By Jim Schutze
By Rachel Watts
By Lauren Drewes Daniels
By Anna Merlan
By Lee Escobedo
There were several factual errors in Jimmy Fowler's piece ["Put A Lid On It," May 15] on the two spoken word fiascos between me and the so-called Godfather of North Texas Poetry, Clebo Rainey. Fowler referred to me as "the self-styled white trash garage poet." I don't call myself that. My Fort Worth poetry buddy, William Bryan Massey III, who, like me, is just another Cowtown gutter-mouth spoken-word artist, is the guy who calls himself the "white trash garage poet" because he spends lots of time in his garage writing his excellent poetry and drinking quarts of Miller High Life while surrounded by spiders and his kids' toys. I, because I am one, refer to myself as "The Loser."
Next, Fowler misspelled my wife's name. It's Crista, not Christa. She got quite upset about this when she saw Fowler's type. "Fuck!" she screamed out loud while downing a schooner of Bud at Fred's Cafe. You have to forgive her reaction, because people have always screwed up her uniquely spelled name. I guess she's mad as hell, and she ain't gonna take it anymore.
Of course, some people might think Crista's name is "bitch" after Clebo referred to her as one in one of his quotes. I don't think there's any doubt that the "bitch" in this whole sordid affair is Clebo himself. His excruciatingly pretentious claim that there are "rules" to go by, like not saying the f-word even if it's in a poem you've written, at spoken-word events is censorship at its worst and extremely childish. Hey, Clebo, I can say "fuck" any goddamn time I please.
I think you've forgotten about something called the Bill of Rights and the First Amendment. It gives everyone in this country the outright right to say whatever the fuck they wanna say, "family values" goons be damned. In fact, I'm thinking of coming over to Dallas, without Clebo's permission (that means I'll be breaking another one of his self-righteous "rules"), so I can stand on the Grassy Knoll at Dealey Plaza and yell "fuck this shit" at the top of my lungs. And the Mandalay Poetry Circus event in question was 1996's event, not this year's. Finally, Fowler mentioned my LOSERS ARE COOL 'zine website, but failed to give out its address: http://home.earthlink.net/~theloser/index.html.
I hope this clears up some things. I wouldn't want your readers to be misinformed, because they get enough of that from reading The Dallas Morning News.
Robert W. "The Loser" Howington
What's the big idea of putting out comments on nominated bands [1997 Dallas Observer Music Awards, May 1] before the voting is finalized? Writer Matt Weitz starts off the article knocking two great local bands--Ooga Booga and The Sutcliffes. I know members of both and am well aware of their dedication to their music. I mean, c'mon, the guy even knocked the award issues before he became the editor, like he knows what in the hell is going on to start with.
On the second hand, I would like to know what Philip Chrissopoulos thinks a real reggae band is? Did Ooga Booga ever claim to be reggae? I don't think so, Chris! In fact, they don't claim to be in any one genre of music, for they came together in an amalgam of so many cultural diversities. Labels are only a product of a limited mind, pal.
How can the Observer expect credibility when it puts garbage like these guys in circulation? Take a hint: people don't respect people that trash people just for the sake of trashing people. Start to act like adults, and perhaps your circulation will increase to the point where you won't have to put so many ads in your publication.
I remember the early '90s, when the Observer had a shred of integrity--how about you?