No Free Meals?

Plus: Movie Props, Blame the Magnets, Crossed Out

No Free Meals?

Release Rodrigo: As much jack as it takes to get into Rice University, you can't really be all over this brother because of $107.99 -- or could it be this ["The Pretender," by Jennifer Mathieu, November 14]?

I'm reminded of a line by Malcolm X in Spike Lee's movie: I say you been had; you been hoodwinked; run amok; led astray; and my favorite, you been bamboozled.

Let it go, Rice officials. If you want to set an example, learn from your mistakes and do not let it happen again. Free Rodrigo Montano -- or in this case, let him eat free.

Michael E. McKee

Movie Props

Well scripted: I also think the movies coming out as of late are sucking an amazing amount of ------ ["Breaking In to the Movies," by Tony Ortega, November 21]. But -- wow! -- how crazy is that? Ballsy a lot. I gotta give props where props are due.

So props with love and good luck.

Sylvia Babb
Jones Creek, Texas

Blame the Magnets

Getting a leg up: I empathize with the parents of T.H. Rogers concerning their lack of playground but must say it is the price they pay for the benefits of a magnet school. If it were a neighborhood school, there would be little problem. The children there would be Post Oak Little League players, and all have the same parents who would care about the after-school activities of their children as much as the in-school activities.

I just wonder what the Rogers parents -- coming from Timbergrove, West U or Bellaire -- would think if they were the ones being told their children's sports program needed to give up its fields for the benefit of some other kids not from the neighborhood. These are the only fields we have to play on, and inner-city land is not easy to come by. I think Post Oak is an easy mark because so many kids come from Tanglewood and River Oaks, but it actually services kids from all walks of life, and it does it well.

Rogers has outgrown its original facilities. The Vanguard program needs a new location. The neighborhood needs the school back for its children. Briargrove Elementary is coming out of its seams, and the space could probably be utilized for the overflow.

My kids play Post Oak Little League but go to River Oaks Elementary. We have the same problem with the neighborhood using our playground facilities for their dogs' urinals. If more neighborhood kids went to River Oaks, the adults would think twice about letting a dog pee on the equipment their child would play on within the next hour.

Donna Kohlhausen

Crossed Out

No KKK ink: What a waste of perfectly good newspaper space ["Fueling the Ire," by Craig Malisow, November 14]. All you did was give these people a spot to advertise.

As Shakespeare or Tupac or one of those poets said, this is much ado about nothing. I just hope none of that mess got on Craig Malisow. Like they say, "If you stay in that trash can too long, you're gonna get dirty."

Michael E. McKee

Passion Play

Viva Frida: Your review of Frida is muy bien, excellent ["Queen of Pain," by Gregory Weinkauf, October 31]. I totally agree with every word. I've been a Frida lover since 1987 when I visited the Casa Azul in Mexico City. In the movie, Salma Hayek's passion was so powerfully strong that I could feel it because I have and feel a portion of that passion toward the artist as well. It fills the theater to give the audience a profound, uplifting experience. An amazing piece of work.

I want this movie to do well for both Salma and Frida. You have an eye as well, the way you stated the bus incident was made violently beautiful. Bravo to you, sir.

Robert Lenard

No-Class Glass?

Chihuly's foibles: I have to applaud your honest review of Dale Chihuly's showing ["Shattering the Glass," by Kelly Klaasmeyer, November 21] and your candid and uninhibited voice, which signals good reporting. Naturally, you will expect criticism from local Chihuly supporters and admirers, for you have raised a critical question: Does Chihuly's glass constitute art, or is it merely "overblown" decoration?

I was delighted with your comparison between the manufactured kitsch of Thomas Kinkade and Chihuly's use of glass. For four years, my college art history professor wholeheartedly bashed Kinkade, who specifically targets little old ladies using QVC as his marketing tool. Not only is your comparison accurate, I thoroughly enjoyed your sharp wit.

I can vouch for your protestations against Chihuly's mogul-style approach to running Chihuly, Inc. Your entertaining stories of previous Chihuly employees performing degrading services for sweatshop labor wages remind me of a Dickens-era scenario. It goes to show that even in the art world the rich keep getting richer while the poor get poorer.

I harbor a particular bitterness toward Mr. Chihuly, largely because of the ridiculous expense in preparing for his showings. As a former employee of McClain Gallery, I not only helped prepare for the arrival of his team but I watched his collectors and admirers with their eyes as big as saucers, as if Chihuly himself embodied the Second Coming.

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