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From the week of May 10, 2001

Enlightened Through Darkness, by Kelly Hartman, is a true Colorado story. It could help parents like the Harrises!

Maymie Rolfs
Denver

Culture crash: In response to Paul Roasberry's April 26 letter about Columbine, here is an answer, in Roasberry's lifetime, to "what would drive two teenage boys to the kind of desperate and reckless violence that was committed on April 30 two years ago."

Universally, a "death culture" has developed. Every day, people kill with no misgivings. Are you inclined to dismiss this fact? See your TV news! Contract killings, genocide and ethnic cleansing are demonstrations of the importance placed on life. Thousands of children are killed each year. Children are murdering their parents as well as other children. The "death culture" is being advanced by the sale of weapons, exploitation of death in entertainment, video games and on the Internet, and self-destructive behavior. More important than human life are power, dominance, wealth and gratification.

Although I was a cheerleader, was involved in Pep Club and excelled in my studies, I did not "fit in." I grew up in a religiously divided and abusive environment. The Bible states: "Mere oppression may make a wise one act crazy" (Ecclesiastes 7:7), and at times I wanted to "go postal." My mom was not a lazy person. She took an interest in our likes and dislikes, conversed with us regularly about our problems (including the anger resulting from not fitting in), consistently set boundaries and, most important, provided spiritual guidance.

The Bible says death is an "enemy" (1 Corinthians 15:26); it also gives assurance (Psalms 37: 10, 11, 29) that a time is on the horizon when only "meek ones" who "fit in" a "righteous" society will inhabit the earth!

Veronica D. Jackson
Aurora


Our Daily Dread

Holy mackerel!Michael Roberts did a thorough job of explaining the halcyon days of the Colorado Dailyyore in his April 26 "Paper Trail." I'm impressed. In fact, I'm so impressed that I don't mind that his piece revealed my secret method of writing (pounding frozen mackerel on pianos). I don't even mind that everyone now remembers that nothing interesting, thoughtful or important appeared in the Daily between 1986 and 1998, when I was editor.

No, all of that is fine. Doesn't bother me a whit. I write only to point out the correct spelling of my name.

Clint Talbott
Boulder


Luis, Luis

Clueless in Colorado:I've heard around the art scene that Michael Paglia is less than democratic in his choice of what he reviews and that he's biased toward the Havu and Rule galleries. I suspected this might be true based on his previous work in Westword. I was convinced, however, when I read the April 5 "Meet Me in San Luis," an entire page devoted to Emilio Lobato. I have nothing against Lobato. He's a very nice person and does very competent and skilled design work, but I would hardly classify it as significant or "high" art. There are loads of artists like him whose abstract works clutter the file cabinets and storage rooms of galleries, designers and art consultants throughout the world. None of them are ever going to make it to high prominence in the art world.

It's quite evident, however, that Mr. Paglia is convinced Lobato is different. He makes a concerted effort to elevate Lobato's stature by painting a picture of struggle, perseverance and dominance over his circumstances. All that talk about the Penitentes, the Catholic Church and Christ almost borders on hokey. How trite can he get when describing "Trinidad" -- three painted circles representing the Trinity? Doesn't he know how many times that theme has been played out by all the different artists out there with the Christian religion in their backgrounds? Not very original, but Mr. Paglia seems to be impressed.

The fact that he allows Chenoweth and Reed's influence to dominate his oeuvre doesn't say much for his own vision. Stating that Lobato's well of creativity is apparently bottomless only shows that he is either extremely biased toward Lobato's myopic vision or clueless. Why is Lobato worthier of Mr. Paglia's praise than any number of truly relevant artists in the Denver community? The answer is clear: They are not represented by any of the "in" galleries on his narrow list.

Wake up, Mr. Paglia. Broaden your scope and become a better critic. And stop spending so much valuable space describing works in detail. Learn to entice readers into looking up the artist's work and checking it out for themselves.

Joseph Anderson
Denver

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