No Sense or Sensibility
Ascent of the stupid: This story ["The A Student," by Todd Spivak, November 3] again epitomizes the total lack of sensibility and common sense of the institutions that teach our children. It never ceases to amaze me how incredibly stupid the individuals are who ascend to the levels of authority in FBISD and HISD.
First it was Terry Abbott, a non-college degree holder pulling down more than $100,000 a year (ridiculous, don't you think), the consummate yes-man who never answered a question working for Rod Paige. We thought we were rid of him when he went with Paige to D.C., but he lasted barely six months, only to be rehired. And he's rewarded -- we get him back with a pay raise, no less.
Then, HISD's total stupidity in firing and then attempting to convict a whistle-blower on the principals and others who falsified attendance records to line their pockets with bonuses. Do they go after the persons who benefited from the scam? No, they go after the people who exposed it. In the end, the countersuit that the whistle-blower should rightfully win will cost HISD and the taxpayers, when it should really be levied against Kay Stripling and the current board. But that will never happen. There is no accountability for these people. They have no business running a billion-dollar budget.
It's absurd and pathetic that we as voters and the city and state allow these people to embarrass all of us. Please, keep looking into and writing about the incredible lack of accountability exhibited by these administrations. If we could charge them with gross mismanagement, reduce their salaries or fire them on the spot, maybe they would think twice about filing charges against those who are innocent, and instead file them against offenders. But that would never happen, because they would have to file against themselves.
The Swing Set
The ladies love it: This is regarding Josh Harkinson's swinging feature ["Pick Me Up," October 13]. My wife and I dabbled in the lifestyle over a period of four years. Here's the CliffsNotes on what we learned: When you meet a couple, you will always love one of them and barely tolerate the other. Couples you are attracted to at a club will not be interested in you (and vice versa). It's been a year since we did the wild thing outside our marriage. Here's how that last attempt went:
Me: "We've been invited to a house party with two or three other couples from Connecticut."
Wife: "I don't want to go. You end up humping all the women, and I end up with some fat old guy who can't get it up."
Me: "This is different. All the couples are very attractive, in their thirties and ready to go."
So we went. I had a great time with the women, and she dealt with good-looking guys who couldn't get it up. Point being, our experience is that more couples are out there being led by the women, with the guys along for the ride (although many not doing all that much riding, if you catch my drift). In all, we had some very good times and don't regret any of it. We also learned things are not as the stereotypes would have you believe.
Name withheld by request
Big and beautiful: I've been a loyal reader of the Houston Press for many years. I've always maintained that the writers you have on staff were talented and presented a thought-provoking spin to many issues both here in Houston and, to an extent, across the country. I've not always agreed with the writers' viewpoints, but I can appreciate their right to express it.
It was not until I read Josh Harkinson's piece on the Houston swinging community that I thought you had a total hack on the payroll.
I've been involved in the lifestyle for about five years and have gone to countless house parties and many of the clubs that Harkinson visited gathering research for his story. What could have been an opportunity to really delve into the guts of the community turned out to be no more than an adolescent narrative about a few couples who obviously have issues and which clubs have the best-looking clientele.
The more I read, the more I realized the story was focused not on the lifestyle but on Harkinson's obvious disgust with the overweight. There are people in the lifestyle from all walks of life and in every color, size and shape. We all have our personal preferences, but Harkinson proved once again that the only people it is socially acceptable to discriminate against are the fatties.
I'm a big beautiful woman, and I'm just as comfortable with myself as the girls who spend hours in the gym. The human body is a beautiful thing no matter what size. Tell Harkinson to peddle his prejudice and hatred somewhere else. We don't need it in our community.
Name withheld by request
No offense taken: I loved the article about swinging in Houston. I'm curious about that lifestyle and have participated with couples and even my own husband. Now I have somewhere to go. Not all of us were offended.
Name withheld by request
MAD at Robb: Come on, now -- do you really think that food people don't know who you are ["Spy vs. Spy," by Robb Walsh, October 20]? Sure, you can infiltrate the sports bar, but a real place with real chefs? That's their business to know the food business.
I happened to be there on one of your visits (my God, even the public recognizes you). This was a few days after the hurricane scare. You failed to mention this: While many eateries remained closed, Gravitas was open, despite the fact that many staff members were evacuated and many deliveries were canceled. I wonder why service was bad and supplies were low.
On the other hand, I'm not sure that you're enough of a celebrity to warrant culling through beef cuts. Maybe you should educate Josh as to the difference between MADium-rare and MADium-well.
Editor's note: Hurricane Rita made landfall September 24. Walsh's receipts show he dined at Gravitas August 31, September 8 and October 6 (these were his only visits). The person you saw was not Robb Walsh.
Where's "Wiggy"? Your list seems very opinionated ["Best Beats from the Bayou," by John Nova Lomax, October 20]. "Cooter Brown" No. 2? C'mon, man Where is "Tops Drop" by Fat Pat?
"High So High" by SPM?! Even "Wiggy" was a bigger hit
This is why Houston rap music has been oppressed for so long -- lists like this.
Nice one, John: Could not have said it better myself ["Low Ride, Take It Easy," by John Nova Lomax, November 10]. I was programmer of one of the ghettoized Sunday-night programs (a three-hour metal show called Stage Dive on KLOL in the mid-'90s). It was always both gratifying and frustrating to even try to play local artists. It was gratifying because they truly appreciated it, but frustrating because you knew nothing more would ever happen. My wife was on-air host of the show (and music director of the station as a whole at the time), and her unfettered love for Pushmonkey got them into regular rotation and ultimately to a major label. We're both (primarily rock) music fans, and this situation sucks. You speak the complete truth on this topic.
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"Shattered Illusion" (by Greg Harman, October 27) stated that a window of the Marfa Locker Plant was shot out in response to an installation representing President Bush as a terrorist. The anecdote is unsubstantiated.
The Houston Press regrets the error.