Mem-or-ies: Great article ["Prom 2K6," by Ray Hafner, June 15]! You actually made me laugh out loud a couple of times. My wife was so curious she had to get her own copy of the Press (by the way, she enjoyed it, too). This was so timely; I am going to my 20-year high school reunion this weekend, and you brought back so many memories. My prom was many years ago, but things really don't change that much. You need to go to a reunion now and see the other side of the coin. If you're gonna go, go big!
Good work, punk: Excellent article! Whether Ray Hafner decided to write this feature because he was desperate for a story, wanted to do penance for his loutish behavior at his own prom or just likes hanging around with high school kids, I will never know. What I do know is that his article made me laugh out loud more than once -- both in genuine mirth and in that knowing mix of humor, anxiety and dimly recalled anguish that adults often feel when remembering high school. Kudos. I never went to my prom. I'm not sure I missed anything significant -- since I wasn't there, I don't know. Yet I envied Hafner just a little. For 16 hours, he had the opportunity to live that nearly universal adult fantasy: to go back to high school for just a little while with the experience and knowledge we have as adults. Getting to read about the reporter's experience was great fun -- especially for those of us who are much further removed from high school than Hafner is. He's a 23-year-old punk, after all -- even if he can write one hell of an article. Good work.
Bright young thing: I was greatly impressed by the article "Prom 2K6." I thought it was extremely well written by someone who is so young. I hope we will read more from him in the future and that you will continue to give young writers an opportunity in your paper.
Gregg Van Yundt
What a Night
Back in 1992: Travis Ritter wrote that nearly 19 years have passed since Echo and the Bunnymen played in Houston ["Sugar Kisses," Night & Day, June 15]. Actually, the last time Echo and the Bunnymen (without Ian McColloch) played in Houston was on August 29, 1992, at the Black Forest Tavern. It was an excellent concert performed in a '60s psychedelic kind of way, as opposed to an '80s kind of way with Ian McColloch. Out of their excellent concerts of 1981, 1986 and 1992, 1992's was the best. I missed the March 18, 1988, one. Bummer.
Michael V. Jozwiak
Out of the Blue October
More for me: I'm just glad I won't have to fight this person for a good spot at Blue October shows ["Screw October," by John Nova Lomax, June 1]. You know the old saying: "Opinions are like assholes...everyone has one." The writer of this story just proved to everyone what kind of taste he really has. And to think, I used to respect his opinion.
Super Nova: I've been reading John Nova Lomax in the Houston Press as gospel for years. I wanted to relentlessly applaud the recent piece on Blue October. I found it to be "more interesting than rectal cancer." It was honestly the hardest I've laughed since I read your take on Dr. John, which, as usual, had me roaring out loud at 3 a.m., like a complete solitary hysterical fucktard.
I still pick up a Press weekly, exclusively in anticipation of whatever you'll have to say at the time about how ridiculous everything is. It's always so painfully close to home and abso-fuckin'-ludicrous hysterical, even if that wasn't your intention. You are as Houston as Johnny "Guitar" Watson, and know everything about what's in, around and under the scene in this city. I remain a loyal reader/fan. And of course, I'm confident that once your eighth-grade therapy anthem comes out, your MySpace friend count will take an astronomical leap.
Attention, local bands: We want your music. Yeah, your garage demos, your next hit single and your "recorded live at Rudz" secret track that only your real fans know about. Genre be damned -- if it's local and listenable (or not listenable, but if we can stand it), your mp3s will be featured on our new blog.
That's right, in the very near future, the Press will join the blogosphere. You can expect everything you find here -- in-depth news coverage, music, arts, dining, events and more -- plus coverage on sports and pop culture. Keep a lookout, and if you've got a hot tip on just about anything, send it to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Houston Press writing recognized
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Houston Press staff writer Josh Harkinson has been named one of eight finalists for the national John Bartlow Martin Award for Public Interest Magazine Journalism.
Harkinson was a finalist for "Wretched Excess," a story of how biological waste is disposed of in rural fields and farms and how health problems of nearby residents often follow.
The contest is sponsored by Northwestern University's Medill School of Journalism. Previous winners have included articles published in Newsweek, The New Yorker and The Village Voice.
In another national contest, Gustavo Arellano, whose syndicated column Ask a Mexican! appears in the Houston Press, won first place in the Association of Alternative Newspapers' annual Excellence in Journalism contest. The column was judged against other columns appearing in papers with more than 50,000 circulation.