You lose some
About the article on the Trinity River Plan ["Flood money," January 22]: Are you guys biased very much? Is that what you call responsible journalism? Well, at this point it does not really matter: The Trinity Plan has been passed by the voters, and Dallas is well on its way to becoming an even greater city! I bet you guys were also against the Dart Light Rail system and the new arena project. You guys suck! How does it feel to be wrong all of the time?
You win some
I truly enjoyed reading the article on Tom Joyner ["Air Joyner," April 30]. It was very thorough and well written. I have been a loyal listener of Tom Joyner for many years, and I feel that this sort of coverage has been long overdue. My hat goes off to the Dallas Observer for being smart enough to recognize a good story. Keep up the good work, and you will make a loyal Internet reader out of me.
I was somewhat confused by David Martin's comments in the last Observer when he mentions Ms. Biederman as a champion of bimbo outrage ["The Jones boys," April 2]. What exactly is bimbo referring to? Mr. Clinton's organ? Or Mr. Clinton himself for being so sexually unexciting that he has to flash his organ as an open invitation and hope someone accepts? How does one distinguish between bimbo and non-bimbo? Perhaps a definition will help...
In the mid-1990s, while I acted as chair of the board of directors of the Texas Board of Private Investigators and Private Securities Agencies--the state agency that licenses persons as P.I.s, who then work as bounty hunters--the board did not review a single instance of misconduct from these individuals. The agency was and is more focused on eliminating competition for the large security companies, and less on protecting the public welfare. With a new administrative head of the agency, perhaps the problems raised in this excellent article ["Manhunters," April 23] will be addressed by the Texas agency that supposedly polices (no pun intended) the bounty hunters. Thanks for bringing the information to the public.
Brenda H. Collier
The festival that cares
As an independent filmmaker and a professor of film production at Yale University, I take issue with your recent article about the USA Film Festival ["That sinking feeling," April 9]. It can only be read as misguided and unfair. I have attended a number of major festivals and markets, including the USA Film Festival. I was USAFF's guest in 1996 to present my documentary film and, in 1997 and 1998, I attended at my own expense. I have enthusiastically referred other filmmakers to this festival because of its unique character.
The USA Film Festival is, first and foremost, a festival that cares about audiences. You won't see studio executives shouting on their cell phones, but you will see impassioned moviegoers talking with filmmakers in the lobby. It doesn't offer how-to-sell-your-screenplay seminars, but it does feature a wide variety of films--shorts and features, classics and new works, mainstream and experimental, sublime and ridiculous. I enjoyed presenting my film at the festival, but I returned the past two years because it is thrilling, as someone who loves movies, to be an audience member at the festival.
The USA Film Festival is precisely that: a festival, a joyous celebration that connects the filmmakers to the very people with whom they struggle to communicate. This fundamental mission is a foundation that will endure long after your delinquent writer puts down his pen.
Dallas is fortunate indeed to have a cultural organization that, at 28 years, is vibrant, challenging, and accessible to its constituent audience.
Professor of Film Production
Anytime we can help
You probably should have asked someone who KNOWS before you printed your assessment of the Amos 'n' Andy intro to the new Pimpadelic CD, Statutory Rap [1998 Dallas Observer Music Awards issue, April 30]. I'm sure someone else has already told you by now, but that's actually a black man you hear on the disc. His name is Quincy "Q-Dog" Gibbons, and he served as MC at Pimpadelic shows for a year or two. I don't care what you think or say about the band. Hell, half of the people I know have disowned me since I started working for them. But you could at least check your facts before you go to press. But hey, Amos 'n' Andy might be a great idea for the next album. Thanks.
Robert Wilonsky responds: To enlighten McGrath, Pimpadelic's "employee", Amos 'n' Andy was portrayed by black actors on television--and, at the same time, regarded as one of the most offensive depictions of African-Americans in the history of television. Just because Gibbons is black does not mean the way he is used on Statutory Rap can't be considered racist.
