Letters to the Editor

From the week of October 6, 2005

The antidote I'd suggest: Begin to use more modern terms fitting our time, like "human rights" and "social justice." Let's tie these words to the homeless and other poverty-burdened citizens of the planet. It's a bigger pill to swallow, for sure, to immunize what's ailing our world. Let this be the intelligent design for our future.

What Katrina highlighted for me is how we allow our citizens to live (and continue to blame them for their conditions), when without the "working poor," who would pour our coffee? I wonder how a country of "Christians" could ever get the notion that any individual has the "right of judgment" on another? I must be misguided, as I believe that judgment is the right of the divine (God?). Hence, the hell we call home. A country of deities sitting in judgment on the worthiness of its impoverished and exploited citizens. So that charity can exist.

Can we give up charity and claim human rights and social justice?

Johanna Beaudry

Homeless is where the heart is: I make it a point to not read the news on a regular basis. Crime, death, rising gas prices, poverty, sluggish economy, lack of jobs, natural disasters -- it's easy to feel hopeless with one glance at the front page of the newspaper. But you cannot run away forever. The news is a virus that spreads: into your home, into your workplace, into your life, no matter how much you would rather shut it out. And so, bit by bit, I became aware of Hurricane Katrina and the devastation it caused in New Orleans. Bad news travels fast, and I had heard it from the mouths of my fellow employees, which in turn caused me to read the paper, and hear it on the radio, and see images fly across my eyes on the Internet. Thousands of people displaced, inconceivable damage to a once-charming city.

My fellow employees talked about donations; friends and family wanted to take in the now-homeless families, radio stations and networks set up benefits and charities. A domino effect of giving was in effect. But then I drove past a homeless man on Santa Fe. And another on Colfax, and another on Broadway. These men were not in the eye of the hurricane, but they need help just the same. Many people drove past them or walked over them to give their donations to the New Orleans refugees. Does losing everything due to natural disaster somehow make a person's plight worth more than someone who was laid off from his job?

To me, natural disasters are like fashion trends, signified by a cheap plastic bracelet people buy to feel like they are making a difference. I am not philanthropic; I don't profess to be. I have not bought a single bracelet and rarely give to charity; shame on me. But I know that every state, every major city, has homeless of its own, problems of its own, that could use a helping hand from its local citizens who are willing to give of themselves.

All I'm saying is, before you drop off that donation or FedEx that blanket to New Orleans, save yourself a trip by just looking around you and knowing that your help is needed at home.

Shone Buswell

The Really Good Book

Bible thumper: This is in response to the "Something Wicked This Way Comes" letter by name withheld in the September 29 issue.

The writer brought me to open the Bible, and I was horrified when I looked through it! I threw it out of my house for fear my children would see or read the filth in it. The author(s) should be ashamed!

I fear the people who worship it and quote it constantly, trying to get it in our schools; they truly must be warped, twisted, confused, and a threat to society and all that is good. If what's in there is true, then the universe is run by a bi-polar, self-centered, greedy, vengeful entity who can't keep anything straight, and we're all fucked, anyway.

Thank the universe for Westword, for it brings joy, laughter and life to our town. It also tells us what is going on now and lets us speak back without "fear of damnation" for having contrary facts, knowledge or opinions.

Phranque Wright
Wheat Ridge

A Towering Achievement

Wall in the family: Regarding Michael Paglia's "Modern Master," in the September 29 issue:

As a first-year student at the University of Colorado at Denver, commuting via light rail, I enjoy the opportunity to view the "articulated wall." I had seen the sculpture several times before while traveling along Broadway, but I never really had the chance to marvel at it close up. Thanks for the article about Herbert Bayer and his extensive art career. Now whenever I gaze at the towering structure, I'll have a better concept of the piece and its creator.

Julie Duffens

Last Call

Bar none: You should change the name of Off Limits to "Off the Wagon." Lately, all you write about there is fights in bars, like last week, or charitable drinkathons in bars, like the week before, or uncharitable drinkathons in bars, like you did the week before that. There is more to life than getting overserved.

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