Letters to the Editor

From the week of March 30, 2006

The Worst of the Best

To have and have not:Though I found most of the Best of Denver 2006 to be witty and informative, I did run across some rigid opinions about people living without homes. Under Best New Hangout for Homeless Teens, you noted that in Civic Center Park, "the pillared amphitheater allows for all manner of hijinks away from the suits and tourists. At least for now." These people are being referred to as less than human; we may as well call them pests, vermin or have-nots, while the rest of us haves look down upon them in disgust.

But wait, in Best Free Service they are in fact referred to as insects, specifically, "like ants cleaning a discarded chicken carcass." These people are more than "homeless, indigent and cracked-out folks." Words like these only perpetuate the stigma already attached to them. Therefore, I challenge you to dive head-first into some reality-fueled journalism. Perhaps talk to some of these people and find out where they come from, why they are living in Civic Center Park and maybe even some of their names, so that they can be referred to as something more than beggars and pests.

The cycle of prejudice, negativity and social-class stratification is fed with harsh words like those found in last week's Westword, and I hope that in the future empathy and knowledge will take precedence over a cheap joke when writing about other human beings.

Bri Kane
Denver


Something's Funny Here

Adam rant:Just so you know, when I pick up a copy of Westword, I go straight to What's So Funny? After that, I check to see if Calhoun has written anything, and then if the cover story is by Adam Cayton-Holland, Amy Haimerl or Jared Jacang Maher, I'll read that, too. Lastly, I look in Letters to see what that jackass David Hakala is bitching about this week.

I can't believe that you grant this guy a forum for his ridiculous rants. Is he on a personal mission to get rid of Cayton-Holland? Adam's the one columnist who keeps me coming back every week.

Rob Sanchez
Denver

Send in the clouds:David Hakala's March 16 letter regarding Adam Cayton-Holland's police-blotter scholarship was one of the funniest things I have ever read. The "Rae of Sunshine" article in the March 9 issue was sad but preposterous. This shit happens to non-white, lower socio-economic peoples on a weekly basis, and for the most part the tragedy goes unnoticed. Cayton-Holland's next feature should address the cloud of uninspired writing that has settled over Westword.

P.S.: Do us all a favor -- let Hakala do What's So Funny? Please.

Chris Wals
Denver


Making a Mountain Out of a Molehill

If it ain't brokeback, don't fix it:Regarding Off Limits in the March 16 issue:

Brokeback Mountain fanatics need to get up off of it. After fifty years in the gay world, twenty years as an outspoken advocate of parenthood for gay fathers, and thirty years of ticking my friends off by walking out of weak movies and lame theater, I'm still astonished that anyone, regardless of proclivity, would find Brokeback even remotely intriguing. Lemme tell you how much women, even lesbians, understand gay men: They don't. So a woman's fantasy about gay men, short of a Marguerite Yourcenar story, is just that: a woman's fantasy. And this one rings as hollow as a beetle pine.

Was Crash the best movie of the year? Maybe not, but at least it could compete with a minor Robert Altman film, a claim that Brokeback dare not dream of making. And the fact that Brokeback inspired the harvest of $27,000 by some opportunistic Internet shrimper closes the case: Americans have become pathetically easy to please.

Bea Shepard
Englewood


To V or Not to V

Incendiary language:Regarding Luke Thompson's "See Also: Vexing," in the March 16 issue:

While I thought the movie V for Vendetta was brilliant in its own way, I cringed at the line "Sometimes blowing up a building can change the world." I doubt if I was alone in thinking that was a bit uncalled for. There is nothing heroic or visionary about the deeds of Osama Bin Laden.

If the Bush administration is full of chickenhawks who pose for photo ops with military gear while others die, Bin Laden would be quite happy among them. Like Bush, Bin Laden sent 3,000 people to their deaths, and seems to think very little of shedding other people's blood. Like Bush, Bin Laden is a man of narrow goals who thrives on the ignorance of his followers and, also like Bush, must start each day amazed that, after years of death and dying, people still line up for the cause. But you know how it goes. There's always plenty of innocent lives to throw at the fence. So please, no words of praise for terrorists on either side of it.

Bill Carlisle
Denver

An eye for an eye:Saw V for Vendetta today and liked it -- finally, a Natalie Portman role that doesn't make me gag. I had read the graphic novel and was interested in what would be done with it. I was pleased, but it might be easier to adapt a graphic novel into something respectable than it is a real novel.

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