Static: Wednesday, August 1, 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
Hopping Mad

Motorists driving past R.L.B. Sales and Leasing on Camp Bowie Boulevard see something horrible; or, more accurately, they don’t see something horrible — the papier-mâché jackalope is gone! The 12-foot antlered critter had been perched on the building’s rooftop for about 20 years. Sure, the sculpture is big and goofy, but Fort Worth has grown to adore the jackalope, which is part jackrabbit, part antelope, and a tiny bit myth. “We’ve had people scream at us and yell out their windows as they drive down the road, thinking we took him down for good,” said R.L.B. Sales co-owner Jim Snyder.

Fear not, the big bunny is on temporary loan to Six Flags Over Texas as part of a Best of Texas display. “We’ll be getting the jackalope back at the end of August,” Snyder said.

Sticks And Stones

For six years, Fort Worth Star-Telegram has shown little tendency to mention Fort Worth Weekly, choosing to downplay the little alternative paper that scoops it on stories and castrates the sacred cows that have grown accustomed to the Star-T’s soft fondling. But the city’s only major daily did manage to report on Weekly staff writer Betty Brink’s complaint that she isn’t paid as much as her counterparts. “They don’t mind mentioning us when we’re in a squabble, do they?” Brink said.

Static would never resort to that kind of catty office gossip. Oh wait, Static lives for snippy behind-the-scenes tittle-tattle. For instance, an anonymous letter arrived at Static’s mailbox recounting rumors about dissension in the Star-T’s Life & Arts section.

The letter, filled with much insider information, described a “tug of war” between the features editors and writers in “a classic soft vs. hard news fight.” The editors favor mindless lists, trite looks at serious issues, wire-copy filler, and godawful children’s stories over credible and substantive material.

Most writers, the letter said, “contend that the section has been on a downward spiral for some time now” and view editors’ emphasis on superficial and self-centered drivel “as basically hanging themselves.” Features sections typically attract creative writers, and Star-Telegram has some good ones. Liz Stevens, Jeff Guinn, Jessie Milligan, Tim Madigan, and Ken Parish Perkins show considerable talent when given freedom, but all have suffered under current leadership’s constant catering to the lowest common denominator of its readership.

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