By Jim Schutze
By Rachel Watts
By Lauren Drewes Daniels
By Anna Merlan
By Lee Escobedo
By Eric Nicholson
See no evil, etc.
Regular readers of Buzz--both of you--may have noticed that former Dallas Observer columnist and current city council member Laura Miller appears fairly frequently in this space. This is not a conspiracy. We swear it. It's just that, with the exception of Miller and Mayor Ron Kirk, we have trouble distinguishing most other council members from the furniture upon which they sit.
Of course, having such a...um...forceful personality as Miller's may make great news copy, but it tends to scare off some weak-willed people--people like Tom "Big Chicken" Luce.
Buzz is referring to Luce's no-show last week on a KLIF radio show to discuss Dallas' bid to host the 2012 Olympics. Luce, leader of the city's Olympics bid committee, agreed to appear on the show until he learned that Miller, who had the audacity to demand a copy of the committee's bid agreement with the U.S. Olympic Committee, was going to be there too.
Buzz could be snide and suggest that Luce is the sort of man who, as a child, never got to spend his own milk money. But we won't. The fact is, Luce was merely following traditional Dallas politics, which suggest that KLIF's listeners, the rest of the city's voters, and, for that matter, the city council, don't really need to concern themselves with messy details and informed debate. That probably explains why Luce was so reluctant to sit in a radio studio with Miller or turn over a copy of the bid agreement to her and the rest of the council--until the U.S. Olympic Committee told him he had to. (See "Give her what she wants" in last week's Observer.)
After last week's Observer article ran, Luce did hand over the bid agreement--25 pages with several pages of appendices--which some of the council furniture feel is a bit too much for them to read.
Buzz read it. It's not exactly scintillating, but it did have one big laugh, to wit:
The Bid Committee represents to the USOC that...the City has been fully informed regarding the formation of the Bid Committee and the USOC's expectations regarding the Bid Committee's and the City's participation in the bid process...
Come on, USOC. The bid agreement alone is 25 whole pages! Some of our council members' lips would get tired if they tried to read that much, and surely, when you say "the City," you don't mean the electorate. We're not entitled to know anything.
On the off chance the USOC meant exactly that, the Observer has put a copy of the agreement provided by Luce on our Web site at www.dallasobserver.com. You can check it out yourself. If it's not too much trouble, perhaps you can write a brief summary for your council representatives and mail it to them. Use a postcard. We wouldn't want to overtax the dears.
Gag order needed
Apparently, the folks over at Jim Mattox's campaign are feeling pretty cocky about their chances against John Cornyn, Mattox's GOP opponent for attorney general. Downright giddy, even. We base this on a tape sent to us by Mattox's wife, Marta, of tunes performed by Assistant Attorney General Dimitri Anastasiadis, a Mattox supporter and Mark Russell wannabe. ("We've developed a good sense of humor after reading the DO for all those years," Mrs. Mattox wrote.)
The lyrics, set to the melodies of Western standards and themes from television shows, include such gems as:
"Jim's back in the saddle again / The polls show he's burying Cornyn / His opponent soon will feed / On some prairie jimson weed..."
It doesn't get much better than that. To top it off, Anastasiadis' voice resembles Alvin of Alvin and the Chipmunks slowed down from 45 to 33 rpm. Lord, it's not good. If you want the proof, check out the audio sample at www.dallasobserver.com. (No offense, Dimitri. Buzz's own singing is reminiscent of a cat caught in a fan belt, only more off-key.)
Still, it's nice to know that at least one Texas Democrat feels he has something to sing about happily in the year of George W. Bush's broad coattails. No knock to Cornyn, who we're sure would make a fine attorney general, but we hope Dimitri's right. This has nothing to do with politics--we'd just hate to see him lose his day job and take to singing full time.
Cheyenne phone home
Cheyenne Turner, founder of the pseudo-science/UFO lecture group The Eclectic Viewpoint, may have died, but her spirit lives on. So does her newsletter--and it could use some dough.
Turner, who published a newsletter and arranged lectures by and for the sort of goofs who think the X-Files is based on fact, died in late August. But you can remember her and keep her work going by sending $25, plus $2.06 sales tax for Texas residents, according to the latest edition of the newsletter, published by Turner's ex-husband. In exchange, you get a 5-by-7 color photograph of Turner and some back issues of her publication.
Now, if you think Buzz is going to publish the address so you can send your money, think again. Frankly, people who believe that Noah's ark really exists or that alien beings have nothing better to do than gut Holsteins and inspect the rectums of farmers annoy Buzz. The fewer of them traipsing through town, seeking a little publicity in the Observer, the better. Still, we'll reconsider publishing The Eclectic Viewpoint's address--if Turner herself calls us and asks us.
--Compiled from staff reports by Patrick Williams