By Chris Lane
By Jeff Balke
By Aaron Reiss
By Angelica Leicht
By Dianna Wray
By Aaron Reiss
By Camilo Smith
By Craig Malisow
Fantasy and reality: Fantastic article by Jennifer Mathieu ["Game On," July 24]. It was refreshing to see that the Team Forsaken kids aren't totally obsessed with their gaming. It hasn't consumed them. This helps dilute the ubiquitous stereotype of the isolated loser sitting alone in front of his computer in his mother's basement for days on end.
Predictably, some will excoriate these types of games that "glorify violence," but these kids demonstrate that youths are smart enough to separate the fantasy world of gaming from reality. (And if you can even make money doing what you enjoy, then more power to you.)
Certainly their being in a chaperoned social environment is preferable to their becoming metropolitan street thugs in an attempt to live out the violence in the games, isn't it?
Gaming frontiers: Very nice job on the article. I left broadcast radio news (KPRC-AM) a few years back to take a position in the early stages of Internet gaming and broadcasting. Too soon, as it turned out, with the dot-com bubble bust -- but an amazing journey nonetheless. (I knew my idea of community had changed when I was willing to send a computer to a virtual squadmate I'd never met, yet I wouldn't lend my neighbor a rake.)
Massively Multiplayer Online Gaming is one of the frontiers for a new kind of global village. It's gonna be something to watch over the next few years.
Ron "NewzGuy" Jackson
Peace program: I just wanted to say how this was one of the best articles I've read regarding e-sports and its community of gamers. Your article was enlightening, funny and very informative. We get so much about how violence in gaming is blamed for violence in society. It was good to see the other side of the fence.
Range folly: So the D.A.'s office is going to install a $100,000 shooting range in the basement of the Criminal Justice Center, for not only its investigators but also sheriff's deputies and other peace officers [Hair Balls, by Richard Connelly, July 24].
Well, wah, wah, wah -- it must be such a hardship for those poor folks to drive all the way to Conroe to retain their certification. Once a year. Shouldn't the cost of traveling for a job-related requirement be a reimbursed expense by that individual's employer? Why is the D.A.'s office pandering to law enforcement by providing their very own laser game room in the basement of the courthouse?
I have a better idea: Why not donate the 100 grand to the various DNA labs that are retesting that backlog of cases? At least then it might actually do some good.
Rockets' change sucks: As a retired art director/designer, I have followed the flap about the new Rockets logo both from a professional perspective and that of a plain ol' basketball fan. A recent Press column [Hair Balls, by Richard Connelly, July 24] asked, "Has there ever been a franchise which has changed its logo so many times and still never got it right?" I agree. The problem is, whoever is in charge keeps hiring the wrong people for the job. After the first logos, we get some guy from Missouri City and his comic strip/flying tigers approach. (I'll bet Chris Hill cringed at having his name attached to that one.) Then we get a costume designer from Hollywood.
From where I'm sitting right now I can throw a rock and hit a half-dozen highly qualified, nationally recognized graphic designers. I can get on the phone and get a half-dozen more. And yet we continue to be confronted with these weak, inadequate designs from questionable sources. It is ironic that Houston corporations continue to go to out-of-town sources for design solutions while our many significant designers must go out of town to get work. Go figure.
Mad as Medea
Good show: I disagree strongly with Lee Williams's review of dAdA's production of Medea ["An Ambitious Medea," July 24]. Ms. Williams did not do her homework. This production is a continuation of Ann James's vision. The company took Medea on a college tour last winter. The text was the same as the production at Theatre LaB except for five words, but the effect is amazingly different. This new production makes Medea alive and contemporary, especially because it's set in River Oaks.
The "remix" has to do more with a different approach to the same text than with the multimedia aspect, which Ms. Williams incorrectly supposed.
James's direction is amazing. Her use of lighting is imaginative and innovative. Her casting and use of movement and space in Theatre LaB's small setting is impressive as well. The comparison of grief-stricken, mad Medea to psychotic Andrea Yates is certainly more appropriate than Williams's final comparison of Euripides's willful Medea to Sophocles's ill-fated Oedipus.
Name withheld by request
On her way: As a thriving member of the Houston theater community, I was empowered by a recent review of Medea: The Remix. It did not surprise me that your reviewer found fault with the production. Her cruel and unnecessary digs at performers have attempted to make or break spirits in the past. What did turn my stomach was her lack of information about the history of the play and her off-color and seemingly personally driven attacks on the actors and on me as an artist.
The review of Medea was an onslaught of judgments about how the reviewer would have liked to see the show done. This is not a review! I am not sure whether this reviewer is a frustrated director or actor, but to say that the directing was "underdeveloped" on a production that has been going for almost a year is ridiculous and should be considered a flagrant example of what the power of one or two reviewers in a town of over four million can do to a company on the rise. So many of the audience comments were positive and supportive that we know we had a wonderful piece.
As I move into the national arena as a director, I suggest with conviction that the Houston Press stick a little closer to the actual job of reviewing. She did get one thing right: I am ambitious, and I think Houston audiences might be better off finding out about new theater companies on their own as opposed to being influenced by an infantile "protectionist" reviewer.
Ann C. James, the Medea Project
Happy with Louise
Patsy Cline kudos: Thank you so much for your lovely review of our show ["Polished Patsy," by Lee Williams, July 17]. You understood what I was trying to bring to the character, Louise. Your recognition means a lot to me.
We're having a ball!
Susan O. Koozin
Movie review details: All right, Bill Gallo. I get it. You don't like Mandy Moore ["Ms. Deal," July 17] and you don't like people and movies and music that you perceive as being corporately packaged.
But if you are a movie critic (as opposed to a political or social polemicist), perhaps you might include a note pertaining to the plot, pacing, characterization, direction, acting -- you know, what people read movie reviews to find out.
The only thing revealed in your "review" was that you don't like this type of movie or this particular actress. Now, my first reaction is probably similar to yours. I was subjected to a previous Mandy Moore movie by a niece, and I found it predictable and bland.
But writing a review that says, essentially, "I don't like this type of movie or this particular actress" is not good criticism.
Those Guys in Skirts?
Celtic defender: Okay, folks. What's up? Did y'all get bought out by the Chronicle? You used to be the best (read: only) supporter of Celtic music in Houston. What happened? Since it's not a big business, and henceforth a get-rich-quick moneymaker for the city, did ya dump us Celtic fans? Come on, no Celtic category this year for the Houston Press Music Awards?
And there isn't a self-respecting Irish pub in town that hasn't sold out to the yuppie-scum-wanna-be-gangsta-rap-music crowd (except for the Duck, and they're too small for bagpipes). Music editor John Nova Lomax wants to know why the body count on Richmond is so high; one can only partially blame you guys for promoting that "don't diss me, I be bad, I'll shoot you in the head, motherfucker" type of music.
Oh, well, the payback is that the pipers will get more gigs at the funerals. I just don't want to hear them under those circumstances.
Name withheld by request