The next logical question, of course, was whether the board had begun to learn how to work together. Well, yes, Venable said. "The board is working together very hard not to get anything done."

Somehow, knowing that, Buzz rests just a little easier.

Take it on the fun
It was only a matter of time before the long arm of the law caught up to REO Speedealer. Seems the old men of REO Speedwagon are tired of ridin' out the storm and have filed a cease-and-desist order against the Dallas-based rock band. On May 28, the Speedwagon's lawyer sent the 'Dealer and their label an order claiming the band was infringing on the Speedwagon's copyright. The lawyer informed the label it was not to release REO Speedealer's self-titled debut, which hit stores last month.

"Your company's distribution of this album and your presumably signed band's use of REO SPEEDEALER is likely to cause confusion amongst the public and in the music industry," the order states.

Since then, lawyers for both bands have reached an agreement that will allow Dealer to sell the remaining 5,000 copies of its debut already on shelves. But the band will have to change its and the album's names on further pressings.

Never mind that REO Speedwagon stole its name from the car created in the 1920s by Ransom E. Olds, the first man to actually manufacture a car in Detroit. The Reo Speedwagon was among the first vehicles used regularly by fire departments around the country--and its logo was identical to the one used on the cover of REO Speedwagon's self-titled 1971 debut. So stop being hypocrites, fellers, and roll with the changes.

Reading in fundamental
What, exactly, do Dallas' big retailers see when they peer southward, across the Trinity River? Do they have maps in their corporate offices that mark Oak Cliff with a blank space and "Here be dragons"?

That's a question being asked by former Dallas Observer columnist and City Councilwoman Laura Miller. Miller, whose father was once president of Neiman Marcus, apparently knows that it's not enough for council members to bring the people decent roads, well-stocked libraries, and adequate police protection. This being Dallas, what they really want is a good place to shop.

Like a Barnes & Noble Booksellers store, for instance, or a Starbucks.
Miller tells Buzz she has been lobbying Barnes & Noble to build one of its mega-bookstores on Colorado Boulevard in her Oak Cliff district, which--let's face it--is currently a foo-foo shopping wasteland. In a twist on the politician's promise of a chicken in every pot, Miller also says she has been keeping an eye on plans for a new Tom Thumb in her district, trying to ensure it has a deli, fresh fish, and Belgian endive.

For its part, Barnes & Noble asked Miller to come up with proof that 30,000-35,000 college graduates live in the area before they would consider locating a store there. (Barnes & Noble reps did not respond to Buzz's request for comment.) Which, if you think about it, is pretty damned insulting. But hey, business is business, and the Observer is happy to do its part for the retail-starved masses to the south. That's why our Web site,, this week features an I.Q. quiz as part of its Search for Intelligent Life in Oak Cliff.

Check it out, presuming computers and phone lines have made it into Oak Cliff, or send us a letter with your evidence of intelligent life to Buzz, c/o Dallas Observer, P.O. Box 190289, Dallas TX 75219.

--Compiled from staff reports by Patrick Williams

Is there intelligent life in Buzz? What do you think? Take your best shot by e-mail at

Correction:The July 16 edition of Buzz incorrectly stated that HBO & Co. was among the media companies invested in by the Texas Board of Education. Time Warner Inc. owns Home Box Office. As Buzz pointed out, the board also invested in Time Warner, but HBO & Co. is not Home Box Office.

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