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“Dialogue,” from page 2 mention that there was a time, as recently as the month before, when I had cavalierly put myself in a position of purposefully not preventing the high odds of pregnancy.” There are plenty of other examples in the book, where I take full responsibility for some incredibly stupid, self-destructive actions. But I’ll list only one more. In the closing letter to my son, Henry, I say, on page 270, “I am sorry for some of the things I put you through, Henry. For the things I put myself through.” Getting back to the Texas Book Festival: the panel, which was named, in part, in honor of my book, happened to be one of the most heavily trafficked. The Statesman, which had hundreds of authors to choose from, chose to run my picture in their coverage of the festival. And getting back to Mister Holland confessing that he was watching my son and me as we walked around frankly that totally creeps me out. Does Mister Holland stalk male authors prior to reviewing their books? Does he comment, as he did regarding me, on their appearance? Does he thrash these authors on a personal level or does he stick to the matter at hand: a book’s contents? My mama taught me a lot of right things when I was growing up. But one wrong thing she taught me, back in elementary school, when I’d come home crying that some boy was picking on me: “That means he likes you,” she said. It took decades for me to spot hostile men and recognize them for what they are. Arrogance like Mister Holland’s is born of fear. Men like Mister Holland shrink in terror at the thought of a strong woman. His pretense, that somehow he is more of a Texan than I, that somehow his welcome \(or his “git the hell me a good chuckle. The allegation that I am a narcissist is also a laugh-riot. Of course, if I stop here to mention all the things I do to make my community better the talks I give to local schoolchildren \(I do at a financial loss, the seminars I agree to give without fee I’ll be accused of bragging. If I mention that one of my students, Rosetta Wills, went on to publish a well-received book about her daddy \(in case Mister Holland is unaware, her daddy was that silly ol’ uninfluential Texan, some new way to condemn me. Or perhaps this was all a plot. Perhaps you hired your “reviewer” in hopes of provoking a response from me, one you could publish as a compensation I typically command from the countless national publications that have hired me since I was in my early twenties. I wanted to toss in here that Mister Holland reminds me of a famous literary character, who for me was, until now, quite forgettable. I refer to the unsympathetic protagonist in Martin Amis’ The Information. In case you don’t recall, allow me to refresh: that guy wrote novels that were so awful readers literally got migraines attempting to weed through them. And what did this character do for a living? He wrote incredibly long, boorish, pathetic “book reviews” for tiny, obscure, barely-if-ever read publications. Often enough over the years, people have noted that my first name seems to really suit my character. I’d have to say the same is true of Mister Holland. Thanks for the mention in the Observer, Spike \(there’s-no-such-thing Austin Dick Holland responds: All I can say, Gentle Readers, faced with this garbled outcry \(the howl of the wounded narlove her book. Editors’ note: Unlike his subject, our contributor Dick Holland is disinclined to vainglory. However, readers should know that in 1997, Holland retired from a distinguished career as the founding Curator of the Southwestern Writers Collection at Southwest Texas State University, one of the most important literary archives in the U.S. Holland’s 1999 book his astutely edited volume, Larry L. King: A Writer’s Life In Letters \(see “The King of Texas,” by Robert thusiastically by every reviewer. Finally, the accusation of “stalking” against a reviewer reporting a public appearance by a writer ostentatiously on the make would be libelous if it weren’t so absurd. THE WORM TURNS Re: “Looking for Real Enemies,” by Michael King, December 10: KOOP 91.7 Community Radio must be doing something right. The alternative media is constantly blasting us starting with Pacifica which told us we better stop running our disclaimer about their labor practices and we refused. They told us we couldn’t buy their news program any more so we start doing our own. Everybody calls us names. Now we are “petty tyrants” for enforcing the volunteer work requirement policy. The volunteers who do all the work were resentful of those who don’t do any. “Petty tyrant” isn’t even as interesting as “zombie puppet-master” KOOP’s mission is to serve the underserved. Some people think that means doing things for the oppressed, like doing radio for them. We prefer empowerment. Community radio means making radio for yourself, not just having it done for you. Individuals, communities, and community organizations produce their own radio programs on KOOP. Listen on March 8 for International Women’s Day. A lot of people don’t like this, including it seems, the Texas Observer. Carol Hayman, Secretary KOOP Board of Trustees, Austin RETURNING THE SCREW Remember all the years Republicans voted in the Democratic primary and the choice was beand a Republican in the fall election. It’s now payback time. I would encourage Demos like myself who are going to vote Democrat in the fall to vote for John McCain in the Republican primary to screw George Bush. Bill McIntyre Austin OLD AND PARANOID Your material on Henry Kissinger brought to mind a number of disturbing foreign policy decisions during his reign as well as the kind of arrogance and egomania that seem to be part of his baggage still as we see all too frequently when he is on TV offering his pontifications. The pity is that there were several instances of inaccuracies that unfortunately mar the otherwise well-presented feature. Michael King’s box listed some foreign policy obscenities associated with Kissinger. I was disturbed to find the Yom Kippur War listed as Kissinger’s responsibility. King blames the war on “Israeli intransigence with U.S. encouragement.” Is King old enough to recall that the U.N. mission in the Sinai was swiftly brushed aside for the on-rushing Egyptian tanks, the major Arab ing chosen the Jewish High Holy days for a coordinated invasion? Is it intransigence for Israel to defend itself against an attack aimed at her annihilation? Remember that those were the days Palestinians, with the financial and military support of all of Israel’s Arab neighbors, proclaimed their goal of pushing Israel into the sea. I don’t think you can classify the Kissinger/Nixon support for Israel in the same way you would the bombing of Cambodia or the coup against Allende. Spare me. In his piece Sherrill notes the paranoia among some Arab observers about Watergate as some kind of Kissingerian-Zionist plot. Why not label it as paranoia? Some of the same observers, after all, regard Monica Lewinsky as a kind of Oval-Office fly-trap that hawkish elements in Israel planted to remove Clinton from office because of his determination to promote the land-for-peace deal. Then Sherrill quotes Curtiss saying that Nixon suspected his fall was connected to “Jewish or pro-Jewish insiders.” Of course, Curtiss ought also to note that Nixon’s tapes tend to show a vile streak of anti-Semitism in which he opines that the media, the arts, Hollywood were all out to get him. Nixon’s dark side that led to dirty tricks and plumbers was visible throughout his public life, long before he met Kissinger. Remember his first opponent, Helen Gahagan Douglas, whom he labeled the “Pink Lady”? Steve Salinger Kansas City, Missouri 22 THE TEXAS OBSERVER FEBRUARY 18, 2000 , ftyme …,,Wen,<1.1pirdWaser.0. 0.1,11.1*