By Chris Lane
By Jeff Balke
By Aaron Reiss
By Angelica Leicht
By Dianna Wray
By Aaron Reiss
By Camilo Smith
By Craig Malisow
Change on the way: I am a member of the Houston Press Street Team, and I am also a founding member of Texans for Kerry and a volunteer at the John Kerry for President finance office in downtown Houston. Imagine my surprise when the two worlds collided on me when Hair Balls blasted the John Kerry office ["No Help Needed," June 17] and came back with another anti-Kerry diatribe ["Kerry -- For That Not-So-Fresh Feeling," June 24].
Well, let me tell you, I just worked the Texas Democratic State Convention, and I attend various weekly Kerry events. Kerry has a huge following right here in Houston, Texas. I would be more than willing to give Hair Balls an opportunity to find out what a lot of people are finding out coast to coast and even in the "backyard" of George W. Bush: Kerry is the real deal, and he is going to shock the world in November -- especially when he wins Texas. I'm dead serious.
Get down over getup: I sat near you during most of your visit to Helios ["Gay Play," by Catherine Matusow, June 24]. You could have acted like a responsible, careful journalist and asked me to tell you that my "African getup" is called a dashiki. If I'd worn obviously Jewish attire or obviously Muslim attire or been in drag, you wouldn't have called my clothing a "Jewish getup" or "Muslim getup" or "gay getup," would you? No, you respect (or is it fear?) those cultures.
Perhaps you think it's culturally savvy to say shit like that, as if real life were a hip, modern Shirley Temple flick in which white folks feel free to crack wise about blacks while giving them the elbow; and the Negroes are supposed to put their tongues in their cheeks and wink back. But I'm not in on the joke. Your disdainful reference to my attire demonstrates a form of this culture's legacy that's always been hell-bent on at least poking fun at anything of African origin. This flippant attitude is pervasive in white culture today -- including too many white folks in "progressive" or "liberal" philosophical "getups."
Good guys spurned: Did you not think about the wife of Ron Kelly driving the truck out to the barn and unloading items for their daughter's livestock ["Not a Mooooot Point," by Margaret Downing, June 24]? It seems as if you have painted a one-sided view. Yours is a sad column about a man who is a problem, and that problem was taken care of. The awards-banquet issue is the low point of your column; you did not mention one thing about the other students who received awards. Third place is wonderful, but did you check out all the facts about the show?
This is what is sad about education. One parent gets upset because he cannot get his way, so he runs around trying to get anyone to listen to him. You go about painting the FFA program and the Alief school board as the bad guys. You did not ask the other parents what the program has done for their children. Not once did you say what joys these kids have while in this program. The people who know Mr. Mott and the FFA program will be laughing or scratching their heads, wondering how you came to this conclusion.
If you do not know the people in this column, you might think something is wrong, but if you know them you know something is wrong: the facts!
I am the brother of Mark Peak, but I chose not to write about him because it would be one-sided, and I could not do that.
Problems for the FFA: As a parent of five members of the Alief FFA, I am offended by the fact that your writer did such a one-sided and biased column. She listened to a single troublemaking parent who for over a year has caused nothing but pain and suffering for the other students and parents who use that facility. The fact is that parents, many parents, went to the school about the problems with the Motts and their care of the facility and their animals for a very long time.
However, until the incident with the cars at the barn -- which my children and spouse were there for -- the school was reluctant to sanction Mr. Mott. It was only because he endangered children with his driving that night that they finally did something. Mr. Mott is not concerned about the FFA or the other children that his nonsense affects.
If anyone has been shown favoritism, it has been the Mott family. Did Mr. Mott mention that the courtesy extended to Mrs. Kelly, who is also a teacher for the district, was not any different from what would have been done for any of us in an emergency situation if we had asked the adviser? No, I didn't think so.
Moore or less: Wow, Gregory Weinkauf reviews Michael Moore's Fahrenheit 9/11 ["George of the Bungle," June 24] and gives it a glowing review. What a surprise! Since he can barely get through a review of anything without mentioning how much he hates George Bush, the only positive thing I can say about this review is the fact that I did not see the phrase "I'm cumming!" at the end of it, since if there was a film made to give this clown wet dreams, this would be it. Hopefully, the Press has a great benefits program, since Weinkauf will need it to get his lips surgically removed from Moore's gigantic white ass.