For the right Price

Hooray! Finally, a local newspaper with enough gumption to call Al Lipscomb exactly what he is -- a corrupt public official ("The plantation burns," January 20). What is so discouraging about the whole stinking mess is that so many black leaders in this community failed to admit the same thing. Whatever their reasons for failing to do so, they illustrate the core problem of winking at dishonesty among their own just because that person may have had a positive influence on their cause at one time; or even worse, because he is one of their own.

I expect as much out of John Wiley Price. I don't expect it out of a Christian pastor. Does the good Rev. Zan Holmes really believe that on Judgment Day, he can stand before the Lord and make the same excuses and expect God to wink at them? Give me a break!

It also does not take a genius to figure out why Judge Joe Kendall moved the case out of Dallas. He knew the state would not get a fair trial in a town where O.J. Simpson would not only be acquitted, but would have had some locals want to pin a medal on him and make excuses for him.

By the way, unlike many of the authors of letters to the editors at the Dallas Observer, I am willing to sign my correspondence. It seems it's usually the most foul-mouthed writers who refuse to give their names.

Michael S. Mullen
Via e-mail

So move already

Congratulations! Again, you've successfully made anybody with the slightest bit of creative instinct and/or interest feel like they're in the wrong place (if they're here in Dallas). In Zac Crain's article "Calla the doctor" (January 27), the writer seems to be giving praise to the musicians' choice to leave Dallas, rather than play "glorified rehearsals" or "staring out into the crowd from the stage and seeing [just] a cement floor staring back at you." Is that what Dallas is all about? Well, if it's not yet, then it soon will be. Honestly, I don't think it is (yet).

There are a number of very talented artists and musicians here in Big D. You mention them and focus on them weekly in your publication, and that's why I continue to pick up your rag now and again from the newsstand. These people are my friends, neighbors, and peers, and I like to read about them. But I truly think that your magazine is worth exactly what it costs, and if it cost one penny more, I'd never touch it again.

So, for now, I'll go on, as do so many others, reading the Dallas Observer, and then setting it down and feeling disgraced to be involved with the Dallas music-art scene. Why can't you highlight the good things that are going on here? Why is it so hard to write about the positive things here in Dallas, rather than publishing full-page articles expressing the fact that in order to succeed, creative people need to move out of Texas? It's really a shame.

I help run a rather successful art gallery/shop in Exposition Park, and your politically motivated staff of writers and criticizers has played a pretty major role in helping us make the decision to relocate to Los Angeles in August. Thanks for helping us realize our true ambition.

It's your negativity, Dallas Observer, that's helping to drastically advance the decline of our city's Deep Ellum area. It's your negativity that is turning Deep Ellum into an anticultural cesspool of pool halls, tattoo parlors, and cover bands, which caters to that type of people out there who are simply looking to get drunk on their Friday and Saturday nights, rather than searching for creative, entertaining environments, or maybe a little inspiration. That's cool, though, I guess. It's written by the people, for the people. What do you do with your weekends?

Michael Allen
Via e-mail

Look, we read it

I wanted to take a minute to respond to your magazine's review of George Clidienst's book, The Protégé (Buzz, January 27). I'm quite certain you will not print this letter, since the Observer seems to like only negative, nasty editorials. Obviously the idiot who reviewed it was not in any way, shape, or form qualified to critique anything other than a gum wrapper. I'm not sure what his problem is, but I read this book several months ago and loved it. The reviewer did not even read The Protégé (which has received glorious reviews from "real" papers) and obviously is a bitter, jealous, sexually repressed troll of a man who has nothing nice to say about anyone.  


What kind of drugs was your reviewer taking when he did a review on the new novel by George Clidienst (The Protégé)!!?? It is painfully obvious that the man who did the review did not read the book and therefore had no right to trash it. I do not know Mr. Clidienst, but I hope he has the good sense to ignore every stupid comment made about his book. The Protégé was referred to me by a friend, and all of us in my office had read it and enjoyed it -- we are awaiting Mr. Clidienst's next book and think your review was unfair and obviously written by someone who does not read.

Shirley Bacon

Last Ball

It's fairly obvious with the feedback that Jimmy Fowler's Dragonball Z article ("International incident," January 20) caused quite a stir among the online DBZ community. I'll start with the comments on so-called "purists." I saw the FUNimation-dubbed DBZ before I saw any Japanese versions. My anime interests went no further than Ranma, Sailor Moon, and Pokémon until a friend of mine was at my house and wanted to watch Dragonball Z. I began to catch the story just as YTV went into reruns for what I hear was the millionth time. So I looked to the Internet.

