The Sesqui Signs Off
Like your October “Sesqui-Saga” [“Inside Dal!as”], this letter is ont flattering but unlikely to see print.
I object to your negative tone to our Texas birthday celebration.
It may be hard for an “upscale” magazine to believe that a group of people would be asked to stage a year-long, grass-roots celebration without funds to do so. However, more than $2 million were raised, mostly for community improvement projects that will be enjoyed for years to come. Some people worked long hours, nights, and weekends to end up with more than 200 projects in the Dallas area alone. Some events were small but impressive. Others were spectacular and drew over 50,000 people.
The only part of your last and typically negative “saga” I agree with is that D magazine slept through it all. I only hope that someday you wake up. Most of Dallas may do the same and cancel their subscriptions.
The Fame Game
There is a nuttiness in the country concerning celebrities [“Parting Shot.” October], but the cause lies deeper than the symptom. In the old days, people were taught in their homes, schools, synagogues, or churches to strive for a better life after death. To work hard here, helping others, doing one’s job with care, following scholarly pursuits, etc., in order to be rewarded later.
Television changed all that. By watching the news on television we learned that disaster often strikes the innocent; that the most educated people do not always have common sense; that religious leaders are often flimflam types; that there are no guarantees.
Now, because the facts can no longer be kept from the masses (as they were in feudal times and as they are still in some closed countries), people in large numbers are searching for new areas on which to focus their energy, time, money, and spirit.
Throughout history there have been people who by sheer force of personality were able to become leaders. If Willard Scott or Vanna White are millionaires today because their personalities answer something Americans feel they need, so be it. One would hope, however, that as people grow wiser and learn that easy money isn’t always available, they would seek out more substance from TV as well as from themselves. Then, perhaps, celebrities will take a less frenzied position in our society.
As a PR/marketing writer I’ve hyped people, products, and philosophies, and as a newspaper reporter I’ve enjoyed sifting through hype to put people and things in perspective.
In both working environments I’ve met some “celebrities” and even a few people who probably are heroes to other people. Some of these people earned and deserve the recognition they have; merely having to acknowledge the existence of some others has been a pain in the brain.
There won’t be a cure or even an effective treatment for the celeb hype epidemic until we diminish the effect celebs have on us. We could stop transmission of the disease by doing away with television, newspapers, magazines, and radio, but that prescription would be just a little strong. And. it would put lots of journalists, PR flacks, and talk show hosts out of work. I don’t need any more job-hunting competition out here on the streets!
Or, we could convince ourselves that no one else-not Timothy Leary, Boy George, or even Sigue Sigue Sputnik-is as deserving of celebration, of applause as we. Perhaps we could write letters to these vacuous creations, these short-cut-to-fame folks and inform them they ain’t so hot, that their world isn’t any better than ours. I’m doing okay without them, and I don’t need any more of their crumbs of “wisdom,” any more glimpses of paradise through their eyes.
Great “Day” For Dallas
“A Day in the Life of Dallas” [October] was a great idea for an article. Being a resident of Wisconsin, I really enjoyed “seeing” Dallas for a day. After I graduate from college, I seriously plan to move to Dallas, and this story has definitely strengthened my desire to do so. I have been to Dallas once and am coming back for a visit in December for the Cowboys/Philadelphia Eagles game; now I have a greater insight and imagination as to what I’ll be doing with the rest of my time in such an exciting, open-opportunity city.
“A Day in the Life of Dallas” was so well done and interesting that I hesitate to make a correction. But in view of the recent budget crunch, may I point out that the Central Library’s General Reference Division handles more than 100 calls per hour rather than twenty. Thanks for including us in your interesting cross section of daily life in our city!
Manager, General Reference
Dallas Public Library
Perhaps if Dennis Holder [“Yakety-Yak, They Talk Back,” November] would overcome his “nobody loves me” attitude because of failing himself as a radio DJ, those of us who are not “lonely, frustrated, uncertain individuals” could accept him as a Morning Radio Personality Critic.
A great number of interesting individuals in Dallas actually enjoy their jobs and do not use radio personalities as a means of coping with the day. I would prefer to laugh my way through getting ready for work in the mornings as opposed to listening to the words of some of the songs the stations play.
As for Ron Chapman, if I had to depend on him to “cope,” I would have to take on the attitude of Walton & Johnson on KTKS 106.1 FM, and wear a bag over my head.
Mr. Holder, buy yourself a watch and a compact disc player so that you can make it through the day and leave the judging of Morning Radio Personalities to the people who enjoy a little humor.
The Forgotten Minority
On behalf of the Dallas Hispanic Issues Forum, I want to commend you and D magazine for your outstanding article, “The Forgotten Minority” [September], Dennis Holder’s fine reporting resulted in both a descriptive and insightful story.
Sol Villasana, Chairman
Dallas Hispanic Issues Forum