By Jim Schutze
By Rachel Watts
By Lauren Drewes Daniels
By Anna Merlan
By Lee Escobedo
You win some
I truly enjoyed reading the article on Tom Joyner ["Air Joyner," April 30]. It was very thorough and well written. I have been a loyal listener of Tom Joyner for many years, and I feel that this sort of coverage has been long overdue. My hat goes off to the Dallas Observer for being smart enough to recognize a good story. Keep up the good work, and you will make a loyal Internet reader out of me.
I was somewhat confused by David Martin's comments in the last Observer when he mentions Ms. Biederman as a champion of bimbo outrage ["The Jones boys," April 2]. What exactly is bimbo referring to? Mr. Clinton's organ? Or Mr. Clinton himself for being so sexually unexciting that he has to flash his organ as an open invitation and hope someone accepts? How does one distinguish between bimbo and non-bimbo? Perhaps a definition will help...
In the mid-1990s, while I acted as chair of the board of directors of the Texas Board of Private Investigators and Private Securities Agencies--the state agency that licenses persons as P.I.s, who then work as bounty hunters--the board did not review a single instance of misconduct from these individuals. The agency was and is more focused on eliminating competition for the large security companies, and less on protecting the public welfare. With a new administrative head of the agency, perhaps the problems raised in this excellent article ["Manhunters," April 23] will be addressed by the Texas agency that supposedly polices (no pun intended) the bounty hunters. Thanks for bringing the information to the public.
Brenda H. Collier
The festival that cares
As an independent filmmaker and a professor of film production at Yale University, I take issue with your recent article about the USA Film Festival ["That sinking feeling," April 9]. It can only be read as misguided and unfair. I have attended a number of major festivals and markets, including the USA Film Festival. I was USAFF's guest in 1996 to present my documentary film and, in 1997 and 1998, I attended at my own expense. I have enthusiastically referred other filmmakers to this festival because of its unique character.
The USA Film Festival is, first and foremost, a festival that cares about audiences. You won't see studio executives shouting on their cell phones, but you will see impassioned moviegoers talking with filmmakers in the lobby. It doesn't offer how-to-sell-your-screenplay seminars, but it does feature a wide variety of films--shorts and features, classics and new works, mainstream and experimental, sublime and ridiculous. I enjoyed presenting my film at the festival, but I returned the past two years because it is thrilling, as someone who loves movies, to be an audience member at the festival.
The USA Film Festival is precisely that: a festival, a joyous celebration that connects the filmmakers to the very people with whom they struggle to communicate. This fundamental mission is a foundation that will endure long after your delinquent writer puts down his pen.
Dallas is fortunate indeed to have a cultural organization that, at 28 years, is vibrant, challenging, and accessible to its constituent audience.
Professor of Film Production
Anytime we can help
You probably should have asked someone who KNOWS before you printed your assessment of the Amos 'n' Andy intro to the new Pimpadelic CD, Statutory Rap [1998 Dallas Observer Music Awards issue, April 30]. I'm sure someone else has already told you by now, but that's actually a black man you hear on the disc. His name is Quincy "Q-Dog" Gibbons, and he served as MC at Pimpadelic shows for a year or two. I don't care what you think or say about the band. Hell, half of the people I know have disowned me since I started working for them. But you could at least check your facts before you go to press. But hey, Amos 'n' Andy might be a great idea for the next album. Thanks.
Robert Wilonsky responds: To enlighten McGrath, Pimpadelic's "employee", Amos 'n' Andy was portrayed by black actors on television--and, at the same time, regarded as one of the most offensive depictions of African-Americans in the history of television. Just because Gibbons is black does not mean the way he is used on Statutory Rap can't be considered racist.
The write-up on the music awards was disgusting. I don't know who you get to listen to the CDs then write a review, but you chose the wrong people for the wrong groups. I am a fan of Pimpadelic and Hellafied Funk Crew and a few more I will not name, but they were given such bad reviews. Do these writers even listen to that kind of music? Obviously they don't, because if they got slapped with good music in their face, they would not even know it. You need to get writers to review the kind of music that they listen to instead of these hateful and distasteful writers you have. Sorry to be so blunt but the review of Pimp was so untrue. They pulled in 950 plus people last week at Trees and made more than $5,000 that night, so tell me, what local band is doing that now? As for Robert Wilonsky, he needs to stay to his own kind of music, whatever that may be, and get a real hip-hop head to review the rap category. This only makes the Dallas Observer look bad, and that is the word on the street. I know that not everyone can like Pimp, but the show count obviously shows that Pimp is not a bunch of pigs. Get a life, Robert.