Eventually, I was able to procure some uncut FUNimation videos and was horrified by the voices, especially Kuririn's. Still, I didn't lose interest and was able to find a Web site that offered much of season three and the following seasons, subtitled. I covered an amazing amount of Dragonball ground in only a few days, and was sure to watch carefully for dialogue changes, of which there were many. Some of the dubbing is absolutely terrible: At one point, when Gohans call the dragon, instead of shouting, "Come out, Shenron!" (or something at least close to that), he yells, "Hear my howl, to make my wish come truuuuuue!" Hear my howl? What?

Besides making numerous references to American culture ("I knew I should have joined the Boy Scouts!") and changing bad dialogue to worse dialogue ("I'm locked on and ready to kick butt!" becomes "I'm locked on and ready to kick tail!"), FUNimation seems to feel they should be changing things just for the fun of it. Gaping plot holes appear. Characters directly contradict themselves. Ages and genders are changed. Cuts are made to incredible things, such as the censoring of Gohan's tears in episode two -- can't have blood, can't have death, can't have 4-year-old children crying on national television.

I'd just like to point out that the article was informative and well-written, even though a more neutral stance would have been appreciated, rather than supporting FUNimation. What is the problem with FUNimation? I think that is fairly easy to see -- go on almost any DBZ Web site around, and you'll see. Maybe someday they'll realize what they're doing wrong here, or take a fan's point of view. Meanwhile, I'd rather be run over by a speeding mob of 4-year-old Pokémon fans than hear Kuririn yell "Hear my howl!" ever again.

Leigh Anne
Via e-mail

Unfortunately, your article makes us DBZ fans look like the bad guys. I can't believe how a major newspaper can generalize like you have, making the one percent of "fans" who e-mail hate mail to FUNimation turn into a majority. I have just started a Web site (http://members.xoom.com/DBZOtaku/) that discusses the censorship of this great anime show. Also, at one of the premier DBZ sites, www.planetnamek.com, where I am a message-board moderator, I have posted on the message board, under my alias GeneralTso, a message "NO CENSORSHIP AT ALL!" It has received more than 130 replies in the month it has been up.

The reasons fans are so mad, and one percent are off their rockers: One, the voices are bad. A character who sounds so eloquent but demonically evil at the same time (Freezer) becomes a woman. And Gokou, the lead character, who is supposed to be a brilliant fighter, but at the same time an innocent man who isn't the smartest and trusts too much, is voiced masterfully by a woman in Japan. The American voice actor makes him a plain ol' fighter. No emotion.

Two, the scripts are changed. I understand the profanity edits, but not making Freezer (Freiza in the U.S.A.) say, "Whatever turns you on, big guy!" Also, when Gokou (Goku here) goes super saiyajin for the first time, a very dramatic moment in Japan, American fans are made to think that the death of Gokou's best friend Kuririn (Krillin in the U.S.) makes Gokou become the legendary warrior.  

Please do not judge fans on the basis that a small percentage send e-mail flames to FUNimation, and that a small percentage incorrectly subtitle a tape to make it more profane. Please do more research on your topic next time.

Sam Spencer IV
Via e-mail

See, it's a joke

I write regarding a column called Buzz, which, it says at the bottom, was "compiled from staff reports by Patrick Williams." Even though I did not read Rose Farley's "Stop the madness" (November 11) and its admittedly faked quotes, I am appalled that you would allow one of your columnists to defend her in the manner this column did (Buzz, November 18). The public's inability to see humor and satire in your fictitious story is not an excuse or justification for defending a childish, irresponsible, and unprofessional article. I hope that the Denton County judge and district attorney pursue their just claims against you, because they will be protecting the First Amendment rights of journalists who are attempting to operate in a professional manner.

You hurt people and then think it is funny, covering unprofessional actions with self-righteousness. You make it harder for all media, not easier.

Jean Murph
Citizens' Advocate


In last week's Dallas Observer, the news story "Raise high the roof" defined the legal term "dicta" as "lawyerese for superfluous bullshit." This was our definition of the word, not that of the anonymous city official quoted in the story. We apologize for any confusion.

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