Name withheld on request

Alan Prendergast's story was an excellent and timely look at the people we tend to forget during the busy holiday season. I hope they'll find a place they can call home.

J. Ramirez

After reading Patricia Calhoun's column on the homeless and Alan Prendergast's story on the mentally ill in the same issue, I have a suggestion: Why doesn't Westword just turn its office into a boarding house? All those newspapers would make great blankets and insulation. And it would certainly be a better use of energy than all the bleeding-heart stories you print.

Jay Calvin
via the Internet

Come See the Softer Side of Sears
I appreciated Michael Paglia's interesting article about the Sears building and other Cherry Creek architecture ("Roots," November 28). Why don't the daily newspapers print more stories about our real landmarks and less stories about trees?

Michelle Landers

Yet another tired refrain about the horrors of modern urban development! If people are shot in their homes to make room, please let us know! By the way, can anybody tell me if Spinnaker's is still in the Cherry Creek Shopping Center, which I believe to be structurally sound and quite beautiful? And can anybody tell me where Ken Hamblin's Quizno's is? I'm hungry for a sub.

Bruce V. Bracken
via the Internet

Boys Will Be Boys
Regarding Chris LaMorte's "Boys and Their Hoods," in the November 14 issue:
If you can stand one more letter about male circumcision, I'd like to relate that fifteen years ago, while pregnant, I saw a TV show on the subject. It gave the pros and cons and then showed the procedure being done on an infant. I cried and vowed that if I had a boy, I would not subject him to that, whether he'd remember it or not. Sure enough, my baby is now a strapping youth, uncircumsized, and healthy in every way.

Education is the key: Please keep talking about this issue. If mothers knew the facts, they would never accept genital mutilation. My roomie in the hospital and I talked about it, and she tearfully confessed that since she was the wife of a rabbi, not only would her son have the procedure, but it would be done in front of a room of people! She wasn't looking forward to putting on a happy face about it.

Please withhold my name--my son would die of embarrassment!
Name withheld on request

I live in British Columbia, and with all the naked boys and men I have seen throughout my life, I can assure that I have only seen a few with foreskins. I can remember that of all my schoolmates I saw naked in the showers after gym, only a few had foreskins. I was born in the early 1950s and was subjected to this form of abuse--which is what I call circumcision without hesitation. I don't accuse my parents of this abuse, but I blame them for not considering that this is my body and it should be my right to cut part of it away.

This week in the newspaper, there was an article stating that in the U.S., a law has been passed that female genital mutilation can no longer be performed before the age of eighteen. I can only wonder when male genital mutilation, which is what it should be called, will get the same consideration! This process should be banned throughout the world except for only the most serious medical cases that require it.

I can only hope that this will happen soon--but it won't until pressure is put on governments to enact the legislation. Unfortunately, I don't believe there are many of them that have the "balls" to do it.

Alex Ellison
via the Internet

Congratulations on a nice, clear article on foreskin restoration and the mythology underlying routine male-infant mutilation.

Matt Hogan
via the Internet

Editor's note: One last time, if you missed Chris LaMorte's original story, it's still online--complete with links--at www.westword.com/extra/foreskin.html

Social Misfits
Michael Roberts's December 5 "Social Diseases," about Social Distortion, was excellent. It brought to light the wave of young people who do things just to be cool. However, once these types of things are published, people learn about them from others and do not learn for themselves. It is a Catch-22.

Anyway, I'm glad you did an article on Social D and am happy that they are receiving so much success after all these years.

Ben Hrouda
via the Internet

Just Say Yes
Regarding Serene Dominic's "Heavy, Man," in the November 14 issue:
A blast from the past--not! Just more wasted trees. And speaking of wasted, Dominic must have been seeing double when he put this article together.

He said Steve Howe (from Yes) repeated a riff from Close to the Edge in "one of the worst concept albums of all time," Tales of Topographic Oceans. Well, Steve shifts through more riffs in the song "Ritual" than Dominic will have shifted through brain cells if he lives to be 950 years old!

What about ranking the most criticized Backbeat articles? I think this is Number One!

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