By Jim Schutze
By Rachel Watts
By Lauren Drewes Daniels
By Anna Merlan
By Lee Escobedo
Rocky Mountain sigh
I just wanted to say I left Dallas for Denver in 1990. I have missed the Dallas Observer terribly. It is wonderful being able to get on the Internet and read it weekly. Keep up the wonderful work (and quality). Very comparable to our Denver Westword, but as they say, it ain't Dallas!
I can hardly agree more with Buzz columnist Glen Warchol's wry observations regarding the sophomoric tendency of Dallas' mainstream media to turn boosterism into a kind of corrupt burlesque of the truth.
Sadly, the number of functionally literate adults who have managed to survive years of that kind of forked-tongue-lashing with their crap detectors intact and working is a dangerously small minority in comparison to the teeming herd of Dallasites whose ability to think for themselves often resembles a television test pattern. This makes stating the obvious even more necessary.
Sucking up to the big corporate-buck bwanas of the metroplex, who pay huge advertising fees and therefore have the gall to expect influence and bias and boosterism in return for the "favor," The Dallas Morning News in particular has a nasty habit of practically falling over its heels in worship of the hands that feed. The fact that such misguided media behavior works to the detriment of a democracy doesn't seem to enter the smallish minds of editors, managers, and, well, "leaders." Nor is the News even the barest approximation of the fabled "voice of the people." It should be plain that misrepresenting reality to those who need honesty most does work to the advantage of the participating corporations which, politically speaking, are hardly anything more than a loose confederacy of totalitarian systems in need of a powerful public propaganda machine that will unflinchingly perpetuate those advantages in order to forestall the risk of public condemnation, general strikes, or even revolution.
Need an example? When the Texas Motor Speedway opened for business, the News and a ragtag combination of television and radio stations absolutely wasted the time of millions of North Texas citizens with a media PR barrage so furious that I half anticipated watching spin jockeys Clarice Tinsley and John McCaa literally roll in the muddy parking lot like a couple of dogs, they were so happy the racetrack had finally arrived.
And when recent scandals plagued the Dallas Cowboys, threatening to erode years of carefully disguised mass media propaganda, citizens all over the state could do nothing at all but watch as a colossal damage-control campaign geared up with a precision not even matched by the North Korean brainwashing techniques that inspired the movie The Manchurian Candidate. The deluge of positive fluff probably saved Cowboys owners and investors millions, while blunting the necessarily sharp moral and social consequences the organization deserves.
My favorite Morning News buttkiss bonanza, though, entailed the shameless spectacle surrounding Raymond Nasher's decision to donate his internationally envied sculpture collection to the DMA. Did I see right? Was that News executive Robert Decherd literally leaping into Nasher's lap and licking his face during the celebration? Such shenanigans do provide a laugh and a comforting virtual-reality-like illusion for us all--that Dallas, a place where business and money are the only topics, is actually an unrecognized international cultural center. But the local habit of marginalizing anything or anyone that points toward the truth ensures that the public in the future will be buying more lies like those, and that "troublemakers" such as artists, and independent writers and thinkers like myself, will be taught to behave. At any cost.
One must seriously question the NAACP's motives when its Grand Prairie President, Lee Alcorn, espouses the theory that since DISD enrollment is predominantly composed of minorities, then minorities should dominate the school board.
On the surface that comment does not defy logic, but it does evoke a 20th Century set of circumstances similar to the historic Boston Tea Party; it's called taxation without representation.