By Jim Schutze
By Rachel Watts
By Lauren Drewes Daniels
By Anna Merlan
By Lee Escobedo
Window-shopping for trouble
Neiman Marcus, Dallas' proverbial arbiter of taste, likes to make fashion statements. But last week the upscale retailer inadvertently produced a political statement--and a messy one at that.
Who'd have thought a department-store window display could be a hotbed of agitprop?
Neiman's blames it all on a misunderstanding, a simple, honorable intention to sell fall fashions by emphasizing the season's basic, bold colors: red, white, and black. To that end, the downtown store's designers painted bold statements on the display windows: "Red ahead," "Black is back," and "White is right."
Neiman's officials won't say how many complaints they got about the windows, but callers to the Observer explained that they were shocked by the "White is right" statement--and that the word "black" was printed "backwards" (a mirror image). "Just what is Neiman's trying to say?" asked one caller.
"It was not our intention to make anyone uncomfortable," responded tight-lipped Neiman Marcus spokeswoman Marie Dean.
Dean pointed out that the store responded promptly to the complaints. No kidding.
The offending "White is right" statement was scraped off the window and replaced with...hold on to your hats..."White is Dyn-o-mite."
The new statement is no longer politically insensitive. Now it's simply insensitive to the intelligent. Buzz isn't sure whether to attribute the statement to Jimmie "Good Times" Walker or Timothy McVeigh.
Maybe a D chip?
Wayward Observer writer and "Cowboy Communist" Dick J. Reavis, whose iconoclastic reputation has been spreading like a wind-whipped fire with the success of his book The Ashes of Waco and his testimony before a congressional investigation into the Branch Davidian debacle, has now gone online with a World Wide Web home page for Ashes. (http://rampages.onramp.net/~djreavis). Buzz bets Newt Gingrich is tickled pinko that guys like Dick are making the most of Newt's cherished Fourth Wave. Relax, Newt, Reavis still is unsure which side of a floppy disk goes up; the Oak Cliff writer also thinks the VW Beetle is the apex of technology.
Dallas political consultant Rob Allyn and former Clinton White House staffer Regina Montoya, formerly commentators on KERA's cancelled weekly news analysis show, "Between the Lines," have resurfaced on newly Foxed KDFW-Channel 4. The two are facing off in a point-counterpoint formatted "4 & Against" that premiered just in time for United We Stand's big confab this week. The opinion segment will air three times a week during the evening news.
But erstwhile colleague Bob Ray Sanders, Star-Telegram columnist and former host of "Between the Lines," who has a reputation for addressing issues much of the community would rather ignore, failed to make the jump.
"I guess point-counterpoint sort of means only two," says Montoya sheepishly.