By Jim Schutze
By Rachel Watts
By Lauren Drewes Daniels
By Anna Merlan
By Lee Escobedo
By Eric Nicholson
On Top of Her Game
The wittiest, the most observant: I would just like to say that it is such a pleasure to see that Andrea Grimes has finally been given a permanent spot in the "Boy's Club" pages of my favorite free weekly. Andrea is one of the wittiest, most observant and plain old intelligent writers on staff at the Dallas Observer, and I've been loving her new column. For lack of a better phrase, this girl just keeps it real. Her story earlier this year on spoiled-rotten Highland Park party kids was a highlight for me personally (even if she didn't catch the little silver-spooned heathens in the act), and I found myself laughing out loud at her most recent story about the poor excuse for a dating scene we have around here and her personal never-ending quest to conquer it ("Venus Claptrap," August 10). Simply put, I'm a fan. And if she dropped the "a" from her first name, I might even want to date her. She's funny, has good taste in music and she even hates the same things as me! (Addison--although The Colony kinda sucks, too, doesn't it?) Thank you, Ms. Grimes. Thank you for representing the ladies and for reminding me why I live in Oak Cliff and date only when I'm out of town!
Advice for Girl on Top: How to NOT end up as "Swami Crazy Old Cat Lady": Jump into life, get your feet wet! At 40, I took up skydiving. Talk about getting out of the house! For 10 years I've jumped, played, partied and traveled, having great times with good friends, having sex as I choose and getting on first load Sunday mornings to have a great day skydiving. I'm still contentedly single, have a cool dog and, yes, a cat. Right now the dog's lightning bolt mohawk motif is blue, I have 850 skydives, and I own two rigs.
Another thing: I also learned how to flame-throw. This alone insures one lots of party invitations and weeds the timid out of the dating pool.
Last, don't be shy about robbing the cradle. Mrs. Robinson had a great thing going. Who cares if I'm having sex with someone whose parents weren't even born when JFK was assassinated? Having things and history in common can be highly overrated!
My advice? Quit meditating and get out of the house. Go skydive. Nothing like two miles of open air and being harnessed tightly to a tandem master/skygod! Go girl, NOW!
Dallas Blunderful: This article ("Venus Claptrap") is hilarious! I'm not single, but I know if I was I'd be blundering through dates at about the same rate as this article documents. That's what I did before I met my husband, anyway. So funny...thanks.
I also really liked your Beautiful Room article ("Eye of the Beholder," by Andrea Grimes, June 29). I wish I could be a fly on the wall at that place. Hilarious!
I did, however, enjoy the way you used "tick...tick...tick" to begin, end and throughout your 50,000-word article. That was really great shtick...shtick...shtick.
It's all your fault: You sportswriters and reporters are a bunch of dickless, jealous white guys who seem to be trying to goad this young man into having low self-esteem or push him to react to this crap you keep on--and keep on--reporting about him. There are other things going on in the NFL worth your attention, I would think. I for one hope Mr. Owens and all the athletes you guys seem to focus on so negatively have read the book Forty Million Dollar Slaves: The Rise, Fall, and Redemption of the Black Athlete by William C. Rhoden.
From Elaine Liner's "Fractured Fairy Tales" (August 3): "DeGarmo, as pretty and pudgy as a summer plum, sings at two pitches, loud and louder. And though she throws herself into each number like she still thinks she has a chance against Fantasia Barrino, you'll find yourself wishing a big foot would drop out of the sky and squash her flat."
So very mean: I find this to be a very arrogant and immature way to review a performance and a particular individual in it. While I will admit I am a huge fan and supporter of Diana and have had the pleasure of meeting her numerous times, my reason for writing is not that you did not like her performance. Everyone is entitled to their own opinion. It's the way that you harshly stated that you did not care for her performance: "You'll find yourself wishing a big foot would drop out of the sky and squash her flat." I guarantee you many people don't feel that way. Additionally, I find it extremely rude of you to criticize her appearance. This has nothing to do with the show. Finally, Diana is a very dedicated and hard-working girl and is extremely grateful to all of her fans and supporters. When she was doing Hairspray on Broadway she'd consistently meet people at the stage door, sign endless autographs, take endless pictures and never, ever leave without making sure that everyone who wanted to see her got that chance. She would never rush anyone, either, and was extremely polite to everyone. Never have I seen anyone more dedicated to their work and their fans than Diana. If you didn't care for her performance, that's fine, but I don't think it's fair for you to degrade her in this way.
Long Island, New York
St. Don: If you believe in justice, you can suspect that the eye-of-the-needle impediment is going to ban nearly all the truly wealthy from the Pearly Gates & Heavenly Estates super-gated development in the sky.
