By Jim Schutze
By Rachel Watts
By Lauren Drewes Daniels
By Anna Merlan
By Lee Escobedo
By Eric Nicholson
School's Out Forever
Slippery Reverend: Kudos to Charlie Siderius for his article "Reverend Fix-It" (December 13). Never have I read an article that did such a good job of reporting fact without trying to interject the author's opinion. Since I personally have been acquainted with Charles Wilkerson, I would hope that this article will follow him to his next scam. Since the early 1990s he never seems to stay anywhere longer than 18 months, and that is exactly how long he has been here this month (December)...money must be running out, creditors mounting, time to move on. It looks like, once again, he leaves the innocent (usually students) and educational institutions in heavy debt and out of business. However, he and his family always seem to drive new cars, live in nice homes and have plenty of money.
School? What school?: It is amazing how Charles Wilkerson says he has nothing to do with the school. But on the Web site (www.ecsdallas.com/staff/admin.htm) he is listed under the administration of the school, and if you click on his name, he is listed as the basketball coach. Now that is interesting.
Remembering Ashley: Just so the facts can be straight, it was not Amber Hagerman who was taken from a soccer field--that was Ashley Estelle ("The Garden of Angels," December 20). I live in Plano where that happened and remember it very clearly. Amber Hagerman was riding her bike, I believe, near a vacant store.
Editor's note: Ms. Woodward is correct, and we regret the error.
Preferring the real world: In many ways, I found your reading of Vanilla Sky to be right on ("Eyes Half Open," December 13), but I think you give Cameron Crowe perhaps more and less credit than he deserves. The problem with this film is not that its didactic conclusion ruins the viewer's opportunity for self-congratulatory pontifications in coffee shops; the problem is that the film is made in such a way that it requires such an ending. What tries to pass as Kafkaesque musing never gives the viewer enough character or substance to want anything more than an explanation. Aside from a few of Cruise's memorable scenes, where he turns Mel Gibson's A Man Without a Face into a compelling instead of sappy portrayal, there are few instances when we care about the character. What's lost here is what writers like Marquez were able to accomplish: a portrait of a man in a bizarre set of circumstances that would be equally as intriguing in a real world as they are in a surreal one.
However, there is something that is desperately trying to come through in this film, even though it never really does. This is a postmodern quest narrative, a search for truth in an increasingly synthetic world. The goal of the film itself makes it worthy of viewing, even if it never reaches the finish line.
Your Hare Krishnas
Weird-looking white guys: First of all, I would like to thank you for writing such a brilliant article, thereby bringing these atrocities to light ("Tortured Souls," December 6). Personally, I could not read more than the second page of the article since it was so gruesome in nature. I believe the perpetrators deserve the kind of punishment equivalent to Death Row.
Now for my rant. Even though the piece is well-written, you have to admit you have a huge bias against the whole religion. The way you have written it contains so much hatred against the Hare Krishna mission that it shows in your penmanship.
I am from India, and nowhere in India do the people behave the way they do here in America. Tell me honestly--have you seen one Indian guy dancing in the streets in America selling Krishna to you? Or is it some bald-headed, weird-looking white guy chanting HARE KRISHNA, mispronouncing Hare at all times?
Mark, as a race, we are very soft-spoken and quiet. We are not fanatics. Hinduism is not like Christianity, where we go door to door to tell people that Jesus is going to save their soul. We mind our own business and let you do yours.
You tore our religion and the Hare Krishna mission to shreds, but you failed to mention who were the people to blame. Evidently, the people who are most to blame are some of the crazy, evil-minded men of this country who have absolutely no conscience and who are just immersed in their own sickness.
Great job of lip service: I applaud your paper for taking on the issue of mental health and the poor services that are offered to those who are least able to help themselves ("Out of Mind, Out of Sight," November 8 and "Resistance Is Futile," November 22). You covered an area that should be important to all of us--the protection of human lives. But I think some more investigation should be put into the majority of ill people who cannot get a commitment for theirs or others' protection when they need help. Mental health care in this state is nonexistent--when a young boy slices his wrist and is then released on his own two hours after the event, there is something wrong. Court-ordered commitments are being ignored by hospitals. The state-ordered insurance (NorthSTAR) is blaming the doctors, who are blaming NorthSTAR. They both are doing a great job of lip service, but that is all.