Letters to the Editor

From the week of May 18, 2006

Radek Kruczynski
Warsaw, Poland

How low can you go? After reading Adam Cayton-Holland's What's So Funny, I can only say that your paper has sunk to a new, all-time low. Cayton-Holland's ranting about Polish people, white people and American veterans just goes to show what a bigoted, racist, anti-American he is. I can only hope that your advertisers have the good sense to withdraw their ads.

Bob Oblock

Spin cushion: The article that referenced a "Polack" gives rise to the notion that your standards are not worthy of Peter Boyles's positive spin. It is difficult to give your paper any journalistic rating. What are you trying to accomplish?

Alvin Griggs

Barf bag: Adam, you should be banned from what you perceive as writing. Barffff!

Charlie von Schlesien
via the Internet

Consider the Alternatives

Bands on the run: I just read Michael Roberts's "Radio Age," his May 4 Message, and it was good, but it offered no solution for Denver's crappy radio targeting the core demographic he was talking about. Radio, and Clear Channel specifically, will tell you that the music they play is tested, and this is how they choose it. The problem is, that stagnates variety -- and with all of the choices these days through technology, that's why the younger generation chooses these alternatives. Radio stations in this market need to be honest with themselves and say, "Are we really playing what people want?" The key is to cater to the passions and culture of, say, alternative-music listeners by playing new music first, and not just the "hits" that were pre-tested to the core listeners. This market refuses to play bands because they didn't test well.

Look at bands that are the "cool kids" bands right now. The Arctic Monkeys, She Wants Revenge, Interpol, the Strokes -- hell, let's even put in Depeche Mode for its new record. Ask yourself, "Are these bands even heard on radio here?" No. I asked a 93.3 DJ why the hell they aren't playing bands like the Mars Volta, the White Stripes, the Strokes (not "Last Night"), Bright Eyes and such, and he told me that nobody listens to the radio for these bands, but for bands they recognize. And I told him, "You're right -- nobody listens to these bands, but did you happen to see that their shows sold out with no radio play?" Hell, even Sigur Rós was pretty close to selling out and with no radio mention, for Christ's sake!

The answer to crappy radio? Get radio people who are ultra-passionate about music and have personalities that reflect the culture and attitude of young people (I'm 29). Tell people that when a song or artist sucks, honesty must rule the day. Mix in classic alternative hits by bands like the Smiths, Joy Division, old Depeche Mode, Nirvana (not "Smells Like Teen Spirit") and the Stone Roses, and you not only gain a core of passionate listeners, but active buyers in the market for products such as furniture, cars and whatnot. This is the only reason broadcast even exists, anyway!

Joe Utter

To Cur, With Love

Insolent pup: Jason Sheehan, I was Googling myself just last night when I found my name in a database for obscure, poorly written food columns ("Man Bites Dog," the May 4 Bite Me).

Slighted? No, just mildly annoyed that a delicate, pedantic little genius such as yourself is still free to go around inventing "words" like "Blinky-centric." "In short, FU?" Why don't you just put us out of your misery and stop there, Shorty? Instead, you fly into a thirty-page polemic on the cosmology of hot dogs. God help us. That's followed by a screed on advertising. I don't suppose that basic economics was ever required at your particular junior college, but surely even you can see the sheer folly in unleashing a broadside at a regular advertiser. Even at self-righteous, proletarian Westword, that is how the game is played, especially when Best of Denver season rolls around. And that's fine with me, but apparently it is not okay with you. