The Austin Chronicle

After a Fashion

By Stephen MacMillan Moser, July 25, 2008, Columns

LOVE LETTERS Such venom in the online forums and "Postmarks" sections over my little remark about giving bikes the finger instead of "the right." So many are so sanctimonious, calling for my head and decrying a newspaper that would print the mass-homicidal ramblings of a psychopathic columnist. I laugh up my sleeve at their furor. You see, that ultrahypersensitive attitude underscores my point. I was branded a heartless murderer, called fat, and ranked in the same league as Leslie in the Austin Oddity Sweepstakes. Unfortunately, the "flood of mail and petitions" promised by one disgruntled reader to be "unlike any the Chronicle's received in the past" has failed to materialize. I especially loved the reader who suggested that my Lizzie Grubman-like fantasy to plow through the civilly disobedient bicyclists was akin to her plowing her car into the Gay Pride Parade. I didn't even need to respond to that; several loyal readers handled that for me very nicely. But the real point, to me, is that hate mail is the same thing as a love letter. If the reader took the time to read what I wrote, reacted to it, and took the time to write in about it, then I have successfully done my job as a writer. Doesn't matter if you agree or disagree, but if the column was read, reacted to, and responded to, then I have done my job.

RED HOT I was a photo-booth celebrity at Steve Higginbotham's annual Red Hot fundraiser for Project Transitions at Oilcan Harry's. With Rob Faubion's showmanship, a kickass auction, food, music, and fun, the place was alive with people, and it's estimated that this year raised more money than last year – a tradition almost as long as the event itself. Oilcan's pulled out all the stops, and the crowd was littered with glitterati from all over Austin's gay community.

SHOP AUSTIN Such glamorous and unusual pillows at August Morgan ( Owners Kate Hersch and Lance Morgan collect antique and vintage needlepoint from all over and turn out fab, one-of-a-kind creations. With the availability of midcentury needlepoint, the pillows have a contemporary feel as well as a traditional one... W3LL People (215 S. Lamar) is doing very well and is on everyone's lips with its own pomegranate lip balm. In fact, owners James Walker, Dr. Renee Snyder, and Shirley Pinkson have created an entire store featuring their own sustainable products, as well as carrying a variety of other all-natural earth-friendly collections. W3LL's tagline sums it up: "Hippie tested. Diva approved."... And check out Rene Geneva Design's website (, loaded with, and I quote, "eco-friendly women's clothing, Green Bridal – including organic wedding and bridesmaid dresses, eco-chic organic clothing, high-fashion hemp apparel, certified organic cotton jersey dresses, bamboo fashion, and peace silk clothing. All of our fabrics are organic, eco-friendly, and dyed with low-impact dyes." Groovy!

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