SPEAKING AS one of the “2000 or so die-hards” who attend Dallas Black Hawk Hockey games, I wish to reply to Greg Jones’ attempt to introduce the sport to the hockey-ignorant readers of your publication (“The Icemen,” January). Unfortunately, Mr. Jones’ knowledge of the game of hockey appears to be somewhat limited, particularly as it is played in the Central Hockey League.
This being my seventh season as a season-ticket holder of the Hawks, I am delighted to see that local hockey is finally receiving some sort of recognition from the media, which has to this day virtually ignored the fact that the sport has even existed in this town for the last 15 years. However, I resent the implication made by the author which makes all local hockey fans out to be nothing more than a bunch of bloodthirsty heathens out to watch one man beat another man’s brains out. Personally, the sight of blood turns my stomach.
Sadly, it is true that the CHL consists of youngsters on their way up, has-beens on their way down, or those in the middle who will never play in the NHL; but what the author fails to mention is that there is a great deal of talent in this league and even more surprising, a large number of ardent followers who enjoy the finer aspects of the game. Anyone who has tried ice skating, and then once accomplishing the basics, tried stick handling or shooting a puck will appreciate the grace and speed and skill which the league officials, coaches, staff and players tell you about. 1, personally, would much rather watch a hockey game where there is quick skating, accurate passing, lightning-fast slap shots and magnificent goal tending than one that involves a bench-clearing brawl.
SIX KEY WORDS were omitted from the second paragraph in “Booking Dallas” (“Inside Dallas,” January) concerning Pressworks Publishing, Inc. The paragraph should read: “Anne Dickson, who bought Pressworks from the owner of the former Lone Star Review, etc.” Hank Coleman founded both Pressworks and the Lone Star Review. I bought Press-works, not the Review. Needless to say, I am disappointed that the Review is no longer in business, for it was a good idea.
BEST & WORST
I CONGRATULATE you on an outstanding issue of the “Best and Worst” of Dallas (January 1982). Concerning the entry for “Best Sneak Attack,” the City Council limitation is for three terms. It was, as you say, a pretty daring move. I applaud your eagle eye.
Lee Simpson, Councilman
BRIGHT & WHITE
I AM WRITING in response to your article “Bright and White” in the December 1981 issue. The reason I am responding to the article is that, in terms of the essential aims of the Talented and Gifted program, an argument based exclusively on the program’s effect on desegregation is entirely irrelevant. The question here is one of education. Unfortunately for our statistic-oriented society, the number of gifted human beings in the world has rarely corresponded to any specific percentage – breakdown of race or economic background.
I am a staunch believer in equal opportunity; however, discrimination works many ways. It is no news that there is an educational crisis within most public school systems in this country, and as your magazine has often pointed out, the DISD is no exception. I propose that one of the major factors in this crisis is a certain lack of interest in education per se. The fact that children whose minds hold a vast potential are finally receiving the instruction and resources they need to develop is insignificant to today’s press in light of the fact that the children are the wrong color.
An equal education must be provided for all citizens (and, yes, even for nonciti-zens) if a democracy is to remain strong. But equal education does not mean equal curriculum. The question of intellectual freedom and human achievement is in itself entirely removed from that of race; when a program to encourage better education is seen only in the light of social politics and racial statistics, the latter becomes a destructive social obsession. I applaud the DISD for implementing the TAG program. If only more attention were given to consistent quality of education, the very problem of inequality at the root of racial segregation would not exist.
Constance M. AdamsSenior, Highland Park High School
I WAS AMUSED to read, in his essay on isolation tanks (“Getting Tanked,” January), that Bob Barber “lives within a mind possessed of mental freedom.” To make such a claim without even a trace of irony takes a mind which is free indeed. But I was surprised by his use of the word “phoneme.” It took only a moment with my dictionary to confirm that the visual sensation he wanted to refer to is called a “phosphene.”
While this error does not in itself discredit the whole article, it seems sadly typical of the shallowness of Barber’s knowledge of his subject. No doubt he had some remarkable experiences when, as he charmlessly puts it, he “lay down, supine, devoid of any visual intake, with little aural vibration.” (Meaning, he didn’t wiggle his ears much?) But when he goes beyond simply describing these experiences and tries to analyze them, he is often obscure, misleading or just plain wrong. “The nerves in the eye,” for instance, do not “have the ability to generate light”; they can, however, generate nerve impulses. Worse, in his attempt to philosophize, Barber gives us such howlers as “sexuality is somehow inside the body” and “death is a kind of sensory deprivation.”
Which raises the question: If Bob Barber’s vaunted mental freedom is the freedom not to know what he’s talking about, not even to care, isn’t there something at least unprofessional about presenting his pompous little anecdote as if it were credible reportage?