By Jim Schutze
By Rachel Watts
By Lauren Drewes Daniels
By Anna Merlan
By Lee Escobedo
By Eric Nicholson
While I am deeply interested in reshaping your opinion of what many people feel is a great record, I will not take on an exercise in such obvious futility.
Anyway, I don't really give a happy damn whether you like the record or not. My question is, What is your personal vendetta against Steve Earle? And who the hell hired you and is letting you get away with writing this tripe? What is the basis for even one of your juvenile presumptions? Please note, "Cuz I said so" is not an acceptable answer to any critical writing instructor in the free world, nor is it good enough for your readers.
I submit that the "arrogant cuss" is not Steve Earle but you. Where do you get off assuming that Steve was just sitting around picking his nose, wondering what kind of stunt he could pull off and whose great name he could exploit to get the attention that you assert he craves? You don't know what's going on in his head any more than I do or anyone else does, yet you write as though there can be no doubt that the man is just plain up to no good.
I am going to go way out on a limb here and assume that a music critic's mission is to convey to the readers whether he feels a record is good or bad or some of both, and why. You have more than capably handled the first part of the task. However, if all you needed to address was the good versus bad question, I submit that you could have saved your newspaper a great deal of space that could have been used to bring in valuable advertising by shortening your review to six simple words: "Steve Earle is a stoopidhead." I cannot find any assertion in your review that this succinct phrase would not have covered.
You say, "...there's...something disconcerting about a man intentionally making music he hopes will live forever. When's the last time anyone made Great Art on purpose?" This puzzled me only for the fleeting moment it took me to realize the obvious explanation: You are an idiot.
One Ton redeemed
Pinch me, I must be dreaming...Not since 1995 has the Dallas Observer recognized anything One Ton has ever released as anything but predictable riff rock. In fact, every time I drop off a new release for review, I realize that I am dusting off the old One Ton dunking machine and taking my perch over the tank. But under the motto "bad press is still press," I hand over the CD and wait for the mocking to begin.
Then suddenly, someone at the Observer actually listens to Doosu and understands them quite accurately [Out Here, April 14]. Thanks, Christina Rees, for not giving in to the ever-so-tempting One Ton-bashing and actually reviewing Doosu's music. The sound of Aqua Vita is honest, interesting, and without gimmick. And so was your review.
One Ton Records
God's gift: Homeschooling
I could definitely tell your bias in your homeschool story ["No place like home," March 18]. You had plenty of anti-homeschooling sources and one short pro-homeschooling source. You made all homeschoolers seem mean and/or lazy. They are neither. They've chosen to educate their children themselves, and that takes true commitment. There are some who abuse God's gift that He's given us in Texas (government-free education), but, like in any other case or profession (even journalism!), they are the very small minority.
Rose Farley's article ["Whipping boy," April 8] clearly illustrates the old adage that you "can't please all the people all the time." At the cost of bruising the egos of a few "activists" who are shunned in their own districts, John has done an outstanding job of delivering for District 2.
Selling out the farm
Thank you for the recent story on Samuell Park ["Crying fowl," March 4], a long-neglected and ignored city operation. Now that you've brought the problems out in the open, hopefully someone in city government will take steps to right the wrong.
Please keep the public updated on what is going on out there. The "other paper" isn't so informative.