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image source nationalgeographic.com

National Geographic is airing a show about the community of Terlingua, I suppose you could call it a town, but I like to say community because that is what it is. The show, Badlands, Texas is a 6 part docu-drama reality show centering around the murder of Glenn Felts, the owner of the La Kiva Bar & Restaurant.

I have a vague memory of that happening, hearing it on our local public radio station, Marfa Public Radio, our locals talked about it, it was in the paper, it was quite the excitement, though not in a good way.

I have watched the first 4 shows, not knowing what to expect, I had heard a few friends discussing the different people in the show, it was interesting and disturbing at the same time. I don’t know any of the folk who live there, but I can identify with them, each person in the show reminds me of someone I know in the little community where I live, I suspect the folk who live in Terlingua are much like the folk who live out here where I am in far west Texas.

Most just want to be left alone, to live as they wish, with as little interference from the world at large, I can appreciate that sentiment, I wonder how this show will change their lives. I read a few articles about show, and as I suspected, most of the good people in Terlingua wanted nothing to do with this TV production. Some of course will benefit from the publicity, and the flush of tourists who will undoubtedly want to experience one of the last wild places left in the USA.

One of the common themes I hear both from the show and from those who didn’t want to be in the show, is it takes a certain type of person to make it out there, you have to have a major sense of independence, you must be able to take care of yourself, and don’t bother coming out (to live there) if you don’t have something to contribute, even if you have independent means of support, you still need to become part of the community to survive.

There are still 2 shows left to air as of the time of this article, I know how the trial turned out, but it will be interesting to see how the show plays out. Have you seen it? If so, what is your opinion?

You can see more about the show here

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