On the Mark
J.R. and Kenny Boy: Bravo, sir. Your article was informative with scandal ["Diva of the Deal," by Robert Bryce, October 10]. The stories that come from the rise and fall of Enron are like the old TV show Dallas.
I don't even work for the company, but Rebecca Mark's reputation hit the working-class nobodies at least two years ago, and to see it in writing now -- well, you be the judge.
Hurricane hype: It has been a long time since I saw such real humor hit so close as Richard Connelly did in his "Category 4 Circle Jerk" [News Hostage, October 10].
Not to say that you get jaded about hurricanes when you grow up in this locale, but Neil Frank and his band at Channel 11 have done more for my sleep patterns than Sominex ever could.
It is absolutely pathetic when one man and his crew suddenly get so hyped up over a natural occurrence -- and we have suffered through his crap for years. Anticipation of a hurricane need not be treated as a prelude to sex, yet each year I dread seeing the season come because I know he's prepping for his overblown performance.
I appreciate anyone giving me warning about something that can affect my life, but with all the highfalutin radar and everything meteorologists have today, accurate forecasts can be made without all the bells and whistles of getting everyone so unduly excited. And at Dr. Frank's age, I think he better watch that undue excitement.
Seems clear to me why the readers of the Press picked Frank Billingsley and Chuck George as their favorite weathercasters. Give the facts, show concern, and let the storm be the story.
Judge on ability: I read Scott Nowell's feature "Justice for Some" [October 3] and was extremely impressed with his writing ability. I also read the companion article about the flak you received from the Justice For All members about his parole status ["About the Author," by George Flynn].
I am a parole officer in Galveston County, and I can't tell you how proud I was to see your support of an ex-con. So many people judge without knowing the individuals and their abilities. Thanks for taking a stand and following through. I wish more people would see things so clearly.
Playing charades: George Flynn was too nice. His article on the recent Houston Press drama involving writer Scott Nowell made me sick to my stomach. Dianne Clements, Justice For All leader, and Houston's victims' advocate Andy Kahan had the audacity to question Nowell's ability to write for the Press. Through this scandal, the duo did open eyes -- but toward their own unforgiving and narrow-minded ways.
The Press assigned Nowell because he can write. No criminal record could overshadow that fact. This does raise an important question. Can parolees write about victims' rights in an unbiased way? No one can be sure. But isn't it safe to say that if Nowell couldn't write objectively his boss would notice?
Kahan and Clements are so quick to judge. Clements, through this ridiculous charade, has caused Nowell problems with his parole.
Downtown SUV Alert
Focus on serious problems: Were the news articles in the October 3 edition of the Houston Press satire, irony or serious journalism? Were these articles intended to explain the serious issues of child battery, homelessness and the challenges of developing downtown night life -- or were they intended to show that prejudice, injustice and a general lack of regard for our fellow people are still thriving in our humble city?
"Toogood to Be True?" [by Jennifer Mathieu] is mostly an attack on the Irish Travelers of which this woman is a member, as well as general threats from city officials and fear fabrication. We learn that this group is known for thieving, cheating and general malice. Finally we learn that this group has shiny, well-kept SUVs and children that actively use the Internet, much like most households in River Oaks. In fact, given the current level of corporate malfeasance, one might assume that the groups share the same level of integrity.
"Begging for Help" [by Alan Truex] tells of the plight of the impoverished downtown restaurant owners. We learn that the current construction and greedy bums are costing them millions of dollars. The fact that these places attract drunks that often drive the wrong way down the streets in their huge SUVs and do their best to kill those who try to live downtown is never mentioned. Also ignored are the club owners that obstruct the sidewalks with velvet ropes, forcing pedestrians into the street as a prime target for the drunk SUV drivers, all under the careful watch of Houston's finest.
An article exploring the serious issue of "street persons," retail development, pedestrians and drunk drivers would be appreciated.
