By Jim Schutze
By Rachel Watts
By Lauren Drewes Daniels
By Anna Merlan
By Lee Escobedo
By Eric Nicholson
No static at all
When I first moved to Dallas, I also thought WRR should be sold by the City of Dallas ["Static quo," September 19]; however, over the past 13 years I have come to enjoy and appreciate the value of WRR to the City of Dallas. WRR is important to supporters of local arts groups and provides an important source of information about what really occurs at Dallas City Hall.
Most enterprise operations run by the City of Dallas do not generate a profit. Instead, they break even. If one were to decide which city enterprises should be sold based on net profits, then the Dallas Convention Center complex should be sold, since WRR makes more money than the convention center.
Unfortunately, $25 million is only 2 percent of the annual budget for the City of Dallas and would easily disappear, never to be found again. The city wastes plenty of money, and I would rather keep the radio station instead of getting a few dollars.
As far as the power of the Friends of WRR, more power to them for protecting our radio station from the politicians.
In your August 15 issue, there is a letter to the editor titled "Royal tiff" that states that Ann Zimmerman's article "Trail of Tears" [August 1, 1996] is full of calculated lies and distortions. But this letter does not mention anything Ann Zimmerman lied about or distorted. It states that in Ann's article she quoted a source from the Cherokee Nation. This is what reporters do--they investigate and try to contact all sides of an issue. Because your reader does not like what the source said is no reason to call Ann ignorant. She reported both sides--what the Oukah feels he is, and what the Cherokee Nation feels he is. Obviously the Cherokee Nation does not feel that they owe their existence to the Oukah, despite what your reader quotes as history.
Your reader says that he and his brother are proud that they have kept the old titles alive and that all the world leaders whom they care about have recognized them as they represent themselves. The thing that stands out the most is that the people they say they are royalty over do not recognize them. Would not the people that you are the emperor of be the people that mattered? Your reader says that Ann had proof of this in her notes, but would not the Cherokee Nation saying that they did not acknowledge him somewhat offset those notes? In the Oukah's letter he states that the Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma has no authority in its constitution to recognize an emperor. Could that have been put in there for a reason?
I am happy that the reader and his brother find self-satisfaction in the roles they play; may we all find that kind of happiness. But may those around us feel they are at least in the same world with us. The Oukah feels that Ann owes the readers and himself an apology. I think Mr. Oukah and his prince brother owe the Dallas Observer, Ann Zimmerman, and the readers an apology for using the letters column as a "Rah-rah, Oukah" political column.
Riddle of rights
Riddle me this: How do I get my hands on a Warner Bros. application? Someone who's a little brazen and has a lot of extra time is actually getting paid to assert a claim on a few words from a movie [Street Beat, September 12]. Warner Bros. contends that it owns the rights to the words "riddle me this," which were in the movie Batman Forever.
Riddle Me This also happens to be the name of a great eclectic band out of Denton that I have been following for a few years. Years, in fact, before the movie Batman Forever was released.
Think of the possibilities with retroactive rights. And if three words from an entire movie are enough for a copyright, how about one or two words? Off the top of my head, bands like the Rolling Stones, Meatloaf, and Yes might be in a bit of trouble. With a little research, I could probably claim the rights to the names of the Butthole Surfers or even Warner Bros. itself--the same brain trust responsible for that asinine Michigan (that name sounds familiar) J. Frog.
What you've been missing
I have not read the Observer for about a year. But when I picked up the September 12 issue, I realized what I have been missing. Laura Miller, as usual, really gets to important issues of our culture ["Artful dodger"]. And I especially enjoyed Mary Brown Malouf's fine bit of writing in "No questions."
As a former teacher of rhetoric, I appreciated Malouf's word choices, sentence structure, and vivid descriptions--but most of all the way she carried the spirit of the place, Arthur's.
Thanks to both writers for insight on Dallas, and for the pleasure of reading them.