Letters to the Editor

From the week of November 23, 2000

As to the more immediate issue of growth control (which you used as a flimsy excuse to spout your Marxist nonsense), the Communist system worked wonderfully,didn't it? It was such a wonderful economic system that your precious "workers" couldn't afford a real home at all -- whole families wound up living stacked on top of each other in flimsy, two-room, poorly heated, uninsulated concrete dormitories. Yes, sir! Now, that was a great improvement over capitalism, wasn't it? Of course, one has to admit that it was spectacularly successful in controlling growth -- especially the growth of human well-being! Your pitiful whimpering about the "wealth and power of the upper classes" is typical of those who would rather destroy the wealth of others than spend their time working to gain some wealth of their own (and perhaps better the condition of mankind in the process) -- the "dog in the manger" syndrome at its very best.

Mr. Cassella, no one is oppressing you, or holding you down, or subjecting you to some great, dimly imagined injustice -- except, possibly, the fellow you see when you look in your mirror. In short, my opinion of the dogma you espoused in your letter can expressed in one perfectly appropriate word: bullshit.

John E. Ottem

Making the Zine

Slam dance: Hmmmmmm. Michael Roberts's "Zine But Not Heard," in the November 9 issue, was an interesting piece of slam on other papers. The Denver Post blows Westword away in the news department, so what is Roberts really trying to say? That Westword is better than the Post? Certainly not, and especially recently! And in the section on Go-Go, it's no wonder Roberts failed to mention the food critic and sex-advice column, both of which are a million times more interesting and clever than the generic shit your paper has.

Floyd Miller
via the Internet

What a way to go: If Chris Magyar really wants to prevent his magazine Go-Go from being a no-go, he might try putting out a better-quality product.

As a nightclub manager, I am relentlessly solicited by his magazine to advertise, but by the time I get through red-lining the errors in each issue, it looks like it was taken from the Columbine library circa April 1999.

While I'm sure that News of the Weird's Chuck Shepherd is thrilled to finally have his name spelled right (the first several issues had it spelled both Shepherd and Shephard, sometimes in the same column), the rest of the magazine is in desperate need of a good spell-check or a read-through by someone who's either a journalism major or has at least read The Elements of Style.

Substance over style is nice, but neither will substitute for careless writing and editing.

David Maddux

The church of Roberts: As I read Michael Roberts's "Zine But Not Heard," I envisioned him offering up his editorial in a golden cup dripping with local press blood to the almighty media gods. What's the deal, Mike, is your contract up for negotiation?

The point Roberts clearly missed (perhaps intentionally) is that many, if not all, of the local rags are profitless -- and most have a gypsy staff of unpaid writers, photographers and editors. The fact that they are able to get any advertising bucks is a remarkable accomplishment, not to mention that they are all up against the mighty Westword corporate dollar and campaign.

As an advertiser who appreciates the blood, sweat, tears and, most important, effort to cover local business and music, I choose to pay my bucks to the little guys. I can virtually mark the day when Westword was bought out by "the man" -- and lost its connection with smaller local enterprise. The tone of Roberts's article was less about the lack of quality alternative zines and more of a puff piece about Westword and its all-knowing wisdom. I do agree with Roberts's assessment of a lack of teeth in most of the publications, but I also recognize the financial conflict that these publications wrestle with.

So, Mike, if you're willing to give up that mighty corporate-backed paycheck and beat the street with a new publication -- of which you claim to be so supportive -- then, my friend, I will follow. But until your sacrifice is of your own blood, go back to doing what you do best as Westy's hatchet man. And quit picking on the little guys: Their stones can't even reach your golden pedestal.

Stephanie Shearer

Covering Our Treks

Con job: Megan Hall's "Spaced Out," her article in the November 9 issue on House Veska, was well written, but it makes it seem as if Veska is the only Klingon house in the Denver area. I am writing to tell you that is wrong. I am a member of another Klingon House called House K'ralvaj, which is also based here in the Denver area. We are an independent Klingon house (in other words, we have no ties to the Klingon Assault Group or any other Klingon organizations, domestic or international); however, we do get together for parties with other independent Klingon/Trek groups throughout the Denver metro area and also attend Starfest, Starcon and Mile Hi Con each year, working these cons either as volunteer staff or manning our own table in the activities room.

Stephanie Smith
Wheat Ridge

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