The gentle Billy Jack: I'm really surprised that a war has broken out between the Dallas Observer, Billy Jack Ludwig and Ms. Biederman (Letters, March 28) over the Observer's unfortunate use of the term "goofball." Apparently, the Observer is jealous because Billy Jack has enjoyed many juicy kisses with our esteemed mayor while the Observer has trouble getting its calls returned. Billy Jack, obviously, is an insider with pull.
The Observer should remember that it was Billy Jack Ludwig who first suggested having the police department purchase an army tank to combat crime in South Dallas. The Dallas police, knowing a good suggestion when they heard one, quickly purchased an armored personnel carrier. Billy Jack is a man of ideas.
As for the leadership at City Hall, Billy Jack is on record that he would replace incompetent minorities like the police chief and the city manager. Billy Jack is not afraid of the hard decisions.
Too, there is a gentle and loving side to Mr. Ludwig. Your own paper recently reported that Billy Jack was very complimentary of Oriental women and their petite builds. No detail goes unnoticed, and Billy Jack knows how to charm the voters.
Billy Jack would definitely bring a new, no-holds-barred approach to City Hall. But this warfare has gone too far, and I hope that the Observer and Billy Jack will find peace. I'm sure that Billy Jack will forgive your use of the words goofball and bigot and that Billy Jack regrets calling your reporter a bitch and a whore. Gosh, I feel better now, how about you?
Richard E. Finlan
Honest assessment: Enough verbiage about Ron Kirk being black ("Selling Ron Kirk," March 7). How about an honest assessment of his history as mayor of Dallas? Lots of folks think he was awful--regardless of what he overcame personally.
The Dallas school system is in scandalous condition. The Dallas police are not a happy crew--underpaid and nationally noted for scandal. Kirk looked good in a tux, glad-handing the promoters and high rollers and turning a blind eye to our police chief's ineptitude.
We have an enormous deficit in our city budget and a bridge to nowhere. Big dreams and potholes. His constant whining about the Olympics--another of his "dreams" that would have put this city in deeper debt--was for his ego, not the good of the city.
He's black, so what? He's another ambitious politician who left a city with no solid accomplishments. Sending him to Washington is better than having him here; however, he might even carry his brand of inefficiency to a higher level and cost us more.
Pissy review: I've been a longtime reader of the Dallas Observer, probably in excess of 20 years. I am a professional writer, endowed with an above-average--well above--IQ and the father of three working artists. I go as often as possible to the DMA and often find it too repetitive but well worth each visit.
Christine Biederman's "review" of the show at the DMA ("Butt Nekkid," March 28) is downright goofy--it would probably be offensive if it made any sense. It is a grand piece of self-delusional, pseudo-intellectual bullshit. She misses two important premises of art: 1) Be extremely grateful if you are an artist lucky enough to have benefactors, and 2) Using a lot of smart phrases will not necessarily make people think you are smart.
In raising my sons to appreciate art, I attended any number of showings and galleries. Here is what I have found. At one show for all the talented high school artists, my sons had some work shown. Their teacher, a Mrs. Murphy, who told the emperor that he was naked, laughed aloud when the "judges" awarded the "Best of Show" award to a kid who had wadded up a bunch of silver-backed tape. It was artwork that any 6-year-old could have done if given a wad of tape and five minutes. They called that "innovative and stimulating." Mrs. Murphy, after the guffaw, announced that her students, who had done some really good pieces, would not be coming back.
I recently viewed a show in Deep Ellum wherein one of the pieces was a chair with a cloth draped over the back. Every day when I come home tired and throw my dirty shirt on the chair in the living room, I'm glad to say that I've discovered I'm not messy, I'm an artist.
Andres Serrano pissed in a bottle and put in a cross and called it art, and people, evidently of Ms. Biederman's ilk, became very upset when those nasty, old, ill-informed congressmen threatened to cut off funding to the NEA. I don't understand the fuss. I create that art every time I have a medical checkup or a drug test. And if I've had two or three cold beers, it takes very little effort.
So, here comes Biederman absolutely assaulting a public institution because the show did not suit her tastes and because it has some generous benefactors but always could use more funds. Just think, Christine, they might be left a huge fortune and get to bring a wad of tape or a chair with cloth or even a grand bottle of piss here. It was silly.