By Jim Schutze
By Rachel Watts
By Lauren Drewes Daniels
By Anna Merlan
By Lee Escobedo
Raving mad: I think this article is absolutely disgusting. I am new to the rave scene ("The Straight Dope," August 3), but this is not why I go to raves. I can honestly say that I and more than 100 of my closest friends go to raves for the pure enjoyment of the music and the vibe that is brought by people having the opportunity to enjoy the music and the company of some of the most intelligent and creative people in the world. The reporter even commented that she was there to highlight the positive aspects of DanceSafe. This is just another sick ploy of the media to find more negative stories in order to sell subscriptions and papers. I detest your organization, and you have not heard the last of me.Thank you for your time, and I hope that my voice has been heard regarding this article. I have the backing of several thousand people, and I look forward to your hearing from them.
Anthony Ragno III
Tell it like it is: The account of Lisa Singh's experience at a Dallas rave is relatively true. Her experience was truly from an observer's viewpoint. I found that not too much opinion was forced on this article and thank her for her unbiased statements. She focused on what she saw and heard. Even though it seemed to be all about drugs, there are those who simply love the music. I appreciate her directness about her experience and believe everything she stated actually happened. I experience that just about every weekend. I love it! Lisa, I hope you enjoyed your adventure. You were introduced to a whole new world that I hope you understand is a world we love!Peace, love, and much respect.
PLUR to you too: You guys are fucking ruthless piece of shit reporter bastards that need to get the fuck out of town!
E-tards: I can see why a reporter who has never been in the rave scene would not understand. Yes, there are drugs at raves, but for a true raver it's just about the music and the cool people you meet. The last couple of years, raves have been commercialized, which brings new people into the scene who think it's about rolling and who don't even notice the music. If you would try out some of the actual little underground parties and get-togethers, you would see the true vibe of raving. The little parties are the ones the "old-school" kids go to because of all the -- as we call them -- "E-tards." All I'm trying to say is, do research, talk to the people who've been in the scene for a while and actually care about it. Our scene is getting a bad rap because of people who are new to it and have never really experienced the real meaning of the word "rave" -- PLUR. That's what it's all about!
Same ol': It's nice to see that the Dallas Observer decided to follow the hype about raves and print a story that has absolutely nothing different in it.
Rolling: Fine reporting...If you are selling more Observers because of stories like this, then you should do a complete lineup of all the after-hours places in the city -- your eyes would be opened.
John Gonzalez's crayons: During the last three years, anytime I saw a Dallas Observer, I grabbed it. I am a fan of most things the Observer has to offer in terms of articles about Dallas-area life, music, and movies. I am not a fan of your new "sports" writer. I played college sports, and I never cared that there was never anything in the Observer about sports; to me, the Dallas Observer was a close to perfect publication. Sure, [Zac] Crain and [Robert] Wilonsky are vicious, and others seem to follow their lead, but at least they have talent. Jim Schutze gave me an interest in things I never thought I could care about. You had good writers.John Gonzalez is awful. This guy only writes in your paper so he can sit at home (most likely alone) and read it and pat himself on the back. This, of course, is assuming he can read. If he really could read, he would realize the shit he writes is as close to unprintable as you can get. The Observer should do the right thing and take away John's crayons and send him to get some writing lessons. I thought the report on the Rangers and their fans ("Positive Reinforcement," June 29) was bad, but the talk about the Mavericks and their fans ("Feelin' the Draft," July 6) was basically the same article. It was a forum for this "writer" to put on the façade of sports talk while using alleged cleverness to please the reader. Please, Dallas Observer, do the right thing and send this man over to the pistol-packing grannies -- they deserve each other.
Tweaking The Ticket: Kudos to John Gonzalez on his story about the racially overtoned jokes and bits at The Ticket ("Race Riot," July 20). One thing that bothers me about stories about the station is it seems these media members are afraid to completely tell the truth for fear of being lambasted on the station. Never is there a true criticism; it's just half-hearted handslapping.
For The Ticket to say they know what people like and that's why they do it is foolish. In the grand scheme of things, how many people are we talking about that listen in a market this big? Tell me that a station promoting "All racial jokes, All the time!" wouldn't have listeners. It would probably be No. 1 -- but that doesn't make it right.
