By Jim Schutze
By Rachel Watts
By Lauren Drewes Daniels
By Anna Merlan
By Lee Escobedo
By Eric Nicholson
One angry mom
Apparently Christopher Brown's potshots at the media blunders in the Routier trial have rubbed off on the Dallas Observer's very own Ann Zimmerman. Her attempts at ridiculing the people who are involved in the Darlie Routier case were not amusing to me ["The cult of Darlie," May 6].
Of course she made some valid points concerning the Leeza show and how the audience is manipulated, and how the people with opinions on this case had much different opinions once they were off-camera. I was not surprised that the three women from the audience had connections to the case or to the staff at the Leeza show. That is how most tabloid shows are created. One fact that Ann got wrong was saying we had half of our relatives in the audience. Ann, four people do not make up half an audience.
I find it amusing that Ms. Zimmerman changed her own agenda for the week just to have her "15 minutes of fame," and then was pushing her issue of the Dallas Observer on Leeza to show to the national audience. Excuse me, but I think Ann's self-opinion as a journalist has gone straight to her head and not her pen.
I do not find anything amusing about police officers lying under oath, manipulating evidence, and setting their targets on an innocent young mother. It was bad enough to lose two very special grandsons (Ann and many others seem to forget their very existence), let alone wake up to this cruel, inhumane judicial system, which is robbing us of time with a very special, nonjudgmental person who happens to be Darlie Lynn Routier.
As for the "strange characters," well, let's not forget our famous Norman Kinne, who likes to attack victims' families by calling them trailer trash. Let's see who else we might have missed: a judge in such a hurry to retire with this high-profile case that my daughter's life didn't matter to him, and a few undereducated police officers (Keystone Kops) in Rowlett who are obviously going to be right no matter who is executed innocently. Of course, the list could grow to many pages with the manipulation of the nurses from Baylor hospital who lied under oath and yet were not held accountable for perjury, and a 911 tape that was dissected and distorted to the jury so that all the emotions of my hysterical daughter seeing her babies die right before her eyes were lost.
If that is not enough, hold on to your stomachs when the real evidence is presented in the writ or the new trial, whichever comes first. Do people really think that we put critical evidence out in tabloid shows and newspapers?
The person who I wake up thinking about and go to bed thinking about every single day is my innocent daughter, Darlie Lynn Routier. She is the very person whom Ann Zimmerman and many other players in this "circus" have abused for their own self-promoting reasons. I would probably have heart failure if I met one true investigative reporter on this case. That would require someone putting an innocent girl's life above their own selfish needs.
What is it about this case that brings many people back for more details? Well, I would guess it is because the puzzle does not fit like the state would like all of us to believe, and that you have a very large group of supporters--regardless of Zimmerman's list of their character flaws--who have used their time and money to try and help us find the truth in this case. For that I am very thankful.
Christopher Brown uncovered more in one month than all the prosecutors, police officers, over-the-hill investigators, experts, and defense attorneys all rolled up into one pile of Texas cow manure. The most important facts in his book are in the hundreds of crime-scene photos that speak volumes: Darlie is innocent.
Barbara Davis has more integrity than the entire Rowlett Police Department, and it took a lot of courage for her to come forward with the facts she has that will help Darlie's case. What is funny about that?
One other thing: You certainly will never find the truth in magazines, talk shows, or newspapers when the main agenda on everyone's "plate" is their own self-serving careers and media hype. Ann and the Observer will regret lowering their standards to tabloid levels.
After reading your article "Tripping, not falling" [April 15], I feel compelled to write and share a recent experience that paints a slightly different picture of Tripping Daisy's support for local bands.
While the band's efforts on behalf of local bands are admirable, they do not seem to be entirely democratic or inclusive, as I recently had the misfortune to find out. My band, The Dr. Benjamin Remedy, had an opportunity to play at an AIDS benefit in Denton this May. The set list also included Tripping Daisy. Unfamiliar with my band and apparently unwilling to check it out before assuming it to be of a lesser caliber than their favored bands, Tripping Daisy demanded to play only with bands of their choosing.
Although the show was not for Tripping Daisy but rather a benefit, the band refused to play unless they shared the stage only with the handful of bands they know and book.
