Jesus, the pope and Bono: Are you serious with this article? ("World Leader Pretend," by Joe Watson, April 21.) This is the most out-of-line piece of crap point of view I have ever read in my entire life. You can make fun of Bono and the boys for a number of different things, but to make fun of Bono's attempt to try and relieve Third World debt and to try and fix the AIDS in Africa problem makes no sense to me at all. The reason why the band goes four years between albums/tours is because Bono is OUT THERE TRYING TO MAKE A DIFFERENCE!!! He's traveling the world, meeting with heavy hitters and TRYING TO MAKE A DIFFERENCE!!! I'm not sure what you're trying to accomplish by writing such an article, but why don't you look in the mirror and TRY TO MAKE A DIFFERENCE YOURSELF??? You could teach a monkey how to write an article more productive than this one. You should be ashamed of yourself.
West Newton, Massachusetts
Educating the next generation: Take your article and shove it up your ass!!! Who at the Dallas Observer hired Joe Watson? Where does Joe get off saying that U2 is irrelevant and a sell-out? Joe is an idiot! He obviously didn't do his homework before he wrote this article. Every U2 fan thought at first that U2 sold out when the "Vertigo"/iPod commercial was released way back in the fall, but we found out soon after that this wasn't the case. All U2 fans know that the guys from Dublin did the commercial for free! You can't blame a band for trying to promote their music, and the way they did it was brilliant! I'm a teacher of middle school-aged students, and I try to get as many young people as possible interested in U2's music, but in the past I've never seemed to get them interested until now. This year I have had the most success, and I can thank the iPod commercial for making it happen. It's not "Who is U2?" But it's now "That 'Vertigo' commercial is cool!" and "I bought U2's album!" Students went from making fun of them to respecting them.
Also, since most of my students watch MTV or BET, they don't get to see U2. That commercial was a way to get the attention of a younger audience in all areas. U2 is a very smart band. They dearly love their older fans, but they know if they are going to continue to have sold-out shows, they have to attract new people. Isn't that what every band wants? Doesn't every band want a way to get their music out to the public? If Joe were smart, he would recognize this as another form of promotion.
Now about U2 being irrelevant today is just totally stupid. At first I was just a casual fan of U2 back during the '80s and '90s, but now I can say that I am an obsessed fan because of seeing them live for the first time on November 25, 2001, here in Dallas. That night forever changed my life. Not only did they remove this dark cloud that was hanging over me after the 9-11 attacks, but they helped me get through my mom's death in 2002. Also, Bono has positively helped me change my mind about people in Africa. Every human being does deserve a right to clean water, education and a right to trade goods. If America and other countries help make this happen, what's wrong with that? So, U2 and Bono are relevant to my life and to other people's lives. If I had never gotten that U2 ticket back in 2001, my life would have been a little bit sad, dull and boring.
Doing good and doing well: OK, my question is how is U2 selling out? Sure, they have their own iPod, but did you know they didn't take any money for it? And yes, Bono has become a worldly figure, an icon, a hero, but genuinely so. Bono doesn't just talk the talk, he walks the walks. He fights for those in need, rallies for an end of extreme poverty, an increase in relief. Tell me, how is that bad? How could you possibly use that against a person? Where do you get off calling U2 sell-outs for doing good and insinuating Bono only helps others for his own popularity? U2 probably does more good deeds than you ever will, and it's not because they want the image--it is because they want to make the world a better place.
Sweet sewer memories: Thank you for bringing back my memories of exploring the storm drains around Truett Elementary School and the creek that runs along the railroad tracks near Casa Linda ("Raiders of the Lost Toilet Factory," by Rick Kennedy, April 14). As a preteen, I loved those explorations, alone and with friends. I still like checking out closed buildings, if access is easy. It's nice to know others are as curious.
The Last Record Store
Bummed about Bill's: I was at a local pub I frequent and was flipping through the Dallas Observer when I came across Sarah Hepola's article about Bill's Records (Across the Bar, April 14). I almost started crying because of all the memories that came flooding in. I'm 35 years old, and in the late 1980s when I was still a teen, the radio station The Edge first came to town. They used to play cool and rare music, and they also advertised for Bill's Records. Back then, Bill's was the only place to get "alternative" type music. Today, though, I must admit I'm part of the demise of Bill's Records; you can purchase most stuff on the Internet. Another bit of modern shame is that I don't even listen to local radio...I have satellite radio in my car. Nothing can ever replace walking around an old record store with stacks of vinyl around. Call it "the last record store."
Christopher C. Black