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This Morning’s Nitpick: The Meaning of the Phrase ‘Sour Grapes’

Today Steve Blow has a column about Casey Monahan, who has been the director of the Texas Music Office for 25 years. Blow writes:

With a new governor making new hires, next week will be Monahan’s last as director of the Texas Music Office.

But no sour grapes. “Oh, gosh no,” he said. “I mean that sincerely. I don’t feel entitled to this job. If the governor wants to go in a different direction, that’s what he was elected to do.”

Blow could have used the help of a good copy editor.

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CultureMap Sold to Dallas Company

Houstonia, the city magazine of Houston, is reporting that according to a “source who requested anonymity,” Houston-based CultureMap has been sold (or is in the process of being sold) to a Dallas company called ViewMarket (formerly the Haul Company), which was co-founded by Alexander Muse, Bob Bennett, and Molly Cain. I can confirm this. My source is Alexander Muse. I should also note that Bennett was the publisher of a magazine I edited long, long ago called Spirits & Cocktails. Has ViewMarket bitten off more than it can chew? The coming months ought to provide an answer to that question.

UPDATE (10:21) The Dallas Business Journal reports that the deal hasn’t closed yet. Like I said, though, Muse indicated in an email to me weeks ago that they were buying CultureMap. Too, Bennett and Muse have been talking to candidates about jobs at CultureMap.

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Author Jaye Wells Sells TV Rights to Two Books

From the author’s Facebook page: “I’ve been sitting on some news for a while. It just went out in Publisher’s Marketplace today so I can confirm that I’ve sold a TV option for Dirty Magic and Cursed Moon. It’s still early in the process and I can’t say too much about the details, but I’m thrilled at the possibility of seeing Kate Prospero on the small screen.”

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Share Your #HiddenDallas Secrets, Win a Fabulous Prize

The cover story of the February issue of D Magazine is “Hidden Dallas.” It was painful for our staff to publicly share this compilation of their favorite secret spots, special deals, off-menu meals, and insider know-how with our readers. When more people know, for example, how you can dine at Lucia (which is usually booked up weeks […]

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Freed’s Furniture Alters Downtown Dallas in TV Ad

Freed’s Furniture, as anyone who has lived here for any length of time knows, is where you can afford your dreams. The family-owned company has been selling furniture in Dallas since 1938. They boast of this longevity in a TV spot that caught the attention of a longtime FrontBurnervian. The reason it caught his attention: Freed’s used a historical photograph of downtown, digitally removing the name of another furniture store, Winn, and replacing it with Freed’s. Have a look.

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In Fluoride Debate, Steve Blow Lays Bare His Less Than Beautiful Mind

We’ve had some fun recently with Steve Blow’s substandard work. First John Neely Bryan skewered him. Then Zac, not having seen Mr. Bryan’s post, had a go at Blow. (It was interesting that they both hit on the same satirical concept; for my money, Bryan executed it better.) But essentially Blow’s point was: “cool kids in town” (his phrase) don’t want to build a toll road in the Trinity floodway. “Sensible adults” know better. Sensible adults understand that we need more tolled highways ringing downtown Dallas. His folksy argument made no sense. And his use of a derogatory term for people like esteemed architect Bob Meckfessel reveals prejudice.

Today Blow brings us another noteworthy column.

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Ask John Neely Bryan: Let’s All Give Steve Blow a Wide Berth, Shall We?

Lee Kleinman is the most courageous member of the Dallas City Council. I am pleased to announce that he is the first — thus far the only — member of that quasi-august body to accept my challenge. He has agreed to face off against me, mano e mano, over heaping bowls of dal makhani at Mughlai. I’ve asked my people to reach out to his people to work out the details. I shall keep you informed as to the progress of this endeavor.

Now, to today’s business.

