You left out one of the best (if not the very best) towns in your story on Big Bend: Alpine, home to Sul Ross State University, the Museum of the Big Bend, cowboy poetry, Gallery Night, balloon festivals, great people, and no red lights [“River Deep, Mountain High,” October 2007]. What were you thinking?
The Blame Game
What an interesting story from Robert Draper [“The Evolver,” October 2007]. Now I know to blame Pastor Mark Craig for pushing this evil big-business lackey upon the world. And I have new respect for Jenna Bush, after reading of her reluctance about her father’s running for president. It will take truly patriotic Americans years to undo the damage he has done with the help of right-wing rags like yours!
Your article about the challenges of First World microlending was music to my ears [“The Unbankables,” October 2007]. For the past six years, I have helped run Covenant First Step Fund, a Grameen-inspired microlending program in Houston, and have learned many of the same lessons that PLAN Fund has. In this country, almost everyone has some access to capital; the recognition that there is more to making a business successful than starting with cash is one of the first concepts that we work to instill.
I thought I was the only person waxing nostalgic about a time when we could simply watch a football game on television [“Endless Summerall,” October 2007]. Today, we are saddled with four to six well-dressed, well-coiffed has-beens discussing what was done, should have been done, and needs to be done by the opposing teams. In addition, we are continuously bombarded with uninteresting and irrelevant tidbits from sideline reporters. I don’t really care to know that some player’s relative is in the stands, painfully watching the game with a severe case of hemorrhoids. On several occasions, we have had to watch a boring interview with some “celeb” in the broadcast booth promoting his or her upcoming show (which will probably be canceled after a few weeks). It is high time for the NFL and/or stations to eliminate these ex-jocks/coaches, return to normal broadcasting, and stop insulting our intelligence with the incessant blabbering of buffoons, all vying for equal airtime.
Your Behind the Lines column did a good job of outlining all the horrible things Karl Rove accomplished [“Requiem for a Heavyweight,” October 2007]. And your comments on Alberto Gonzales rightly conclude with this statement: “His moral compass pointed only to the White House” [Reporter, Topic A]. Whatever actions you look at in this administration—the war, the economic issues, health care, Social Security and retirement, minimum wage (the list could go on and on)—there is no moral compass.
The Reverend Bert Clayton
It is unfortunate that Jeff McCord considers Steve Earle’s politically courageous The Revolution Starts . . . Now “acrid leftist dogma” [Reporter; Previews+Reviews: Music; October 2007], but since your magazine took more than eight years to figure out that Karl Rove’s policy-making influence was “bad for the country,” why should I expect decent journalism from you?
In Mr. Burka’s assessment of Karl Rove, he states in paragraph two: “When polarization becomes a guiding principle, it produces politicians who have neither the inclination nor the skill to negotiate and compromise.” Well, Mr. Burka, I believe this is the guiding principle of your Democratic party. The Democratic party is certainly the winner when it comes to caustic, polarizing politics. Attempting to blame Karl Rove solely for the bitterness and nastiness of our current political environment would be totally incorrect. Taking issue with political ideologies is the American way, but personally attacking your political adversaries is very unbecoming for a political party and the media that support it [including Texas Monthly]. I will continue to read your magazine for the wonderful and insightful articles about my beloved Texas; however, I will just skip over your biased political editorials.
Mark D. Hagner
No Mascot Left Behind
I was hoping to see my all-time favorite mascot: Grand Prairie High School’s mighty, mighty fighting Gopher [“Lions and Tigers and Bears!” October 2007]. Alas, no such luck. Now I live in Utah, the home of the Templars and Beetdiggers, where football games are almost an afterthought and no band marches
at halftime. I sorely miss my Texas Friday nights.
Mary Gwynn Longorio
I just loved seeing the photos of all the mascots. It took me back to my days as Richardson North Junior High’s Viking mascot, the second ever in the school’s history. The costume was so big I couldn’t wear the head! Instead, I wore horns with blond braids, and I was dubbed Victoria the Viking instead of Victor.
Morrisville, North Carolina
I hated wading through 135 pages of Super Lawyers to get to Potty Mouth Prudence Mackintosh’s piece about Shithouse Shortie and his infamous business card that proclaimed, “Your shit’s my bread and butter” [“Twice as Nice,” October 2007]. Shame, shame. Where is your class?
Meredith E. Bynum
Rock Hill, South Carolina
Beating Around the Bushies
You’ve outdone yourself. You managed to squeeze in three anti—Bush administration stories into one edition (“Requiem for a Heavyweight,” Topic A, and “The Evolver”). Well done! Although written in sophisticatedly snide Texas Monthly style, I am disappointed that these articles did not portray the overtly liberal tone that has become the trademark of the magazine. I guess I’ll let the softball approach slide this time.