Mormons, AstroWorld, Tokio Hotel and Sweet Potato Fries
What's mainstream? As the author of Acts of God: A Primer for Atheists, Agnostics, and Those Who Have Lapsed, I'm impartial when it comes to the competing beliefs and practices of those who claim to be "real _________s" (fill in your favorite religion). So it is without partisanship that I object to the phrase "one mainstream Mormon" ["A Test of Faith," by Jesse Hyde, October 30]. It is shorter but less accurate than "one member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints."
Who are the "mainstream" Jews? The Satmar, the Lubavitch, the modern Orthodox, the Conservative, the Reform? Who are the "mainstream" Christians? The Greek Orthodox, the Presbyterians, the Christian Scientists, the Southern Baptists, the Mennonites? When characterizing a person's beliefs, better to use the term that they use themselves.
Mourning AstroWorld: I believe your "feature" called "Thrilled to Death" [by Josh Harkinson, June 3, 2004], which was full of mistruths, lies and the worst kind of journalism I have ever seen in this city, probably had some effect on AstroWorld's closing, as the public's perception of the park (helped out by the misinformation written) was embraced by corporate Six Flags, and AstroWorld was written off.
Today, three years later, the property sits vacant, only used by a concert promoter for a three-day festival. Three days out of three years. Is the city a better place with AstroWorld gone?
Your hack, Josh Harkinson, is a liar. He directly lied to me, no matter what he claims. When I participated in this interview, I told him I would have no part in a story that would be a hack-and-slash job on AstroWorld. I also told him if the story turned in that direction, to leave me out. We see how good his word is. A paper is only as reputable as its writers. Enough said?
The Houston Non-Press needs to reevaluate having this story still up on its Web site. It serves no purpose. You won, the park is gone. Congratulations, Houston Press. I hope you guys are happy.
Far from icky: Sorry to say this, but you are an idiot ["Scary Monsters (and Super Creeps)," Chatter, by Craig Hlavaty, October 30]. One of the things that made Tokio Hotel who they are, which is one of the biggest bands in Europe and, of course, Germany, is not just Bill's beauty or George's hair, but actually the surprisingly decent quality of their music. They have extremely good producers, and the kids themselves are awesome and very unspoiled, as celebrities go. So, in the future, please listen to something before bitching about it. Finally, Bill and Tom are very far from being ickiest of the icky, although I would agree with you on Brett Whatever-His-Last-Name-Is.
Online readers comment on "The Surprising Rise of Sweet Potato Fries," by Robb Walsh, Eating...Our Words blog, November 3.
Home style: I love sweet potato fries, but I prefer to bake them at home. Super high temp in the oven, olive oil, plenty of salt, and you're in for some yummy stuff. I eat them plain or withketchup.
Bananas: In Portland you can get sweet potato fries and yummy made-to-order buffalo wings at a place called Fire on the Mountain. The fries are served with...are you ready...banana sauce! Sooooo good.
It's funny: The Burgerville about three blocks from my house just started selling these. Have not had them yet. Guess I will have to check them out.
Just add sugar: Funny how different parts of the country use condiments. Here in south Louisiana, sweet potato fries are everywhere also. However, most here come with a side of cinnamon sugar. Frying sweet potatoes — usually when rendering cracklins — is a longstanding tradition here.
Yuck: I can't stand sweet potato fries. I only want my dessert to be sweet. If I have to eat sweet potato fries, I douse them in ketchup until they taste like really ketchuppy regular fries.
Last week's Music article on Of Montreal, "Sex on Wheels," was published with an incorrect byline. The author is Keegan Hamilton, not Annie Zaleski.
The Press regrets the error.
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