Letters

Coming to a Head
The March 11 juxtaposition of the third installment of Steve Jackson's "Dealing with the Devil," the Brandy DuVall torture/rape/murder trial coverage, and Eric Dexheimer's Deitz v. University of Denver story, "Head Case," was most interesting. If Peter Buirski is still teaching Freud's misogynist theories as viable psycho-analytic tools decades after other psychologists have moved on, he probably needs to update his reading list, at the very least. I would suggest Dorothy Dinnerstein's application of Freudian theory in a manner that explains universal misogyny in The Mermaid and the Minotaur. And since he likes to put the novel Portnoy's Complaint on his list of required reading, why not include another novel, The Painted Bird, for another perspective on human behavior.

I would also suggest to this civilized gentleman academic, who apparently believes that women can enjoy rape as a sexual experience, that he read Steve Jackson's ongoing coverage of the above-mentioned crime and trial. He could learn a lot from the kid called "Boom," who had the intelligence and faith in himself to get out of the gang. That kid also has the intelligence to figure out the sources of a lot of the damage to his own psyche. Who knows? Maybe he and the highly credentialed psychologist could help each other learn the importance of respect for women. They aren't bitches, they aren't "hos," and they don't enjoy being raped or otherwise degraded any more than men do.

Sandy Sanchez
Denver

The Blame Game
Regarding Steve Jackson's current series, "Dealing with the Devil," and the "name withheld" letter published in the March 11 issue:

We need to have more stories like this. This story tells the truth of why kids get into gangs and also what happens to them when they do try to get into gangs. The only one who "made it" in this story is Antonio, who did it because some people took the time to care and give him a chance.

I was an intern at a home in Fort Collins that concentrated more on helping the kids with their problems and less on punishing them. They made sure they were there to help the kids whenever they needed it, and they also taught the kids to take responsibility for their actions. True, not all of the kids want to be helped, but the majority of them are just yearning for someone to care about them.

I think that if the same chances would have been given to the others, they may also have had a chance to succeed. It is sad what happened to the young girl in this story, but we also need to look at what causes these things to happen. If more time was spent trying to help Danny and Antonio and the others, this tragedy maybe could have been avoided. Our system concentrates too much on punishing young kids and doesn't spend enough time trying to help them move away from gangs.

The March 11 letter writer wants these people castrated and their stomachs slit open for what they did. Obviously, this is a very tragic story, but what are we teaching by punishing violence with violence? If someone would have taken the time with Danny Jr. when he first started getting into trouble, like someone did with Antonio, this could have turned out differently. In my opinion, there is more than one victim here. Danny is also a victim of our society, and wackos like the writer of the "they should be castrated" letter.

Brian Patrick Curran
via the Internet

How sad, how sick, what a waste of such young lives. I am sick of the family of these boys blaming everyone else. There is no one else responsible but their family members who did this crime.

Name withheld on request

I have been following "Dealing with the Devil" very closely. I cried while reading these articles; to think that one of the perps goes to church every Sunday with his family makes me sick. Where is the religious community in these affairs? If the local populace knows what is going on, I am sure the clergy is aware, too. I would kick these bastards and their sick girlfriends/ wives out of the church. They have no respect for human life, and for some reason, they believe they can do anything they want to--and when something happens to someone in their "'hood," they feel they can respond in any manner they wish. Young women getting minors for these guys to rape and torture? How sick can you get?

I grew up poor in Detroit with an alcoholic father and a mom who had to work to take up the slack. I managed to get my degree from college (it took me fifteen years) and obtain a good job. Neither of my parents even got out of grade school. The excuses of these gang members make me laugh. They are just too damn lazy to do the right thing. The worst of it is the audacity of Pancho and his supporters to try to intimidate the victim's family. How sick can you get? We should send some napalm over this ill, ill neighborhood.

I feel no sympathy whatsoever for the perps' families; they just passed their sick lifestyles on to their children.

Name withheld on request

Decent men like me often wonder why women are so attracted to the "bad boy." The women whom I have queried generally say that the bad boys are more exciting. Perhaps there is a genetic basis for this preference. At the same time they are attracted to "Joe Cool Bad Boy," women are perplexed as to why men are so aggressive (read: violent). Maybe we are genetically programmed to be so. Male aggression evolved so that men could procure food for and defend the territory of their family groups. The hunter/killer/territorial chimpanzee, which shares a little more than 98 percent of our genes, is more aggressive than the vegetarian/ territorial gorilla, which shares a little less than 98 percent of our genes. Aggression is in our nature. The human race would not have survived in its present form without male aggression. Females, whether non-human or human primate, appear to prefer the more agressive and dominant male.

