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Making Dallas Even Better

Barrett Brown’s Latest Dispatch From Prison

I know, I know. You are still upset that Barrett Brown is no longer writing his prison diaries for FrontBurner. You consider him a total sellout for leaving to write for Glenn Greenwald’s Intercept. Please, I urge you, let the anger go. Be happy for Barrett. Well, except for the fact that he’s still in the hole and was recently given another 30 days there, in addition to the 30 he’s already done, plus three months of phone, commissary, visiting, and email restriction. You’ll learn all that and more if you read his column that just went up on The Intercept. My favorite part, though, was the following description of his new cellmate. I’m sure Greenwald will forgive the length of this excerpt:

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Correction: Di Mambro Plan Did Not Come From Mayor’s Task Force

Got a really sweet e-mail yesterday from the mayor’s PR chief, Scott Goldstein, that called my attention to a mistake in my September column in D Magazine (not online yet). Helpfully, Goldstein cc’ed the mayor (because, duh, his boss) and Wick (because, duh, actually runs the city). The e-mail:

Good evening, Eric,

Your piece on Fair Park in the September magazine was brought to our attention today. You wrote: “Recently, Mayor Mike Rawlings commissioned a task force that came up with a radical new blueprint to fix the State Fair and reinvigorate Fair Park and its neighborhoods. In short, it would restrict the Fair’s footprint at the park. Unofficially it is called the Di Mambro Plan, named for its lead architect, Antonio Di Mambro….”

This is totally, unequivocally false.

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Jim Dent Gets Three More Years In the Joint

Dent, the author of Junction Boys and semi-professional mugshot model, was already sentenced to 10 years for felony DWI in Collin County. Now the well-known writer and serial drunk driver will stack three more on top of that, thanks to a plea deal in Williamson County for another DWI. So he’ll have plenty of time to work on his memoirs and not drink too many drinks then try to drive an automobile.

For more on Dent, read this very good story by Michael J. “Mike” Mooney.

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Coppell Is the 8th-Best Place to Live in the U.S.?

Here’s some of what Money had to say about Coppell, in naming the city on its annual list of the Best Places to Live. Are they trolling Patrick Kennedy?

Coppell has made a virtue of concrete. The ring of freeways that surrounds the town also shields it from Dallas’s sprawl … Those freeways also give residents easy access to the airport (a 10-minute drive) and the big cities of Dallas and Fort Worth.

Clearly the editors of Money have lost their minds, since we established last year that Coppell is only the 13th-best Dallas suburb. You might also remember that the city that topped last year’s Money countdown was McKinney. I don’t believe that its absence in 2015 has anything to do the aftermath of  its pool parties — the magazine seems to like to turn over the entire top 50 each year, alternating between ranking towns with populations of 10K-50K and cities populations 50K-300K — but I’m going to guess that it might keep it from making a return trip in 2016.

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Bon Appetit Screws Small Brewpub, Luscher’s Red Hots

You will recall that two Dallas restaurants appeared on Bon Appetit’s list of 50 best new restaurants in America. Small Brewpub and Luscher’s were those two restaurants. Well, today the magazine winnowed that list down to the Hot 10, the best of the best. And neither Small Brewpub nor Luscher’s made the cut. I am so angry. To get back at them, I didn’t put the accent aigu in the magazine’s title. (Diacritical humor!)

Last Week Tonight Broadcasts Episode on Televangelists With All Sorts of Dallas Connections

Take a few minutes to watch this segment, below, of HBO’s Last Week Tonight With John Oliver. Not only does it feature some Brett Shipp reporting on Kenneth Copeland from way back in 2007, but it will catch you up with the current status of Robert Tilton, who turns out to be a pen pal of John Oliver’s. It was all produced with help from Dallas’ own Trinity Foundation.

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Legendary Newsman Dan Rather on JFK, Mark Cuban, and the New Film About His CBS Downfall

Today we bring you a very special episode of EarBurner, the D Magazine podcast. Longtime CBS newsman Dan Rather stopped by the Old Monk with his grandson Martin to promote a new prize they’re offering for great ideas to improve Texas education.

The Rather Boys proved delightful guests, with Dan holding forth upon his time covering the JFK Assassination, speaking about his professional relationship with Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban, and indulging Tim and Zac’s usual brand of tomfoolery.

