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Don't Have a Cow, Man
Megan Hall's "Not a Pretty Picture," in the July 9 issue, paints in unintentionally comic perspective a most cherished modern sacred bovine: the notion that art and its purveyors are "loftier" than useful things like hotdogs and those who vend them. This notion and the related idea of the sanctity of public self-expression, historically quite new, have hardened into an almost religious dogma, just as art itself has diffused into mere merchandising. Freed from niggling technical considerations, art can now be anything that's supported by a sufficiently forceful set of pretensions.

So why not the Art Dog? Serve it in a wrapper adorned with some doodles, the more imaginative the better, seasoned with some of the same sort of jive Westword's own critics love to spout, and sue 'em if they interfere with your sacred right of self-expression.

Earl Noe
via the Internet

I had the chance to read Megan Hall's "Not a Pretty Picture" while passing through Denver. I am sympathetic to Steve White's cause and admire his spirit for fighting for what he believes is right. However, he seems to be misinformed regarding the precedential value of 2nd Circuit case law in Colorado. While the 2nd Circuit is certainly influential, and its decisions may have persuasive value in a Colorado federal court, Colorado is in the 8th Circuit and thus is by no means bound by the New York decision. Circuits can, and often do, take conflicting positions when presented with similar factual patterns, and until the Supreme Court chooses to resolve the matter (and it may not, for many years, or ever), the law may remain inconsistent across the country. White should realize that Foothills Park and Recreation District is being more diplomatic and accommodating than it could otherwise choose to be, and if other districts take a different approach, it is not quite accurate to say that they are flouting "the law."

Hilary S. Kreitner
Hartford, CT

Our Cross to Bear
I'm writing to protest the "Jesus of the Week" feature currently appearing in Westword. As a Methodist church member and a serious Christian, I am very offended by Peter Gilstrap's cavalier treatment of the object of our faith: Our Lord, whom he refers to simply as "J.C." He even puts swear words in his mouth. Has he no respect?

I'm surprised that you would include his tasteless and sacreligious piece in your publication!

Jean G. Tuthill
Denver

Not funny, Peter Gilstrap! Westword, why don't you take a vote to see if your readers want to keep "Jesus of the Week" in future issues?

Beverly Justice
Denver

The Sky's the Limit
I never thought I'd be complimenting a couple of cops about anything, but after reading Tony Perez-Giese's "Reach for the Sky," in the July 2 issue, I must admit the two investigators have a lot of guts to delve into something as offbeat as UFO hunting.

Steve Ray
via the Internet
Q: What do you get when you cross John Rambo with Fox Mulder?

A: More fiction. That's the nice way of putting what "professional" ufologists Ken Storch and LJ Dalicandro are up to. Less charitable folk might call it an unconscionably dangerous scam acted out by two midlife macho men. Why can't they just buy a convertible?

Storch and Dalicandro's Miami Vice dialogue notwithstanding, one has to wonder whether the "team" they're assembling for their mission to breach what they claim to be a high-security military reservation will supply their own rubber noses and orange wigs. According to Storch, this crack team--recruited through want ads and qualified with the rigorous Starbucks Latte Test--will gather "hard scientific evidence." You betcha. That's a skill theologian-experiencers (people who believe they've been "abducted" by aliens) and preschool teachers are best known for. The expedition's archaeologist comes closest to having the sort of research training Storch and Dalicandro recognize will mitigate the stench of mercenary self-promotion surrounding this sideshow, but he almost certainly hasn't the training or experience to (a) identify military aircraft for what they are or--more important--(b) survive when things go south in the desert.

With this surefire recruitment process, Storch and Dalicandro will not only be able to identify infiltrators (MIBs? SCUs--Steward of the Clowns Union?), but will also weed out all but the roughest 'n' toughest bring-'em-back-alive types. One can only hope we won't be treated to CNN video of a preschool teacher, an archaeologist, and a theology Ph.D. and her daughter being airlifted out of some desert hellhole clad in comfortable black vinyl.

J.M. Schell
Westminster

It is every bit as asinine and egotistical for us to believe we're the only ones out there as it was for the ancients to insist, despite being presented evidence to the contrary, that the Earth was flat or that the sun goes around the Earth. It's every bit as asinine for otherwise sophisticated moderns to deny the existence of extraterrestrial life as it is for the zealous religious dolts among us to broadcast from their political bully pulpits that the Earth was created in seven days or that life forms do not evolve.

Ultimately, people believe what they want to regardless of the facts. Sometimes it seems the world is neatly divided between pinheads and visionaries. Although they may not succeed in convincing anyone but the like-minded that anything has or will come out of the "void," Storch and Dalicandro's "stakeouts" and methodology may soon place them in the spotlight for a long time. How about a TV show--and I think these guys should be the stars--like X-Files, based not on fear but on the reality of outer-space contact, both in its best- and worst-case scenarios? In a world society as fractious and foreboding as ours, wouldn't it be nice to give people something substantial to cling to? Perhaps direct contact with higher life forms would show us a better way before we annihilate ourselves.

Gene W. Edwards
Lakewood

Letters policy: Westword wants to hear from you, whether you have a complaint or compliment about what we write from week to week. Letters should be no more than 200 words; we reserve the right to edit for libel, length and clarity. Although we'll occasionally withhold an author's name on request, all letters must include your name, address and telephone number. Write to:

Letters Editor, Westword
P.O. Box 5970
Denver, CO 80217
or e-mail (include your full name and hometown) to: editorial@westword.com.

Missed a story? The entire editorial contents of Westword, dating back to July 1, 1996, are available online at www.westword.com/archive/index.html.

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