By Michael Roberts
By Amber Taufen
By Patricia Calhoun
By William Breathes
By Michael Roberts
By Melanie Asmar
By Michael Roberts
By Michael Roberts
A Side of O.J.
Like pretty much everybody I know, I'm obsessed with O.J. Simpson. I've watched every minute of TV coverage I could and have read every story I could find. But at the same time I was "thirsting" for more O.J., I still thought my obsession was something to be ashamed of until I read Bill Gallo's "Slashing Moves" in the July 6 issue. If a man as obviously intelligent as Gallo admits to being obsessed, then it must be okay for the rest of us. Way to go, Bill! Thanks for making my latest hobby legit.
As a former battered wife, I find the outpouring of sympathy for O.J. Simpson an outrage. What about the two people who are dead and the children left without a mother?
I was battered by my then-husband, who is a police officer. The officers that responded to the call did not arrest him because of the type of work he does. They were concerned for his job. Colorado may have the best domestic-violence laws in the country--but that's only if it applies them.
Bill Gallo wonders where all the O.J. jokes are. Here's my favorite:
Did you hear that Hertz has a new job for O.J.? He's going to be making their license plates.
Thought you might get a chuckle. I did.
Kyle Wagner should be ashamed of herself. In the July 6 Mouthing Off, she makes a comment about how her husband "fortunately" didn't strike her. She may have intended this to be taken as a joke, but there is nothing comical about domestic violence. I'm certain Nicole Simpson didn't find it funny.
Their Passions Are in Tents
Kenny Be's July 6 Worst-Case Scenario, "When Nature Calls," on how to take a dump in the wilderness, was so funny--and so true!--I laughed my ass off. I knew there was a reason I gave up camping.
Kenny Be's camping "cartoon" was absolutely disgusting. This toilet humor has no place in a publication such as Westword.
I found it interesting, but it had no personal meaning for me at the time. Then my family and I went to the Cherry Creek Arts Festival. There were some union people outside the festival giving out balloons inscribed "Barry Be Fair." Since our group included a four-year-old and a one-year-old, we of course took the balloons and, due to your article, were aware of the intended message. As we entered the festival site, we were surrounded by festival lackeys who informed us that we could not take the balloons into the festival. We were told by these toadies that the balloons were a "fire hazard," if you can believe that one, and were forced to take the balloons away from two small children. Later, when my husband asked the fire department about this supposed rule, he was told they would never have said such a thing, since helium is an inert substance. As we walked through the festival, we noticed other balloons and a Hirschfeld Press booth. We also heard over a police radio that the "picketers" were being forced to move and materials taken from them. These tactics have convinced me of the unconscionable zealotry being displayed by Barry Hirschfeld. It is too bad the arts festival was a willing participant. It is ironic that an event celebrating art should be used to simultaneously stifle personal expression.
Who's That Knocking?
As a forty-something parent of two, I found the letter authored by "Somebody From Nowhere" in the June 29 Westword to be compelling enough in its self-indulgent pity and anger to merit a response.
Disturbing to me was the author's stereotyping of the boomers as lazy, poor excuses for parents and his/her ignorance of the realities of parenthood. It was easy for us to blame all the ills of the world on our parents, and it still is. Had Mr./Ms. "Nowhere" heard the early-Seventies pop tune by Harry Chapin titled "Cat's in the Cradle," he/she would have come to the potential realization that being a good and caring parent was a topic that the boomers--and every other human generation--were vitally concerned with.
If, someday, the author of the letter has children of his/her own and arrives home after ten, twelve or more hours of work in a state of total exhaustion, I know how the ultimate choice will turn out between parking the kids in front of the TV or preparing meals, washing clothes and cleaning the house! The reality of life in this piece of the twentieth century is that spouses also work, grandparents live far away and we all aren't trust-fund parasites who can buy nannies. But we can take the kids to the zoo on weekends.
To me, it is pretty clear that "Nowhere" needs to attend life's school of hard knocks for a good ten or twenty more years before achieving a level of wisdom and credentials sufficient to criticize those who preceded him/her. Otherwise, remember this, pal: Those ignorant of history are doomed to repeat it. Have a good life.
Cut on the Bias
I liked Patricia Calhoun's June 15 column, "Smokin' in the Boy's Room." She has a point about the often biased reporting of the Rocky Mountain News. That newspaper hardly represents the community when the board of directors is almost exclusively established of white men and when it needs to create a task force in order to lessen the pain and humiliation that the paper inflicts, intentionally or unintentionally, on women and minorities.
Journalistic standards should require that newspaper reporters and editors strive to provide fair and accurate news articles. Allowing intolerant comments to pass as reporting or as editorial opinion simply demonstrates that the News abuses the freedom of the press.
I find that their newspaper reporters and editors usually (though not always) concentrate on interviewing established white males in government, professional groups, major corporations and larger and more sexist religious bodies. Nontraditional women, minorities, consumers, environmentalists, common laborers and smaller and less patriarchal religious groups rarely get space in their general news articles and in their editorial pages. Dissenting perspectives are rarely tolerated in that newspaper.
I rarely pick up the Rocky Mountain News now. The Denver Post and the alternative press have more and better reporting from grassroots movements, academia and a variety of religious circles. On occasion, the Denver Post and the alternative press also rightfully criticize some conservative political, corporate and religious leaders--a practice that the Rocky Mountain News will rarely pursue.
Thanks again for Patricia Calhoun's recent editorial. It brings to light why the Rocky Mountain News's general news reporting and editorial opinions are so frequently conservatively biased.
