Letters

Good Work
Just read your article on the Rodney Ellis verbal gaffes [Insider, "The Rodney and Lenoria Show," April 30].

Keep up the good work.
Christopher Robey
via Internet

Racist Whinings
In regard to Russell Contreras's biased article on the University of Houston's Frontier Fiesta ["Frontier Fiesta," April 30]: I've read his racist whinings in The Daily Cougar for years; now it looks as though he's got a new, bigger soapbox. Oh well.

John Pamamidy
via Internet

Special-Interest Greed
With regard to Russell Contreras's Frontier Fiesta story on April 30, 1998: He doesn't have his history facts about Frontier Fiesta completely correct, but who should be surprised? He probably gathered his facts from the Dean of Students Office, the Alumni Office or the Athletic Office.

First of all, in 1959, the University of Houston was a private institution, and the Texas Legislature had no say-so as to how it was run. For what it is worth, the Frontier Fiesta Gazette was a satire published once a year for Frontier Fiesta. If Contreras had looked in a 1959 U of H yearbook, he would have found Mexican-Americans attending the University of Houston and seen that they participated in Frontier Fiesta. Back in 1959, no one felt the need for ethnic-based organizations. If he had done a little more investigation, Contreras would have discovered that the real reason for the demise of the "old" Frontier Fiesta was old-fashioned greed! Sure, there were certain students who "majored" in Frontier Fiesta, but the "greed" of special-interest groups provided the death sentence. All students were required to sell Frontier Fiesta tickets for their major, fraternity, sorority, clubs and nearly every class they took! Everybody wanted a cut of the action.

To a great degree, it sounds like some things never change. Special-interest groups are still flexing their muscle. Unfortunately, there appears to be revisionist history in the making at the University of Houston. The black cougar on U of H decals surely looks like a panther. Who changed the school colors from red and white to red and blue? What is going on?

Carmen Forbes
Houston

What's Funny
When I first saw the blurb on the front page of the Press saying "Theater: Eating Raoul isn't funny anymore" ["No Laughing Matter," by Lee Williams, April 30], I had to question if the writer had seen the same performance that I had. Williams stated, "So some people do find this kind of thing funny -- still.... I couldn't, for the life of me, figure out why." I have to admit, I am one who found it wonderfully entertaining (and judging from the audience's reaction, Williams's experience is definitely the exception).

I do appreciate Williams's questioning why we still find ethnic and stereotypical jokes as funny. As an openly gay white male (transplanted Cajun), I am certainly familiar with prejudice. I am also the first to want to deck the "bubba" (maybe this is some prejudice on my part?) who would viciously use this type of humor.... But I am also the one to laugh hardest at a good Cajun or "queer" joke. I am blessed to have three beautiful, grown daughters and a family who can equally enjoy the same type of humor -- because it is without maliciousness. My daughters do not have the same prejudices that were bestowed on me in my "formative" years. I was in a two-year relationship with a Hispanic male (and I think he would have loved this show). I am currently involved with a Pacific Islander and have innumerable friends and colleagues who are "nonwhite" -- and my experience is that we can all enjoy a good laugh at ourselves and our stereotypes -- depending on the context and the arena.

Bill Comeaux
via Internet

Old News
Great and very informative article ["The Mean Spirit of Texas," by Tim Fleck, April 30]. I find it most interesting that news management has missed the fact that people like stability. It is comforting to grow old with a familiar face on TV news. The new faces seem too busy with the popularity issue, acting out the dramatic role in a movie rather than effectively reporting the news. Who wants "in-your-face, cram-down-your-throat reporting" when the information itself can do that on its own? The younger crowd of reporters lacks the experience and intellect that only comes with age, but hey, they sure do look good, don't they? It's no surprise that most people prefer Channel 13's news lineup. They are familiar -- you watched them grow up and go through life's stages and mishaps.

Seems like most changes come without any real investigation regarding the desires of the viewer. I think they've missed the boat on this issue and hope Uhl and Getter find sunnier roads ahead -- they deserve them.

Nicole Goldman
via Internet

Close, But No Cigar
You had potential for a great article on Houston radio ["Played Out," by Hobart Rowland, April 23], and especially KRBE, but you blew it because you failed to identify the schizophrenic and inconsistent nature of their programming (and any real logic that repetition is desirable). On Saturday nights, they broadcast live from local clubs with some fairly refreshing dance music. Who do they think is listening then? Don't the station managers think these same people enjoy the change of format and that they would listen throughout the week to new material? How do ratings compare then to the midweek mundane?

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