By Jim Schutze
By Rachel Watts
By Lauren Drewes Daniels
By Anna Merlan
By Lee Escobedo
Weird stuff: Guh-REAT story on Doug Havard ("Crazy White Mother," by Glenna Whitley, December 26). Couldn't put it down. It gave me the same feeling as David Lynch's Blue Velvet. All that weird stuff going on all around us, in plain view, but we just can't see it. Also loved the way the Simmons angle turned all the stereotypes upside down. What fun!
Thug life: I can totally relate to your story. I, for one, know the kind of "white kids" similar to the one in this article. The thing I don't understand about these kids is why they get into this so-called "thug life" if they are wealthy enough to get out on bond one hour after they've been arrested, live in neighborhoods that are very nice in comparison to "thugs" and have very easy access to money. So why fuckin' hustle? I sincerely hope authorities catch this offender, but it's not gonna be likely. When you're rich and come from money you can practically get away with anything. Thank you for your wonderful article.
Brilliant writing: Wow--what a thrilling story. My eyes were glued to the computer screen the entire time...brilliant writing. Can you please keep me posted on the story if there are any updates?
Hotter heads prevail: The minute you wrote of your own experience with Rose and the band in 1992, the story's use was all shot to hell ("GN'R Whys," by Bill Holdship, December 19). It's a basic rule of primary-school journalism that you just stepped over, so what are you trying to say? Editorial? Fluff feature from a bored editor? Or are you guys getting commissions to do mudslinging from people in the entertainment biz?
Well, either your boss has nothing to do in the long sweltering days of Texas--maybe even sustained a heatstroke--or you're a frustrated fiction writer. Go over to The Onion. Because Vanity Fair you ain't.
Buck the Blue
Buck the Blue
Police state: The arrogance of the Dallas Police Department is not only frustrating but frightening ("Who Controls the Cops?" by Jim Schutze, December 19). Their refusal to acknowledge complaints by the Dallas Citizens Police Review Board is an indicator that Bolton and his cronies are gonna do damn well what they please, regardless of what the community thinks. There needs to be a system in place to keep the police force in check, or there will most certainly be abuse of that power. Why is it not surprising that there was such a huge scandal with the fake-drug charges? Why do the police think they can storm in and out of city council meetings like they own City Hall? Why are minorities in this city screaming of acts of abuse and discrimination? Why does Dallas have the highest crime rate in the country, yet we see the police wasting their time raiding gentlemen's clubs and adult bookstores instead of focusing their resources on preventing and solving real crimes?
Spike Jonze's Navel Lint
We get it: Thank you, thank you, thank you! I thought I was losing my mind, reading all these glowing reviews from critics I respect. Surely, I thought, Ebert or J. Hoberman will see through this horrid exercise in self-awareness ("Adapt This," by Robert Wilonsky, December 19). But yours was the only review with which I could agree. It's as if I'm supposed to applaud this guy's high-profile failure to adapt a book; many successful adaptations go unnoticed every year. But I suppose none of those were directed by Spike Jonze, whose fascinating and successful career thus far seems to have bought him a "Make A Bad Movie Free" card when it comes to Adaptation.
To get deep, I think this movie is a prime example of how postmodern self-awareness can be destructive artistically. These critics must be thinking, "Well, if I can't understand this, it must be complicated on purpose. Brilliant!" Just as you said, these people are going out of their way to avoid looking like they don't get it.
Howling with glee: You're not alone in hating Adaptation. I read your pan and howled with glee. I write about film, and at the press screening I attended in Seattle about 40 people showed up, which is a huge number, all the more so considering it was held at 10 a.m. on the morning after Halloween.
Anyway, the assembled press corps cackled approvingly at all the flat dialogue, and I sat there scribbling notes, going uh-huh. Then, during that horrible final half-hour, there was dead silence in the movie theater. I think people were in shock. I spoke to no one afterward, but given the dampened reaction, my hunch was that the invitees could not believe how bad the movie was.This movie is a machine designed to suck up to intellectuals who pride their own cleverness. And the reviews I'm reading seem to corroborate that the trick worked--people are falling for this stuff. Thanks for having the balls to pan the movie. Not everyone is in graduate school for post-post-post-postmodern studies--what a relief. Your line about "navel lint" was great!