Brandy DuVall most likely went willingly with that car full of thugs in the hopes of having a good time. She would not have joined a carload of computer geeks on their way to a seminar on how to prepare for Y2K. Who is teaching our young women that men and women are different? A carload of women would not have raped and murdered a man. In this era of the liberated female, where women are being taught to pilot war machines capable of killing thousands of people with the push of a button, who is teaching them that they cannot do everything a man can do? Who is teaching them not to accept rides with strangers? Who is teaching them to exercise better judgment? In a society where we all are considered equal, it may not be the politically correct thing to do, but it may save your daughter's life.

Name withheld on request

I just wanted to say "Dealing with the Devil" is very touching. I couldn't stop reading it. My heart goes out to the families and friends of the young girls who were murdered, and also to the mothers of the young men who committed the crime. May God bless them all.

Angela Ruiz
via the Internet

How you doing, Steve Jackson. Nice articles. You just won't stop. You know you put me in the grave--you like that, don't you? I'm no little sister like Boom and Bang. You also know I was this so-called drug rat, but then why is it that I only snitched on the Martinez sisters and no one else? I got a snitch jacket so bad now I should snitch to get out. You put smiles on the five-O, I know that for sure. I'm a walking dead man, so don't I deserve my last words?

I just want people to know some things in case I don't make it. There is one thing I agree on with little sister Boom: Five-O did turn us against each other and they won. I'm walking to my funeral. Right now, you should stop and talk to me before I get there. I want to speak my mind before I'm gone.

P.S.: Who has a hit on them now?
Salvino Martinez
Denver County Jail

Reach for the Stars
Thanks for Chris LaMorte's great "Star Hustlers," in the March 4 issue. It's really exciting to see that people can turn a passion for something like Star Wars into a career. When I became a first-generation Star Wars fanatic back in '77, my friends often ridiculed me. I remember seeing one of the worst movies ever made--D.C. Cab, with Mr. T--with my friends; I walked out as they scoffed at me, saying, "He doesn't like it because Darth Vader's not in it!" Now they can't wait to find out where Darth Vader came from in the new trilogy, and I'm riding firmly atop my high horse! Where's T?!

Star Wars has really come a long way from its humble beginnings, attaining a huge level of respect throughout our culture, and the hardcore have lovingly been there from the start.

Maury
via the Internet

Am I the only one astonished by all the Star Wars addicts? Wake up, Mr. Madsen: It's only a movie. (Even if it's a movie that you can make millions off of.)

Jeri Canaday
via the Internet

The Rust Is History
Who would have thought that Westword would fall for the ridiculous idea of moving Currigan Exhibition Hall? Stuart Steers's "Rust in Peace," in the March 11 issue, read like a well-placed press release from the mayor's office meant to defuse any attempt to preserve this functional and significant building. But let's be serious: If Historic Denver couldn't save an I.M. Pei, there is absolutely no chance that a '60s modern building by local architects will be preserved. Currigan is doomed. Instead, all architecture, art, music and culture fans should unite to stop any atrocities from occurring at Red Rocks Amphitheater. This is an internationally known and respected structure, sensitively constructed sixty years ago to enhance the natural environment.

Joshua Hassel
Denver

The comments from Mike Rock, our humorous city manager, about buying Currigan Hall to move it to Lakewood were quite amusing. Yes, it is pretty laughable that Lakewood is buying up a bunch of old buildings from Denver, restoring them and trying to pass them off as "Lakewood's Heritage." It stops being funny when the taxpayers get the bill--Gil & Ethel's cost over $100,000. And what really stinks is that they are plowing up a park that is supposed to be dedicated to open space to make room for them.

I have a suggestion: Denver can move Currigan Hall right over to Mr. Rock's backyard C.O.D., and of course he's welcome to share the "engineering landmark" and the bill to restore it with all of his buddies in Lakewood, like Linda Morton (the mayor) and Linda Shaw (the previous mayor), who are busy spending taxpayers' money and using their "urban renewal" powers to create the blight of the future!

Robin Sharp
Lakewood

There's Something Funny ...
For the past few weeks, I have noticed the cartoon section is missing. What happened to it? I need my weekly fix of the Callahan cartoon.

Becky Staniszewski
via the Internet

Perhaps I missed a writeup about it, but what has happened to your comics section? I'm jonesing for a Lynda Barry fix and miss "Life in Hell." Will they return?

Ron Howerton
via the Internet

What's up with the comics section being missing for the past three weeks? Kenny Be is great, but I always read the back comics first thing, and now they're gone with no notice. Sometimes the comics were the only thing interesting to me in a week's issue. Are the comics gone for good? On sabbatical? What?

