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.

Natalie Portman's character supports revolution against a fascist governmentŠin the current regime's climate, no wonder some see it as terrorism. In the eye of the beholder and all that.

Lucinda Gaston
Denver


Marry, Marry Quite Contrary

So long, suckers:I read Luke Turf's "From Denver, With Love," in the March 2 issue, about American men flying to Thailand for brides. All I could think was, good riddance! There was a lot of American-woman-bashing from the men who went on the trip, about how American woman are taking the money in the end. How ironic: The men complain about gold-digging, and they are so eager to fork over money up front to a Thai fiancée.

These men aren't looking for a real relationship. With a comment like "She must change for you," these men are looking for a puppet. Thank God American women don't allow this. It would be interesting to see how these men do with their Thai wives in one to five years. My guess is they will have been played, and the Thai wives will be running to get back on the plane rather than put up with their domineering, sexist ways.

I'm proud to be an American woman.

Gwen Taylor
Englewood

A bitter pill:About those American women. I dreamt I read a history book from the future that described American women as having their behavior altered by the pill. In studies not widely published, the pill has been found to suppress creativity to such a degree that it is virtually eliminated. What do non-creative women want? Things you buy with money, lots of it. New pills on the market, such as Yasmin, actually stress in their advertising how the product does not affect the creative mentality as much as older birth-control pills on the market.

History will probably show us that the way to create a "typical" American woman was to put her on the pill.

J. Scott
Lafayette

Equal time:In regards to Jerry Bergthold's March 9 letter about "the state of the union" between American men and women, please let me respond:

The feeling is mutual.

However, I am waiting for the article that will point me to a new venue to find a decent man to wed! Is there a country or territory that I have overlooked? Can I sign up for a tour group as well? Please let us all know...as soon as possible!

Mary Taylor
Denver

It's raining men:The "From Denver, With Love" article instantly caught my attention, and it was quite interesting. I think this is a symptom of a much larger problem here in Denver -- the discouraging male-to-female ratio. There are too many men everywhere you go in this town. At every workplace, every college class, every bar, club, every bus stop, every church, every barbecue, every grocery store, every party, every concert, everywhere you can think of, there are waaaaay too many men. Five men per woman in the twenty-to-thirty-year-old age group seems to be the situation all over the place. Occasionally, you hear actual statistics. I hear there are three men for every woman. I have also heard that there are seven men per woman. I have also heard that for people here in Denver fifty to seventy years old, there are more women than men.

The young women here have too much control. If you don't look like Brad Pitt or you're not rich, they barely notice you.

Anyway, my point is that this would make a great article. Load it up with tons of statistics on the actual male-to-female ratio in Denver. Please include information on age groups, ethnicity, education levels, income levels, hobbies, religions, etc. And finally, where are all the women? You could then find the city(ies) with too many women and have authors there publish the fact that Denver has too many men. Maybe get a dialogue going.

I should point out that I have a girlfriend, and she is wonderful. But she wants kids, and I don't. I'm planning on leaving Denver within the next year or so to go to grad school, and male-to-female ratios is the major factor in this decision.

Greg Williams
Denver

Groom service: What, exactly, is "good wife material"? I didn't know women could be placed into such classified windows and then marketed to men who are looking for suitable goods! And, my gosh, who is Richard Beals to make such judgment calls? He must have great insight into what makes a "good wife" if he can screen the appropriate Thai women who will be just perfect for the men on his tour!

Some more sarcasm follows:

Thank goodness Richard "rescued" the ring that Greg so hastily gave the first girl, the woman whom Richard believed to have been a former "bar girl" -- this means she "learned English from selling sex to Western men in bars." After all, the ring was givento her, but alas, she wasn't who Richard deemed to be "good wife material," and therefore the ring had to be retrieved from the unworthy.

This article is appalling. The men who pay money to go on Richard's tour are making a commodity of the women in Thailand. Not only that, but they are representing themselves as American men who are willing to buy a wife! This trafficking has got to stop. It's sickening to think that when these men are fed up with their partner or tired of being lonely, they are supported in their quest to fix the problem through materializing love.

Perhaps these men (and I would include Richard) need to work on themselves before going overseas to exploit women in other countries. There is no love in "From Denver, With Love"; there are only documented losers looking for a life that is not their right to buy!

And for the record, the men may as well be spending their money in the sex clubs/bars. At least then they don't have to worry about "rescuing" precious goods from those who turn out to be undeserving!

Emily Rumph
Denver

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