Letters

Radio bloodbath
"Souled out" [September 3] was one of the best things I've ever read in the Dallas Observer. Anyone who grew up around here in the late '70s and early '80s like I did can't help but stop and reflect for a while after reading something like this. Someone once said that "radio is the triumph of illiteracy." I disagree. I'd like to suggest that big media monopolies are now the triumph of illiteracy and the defeaters of expression, creativity, etc.

If there are any conservatives out there who still believe in deregulating everything in sight, please step up and prepare to be executed. This kind of story reveals the ugly result of monopoly ownership. I hope this helps to expose Mr. [Tom] Hicks as the robber baron that he is, masquerading as a popular sports club owner.

Anonymous
Lewisville

I have to say that I'm a pretty unemotional guy, but reading Robert Wilonsky's article about Q102 just about caused me to be placed on the recipients' list for a tear-gland transplant. If any radio execs are reading this response, I have one thing to say: Get your !@#$ TOGETHER! THE UPWARDLY MOBILE TWENTYSOMETHING RADIO LISTENER IS DYING OUT HERE!

TED LANDON
ARLINGTON

THANKS FOR PROVIDING SOME QUALITY INSIGHT INTO THE DEATH OF Q102. REDBEARD AND BUDDY WYLIE WERE MY TWO FAVORITE DJS IN TOWN. TO THROW THEM AWAY LIKE THIS IS SAD.

WHILE I MAY BE TOO YOUNG TO REMEMBER ITS GLORY DAYS, I WAS A LOYAL Q102 LISTENER UNTIL I MOVED AWAY TO COLLEGE. WITHOUT Q102, I PROBABLY WOULDN'T HAVE KNOWN ABOUT SOME OF THE BEST BANDS IN THE DALLAS AREA, NAMELY THE TOADIES AND THE DEARLY DEPARTED COURSE OF EMPIRE. THANKS FOR A FEW YEARS OF GREAT MUSIC. "TEXAS' BEST ROCK" IS TRULY DEAD. SCREW THE CONQUERING CORPORATIONS.

RYAN WADLE
VIA E-MAIL

Carpetbaggin' lawyers
I THOUGHT YOU WOULD LIKE TO KNOW THAT YOUR EXCELLENT SERIES OF ARTICLES DEALING WITH THE "LAW FIRM" OF BARON & BUDD ["TOXIC JUSTICE" AND "THE CONTROL FREAK," AUGUST 13] IS ON THE LAPTOPS AND IN THE HANDS OF EVERY DEFENSE LAWYER I KNOW WHO IS WORKING THESE CASES. I DO TAKE ISSUE WITH YOUR CLAIMS THAT BARON AT ONE TIME FOUGHT SOME SORT OF "GOOD FIGHT" GONE BAD. BARON & BUDD HAS PLACED INNOCENT PEOPLE OUT OF WORK, BANKRUPTED CORPORATIONS, AND DISPLACED AN ENTIRE INDUSTRY BASED ON JUNK SCIENCE. SEE, FOR EXAMPLE, A RECENT ARTICLE IN THE NEW ENGLAND JOURNAL OF MEDICINE THAT FOLLOWED THE CANCER RATES AMONG WOMEN IN AN ASBESTOS MINING TOWN IN QUEBEC WHERE THE AIR RATING WAS FREQUENTLY OF A HIGHER FIBER COUNT THAN HAS BEEN FOUND IN SOME STEEL MILLS. THERE WAS NO ARGUABLE INCREASE IN THE CANCER RATE AMONG THOSE WOMEN.

WITH ALL DUE RESPECT, I WISH YOU TEXANS WOULD KEEP YOUR CARPETBAGGIN' PLAINTIFFS' LAWYERS IN CHECK. MY NAME IS WITHHELD TO PROTECT MY CLIENTS, WHO WOULD SUDDENLY START BEING NAMED IN DEPOSITION IF I USED MY NAME.

NAME WITHHELD
VIA E-MAIL

Pre-millennium tension
THANK YOU FOR YOUR FAIR LOOK AT THE Y2K BUG ["BUGGED BY THE MILLENNIUM," AUGUST 27]. IT CANNOT BE FIXED UNLESS THE MEDIA MAKE PEOPLE, COMPANIES, AND THE GOVERNMENT AWARE AND ASKS, ARE YOU PREPARED? KEEP UP THE GOOD WORK, AND THANKS AGAIN FOR NOT MAKING FUN OF A PROBLEM THAT IS NOT FUNNY.

RON BANKS
VIA E-MAIL

ROSE FARLEY'S PEJORATIVE COMMENTS ON THE DALLAS AREA Y2K COMMUNITY PREPAREDNESS GROUP THAT MEETS IN NORTH DALLAS ARE SENSATIONALIST SLOP. THE REASON I DIDN'T PROVIDE MY NAME FOR THE ARTICLE IS OBVIOUS AFTER READING THE "KOOK" COMMENT. MORE THAN 5,000 SUBSCRIBERS IN 53 COUNTRIES READ MY Y2K-NEWS E-MAIL LIST. AND 25,000 ARTICLES ON Y2K WERE SERVED TO WEB SURFERS FROM MY http://Y2KWatch.com Web site in August. The Y2K-News e-mail list and Y2K-Watch Web site provide balanced conservative opinions on what will be the most talked-about issue in 1999.

