Letters

Join the Moderates
The dilemma of ethnic and racial diversity is a valid discussion for any news media organization [News, "Seeds of Trouble, Part II," by Tim Fleck, September 15]. We must become a more multiculturally inclusive nation, and further efforts to accomplish this most mandatory task are to be encouraged. Perhaps the Houston Chronicle should be questioned for highlighting South African blacks in tribal dress over those of a more urbane and sophisticated demeanor. There is also much to criticize regarding the dubious focusing on a certain affluent class as the virtual sole representation of an alleged high society.

Wayne Metz, though, fails to make an adequate case against the Chronicle for its handling of ÒSeeds of Trouble." Contrary to his oversensitive response, it is indeed good journalism to publish articles concerning the disproportionate violence and felonious street crime committed by an underclass segment located in our Third and Fifth wards. The latter's criminal element's primary victims are their own Afro-American neighbors. It must be conceded that white majority racism may very well indeed be a major contributing factor to the defeatist and nihilistic mindset of so many of that community's young. Nevertheless, the problem must be honestly confronted and not evaded through the illogical underpinnings of political correctness. Wayne Metz should stop indulging in self-righteous rhetoric and join the more moderate of us who desire to address this crisis in a more non-ideological and balanced manner.

David Thomson
Houston

Oxymoronic
Yeah, yeah, "television journalism" is an oxymoron, and television journalists are just plain morons ["Changing Channels," by D.J. Wilson, September 8]. Stiffs and slime in the ice machine, a bunch of self-important schleps who barge in and stick a microphone in somebody's face and think they've done their job. Even if goofballs like Marvin Zindler do admit they aren't journalists, a lot of viewers think they're watching journalism, and that is just plain dangerous. But the truth is, there hasn't been a compelling reason to watch the locals since The Weather Channel went on the air.

Lee Sullivan
Houston

Diversity or Perversity?
Congratulations to Tim Fleck for such a wonderful and insightful article on the Houston Chronicle's "journalistic cultural diversity" [News, September 15].

I should also like to publicly thank Wayne Metz for having the guts to put "principle over paycheck" and exposing diversity at the Houston Chronicle for what it is and always has been -- perversity.

Houston's Fifth Ward has forever seemed hopeless in the eyes of "award-winning" reporters at the Houston Chronicle. Most of their vision and expertise, however, is the collective result of reading what was previously written and driving the Eastex Freeway or Interstate 10.

To the contrary, there are many, many youngsters in the Fifth Ward who, despite their many struggles, are not "seeds of trouble." Simply put, their stories never get told in the Houston Chronicle, and no diversity audit is likely to change that.

At least, not until the voice of Wayne Metz becomes loud enough to shatter the "cracker glasses" through which the Houston Chronicle views the Fifth Ward.

Harold V. Dutton Jr.
Houston

Editor's note: Dutton is a state representative whose district includes the Fifth Ward.

Sweating to the Zydeco
Thanks to David Theis for calling my attention to the plight of Doris McClendon and the Continental Zydeco Lounge [News, "Zydeco Blues," September 8]. The Zydeco Lounge is one of Houston's few remaining musical and cultural landmarks, and a bit of our heritage that deserves our protection and support. Please encourage your readers to skip the aerobics classes and the stair-climbers one night and exercise their muscles, as well as their senses, on the Zydeco Lounge's dance floor for a total body workout.

Margaret Gorman
Houston

Directions, Please
I enjoyed David Theis' article on Houston's Continental Zydeco Lounge [News, September 8]. As stated, it would be a shame to see the local landmark have to close its doors. The CZL's popularity could have been bolstered if the address and/or directions to the CZL would have been included in this piece. I also saw no listing for the CZL in your music section.

Reginald Burns
Houston

Listen, Idiot
Normally I don't respond to music criticism, but Chris Smith's ignorant attempts at reviewing Dry Nod's performance at Emo's [Live Shots, September 15] demands a response.

His first complaint is "art." First, music is art. I don't care if it's fucking Hammer! It's art! The question is, is it good art or bad art? Perhaps what he meant was that Dry Nod were "pretentious." His examples of the pretentiousness of Dry Nod are their backdrop and use of a French horn. The backdrop (an instructional sign language poster with "diarrhea," et al) was, try to grasp this Mr. Smith, a joke! The second example makes no sense. Smith says the French horn was "out of place," then in the same sentence says, "I couldn't hear the thing." Please explain how one can judge the interaction of one instrument with others if that instrument cannot be heard.

Next he mentions "Indie Principles." This term means nothing! He cites a vacuous stage presence and a suitably droning sound as examples of this non-term. The former could apply to someone watching a Miles Davis show instead of listening. The question of stage presence is moot.What should be considered is the music's presence.

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