By Chris Lane
By Jeff Balke
By Aaron Reiss
By Angelica Leicht
By Dianna Wray
By Aaron Reiss
By Camilo Smith
By Craig Malisow
Fuck the do-gooders. They're worse than the conservative assholes. All these liberal jackasses who sit in their fucking feng shui Uptown, downtown, Midtown town homes with degrees and money coming out of their asses talking about how to approach and help with these types of problems just fuck up things even more. They want to volunteer and get a thank-you and feel good about themselves. Then when that doesn't happen, they get pissed, give up and turn into conservative assholes.
You want to tell a story that has been told over and over. How many journalists have won praise and awards for stories about the disenfranchised? Is there no longer poverty? Has racism gone away? Do the poor all have college degrees and good jobs? Will they not have to go hungry, homeless or cold again? Will they suddenly start managing their money and get out of the ghetto?
You need to grow up and learn the cold, hard facts of life. It is hopeless, and it's not about you. Accept that, and then you can help. You may actually help someone, but not on the terms you want. You won't feel better about yourself, but you might feel hope, and that can be pretty damn good.
Dead on: As a White Sox fan living in Houston (who considers himself an Astros fan during the 99 percent of the year when the 'Stros and Sox aren't playing; any enemy of the Cubs is a friend of mine), I applaud your World Series coverage ["Ready to Rumble," by Richard Connelly, October 27].
Nice dig on the Chronicle's sadly pathetic "Shoeless Joe" hand puppet. As a Chicagoan (fourth generation), and as a White Sox fan (fourth generation), I think that fourth-graders on the North Side of Chicago can flip insults at the Sox and their fans better than the Chronicle's hand puppet.
Sportswriters tried to turn Chicago into Boston with all this talk of the "curse" and Shoeless Joe Jackson. Look, my grandpa was five years old when those bums threw the game in 1919 to the Reds, and my reading about it has led me to believe it came down to money. Players felt owner/tightwad Charles Comiskey wasn't giving them their due. A few of them, led by Chick Gandil and leading pitcher Eddie Cicotte, decided to double their salaries (in those days, about $6,000, I believe) by throwing games to the Reds so that the gamblers could turn a hefty profit.
Of course, some players dropped the games, the gamblers never paid the promised money, feelings were hurt, and John Sayles made a classic film with David Strathairn and John Cusack, Eight Men Out. But honestly, no one in Chicago considers the South Side or the team "cursed."
Anyone who knows anything about Chicago White Sox baseball knows that your graphic on page 24 was dead on! On "the glamorous Cubs": Wrigley is an overglorified frat party with a few baseball games on the side.
On "Pabst Blue Ribbon": My grandpa, who is 91 years old, used to own a tavern on the west side of the city in the '60s, and I know he served Pabst Blue Ribbon.
On White Sox fans "screaming about an opponent's mom": Usually I save that vitriol for Cub fans. Or Yankee fans. Or Boston. Everyone else's mom is off-limits.
On what's "under all that team-logo gear": You're right -- great insecurity, great fear that we could get smoked at any time by the Indians, Red Sox, Angels or 'Stros. Even during Game Four in the ninth inning, I was terrified that a Boston-like comeback was en route. Assume the worst, as White Sox fans. Assume the worst, hope for the best.
Keep up the good work.
Give him a better shake: A man who confesses his crime and sin to his family and to the state, accepts his penalty and then pays it above and beyond all fairness, while reconciling with the victim (his stepdaughter), deserves a better, more civilized shake ["No Redemption," by Margaret Downing, October 6]. To imply that he should forever burn in hell is exactly the cruel type of ignorance that your writer is crusading against. Kudos for printing the story, and the letters that illuminate the small-minded, hard-heartedness that underlie a case such as this.
Name withheld by request
In an item titled "Out and About" in the November 3 Hair Balls column, we reported that we tried to reach Fox News Channel anchor Shepard Smith but a Fox spokesperson didn't return messages.
Actually, we didn't do a very good job of trying to reach someone from Fox. Instead of telephoning, we sent e-mail messages with requests for a contact and information to firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com. As was explained to us after publication, these lines operate as a service to Fox viewers and get as many as 100,000 e-mails a day.
So our request for information never got to the right person in time.
The Houston Press regrets its reliance on e-mails in this case and promises to pick up the phone in the future.