By Michael Roberts
By Amber Taufen
By Patricia Calhoun
By William Breathes
By Michael Roberts
By Melanie Asmar
By Michael Roberts
By Michael Roberts
Face the Notion
There she goes again. In her most recent column ("Serf and Turf," July 18), Patricia Calhoun gets all red in the face shouting over some perceived social injustice at the Palm, which even she admits is "just a restaurant" (and a "chain steakhouse" at that).
Could it be that the real injustice that has Calhoun so worked up is the fact that her face does not appear on the Palm wall?
Get over it...and get a real job, why don't you?
Welcome to Denver, where the lawyers and developers carve up the town like a juicy steak--and the citizens get the bill. The Palm is just more of the same. How about this menu item: Roy Romer appoints son Chris to the stadium board--as Calhoun pointed out. But keep going: Chris Romer is working to elect Tom Strickland to the Senate; Strickland is a partner in the Brownstein, Hyatt, Farber & Strickland law firm that lobbied to get the stadium bill through the legislature; and both Norm Brownstein and Steve Farber are on the wall.
Just a quick correction of Michelle Dally Johnston's July 11 piece, "The Education of Craig Livingstone," in which she reports that a certain Colorado politico once was accused of being a "member of the Universalist Church--essentially a 'Moonie.'" It may seem a small thing, but there's a world of difference between a Universalist and a Moonie, or member of the Unification Church.
The Unification Church was founded in Seoul in 1954 by the Reverend Sun Myung Moon (hence "Moonie"). And, depending upon whom you ask, it's either a worldwide movement to realize a world of freedom, peace, unification and happiness centered on true love or a deceptive, manipulative cult run by a power-hungry demagogue and self-professed messiah.
By contrast, the seeds of Universalism were sown around 225 AD when certain bright lights began to argue that there was no hell and talked of a benevolent God who offered salvation to all people. For their trouble, early Universalists were burned as heretics. The first organized Universalist Church in America was founded in 1779 in Gloucester, Massachusetts. Two hundred or so years later, the Universalist Church merged with the Unitarian Church, whose founders argued for the unity of God, rather than the Trinity of God the Father, Son and Holy Ghost.
All the Unitarian/Universalists I know are non-dogmatic, socially conscious, compassionate, humanistic, tolerant folks. They're very sweet people, really. Not a demagogue among them.
No offense intended (I'm sure), and none taken.
Thunder on the Right
Two letters in the July 11 issue had a similar underlying message: Don't worry about people in the extreme right. They are disorganized and scattered, with no central leadership. They have widely differing views and ideas, and while some are dangerous, some are not. Some want to re-establish the country the way it was in a Golden Age that used to exist--or so they imagine.
Unfortunately, the situation bears strong resemblances to the early stages of the decline and fall of the Weimar Republic. If I were to assert that our situation now resembles that of 1932, the eve of Hitler's accession to power, that would be ridiculous, and I would be rightly derided as an alarmist. But the parallels to 1922 or 1923, let us say, are unmistakable. The Munich "Beer Hall Putsch" was quite humorous in its own way, just as funny as the Freemen, every bit as amateurish as the Viper Militia. The principal need of the far right now is for a fYhrer. So far, the closest they have been able to come is Pat Buchanan, and he falls far short of what they require.
The extreme right will, of course, deny all responsibility for and connection with any acts of terrorism that, like Oklahoma City, outrage ordinary Americans. They will issue these denials when they have no connection and/or responsibility, as well they should. But they will issue exactly the same denials when they do have connection and/or responsibility. For them, the sole ethical question is whether or not the contemplated action furthers their attainment of power. If it does, to them it is good. If it does not, to them it is bad. All subsidiary questions are questions of tactics only.
Hitler did not come to power because the Weimar Republic acted strongly against him and drove the Nazis to violence. He came to power because it was weak and did not crush the Nazis when it could have. The emasculation of this year's anti-terrorism bill shows that, so far, we are walking down the same road. But we still have many years before us, if we use them.
Richard P. DeTar
Roger, Over and Out
Thank you for Joshua Green's July 4 article on Postman Roger, "Please, Mr. Postman." It has been refreshing to see more coverage in Westword of reggae in Colorado, and it's especially gratifying to read about one of the personalities who has been instrumental in making the Colorado reggae scene what it is today.
The Ska's the Limit
In the July 11 issue, Kathryn Harris, member of local reggae band the Healers, wrote to complain to Westword (and, specifically, Michael Roberts) over the lack of coverage for reggae music. While her letter was written with all the grace and pettiness of a junior high student (and, therefore, I'm not sure really merited a response or, for that matter, even to be published), in his reply Michael Roberts made the statement "Westword's ongoing coverage of reggae...is arguably the most extensive of any publication of our type in the nation." Now, where the fuck is that noise coming from?
I find it difficult to accept that Roberts, a man whose recent "investigative" report on local music consisted of him interviewing seven friends and his son, and a person who insists on giving terse, one-line reviews to acts such as George Michael just to show people how oh-so-cute and oh-so-smug he can be, has any sort of perspective to make such a bold and, quite frankly, ignorant statement. For just one of many examples, Westword's San Diego equivalent, the Reader, has, at an absolute least, an equal amount of reggae coverage--which would stand to reason, considering the music has a higher level of popularity there.
