On the Mattress
Open invite: The story "The Plane Truth" [by Craig Malisow, June 8] should be shocking and appalling to me, but it isn't. This Dr. Kilari fellow isn't the only one of his kind. There are bigger and badder scams, and yes, many of them fall into the religious sector. A scam like this is especially effective in the United States, where we give these "religious" scumbags tax-exempt status. It's like an open invitation to be a con artist.
Good for Mattress Mac for having some sense. I never would have guessed that a man with the preferred first name "Mattress" would not easily fall victim to a charity scam.
We don't need more stories about scam artists and crooks making money. We don't need to glorify the bad guy and give future crooks ideas. We need more stories like Enron, about these guys getting busted and getting the book thrown at them. Don't tell us what he's getting away with; let us know when they lock him up and throw away the key...or at least when they finally take away his stupid plane.
Feeding the Feds
Shit sandwich, anyone? Good article ["Holy Sh--!" by Richard Connelly, June 1], but we have two checkpoints here in the buffer zone between the real world and the third world. The other checkpoint is Sarita on Highway 77, which is another evacuation route.
Last year when Emily came ashore, she put 22 feet of water over La Pesca and Carbonares, Mexico, areas that are identical to our fair sandspit, South Padre Island. I've lived here since '89, and the buffoonery and idiocy never cease to amaze. When we get hit by a storm, you ain't gonna believe the shit sandwich the feds are gonna be fed.
South Padre Island
We Got Played
Your article is correct: Roger Clemens and his agent have played Houston like a violin ["Getting Rogered," Hair Balls, by Richard Connelly, June 8]. His return to baseball is not about the fans or the team -- it has always been about money and his ego. He could have returned in early May, but he didn't. Way to go, Houston. You're giving more money to a millionaire who works in a stadium subsidized by your taxes!
Name withheld by request
Blasting Blue October
Spot on: I got a hell of a laugh out of your article about Blue October ["Screw October," by John Lomax, June 1]. There's more truth in there than the band would ever like to admit. Especially Justin. You see, the thing that no one realizes about him is that while he did go to HSPVA, he was never in the music department. Justin was a drama major -- hence the overacting and the extreme melodrama. He's an actor, not a musician. He's always used the "I'm crazy but deep and emotional" shtick to attract people. In high school he was hellaciously popular, though I could never see why. There's nothing about the man that's real.
Yeah, I went to high school with him, though I doubt he'll remember me since I wasn't part of the oh-my-God-Justin's-so-cool crowd.
Your take on them is spot on, though. Congratulations! He wears more eyeliner than most of the goth chicks I know.
Thanks for the great article. I laughed out loud several times.
Jennifer Alexander, ne Lazure
HSPVA class of 1995
No: Wow. I'm totally impressed that there are "journalists" on your staff who are capable of assessing the mental health of artists.
In "Screw October," the "journalist" unnecessarily passes judgment on the mental health of the lead singer. The article, which can't really be called a review, as the "journalist" didn't attend a performance or listen to the new CD, is truly an example of a lack of knowledge about mental health and marketing. To criticize a band based on its marketing is like criticizing an entire publication based on the lousy reporting of one "journalist" -- it's just not a valid representation of the caliber of the artists or journalists. I hope that in the future the Houston Press will try not to publish harsh judgments about bands based on their marketing, MySpace pages, a single song, mental health or television appearances. Why not attend a show or at least listen to an entire CD? I would have to be on drugs like your "journalist" to ever read a music article by Lomax again. Fortunately for me, I just say no.
Qualifications, please? The opinion of the song "Hate Me" by the article's author leads me to wonder what would qualify him as a critic of any music. He lacks the ability to start the task unbiased; he lacks the ability to forget the songwriter and focus on and understand the song; and he needs a wider vocabulary. These are just three of many glaring points that prove the author incompetent.
Kevin L. Hughes
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Press writer wins national journalism award in mental health coverage
Houston Press staff writer Todd Spivak has received the first-place award in general reporting in the category of newspapers with a circulation above 100,000 in this year's Mental Health Media Awards contest sponsored by the National Mental Health Association.
Spivak won for his story "Against All Odds," the tale of a group of unsupervised mental patients who made their way from New Orleans to Houston in the wake of Hurricane Katrina.
The National Mental Health Association is the country's oldest and largest nonprofit organization addressing all aspects of mental health and mental illness.