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Legal Upchucking
This is in reference to Christine Biederman's article on the Michael Irvin-Erik Williams-Nina Shahravan-Marty Griffin imbroglio ["Payback time," August 21]. Excellent article, well-researched with solid background work. This is much better than anything from the fluffy one-size-fits-all approach of your crosstown behemoth rival, The Dallas Morning News.

The ugly, grainy underbelly of law practice is nauseating to read about, but is necessary at the same time to keep the warring parties in line. There are no winners and losers here, just armed camps with agendas that eventually boil down to the pursuit of fame and the almighty dollar.

Keep up the good work. I have been a fan of the Dallas Observer since it came out, and I like your aggressive style and journalistic integrity in disclosing your affiliations with subjects in your stories.

Ramesh Pillutla
Via Internet

Critic barf
I know that Peter Rainer is only a syndicated movie critic, but it still sucks that his reviews get printed in the Observer. One of his complaints about She's So Lovely ["Women under the influence," August 28] was that Sean Penn's character "killed somebody, and he's STILL being propped up as a love-struck saint."

It's one thing to worry about important details that actually exist, but quite another to come down on a movie for something that doesn't happen. As one of the mental health attendants says, "He NEARLY killed one of our employees." Rainer is nearly a worthless critic.

Rhys Southan

Ethical puke
Did you deliberately omit part of the last sentence at the very end of the story on Judge John Marshall ["Bad judgment," August 21]? The last sentence in which John Bickel, the "lawyer" who was granted a summary judgment of $875,000 by the judge is quoted as saying, "To be honest [sic], the good judges I want to keep. They sacrifice to be a judge. They can make a lot more money in private practice, but they give that up to be public servants. If you can do something small for them every once in a while [like sending one of his female paralegals to meet privately in the judge's chambers numerous times; tickets to the Cowboys games in his firm's luxury box complete with limousines to pick up the judge and drive him home or parking passes; having one of his paralegals deliver a $250 wristwatch to one of the judge's employees six days before the judge issued his summary judgment--and the same paralegal agrees to pay the judge $1,500 for a catamaran sailboat the judge had been trying for more than a year to sell], I don't see anything wrong with that, I don't see it as anything more than a favor for a hard-working public official." Are you SURE he didn't end it with "especially while he's the judge in an active case you have before him. All good lawyers do it."?

Name Withheld

Stern rebukes
I just read your brief article with Jimmy Fowler's opinion on Howard Stern ["Love! Valor! Silence!" Street Beat, August 14]. Fowler is on the money. The Stern show recycled the same jokes for years. Admittedly, Howard is a quick-witted guy, but as far as creativity goes, his show was lame. I got bored really quickly when all they would cuss about was how bad everything sucks. Yeah, that's real clever.

It's so funny how Howard fans think there is some religious conspiracy going on. They never considered the idea that maybe the new owners of the Eagle thought the show was weak and lacked any class. There's more to life than money, and maybe they realized that. Who knows?

Danny Carlton
Via Internet

Jimmy Fowler is right on--Howard Stern is a moron, only he forgot to mention Stern's worst offense. He and his cast of idiots are boring as hell. The few times I accidentally happened upon his show, I felt about as entertained as a blind guy at a titty bar. He comes across as the kind of self-promoting scumbag who would sell jars of his own urine if he could just find someone to package, market, and distribute them.

Fowler is also right about another thing--The Simpsons and The Larry Sanders Show are the real gatekeepers of the '90s subversive pop culture slaughterhouse. (As far as the '80s went, all that registers are the novel Money by Martin Amis, and the album Tacky Souvenirs From Past Revolutionary America by the Houston band Culturcide--but that was a long time ago, and they obviously didn't do enough good. I mean, look--people still actually think Howard Stern is some kind of genius)

It amazes me that the Sanders show has been on the air for six years and so few people have seen it. (If anyone is wondering what in the hell I'm doing in Los Angeles, I'm dealing with people like the ones portrayed on The Larry Sanders Show on a daily basis--the show is the only respite). Even though I don't really spend that much time in Dallas anymore, I'm glad Howard Stern got the heave-ho. What ever happened to turning on your radio and actually hearing some music? Or is promoting boredom and stupidity the only thing worth fighting for anymore?

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