I get it. This is the internet. Disasters and cute pets reign supreme. But this is also Dallas, and plenty of us have friends and family in Oklahoma. So you tell me, is this Culture Map headline appropriate:
“Terrifying Oklahoma tornado videos and sink-sleeping French bulldog top links we love.”
I can see this CM post two ways. One is drawing from Mike’s “hug someone” sentiment in Leading Off. As Stephen Stills-Hobbes once sang, “Life is nasty, brutish, and short / so love you’re the one you’re with.” Or, to update it to the 21st century, numb your pain with internet pictures of cute pets and banal, user-generated comedic memes. But the CM post isn’t presented as an invitation to diversion. After the links to the tornadoes, we get a link to “great moments in pizza.” Then, the cute bulldog, followed by a comedy clip spoofing catty compliments, and photos of people pretending to feed food to inanimate objects. In other words, we get what the headline promises: links Culture Map loves. And so, we assume, Culture Map loves tornadoes.
Listen, I too love videos of tornadoes. I’ve probably watched every category four or five tornado video on YouTube. I threaten my wife with my secret dream of becoming a storm chaser all the time. But today, today I don’t love tornadoes or tornado videos. Not when a third grade class is missing. Not with so many people dead. Not now.
Barrett A. Stern, the attorney representing Carolyn Compton and Page Price, sent out a statement about the case yesterday afternoon.
Read the entire thing after the jump. (more…)
A day after his rant was posted all over the Internet, Jeff Bliss has apparently been bombarded by interview requests. He’s got a compelling story (dropped out after failing ninth grade, went back to school with renewed vigor) and a positive message (teachers should inspire kids), and some interesting looking hair. Also, he seems pretty friendly (except to that teacher, of course). He talked to at least two different local TV stations. He also started a Twitter account and sat down for a 15-minute picnic table talk with an outlet called Say Cheese TV. He says it’s the busiest he’s ever been.
So, what have we learned from these interviews? Here are some bullet points:
Your favorites from the worlds of Dallas arts, sports, and media still need your help if they’re going to be crowned our Best of Big D Readers’ Choice champions and be honored in the August issue of D Magazine.
Voting comes to an end Sunday night, so you’ve got three more daily chances to cast your ballot on your desktop, laptop, tablet, or mobile device.
Last December, as you’ll likely recall, Dallas Cowboys defensive lineman Josh Brent was arrested after a DUI-related accident killed his teammate, Jerry Brown (who was also Brent’s college teammate and roommate). There was some uproar when, out on bond, Brent was allowed to attend a home game and momentarily walk the sidelines with his teammates.
Now my friend Thomas Lake, a senior writer at Sports Illustrated, has an interesting feature looking at why, given so many other viable options, NFL players continue to drink and drive. The story, which centers on the Brent case, hasn’t been posted online yet, but there is a short teaser here.
Pro athletes, Lake writes, are arrested for drunk driving less frequently than the general population, but “what distinguishes the sports figures is their financial ability to hire drivers. And now, with Safe Ride solutions, they have fewer excuses to drive drunk than they ever had before.”
Here’s how the story recounts December 8, 2012, the night of the accident, when Brent and Brown were at a bar just five miles from the apartment they shared:
“Brent had a choice to make…He can call a confidential safe-ride service administered by the NFL Players Association. He can call one of two limousine services affiliated with the Cowboys. He can call a member of the Cowboys’ staff whose job it is to be available all day and all night to help the players however he can. Josh Brent does none of those things.”
Last night’s Daily Show aired a segment filmed during Sunday’s immigration march in downtown Dallas. Thousands had gathered to call for the legalization of some of the millions of people who are in the United States unlawfully.
Correspondent Jessica Williams came here to see how we celebrate “that most American of holidays,” Cinco de Mayo. The differences she found between the events at Cathedral Guadalupe and Dallas City Hall and a party in a bar in the West End are striking.
She concluded that we need immigrants in America because “They do the jobs we don’t want to do: staying sober and being politically engaged.”
