Letters: Wednesday, August 20, 2003
Shack Smackin’

To the editor: I’d like to commend you for the objective tone and diligent investigative journalism evidenced in your “RadioSmack” article (Aug. 13, 2003). RadioShack is not alone in having a “sux” web site, and radioshacksucks.com is not immune from the blathering inanity of puerile malcontents. However, there is on the web site, as you suggested, an undercurrent of real concern for and anger over the direction the company’s leadership has taken over the past few years. The pity is neither the web site nor your article offer any prospect of remedy.

It would appear a swift litigational kick in the profits, accompanied by attention in the trade press and general-circulation news media, is the only way to focus the board of directors and the shareholders on the task of reversing the declining fortunes of the company. The “suits” of course blame “the sluggish economy,” but the firm’s stock is down about 80 percent from its ’99 highs, while the Dow Industrial Average is off around 10 percent over the same period. For your further entertainment or research, I suggest you look at the RSH discussion board on Yahoo!’s Financial Pages. There are currently around 11,000 messages there. It is worth noting RadioShack did not go after the much better funded, in-house-legal-department-equipped Yahoo!, though the commentary on the RSH board there is quite similar to that appearing on radioshacksucks.com.

Murphy was an optimist!

Kevin O’Connor

Timberland, Wis.

Editor’s note: The address for the Yahoo page mentioned above is http://finance.messages.yahoo.com/bbs?.mm=FN&action=m&board=7084193&tid=tan


Blowing Smoke

To the editor: I just absolutely love your newspaper. I pick it up every time I’m in Fort Worth. I enjoy the thorough, hard-hitting fiction that masquerades as factual journalism each time I read the featured article for the week.

If the left-wing environmentalist wackos and the rabble-rousing complainers who are the “reliable” sources you cite were to make half an effort to work with lawmakers in office instead of preaching doom and gloom and attempting to uncover non-existent, right-wing military-industrial conspiracies that, in this case, you allege wend their way through Joe Barton’s offices and pockets (“Wheezy Street,” Aug. 6, 2003), a workable solution for many environmental issues might be found.

Joe Barton has been a dedicated and practical advocate for a responsible balance between environmental and economic issues in North Central Texas and deserves accolades, not accusations, for his efforts. He’s very accessible, both here and in Washington. I suggest his accusers attempt to work with rather than assail him.

Keep up that spectacular fiction writing. My wife says I don’t get enough “light” reading in around my daily perusal of the Federal Register looking for the conspiracies you say are there.

Matthew H. Snider


Editor’s note: It’s not clear what part of the article Snider believes is fiction. The donors to Barton’s campaign are listed in federal records. Documents revealing Westar’s possible attempts to influence members of Congress via donations are public record. Among those who were quoted — by name — as being concerned about North Texas air quality and Mr. Barton’s environmental proposals were medical and environmental specialists, a local county judge, and a spokesman for the American Lung Association.

Ranting and Railing

To the editor: I enjoyed your story about the bridge railings (“Over-Wrought,” Aug. 6). I am a son of Fort Worth currently going to grad school in D.C., and I miss home. I just got back from visiting Fort Worth last week, and I’m glad they’re trying to redo that stretch of I-30, but hundreds of thousands of dollars on “pretty” bridge railings? Give me a freakin’ break! I went to college just off Beach Street and lived, at one time, just off Oakland, so I’m familiar with both of those overpass areas. The city ought to spend some money on revitalizing those areas flanking the highway through that Beach Street-Oakland stretch instead of worrying about how the bridges look. Why bother trying to “beautify” the overpass when the environment surrounding it looks like shit? Idiot council members! Anyway, sorry for the rant. Keep up the good investigative reporting. The public needs to be exposed to more articles like yours so that we can be properly informed as to what our “public servants” are really doing. Thanks again.

Jeremy McClain

Member, Union of Concerned Fort Worth Ex-Pats

Washington, D.C.

Anti-Snob Snobbery?

To the editor: Anthony Mariani wrote about a worthy topic, Art in Fort Worth (“What the Hell,” July 30, 2003). In several places he accurately described the snobbishness and insider-ness of the Fort Worth Arts Community (producers, galleries, and customers). He then wrote the rest of the article from a snobbish and insider point of view. As a result, his article could have been two pages shorter without losing anything.

Instead, consider Art as Tchotchke, intended to improve the appearance of a room, to set a mood, and/or to prompt pleasant conversation. Those two pages could have been given to another writer, and that writer could have first surveyed the homes of Fort Worth Weekly staff members and their friends and acquaintances to ask how they improve the appearance of the rooms of their homes. Second, the writer could have asked interior decorators and real estate agents how the average Joe Publics art up their homes. Third, the writer could have visited outlets like Coomers Crafters Mall or poster shops like Fast Frames and asked them what sells well, and what percentage of the public do they think they are reaching. That would have improved the article by quite a bit.

In my opinion, many writers like Anthony Mariani wrongly estimate the cultural tastes of Joe Public. It may be professional bias, just like Chow, Baby can’t accept that anyone can enjoy a tasty meal at The Olive Garden. Take off your blinders, and expand your view and horizon! You will be better for it.

David Olson


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