Consumer advice: Readers (like myself) see information on the Best Tattoo and Piercing Parlor [Best of Houston, September 26] and accept it on its face value that the policies and procedures at the shop are the best offered. This simply is not true.
All tattoo artists and body piercers should wash their hands and put on a new pair of gloves when setting up. Customers should always insist on equipment sterilized by an autoclave that is spore-tested at least monthly.
Needles should be single-use only. Make sure your tattooist or body piercer removes new needles from sealed autoclaved bags in front of you.
Finally, your tattoo artist or body piercer should be clean in appearance and sober. The furnishings in a studio should also be clean and orderly in appearance.
If a tattoo artist or body piercer is professional, they will have no problem complying with these minimum standards. If for any reason you feel uncomfortable, go somewhere else.
J-Hawkers: I am not, nor have I ever been, a Marxist, although I do think Groucho is hilarious ["Best Band to Break Up," Best of Houston]. I would have been happy to sell millions of records, live in a solid-gold house and golf with Peter Buck on Sundays. Those who leave a job six weeks out of the year to tour and hawk CDs have got to be more concerned about their own well-being than the plight of the working class, regardless of what they tell the local music writer.
Thanks to everyone who supported Japanic for three years. I doubt anyone had economic theory on their mind when they were shaking their asses all those nights.
Irked at IBP: Question: What do the people at Infernal Bridegroom Productions do to get these slobbering reviews from Lee Williams ["The Wanker's Lament," October 3]? They don't do particularly good work.
While talented, they aren't very focused in their work. They seem, to my eyes (and to the eyes of many I speak with), to be a group of high school drama snobs with way too much money and far too much good press.
Liddell defenders: We beg to differ with Timothy J. O'Brien's review of Lise Liddell's CD Lovers' Moon [Local Rotation, October 10]. We don't get why Mr. O'Brien feels the cover doesn't "bode well for the weightiness of the enclosed contents."
To our eye and ear, the sensuous luminosity of the cover, with Paul Swen's photographs, exquisitely reflects the purity of Liddell's voice, the poetry of her lyrics and the dusky soulfulness of the music within. Neither the Houston Press readership nor the musical community is served by so one-sided a review.
Gail and Porter Storey
The Lomax factor: Extend my special appreciation to the writings of John Nova Lomax and his Racket column. His article on Mickey Newbury was in-depth and insightful ["Songbird Silenced," October 10]. As were his words on Kinky and Billy Joe Shaver.
Not all of us still live in Texas. But thanks to the Internet, many of us around the world can still taste the flavor of our heritage. I don't care who's appearing in the local venues. Houston is a long way away. But the writings and thoughts of John are important and bring us close to home.
Give that lad a raise, buy him a pair of earplugs, and let us continue to read his thoughts and words.
Skull Valley, Arizona
Pleasures of Pilot Radio
Quality Antiques: I have to say that your analysis of the new Pilot Radio album, Antiques [Rotation, by Bob Ruggiero, September 12], is about as far from reality as you can get.
For starters, the band sounds nothing like emo. They sound nothing like Britpop. If it's mellow and easy, does that mean it's automatically Britpop or emo? No, it doesn't. Sure, Ricky's lyrics are typically about the same heartbreak and emotion that we all feel at such a young age, but some of the insights he declares are quite good. It's no Bob Dylan, but it's not exactly second-rate wordsmithing!
Just wanted to point out that there are people out there who enjoy this record quite a great deal.
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Race conflicts: I just want to voice my dissatisfaction over the change in date of the 2002 Dome Run to December 8. Every year it has been around the same weekend in November. We have run this race for the past six years, and we love it.
However, with the change in date, we will not be able to do it because of another race scheduled for the same day. Why not have it on the traditional weekend as always? This is very disconcerting.
Bonnie Jo Barron
Publisher's note: The only date we are allowed use of the new Reliant Stadium field this year is on December 8, so we were left with little choice. We regret your situation and hope to find a date next year that does not conflict with any other race.