Static: Wednesday, October 31, 2002
A D V E R T I S E M E N T
A D V E R T I S E M E N T
Razing the Roof

Buy Al Gore a cigar. After all, the big doofus invented the internet, which prompted the Angry e-mail phenomenon that provides Static such joy.

In the old days, when people got angry and wanted to write a raging letter, they had to find pen and paper, dig up an envelope, and buy a stamp. Afterward, they had either calmed down, changed their minds, or gone to a Procol Harum concert and smoked so much red-haired Sinselombian that they’d forgotten their names.

E-mail allows diatribes at the height of emotion. Consider neighborhood activist Gray McBride’s recent cyber-attack on Historic Fort Worth executive director Jerre Tracy. An Oct. 15 Fort Worth Star-Telegram article quoted Tracy as saying the 7th Street Theatre’s fate was sealed after the rear section of the building was razed. “We knew it had no future after that,” she said.

An incensed McBride e-mailed the Star-Telegram reporter saying that there could be no explanation for Tracy’s quote other than “corruption ... or perhaps utter stupidity.” The activists had the building inspected by engineers and assessed by architects and deemed sound for reuse, and cited a potential buyer. He dubbed the article “a public disservice.”

McBride then copied the e-mail to Fort Worth Weekly, where Static was staring at a blank computer screen and wondering what in the hell this week’s column was going to be about.

The original e-mail was dashed off in a highly irritated state, but days later McBride was even harsher. In a phone conversation he described numerous examples of Tracy’s failings. The last straw was hearing her say the theater was essentially lost after the back wall was knocked down in April. “Who died and left her in charge of architectural and engineering authority?” McBride said. “I don’t know what was in her pipe when she was smoking it, but it wasn’t fact or knowledge.”

McBride wants a new historic preservation group. “Perhaps competition would work in the not-for-profit market,” he said. “Maybe Historic Fort Worth would wake up and get back to work. We really could have used their help.”

Tracy said she’d comment after Static sent her a copy of McBride’s message. By day’s end, she still had not provided a response.

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