Also, in trying to justify why Westword did not have a Best Local Reggae Band, Roberts wrote, "Ska, a reggae derivative, was represented in the issue," as if that's at all relevant. That's like saying the reason there was no Best Local Blues Band is because rock, a blues derivative, was represented. For the first time since I can remember, Roberts had an opportunity to come out looking professional and competent--if he had just kept his mouth shut and his pen silent. Instead, his Perry Farrell-sized ego got in the way.
Please, Michael, for the sake of yourself as well as your ever-dwindling readership, jump off your high horse and pull your head out of your ass.
We moved to Denver recently from San Diego. To be honest, we were both skeptical about how interesting the city would be to live in. Then we found Westword, and with it the keys to this city! San Diego has the Reader; it has the reputation as the hip paper with everything you need to know about where to go and interesting events. We both feel that Westword has equaled or bettered our hometown paper. With insightful articles about the city, music and theater, as well as excellent graphics and layout, Westword has helped us to acclimate to this great city!
Mike and Bonni Verdugo
The Charge of the Tight Brigade
I am writing this letter to express my extreme dissatisfaction with "service charges," "handling fees," "convenience charges" or whatever anyone wants to call them (Feedback, July 11). I find it very disturbing that agencies and venues add as much as 50 percent to the cost of a ticket!
I refer, specifically, to the Crosby, Stills & Nash concert at Fiddler's Green on July 17. I was fully prepared to pay the advertised $20 ticket price and any reasonable service charges. When I called Ticketmaster, however, I was informed that the company was adding a $5 per ticket "service charge," as well as a $1.60 per order "convenience charge." On top of that, Fiddler's Green adds a $4.50 per ticket venue charge! How is it reasonable that the cost of a ticket increases from the advertised price of $20 to over $30? By my calculations, that is a 50 percent increase! I cannot find the justification in paying these ridiculous charges!
I have attended many concerts over the years at some of the world's finest venues, and I have never seen such greed. I have quietly witnessed these increasing service charges, and, unfortunately, I cannot afford to go to all the concerts I want to see. So I am going to take a break from one of my favorite pastimes. I am going to stop going. Congratulations--you win. I will also share my views with others and encourage them to boycott concerts with exorbitant service charges.
My opinion probably does not mean much. I am just a fan who loves live music. I am just a person who thinks that additional charges should be reasonable and fair. I am just a person who decided not to buy any tickets at all to see a great show. Is this show sold out? No. Will it sell out? I doubt it. Apparently, it is better to have five people paying $10 each than to have ten people pay $5 each. How many other people feel the way I do? Who knows? But judging by the nationwide decrease in concert revenue in 1996, the industry needs some changes!
Another Best Bust
Your choice of Rockfish as the Best Radio DJ has been bugging me since the Best of Denver issue came out. Having to listen to him badmouth his old station, 92X, and talk about Seattle gets as old as the Metallica they can't let go of on KBPI-FM. You'd think he started the whole Seattle music scene. (He was a DJ at a heavy-metal station there.) Even the "Bill and Ted"-sounding Malcolm was easier to take than Rockfish's corny Top 40 voice!
Of all of the 92X radio personalities to emerge, I think Sabrina is the nicest thing to happen to radio since pre-sets. Now on KTCL-FM, she's likable, informed and seems to enjoy herself. (She doesn't run on and sound smug, like Ginger on 96.5.) She doesn't need a stupid name, either. You can dial her up in the evening after Dave Granger, on the weekend, or filling in for various shifts. (This should all change after this letter gets published.)
Less Than Zero
Regarding the Best Molecule in your June 27 Best of Denver issue, I feel compelled to suggest that if Carl Wieman and Eric Cornell managed to create rubidium by chilling an experimental chamber to "a temperature a smidgen below absolute zero," they should be awarded a lot more than just "Molecule of the Year."
As much as I enjoy Kyle Wagner's regular mouth-off, I must take issue with a statement made in her July 4 iteration. Kyle expresses surprise at our receiving the winning nod from your readers for Best Wine List--Price in your June 27 Best of Denver edition, and she states that Enoteca LoDo's prices are "way up there." First of all, compared to whom? A chain restaurant with the same old Californian Chard/ Merlot/Cab hierarchy on its list? Considering the eclectic selection of wines we offer by the glass (eighty in all), I think you will find that our prices are very reasonable, if not downright cheap in some cases. Granted, we do have some expensive wines on our list, and although they are a very small part of our business, the demand for such indulgences seems to be there.
Second, surely it would be appropriate for your correspondents to give your loyal readers the benefit of the doubt in awarding the coveted Readers' Choice. I was going to hang something on our wall commemorating this wonderful achievement, but now that Kyle Wagner has set the record straight, I suppose I won't. Your readers must be wrong and these awards aren't worth the paper, etc., etc.
Simon F. Cocks, manager
Editor's note: For more sour grapes, see Kyle Wagner's Mouthing Off on page 51.
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