Letters

Back in the Mood

VNS victory:I enjoyed your well-informed article on VNS therapy ["Exposed Nerve," by Craig Malisow, April 7]. I was implanted with the lead and generator two years ago as part of a clinical trial for treatment-resistant depression in patients with rapid-cycling bipolar disorder.

It was a last resort after eight years of medication and counseling. The side effects have been mild: intermittent hoarseness and shortness of breath. VNS therapy has given me the feeling that I'm living, not merely surviving. I'm still myself and I can feel real, strong emotions without my mood unraveling. I'm doing better now than I ever did when I was "stable" on meds alone.

I consider VNS therapy to be my miracle, but it's certainly not for everyone. It was an act of desperation on my part, one I'm thankful for beyond words. Although I find it disconcerting that Cyberonics has not been completely open with the FDA, I hope that this is approved for treating depression. Lydia Lewis was spot-on when she said, "Far too many people are dying or living lives of quiet desperation…The more treatments the FDA makes available, the more lives that will be saved." I know mine was.

Name withheld by request
Houston

Getting Wasted

No sewage options:Your article "Wretched Excess" [by Josh Harkinson, March 31] was interesting but reported unprofessionally. Your commentary on the wastewater treatment plant slants the readers' view with off-the-cuff comments.

As a journalist, you are responsible for reporting facts and statements accurately and without bias. The article you wrote tries to interject comedy into the cities' efforts to come up with a great solution to treat sewage. Would you rather the city not treat sewage and dump it into the Gulf of Mexico? What alternatives do you propose to treating sewage?

Anthony Clark
Denver, Colorado

Just the Ticket

Pierce parking woes: What the fuck does Metro need space for under the Pierce Elevated ["Life on the Sunny Side," by Margaret Downing, March 31]? For employees, for executives? They're (allegedly) a transit system -- let 'em ride MetroLite or a bus! For vendors? Let them ride as well -- it will hype them up for their sales pitch to Metro, since they'll get to experience the shortcomings of the system. Metro needs to set aside some space up or down the rail line for a small motor pool -- it's good business, a good example and good citizenship.

Metro and the whores at City Hall try to make the case that public parking usage under the Pierce Elevated has decreased, and something or someone could make better use of the land. How can they make the case? West of Main Street, the city engineered the high vacancy rate by doubling parking-meter rates from $2.50 per day to $5 a day, and people couldn't afford to park there anymore. They could and do afford the privately owned surface parking-lot rates, so they quit using the city parking. WTF?

Name withheld by request
Houston

Women Spinners

DJ gender insights: That was a great article on female DJs ["Manning the Booths," by Michael Serazio, March 24]. It was very insightful. I appreciate the opportunity to voice my opinion on the subject.

Thank you. Much respect to you.

DJ Soulfree
Houston

Sin of Omission

Thumbs up or down: In his March 31 "Color Bind" review of Sin City, Robert Wilonsky bloviates at length on what the movie is: a difficult fusion of multiple tales, a technological achievement, a faithful reproduction of the source, etc. In all that verbiage, though, I count only one adjective, "rambling," that seems intended to describe the movie as a whole. Sure, there are plenty of witty snapshots describing bits and pieces, but I don't see a single line simply saying whether he liked the movie, or could identify a target audience who might be happy spending a few bucks on it, or thought it was crap.

Am I missing something here? I expect to need to learn over time if a particular critic typically reaches the same conclusions about movies as I do, but dammit, how the hell am I supposed to do that if he never even hints at a yea or nay?

Name withheld by request
Spring

The Finalist Fairness

Give the kids a break:I say this to you with the deepest respect for you and your profession. I had the opportunity of reading your article regarding the Finalist ["Onward, Christian Rockers," by Bob Ruggiero, April 7].

Personally, I cannot see how you could take their words and manipulate them like you did. I have had the pleasure of getting to know them outside of watching them on stage, and they are not how you portrayed them at all. These guys are, in my eyes, amazing, and if you took two seconds to notice that, you would understand that as well.

If you feel as though you were blown off by them because they didn't respond fast enough to your e-mails, you said it yourself: They're kids. Next time, take that into consideration before you rip them in print.

Chris Torres
Houston

Wracked by the Crack

Prurient, please:One of the two articles about strippers in your March 24 paper said, "The wrinkles of her clam reach up and whisper a gentle hello" [The Nightfly, by Brian McManus].

Dang, y'all, didn't you get the New Times Inc. memo? It read "Sex sells," not "Make it offensive and nasty!"

Nick Cooper
Houston

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