Just Plain Mean


Pure, inexcusable evil: I truly enjoyed Jim Schutze's article chronicling the metamorphosis of his book to a movie ("My Day of the Locust," June 21). I admit to liking most of his work, but this particular story really needed telling.

Mr. Schutze is right. Hollywood is afraid to admit the truth--some people are just mean! I suspect that Hollywood is not the only large group that is avoiding the truth; most of America is. In this politically correct, fuzzy, feel-good world we have created, we don't want anyone to actually take responsibility for anything. There is always something or someone else to blame.

A big-screen encounter with such a horrendous example of pure, inexcusable evil might be the first step in America's motivation to stop making excuses and start finding answers.

Bully needs to be completed and released. Maybe we should all open our big mouths and take a giant gulp of medicinal reality.

Rick Mendenhall

Blaming the Music

Be yourself: I'd like to extend thanks to both Jonathan Fox and the Dallas Observer for printing "The Right to Rave" (June 28). It's given a much-needed voice to what is only a small wing of a worldwide culture--the Dallas electronic music scene. Too often, it seems, journalists and reporters are quick to blame heated issues on the most alien parts of society. It is always easiest to point a finger of blame into the void of the unknown, rather than explore it, shed a little light on it and educate others by allowing an honest glimpse into it.

Although I must say that Mr. Fox's article barely skims the surface of a culture that has been on the rise here in Dallas for some 20 years, the crux of his story holds true. We, the collective "scene," are being targeted unfairly with two points of attack, normally used as catalysts to stimulate heated debates over other subjects: children (the majority of people in the electronic music scene are ages 17-26) and drugs. Although these two issues do not necessarily go hand in hand, the unfortunate fact is that people who do not understand or care to understand our culture, the outsiders looking into the void, have cast this shadow on the electronic music scene.

What most people fail to understand about this culture is that the people in it are there for not only the music, but also the attitudes of the people who are a part of it. Individuals from all walks of life come out, week after week, to hear music that they enjoy and be in a comfortable environment with friendly people. Friends and strangers alike, same sex or not, generally greet each other with hugs; no one has reservations about dancing by themselves and enjoying the music; guys, for the most part, are not there solely to meet and pick up girls, and girls are allowed an environment in which they can be themselves and not worry about guys. The point is that the people in this scene are here because of their need to be around good music that they appreciate, without having to be someone that they do not want to be. The common love for music has helped people break through the normal social barriers of interpersonal relationships and has allowed them a rare opportunity: to go out, have a good time, listen to music that they like, dance all night long, be around good people and, most of all, be themselves.

Thomas Meyer

Field of Dreams

Good sounds and good times: "Fantasy League" (June 21) described baseball as it used to be and should be. This piece brought back the Texas League, Dallas Rebels, Eagles, etc.; the Tulsa Oilers, Fort Worth Cats and Houston Buffaloes and all those sounds and good times. The photos by Peter Calvin are some of the best you've had. Wonderful relief from the disasters of the city of Dallas government.

Herb Goodenough

Outta Control

Feeling queasy: I am up way past my bedtime, nursing a queasy stomach. What has made me feel this way, you ask? Answer: you allowing Christine Biederman to once again pose as an informed art critic. According to Ms. Biederman, Joseph Beuys is a shameless self-promoting hack ("Still Wannabe," March 15), Wolfgang Laib (" Bullstuff," June 21) is a latter-day rip-off of the former, and the phenomenologists (Husserl, Heidegger, Sartre, et al) are "obscure" philosophers. You can say I am far too Cartesian, but I doubt it. It is time that the Observer admits that the contemporary arts curators (Suzanne Weaver and Charlie Wylie) at the Dallas Museum of Art and Mr. Jack Lane, director, have the best contemporary arts program of any museum in the Southwest.

Also, I feel that Bret McCabe should be given a full-time writing position and Ms. Biederman should pursue a calling more in line with her talents: shooting heroin while listening to Joy Division in some rundown garage apartment. Every time she comes down off the heroin, she can play "She's Lost Control," push the repeat button and race to the bathroom so she might not defecate on herself.

Steven Cochran

Veggie Van

Follow the french-fry fumes: One comment in Dave Faries' excellent article about the rabbitlike proliferation of chain restaurants ("Wrapped Up in Chains," June 14) caught my eye: "Now if we could only discover a way to fuel SUVs with grease drippings from a Personal Pan Pizza."

It's been done already, Dave. The Veggie Van, a "biodiesel" Winnebago, gets 25 miles per gallon running on used fast-food vegetable oil and gives off exhaust with the distinct aroma of french fries. Dave, or anyone else interested, can learn more about it at www.veggievan.org.

Mike Martin


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