Mary Emmett
via the Internet

Editor's note: We've been testing out some new comics and moving others--look for them in our Night & Day listings rather than their former home at the back of the paper.

Sex and the Single Girls
Patricia Calhoun, I truly wish you hadn't used Clinton in your arguments in the March 4 "Low Blows." It only leads me to conclude that you are either a Republican-supporter or are completely ignorant. You're right that we have exposed sexual shenanigans in the workplace and have brought sexual harassment to the forefront of public discussion. However, you didn't elaborate on the heavy and unnecessary price we as a country and the future Faraghers will pay.

The Republicans knew Clinton was a philanderer and were purposely using Paula Jones to legitimately prove it. Even Paula Jones herself has acknowledged this. When confronted with this and other disturbing questions, their only defense is Bob Packwood and Clarence Thomas. Wouldn't it have been simpler and more noble to have exposed the Democrats for committing such a vile and degenerate act instead of copying them?

Michael Claxton
Littleton

Teen Angles
Regarding Steve Alvarez's "The Loiter of the Law," in the March 4 issue:
I was not at all surprised to read of the experience of Thea Davis and her two friends with the loitering laws and judicial system in Arvada. My son, Ryan, who is a 3.0-grade-point Arvada Senior High student, and several of his friends had a similar experience a year ago. In Ryan's case, he was a paying customer at a local doughnut shop during his school lunch. When he left the building, he stopped to say hi to several friends who were outside, one of whom was a fellow hockey player he had not seen since the year before. He had been outside of the building for less than a minute (as testified by the students in court) when an Arvada police officer drove around the corner and issued all of the students tickets for "unlawful remaining."

Although Ryan was offered a deferred judgment by the city attorney's office, he believed strongly that he was innocent, that he should not compromise his beliefs, and that the justice system would prevail. Ryan represented himself in court, and even with the testimony of the doughnut-shop clerk that he was a paying customer, the testimony of two people that "he was outside of the building for less than one minute" and the ambiguity (if not questionable constitutionality) of the law, the judge found him guilty.

Ryan's doughnut cost him $115, but worst of all, it cost him and his friends their faith in the judicial system and reinforced their suspicions that laws are enforced differently for different types of citizens. It is unfortunate and ironic that this occurred in front of Arvada High School, where the students are being taught about the Constitution and the justice system.

Mike Smith
Arvada

For Christ's Sake
I have found Westword to be a useful and informational paper for approximately the last ten years. Recently, however, with the addition of your "Jesus of the Week" feature, I have stopped reading Westword. I find this feature to be in poor taste and offensive to thousands of Christians in the metro area, if I may speak as a representative of the Christian community.

I feel that Jesus is not a comical figure to be presented to the public in jest. I do not see your paper ridiculing the faith of others, and I wonder why it is acceptable to Westword to belittle the central figure of the Christian faith. I would appreciate your reconsideration of continuing to present "Jesus of the Week" as a form of entertainment. Thank you.

Sandra Metz
Denver

Head of the Class
I would just like to comment on Marty Jones's article about aerials ("Headbangers' Ball," February 25). I have been swing dancing for only about six months or so. I am sixteen years old and very much enjoy going out with a bunch of friends to have fun, dance and get a little air. I realize that there are a lot of risk factors with swing aerials, but I also think that it is completely unfair for clubs to ban them. Swing dancing is what I do instead of drinking, not with it. When the majority of my classmates go out to drink, I would rather dance. Banning the most fun thing about swing dancing does nothing but discourage positive activities like dancing. I personally would rather be dropped on my head (which, by the way has never happened, even after being flipped dozens of times) than get drunk and go drive somewhere. I believe that people need to be taught how to do these moves correctly instead of watching them on TV somewhere and trying it with no knowledge (which is pretty much how I learned 90 percent of my moves). If people learn these correctly and if there is enough space to dance in, then there should be no problem.

Erika Westerlind
via the Internet

Here in Detroit, we're trying to teach other swingcats that staying on the ground while swinging is as cool as flying in the air while trying to act like you're dancing. The Detroit scene was also like that, and in a way, it still is a little. However, now that swing is becoming more and more established, people here are dancing with more style and originality than trying to see which "hepcat can throw their sweet little pigeon in the air." My ankles have been cracked quite a few times, but it's like that anywhere I go dancing.

I wonder if the Denver swing scene is as hep to the jive as Detroit. Time to take a road trip!

Deor Orzame
via the Internet

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.

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