By Alan Prendergast
By Michael Roberts
By Michael Roberts
By Amber Taufen
By Patricia Calhoun
By William Breathes
By Michael Roberts
By Melanie Asmar
I didn't follow the Paul Kelly case very carefully when it happened. But I read some of the Boulder Daily Camera articles, and if someone had asked me what the case was all about, I probably would have said something like, "Yeah, a bunch of high school morons jumped this guy and kicked the crap out of him." I suspected that Paul Kelly had probably provoked his attackers in some way (although I do not recall the Camera articles ever suggesting this), but I'd nevertheless formulated an image of a pack of teenagers with chromosome imbalances pummeling someone who was in the wrong place at the wrong time.
Steve Jackson's May 24 article, "The Fight of Their Lives," which was as much about the media's selective treatment of the event as it was about the fight itself, was an excellent reminder of how the complexities and contradictions of real life have such a hard time finding their way onto newsprint (and television, film and talk radio). It is far too easy to forget that profits--and the simplified, sensational stories that yield them--are far too important to corporate newspapers like the Daily Camera to allow them to indulge some lofty standard of thorough, balanced reporting.
Every newspaper article should begin with a disclaimer: "What you are about to read is not the whole story, but enjoy it anyway." Until such a disclaimer is implemented, I ask only that somebody stop me before I believe again.
I now have another great Kenny Be chef d'oeuvre to add to my burgeoning file. "Valley of the Cars," in the May 24 issue, is a cartoon I have wanted to see for years, since I was very little and saw orange groves replaced with parking lots in Los Angeles in 1959.
Be's cartoon articulates what I feel as I wait for buses around Denver, submerged in a seething, smog-drenched parking lot. And true to form, he accurately details the single-occupant-vehicle status quo that characterizes our times, each cavernous Chevy Suburban or Range Rover occupied by a lone driver, mesmerized by the car ahead. I close my eyes, listen to the traffic and reflect on the painful irony that only 120 years ago these plains thundered with as many buffalo.
Now the descendants of the cowboys that slaughtered the buffalo and their native human friends ride in motorized horses, each one proudly straddling his own exhaust-belching mount, carefully avoiding eye contact with any peon miserable enough to be on foot. We build our world around our cars, to a scale that is dehumanizing to the pedestrian and useful only to people who buy into automobile culture. Drivers protest: "I could never ride the bus--or a bike--are you crazy?"
As I read my history books on my way to work in the mornings on the bus and see all of the millions of cars with one person in each one around me, I shudder with relief that I'm not trapped in one, too, paying the bills, slamming on the brakes.
Kenny Be's depiction of the Platte Valley is worth at least a thousand words--and 100,000 cars.
The Mural Majority
Regarding Patricia Calhoun's column "Indecent Exposure," in the May 10 issue:
I wish to rush blindly (in the Denver spirit) to the defense of Mike Stemple's proposed mural. In a town hard-pressed for heroes of any ilk, it is most fitting that we should memorialize the antics of three buffoons whose only claim to heroism comes by the same definition of "hero" made popular by O.J. Simpson.
Elway has had four legitimate shots at the "big one" and failed at each. But his efforts at cornering Denver's automobile market could earn him an antitrust suit along with the award for Business Suit of the Year. Mutombo made it to the All Star team after whining, crying and threatening a lawsuit. And his legal moves are legendary! Of course, Galarraga's National League batting championship was controversial, too: Ask Tony Gwynn.
This is a town that prides itself on its policy of grandiose self-accreditation in the absence of any at the national level. Consider it appropriate that if failure, blackmail and controversy tarnish Denver's efforts at athletic greatness, at least we have greed in the true tradition of historic Denver to honor. So honor it we shall, by creating icons of men who are legends in their own minds.
An added bonus: The whole mural project is being engineered by a man with no resume of substance to recommend him who confesses to having lost a significant part of his mind... How Denver!
Casey at the Bat
Regarding "D.C. Power," by Michelle Dally Johnston in the May 24 issue:
All concerned deserve better than your article on the city council runoff race between Susan Casey and Tom Tayon. The article was built of insinuation and inaccuracy regarding Susan Casey's candidacy. The irony is that the underlying information made a strong argument in favor of Casey for city council. To wit:
1. The article stated that Casey has received campaign contributions from people who live outside Colorado, in places as shocking as New York and Boston. Readers were told that her contributors include William Shore, founder of an international hunger-relief organization.