Look for the Union Label
Your cover story "Hard Labor" [May 26, by Michael King] represents the sort of poorly reported, poorly written and poorly edited garbage I recently have come to expect from you folks. It reads like a feature in a college weekly, rather than the former pacesetter in Houston journalism.
Of course we all know the union's public relations people sold you this story as part of their legal strategy. Yet, Mr. King bought the union's version wholesale, using innuendo and word choice to portray the silent Chinese owners as racist oppressors and the gallant Hispanic union organizers as victims. Mr. King obviously has never before covered a bitter union battle or its aftermath. I, too, wouldn't let a client in this position speak freely because nothing Mr. Wang said would have changed your slant.
Furthermore, Mr. King used the ten-dollar legal words but only pretends to understand them. On the facts he gave us, Allied Fiber's incorporation is neither illegal, improper nor unexpected. Additionally, he should know that workers without contracts (which includes every reporter I know) in Texas can be fired "at-will," with few exceptions. Finally, every OSHA inspector in Houston would burst through Mother Teresa's bathroom door when the shower is running if they believed she was abusing immigrant workers. Your investigative reporting reputation is on the ropes.
You Write 'Em, We Print 'Em
How about a gentle urging to expand the size of your letters column?
Your features are probing, your departments span multi-generational interests, and your reviews can cut like Singapore caning, yet only three or four letters an issue? Hardly gives your readers a chance to communicate with each other, or hear pro/cons on a previously published story.
If Lynn Ashby did this he might actually have to write for a living!
Michael C. Jozwiak
Flick, Flick, Flick, Flick, Flick
David Theis says in the June 9 issue [Movies, "The Sound of Silents"] that silent films viewed at roughly 18 frames per second were called "flickers" because modern projectors speed the film to 2430 frames per second, "making them jerky and ... funny." The term "flicker" goes way back to the peep-show Kinetoscope of the 1890s. This projector was mounted in a wooden box with a peephole, and it used unperforated Eastman celluloid film that was cranked by hand. After the invention of the 24 fps projector, the word "flicker" lost currency, but enjoyed extended life in the U.S. Navy as "flick," as in "Let's go catch a flick."
Want some advice? Send this guy Theis back to central casting. I am referring to his trashing of Bertolucci's Little Buddha [Movies, "Shopping for Buddhas," May 26], the first serious effort of a Western filmmaker to bring Dharma before an American movie audience.
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David C. Holiman
Loopy Kind of Linda Love
I am writing this letter to tell you of my love for "Ernie Pook's Comeek," by Linda J. Barry. Linda J. Barry who is kind, who is brilliant and funny and sad and sweet and bittersweet. Linda J. Barry, who makes me smile. Don't ever stop running "Ernie Pook's Comeek," or all of the Jim Jimmy Jims of the world may not go away ever.
There is a small heaven in this world and it is seen through the eyes of Linda J. Barry.