From the Philadelphia Inquirer‘s gardening blog:
They grow everything big in Texas
I’m talking tomato cages here. These are 24 inches’ diameter and 6 feet tall with 2-foot extensions! I need ‘em this big to accommodate the grafted tomatoes I bought last week …
Nothing’s worse than tomato season in full force, and your plants are toppling over for lack of support. It looks messy and is horrible to deal with. So we’ll see how this experiment goes. The jumbo cages come from a company called Texas Tomato Cages in Del Rio in south Texas. Free shipping.
Another in a rootin’, tootin’, calf-ropin’ series about writers who use Texas and Dallas clichés.
Last week Tim Rogers made the shocking announcement that he’s fed up with dealing with the lot of us and is stepping down from his post as editor of D Magazine so that he can while away his days spinning the golden yarn of his own magical storytelling. He’ll become a senior writer on our staff and will leave the grind of overseeing the magazine’s day-to-day editorial operations to some other poor fool.
Wick has written an advertisement describing what he’s looking for in the next steward of his publishing first-born. You will find that ad below. It makes no mention of a willingness to don a tuxedo for 31 days straight in the heat of August, but I’m certain that was just an oversight.
D Magazine is the city magazine of Dallas-Fort Worth, the nation’s fastest growing metropolis. D Magazine is the center and heartbeat of a brand that dominates the region, with seven publications bearing the D logo, a very successful website with its own mini-websites for niche communities, and a newly spawned television division broadcasting daily.
The company is seeking an executive editor with responsibility for the mission and content of D Magazine, reporting directly to the company’s founder.
The successful candidate will possess demonstrated leadership ability, a thorough knowledge of magazine editing and publishing, experience in nurturing and shaping manuscripts and new talent, and the substance to play a key role in framing the city’s future. Candidates who meet the above qualifications and whose personal biographies give them an insight into the city’s ethos and culture are preferred.
The magazine’s current editor is retiring, at the ripe age of 43, to devote himself to journalism and will remain as senior writer at the magazine.
Please send your cover letter and resume to Chelsey Plumlee at email@example.com.
ESPN’s headquarters is in Connecticut, which I believe is located a mite bit closer to Boston than it is to Arlington, Texas. So, no, we’re not really surprised when the Worldwide Leader in Sports treats the Red Sox (and the Yankees for that matter) as a sacred institution while paying far less attention to the teams out here in flyover country.
You would think that the Rangers weekend sweep of the Red Sox, during which they outscored them 16-4 over the three games, would be difficult to ignore, bias or no bias. But a co-working FrontBurnervian passes along this morning’s ESPN Power Rankings of all 30 Major League Baseball teams.
Last week Boston was ranked No. 3, and Texas was ranked No. 1. How did the just-concluded series change the list? Now the Red Sox are No. 1 and the Rangers are No. 2. Despite identical records, nearly identical run differentials, and, you know, that whole 3-0 head-to-head record in favor of the Rangers.
Okay, seriously, if I stepped down to spend more time with my family, I think my family would go into hiding. I love my family too much to do that to them.
Best I can tell, I have edited D Magazine longer than anyone else except Wick Allison, who has stepped into the role several times since he founded the thing in October 1974. Ruth Miller Fitzgibbons takes the second spot on the list, after me. She had the conn from 1985 to 1991, if my math is right. Two things about her tenure: first, the only way she made it six years is because Wick wasn’t here, having sold the magazine and decamped for New York in 1982 (which is not meant to cast aspersions on Ruth). Second, Ruth hired me as an intern. Circle of life. All that.
It’s unclear when Wick handed over the controls (mostly) to me. He made me the executive editor in late 2003 but wisely stayed involved on a daily basis. At some point, he stopped attending editorial meetings, and then he made me editor. Or he made me editor and then stopped showing up. Anyway, I can claim more years than Ruth. That’s all that really matters.
So it’s time. Having arrived at a destination that I never planned to find, I am taking a turn and pointing my car in another direction, one that I hope will lead to fewer tortured metaphors. Or was that a simile? Oh, hell. Maybe I’ve made the wrong decision.
