Letters to the Editor

From the week of January 17, 2006


Mourning becomes electric: Dave Herrera, your January 12 Beatdown was a beautiful article. I was sitting in a library to access my e-mail and got all choked up and teary-eyed in public. I am so sorry about the loss of your father. I lost my own dad (and best friend) in November 2000, and the weight of the loss is with me still. Hang in there; the fog surrounding this loss will break and eventually rise. The view from that point has its own rewards.

Thanks for sharing an intimate story of music and its place in life's losses and healing.

Russ Christiansen
Castle Rock

Everyone Into the Pool

Cutie and the beast: Regarding Jesse Hughey's "Death Pool for Cutie," in the January 12 issue:

Do you think predicting someone's death is funny? I found it very sick and tasteless. These lives may not mean anything to you, but this is someone's father, son, brother, mother or loved one. I do believe a little respect is deserved.

Westword, perhaps you should revamp your twisted thoughts on this and do a little soul-searching yourself!

Kurstin Zweigart

No action on Jackson: Who the hell do you think you are to determine that Michael Jackson will die this year? Are you God? Since when, motherfucker? Tell me. You white brothers are the ones trying to destroy him. By the way, every time I hear about a child molester on TV, he is white. Maybe this is why they count Michael Jackson as one of them, because of the dysfunction of his skin.

Shut the fuck up and take the chill pill and then relax.

Name withheld on request

Fact or Fiction?

Short shrift: Regarding Michael Roberts's "Storytime," in the January 12 issue:

There's a lot of chatter about narrative, but little commitment. Part of the problem is that editors, who have an aversion to long-form anything these days, assume narrative means 6,000-word epics. Any competent writer can do a nifty narrative in fourteen inches. I do think storytelling is the key to winning the hearts and minds of readers. But the culture of journalism is not the same as the culture of storytelling. Ask your colleagues: How many of them regularly read fiction?

Bill Marvel, senior features writer
Dallas Morning News

The Power and the Story

A long way down: Let me add my voice to all of the people who wrote letters in last week's paper praising Alan Prendergast's "Throw It All Down," in the January 5 issue. It was a remarkable piece of storytelling, and I didn't miss a word.


Norman Palmer

Crime and punishment: As a longtime enthusiast and student of Dostoyevsky (I must have read The Brothers Karamazov eleven times, and my degree depended upon a paper about the author), I found myself sputtering with incredulity at Dustin Foster's misrepresentation in his letter last week about "Throw It All Down": "Victims deserve sympathy, criminals deserve punishment. Dostoyevsky knew this. One hundred and forty years later, maybe you could get a clue." Somewhere in St. Petersburg, the old man's bones are spinning in his grave.

Before issuing such pronouncements dripping with condescension, maybe Mr. Foster should himself "get a clue." I readily admit, I did not read the Lanahan article. Mr. Foster should admit he has not read Dostoyevsky. If he had, he might have been confronted with the extremely uncomfortable possibility that everyone suffers, and that everyone (even supercilious intellectual poseurs like Pyotr Miusov and Kolya Krassotkin) deserves our sympathy.

Carolyn Barndt

Respect yourself: This is in response to JM Schell's letter about "Throw It All Down." It comes not from a far-left feminist, as a knee-jerk reaction might label me, but as a woman who respects herself. "What do women think men are thinking?" Perhaps Jane Doe thought she was lying next to a man she could trust. One she had an established history with. And that she had already given him enough of her body that surely by now his appetite would be satiated. What would you think, waking up with someone's dick up your ass? Maybe that it hurts and it's embarrassing and demeaning and dirty and so painful and that you never asked for this. But wait, this is someone who cares about you, so maybe that makes it okay? And when you cry out because you can't help it, maybe he'll stop? But he doesn't; he doesn't care because it feels good to him. JM, I hope you never have to know the shame in that. If you're a man, chances are you can fall asleep naked next to a woman and never have to worry about her shoving something up your ass.

When will certain men realize that just because women have the physical capacity doesn't mean you have permission? Our bodies are ours, not yours. Respect us not just because we are women, but because we are human. If you're hurting someone, stop. If she never gave you permission, don't start.

To women, I say respect yourselves. Your bodies are not commodities to be sold to the highest bidder. Establish your boundaries early. Respect yourself, and hopefully this will cause someone to respect you more than he might have originally. But still, if he chooses to demean you, respectfully decline this treatment. You don't deserve it. You will never deserve it. Respect yourself always.

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