The reason there's no huge outcry is because we aren't talking about a huge audience, and they know this.
The real story the Observer needs to do is why there's a program director at that station who is afraid of his workers, namely one, Mike Rhyner. He's the true program director. Now that would be a controversial story.
Hateful banter: The "talent" at The Ticket are only doing what cheap radio has been doing for years: attacking the defenseless for higher ratings. Just like the KDGE 94.5 FM morning crew, they hide behind a microphone and attack minorities all in the name of "fun." Interesting how these idiots claim, when cornered, they "make fun of...everybody." Straight, Christian white males are not the victims of hate crimes -- crimes fueled by the notion that minorities deserve abuse, heard via the radio speaker. The media has the responsibility for not spreading hate. I wonder whether James Byrd's family finds this banter amusing.
A wet puppy speaks: I am a big fan of the Observer as well as a P1 (avid Ticket listener) and must protest. The recent article misrepresents the content of The Hardline radio show and Ticket programming. I'm sure only 5 percent of the on-air talk is race-related. Those guys do not pursue race talk, but they also don't shy away from it, and recent topics like the black girl roundtable were designed to get input from those we live with but don't completely understand. The callers are a substantial part of the show, and many blacks called in during the show you referred to. Their views were interesting and useful. I do find it funny that we (white guys) smell like puppies when we are wet. I would also enjoy a follow-up article on Ticket features such as "entertainment news for you" or "muse in the news." They crack me up daily, and I look forward to them as I do to Buzz and in-depth Observer reporting.
Happy to offend you: Racism is, by definition, the belief that one group is superior to another on racial grounds alone. Discussing stereotypes on the radio is not racism. The Davidson collection of songs is not racism. What they are is offensive -- to some people. Offended parties need not listen. This is not state-sponsored or public-funded radio. I believe the problem of the author is that it just bothers him that these guys are getting away with their shtick and that one hell of a lot of people are listening to them and laughing their asses off. I, for one, laughed so hard at the "help me, man" drop during an Elian Gonzalez story, I nearly drove off the road. If the urban and Latino stations want to air the same material, please feel free. I cannot be offended by things I do not hear, and it's just a stupid radio show.
Playing the race card: As a longtime listener to The Ticket, I found it a little odd that you would pick possible racial indiscretions as an issue. It would seem to me that the only one playing the race card is the Dallas Observer. Let's face it, if you want to take issue with The Ticket, there are plenty of places to do it. The first four questions to any female caller are almost guaranteed to be: 1. "How old are you?" 2. "Are you hot?" 3. "What size bra do you wear?" and 4. "Are you married?" What about Gen-X Davey Lane's complete disdain for the folk of Mesquite and Garland? And let's not forget that they let Gordo on the air. I guess those subjects aren't "racy" enough. Are they at times distasteful? Yes. Callous? Maybe. Funny? Almost always. Racist? No.If anything, I've thought that they seem to pander to their minority audience at times. They did a free remote "from the hood" at the constant pleading of black callers. I have to wait until a business shells out the dough to see The Hardline in my neighborhood.
The writer seems to be asking whether this should bother us. The fact that the station appears to have black and Hispanic listener representation should answer it. If they find it funny rather than objectionable, then I don't have to worry. If you believe that maybe the black or Hispanic listener laughs because he knows no better, then you're the one with the problem, and need to check your "PC" at the door.
Turn the dial, dummy: Why was the article "Race Riot" written? The author simply threw stones at a very popular radio program and offered no definitive answer about what should be done about the "racist" nature of the show. I can understand the author writing a scathing article about something that offends him, but he even mentioned that he liked the show "most of the time." Well, buddy, the old cop-out of changing channels still applies. You can turn it to K-one-oh-fo if you'd like, or to whatever station doesn't offend you.Why anyone would allow their panties to get in a wad over a simple radio show is beyond me. Perhaps they have been victims of the "man."
It is satire, Mr. Gonzalez. You don't have to like it, but I do.
