By Jim Schutze
By Rachel Watts
By Lauren Drewes Daniels
By Anna Merlan
By Lee Escobedo
By Eric Nicholson
R.I.P. Carter Albrecht
Abusive nonetheless: He may have been a talented musician, but he still beat up his girlfriend and kicked in the door of her frightened neighbors ("Strange and Sad but True," by Jonanna Widner, September 6). And why would you put "so he claims" in parentheses regarding the neighbor's claim of fear? Do you not believe this poor man was frightened by some drunk, raging lunatic kicking in the door of his house in the middle of the night? Don't gloss over those facts of this situation. A man's musical ability should NEVER excuse his abusive behavior.
A really bad night: I can't take it anymore. If I hear one more person write something negative about Carter because he had one awful night that was obviously out of his control, I'm going to scream. He was not drunk, he did not kick down the neighbor's door, and his girlfriend keeps screaming from the rooftops with whatever energy she has left that he was obviously in some sort of psychotic state that was beyond his control. Yes, to all of you perfect people out there, the mind can be altered by PRESCRIPTION drugs. So much so that it can lead to tragedies such as this. People keep saying that he is responsible for his own actions. Last time I checked he was trying to be responsible by trying to quit smoking, and he was definitely responsible when he had his girlfriend drive home from the bar because he had a little too much to drink. Something happened that night, and none of us will probably ever know what caused him to act the way that he did, but can we please stop stomping on his grave before he's even buried? Take a look at your own life before you come here and insult a person that has just died. NO ONE deserves to die for unknowingly beating up his girlfriend ONE time or for beating on someone's door. And I'm not blaming the neighbor, because while he made a poor choice of where to shoot, he did what he had to do to protect his wife. But I'm blaming you people out there that have the gall to infer that he deserved to die that night. You should all be ashamed of yourselves for thinking the way that you do. Maybe you have never had a bad night like Carter did, but I'm sure he never wished death on any of you. Let him rest in peace and stop using the anonymity of the Internet to hide behind your insensitive, misinformed and hateful remarks.
It's in the Air
Faulty premise: You have the same problem that your friends at The Dallas Morning News have. You try to clean up the air in Dallas by tying your arguments to a bogus premise: global warming ("Choke on It," by Matt Pulle, September 6). You claim most scientists around the world support the position that man is the principal globe warmer. Not so. Most U.N. scientists, environmental "activists" (read "eco-terrorists"), "The Sky is Falling" media and scientifically challenged politicians are the supporters of that position. Listen carefully. If air pollution is a problem, then argue with science—not hysteria. I've lived in the Dallas area since 1960 and have never seen or known anyone staggering around unable to breathe. There may be some of those folks out there, but I've never seen them, and you and the DMN have never published photos of hundreds of people in downtown Dallas walking around with masks on a la Tokyo. And once you find those folks who can't breathe, make sure their problem isn't allergies rather than automobiles or cement kilns. You seldom mention that this area is one of the worst in the nation for allergens. You could probably make a good case for cleaner air without resorting to scare tactics. One of your favorite "experts" is Environmental Defense. They parlayed a fictional book about DDT killing birds into a multimillion-dollar scam that ended up killing millions of Third World people, not birds.
Return to Sender
Don't praise me: I recently received a complimentary review from Elaine Liner for my performance in Dallas Theater Center's production of Pride and Prejudice, a production that she did not like ("Twisted Sisters," September 6). I am not flattered, and I request that she never mention my name in a theater review again.
If you look back over Ms. Liner's theater reviews over the years, two common threads stand out: She does not like complexity of language, and she is mean-spirited toward actors who do not please her.
I have gone back over her reviews and have noticed her disdain for writers who use rich, complex language; most memorably I recall her explicit dislike for Tom Stoppard, Jane Austen and William Shakespeare. As in her recent review of Pride and Prejudice, she often complains that these plays have too many words. I'm reminded of the play/film Amadeus, when Emperor Joseph II criticizes Mozart's music for having too many notes. Like the Emperor, Ms. Liner would prefer art to be more digestible and less delectable. It's no wonder she started out as a television critic.
Finally, I'm tired of reading about actors being fat, greasy, lumpy, unattractive, etc. Is this really criticism? She may not like an actor's work, but she is unable to comment directly on their work because she has no understanding of what it is an actor actually works on in rehearsal and performance. So she directs her complaints to the shape and size of their bodies. I think cheap shots are what critics resort to when they lack the intellectual mettle to approach their subject's process.
To me, her reviews read like cheap copy from Soap Opera Digest, a publication better suited to her talents. The Dallas Observer could (and should) do better.
Of course I'm flattered to get a nice mention in a review, but not when the review is written by Elaine Liner. I can do without, thank you.