We can only hope
In reference to the April 15 Dallas Observer cover story "The fandom menace," I understand that high-tech employers are worried about the so-called "Star Wars flu," in which hundreds of thousands of fanatical Star Wars geeks plan to call in sick on May 16 just to sneak off and see the premiere. Any chance of anyone developing a lethal version of the flu, just so everyone else won't have to hear about the goddamned movie anymore?

Paul T. Riddell
Via e-mail

I cannot let your "in-depth" article on the Dallas Business Committee for the Arts ["Art attack," April 22] go without a response.

When the Dallas Times Herald went out of business, I was so glad that with the Dallas Observer at least we had another paper in town, even though it is so blatantly anti-Establishment.

With regard to the arts, and in fact all nonprofits, it is time for the realization that we are all in the "information revolution" whether we like it or not, and donors--whether companies, foundations, or individuals--are much more sophisticated than they were even 10 years ago. And although they all have a lot more dollars to give in these days of a roaring economy, they are not willing to give to helter-skelter, half-thought-out, or poorly organized groups that are doomed to failure.

Most of the people you interviewed for your article were crybabies who are looking for a handout and not viable "organizations," and our society today will simply not tolerate overage hippies.

If you can't realize the service the DBCA has performed by turning out 300 graduates of its program to populate various nonprofit boards and to try to get them to comply with the demands of the "marketplace" (today's wiser donors), then you are doing a disservice to your readers and to the arts groups who prefer to whine about the questionnaire rather than learn from it and qualify themselves for support.

Hopefully, you can understand these facts and convey them to your readers instead of picking at the budget of the DBCA.

Frank Ribelin

The Chick speaks
Your article ["What's not to like?" April 15] was a hooty-hoot hoot (I can be corny if I want to be), especially since no one is listening anymore. I was glad to see that my not-so-sweet comment about Michael [Corcoran] got a rise. He sure said a lot of mean things about us when we were just trying to be cool and make a living.

Anyway, I have no axe to grind; I am happy, and I have found love for the first time--yippee for me. Oh, and I love the band; I will always love that band.

Laura Lynch Tull
Via e-mail

Editor's note: Ms. Tull is the Dixie Chicks' former lead singer.

I found your editorial on the Dixie Chicks very harsh. Sometimes you do what you gotta do to get a deal. It's hard enough to get a deal, let alone keep the deal going.

Living in L.A., you meet and know many musicians who are struggling. We like to see someone get a piece of the pie. Its makes us believe that maybe we can get a piece of that pie too!

Maybe just playing music and getting paid decently is enough for the Erwin sisters. Remember, you don't know what kind of money they are actually seeing from all the record sales; just ask David Lee Roth how far in debt Van Halen was when they had sold more than a million units.

Come on--give them a break.
Cass Estes
Via e-mail

I was impressed by the debate about the newly popular Dixie Chicks. I have been following the Chicks for the last year; I have read every article about them and have gone to many of their concerts. Yes, the "old" Dixie Chicks did play on street corners in Dallas for a while, and they were very good at what they did. I think that they were bluegrass, and that doesn't appeal to many people anymore except the yeehaws who are older and refuse to let the bluegrass era die.

As we all know, there are many bluegrass groups, especially here in Texas. I haven't seen many bluegrass bands in the last few years come out and catch the public's eye like the "new" Chicks have. People can say that Natalie Maines has made the bluegrass (old) Chicks into the new country Spice Girls, but I strongly disagree. I don't see that the old Chicks have sold too many records. I think Natalie Maines has made the Chicks what they are now. I don't think that they are overrated at all--they are the real deal. Emily and Martie can definitely rip it up on their instruments, and they always have been able to. They just needed someone that had a lot of energy, someone that made them a little different. That someone is Natalie Maines.

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