By Jim Schutze
By Rachel Watts
By Lauren Drewes Daniels
By Anna Merlan
By Lee Escobedo
Funny is good. Funny is good. Funny is good.
Funny makes me pick up the paper every week.
Singer, The New Elite
Bring it back: So what's the real issue here? So because a few crappy local bands bitch and moan about some putdowns in a music column in a local publication, you're gonna cut the column? Zac Crain's "Sack of Kittens" was a key element to why I would continue to pick up the Dallas Observer week after week. Trust me, there ain't that much interesting or original stuff going on in the D-FW music scene. You don't actually think people outside of those bands (including advertisers) were offended or upset by Zac's column, do you? These "artistically/musically challenged" bands that Zac was poking fun at don't spend money with your advertisers; readers do! I'm sure they read the issues like everyone else, but if they are the only ones bitching, life goes on. The other 95 percent of the people reading it enjoy the column and call the "smoke pot and get paid!" ad next to it. I would seriously reconsider cutting this column, for the real music fans' sake.
Any publicity: I'm truly sad to see the "Sack of Kittens" feature end. I suppose I can see why some people have a problem with it, but it is truly entertaining reading. You have been saying the things that a lot of us are only thinking. I suppose I might think a little different if my band was one of the ones you nailed, but as they say, any publicity is good publicity. Again, thanks for your writing and witty commentary.
The greatness: I congratulated Zac Crain on the greatness of "Sack of Kittens" immediately after I read the first one. And then freaked out when it was suddenly gone. This was definitely a reason to pick up the Observer and get to Street Beat as fast as possible. It was clever, funny and a great topic of conversation. Yes, Zac, please bring it back!
Takes guts: The Sack of Kittens gave me a new reason to pick up the Observer (sometimes you need one!). I don't know Zac very well, but kudos to him for his public satire of what most would only say behind people's backs. It takes guts. I have yet to read one where he has attacked anyone personally, and on top of that his descriptions are funny as hell (even if I disagree). I've been on both ends of Zac's criticisms many times, and every time it has done nothing but generate a bigger interest in what I'm doing. It makes me want to start a new band just to see how many kittens I'm worth...Have fun with it. Bring it back, Zac!
No More Mega-Mayors
We've already been there: I'm Jim Schutze's biggest fan, even rented the movie based on his book Bully. But he has gotten this mega-mayor thing backward ("Survival of the Flattest," May 23). The fact is, Dallas has had a "strong mayor/strong manager" form of government--the tag team of Kirk and Ware. It doesn't work. Kirk was "responsible to the electorate" under Jim's formula for municipal efficiency, by cowing the council into complacency, and Ware was nothing if not a domineering city manager. But Jim chalks up the results of their efforts to Perot and Hicks--who are still the bogeymen for the new mayor, who comes across in the article like a whiner, and the city manager, who dropped the ball on the Palladium negotiations but gets a pass.
We've seen what a "strong mayor" can do. Why revert to that? Why not do what DISD has done and hire the best manager available? That's the step the mayor doesn't want to take.
Robert Johnson's digs: I want to thank you for shedding light on the historical value of 508 Park Avenue (Scene, Heard, June 13). I work just a couple of blocks away from the building, and about once a month I walk over to take a look at it. (I stay at a close distance, since there are no less than 20 homeless people camped out there throughout the day.) I think about how much impact recordings that were done there have had on the music industry, especially Robert Johnson's. I've gone so far as to write City Hall, which hasn't really done any good (I haven't heard back from them). But regardless, it makes me sick to my stomach that the city of Dallas doesn't notice the value of the building. It's really sad.
Thanks again. Maybe one day the building will be cleaned up and there will be a museum. We can only hope.
Liner's latest: Just wanted to drop you a quick note on Elaine Liner's latest review ("Poetry in Slow Motion," May 23) and reviews in general. Where did you pick up this stand-up wannabe? It would seem to me that a progressive paper like yours would want to find a credible critic. How disappointing that week after week her reviews read like someone trying to channel Jerry Seinfeld. Her mean-spirited shtick seems to read more like sh*@. You get the point.