Anita Bump, Michael Phelps and Harris County Jail
From Anita: I grabbed a copy of the Press yesterday to check out the dish on my new grill ["All That Glitters," by Jason Kerr, August 14]. I was pretty excited when I opened the paper to page 43 and saw the gorgeous picture on the full page write-up. My excitement quickly dwindled as I began to read. I'm not quite sure if Jason Kerr, the writer of the article, was under the influence when he visited our restaurant, but there were a few things he got wrong. I have to add that the use of the word "Gay!" five times in the story was hurtful and confusing. I still can't quite figure out what the world's hang-up is with sexual-orientation labeling.
I remember another Houston Press story a few months back about Rich's, the fab nightclub I perform at every Saturday night, and how overly heterosexual it has become. It disgusts me that in 2008 we are still so focused on what's not important. Jason thought that our giant screen that plays music videos was gay. Jason thought that our red lips on the wall were gay. Jason thought that our caricatures of pop icons were gay. Jason thought that our glittered upholstery booths were gay. Maybe Jason just had writer's block and couldn't come up with any more adjectives...assuming he was using "gay" as an adjective. It really offended me, and that is rare. It makes him look like a fool and, quite frankly, tarnishes the image of your paper.
Can you imagine a story on the famous soul food spot Breakfast Klub by Jason Kerr? " I walked in and there was fried chicken and catfish on the menu. N*****Y!" I think not. Who knows with the Houston Press. There's no difference here. I can't believe this story made the paper, but I'm glad it did. There are still plenty of ignorant people out there that need to be schooled on the sensitivity of such word usage. He goes on to talk of our "tattooed and pierced guys waiting tables," but we don't have any! What is he talking about?
On his second visit, a Sunday, he fails to mention that the music is cranked up because DJ Mark D from Rich's and XM Radio is spinning live. There are a couple more things. Jason's friend ordered the "petite" filet, and he made a comment that it was "a little piece of meat in a huge plate of fries." Well, Jason, that's because your friend ordered the "petite" fucking filet! That's a six-ounce steak. I bet that the 16-ounce rib eye wouldn't have looked like a "little piece of meat." Dumbass.
The writer harped on the fact that he has now been there a couple times and never sees Anita. He heard that I make appearances and I sing. Jason, I don't know why you didn't notice when I am performing at the new restaurant. Maybe you were too occupied checking out the shirtless guys outside on the street corner. A flyer on my menu and on every table there lets you know that I am there Friday and Saturday nights at 8 p.m. Oh, and Jason, I don't sing.
In closing, the article says I am from Oklahoma and that's why I serve margaritas in a mason jar, because I am white trash. Jason, just because you are from Oklahoma and you are white trash doesn't mean that everyone in, or from, Oklahoma is white trash. Once again, I am offended. You wrapped up your Houston Press story by telling everyone that we have a white-trash theme? You closed by saying we are like Denny's, but gay. Can you see why I am so flustered? I'm fine with constructive criticism. That's how I got where I am. I always listen and take notes. Your story is ridiculous and offensive.
Just last week I was approached by someone in advertising from the Houston Press soliciting me to purchase an ad with your paper. No thanks! I really will view your paper differently now. Houston Press is like the Greensheet, but gay.
Online readers weigh in:
Going back: Glad to hear that your experiences at Anita's, after the first, were generally good. My first and so far only visit was dismal (spilled drinks, severely overcooked food), but I'm sure I'll be back at some point and will order some of your recommended items.
Comment by Jim from Houston
Moronic: I can't comment on the food, but I will say that maybe someone with a bit more culture should have written the review. The use of "gay" after every sentence in the first couple paragraphs is just moronic. What else do you expect from a theme restaurant? Just because a place has pizzazz and caters to the people who live in and frequent the area does not mean you need to poke fun. I wouldn't walk into your house, see posters of Pamela Anderson hanging on your wall with spooge marks all over them and say "straight." Come on...get real.
Comment by Scott from Dickinson
Don't go there: Jason...If you don't like it, quit going there, fool! Other people love it!
Comment by Tony from HOUSTON
Anita's fan: I really enjoy Anita's! Food is good, and Anita's performance on Friday and Saturday nights is awesome! Oh...and prices...perfect.
I really thought the use of the word "gay" in the article was offensive.
Comment by Tim from Houston
Online readers respond to "Gone to Hell," by Paul Knight, August 21.
Keep it up: Thanks for researching and writing this story. Certainly there are many more cases like this that haven't been brought to light. I hope the Houston Press continues to expose the injustices in the Harris County "justice" system.
Comment by Tim from Houston
Atrocious: I don't particularly believe in the insanity defense myself, but by God, if Andrea Yates could be found to be "criminally insane" for the purpose of her defense for killing five children, then this man certainly has more ground to stand on with his decades-long (documented) history of mental illness. Fifty-three years? Repeat child molesters don't even get that kind of time! This is atrocious!
Zandria Winn from Houston
Online readers respond to "WTF? Lance Berkman Doesn't Think Michael Phelps Is a Real Athlete?" on the Ballz blog, by John Royal, August 8.
A stretch: I'm sure Lance's tongue was planted firmly in cheek. Have you ever heard him talk about his athletic prowess? It's funny as hell. Complete bullshit but funny as hell. This bitch fest blog is a stretch even for you.
Say it to his face: I didn't know Houston still had a baseball team.
And it's easy to talk shit about someone, especially if that someone is halfway across the globe, kicking international ass.
Not indefensible: Talk about taking things out of context. Did you actually read the Chronicle article that you linked to about this conversation with Berkman? There was a debate between Berkman and a couple of writers about Phelps possibly being the greatest athlete of all time. Berkman said, "I would not agree that he's the greatest athlete ever, but he's clearly the greatest swimmer ever." When Jose de Jesus Ortiz made a comment that anyone can throw a baseball, Berkman then replied with the "Anybody can jump in a pool and swim a lap" line. Berkman seems to fall in the group of people that consider the greatest athletes to be ones that can do multiple sports, which isn't an indefensible position.
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