A Rocky Road Ahead
Many thanks to Westword for exposing the corrupt and dangerous practices of the Department of Energy and EG&G at Rocky Flats. The mainstream press no longer independently investigates what is happening at Rocky Flats--despite the fact that this year it will resume operations in Building 707, thereby spewing plutonium oxide into our air at an unprecedented level of 900,000 potentially lethal doses per year. Why? Because the Cold Warriors running the show at the DOE have decided the bomb parts must be "thermally stabilized" for "safe" shipment to Los Alamos.
A second nasty surprise that Rocky Flats is preparing for us is the "National Conversion Pilot Project," which will involve bringing to Colorado (!) a truckload a week of depleted uranium in order to manufacture containers to store nuclear waste. In order to save 200 jobs, Colorado will become the garbage incinerator for tons of toxic materials from other DOE facilities.
John Impey, Co-director
Colorado Peace Action for a Sane World
The Rest of the Best
I was listening to Lewis and Floorwax when they started whining that there wasn't a readers' choice for radio DJ in the June 29 Best of Denver. Well, I have news for the "masters"--I wouldn't have voted for them, anyway. You can't win a contest by having the biggest egos in town, boys. But I give Westword a big thumb's up. Your Best of Denver issue was the best yet! Keep up the good work.
Hey, what's going on with this Lewis and Floorwax thing? Why'd you guys drop the readers' choice ? These guys have done a public service, and you're just screwing them in the butt. Let's get things straight down there and we won't have a problem. Thanks.
Indian Springs--the Best Hot Springs? Go up and check it out, people! Stop in the bar for a "nightcap" and experience the densest concentration of cigarette smoke you could imagine. I've been there. It's healthier elsewhere!
I notice this year, and I think last year, that in your Best of Denver you don't have a "Best Hair Salon." I kind of think that it's more important than a "Best Floor-Sanding Guys" listing.
Thank you and your staff for honoring HaSQA-WARE with the title of "Best Boon for Brown Baggers." We are thrilled!
Westword's style of writing is great! It was really a pleasure to read your description of HaSQA-WARE--accurate, concise, snappy and far better than we have managed to describe our product ourselves!
Claudia B. Bonar
Here's my Best of Denver poem about DIA:
Tornado alley airway
The wind shear is excitingly high
A great place to fall from the sky.
It's a roller-coaster landing for a jumbo jet
On cracked runways made out of cheap cement.
The luggage system is loaded with bugs
And operated by swindlers, embezzlers and thugs.
The accounting expertly handled to benefit the cronies backing Mayor Wellington Webb
Who ought to commit suicide for putting Denver so far in the red.
Lacking suckers for Governor Roy Romer's impressive package lure
DIA will face bankruptcy in the near future for sure.
Standard and Poors gambled a get-rich- quick bet
And for the rest of their lives they'll suffer and regret.
The dollar took a plunge, the economy's in a panicky dive
DIA junk bonds a bad choice if you want to survive.
Mutual distrust about money foolishly overspent
One last resort: "Exclusive DIA Wigwams" for rent.
It's finished! The end of the Pena Mega Boom.
Financial Armageddon, DIA doom!
I just wanted to thank you for this year's Best of Denver issue. It is absolutely the best guide there is to Denver, and I'm sure I will enjoy it for a long time to come.
I was just reading your Best of Denver and had to stop myself from laughing to death. Y'all don't have anything that could constitute you as the best. This place sucks. I come from Austin, Texas. That's a place that is the best. We have SXSW (South by Southwest), Freedom Fest, Pecan Street Festival, Best of Austin unsigned bands, 6th Street, Al Jourgensen, Jello Biafra, KNACK, KROCK, etc. So when you guys can compare and not give the rest of the world the image of a Cold War eastern bloc country, then y'all should publish a Best of Denver. Until then, I wouldn't humiliate myself again. Why don't you just sit down with the kiddies and let Austin lead?
Editor's note: The Best of Denver's award to Lenny Jaramillo for "Best Deathbed Confessions" now seems particularly prescient. The 37-year-old Out Front columnist, who'd written so movingly--and candidly--about his daily battle with AIDS, died the day before the Best of Denver went to press. In the June 22 issue of Out Front, he had warned: "i'm afraid the end is coming i went back to my doctor and I have lost another four pounds i'm down to 118 at this rate I won't have to commit suicide the disease will kill me...i was talking to a friend and told him i was afraid i was going to die and he replied "if that's what you want" at which point i told him to fuck off and hung up on him more of that new-age bullshit..."
Jaramillo actually lived to write one more column, which was published posthumously on July 6. It's reprinted below:
"It's been one thing after another lately. I was supposed to be hospitalized for a blood transfusion, but I've decided not to do it. I'm very tired. I feel like things keep piling up.
"It meant a lot to me to listen to Elton John's `The Last Song' while my Dad, Kathy, Gilberto and Donaciano gathered around me and comforted me. That song has a lot of relevance to PWAs, particularly when it comes to winning and losing battles and about the love between a father and son.
"Donaciano, you're gold. You remind me of my mother. I want you and Kathy to help my Dad make it through this. There's some things he can take care of and other things he can't handle by himself.
"It's almost hard to believe I'm slipping away so fast, but a lot of this is a result of decisions I've made.
"I'm thirsty. I'm not thirsty.
"I won't be around to wear that sage crown that Gilberto was going to make for me.
"This is my last column. I'm ready to go.