ONE MAN CLAPPING
Jim Sherman’s well-done review (“Kinds of Blues,” Jan. 9) not only shows the vast breadth and depth of the subject matter in a historical sense, but also conveys Sherman’s emotional connection with this art form. I especially liked his personal insight into the history of Clarence “Gatemouth” Brown.
Richard Sprowl Posted at www.texasobserver.org
EMPATHY FOR NADINE
As the beneficiary of two wives better than I deserved, I probably understand where Nadine Eckhardt is coming from about as well as a male can (“And his Lovely Wife …” Jan. 9).
John HowisonPosted at www.texasobserver.org
JUDGING WINTER BOOKS …
My sincere compliments and congratulations on the very best issue of The Texas Observer in a very long time. Give my regards to Ronnie Dugger, and thanks for reminding me that one of the reasons I have liked Ronnie through all these years is that LBJ didn’t (“Deep in the Heart,” Jan. 9).
Scott Baumvia Internet
… BY ITS COVER
Your Winter Books cover with a man defecating on the front has to be the worst cover of a magazine I have ever seen. Are 12-year-old boys running the place now?
As a professional journalist and a former Texas Observer intern, I’m sorry to say I want nothing more to do with your publication.
Terri Langfordvia Internet
A ROAD TOO FAR
Alan Wolfe is being deliberately provocative and moving far beyond a scientific or even rational view of nature in his defense of liberalism (“Road Map to Reason,” Jan. 9). Evolutionary theorists have nothing in common with Jerry Falwell.
As for the “radical environmentalists,” I am one who believes the Earth would be a better place if there were less of humanity. Bill McKibben’s “puritanical jeremiads” are perfectly appropriate.
The “genetics as destiny” characterization of evolutionary determinists such as Richard Dawkins is a gross misrepresentation. They merely make the point that the animal nature of humans should not be deemphasized or ignored.
Of course human beings “have the capacity … to bring meaning and direction to their lives.” You can accept that liberal idea and a scientific understanding of nature simultaneously.
Although I am not one to emulate them, Dawkins, Christopher Hitchens and Sam Harris have every right and reason to characterize supernaturalistic religious belief as “fascist” and “mad.” Biblical literalists and Christian fundamentalists constantly attack humanistic reason, empiricism, and skepticism in public forums-why should nonbelievers and secularists leave the public square to them?
Steven Schafersman Posted at www.texasobserver.org
Ruth Pennebaker made me laugh out loud (“The Writers’ Super Bowl: A Farce in Four Quarters,” Jan. 9).
Anne Gibert Posted at www.texasobserver.org