Skin and Bones
Rockin' Rocket: Absolutely loved the article "Rocket Man" by Craig Malisow [March 4]. It's not often that the Houston Press spices it up. As for Scott Styles, from physicist to porn star, you rock!
Under the cover: I just returned from my neighborhood Kroger store, and as I was getting my shopping basket I heard a man let out a yell. I turned to see what was going on, and he apologized for startling me. He had been walking out of the store and saw the "Rocket Man" cover photo and showed it to me. He was offended that such a photo was at eye level for small children.
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As I left the store, I mentioned the cover photo to the manager and he moved the papers to an adult level in the display stand. They were still visible to adults, but small children won't see something that is inappropriate for their age.
Would you please consider the height of your displays when the papers are delivered and displayed, to avoid children seeing things like this?
Indecent exposure: I was appalled at your cover of "Rocket Man." In a city this large, one would think there is more important news to deliver and advertise than the Rocket Man's indecency. I fully understand the advertisement slogan "A mind is a terrible thing to waste."
The Houston Press used to be a great paper to read. What happened? Your cover is disgusting. This paper is always distributed at my workplace, and so many people took offense to just the cover. Children have access to your articles and ads. We always knew we could read good articles that meant something to society. I hope I can read more impressive articles in the future.
Straight arrows: Craig Malisow's overview of Scott Styles's successful career switch to the porn industry overlooked an interesting detail: Styles was featured on the cover of the August '97 Advocate Men magazine (a gay version of Playboy), and he was later picked as the magazine's Man of the Year -- and Styles is not even gay, according to his Web site.
Name withheld by request
Gay Advocate: As a gay male, I was interested in your story of Scott Styles. I did a little research of my own and found that the cover model of the August 1997 issue of Advocate Men is the same Scott Styles.
Just thought you would like this piece of information, although I have never seen any movie (gay movie) with his name in the credits. But that doesn't stop men of porn from taking on another pseudonym.
Name withheld by request
Editor's note: Styles says on his Web site that he's done a few photo shoots for predominantly gay publications, adding, "I'm guessing that that's where I got most of my 'exposure' to the gay community."
Battle-ready: Thanks for this article ["Lead Astray," by Josh Harkinson, March 4]. It is great and makes me remember why I got into this fight over lead-poisoned homes and children. We are still trying to settle our lawsuit with the nonprofit that sold my son the, as we call it, House from Hell.
Thanks again for staying in this very important fight.
Singing the praises: Mike Serazio, when you have kids, I hope you are able to lose your cynicism and encourage their sense of wonder at the simple things in life ["School Spirit(s)," February 5].
More important than how they teach at a Waldorf school is how the children respond. We made the right decision to transfer our daughter to one, because she's singing again as she plays, and her imagination is never-ending as she creates fairy houses from sticks, rocks, nuts and scarves.
For those of us who have dealt with nightly battles over repetitive worksheets and tried to keep the joy of learning intact when teachers are assessing reading levels and assigning remedial work in kindergarten, this really is a breath of fresh air.
I challenge you to find a credible child development expert out there who sings the praises of TV for kids -- particularly after Janet Jackson's Super Bowl appearance on the boob tube (pun intended) during "family hour."
And the use of gnomes is not a major component of Waldorf education. In fact, many classrooms have no gnomes. They are dolls that are used imaginatively by the teachers and students. Not much different from a traditional doll and preferable to the television-inspired dinosaurs and aliens many children play with.
I feel like Waldorf has given my daughter her childhood back -- the kind of low-stress childhood most of us want for our kids -- and I encourage any parent looking for an education to call Shining Star School.
On the Mark
Review raves: Thank you so much for the review of Buford Gomez ["Pepper-Spraying José," by Alvaro Saar Rios, February 26]. I saw the play, and the article fully reflects my thoughts about it. I liked the way the writer reviewed this play, not only from the minority perspective, and would love to see more of his work.
Depoliticize the critiques: Can you please suggest to Bill Gallo that he review movies based on the actual content and production of the movie instead of his political views? I understand that in general the Houston Press is predominantly left-wing liberal at its core, and that's fine. I still love reading it weekly.
However, when I read a movie review, I expect to find out about its merits, not its supposed political ties. Having said that Hidalgo must be a favorite of George Bush and his war-mongering cronies ["Metaphor Alert: Bright Red," March 4] is not what I need to know. Did he even like or dislike this movie?
