Re: Well, Allow Me to Retort

Jonanna Widner has some thoughts about my thoughts about the Dallas Observer Music Awards ballot.

Her e-mail is in full after the jump. It’s a long one, so grab a cup of coffee and maybe a scone.

Read your “Allow Me to Retort,” and I wanted to retort to your retort:

I hear what you’re saying, though I feel like your scenario about
writing in a fake band is a little far-fetched.

I would like to make clear, however, that by no means am I claiming
that I don’t make mistakes. So far I haven’t seen any “Jonanna Widner
Sucks” T-shirts around town, a la Hepola, but I assume there are some
floating around. Part of the reason some people think I suck is that,
you know, I make mistakes that piss people off. I get that.

In any case, obviously the most vocal critics of those who care about
Dallas music believe I made a mistake, so if that’s the case, I probably
did. One point of my article, however, was to point out that people in
this town bitch about the DO music editor no matter who it is or how
good they are or aren’t. Part of that sometimes valid, sometimes
creepily vitriolic bitching (I was once called a [wildly inappropriate slur redacted] in a Web site comment. And, you know, I’m not Jewish, for one
thing.) seems to me to come from the idea that people don’t feel like
they are being heard, that they have many opinions about Dallas music
and they want people to know about them. So my philosophy for the Music
Awards was “hands-off,” because what better, more democratic way to make
sure they’re heard in this particular case than not to mess with their
votes? Was that a bad idea? In retrospect, sure, but at the time I was
trying to make this about the vox populi, not the vox editoris, or
however you would say it in Latin.

The main point I want to make is that ultimately, all this obsessing on
the ballot has taken the focus off what the Music Awards are really
about: The people who work hard night after night in their various roles
in the scene. It makes me sad, frankly, that one item on the ballot is
all people want to talk about, considering that fantastic local
musicians who make up that ballot, the Showcase roster and, as you
mentioned, the Awards Show talent.

Anyway, if folks think I [very common curse word]ed up and wanna write me letters or call me names and blog about it and all that, that’s fine. But really, I would be so disappointed, so bummed out, if a blunder–which was
intended to open up the balloting process–on my part changes the focus
of the Awards to something besides the great music the DOMA is supposed
to celebrate. And I really am not saying that as a music editor or to
get the heat off me ([practically not a curse word anymore], part of this job is to take the heat–you’ve been there); I’m saying it in all sincerity as a fan of Big D music.

No matter what, though, I’m glad you–and so many others–cared enough
to comment. And congrats on the new gig, by the way.

A couple of comments from me, and then we can move on:

1) Being the music editor is no picnic. She is right.

2) Far-fetched or not, Tony Romo’s Beard is an awesome band name.

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