Sometimes Buzz marvels at what life in Dallas has done to its citizens. Last week, a seemingly bright, articulate woman called with a question. "I've called everywhere--city and county--and no one seems to be able to give me an answer," she said. "So, I thought I'd call the Observer."
Well, gosh, we said, that's what we're here for.
"I'm going to start a newsletter, and I wondered: Where do I get a permit or a license for it?"
The question stunned Buzz for a second before we ventured a guess that she was pretty well covered by the First Amendment to the United States Constitution. Licensing newspapers is a totalitarian concept that hasn't, as yet, caught on in Dallas, we explained. So, ma'am, just do it.
Where to begin?
When the Rev. Zan Holmes, pastor of St. Luke Community United Methodist Church, was recently invited to speak to the overwhelmingly white, St. Michael And All Angels Episcopal during a Lenten service, he accepted written questions from the congregation. The most popular query boiled down to: "Help us to understand John Wiley Price."
A sign outside Trinity Baptist Church in North Arlington carries the following tasteless inspirational spin on the recent rash of wildfires: "Are you on fire for God or just blowing smoke?"
This dog won't hunt
Like Buzz always says, "A stolen quote ain't worth a pitcher of warm spit."
So we're baffled over a war of words being declared by Mike Howard, author of Texas Is, on Kirk Dooley and Texas Tech University Press.
Howard says Dooley stole some of his words--well, actually not his words, but the words of celebrities from whom he obtained quotes for Texas Is, his Texas Sesquicentennial celebration book. Dooley, who reprinted the allegedly purloined words--in his own book, Read My Lips, a collection of "classic Texas political quotes"--credited Texas Is. But he didn't get Howard's advance permission or, ahem, pay him.
Had he been asked, Howard says, he likely would have granted permission: "Up until I saw the cheesy way he used them, I would have." Now he wants $1,000 for the quotes of Red Adair, Joe Bob Briggs, Dan Aykroyd, Bill Clements, and four other Texas-lovin' coasters.
Dooley argues his appropriation is covered under the legal principle of fair use. Besides, he says, "We don't think the words belong to him. They belong to the people who wrote them."
Confusing Buzz further, the victim of the alleged theft isn't Howard--but a Mark Holbrook--Howard's pen name. Howard--or is it Holbrook?--is looking for a lawyer and a sympathetic judge.
Of course, confusion over stealing from a Texas Sesquicentennial book is appropriate, since Texans stole the whole damn state from Mexico.
Buzz us at 757-8439 (voice), 757-8593 (fax), or via the Internet at [email protected], or write to us at Buzz, Dallas Observer, P.O. Box 190289, Dallas,