I guess I shouldn't be surprised by the Observer's goofball spin, though. As a card-carrying member of Hillary's much-feared "vast right-wing conspiracy," I'm used to mainstream media muckraking. At least Rose didn't call me a "cyber-survivalist" who is "predicting a Y2K apocalypse" as the Chicago Tribune did.

The Y2K Weatherman
Via e-mail

This was a well-done, balanced article. One note, though: I read The Washington Post and Washington Times every day. By no stretch could the reporting in the Times be called ultraconservative. It states that it is a conservative paper, but it is no further to the right than the Post is to the left. Keep up the good work.

Ed Petrovic
Abingdon, Maryland

Your article on the millennium bug...it was a spoof, right? If not, then I am surprised at you all!

The great superpower U.S.A. felled by such a small problem as the millennium bug? And we, in our tiny island [the United Kingdom], have solved the problem for as little as $80 per computer? Surely not!

We are, of course, talking about a computer problem with Godzilla-like proportions, maybe even David and Goliath, but we have licked it here.

Glyn Reece
Via e-mail

In your feature article on Y2K, you quote estimates to fix the Y2K bug. The estimate you quote ($300 billion-$600 billion worldwide) was an estimate by Gartner Group just for COBOL code remediation. Once you include remediation for the hundreds of other languages, as well as embedded systems, litigation, and lost business opportunities, the cost climbs to $4 trillion or so. Much of these costs (litigation and lost business opportunities) will not start until after January 1, 2000. Hopefully most of the remediation costs will have been paid by then.

For comparison, the United States' gross domestic product is just over $8 trillion, and the world GDP is about four times that.

Anonymous
Via e-mail

Kicking the critics
Having recently discovered the wonder of the Observer online, I was previously unaware of the level of hatred being hurled toward poor Robert [Wilonsky]. Before entering into the cyber archives, my only form of criticism on Robert's work was available above the urinals of various Deep Ellum night spots. I have tried to offer my opinions via that medium, but this e-mail seems to be much more sanitary.

As a critic, a certain amount of negativity from the readership should be expected, but this situation is escalating to a dangerous level and becoming increasingly vicious. Is it that these readers do not understand what a critic does? (They criticize.) Or are these the same peaheads who get upset when the media says bad things about their football team?

Whatever the case, in their rage they are missing the point and missing some of the best music journalism to come out of this city in a long time. Robert's pieces are always well researched, his access to the artists is unmatched in this market, and his writing is actually pretty concise, which I thought was a fireable offense at the Dallas Observer. My suggestion to those who feel the need to respond to every piece written by Robert is to invest in the fan clubs of your favorite artists.

Usually membership includes a fan-zine with articles galore proclaiming the greatness of Pearl Jam, etc. Or stick to the toilet walls at Dada. I hear there's a fresh coat of paint on them.

Anonymous
Via e-mail

I am sick and tired of reading Mark Stuertz's reviews of bad restaurants. Can't he please report on one good one and one bad one per issue? I was so glad to be rid of Mary Brown Malouf--she went on and on, spending half the text of the article on her family history, but you seem to have replaced her with someone even worse. Can't you find a food reviewer who loves restaurants and good eating? He seems to hate everyone, but most of all chefs.

Jaimie McNeice
Via e-mail

What an idiotic review by Zac Crain. The Dave Matthews Band [Music listings, August 13] is the most refreshing new wave of music to hit the airwaves in 30 years. The band is a study in how to develop a loyal fan following. They will continue to grow in spite of your idiot reviewer--no doubt!

Denny Thompson
Via e-mail

Art for the masses
Give me a break, please. I can't decide what's more pathetic--[Christina Rees'] confused sarcasm, Alexandra's predicament ["Kid cubist," June 4], or the sound of Dallas clicking its heels three more times in a vain effort to return to the days when we knew the difference between art and money. This reeks of another waste of time in a city where the art community is more impressed with the buyer and how much they paid for the work than the art or the artist who made it.

Did anyone but me read Alexandra's quotes? For God's sake! I admit, I'm probably not important, ahem, rich, cough--excuse me--I mean smart enough to really understand these things (you'd really want to ask someone who knows, like an investment banker or a gallery curator or an oil company CEO), but am I the only person who thinks that she's just reading from a script? Can you say prompting? In my experience, 12-year-olds generally don't understand the breadth of a concept like "a symphony of warmth and affection."

In fact, the only quote that sounds like a 12-year-old artist is the one in which Alexandra dedicates her piece "Artist's Universe" to what she describes as the perfect state of being an artist: "The artist is in her own world; nobody's telling her how to feel, nobody's forcing her to do anything she doesn't want to do." Gee, I wonder what kind of pressure her parents put on her?

Don't get me wrong, I know that life as a working artist is hard. But I guess a lifetime in Dallas has taught me that the locals are probably more interested in a new gimmick to sell paintings than nurturing an aspiring artist.

Eli Juicy Jones
Dallas

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