Letters to the Editor

From the week of November 22-28, 2001


A Hung Jury

Read it and weep: I remember when libraries were repositories of great literature. Judging from Patricia Calhoun's recent columns, they are now institutions devoted to the hanging of penises ("How's It Hanging?" November 15) and the consumption of cheesy philosophy ("Cheese Wiz," November 8).

Doesn't anybody read anymore?

Hal Masters
via the Internet

Penis de mileage: I'm not sure what Penis-Envy-Patty's point was in her latest lambaste against the city of Boulder, other than it gave her a chance to throw in some limp-dick jokes. Has the war of words by LoDo's martini liberals against Boulder's champagne socialists left Patty without a real climax, so that she has to fake some facts?

Since when does one city librarian represent the will and wishes of an entire community? Some people asked to put up yet another U.S. flag, she said no and gave a foolish answer, they protested, she relented, and we have another flag. That was easy! You have to learn to let go: One employee does not represent an entire city any more than thousands of rioters looting shops after another Broncos/ Avalanche victory represent you. (Did you ever get that tear-gas smell out of your offices?)

What's up with accusing the people of Boulder (nearly all 100,000 of us) with not wanting the JonBenét murder case solved? Yes, plenty of us feel the police botched the investigation with an unprepared, inexperienced officer. Yes, a Denver solution might be to fake some evidence, burst into an apartment and mow down the unarmed Mexican occupant, but we don't feel comfortable with that. A grand jury was convened, the evidence was reviewed, and nothing was decided. Any suggestions?

Finally, has Westword become a champion of censorship? What does Calhoun expect will become of the poor child who is exposed to a string of gaily painted penises? An affinity for chili lights that adorn so many of those overpriced hangouts by Coors Stadium? Perhaps a degree in journalism and a job at Westword?

D. Klamann
via the Internet

The eye of the beholder: Thank you for the article about the so-called art display at the Boulder Public Library. It truly annoys me when people assert their right to freedom of speech without acknowledging their responsibility of speech as well. Patricia Calhoun's column quoted "artist" Susanne Walker's statement: "If you want to attack me or my artwork, then confront me with discussion...that is the purpose of this type of art." I would like to do this.

Just as we cannot passively allow things such as domestic violence to go unchecked, we also cannot allow moral attacks to go unchecked. This display is nothing less than that.

Matthew Bergman
via the Internet

Root cause: Susanne Walker obviously believes that penises are responsible for domestic violence. Never having owned one, she would have a hard time proving her point. If a deeper study is possible, I suggest the mental state of an individual would be the cause of violence of any kind.

Freedom of expression is a privilege, but it should be factual!

Maymie Rolfs
Denver

Minding your p's and q's: Patricia's peckish penis posturing positively perplexes!

Calhoun hitches Westwordto the usual media Boulder-bashing bandwagon without actually addressing any significant issues of the recent penis-sculpture brouhaha. Talk about premature ejaculation! Given time to think, Pat might have had something significant to say about:

1) The ever-shifting legitimacy of "community standards" (which conservatives embrace when limiting liberal free speech but won't accord a community that supports speech they dislike);

2) the infantilization of adult audiences (and information) under the banner of protecting families and children;

3) the penis pilferer's successful goal of denying me (a fellow taxpayer) the experience of evaluating this "art" for myself, substituting his notions of propriety, aesthetic taste and free speech without according me the ability to verify his assessment; and

4) the fact that few complaints were received prior to the theft, which just might indicate a higher level of family maturity and/or parent/child communication about human anatomy, sexuality and the thought-provoking nature of controversial art in the People's Republic of Boulder.

Since Westword now embraces a "shield children from reality at all costs" philosophy (at least for publicly funded entities), perhaps it will cease wearing its virtue on its sleeve and set a good example by dropping its lewd (though highly entertaining) Savage Love column, discontinuing its prurient (though highly lucrative) sex-and-romance advertising, and limit its intellectually stimulating (thought hardly essential) art, movie and theater critics to discussing pablum suited only for the IQs of infants. America will be a better (if dumber and less interesting) place for it.

E pluribus infantalia unum!

John Wilkens
Boulder

State of confusion: Things a bit bumpy there in Colorado over the past few years, eh?

It was bad enough seeing the rapacious treatment of the mountains, what with those "world-class" resorts popping up all over the slopes. Things are getting a bit tight for the wildlife, we hear.... And you had those pesky problems so well-documented in Westword but "forgotten" by the Boulder Camera and the Denver Post, et al.: homeless profiling, stadium skulduggery, parking bans.

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