But J. McDonald Williams ("Change Is Gonna Come," by Robert Wilonsky, August 17) may be one of the exceptions. Brother Williams is a true believer and much more. I speak as someone who has observed him, sometimes close up, for more than 40 years.
My oldest memory of him finds us both facing urinals in a dormitory of a small West Texas church-related college where we were students. Perhaps I'd met him before, but I don't remember that. What I've never forgotten is abruptly being chided while relieving myself for not taking my responsibilities as a student newspaper editor more seriously.
I went on to the University of Texas at Austin for a graduate degree in journalism. Brother Don went on to George Washington University for a law degree. I came to Dallas and was soon stringing for Business Week and The Economist. J. McDonald came to Dallas and was soon saving the Trammell Crow Co. from a bad turn in the world real estate market and utter ruin.
Eventually I came to think of him as a real-life incarnation of Marshal Dillon. Marshal Dillon didn't run Dodge City, but he was as close to a conscience as the place had. Don Williams doesn't run Dallas. But Dallas will probably never see one of its wealthiest businesspeople come any closer to incarnating the truth of Kant's observation that true service of God is moral service, not adoration, prayer and praise. Now if we can just get Highland Park to put him in charge of policing its water usage policies for the duration of the drought.
Snobbery of poverty: Kudos to you for your precise reflection of the true nature of Ole Anthony ("The Cult of Ole," by Glenna Whitley, August 3). As a teen I read Camus' The Stranger and never forgot the concept of "spiritual snobbery" and how despite a vow of poverty one can be just as materialistic as a Larry Lea or Robert Tilton. A few weeks ago I listened to Anthony on 105.3 and realized he was no better than those he exposed. I looked at a picture somewhere of him and his bevy of Bible boys in one of their studies and thought they looked as stinky as a bunch of pedophile priests. Thank you for your excellent writing and for affirming what my gut could already sense.
Hypocrites, all of them: Do you edit? Let me see if I got this story straight. Glenna Whitley writes about a money-grubbing, hypocritical book author, Wendy Duncan, who writes about a money-grubbing, hypocritical Trinity leader, Ole Anthony, who writes about a money-grubbing, hypocritical nut case preacher, Robert Tilton, who the word hypocrite was created for. Then to top it off, you discuss the drug use of Ole Anthony in the Dallas Observer, where on the back page you can find out how to score painkillers without a prescription. This is exactly why people think of Dallas as the hypocritical butthole of the Bible Belt.
I enjoy a hatchet job just as much as the next media whore. However, if you read the story, I really don't find anything negative about Ole Anthony as much as I do his followers. The Duncans have obviously spent their life wandering aimlessly in hopes of finding themselves. NOTE: You should never have children when you don't have your own shit together. Oh, and let's not forget the Holloways, whose daughter may never dance again because of Ole Anthony: "she put away the dancing shoes and hasn't taken them out since." Whose fault could that be? Could it be...I don't know...say...SATAN! Perhaps it is the parents'--or perhaps the child didn't really want to dance in the first place. Take responsibility for your own actions.
I have never met Ole Anthony or his boy pal, Joe John Bob Briggs Bloom. They both seem very 1985 to me. However, when I read that Mr. Anthony went on The 700 Club and stated that he wished God would find him a wife or stop making him so horny, this man became my cult hero for the day.
The saddest part is that it has become clear in the past year that a city as happening as Dallas does not have an alternative paper. The Dallas Observer must be owned by Halliburton. Does anyone remember laughter? Glenna is no Molly Ivins. Ole is no Ralph Nader. Bloom is no Pee Wee Herman, Tilton is no Billy Graham and the Holloway girl is not a ballet dancer.
Dallas God's Big Tent
Jesus and homosexuality: In the article by Jesse Hyde ("Thou Shalt Not," July 27), the Reverend Roseberry states, "People often say, 'Well, Jesus talked about divorce but never spoke about homosexuality,' and that really isn't so." Missing from the article is any passage from the Bible that backs up his statement. Jesus did not speak about homosexuality ever. In fact, the people who wrote down the words in the Bible were not aware of any sexual orientation other than straight. Roseberry further says, "active promotion of things that God [not Jesus] regards as sin should disqualify a person from leadership in the church." He never elaborates or defines the sins.
Roseberry also says, "homosexuality is a mistake that must be corrected." Neither Jesus nor the American Psychological Association nor the American Psychiatric Association agree with him. Has the Reverend Roseberry ever had a conversation with a gay person about their sexual orientation? Probably not, since he seems convinced that he knows "what God has said is best for them."
The Reverend Waller says in the article, "the majority of the Episcopal Church wants to do the work God had given us to do." Amen to that.