PTA split
The Dallas Council of PTAs (DCPTA) board of managers voted not to support the districtwide Sirota survey ["Trojan horse," November 12] based on its belief that the survey would promote a voucher system and that the survey would not be owned by the district but by the Sirota Co. of New York. Both of these assumptions are false. The purpose of the survey is to identify Dallas public schools' weaknesses and strengths, and the school board has reserved the right to decide how the results are used.

The board of managers' position on the survey was not representative of the entire council or of individual campus PTAs. In fact, last April the general Dallas council membership decided to table a vote on whether to support the survey.

The Woodrow Wilson High PTA and many other individual PTAs have enthusiastically supported this survey. Surveys have been distributed to all Woodrow Wilson parents, students, teachers, and administrators.

The Woodrow Wilson PTA did not walk away from an opportunity to play a role in the education of the city's next generation.

Kathy Glenn
Woodrow Wilson PTA president
Ella Ronney and Trish Willingham
Woodrow Wilson DCPTA delegates

Gothic horror
Ah yes, at least some people realize that what Goth ["The road to hell," November 19] is about is looking great and listening to some great music. Too bad that gets translated, all too often, into looking bad and listening to whatever comes on. A great article.

Maya Blake
Via e-mail

I'm 30, and I'm what I call a "fully recovered Goth," not that I had anything to recover from except being a kid who didn't see any justice in the world. I have to agree with the attitude of your article, and I'm glad to see someone else say it, especially in Dallas, that these young Mansonites don't have a clue what true Goth was all about. It was a scene for the artistic and those with expanded imaginations. It was about literature and music, fashion and fancy. Nowadays people just don't get it, and it is upsetting, especially when the day comes when you have to turn in your black attire and shrug off the melancholy yet beautifully fanciful life you were living to put on a tie and hit the daily grind.

Thanks a million for the article. It shows me that somehow there is still poetic justice, and all the times that the Dallas and Irving police harassed me because I was dressed in black or because I had on my leather, now this poor screwed-up generation is really gonna give them something to worry about. Yes, you will find that more people whom we considered the typical jock-asshole who used to beat us up because we were different are now the ones trying to be "cool" and doing it horribly. These are your real vandals and criminals. We old Goths were passive, thus we wanted a fantasy world away from the violence and injustice of the world. The modern version of this scene is much different, and they will not be pushed.

Via e-mail

Newman's own
Robert Wilonsky's piece about Randy Newman ["Maybe he's doing it wrong," November 5] was an outstanding tribute to one of the finest American songwriter-composers of the 20th century.

Jim Morin
Via e-mail

The article on Randy Newman was truly excellent as well as tremendously overdue. I am a long-term fan and still learned a great deal from reading it. Randy has fulfilled the idea of pop music as literature in a way that others have only threatened to. Perhaps as we grow and tire of the commodities of our culture, we will look back to find and cherish the culture that has been created in the shadows of our mini-megamalls. Without articles such as this one, we may not know where to look. Thank you.

Bruno Coon
Via e-mail

Easygoing George Bush
What a pleasant surprise to see a piece of political journalism that allows the reader to see a side of the incumbent juggernaut ["Bush's free ride," October 29] that seems to evade deserved scrutiny. I am referring to Bush's oil-company dealings in the Persian Gulf and his failed attempt at real tax reform.

On the subject of tax reform, which is one of the political platforms of Governor Bush, it will be of great interest to Texas homeowners to see this cut in property tax for which he takes credit. An immediate family member of mine paid $3,500 in property taxes last year. She lives in a small two-bedroom house in an almost, but not quite, affluent neighborhood. The politicians can boast with their figures, statistics, graphs, and charts, but what it all comes down to is my (and your) immediate family member. Will she get a break on property taxes this year? She didn't last year, but that's not what we were led to believe.

Brent Lampl
Via e-mail

To Wilonsky with love
I've found myself in a quandary over the recent "generic" Robert Wilonsky complaints. First I must admit to fleeting desires of my own to sometimes pen a note to Mr. Wilonsky pondering something along the lines of "why ya gotta be so meeeeeean?" There was the time he disparaged sweet Tori Amos, and, oh, the many times he's taken a dim view of the amiable Pearl Jam boys and so many others I love. The problem is that I tend to cringe and giggle my way through many a Wilonsky review. He may be berating and demeaning my favorite musical ensembles, but dammit if I don't enjoy it. Fact is, Wilonsky is a damn good writer and an exceptionally funny one. Who cares if he doesn't love the bands you do? You have to admit you've probably laughed your way through the pain. But most important, how can you get mad at a man who loves the Replacements? I mean, deep down, don't we all just want to be Paul Westerberg's "Darlin' One"?

Via e-mail

That Robert Wilonsky is such an idiot! He doesn't think My Favorite Band is as good as I think they are. How can he not like them? He's obviously biased and has a personal vendetta against My Favorite Band, and I believe that Robert Wilonsky should be removed from his position reviewing music because he doesn't share my band's "vision" and "genius." Does it matter that Mr. Wilonsky writes well or clearly understands what he's writing about? No! He doesn't like Ben Folds Five, Pearl Jam, Phish, and My Favorite Band, and he writes negative reviews about them. The insanity of that deviant Wilonsky--how can the Observer put up with it? Now don't tell anyone, but I think that Mr. Wilonsky is a Communist, pervert, pot-smoker, child molester, or some sort of other foreign menace. How else could he purposely write such slander week after week without publicly acknowledging his crimes? Wake up, Dallas! You are all a bunch of hyper-sensitive nimrods that can't accept the fact that there are people who don't like your favorite band. While you may not like his opinion, you should respect his opinion and not scream for his head or attempt to drag him to the guillotine for the outrage of not being a press release for Your Heroes.

Yuval Weber
Via e-mail

I have read with interest the disparaging comments cast at your music editor in the last few issues. I can only say bravo for your return, Wilonsky! I breathlessly rush to pick up each issue solely to see if this time it will be me you piss off with the arrogant tone of your opinions. Despite not agreeing with you most of the time, I find your articles and reviews well-written, informative, and damn hilarious. I only wish I could antagonize so many people with my opinions at one time as you are capable of doing. Trash on, sir. The Dallas edition of the "I Hate Wilonsky" fan club really missed you! And I only say that with the most sincere appreciation.

Evan C.
Via e-mail

Editor's note: Robert Wilonsky's family is gathering in town for Thanksgiving, so we thought we'd give him a break from the usual hate mail.

Jean, get a life
I am sorry for Jean Oppenheimer. She wasted three hours of her life and didn't get a clue what she was looking at. Meet Joe Black ["Death rattle," November 12] is the ultimate love story of the past 20 years. I haven't seen the original (and she might be right; it could be better), but every minute, every moment of this movie is pure passion, love, and tragedy.

Brad Pitt and Claire Forlani--what to say--if anybody could experience one, just one touch that they perform on the screen, it would be enough. This is definitely a must-see.

Everybody will forget the review. But nobody can forget this movie. Ever.
Miro Halas
Via e-mail

I found Meet Joe Black to be an exhilarating, romantic film. I have to say, I would sit for three hours any day to see Brad Pitt's performance in this movie. I loved the movie, and I left the theater feeling very satisfied with the film.

Leigh Blake
Via e-mail

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