And by the way, the shrimp I had at Long John Silver's the other day tasted just like the chicken and the fish. I guess it just couldn't make up its mind what it wanted to be. It kept morphing into something else -- kind of like John Kerry.
Cafes, get real: Liar, liar, pants on fire! Speaking as a professionally trained chef, my chef's toque goes off to critic Robb Walsh. It's about time someone kicked some of these bad restaurants in the ass ["Terrible Ciao," February 19], which are busy pretending to cook real food, while suffering from grand delusions and charging loan-shark prices for it.
Some restaurants couldn't cook for a monkey's birthday party. Oh, but they could cook for Ken, Barbie and a host of other plastic characters. My potbellied pig can tell good food from bad. Ahhhh, the joys of having a restaurant and playing make-believe cooking and wearing Halloween costumes at the same time. Too bad the patrons can't come to these places in costume and pay the check with play money.
Actually, Robb should prepare an annual list of restaurants with the highest propensity for fake cooking and themes, complete with bad art form, best costumes and who rates the highest for their charades. At the end of the year, they should get a trophy and an Easy-Bake Oven as an award. Yes, recently I too had the excitement of tasting some foods that looked like a cross between wallpaper glue and Silly Putty. I asked the waiter (who looked like a cross between Dracula and Pee-Wee Herman) about it, and then the chef came out of the kitchen (looking like the Wizard of Oz, with a top hat on). I asked him if Dorothy and Toto were in the kitchen cooking. How lucky for me!
For the last act, he became Chucky the doll and went into a rage and yelled and raced over, grabbed my plate and threw it into the bus tub. Wow! What a performance! I clapped and yelled bravo! Then the curtain fell, and the waiter became the invisible man.
God help us, we need you, Robb.
Hold the hallucinogens: It's fun to read your reviews and try new places. We've had some nice dining adventures doing this. Congratulations to Robb Walsh on his book; I hope it's going well. I noticed it mentioned in the New York Times Review of Books.
In your review about gastropubs ["Gastropub Crawl," February 26], you mentioned that the psychedelic burger at Rudyard's was one of the best in Houston. I went there, and there was no psychedelic burger on the menu, and the burger I ordered was horrible. And Rudyard's was the rudest, smokiest, filthiest place I have visited in years.
Choose and lose: Regarding Bob Ruggiero's review of Sugar Bayou [Local Rotation, February 26]: Which is it, son? Literary critic or music reviewer? You should pick -- both fall short.
Spoons, not ax: I'm writing to correct an error in Bob Ruggiero's review of Sugar Bayou's CD, Nowhere But Gone. Although I know how easy it is to confuse guitars, which I don't play on the CD, with spoons, which I do play, I can't take credit for something I didn't do (the liner notes are quite clear!). I can sing or I can play, but the two meet on shaky ground. I'm looking forward to the day when they'll let me plug in my guitar and mandolin on stage.
April Rapier, Sugar Bayou
Boob jobs: Mr. Ruggiero certainly has a good ear for music and made some accurate remarks about April Rapier's singing, among other kind comments, but it is clear that he simply doesn't care for this style of music. What else could explain his overall scathing review, despite his appreciation for individual aspects of Sugar Bayou's talent?
You wouldn't get a boob job from a podiatrist, so why would you print Mr. Ruggiero's review of Nowhere But Gone?
Editor's note: The outrage is commendable, although hardly spontaneous. A mass e-mail from April Rapier, which was captioned "Show Time!" urged friends to write to disagree with the review -- "the more, the merrier and the sooner the better!" It conveniently provided the e-mail addresses of the Press publisher, editor and Letters section. It did not instruct them to repeat what Rapier said in her mailing: "The good news: there is no such thing as bad publicity! Fortunately, our fans disagree with Mr. R. In the past 48 hours, internet sales have done a dandy little spike!"
Rockin' wonder: I read your Kid Rock article ["Somebody's Gonna Feel This," by Brian McManus, February 19], and I thought it was crap! I'm from Dallas and flew to Houston to see Bobby perform. I've been to a lot of concerts, and this would have to be the best. He did an awesome job, played for two solid hours and had the crowd going wild! But hey, if he does ever call ya, tell him that his biggest fan in Dallas says hi!
Packin' the house: I was at Kid Rock's concert at the Toyota Center, and it didn't look as though he was hurting for fans in the least. The whole place was packed, and I for one rocked my ass off! Kid ain't going anywhere anytime soon. So sorry he didn't call ya, but hey he didn't call me either! Whatever his status, I am a fan for life. Rock on, Kid!
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