By Jim Schutze
By Rachel Watts
By Lauren Drewes Daniels
By Anna Merlan
By Lee Escobedo
Below the belt
Wow, "skunk stripe" and "bathroom throw rug"? The Dallas Observer certainly is a hard-hitting news outlet. Hitting below the belt, that is. With the departure of Laura Miller, I expected the mean-spirited half-truths and personal attacks synonymous with her column to wane. Given the content of a recent issue of your paper [January 15], I see Ms. Miller's brand of journalism is alive and well.
I have grown accustomed to hearing of the regular potshots the Observer takes at me and my wife. Fortunately, this latest issue of your paper manages to leave my wife out of the fray. However, "Hizzoner" seems to be a favorite target of the Observer's personal attacks, attacks which I take so seriously, I choose not to address them.
Besides focusing on me, in this latest issue you also set your vicious sight on former Mayor Annette Strauss ["Picture imperfect"]. While Mayor Strauss certainly does not need me to come to her defense, I find your comments about her in your Buzz section highly offensive. I am not sure what substance your reporter was on when he had such a buzz, but I assume it contributed to his derogatory remarks.
You may disagree with someone's views or beliefs, but is it necessary to engage in such childish, playground-like tactics to make your point? Not only did you manage to make inappropriate comments about Mayor Strauss, but you also compared your own Laura Miller's wardrobe to that of a Nazi SS Officer. Given Mayor Strauss and Ms. Miller's heritage, it was a poor comparison. I certainly do not include myself as a regular reader of your paper; however, when I need a good laugh, I know where to look. Hearing of your articles helps keep me true to my real Indian Guide name, Laughing Bear.
If I were not such a gentleman, I would tell your paper where to go, but since I am, I will just say I look forward to more of your absurdly humorous statements.
I'll take Jerry
I recently came across the column "Balls" for the first time. I would like to comment on the article about Jerry Jones ["The madness of King Jerry," February 12].
It seems fashionable to lambaste Jones in every sports article and on all the talk radio shows in Dallas. His entry into the ownership of the Cowboys still leaves some people with the scars of the exit of Tom Landry, and to a lesser degree, Tex Schramm.
The vaunted experts of the written word and microphone snipe at Jones' every move without regard to the final outcome. Like the blind men in the fable, they can only realize a sliver of the picture but assault us great unwashed with their opinions as if it was being brought forth from the mountaintop--then they crawl back to whence they came if and when they are proven wrong, never acknowledging same.
The article in question points out the fabrications by Jerry Jones as if we, the readers, will somehow find this man distasteful and run him out of town on a rail. How dare he utter anything but the gospel when it pertains to our Cowboys.
The writer then discusses the coaches that are being interviewed as if he alone holds the key to the future of the Cowboys, and Jones, tin cup in hand, taps loudly along the sidewalk that is the NFL, deaf, dumb, and blind. Then he sums up his article by naming the Green Bay Packers offensive coordinator as the logical choice for the job, but Jones will somehow snatch defeat from the jaws of victory and hire someone else. Alas, the poor Cowboys and their fans.
The cloak of hubris with which the Dallas sports media shroud themselves reminds one of the fable "The Emperor's New Clothes." While they saunter down the boulevard, wrenching their shoulders out of the socket while patting themselves on the back, they're too busy to notice that their opinions are thin, at best.
The facts remain apparent to anyone that will look. Jimmy is gone, probably at his own request. Jerry is a major reason the Cowboys have won three championships over the last nine years. After all, he never balks at writing the check when it will help him win. And finally, do you remember Bum Bright?
Thanks, I'll take Jerry!
Art for the masses
I want to thank the Observer for the article "Renoir Shmenoir" [February 5] admonishing the Kimbell Museum for pandering to the masses. I teach humanities at Richland College. One of the issues I emphasize to my students, most of whom have never seen the inside of a museum--never mind being able to tell the difference between a Manet and Monet--is the intellectual elitism that exists in the academic art community. Christine Biederman illustrates this perfectly with her fashionable cry against the mounting of an exhibit for people exactly like I teach: middle-class suburbanites.
I love it when the Kimbell has a blockbuster show. It makes it that much easier to convince my students to make the trip to Fort Worth for their museum assignment. And now I have a ridiculously irrelevant article for them to use as a framework for their experience and the follow-up writing assignment that goes with it.