Cinema House Censorship
I register my opinion about the regretful decision that AMC Houston will no longer provide a valuable service.
I refer to the Houston Press newspaper, which I looked forward to picking up each week at one of three AMC movie theaters I regularly attend (Studio 30, Westchase 5, Town & Country 10).
Theater management says some publication content may have "offended" some moviegoer parents who feared for the innocence of their children. As a parent, I understand diligence in raising wholesome kids. Conversely, a parent must teach children to leave alone what the parent determines not to be in the child's best interest. It is not the duty of anyone to determine what shall be removed, when others rely on it.
It is not up to a theater chain to either censor or sanction any publication. Freedom of speech and freedom of the press are guaranteed under our American system of life.
I do not agree with some advertising and/or editorial content of the Houston Press. But, I do uphold the right to publish and the right to read for the moviegoing public.
The food coupons, movie listings/summaries, restaurant listings, community activities, calendar of events, classified section (buy/sell) and much more within the pages of the Press far outweigh petty concerns by anyone regarding the gay/lesbian and alternative lifestyle portions of the paper. Frankly, I do not support "third-sex" agendas. I do support freedom of the press and the right for everyone to choose what he/she will be able to pick up and read at his/her discretion.
My household regularly utilizes the Houston Press for (sell/buy) classified ads. There is no charge for this service, and we have gotten response for our efforts.
To deny placement of the Houston Press within AMC Theaters is a disservice to AMC customers. I have no connection with the paper, and nothing to gain sending this letter -- other than possible reinstatement of the publication at those theaters.
Rea Roy Stoltz
Verdict In on Tim
Congrats! You've really captured both the tempo as well as the meaning of the trial and the resultant attitude of the jury ["Going Through These Things Twice," by Tim Fleck, June 4].
Editor's note: Tony Attanasio is the father of Mike Attanasio, the lead federal prosecutor in the case.
It is next to impossible to go a whole week without "The Insider," but I'll do my best to make it.
I feel sick. Once again, another court has not allowed a mother to defend her child ["Little Girl Lost," by Brian Wallstin, May 21]. The child is really lost now, having had her picture put all over town. I know from a very factual basis this will not do her or her "court case" any good. And anyone who knows the long-term effect of this situation can tell you she will never relate again like a child her age should.
As for Ms. Phrogge Simons, I have known of her for years. Where do you go when you have no money and have no one who understands? You find "Phrogge." Ms. Simons has no money, no interest in breaking the law and nothing to gain by going to jail for a child. Sometimes, one has to take action.
Everyone inside this matter has taken the up-front and public stance that this little girl needs professional help, except the father. Why? Ms. Simons is not the answer, she just does what she thinks is best. When a child is at risk, sometimes you have to say, "I will help." Channel 11 is to be commended and not sued.
Good luck to Brittany; there are more of us than there are of them!
Spoil My Climaxes, Will You!
I thoroughly enjoyed the first half of Peter Rainer's Truman Show review ["Tube Message," June 4] until he, only to make an empty, unnecessary point, gave away key elements of the recently released Bulworth and 1976's Network. I am 27 years old and have not seen either film, but I have read several of Mr. Rainer's reviews. It is odd (but somewhat expected of him) that he would choose the only American film in recent memory that he actually enjoyed watching to give his readers another reason to believe that he doesn't bring popcorn to the movies, just an extra large bucket of bitterness.
Blue over the Agave
Eric Lawlor's restaurant review (or was it restaurant slam?) of The Blue Agave ["Testosterone Mex," May 21] seems to me to have been written to impress us with his clever use of words rather than to give us an accurate picture of the restaurant and its food. When will you people at the Houston Press stop writing to glorify yourselves and start writing to provide information?
Let Our Lawlor Go
After reading Eric Lawlor's most recent Cafe review on The Blue Agave, I am reminded of that old adage: "Those who can, do; those who can't, coach." When applied to Mr. Lawlor (whom I recall the Press touting as having a background in culinary schooling), the adage might be rephrased to, "those who can, cook and run restaurants; those who can't, review the restaurants of those who can."
Had I not already been to The Blue Agave four times since its opening last month, I doubt I would have gone once, if I were to rely on Mr. Lawlor's review. His criticisms are often schizophrenic: Chicken Blue Agave is "burdened" with tomatoes, peppers, onions, avocado and cheese, contrasted with "quite delicious" calamari Agave, tossed with peppers, onions, tomatoes and garlic butter. Or trout that comes with garlic butter and pico "in such quantity that the pecan crust is all but undetectable" is contrasted with splendid quesadillas "thanks in part to lots and lots of caramelized onions." Instead of telling readers about the bonus of having Sierra desserts available to cap off a meal, Mr. Lawlor needlessly critiques the decor. Is he a frustrated interior decorator, too?
Judging from the volume of letters you printed in response to his (apparently unfounded) criticism of Bistro 224 and my personal knowledge of The Blue Agave, Mr. Lawlor's tastes do not reflect those of your readers. Perhaps you should do us and him a favor and let him go, so that he may open his own perfect restaurant, which I will gladly review for you one month after it opens, point by petty point.
Burley Knows Best
You may have missed ranchotejas.com in your survey of restaurant web sites ["Sites from the Scene," Dish, June 4]. The owner not only knows food, he's web-savvy also. (He's also related to me, but I'm not prejudiced!) Check it out when you get the chance.
Snaring Drum Honors
My comment is mainly a point of concern. As I enjoyed casting my vote in the Houston Press Music Awards Best Artists contest, I became sad for two people of interest in the Best Drummer category. One candidate was Eddie Hawkins (Horseshoe), who no longer plays for the band, and the other is the not-so-forgotten but current drummer of Horseshoe, Mike Fischer. Anyone who claims to be very aware of the Houston music scene would probably know that Mike has been Horseshoe's drummer for more than six months. He has also been on the Houston music scene for quite some time, in other bands like The Kick, and has had various freelance spots with Sisters Morales, The Romeo Dogs, Herschel Berry and others. I'm glad Eddie was nominated, but I think Mike deserves some recognition as well. Is Mike the best drummer in Houston? I'll let the voters decide, but from what I've seen, he always gives his best every time he hits the stage.
Plaza Perfect Pitch
Bravo to Houston Grand Opera for its third "Plazacast," and kudos to Houston Press for paying positive attention ["Figaro al Fresco," May 14]. The only ingredient Lee Williams neglected to note was how those closeup images of HGO's "mesmerizing" production of The Marriage of Figaro materialized on the big screen outside the Wortham -- via the technical proficiency and sensitivity to musical and theatrical detail, under the complex pressures of live transmission, of a Houston-based crew. Bravos to them, too, from an appreciative and wide-awake audience!
Name withheld by request
Nyet My Tongue
The review of the Russian movie A Friend of the Deceased, by David Theis ["Post-Commie Depression," May 21], displays a very typical -- for an American reviewer of foreign movies -- combination of ignorance and arrogance. In his article, Theis writes: "The language the characters actually speak is ... Russian." What language does he expect people in Kiev to speak? Swahili? Russian is the principal language spoken in Kiev and most of the other cities in the Ukraine. It is also the language of the majority of Ukrainian writers.
Amusingly, Theis's own article is written in standard English, the language of the "Yankee oppressors from the North."
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In reference to the letter from Sheila Jackson Lee ["Sheila Says It Isn't So," June 4]: Grammar -- try it, you'll like it.
Thomas H. Leavens