By Jim Schutze
By Rachel Watts
By Lauren Drewes Daniels
By Anna Merlan
By Lee Escobedo
The wanker in the mirror: Turn around, Rob Harvilla ("Turn Around, Bright Eyes," June 2).
I'm always impressed with the Dallas Observer's many stories on various artists and make it a point to pick up the latest copy for that reason. The Dallas Observer truly is a superior publication.
However, I was baffled by the lack of basic insight Rob displayed in his latest story slamming Conor Oberst of Bright Eyes for being over-emotional. Hey, Rob, here's two words you hadn't thought about lately--COMMON SENSE. Art is supposed to be emotional. Without emotion, Conor would have no subject matter. I don't believe politics should venture into the arts; however, it's very obvious the right-wing media have lulled this country into a deep sleep. You're slamming Bright Eyes because he thinks for himself and is willing to question authority? Give me a break. Where are we? The Soviet Union? Apparently Rob thinks so. I found Digital Ash in a Digital Urn refreshing. Not only does Conor have extraordinary lyrics, but I believe the production on the album to be absolutely brilliant if not ground-breaking. Thanks, Rob, for giving the underground music community a reason to deliberately not write from the heart. How about this, Rob; why don't all artists stop producing work that has personality and honest sentiment? It's true, Rob, that most Texans don't like Bright Eyes. Conor's statement in Fort Worth wasn't without merit, and the comment he made about roping steers is mindless rock-star banter. It's a shame you can't tell the difference...and another thing, Bob Dylan has (in the past) created politically charged intellectual music. Where do you get off threatening to put people's butts in slings?
Who do you think you are, Rob? Obviously everything you've made out Conor to be. Vain, wanky and occasionally a douche bag.
Arlington Sinful Stem Cells
Damned in the desert: How saddened and outraged I was to read the comments of Amy Boswell and Texas Right to Life ("Life, Death and Money," by Josh Harkinson, May 26). This article led me to think of several questions: By refusing potential treatment for her son, is Boswell not condemning him to "a desert with no food or water"? Where pro-life advocates are concerned, what is the contingency plan for the 400,000 embryos? Is it OK to destroy them if they're not going to be used? I respect your right to accept or decline the benefits of such research; how dare you attempt to nullify mine.
A Mother's Loss
Insensitive and sensationalist: When I agreed to talk with the Dallas Observer about Luke [Stone], I understood that it would be Luke's story and the drugs at UTD ("Generation Rx," by Glenna Whitley, May 19). The campus was not mentioned except with respect to where these kids attended classes.
I had no idea that the story would take a slant that changed the story so dramatically from what I thought we had talked about. We talked about a study about how teens were abusing prescription drugs. I really was shocked at how much the focus changed, how the story about Luke was so different from what I expected.
I know that the editor cut out the information about Luke having Hashimoto's thyroiditis. I understand that it was put into the Web version two days after the release, but most of the people I referred there had already read it by then. Dr. Rohr thought it was important enough to put it on Luke's death certificate. Maybe your editor did not think it as important to accurately and completely report the cause of my son's death. That is insensitive. It is cruel. It is only one of the many inaccuracies that twist the story. That is bad journalism. Or maybe accuracy is just more important to me because the report was about my son. I think accuracy is important in anybody's story, especially in any story that rates the cover of the Observer. I hate to say it, but it seems that at least one of the changes the editor made, leaving out what Dr. Rohr wrote about the Hashimoto's thyroid condition, seems like the goal was to put enough of a spin on Luke's story for the sake of sensationalism. It is very sad on two levels--because of what happened to my son and the inaccuracies lacing the article. Where on earth did anyone get the idea that this sweet cat [in a photograph with the story] was Luke's cat?
Can we try this again with a more complete and accurate chapter in Luke's story than the first story that ended up in the Observer? Print that there is alcoholism in Luke's dad's family. Please don't take David's statements that perhaps are skewed by his separation from this family to reflect a complete picture. Luke was not a drinker. Look at that nearly full bottle of Chivas in his fridge. Maybe Luke did understand the dangers of whiskey to him.
I'm a little worried about the stories about their drug use that Luke's friends told you. Are you sure they were being straight with you? I think maybe their stories were influenced by their drug use then and maybe even now. They have had a year to discuss and get their stories together.