Letters to the Editor

From the week of August 18, 2005

Instead of story after story about protests, stabbings, mismanagement and failed projects, the people of Denver should be reading about what really goes on in the Denver Public Library, every day since its inception in the nineteenth century: A child sounds out her first word in a board book; a teenager discovers part of his identity in a compact disc; a grieving widow finds solace in a novel; a writer discovers the out-of-print treatise of water rights he cannot find anywhere else; and a homeless man, God help him, finds a sink with cold water. Yes, these stories are mousy indeed, but this man would like to read them, if only now and then.

Jack Maness

Stacking the deck: Of course a true-blue (didn't you guys used to be red?) left-liberal like Patricia Calhoun finds it oh-so ironic that some ig'nant, gap-toothed, backwoods John Deere-cap-wearin' rednecks -- whom, she assures us, wouldn't know Melville from Melvin's -- are all a-dither over smutty, misogynistic Spanish language comic books taking up space in the stacks (ahem) at the Denver Public Library.

The Denver Public Library, regardless of how its Lord and Master views it, is not, in fact, the private playground of Rick Ashton. It is, as its official handle would appear to indicate, "public." I don't know how this works south of the Rio Grande, but back in the States, "public" means that funding comes largely from, well, the public. Yes, just imagine the gall of fellers with those nekkid-lady mudflaps on their '75 Jimmys making all this fuss about the wisdom of spending taxpayer funds on Mexican pornography. But then again, it's hard to be an ig'nant, gap-toothed, backwoods John Deere-cap-wearin' redneck unless you are also an American, and while it's true that some citizens of this country do read Spanish, let's not kid ourselves about who it is the "public" library has these trashy things on hand for.

The library shill explains that these are popular and "accessible" reading for Spanish-language readers. Ah. I wonder if the library keeps a supply of equally popular and "accessible" titty mags like Hustler, Penthouse, Juggs and other demographically redneck fare on hand for our less-educated backwoodsmen? Probably not. You can imagine the shitstorm good liberal feminists such as Ms. Calhoun would unleash on Ashton and his librarians if they did. I guess when it's "literature" that debases mostly white women, it's a no-no. But it's okay to use taxpayer funds to purchase dirty comics that depict the rape and murder of Messican gals?

JM Schell

The joy of text: Please define "pornographic." Please define "obscene." Please define "censorship." There are bookstores in Denver with huge "newsstand magazine" sales that won't sell Hustler, Club International or any explicit sex magazines. Sometimes art books by photographers are considered offensive.

The Denver Public Library should be consistent with its policy on what's popular and in demand, in Spanish or English. If Debbie Does Dallas is a bestseller, it simply reflects a culture that made Hee-Haw and The Dukes of Hazzard popular TV shows. Give the people what they want.

John Sturtz

A Family Affair

Elevate this Tancredo: Regarding the August 4 Off Limits interview with Jackie Tancredo:

The wrong Tancredo is the officeholder! She seems to be the very levelheaded, practical, thoughtful, concerned and considerate Tancredo. I knew that she was a great Jeffco teacher. And now -- Jackie for Congress!

Jim Bahrenburg
Wheat Ridge

Execute this Tancredo: Tom Tancredo's recent verbal threat to "take out" Muslim holy sites (Mecca, Medina and presumably Jerusalem) in lieu of a nuclear strike on American soil shows clearly what he and his nuclear "warhead" generals at NORAD, the U.S. Space Command and the Pentagon really are: supreme terrorists themselves.

These ultra-right-wing, conservative Republican "Christian" warmongers are actually fueling levels of hatred and vengeance in the world that will inevitably result in the nuclear detonation of an American city, killing millions of innocent civilians.

I agree with President Bush that we show "no mercy" to terrorists. Today there is no greater threat to U.S. national security than the U.S. military itself. The burden now falls on the American people and the international community to find a way to round up these American terrorists, bring them to justice and have them summarily and swiftly executed.

Jonas the Prophet

Main Course

Kitchen magician: Last November, I moved back to Michigan after seven years in Denver. I now read Westword every week online, and the primary draw is the excellent and entertaining writing of Jason Sheehan. Jason is certainly the finest food writer since Tony Bourdain. Here's looking to many more of his reviews!

Keith Schmidt
Petoskey, Michigan

A Toast to the Toasted

We'll drink to that: Patrick Osborn's Drunk of the Week is a great column. Every week should be required reading for all but the young kids.

Matt McKeever

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