Letters to the Editor

From the week of January 29, 2004

F Marks the Spot

The real thing:A couple of comments about the January 22 issue:

Patricia Calhoun's "F-Bombed" -- far fucking out!

"Just the 'Fax, Man" -- the street of life and dreams caught with incredibly sharp yet sensitive ink.

Such a mental lift to get to the Mile High (aka Queen) City now and again and read your real-real paper.

Kelly A. Johnson
Mills, Wyoming

Dirty dancing:When I read Patricia Calhoun's "F-Bombed," the first thing to hit my caffeine-wired brain was George Carlin's "Seven Dirty Words," one of the greatest bits ever performed in the world of stand-up comedy. Many of George's performances more or less define words as being arbitrary tools of communication. How appropriate, considering the versatility of the word "fuck." Sometimes "Fuck you, you fucking fuck" is a more useful tool than "I respectfully dissent." Just ask Bill O'Reilly, who, with his literary prowess and ticking time-bomb temper, has proved that "Please be quiet and let me speak, Mr. Franken" just isn't enough.

Now I wonder about how the state plans to enforce this HB1078 should it become law. Will they hire people who are fluent in other languages to ensure that bookstore owners in a Vietnamese or Hispanic section of Denver don't purvey filth in another language to minors? Or will this simply be a suburban phenomenon? Either way, as an English-speaking Libertarian, I will readily assert my right to say "Fuck off" to any law that won't let me read a book titled Fuck Off from the shelves of the Tattered Cover.

Oh, yeah -- fuck off, Ted Harvey. And Ted, please don't close down my favorite coffee shop just because it has a stack of Westwords in the corner. Westwords with an enjoyable Savage Love column in each and every one. Because at that point, you will be fucking with the wrong Marine. Ted, you represent the people of your district, many of whom may not like to be fuckin' told what they can or cannot fucking say by some fucking law that is totally fucked up and unconstitutional. And, Representative Harvey, feel free to respond. I would love some discourse on the subject, perhaps in this forum. It would be nice to learn a little bit about someone who represents a district of Coloradans, aside from what little I've read about you in Westword.

Peter Cohen
Golden

We dare ya!Patricia Calhoun's panegyric on the word "fuck" really is an anthem for those of limited vocabulary. Soon, to further demonstrate the contemporary and daring nature of Westword, I expect to see fuck as a noun, verb, adjective, adverb, exclamation and question with greater frequency in your newspaper. After all, why use variety and precision in language when fuck has such a following, simplifies and makes the user feel so...oh...fucking?

Derry Eynon
Fort Collins

Word without end, amen:Let's see if I've got this right. It's legal to say, "Fuck George W. Bush!" And it's illegal to say, "God bless George W. Bush."

I've got no problem with that.

Steve R. Fickler
Wheat Ridge

We've been robbed:For Abby Hoffman, "fuck" was the most powerful word in the English language (Steal This Book). No more. That it is the word of choice for every mindless fourteen-year-old has robbed it of all power.

Shame.

Jim Eskridge
Denver

Obscene but not heard: Let me tell you a story. Once, not too long ago, sometime not too long before 9/11, Americans, possibly almost all Americans, actually desiredconstitutional rights, especially their First Amendment free-speech rights. Amazingly, Americans would, in those happier days, take real pride in America's Constitution-given rights of freedom of press, freedom of speech, of performance, of thought.

And in those waning days of passion for what was then considered to be America's very essence, great writers, scribes and muses of wisdom warned us and the world -- in books and movies such as Fahrenheit 451, 1984, Brazil, etc. -- of what might happen if we ever let ourselves "slide down the slippery slope" (as pundits put it), if we ever were to slide down that slope in the sad direction other countries, such as Fascist Germany and the Soviet Union, had slid, if we were to make the same mistakes those countries had made in the name of "protecting their peoples." And it once had seemed so very unlikely that we, at least, were in any real danger of sliding.

But now, now, the nightmare has been made real, and yet we Americans are still sleeping.

How dare the Colorado Legislature even salivate at the idea of imposing upon us any laws or regulations as draconian and anti-American as what is being proposed! How dare they trash the very values fought for by not only our Founding Fathers, but by so very many Americans over the last 227-plus years.

For the once-only-hyperbolic, but unfortunately ultimately predictive fiction of warning has been becoming non-fiction (as we have long ago slipped and are now tumbling toward the bottom of this abyss). Yet it is actually only those very legislators who would make these frightening scenarios fact who are being disgustingly obscene.

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