A few notes to enhance the listening experience:

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Share Your Love of the Best of Big D, Win a Tasty Prize

Now that you’ve had a chance to familiarize yourself with this year’s Best of Big D honorees, we invite you to share your experiences patronizing one of those fine establishments via social media using the hashtag #bobd2015.

When you do so, you’ll have a chance to win a private menu and cocktail tasting for four at Harwood’s soon-to-open restaurant and bar, Happiest Hour. So get snapping those pictures.

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How Many Times Has the Word ‘Callipygian’ Appeared in the DMN?

Sunday’s paper brought us another story about the deadly booty injections. This one was co-authored by Seema Yasmin. She bragged on Twitter about using the word “callipygian” in the story. As she should have. It is a fine word. It means “having shapely buttocks.” Here’s how Yasmin dropped it:

“Patients will ask for Kim Kardashian’s buttocks,” said Dr. Jennifer Walden, an aesthetic plastic surgeon and spokeswoman for the society.

In her Austin clinic, Walden used to enhance the buttocks of one or two women a year as recently as 2012. Now she operates on two women a week.

“Procedures go in and out of fashion. … We’re a celebrity-obsessed culture,” she said, citing actress Sofia Vergara and hip hop artist Nicki Minaj as callipygian influences.

This got me thinking. How many times has the word “callipygian” ever been printed in the DMN? Go ahead. Guess.

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Former CBS 11 Anchor Brendan Higgins on the Arrest That Got Him Fired

Yesterday Brendan Higgins stopped by the Old Monk on what turned out to be the one-year anniversary of the arrest in Aspen, Colorado, that ultimately cost him his job as morning anchor for CBS 11.

On this week’s episode of the D Magazine podcast, EarBurner, Higgins shares details about that night, as well as some astounding stories from his family history.

A few notes to inform your listening experience:

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Steve Blow Goes Way Too Easy on Beth Van Duyne

Today’s Steve Blow column is an interesting one. He calls out Irving Mayor Beth Van Duyne for telling lies about him. She has been going around to Tea Party groups, telling them that Blow hasn’t called sources, lawyers who she said would tell Blow how Shariah law has interfered with their cases. Van Duyne has also said that Blow went “ballistic” on her during a phone conversation. In short, Van Duyne has said that Blow is a bad reporter and a lug.

Now listen to me. The other night, I made the mistake of renting Get Hard. I’m a big Will Ferrell fan. How bad could it be, right? Answer: very bad. Do not see Get Hard, even if you are a big Will Ferrell fan. Trust me on this. But I picture Steve Blow a lot like Ferrell’s character in that movie. Even if Steve Blow hired an incarceration expert to teach him how to make a mad dog face, he’d still have a hard time looking hard. In other words, “ballistic” simply isn’t in his repertoire. So you know that Van Duyne is lying.

How does he fire back at her?

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On Microbrews, Food Trucks, and What Makes Dallas Special

I don’t remember a lot about Wim Wenders’ 1974 film Alice in the Cities. What I do remember my professor (himself a native German) emphasizing during the German film class I took in college was the way in which it portrays American cities as nearly indistinguishable stops along an endless stretch of highway, with virtually the same restaurants and shops found everywhere.

For some reason that outsider’s view of the United States stuck in my brain. While it seems most applicable when considering the ubiquitous national fast-food chains and big-box stores, in recent years I’ve felt the same irritating sense of sameness — more irritating, actually, since it is sameness disguising itself — in the collection of trends that have swept across our nation and that might be loosely described as the Triumph of Hipsterdom.

Today the New Republic retweeted this 2013 piece by Chuck Thompson. I’d not read it before, but it got me thinking. Thompson writes:

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Win One of Our Neighborhood Icons of Dallas Posters

We were so excited about the launch of our neighborhood guides last month — more ‘hoods coming soon, I promise — that we decided we’d be fools not to take advantage of the merchandising possibilities.

And so we commissioned a nifty poster featuring various icons of Dallas neighborhoods. You can see a thumbnail of the featured image to the right. If you dig it — and how could you not? — enter here for a chance to win your own.

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Podcast: Laura Miller on Preston Center, John Wiley Price, Sacred Cows, and Clean Coal

Former Dallas mayor, as well as former Dallas Morning News/D Magazine/Dallas Observer reporter, Laura Miller stopped by the Old Monk yesterday to talk about why she now spends her days fighting for clean coal and against major new Preston Center development. Plus, in this week’s episode of Ear Burner, she tells the story behind her classic March 1991 D Magazine story on John Wiley Price.

A few notes before you listen:

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