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Clay and Mike: Bryan Burrough’s Tale of Two Dallas Leaders

As Tim alluded to yesterday, Dallas’ handling of the Ebola crisis has just been put into perspective for a national audience, thanks to Bryan Burrough’s thoroughly reported piece in the new Vanity Fair. Burrough’s lengthy story puts a generally heroic shine on the response by local officials. And it offers a refreshingly frank, behind-the-scenes look at the actions of two powerful local politicians, both Democrats, who someday may aspire to higher office. My initial impression was that the piece portrays County Judge Clay Jenkins as some sort of steely Superman, while Mayor Mike Rawlings comes off as, well, considerably less effective.

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Who Was the Real Chris Kyle?

Was Chris Kyle a saintly defender of liberty or a racist serial killer? Possibly both or neither? A court has said he lied about taking down Jess Ventura, and he made other dubious claims during his life, but should that take anything away from his military service to our country?

The release of Clint Eastwood’s film adaptation of Kyle’s memoir, American Sniper — which still is showing in only four theaters in the U.S. (including AMC NorthPark) and won’t go wide until next week — has brought renewed attention to our own D Magazine story about the man. You can see in the comments to that piece, as well as many of those other items we’ve posted about Kyle here on FrontBurner, that there is disagreement among readers about how he should be remembered.

This week the Guardian took note of the reaction to the film and reviews of it, and Lindy West correctly writes that among a certain group — those with a black-and-white/good-vs.-evil worldview — any criticism of Kyle is treated as an attack on America itself. For these people:

There is no room for the idea that Kyle might have been a good soldier but a bad guy; or a mediocre guy doing a difficult job badly; or a complex guy in a bad war who convinced himself he loved killing to cope with an impossible situation; or a straight-up serial killer exploiting an oppressive system that, yes, also employs lots of well-meaning, often impoverished, non-serial-killer people to do oppressive things over which they have no control. Or that Iraqis might be fully realised human beings with complex inner lives who find joy in food and sunshine and family, and anguish in the murders of their children. Or that you can support your country while thinking critically about its actions and its citizenry. Or that many truths can be true at once.

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George Rodrigue Named Editor of Cleveland Plain Dealer

A news-watching FrontBurnervian tells me that I am remiss in not pointing to the news that George Rodrigue, the former DMN managing editor who resigned in late September to take a gig at WFAA, has now resigned again, this time to become the editor of the Plain Dealer. I am no longer remiss. It’s hard to imagine — after three Pulitzers and 30 years at the DMN — how much stuff Rodrigue had to move out of his office when he left the paper. I wonder if he had to use one of those PODS. After only three months at WFAA, though, I bet he was able to carry it all out to his car in one trip, possibly without even having to use a box. Maybe just his pockets. Anyway, we wish him and his wife, Wendy, a prosperous and productive new life in Cleveland. Safe travels, guys.

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Programming Note: Merry Christmas, Happy New Year

The D Magazine Partners offices will be closed beginning this evening until January 5, and as you may have already guessed by the relatively light output today on FrontBurner, most of us already have one foot out the door.

We’ve planned a number of bits and bites online for you between now and then, so be sure to check those out. And I’m sure some member of our staff is bound to get sick of his or her family during the break and will turn desperately to FrontBurner as an outlet.

Also important to note is that we’ll likely be inattentive to the moderation of comments, meaning that if you choose to comment without logging in via any of the social media IDs that our system accepts, it may take awhile for one of our editors to get around to approving your comment so that it will show up. There’s a simple way for you around this: Don’t comment anonymously and your point of view will be heard immediately.

Other than that, have happy holidays, and we’ll see you in 2015.

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Michael Keaton Reads SUCCESS Magazine

Perhaps you’ve heard of SUCCESS. Perhaps not. It’s a monthly based in Lake Dallas that positions itself as “the only magazine that focuses on people who take full responsibility for their own development and income.” Well, last night on Jimmy Kimmel Live!, Michael Keaton was being his highly entertaining self, spinning tales about Jack Nicholson, when he stopped down briefly to tell Kimmel that he really enjoyed the profile of him he’d read in SUCCESS. I bring all this to your attention because I knew you’d appreciate it.

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