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In the December 28 edition of your newspaper ["Headlines
," News], there is a photo of Santa being arrested for “criminal mischief” and “evading arrest.” From the photo, it would appear that the criminal mischief is being perpetrated by the officer who is about to destroy Santa’s eyeglasses. The photo also shows that there appears to be a witness to this blatant police brutality. The officer in the background, seen over the shoulder of the motorcycle officer who is attempting to assist in the apprehension of Santa, seems to be in an ideal spot to view this travesty of the season.
I wish to take issue with some of the points raised by Mr. Wilson in his disagreement with Michael King [“Postmarks
," Jan. 4]. Many New Year’s resolutions are made and far fewer are kept. Why? Because keeping them is hard. So many things go by the board because they are hard. Disturbed people bent on death and destruction don’t typically abandon their plans just because there is no gun handy – they just don’t take the trouble to follow through with it. Oh, some do, but most don’t. Making bad things hard isn’t a panacea, but it is a big step in the right direction.
Secondly, we may wonder what the perpetrator would have done without a gun. We cannot know precisely about any one case, but there is a way to basically answer the question. Other countries don’t have our guns. Do similar things happen in other countries where a villain goes into a school and bashes 20 kids with a baseball bat or some other such weapon? I haven’t researched it, but I don’t think so.
Finally, I think the “minority” that opposes a ban on assault weapons bases that opposition on a dislike of those who propose it. We have different cultures in this country, and many of us have little understanding and/or regard for other cultures. (And I mean that sentence as an indictment of nearly everyone, myself not excluded.) However, sometimes people who have my interests at heart are wrong and those who do not care about me are right.
Re: “Southern Exposure
” [News, Dec. 28]: I have been a devoted resident of South Lamar for nearly a decade. Through the vast and rapidly changing projects that have occurred over the years, I have seen the city development as a kind of microcosm of what the entire Central Texas region is undergoing. For every small victory locals have enjoyed here, we’ve had twice as many losses.
But to be honest, despite the traffic, despite the increase in property prices, despite all of the desolate incompleteness, I have found the growth to be less than offensive. South Lamar has still maintained an influx of local businesses and maintained a few of the beloved ones. And while we've lost a few that cannot be replaced, like Ray Hennig's Heart of Texas Music, the culture of South Lamar doesn’t seem to be in too much jeopardy.
That is, until very recently, when I received a real estate report from Spyglass Realty filled with info that seemed almost ironic. In the piece entitled “The Future of South Lamar,” they wrote, “And with any major change comes questions. Will South Lamar lose its charm? What will the traffic be like? What is happening to our neighborhood? One concern is that the retail spaces attract tenants like Barley Swine, rather than McDonald's. Like it or not, change is coming.”
As a part-owner of a small local business myself, it seems to me that this agency is really out of touch with the character of the area. Am I the only South Lamar resident who gets to Barton Springs Road and wonders, “Why the hell do we still even have a McDonald's here?” I know I`m not. So why does Spyglass Realty express this sentiment as if people like myself are the ones saying it? It's fairly insulting and a depressing reminder of not only the shift in scenery, but a gouging of the spirit that used to dwell here.
These are trying times for people of South Lamar, who have always seen themselves reflected culturally in the environment surrounding them. This packet is just a tiny nail deeper into the Heart of Texas.
Dear music critic Doug Freeman,
In your two-star review of Residual Kid's Faces
[“Texas Platters Finale
,” Music, Dec. 28], you seem to mostly give praise to the group and its release, except for the lyrical content and lack of nuance and texture. I would kindly retort that I find their lyrics about purple shoes or fighting for a lost cause charming, and would like to ask, what kind of lyrics do you want from kids who are 12 and 14? What kind of lyrics were you writing when you were 14, Doug? I would also add that the Frenchie Smith (Sixteen Deluxe) produced album rocks hard
, and no, you will not get the textures and nuances of a Fiona Apple record, but she can't make me bounce around in my car like this can. These kids are well ahead of the game, and their release is well beyond your two stars. I think it is important the Austin public knows this.