Letters

Too Mean to BiBi
Steve Brodner's mean-spirited cartoon [June 13] is a vicious misrepresentation of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and has no basis in reality. Since his election in May, Mr. Netanyahu has repeatedly declared his commitment to pursuing peace while ensuring security for Israeli citizens. While his approach is different from that of his predecessor's, his goal is the same. Israel's democratically elected leader has said he will continue to advance his people's support for the peace process even in the face of murderous terrorist attacks against them. Let's give him a chance.

Karen Susman
Southwest regional board chairman
Anti-Defamation League
Houston

Relax and Transmigrate
I guess being blasted by the reviewer from the Press is better than being ignored, but I must protest Megan Halverson's using her own words to describe the ending to my play [Theater, June 27]. The denouement of "Transmigration of Existence" is not, as she suggests, "it was all just a dream." As this play is about what happens to a woman when confronted with the possibility of death, the ending suggested by Halverson would indeed make the audience feel cheated. Fortunately, that is not the ending I wrote. In fact, during the production at the Absolute Theater, the nurse simply states, "The reports were wrong."

Also, the character Veronica does not have cancer. She has "dysplastic cells," which are detected in a routine exam. What is discovered by the "almost doctors" during a colposcopic procedure is actually never mentioned. Ms. Halverson's review reflects her own interpretation of what was deliberately left to the audience's imagination and cultural bias.

"Transmigration" in the title of my play refers to the appearance on stage of the Tibetan Wheel of Life. Throughout the play, this alternative view of life, and death, is explained through the character Angel, yet remains unseen or realized by Veronica (and obviously by Ms. Halverson, as well). Veronica is limited to utilizing the medical profession and Judeo-Christian belief system to stay her rising panic as she journeys toward an imagined death.

I want to thank Ms. Halverson, however, for explaining to me, and other readers of the Press, just what good theater is. Her advice that the Absolute Theater stick to producing plays written only by dead white men will ensure that the sensibilities of Houston audiences remain unthreatened. It will also guarantee that women playwrights never have an opportunity to emerge and develop their craft through actual productions. Presenting contemporary issues dressed up in dramatic clothing is, indeed, a dangerous precedent. This should not be allowed to occur at any cost.

Elizabeth Gilbert
Houston

Editor's note: That's not quite the "advice" that Halverson offered in her review. Besides, Harold Pinter is a live white male, or at least he was the last time we checked the Wheel of Life.

Too Much to Stomach
Talk about bad foundations! It was your cover story on David Weekley ["Slab O' Trouble," by Bob Burtman, June 27] that lacked a foundation.

Where do you get your story ideas? Did your reporter wake up one morning and say to himself, "Gee, I think I'll go out today and pick out one lawsuit out of the hundreds of thousands that are filed in Texas every year? Then I'll tell only one side of the story to try and convict the company, without even telling all the facts."

"Verdict first, trial later" is not a good motto for serious journalism, much less the kind of yellow journalism practiced at the Press. And how convenient that Weekley Homes was singled out for this treatment, given the fact that Richard Weekley, David Weekley's brother, is involved in civil justice reform. A cynical person might suspect that it was the plaintiff's lawyers who put your paper up to this story, trying to discredit the highly successful tort reform movement. I'm sure the fact that you have some prominent advertising by plaintiff's lawyers in your paper is pure coincidence. The financial benefit you receive does not qualify as a conflict of interest in your rule book. I suspect the Press doesn't have an employee handbook called "Commitment to Excellence," but Weekley Homes does.

Since you will not print a response nearly as long as your "hit piece" on David Weekley, it is impossible to address each one of the errors and omissions in your article. Did your reporter ask himself, "If this company and its founder are as bad as is portrayed, how could they have possibly been in business for more than 20 years? How could it win virtually every major award possible in their industry? How could Fortune feature it as one of the finest quality companies in the world, along with Pepsi-Cola, Saturn and British Airways?" I have worked at the southwest bureau of a reputable national business magazine, so I know if you don't have a hook, you don't have a story. In the case of the Press, if you can't do a slam job, you don't have a story.

It is usually easy for us readers to laugh off your paper's flagrant antibusiness bias while we are on our way to the only part of your paper worth reading, the restaurant and movie coverage. But your personal attack on one of Houston's outstanding citizens and the company he founded, which employs hundreds of Texans, is just too much to stomach. I have known David Weekley since I was 12 years old and know him to be honest, sincere, caring, a wonderful husband and father and a role-model citizen. David gives back to the community that has enabled him to become a success. The Boy Scouts and Star of Hope Mission are just two of the many organizations to which David gives many hours of his time. How sad that the eight-year-old girl in your story is being taught by her parents to "despise" someone she doesn't know, and because of a business dispute.

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