Shredded Wheat

Bomb the artists: Congratulations on writing one of the most subtle pieces of satire yet seen in the Houston Press ["Bombs Away," by Keith Plocek, December 9].

At first I thought your writer was actually trying not to pass judgment on street artists like CRÜZ. It took a second reading to understand how low you were really blowing.

The giveaway was "I don't give these people permission to invade my space…" Hilarious! I mean, who could be stupid enough to take that statement seriously? Look, if you give permission, then it isn't an invasion. And second, billboards aren't even "his space" to begin with!

That's when it hit me that it was satire: literary work in which human vice or folly is attacked through irony, derision or wit.

I bet thousands of your readers cut loud farts at reading this line: "[We're] essentially like a superhero team. Everybody's got a special trait." Those special little snowflake artists.

What I'd like most in the world is to wheat-paste those guys' truck. All over and inside and out.

Hey! I think I just invented a new form of art! Art visited upon artists! All the regular joes in the world who've wanted an outlet can join in spray-painting and wheat-pasting anything owned by an artist. All you need to say is "It's cool, dude. Like, I'm 'artist-bombing.' It's totally hip, man. Don't be so negative about my artistic outreaches. You aren't allergic to wheat, are you?"

John Ferguson

Damage control: This is a letter of apology to all the writers of this newspaper. I recently tagged some Houston Press property with the idea that our local paper doesn't care that we are here, and if the presence is known it usually spawns hate, which is better than being ignored.

I'm glad that some respectable people are not out to lynch whomever they can catch. Whether the community likes it or not -- or Paula Camp or Officer Tello don't like it -- we are here and not going anywhere because we are the positive influence of the night.

To the Houston Press for the permanent damage, I'm sorry.

Name withheld

Get a handle on the vandals: I read with disgust your article on vandals, or "street artists," as you euphemistically call them. Your one attempt at appearing to provide balanced coverage by including a few feeble quotes from HPD did nothing to hide your bias toward these vandalizing assholes.

I found it ironic that "CRÜZ" accused the legitimate art world of being "masturbatory" -- what, then, do you call his colleagues in crime like "VERB" and "MEAT," who artlessly spray their monikers on traffic signs and other structures? They certainly aren't making any statement that most people can discern, and are no better than thug street gangs like the "Rebs," who try to tag a ridiculously large area of turf.

Whether they are tagging turf or "artists" trying to glorify their pseudonyms, all they accomplish is to make Houston look like Compton or some other urban ghetto. The wheat-paste posters are only slightly better.

If any young artists want to get their art out there in a grassroots, nonconventional way, why not get a permit from the city and set up examples of your sculpture or 2-D work (on easels, not public property) on Main Street? As someone who dabbles in art for his own amusement, I think it would be cool to see more legitimate artists on the street expressing themselves without being public nuisances.

Let's remember that the traffic signs and other structures that vandals put graffiti on belong to either private entities or the public at large, both of whom should get a say in what goes on them. We taxpayers are also the ones who foot the bill when the city cleans them off. Just as we are working to reduce the number of unsightly billboards in Houston, so too should we fight these eyesores.

Mark Myers

Horns of a Dilemma

Blame Cal, not Mack: Thank you for an excellent publication! I always enjoy the Houston Press. While reading the December 16 issue of Hair Balls ["Time Out, Mack"], I was very entertained with the reporting of Mack Brown's whining. But the comment that Cal won their final game "handily" is wrong.

They were expected to win by three touchdowns or more, but did not. Most sports pundits agree that the poor showing in Cal's final game was more a factor of dropping in the ratings than Mack's crying.

I am not a Texas fan. I am a loyal University of Houston graduate and actually consider the University of Texas a "state rival."

Thanks for your time.

Charlie Sterling

Hard to Stomach

Investigate HISD's food program: As someone involved in school food-service operations for 20-plus years, it makes me livid to hear of these newest allegations involving HISD ["Eating It Up," by Sarah Fenske, November 4]. I'm not surprised that it's happening, but surprised that it's in print.

In our district, we ensure that every meal meets reimbursement criteria before it is claimed. For example, if the milk company is late and some of our students do not get milk in time for their meal, we do not claim those meals. And to hear that HISD is making no attempt to follow trays to the site where they are served and seeing firsthand that qualified students do indeed receive those meals -- that is appalling and should be treated as theft.

HISD recently announced that they were considering lowering lunch prices for the "paid" students. It is amazing they can make such a turnaround, considering they lost millions of dollars the first two or three years of their management. Is this "breakfast for all" a new scheme to bring millions of "reimbursement" dollars into HISD's food-service account? That could certainly provide sufficient revenue to beef up the fund balance and allow this PR move of reducing meal prices, all at the taxpayers' expense -- clever.

Have representatives of the Texas Department of Agriculture investigated this information and shown up without giving advance notice to check out these allegations?

Good for you for exposing these allegations of fraud! Please continue to serve the taxpayers by going forward with your investigation. Hopefully, you will get the attention of those who will do something about this, so punitive action can be taken.

Name withheld by request


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