The prophet

The Dallas Observer should hereby tithe one fifth of the advertising spoils to Eric Celeste. After his May 25 column, "Misguided Muslims," we can be sure of one thing: Celeste is a prophet.

How else to account for his opening paragraph, where he states that he's "asking for trouble?" No sooner had the computer pixels for his column "dried" than DallasNOTNews.com informed its online mailing list that Celeste "demonstrates extreme bias/bigotry," militating for a new wave of outrage.

OK, it isn't quite prophecy--DallasNOTNews.com has a track record of knee-jerk reactions to any criticism of its monochromatic jihad (it means striving, folks--really--don't get up in arms) against the The Dallas Morning News. Ambiguity is forbidden, which is why DallasNOTNews.com, context be damned, has characterized Celeste's deathblow to its flimsy use of statistics as but another case of media villainy.

Hence Celeste's indeterminate phrase "proof of something, just not Morning News bias," which, when translated into "Goode vs. Eville" DallasNOTNews.com algebra becomes: "It appears that he agrees with the equations: Muslim equals Terrorist and Islam equals Terrorism."

DallasNOTNews.com is the last organization that should attempt math. If we, for argument's sake, accept their unstated premise that all major religions have the same uplifting effect on their adherents, and that it is always those who are acting contrary to "genuine" religious teachings who give religions their bad name, we still have to take into account the proportion of followers for each religion.

DallasNOTNews.com says in its shockingly myopic stats that "Extremist" is used in connection with the word "Jewish" 99 times, while it is used in connection with the word "Muslim" 214 times. Yet looking at the world population, there are several-fold more Muslims than Jews, by DallasNOTNews.com's "logic" disproportionately connecting Judaism with extremism...but, alas, that's forgetting the "more equal than others" theorem, which proves that whatever the One True Religion's consequences, any criticism thereof, however valid, is the equivalent of bigotry.

D. Lesser
Via e-mail

Seeing colors

I'm not some kind of "militant minority" or anything, but I do have to speak up this time. Since when has "brown" become an ethnicity? I've been at the Dallas Observer for almost a year now, and since I've been here, every time we print a story about Mexican-Americans, Puerto Ricans, Cubans, etc., we are called "brown." Just FYI...we are not all brown! We come in a wide range of skin tones. Don't get me wrong; I'm proud to be who I am, but I am Mexican-American--not brown!

Dana Escobar

English only

In reading through the article "Brown-out" (May 25), one paragraph did catch my eye: "One grievance, however, loomed above all others at Silberstein. The big beef: simmering frustration among many Spanish-speaking parents over the difficulty of communicating with English-speaking administrators and teachers."

My big question: Why can't the Spanish-speaking parents take the time and the effort to try to learn English? I do believe in preserving one's culture and customs, but if the Spanish speakers are going to work and live in this country, they should be able to write, read, and especially speak the primary language of the United States. Why should we bend over backward to accommodate?

John Phillips

The yellow ribbon

And the jar of urine goes to...Andy Timmons!

You people crack me up. You give an "award" to Andy Timmons (Dallas Observer Music Awards, April 20), then proceed to negate it using the inimitable Crain-Wilonsky "Too bad something this great sucks this hard" template of back-handed compliments. Why even bother mentioning him?

In terms of being too talented to succeed, Andy's currently over in Europe doing guitar clinics and playing with Simon Phillips, a drummer with a nose for other "unsuccessful" guitarists like Jeff Beck, Pete Townshend, Al DiMeola, and Jimmy Page. Stateside, he's the first-call session guitarist in the city when he's not touring with other national acts. I suspect he makes more playing around the world than you guys do writing snotty little screeds in a free local weekly.

And admittedly, Andy is a nice-looking guy. When Zac and Robert repeatedly use masturbation metaphors when writing about him, though, it does make me wonder. But hey, your secret is safe with me.

Via e-mail

A fine whine

Give me a damn break.

As a local artist who's worked on both sides of the fence, in galleries and selling my own paintings, the article you published today reminds me of the reason that the profession of "artist" is not one that garners much respect.