As I understand it, Tripping Daisy was told that those bands were welcome to open for them, but that the benefit promoters still wanted the Dr. Benjamin Remedy to play. Nevertheless, Tripping Daisy refused to play, and my band was ousted from the roster.
It would be one thing if Tripping Daisy had listened to my band and decided we sucked, but evidently we were crossed off the list without ever getting so much as a listen. So when Tripping Daisy claims to be "poised to facilitate the release of local music," I'm wondering exactly what that means for local bands who might not be a part of the inner circle. Sounds like the same old cliquish politics of the music industry to me.
Benjamin R. Shepherd
I don't know if it matters, but Miss [Jessica] Parker made several mistakes and pulled so many things out of context in the article she wrote about Lewis [Dallas Observer Music Awards, April 29] that I read it thinking I was reading about a band other than my own. Maybe the fault lies on our part for not being clear during the interview, but it seems from my standpoint that the article grossly misrepresents the band, its influences, and its history. Just a couple of points, to clear things up:
1. Pearl Jam never has been and never will be an influence. We might have mentioned the band in passing, talking about what we used to listen to in high school, but that's as far as that goes.
2. We formed in 1994, not 1997. Jessica takes pains to make sure the readers know that we are novices, leaving out the fact that we struggled, grew, and matured for three years in College Station--playing in front of 10 or fewer people dozens of times--before ever hitting a Dallas stage. We're not really a new band at all.
3. We do know our old drummer's last name: Gabriel Cortinas played with us for three years and remains a close friend of ours. He lives in San Antonio.
I'm not complaining, and I don't take Miss Parker's sarcastic comments personally; I just feel the need to point out these things, because if sarcasm is merited, that's one thing. But if the writer has to make things up or pull things out of context to find something witty to say, that's quite another. Several people who know us or who have seen us live have commented to me about how the article really has nothing to do with the band it's supposed to be about, so I thought I'd write this letter.
Aside from that, thanks for the interview, and I hope next time the communication will be a bit clearer.
Editor's note: We accept the corrections, with one exception--the matter of Pearl Jam's influence. Mr. Beaton, have you ever listened to a Lewis song?
Robert, honey, we had a blast
Concerning Mr. [Robert] Wilonsky's article about EDGE Fest [Music listings, April 22]: First off, I'd like to ask how old the guy is. Second, I'd like to point out that he doesn't know a single thing about good music if he didn't enjoy that fest.
EDGE Fest was great, probably the most fun I've had in years. I ditched my senior prom to attend that thing, and I didn't regret it. So Robert, honey, baby, pull your head out of your anus and take a look and a listen around. You missed a great thing.
I suppose if Robert Wilonsky ran the world, all 20,000-plus EDGE Fest ticket holders would cram themselves into Sambuca's instead to hear a former Sting sideman expand on those breathtaking intro/outro "Let's go to a commercial" masterpieces that he used to do on The Tonight Show. Oh yeah, now that's rock and roll.
I'm not going to EDGE Fest, nor am I into any of the bands, but the kids are--just like you probably went to the Texxas Jam 20 years ago. Let 'em have their day. Wake up, smell the coffee, crank up The Adventure Club. And quit being the cynical old-fart rock critic.
EDGE Fest is a party, Robert, and just in like high school, you're not invited.
I just read your editorial on EDGE Fest, and I have a few things to say. On some points, you are right. Most of the bands on that bill were no-name, one-hit wonders that the EDGE scooped down into the bottom of the barrel to get.
However, I feel strongly that you missed the whole purpose of EDGE Fest. Yeah, we paid $30 a ticket to see five exceptional and six or seven lamers, but the spirit of the concert is all in fun. The concert is about getting alternative teenagers hyped about spending a day in the midst of our generation, and introducing some no-name bands that maybe some day will push through the mediocrity of today's alternative music and produce a new sound that stands out.
I think the heart and soul of EDGE Fest lies in the fact that we build ourselves up all year long to lie around in the Starplex drinking beer, hanging out with friends, and listening to music. Do you hear the kids that went complaining about having a bad time? No. That's because we had a blast.