By Jim Schutze
By Rachel Watts
By Lauren Drewes Daniels
By Anna Merlan
By Lee Escobedo
Regarding Mary Brown Malouf's reluctantly favorable review of Vitto's restaurant in Oak Cliff ["Cliff hanger," July 11]: Having been born and raised in Oak Cliff, I was amused to see that the North Dallas paranoia, fear, and blatant prejudice against Oak Cliff is still alive and sick.
I now live in Austin, and have since 1986. I moved here not because of any dislike toward Oak Cliff, but because the rest of Dallas--with its phoniness, avarice, and entirely self-perceived notion that it has class--was a source of chronic nausea.
Austin, on the other hand, is rather like Oak Cliff without the poisonous, permeating attitude of the rest of Dallas. If "Cliffies" (in my day, we proudly called ourselves "Cliff Rats") do tend to be defensive, I doubt it's because they want North Dallasites to make the trek south. More likely it's because they wish that writers such as Malouf would squelch their criticism of things and places of which they have virtually no knowledge at all.
Don't blame Carol Channing
Poor Jimmy Fowler. What's his problem, that he would so acidly attack Damn Yankees in general, and Jerry Lewis in particular ["If hell were a musical," July 4]? I attended a performance, and what I saw and heard was a full house of people just having a great old time. How sad that all he could find worthy of mention was a flash of male nudity and a reference to J. Edgar Hoover's sexual preferences.
He seemed to find the whole thing very old and creaky, and tended to scorn one of its messages, that of marital fidelity. I thought it particularly tacky that he chose to aim a few barbs at national treasure Carol Channing, who had nothing whatever to do with the production.
Nothing was said of the wonderful dancers, the terrific singing voices, the drop-dead gorgeous and talented Valerie Wright (Lola) who brought back memories of Gwen Verdon (oops! sorry, Mr. F., another old-timer), the great set designs and special effects, and even the bit of pure Jerry Lewis schtick that was funny.
It sort of seems to me that your reviewer doesn't care much for seniors, right? I get the feeling that he thinks folks who have grown old should stay in their proper spot--out of sight-- and not get up on the stage to entertain, even though they do it very well. As one of those myself, I'd like to tell Fowler how hard it is for us older guys just to get through the day, much less sing and dance and bring joy to audience after audience. But just you wait, Fowler. You'll find out someday.
We may share the last name, but I tell you true: Jimmy Fowler is no kin of mine.
No tears for indies
So let me get this straight. Best Buy offers the same CDs that I can find in an independent music store, but for about $2 to $5 cheaper [0"Accidental deaths," July 11]. Where's the problem?
Instead of spending their time whining about how "corporate giants" are killing the music industry, [independent stores] should be figuring out how they are going to adapt to stay competitive in today's retail music market. If most of these indie store owners took a page or two from Best Buy's book, I have a feeling that their market share would dramatically increase.
As a frequent CD buyer (on a budget), I have to say that low prices aren't the only thing sending me to Best Buy on a regular basis. First of all, all the music knowledge in the world doesn't amount to squat if the store's distributor isn't going to keep the stuff I want in stock. Just like Big Bucks Burnett said in your article, why should I wait two weeks for the Beatles anthology, when I can cruise into a bigger retail store that not only has it in stock, but for a few bucks less?
Also, let's face it, larger retail stores are a helluva lot nicer to shop at. The store is clean and well-lit, titles are easy to find, and the employees are less likely to scoff at you when you ask directions to the "Hootie and the Blowfish" section.
Besides, what's nicer than walking in, grabbing a couple CDs, then picking up some videos, batteries, or blank tapes on the same trip?
But no, indie stores still bitch and moan about the Best Buys of the world as they mark down their overpriced Nirvana bootlegs with heavy heart. Well, let me be the first to offer a big-ass "wah" to you. Oh, and don't let the door hit you in the ass on the way out.
My girlfriend and I go to Best Buy all the time to get CDs, and came to realize how we are part of the problem. Those poor, indie record stores just struggling to survive. I think I'll pay $5 more to buy my CDs.
Anyway, what I want to know is what is up with the glaring omission of Bill's record store? Is there a better indie music store in the state? Nope. So how come they weren't interviewed? Or did they just rebuff you guys? Please come clean, because I'm dying to know.
In the July 11th issue of the Observer, a photo credit appearing with a review of Othello was incorrect. The photograph was taken by Linda Blase.