River Oaks Monster
Readers weigh in on the first of our two-part series on Dinesh Shaw, The Unexpected Guest by John Nova Lomax, July 21:
Juicy: Like one of the old Dominick Dunne stories in Vanity Fair — juicy and intriguing. Nicely done.
What about the brother: Crazy. I just finished reading Monster in River Oaks. From what I read, the brother Shyam was totally the hero of this story. I hope his life turns out okay because he seems like a decent guy.
Houston's imaginative criminals: This is good, like the HP of yore. Who could forget similarly juicy stories like the John Hill murder trial, the Dolcefino assault in Montrose, the bizarre follow-up story on our own Mayor Tootsie, the guy that insured his elderly victims as they were about to die, the River Oaks murder of Robert Angleton's wife, and many, many more stories about the imaginative criminals in Houston I've read about over the past 20 years here in this paper. It's the possibility of writing like this that makes me pick it up each week. Thanks for the treat.
Our online story "Group Sues to Prevent Rick Perry's Prayer Day" (by Jeff Balke, July 14) sparked a lot of comment over whether our governor should be calling for a day of prayer:
Calm down: The separation of church and state will not establish a religion, Governor Rick Perry is not establishing a religion. Rick Perry is a Christian and is having a meeting, one prayer meeting, with like-minded Christians to pray for blessing on our people, even those that would try to stop us from this. Jesus commands us to pray.
So please quit trying to suppress the Christians because you fear Governor Rick Perry might be running for the highest office in the land.
Christianish: So I count myself as Christianish, but I'm so very annoyed at this ploy. It sickens me that I am being asked to be "contrite before God" for somehow being party to our nation running away from God, which is for some reason why bad shit is happening. I'm pretty sure I did not cause the subprime mortgage crisis. Pretty sure.
It just seems like the easy way for Rick Perry to seem like he's doing something. So we vaguely repent and ask God to totally come back 'cause we're soooo sorry for kicking him out of government? And that's it? This doesn't even answer the question of why the crises we're facing even happened or what a healthy "God sanctioned" government even looks like to him. But this event makes Rick Perry a hero, and he doesn't even fucking have to address his role in our current predicament. It's actually kind of genius if you think about it.
Silly: I think it's pretty simple here. As a person, elected official and man of God, Perry, no one can take away his right to pray or not pray. Romney can attend his Mormon Church and Obama can choose not to attend etc., etc. The Constitution is clear on that as well as stating that no law can be made to promote a specific religion. No law here to attend. Believers and nonbelievers are welcome as long as your plan is not to be disruptive. The event is sponsored by a Christian organization, so no taxpayer money is used. To say he should pay for his own security is a little silly; we need to protect our Governor regardless of where he's at. In addition, anyone would like to have the right to protest as long it's done within the lines of the law. I understand if you don't believe in God (Jesus) why you would think this is silly. I also understand why you would be upset over believers having an event like this. The Bible is clear on this.
My prayers to all involved in these conversations in our great country, where we have the right to do so.
Let's dance: This idea of invoking God to solve our problems is purely political. He did the same with the drought, proposing that we all pray for rain. Rock on, Chief, let's rain dance! It's just a way of shifting responsibility, a distraction that's emotionally appealing for some who believe God controls our actions and fate. Apparently we humans aren't responsible for solving our problems and need divine intervention.
Let him hang himself with the religious rope...It's the only hope he has and let's hope he gives it length.
Online readers debated whether talent or personality should take the cake in the restaurant business in response to our story "Bootsie's Heritage Cafe to Close, Leaving Tomball for Houston" by Katharine Shilcutt, July 21:
Enfant Terrible: In this age of social media and celebrity chefs, I don't think you can divorce the food from the personality. The personality is often the driving force behind the food; and while there will always be people to fill the role of the enfant terrible, the personality is something I, as an educated diner, do need to take into account.
Drive and vision: Randy is a friend, but admittedly not always an easy guy to like (a trait we share). I don't agree with everything he does as a person, but all the shenanigans matter less to me than the food he creates and the cooks he is able to influence through his drive and vision. If you're going to provide restaurant coverage, this is the analysis I hope to see, rather than pointless gossip and pseudo-investigative reporting.
No menu: Now knowing more about Randy Rucker's history, I would like to see him do a "no menu" concept. Guests make reservations first, then the menu is developed accordingly. Just seems fitting.
Not Black and White
Skin art fans weighed in on our story "TLC's Tattoo School Angers Tattoo Artists & The Inked Alike" by Craig Hlavaty, July 13:
Tattoo school: I think you need to look at the positive here. Sure, a two-week tattoo school won't turn someone into an artist. It's a medium in which a practitioner spends a lifetime getting better.
However, a two-week tattoo school might straighten out some yahoo who bought a tattoo "gun" and proclaimed himself a "tattoo artist." At the very least, somebody will have shown him an overview of proper equipment care and sterilization procedures, so he won't be giving his friends Hep-C in his kitchen.
True artist: Was at the shop, saw the results and have been following the artists since. You are in for an amazing show, everyone! A true artist is a true artist...their medium is varied. Enjoy the show and the wonderful business that has been built. Sorry, I have no negative words!