Bait and switch: Jim Schutze's article ("Spanish Fly, December 18) overlooked the fact that building a suspension bridge across a storm sewer will greatly facilitate access to Ray's Hardware and Sporting Goods on Singleton Boulevard--the best little gun store in town--plus make Dallas the laughingstock of the American Society of Civil Engineers.

He's dead-on. This misbegotten contraption is meant to be a consolation prize for what we voted for--a real town lake, a usable park and the boulevards along the riverside. The bridge distracts us from the fact that the Trinity project is very much about building a tollway in a floodplain, and precious little about anything else.

James Northrup

Devoted reader?: I'm enraged. I enjoyed reading the article, but it's a little too much a little too late. When the facts are stated after the fact, it's like beating a body way after it's dead. Where was the story about bringing the community together to fight against this so-called rape of Dallas? Your stories are always too late. Produce a paper that's proactive about bringing people to politics rather than politicking after the other side has already won, or at least direct us to sites, information that will lead us to fight our communities' battles. You're quirky and funny, and I enjoy your stories, but I expect more. It's an insult to assume your readers are inept at making changes before changes have already been made for them.

Cristela Salinas

Editor's note: We invite you to visit our online archives at www.dallasobserver.com and read "Flood Money," Schutze's January 22, 1998, article on the Trinity project. The referendum on the project took place in May 1998.

Hang Up

Cell block: Thank you so much for your words about the asshole with the cell phone in the theater ("Open Toad," by Elaine Liner, December 18). Just last Friday I made a woman cry whose cell phone went off four times during Santaland. It's really getting ridiculous. If you can't go for two hours without getting a call, you're far too important to be at the theater in the first place.

Nye Cooper
Via e-mail


Too much info: I have just read three film reviews by Robert Wilonsky in your November 27 issue and am horribly upset. The first was Bad Santa, which blew in the way that most reviews do, in that half of it just took you step by step through the plot. It pointed out jokes, lines, characters and situations to the point that I might as well skip the film. It also gave away the fact that the movie does not end happily, which I am glad of, but would have preferred to find out myself. I saw no analysis of filmmaking or acting in this article, just a vague description of its tone and countless spoilers of punch lines. How dare you rob us of so much of the movie's pleasures? This is poor writing as well as reviewing and just flat-out shitty journalistic aptitude. Thanks for nothing but making me enjoy the film less. But wait. The most detestable news is yet to come. Being one who can forgive and forget, I gave the next review a chance. 21 Grams: Again, how dare you have the audacity to assume that just because a popular movie has been out for a month or two that we are all privy to its ending, you presumptuous, arrogant shit. I cry for any poor soul who reads your review without having seen Mystic River. Never mind that you completely missed the point of this beautiful, gut-wrenching film (it aims for the soul, for those of us who have them). You outright gave away the tremendous climax of a film without a hint of warning. The Missing review was equally terrible, barely mentioning anything of the film besides giving away more exciting incidents and talking about what happened in other movies. Curse you all for the worst reviews I have ever seen in an otherwise great periodical. How hard is it, critics? You have dream jobs where you are paid to watch movies and talk about them and give those of us who trust in your educated opinions a heads-up. I could stop reading reviews, but that wouldn't stop you from all the ignorant bullroar you mercilessly spread. I enjoy reading about films, whether it gets me excited or not for the cinematic experience ahead. And that's just what it is, my experience. I plead with you, do not deprive me of such joy and hope in future reviews.

Jeremy W. Porter

Attitude Adjustment

Welcome: It's only been two articles, but I've got to say I enjoy [new Music Editor] Sarah Hepola's attitude about the Dallas music scene a lot more than Zac Crain's. I can't think of one time Zac ever gave a band a good review, except when he reversed himself on South FM after MCA signed them. (Way to stick to your guns, man! Someone gets signed, then all of a sudden you like them--how lame.) At least Sarah seems to have some optimism about the Dallas scene. Being in a band that plays in Deep Ellum on a semiregular basis, I know how easy it is to get caught up in the cynical point of view about the Dallas music scene. But the whole point of being a part of the music scene is to enjoy it and have fun--not bitch and moan about how this place/band sucks. Sure, there's a lot of crap bands out there, but there's a few good ones, too, and they're worth every penny of the cover charge. Dallas has always produced bands that have gone on to the national level. Some of the ones playing in Deep Ellum right now have the potential. So please, don't let the cynics drag you down. You'll have the last laugh when a band you saw at Dada or Clearview is selling out Smirnoff and has a highly requested video on MTV. Keep up the good work!

Dan Thomas

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