The write-up on the music awards was disgusting. I don't know who you get to listen to the CDs then write a review, but you chose the wrong people for the wrong groups. I am a fan of Pimpadelic and Hellafied Funk Crew and a few more I will not name, but they were given such bad reviews. Do these writers even listen to that kind of music? Obviously they don't, because if they got slapped with good music in their face, they would not even know it. You need to get writers to review the kind of music that they listen to instead of these hateful and distasteful writers you have. Sorry to be so blunt but the review of Pimp was so untrue. They pulled in 950 plus people last week at Trees and made more than $5,000 that night, so tell me, what local band is doing that now? As for Robert Wilonsky, he needs to stay to his own kind of music, whatever that may be, and get a real hip-hop head to review the rap category. This only makes the Dallas Observer look bad, and that is the word on the street. I know that not everyone can like Pimp, but the show count obviously shows that Pimp is not a bunch of pigs. Get a life, Robert.
Thanks so much for the great article on Luis Mayoral ["Senor baseball," April 7]. I am a Dallas transplant from Pittsburgh who has been a lifelong baseball fan. Your writings and interview with Mr. Mayoral brought back many fond memories of listening to my dearly loved grandfather talk about the "old days." My grandfather just passed away on January 11, so your article really was timely for me. This was the first Opening Day in my life when I couldn't talk to PapPap about this year's Pirates.
Also, being almost 37 years old and a Pittsburgh native, you might be interested to know that "Roberto Clemente" was among my very first words spoken as a tot. He remained my favorite player. In fact, when Bobby was killed, I very clearly remember my family gathered around the TV--grandmother, grandfather, mother, and me. Mom was sobbing uncontrollably, and PapPap just kept shaking his head and saying, "it's a damned shame." And Bob Prince delivering so many kind words.
If there is any way you can forward my respect and thanks to Mr. Mayoral, please do so. In fact, if I'm not mistaken, he was published in the Pittsburgh Courier, the local black newspaper in the "Burgh." Hence, the reason my grandfather knew of him.
Again, thanks so much. And keep up the good work!
I can't believe what you have said about the band Pulp ["U.K. Snubs," March 26]! You are a mockery to the journalism industry! It's people like you that try to stop the British invasion! Obviously you haven't read Entertainment Weekly or Rolling Stone! They gave Pulp rave reviews for their new album This is Hardcore. Pulp will make it big, and I hope you suffer every time you hear one of their songs on the air! By the way, Jarvis Cocker is not only hot, but is the most creative bloke in the music industry! Thanks to people like you, Pulp will not become popular in America though it should.
Jennifer and Shannon
You're obviously so distraught over Robert Tilton's departure that you're looking for Jesus in another phony-baloney who left Dallas for a fresh batch of tiny brains and fat wallets to manipulate. I used to buy the Sara Hickman blah-blah ["A mother's kisses," April 23] until a friend of mine had a run-in with her. From what I observed, Sara and Reverend Tilton are connected to the same lower power.
A thief by any other name
Poor pitiful Margie Chestnut ["Overdue charges," April 16] gets little sympathy from me. She apparently entered into a rental contract with no serious intention of living up to the terms of the contract, then willfully kept property that did not belong to her, knowing that she would be unable to compensate the owner. In my book, that makes her a thief.
Ms. Chestnut is not "star-crossed." She is a small-time rip-off artist, accepting money for services, seizing upon the slightest inconvenience as a reason for non-performance, and then blaming the other party for their lack of understanding. She never seems to consider the consequences of her actions on the people she victimizes. A nascent business can be ruined in a couple of months if it is unfortunate enough to deal with a handful of Margie Chestnuts. Perhaps a few weeks in jail will give her a chance to reflect on her actions.
Thank you for publishing the article--it may serve to warn her next intended victim.
Why, James Fears ["Fears and loathing in Oak Cliff," April 23], why? Are we to take this man seriously? Does he really pose that much of a threat, that he should be featured in an article? Will he have a negative impact on civil rights and set them back 40 years? No, no, and no!
I assumed everyone in Dallas knew that people like Mr. Fears existed, especially those mentioned so prominently in your article. But why are his opinions relevant to anyone who matters? I had never heard of him until your article, and I wish it had remained so. His opinions are nothing new to me or anyone else for that matter.
He appears to be a bitter old man who is stuck in the dark days of segregation and Jim Crow. I say to him, get over your damn self, and let the people of Dallas live in peace from the likes of you.
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