Latin Beat

Latin Beat

Stereotypes: I read your article ("Blue-Collar Nights," August 15), and as part of the Hispanic community I did not appreciate the stereotypes used throughout the article. I did not like the way things were addressed. Yes, the music is part of my culture, but I am not a lawn mower, dishwasher or maid. I am a university student here in Dallas and enjoy 2001 and 2009 very much. My friends, whose first language is English, also enjoy it. Next time you decide to publish an article of this culture, try not to make us sound like ignorant people and as if we're the only people who party like this.

Myra Zavala

Immigrant power: Just to let you know, me and my friends go to those two clubs every single weekend! We are in college, and we meet guys who are also in college or high school and who do speak English. I'm sure that you did not interview no girls at the contest. And you should not be talking about immigrants who go there after a hard day of working. Thanks to them, you eat at the restaurants and you have nice clean houses and paved streets! I have not met one guy there who cuts lawns. Those may be immigrants, but at least they don't talk about the American people, like the homeless white men I see at the streets asking for money. They can't get a job and they were born here, and an immigrant can come here and at least get a minimum-wage job without speaking English!

Via e-mail

Angry Americans

Jerks and cowards: So what are you saying in your review here (Hear, There, August 15)? Are you saying that it's not OK to be a flag-waving, mad-as-hell American who will get revenge on those jackasses who gave us 6/11 [sic]? There is nothing wrong with that song that any angry American would not say. Yeah, I am one pissed American, and I know sooner or later we will kick a boot up someone's ass who made this song possible in the first place. We know his name, but the sight of his face and hearing his name just make me one mad American. So as a son whose real father, adopted father and stepfather all served in the armed forces of the USA, I say more power to the song "Courtesy of the Red, White and Blue." It does well to express how mad we were at the jerks and cowards who gave us the terrible and horrific sights and sounds of September 11.

As one who listens to only country music, I do not have a problem with the Toby Keith Unleashed CD. If you don't listen to country music and don't know what it's about, it's only fair that you get someone else to review it.

Via e-mail

Sad vocation: Music journalism is a sad enough vocation without resorting to pointing out the obvious. No one really cares what a journalist thinks about rock and roll anyway. The idea that a journalist with no original ideas of his/her own can accurately or even objectively dissect and interpret the work of a music artist (i.e., one who actually creates something) is absurd. What can make it entertaining, however, is when said journalists go out on a limb to express their misled and inherently wrong views for the readers like myself who like to laugh at them. So please justify your existence and make an observation more insightful than the fact that Lenny Kravitz is unoriginal and Rush and Yes are old (Out & About, August 15). I know someone over there is just trying to cope with the guilt of having squandered their youth probing the philosophical meaning of bloated squawk rawk like "2112."

Jeff Downing

Plague Year

To spray or not to spray: Rose Farley's well-written article about the mosquito problem in Dallas ("Skeeter Scare," August 8) provides everything except appropriate caution and practicality. Without question, we should always question the tradeoffs between disease threats and the manmade "cures" for them. In some exceptional cases, we may find that the disease is better than the cure. I do not believe that the spread of West Nile virus will prove to be one of those exceptional cases.

In this case, we know that West Nile virus appeared in New York in April 1999. Three years later it has turned up in 27 states. Christopher Chyba reported in the June issue of Foreign Affairs that an Iraqi defector claimed in April 1999 (before the discovery) that Saddam Hussein was planning to weaponize the West Nile virus.

Now, I have read the same CDC statistics that Ms. Farley and and The Dallas Morning News have cited in their articles. What I did not find in either article was an acceptance of the responsibility for the results of not spraying mosquitoes. I have not spoken to the victims personally, but I am certain that at least three solid votes for spraying exist in Dallas County. Would the generic "critics" argue against spraying these three areas?

I think it would be great if Mr. Howard Garrett came up with a lower-risk, closed-loop, carnivorous spider solution to use in place of spraying. Until then, please visit the festering pools of larvae in my neighborhood and spray them.

Bravo to Ms. Mary Vaughn for being a proactive government official. Many of us dream of the day when all government agencies operate in this proactive, responsible manner.

Judd D. Bradbury

A Sucker Born

Caffeine fiend: So the other day I was at work and this guy comes in and asks me if I sell this particular kind of cigarette. I said no, we have never sold cigarettes. He said, "I read in the Dallas Observer that there is a cigarette called a 'Sugar Smack' (Full Frontal, August 8) and that you sell it." I replied, "Sorry, man, but this is Starbucks. Did you want some coffee or not?"

Via e-mail


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