By Jeff Balke
By Aaron Reiss
By Angelica Leicht
By Dianna Wray
By Aaron Reiss
By Camilo Smith
By Craig Malisow
By Jeff Balke
Parents and the media can't seem to say it enough: Kids, be careful what you post on MySpace.
Especially if you're an alleged murderer.
Sugar Land residents Matt McCombs and his next-door neighbor Sean Brown, both 18, were arrested July 12 as they tried to cross the Canadian border. They're suspected of killing 16-year-old Ashton Glover.
So what does an alleged murderer's MySpace page look like? The local media has talked about some of the highlights, but not all. McCombs's page features:
Nickname and Slogan: "5 O'Clock Somewhere" is the handle, and his philosophy of life appears to be "Cowboys: Better lovers than fighters, and still the best at both." (McCombs loves his cowboy image; the answer to the MySpace questionnaire's "Shoes you wore today" is "Shoes nothin... BOOTS!" We assume he'll be updating it to "prison-issued footwear" soon.)
His "General Interests": "Guns Knives Booze Women And anything that goes BOOM!" (Also sunsets and walks on the beach, as long as there's booze, guns and a BOOM involved.)
His "Goal You Would Like to Achieve This Year" is, unbelievably enough, "Not get caught." (If you're wondering, his last log-in to the page was July 9, which is about the time Glover went missing.)
He wants to die in "COMBAT!...Or in a rodeo...whichever," and when he grows up he wants to be a "Killer...'Soldier'...whichever." (Shouldn't his whole page just be called "Red Flag Central"?)
The most positive thing on the site is when the questionnaire asks about children. "I don't want kids," he answers. (Future generations thank you, sir.)
Also interesting are the "Friend's Comments": "I hope you rot in fucking hell for what you did...You are lucky that the cops found you before Ashton's friends or family did," said "CFScrewd." "YOU WILL GO TO HELL!! YOU SICK PEICE [sic] OF SHIT!"
Not everyone is convinced, though.
Some are pleadingly unsure: "Please tell me it wasn't you...please," wrote the MySpace-ly named "Tear it up...and wipe it away."
Others are (slightly) more supportive: "A lot of people have been misinterpreting the things you say...I just hope you make it out of this...I hope you didn't do it," writes "gamer girl."
Keep hope alive, gamer girl.
Talk to Me
Remember when Ben Barnes was a hard guy to get ahold of?
The former speaker of the Texas House got caught up in the scandal over whether strings were pulled to get George W. Bush into a cushy Vietnam-era gig at the National Guard. He made some statements that he himself had been the string-puller, but he ducked the calls of countless reporters trying to get more information.
Want to talk to Ben Barnes now? He really wants to talk to you, if you're a reporter.
On July 12, 13 and 14 reporters got e-mails telling them Barnes was available to discuss matters. July 12, he was ready to talk about independent candidates like Kinky Friedman and Carole Keeton Strayhorn. July 13 he wanted to chat about the debate about the Voting Rights Act renewal. July 14 he was up for some insight on that bill's passage.
Earlier in the month he offered to talk on redistricting and other subjects, but we had deleted those until we began to enjoy just what a wide range of subjects Barnes was ready to offer an opinion on.
A Google news search doesn't reveal a whole lot of recent Barnes interviews, but we eagerly await learning just what he'll want to visit with us about next.
It may have taken awhile, but the Houston Press has proudly entered the Age of Blogs. HouStoned is the name, and it's available on our homepage, www.houstonpress.com.
Anything goes -- music, politics, sports, general ragging and boosting on the Houston scene. The first week's offerings included extended interviews with John Prine and the Yacht Rock guys, a Robb Walsh recipe and some healthy skepticism about Quanell X.
Readers are encouraged to join the fray. Yeah, you have to register. It's not for nefarious purposes on our part; it's to prevent spam and the feces-tossing that online forums can degenerate into when there's not some oversight.
So jump in. We hear this Internet thing's really going to take off.
The Nimby Files
Houston is full of people who are rising up against something — anything — in their neighborhoods. It’s not unique to us (NIMBY is well-worn journalistic shorthand for "Not in my backyard"), but we have more than our share. No reader should have to wade through barrels of ink on all these battles, so click here for his week's cheat sheet on a raging revolution.