David W. Dealy
Crummy city parks: I am writing in response to Lisa Singh's July 13 article, "Mean Green," about Southeast Dallas' struggle to fix parks. I have recently moved to PLAN's district and have joined the board of directors. I have been shocked and outraged at the poor conditions of both Parkdale and Lawnview Parks.Parkdale Park, an ideal place to sell drugs, has too much light over the big green expanse and literally nothing in terms of lighting over the parking lot. Members of PLAN found the money that we needed to fix the parks, and our elected representative took it away and claimed credit! This is something that every citizen in Dallas should be concerned with, considering the thought that anyone could be next. If you think your neighborhood is crime-free now, think again. Any member of our city council can change that by taking money for your parks and placing it elsewhere. Our area has the lowest crime rate in Dallas right now. If Councilman Leo Chaney continues to take away our means of keeping our area safe and crime-free, then it should serve as a wake-up call to any area of Dallas that we may not be as safe as we all think we are.
Enterprising reporter: Wow, what a concept! A positive, a very positive, story about the Dallas public school system ("Public Defenders," August 3). You realize, of course, that you are breaking new ground here. Like Kirk, Picard, and Janeway before you, you may be going where no one has gone before. The trek will be worth it, though. There are many, many more stories like this one that are worth telling.Thank you, Mr. [Jonathan] Fox and thank you, Dallas Observer.
White flight: At first I thought the article was a joke and was reading with a smile on my face till I realized you were serious. If there is a word of fact in it, people will soon flee Plano, Allen, etc., sell their homes, and buy there in Dallas where their kids can experience DISD. They will find the diversity refreshing. I found it so refreshing in 1970 that I moved to Ellis County, where I still live.
Gridlocked: Anyone who has sat in the Los Angeles I-405-type traffic we have on 635 can attest to the fact that traffic is most certainly getting worse here. Eleven years ago, I lived in Hurst. I could leave the house at 7 a.m. and get to Belt Line and Midway at 7:30. Today, that would be a 90-minute trip.Dallas is not unique in this. Atlanta is a great example of an attempt to alleviate traffic with a 10-year project to improve Interstate 75-85 through town. When it was completed, it still did not solve the traffic problems because the population had exploded by then.
Anyone who has been to Germany, Holland, or Switzerland is struck by how efficient the trains are, how the timing for connections is well planned, how you seem to be able to get just about anywhere by train, bus, boat, or tram. This efficiency didn't happen overnight. It took those countries more than 50 years to develop the rail networks they have. It took commitment and a little practical motivation, i.e., $4-a-gallon gasoline.
And most important, these public transportation systems are not profitable. They require constant public funding to keep them alive. But they are absolutely necessary to the economic survival of the regions they service because of the population density.
Recently, John Stossel did a "give me a break" segment on TV that was pretty much anti-rail. The discussion was on the underground built in L.A. It went on about the cost overruns, the problems with streets collapsing as they tunneled, and the lack of ridership once the single, short rail segment came on line. The issue he did not take a look at was how much further L.A. has to go to make the rail system practical and useful for a majority of L.A. residents. Nor did he address that L.A. has no other choice short of banning cars and allowing only bicycles for transport.
Dallas is in the same position today. We have several small rail segments that are nice and useful to a small percentage of the population. But to reach the majority and to have impact on traffic problems, we have a long way to go.
To build the rail system envisioned for this thriving economic metroplex will be enormously expensive. But without it, fewer and fewer companies will want to move downtown or to this region.
If Wendell Cox puts L.A.'s highway system on his résumé as a positive accomplishment ("Highwaymen," July 20), he is a truly disillusioned man. The highway system there looks like spaghetti, and the traffic reports in the morning are astounding. Imagine a commute from Plano to downtown Dallas taking 2 1/2 hours every day, with or without accidents. Nice legacy, Wendell. Is that his view of how all cities should be?
I do not need to mention L.A. pollution here.
The funding of anti-rail propaganda by General Motors is stunningly reminiscent of the General Motors-Firestone-Standard Oil conspiracy to take U.S. rail service off the map in the 1930s. The legacy of their self-serving accomplishment is the agony millions of commuters go through every day.
This must not devolve into a conservative-vs.-liberal issue. This isn't a black-and-white issue. It is a difficult social issue for this country to grapple with because of our 50-year love affair with the automobile and total commitment to the highway system.
I'm not suggesting complete abandonment of the highway system, just that we have the opportunity for alternative transportation if we want to use it. It really is about choices for the individual. For the society, the issues loom larger: economic survival, clean air, more quality time with family, and the protection of natural areas from suburban sprawl to name a few.
Name withheld by request