Here’s the memo Wick sent to the staff:
Last night, the Dallas Morning News put up a story about NBA journeyman Jason Collins’ announcement that he is gay. As you can see when you click over, the headline is now ”Jason Collins draws support after coming out as first openly gay, active athlete in four major U.S. pro sports.” But until this afternoon, it was this:
An Aggie-loving FrontBurnervian called to remind me of something. This hubbub about the West cartoon must feel familiar to Keven Ann Willey, the editorial page editor of the Dallas Morning News. Let me take you back to 1999, when the A&M bonfire collapsed, killing 12 students. The next day, the Arizona Republic published a cartoon that compared the bonfire accident to the 1993 Branch Davidian fire and to the 1998 dragging murder of a black man in Jasper, Texas. The cartoon called them “Texas Bonfire Traditions.” I can’t show you the cartoon because the paper pulled it from its website (and all others, apparently) and apologized for its poor judgment. The paper also offered to make a $10,000 donation to a memorial fund (which offer A&M declined). The editorial page editor of the Arizona Republic at the time? Keven Ann Willey.
Uncle Barky was asking that question last Thursday afternoon on Twitter, when all our other Dallas-Fort Worth network stations were carrying the entire event live. WFAA was instead airing its regular programming, three syndicated programs: Anderson Live, Dr. Oz, and Katie. He hasn’t gotten a response out of WFAA management, but today on his blog he shared a few messages from others who were also upset by the station’s decision:
Here’s a sampling of readers’ comments, beginning with portions of an email exchange with WFAA8 sent by reader/viewer Jack Wilson:
Wilson: You did the area a great disservice by not carrying the Waco Memorial until the President spoke. You did your news station reputation a huge disservice.
WFAA8 representative Ann Clark: The full memorial service has been airing on WFAA 8.3, TXCN and streamed online at wfaa.com.
Wilson: (Verizon) Fios does not carry TXCN and it does not carry any of the digital channels. I doubt that Dish, DirecTV or Time Warner carry the digital channels either. Your programming staff needs to take that into consideration when deciding what to broadcast . . . I am a Channel 8 fan. If I am going to watch news, 99% of the time my TV will be on Channel 8. I was really surprised when I discovered that you thought talk shows were more important than a tribute to Texas heroes.
Forgive me if the internet has addressed this already. I am only just now looking at Saturday’s paper (having been encouraged to do so by a kind, loving, compassionate FrontBurnervian to whom I owe money). Thursday, the Sacramento Bee published a cartoon by Jack Ohman that depicted Rick Perry, in the first panel, saying, “Business is booming in Texas,” and then, in the second panel, a huge explosion. Ohman was commenting on the business-friendly lack of regulation in Texas. That same day, Thursday, the paper addressed the cartoon on its Trailblazers blog. So far, so good.
That brings us to Saturday’s paper. In the briefs section on page 4A, the News ran an AP item about Perry’s request for an apology from the Sac Bee. Then, on 20A, on the editorial page, the paper ran the cartoon. Understand that the cartoon didn’t accompany the news story. It was the editorial cartoon they chose to run on Saturday.
I have two problems with that. First, it’s too close and too soon. No cartoons about explosions in West in the Morning News. Nope. Just not a good idea. If for no other reason than doing so might cause Zac Crain to kill himself so that he can become a ghost and haunt you until you are driven so insane that you climb the new superstructure being erected for Big Tex and sit there, naked, until a SWAT team has to dart you with a tranquilizer. Maybe you disagree. Maybe you think running that cartoon in a paper this close to West is brave and important and makes the commentary about Texas’ lack of regulation that much more poignant. You’re wrong.
The second problem I have with the cartoon — and this, really, is the bigger of the two problems — is that the Morning News waited until Saturday to run it. If you’re going to insult people and be insensitive to death and destruction, then at least be timely about it.
It’s time to let us know what you think of all the best arts, sports, and media in Dallas. Voting is now open for Best of Big D Readers’ Choice: Culture. You can cast a ballot once a day on your desktop, laptop, tablet, or mobile device.
The winners will appear in the August issue of D Magazine. Don’t let down your favorites.