’s lameness worth celebrating.

This is my space...
Monday, August 15, 2005
Keep San Antonio Lame

Myspace.com
Keep San Antonio Lameā„¢

Shiner Bockfest 2005
Saturday, October 15, 2005
Shiner Bocktoberfest 2005 /Audioslave
(...)
The highlight of the people crusade was Steve and his entourage from San Antonio. We Austin snobs have the slogan “Keep San Antonio Lame,” well this wonderful crew of people are definately an exception to the rule.

J-Rod’s Fireside Chat
Monday, December 19, 2005
Keep blank blank.
Everyone’s familiar with those t-shirts from Chuy’s that say “Keep Austin Wierd”. Well, I’ve been thinking of little slogans like that for some of the different municipalities in our Great State. Enjoy!

“Keep Dallas Pretentious”

“Keep Houston Under Construction”

“Keep Waco In the News”

“Keep San Antonio Lame” (except for Spurs basketball and mexican food)

“Keep Wichita Falls Ugly”

“Keep Lubbock Far Away”

“Keep Corpus Christi Smelly”

“Keep Amarillo A pit-stop on the way to Colorado”

“Keep El Paso ???”

“Keep Beaumont Redneck”

“Keep San Marcos / New Braunfels Drunk”
posted by Jerod Hugghins at 12:08 PM

Posted by Barry Popik
Texas (Lone Star State Dictionary) • (7) Comments • Sunday, January 21, 2007 • Permalink


in the interest of historical accuracy, i coined the phrase “keep san antonio lame” during a conversation with a group of fellow san antonio artists including justin parr and derek alan brown during a conversation at flight gallery (then located at the now-closed blue star art silos) in conversation some time in early 2004. in september of 2004, i created the design featuring the alamo substituted for the “a” in lame. in association with justin parr of flight, i manufactured and distributed the initial run of hand-screened vinyl stickers starting in october of 2004. if you visit the myspace profile i created for the ongoing keep san antonio lame campaign (www.myspace.com/ksal), on the blog page you will see the profile was registered on myspace in october of 2004. in december of 2004, also in association with flight/parr, i manufactured and distributed the first run of t-shirts, with initial sales starting a day or two before christmas of that year. i can document these claims if necessary smile

i have run into a number of people since who claimed they or a friend originated the phrase and/or had heard and used it prior to 2004, but to the best of my knowledge, this is not the case. the most funny/ironic reference above is the claim on the shinerfest site that it was originated by austinites as a pejorative aimed towards san antonio, as it was always meant to be a jab at austin’s “keep austin weird” as well as an ironically loving tribute to san antonio. austin has a long and storied tradition of claiming bits and pieces of san antonio’s cultural produce as its own, and this was another layer of underlying meaning intended when i originally brought it up.

fascinating site you have here.
thanks!

Posted by aaron forland  on  09/07  at  03:49 AM

"Keep El Paso out of the Loop”
“Keep El Paso Away”
“Keep El Paso scummy”
“Keep El Paso Filthy”

Posted by Frank Drebin  on  09/04  at  01:42 PM

ME ME ME ME! *I* came up with the TM’d “Keep San Antonio Lame” Slogan! ME!!! Pay me now! Pfffffftftftftft. Take that ‘lookitmememememe’ ambition to Austin.

Posted by BentOliver  on  06/10  at  03:34 PM

I just came across this while Googling for a “Keep San Antonio Lame” t-shirt (it’s my 11-year old son’s only Christmas request, go figure).  I can’t believe someone is claiming to have coined the phrase in 2004.  Believe me, the San Antonio ex-pat community I hung out with in Austin was joking about “Keep San Antonio Lame” no later than Dec. ‘02.  The Austin/Lame bumperstickers were ubiquitous up there by then.  I certainly did not coin the phrase, but it was in use before I moved back to Lametown in January ‘03.

hmmm

Posted by meximelt  on  12/03  at  03:28 PM

can’t deny the possibilty that austin-based san antonio ex-pats may have come up with the phrase in their own circles to make fun of “keep austin weird” and or/ san antonio, but to the best of my knowledge it hadn’t made it’s way back to sa at the time i independently coined it in conversation in early 2004. the ksal design & stickers simply did not exist until october of that year. end o’ story & best wishes.

Posted by aaron forland  on  12/03  at  08:34 PM

Apologies: I meant to type that “Austin/Weird [not Lame] bumperstickers were ubiquitous” at that time.  I did not mean to imply that someone pipped your bumpersticker art.  Props to you for making something of it.

Posted by meximelt  on  12/04  at  09:22 AM

absolutely, mr. meximelt - as documented elsewhere on this site and in other sources, red wassenich first made the “kaw” bumper stickers in 2000, and they were certainly everywhere in austin and also to be found around san antonio by 2002. not coincidentally, somewhere i have saved an email from mr. wassenich (circa 2004 or ‘05) in which he acknowledges me for having coined “ksal” and mentions that he wished he had picked a “cool word” like lame rather than weird wink

confidential to mr. bentoliver: it ain’t trademarked because i don’t really use it to make money - what minor income i’ve reaped from it over the last 6 years would still not cover the legal fees required for trademarking. i do however hold the copyright on the familiar logo and “keep san antonio lame” is registered as a legal dba alias here, so yeah, it is mine, and i, like most folks, do enjoy receiving the credit for my individual efforts. however, rather than income-generating self-promotion, my intent since starting it has been to use it to provide a community service in promoting a variety of cultural happenings around town and culturally-relevant local small business, providing as comprehensive a listing of interesting art and music events as one individual can, as well as archiving past events via old flyers and other memorablia. please see the facebook page linked via my name for more details. best, yer pal, aaron.

Posted by aaron forland  on  12/04  at  07:57 PM

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