Lack of leadership: Nice article ["Turn Out the Lights, the Party's Over," Racket, by John Lomax, January 24]. The music scene is dying here because it receives no support from the city's own leadership.
In Austin, the city council demonstrates its support for the music community by inviting local writers to kick off its meetings with a song. Most of their agendas have at least one item about the entertainment district to vote on or discuss. Music is a priority in Austin. They make it easy to hold conferences and festivals.
Outdoor music permits are nearly free and come without an interrogation. Conversely, if I brought my guitar into Houston's council chambers, they'd just plain kick me out before the first note was played.
Houston has no interest in its own local color because its leadership doesn't promote it. When was the last time you saw a councilmember out on the town for live music at Blanco's or Oxford Hall? How about never, probably because they can't afford to be photographed in the vicinity of a beer.
However, you will find them at the Wortham Center schmoozing with their big campaign contributors while they take in The Magic Flute. Those folks could care less about twang. They're the "jet set" and we're the "old Chevrolet set," and heck, they might get their wingtips dirty, and for what? We have nothing to offer them for their time. HAAMsters unite! It's time for an old-fashioned musical sit-in.
Name withheld by request
High and Dry
Questionable: Robb Walsh's inability to receive a recommendation from the proclaimed vegetarian waitstaff of Dry Creek Café is not uncommon ["Keep Houston Weird," by Robb Walsh, January 24]. I'm not saying these people aren't what they say they are, but I know that many in the restaurant industry say such things simply to avoid answering the question.
Servers: I know the question can be asked many times a day, but the request for suggestions isn't intended to annoy or bother or bore you. It's just a question. A simple answer about which dish is most popular will do. You're at work. Get over yourselves.
Vegan bashing: Well, it seems as if Robb Walsh is at it again. In his review of Dry Creek Café, he describes asking two waitresses — one "drop-dead gorgeous" and the other "cute" (I won't even begin to address his misogynistic undertones) — to choose between rotting animal flesh No. 1 or rotting animal flesh No. 2, only to discover that one waitress is vegan and the other a vegetarian. He then goes on to reminisce about the good ole days when he filed a police report against a vegan group for a death threat while living in Austin. Does he not realize, or care, that there are plenty of vegans living here Houston? Some of them, like me, even read his column every once in a while. But I don't think he'll have to worry about death threats in this case, since I'm sure eating all of those cholesterol-laden "triple bypass burgers" will send him to his grave long before any vegan could lay a hand on him. Veganism promotes nonviolence and compassion toward all sentient beings, even Robb Walsh. For the animals,
Does it work? The one thing I don't see in this story ["Rod Paige, Tom Cruise, BFFs?" Hair Balls, by Rich Connelly, January 24], which I seem to miss in most news stories, is any evaluation of whether the scary "Study Tech" works.
Ron Hubbard was a science fiction writer, which the press has so adequately exposed to the world, but he was also an engineer, a Navy commander and quite an explorer in his time, as well as a barnstorming pilot when airplanes were scary, too.
Reading even a tiny bit of Hubbard's works, either fiction or serious studies, shows he was all about two things: improving the human condition, and "Does It Work?"
His "Study Technology" is, by verifiable statistics, the most effective educational technology available, because it involves the student in the education process, is all about understanding what is being read and is all about getting a positive result.
You may call him weird, and he was, if weird means understanding what you are doing in life and leaving the world a better place than it was when you found it.
To the Cleaners
Another tale: I was heartened to read others' tales of woe about the Dry Clean Super Center in the Heights in "Tales from the BBB" [Hair Balls, by Rich Connelly, January 24]. I had taken several white dress shirts there for laundering, and when I got them back, every one of them was ripped at the exact same place on the right sleeve. When I complained that their machine was apparently malfunctioning, tearing the fabric and ruining my shirts, I was told that I must be wearing them out myself. I never went back.
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Due to an editing error, "Attention, Opera-holics" [January 31] incorrectly stated the name of the baritone who played Popageno in Houston Grand Opera's The Magic Flute. It was Patrick Carfizzi, not David Hockney.
We regret the error.