If Kirk can claim victory on January 17, it won't matter if the deal's books don't balance, or that the city will incur additional expenses condemning land for Perot's mega-nothing.

Despite his secrecy and posturing, John Ware has been reduced to nothing more than a water boy for Perot's every request. And the mayor has become the premier apologist for what's shaping up as a rip-off of truly historic proportions. Roger Staubach take note.

Without Bob Stimson's honest accounting of the deal's terms, Donna Blumer's standing up to the two millionaire welfare queens, and Al Lipscomb smelling a rat in the TU site, the city council would be a unanimous herd of rubber stampers. Thank God for the three of them. They give us hope for the vote in January.

David Judge

No love lost
If I wished to insult you as you have insulted me (and multitudes of my friends), I would ask if your article on "Mr. Passion" [October 23] was written on the "wrong day of the month."

It's amazing. I have seen many comments, articles, etc., bashing the romance genre--readers, writers, models, publishers, agents, even those poor misguided folks like me who sell the very "bodice-rippers" you castigated--but I don't think anyone has managed to be quite so insulting in quite so many inventive and irritating ways.

I would love to introduce you to the many facets of romance books--the ones not merely about sex, as you seem to think, but about dealing with breast cancer, spousal abuse, handicaps of various kinds, custody battles, murder, and suspense.

But there, I'm sure you wouldn't be interested in being educated--you already have an opinion, firmly formed and obviously immovable. So much for the open-minded press. But you might want to search through the Internet until you find The Literary Times bulletin board--you might be exposed to the minds of some very bright, articulate people who both read and write the very books you despise. You might even find your name being discussed! But you might not like what they're saying...

I realize that it's highly unlikely that you will change your opinion of romance books merely as a result of the responses you are receiving, have received, and will be receiving to your article. But I do recommend that you read a few of those despised books before you sharpen your claws for the next attack. The genre has some really staunch defenders!

Merry Cutler
Via e-mail

Editor's note: Yes it does. Ms. Cutler's letter--and those that follow--were among dozens received by the Observer about Christine Biederman's article, "Mr. Passion."

The article on Mr. [Evan] Fogelman, while somewhat entertaining, certainly does a disservice to the romance industry and the men and women who write the novels.

If you think romances are banal and dull, then you obviously have never read Jane Ann Krentz (aka Amanda Quick), DFW's very own Geralyn Dawson, Jennifer Cruisie, and countless others who pen an intriguing, heartwarming, humorous story. What's wrong with reading for pleasure? Or reading something that leaves you with a sense of satisfaction and completeness? (Yes, that's what a happy ending does--which is why we fans love our romances over any other genre.)

It must be a terrible burden to be such a supercilious snob. I truly feel sorry for you.

Carolee Jacobson
Via e-mail

This is in response to the article done on Mr. Evan Fogelman. I found it informative, honest, and shockingly hostile on the part of the interviewer.

Her brutal slap in the face to the romance industry was nasty and carried with it strong undertones of resentment and anger. Every person--especially a woman--should have the right to her own opinion, but I found this woman's words painful to read because it's apparent that she holds good writing and imagination when it's in the form of a romance novel in such low esteem. There are truly some great and inventive romance writers out there. Too bad this interviewer was so ignorant of that fact.

Valarie Prince
Via e-mail

I just read the Fogelman agency interview and am astonished that despite all the good things about the romance industry that Fogelman said, your reporter could not avoid sneering at all the women who read romances. Yes, not every romance is great literature, but if she is looking for wit and irony, she might try the Regency genre. Especially the woman who is considered the foundress of the genre: Georgette Heyer. I recommend reading Faro's Daughter if your reporter wants wit and irony. But then, the humor of a romance would probably not be understood by Christine Biederman.

Louise Bergin
Via e-mail

Why should Mr. Fogelman be embarrassed to represent romance novelists? Are you embarrassed to be involved in a romantic relationship? Or is your problem that you have never been in a happy romantic (or even heterosexual) relationship? Don't look down on the readers who like to read stories with a happy ending. Romance is alive and well, even if not in your own life.

Do you bash romance novels because you think that will score you some points with the "guys" in the competitive field of journalism?

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