An Offender List Offends
At press time, we'd received more than 682 comments regarding "The 10 Hottest Women on the Texas Sex Offender List" [Hair Balls blog, by Richard Connelly, May 12], most of which took issue with our report. We followed up with a post explaining our motives and apologizing to those we offended. Here's a sampling of the comments we received:
Classless: I read the Houston Press all the time and will continue to do so. I am not thin-skinned, and I am not a reactionary. I must say this "story" crosses the line. Two-year-old victim, four-year-old victim, 12- and 13-year-olds? This is classless. What is next? Ten most handsome rapists?
The facts: How can a story that mentions crimes and facts about those crimes cross the line? The behavior may have crossed the line, but the story, no. It was simply registering something that no one thinks about: Sex crimes are also committed by females. Now, if the story had identified victims, you'd have a point.
The real point: The reason they said they posted this article was to try to get rid of the stereotype that sex offenders look evil. I think they are wanting to show that even nice/"innocent"-looking people can be guilty of very heinous crimes.
No joke: This article does not simply report crimes and facts. The authors selected women they felt were "hot" from the sex offender registry. Just as a woman's appearance should not have any place in a discussion about her professional or other abilities, a woman's appearance should not be fodder for trivializing committing heinous crimes.
And that's exactly what this article does: trivializes sexual crimes. Also, that bit about raising awareness that not all perpetrators are unattractive or male? Yeah, they added that after everyone got angry. It's BS. They posted this because they thought it was funny, playing off precisely the same stereotype they're claiming to work against. Sexual crimes are not a joke.
Lowest low: Anyone who can call women who molest children and babies "hot" should be in jail with them. You are the lowest form of life next to these pieces of crap you think are so hot. With all the good journalists who need a job, you have one? Get some mental help before you hurt a child more than you already have by writing this. Creep!
Fire in The Woodlands
Online readers respond to "Last Night: Arcade Fire at Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion," Rocks Off blog, by Craig Hlavaty, May 5:
A fan is made: Last night's show was amazing, and I don't say that often when it comes to concerts. I don't know if it was the coziness of the venue, my imagining what it must have been like for Win going from working at the Pavilion to living out his dream of playing there, or the energy from the crowd, but I was very impressed, and I was nothing more than a casual fan when I attended the show. I was merely along for the ride as my girlfriend wanted to go.
Watching members of the band move around to different instruments had me giddy. It was like watching The Harlem Globetrotters moving the basketball around — I was trying to anticipate their next move. The showmanship of the band gave me chills, brought a smile to my face and had me singing along. The music was great; the sound and visuals were perfect. I wished it would have lasted longer. I am no longer a casual fan.
Great show: Explosions in the Sky was orgasmic, and Arcade Fire did their thing. The music was stellar, but once again ruined by stupid Houston crowds. When attending a concert, there is no reason to continue a screaming conversation while the bands are playing.
A good night: I went there thinking the show wouldn't sell out, and bought two tickets from somebody trying to unload them at the entrance for a total of $20. I paid $11 for a beer, and they gave me two beers for the price of one by accident. The tickets were at the front row right by the pit. I loved Explosions in the Sky (primary reason for going) and stuck around for Arcade Fire as a casual fan. I came away a disciple.
No beef: I don't know where this idea ever came from that the Butlers had a beef with Texas or The Woodlands. People who read weird reviews of The Suburbs rather than actually listening to the thing, maybe? Maybe people who assume rock stars must be jerks? I don't know.
It certainly doesn't come from the Butlers. Win's made a point of breaking out the Don't Mess with Texas shirts offstage for a while now, and he's even mentioned working at the Pavilion at a few other shows.
They talk about the place like anybody talks about the place where they grew up — there's good and bad stuff to remember, and that's just how it is. But they've clearly got a lot of fond memories of the time they spent there, and it comes through all over their music. The ambivalence of The Suburbs is mainly about how much has changed since they left, and the places they remembered disappearing.
It's kind of a shame people got that idea in their heads about the Butlers, but it's good to see they at least dispelled some of it last night.
Electrifying: All I have to say is that even after almost a week, I am still talking about the show and yearning for more. I have been to many concerts at Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion, as well as the Verizon and various venues in Austin, and I have to say, this was by far the best concert from start to finish I have ever been to. We were one of the many that charged the pit after Win's invitation to do so, and we were able to get up close at the climax of the show ("Neighborhood #3- Power Out"). The crowd was so electrifying, singing along and jumping up and down, that even the wooden floor began to bounce. So much energy — I wished it didn't have to end.
Saying Goodbye to David Newman
David Leslie Newman, 57, who worked for the Houston Press as a retail runner and was well-known by his fellow employees and Press customers and clients, passed away May 9.
Music was an important part of his life. David was a member of his church's bell choir, and he was a prolific singer-songwriter who performed at various venues around Houston for many years. Until recently, he sang at The Last Concert Cafe on Thursday nights.
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A seven-year employee of the Press, David worked most closely with the retail department and business office. "David always offered a helping hand to any of his fellow co-workers on top of his daily duties. David's warm smile and calm demeanor will be missed," said Business Manager Joe Ferrara.
He is survived by his wife, Gail, and son, James; his parents, Al and Janet Newman; his sister, Nancy Jo Maxey; and his nephew, Noel Maxey.
A memorial service will be held at 3 p.m. Sunday, May 22, followed by a light supper at St. Mark's United Methodist Church at 600 Pecore, Houston.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to M.D. Anderson or a charity of your choice.