Purple Heart Condition

Unproved innuendo: I've just been reading John Gonzalez (who I usually enjoy); however, the reflections concerning Senator John Kerry's distinguished war service are disturbing to say the least...I thought I was reading the Belo Daily News blurb ("Fog of War," July 29).

Since viewing the Democratic National Convention in Boston on Thursday evening, I noted that 12 members of his crew and associates lined up on the platform to confirm his impact on the dire [combat] situation...Senator Kerry returned for AND SAVED [a fellow soldier]. His own words gave remarkable insight into the devotion and bravery executed under fire by Senator Kerry.

I am puzzled and despise unproved innuendos concerning an awarded military decoration and am very concerned.

Dennis G. King

A Little Harping

Is that a chipmunk?: Now, now...granted, she sounds like Björk with a harp (even if she is from Nevada City, California), but you have to admit that the record IS charming (Across the Bar, by Sarah Hepola, July 22). And yes, she did look like she came from Rivendale at the show...but I wasn't bored...which is more than I can say for a lot of other shows. Granted, I am not giving her a glowing review...but it certainly isn't as bad as you painted in this little blurb.

Although Robert Wilonsky's opinion is normally pretty right on, he DID say that Ted Leo and the Pharmacists was his favorite record of the year (last year, I think?)...and must have told me about his Hüsker Dü bootlegs three times. These aren't bad things per se, but maybe he isn't the best person to be playing Joanna Newsom for.

Besides, the Darkness is awful. He had every right to threaten to kick you in the neck.

Ryan Jewell
Via e-mail

Poetry Slammed

For better or verse: With fine respect to the so-called Republican poetry reading that takes place in Lakewood each week ("Unbuttoned-Down Muse," by Claiborne Smith, July 29), I really can't understand what political designations such as "Republican" or "Democrat" have to do with poetry. Sure. It's all good. There are plenty of cliques within Dallas' poetry community, enough indeed to encompass and satisfy all comers. The new Lakewood group is, of course, welcome to the larger community, especially in light of recent national statistics that show Americans are reading less. The more who choose to express themselves in a literary way the better. Pretty obvious, eh?

However, the very same week your article appeared, something like 40 spoken-word poets from across the nation were set to gather at Deep Ellum's Club Clearview for an annual "slam-off," and especially among younger poets, the event stood as a much-anticipated windfall for local spoken-word artists. Given Dallas' respected reputation within this genre--the city is often at the top of the national heap--Dallas Observer could have done better than to slam the slammers. Whether or not slam poetry tends toward anger, it would be good to get information that it exists. The event, by the way, was won by a Dallas poet.

Gordon Hilgers

City That Doesn't Work

As long as we get there: Although Jim Schutze is my favorite writer at the Dallas Observer--and one I respect--I had a difficult time with his thinking on the Limited Government Corporation for downtown Dallas and the strong mayor movement ("Deal," July 29). I think Jim was too concerned with the method of getting there than the final product.

Our city doesn't work well anymore. The single-member district method of government did enhance the participation of citizens on a wider scale, but the negative is what we naysayers always said it would be. We have good people on our city council, but single-member districts force them to think about their district first rather than the city as a whole. Therefore, things don't always get done.

Jim and I both agree that downtown must be fixed if we are to compete with other cities in the country. We both agree that it is time for Dallas to move on to a strong-mayor form of government.

Charles T. Terrell

Ungrateful Wretch

Josh Venable is Dallas music: Regarding the letter written by the dick from Missouri: The last thing you want to do is be a non-Texan and write a letter to a DALLAS-based newspaper bashing one of Dallas' leading local band promoters (Letters, July 29). Smooth move. Obviously he didn't have any balls either, or he wouldn't have beaten around the bush but would've gone right out and said Josh Venable's name. As an avid listener of the Edge, I have to say Josh is my favorite because he is more about Dallas music than any DJ out there. Jeff from Missouri, DON'T BITE THE HAND THAT FEEDS YOU.

Sarah O'Rear

DART Riders From Hell

Yeah, you: There are always two sides to every story. I'm inquiring about "Damnable DART" (Letters, July 29) and "Dastardly DART" (July 15). The passengers who wrote these letters are most likely the ones who don't check schedules for changes, don't have exact change, stand behind the driver to show a pass or talk to the driver while the coach is in motion. They want to give DART a bad name. I have to wonder if this is because the majority of DART drivers are black. Also, you must be at the bus stop when the bus arrives--not standing under a tree two blocks off or stepping up to the stop just as the bus is arriving. I'm taking up for DART!

Pat Brackens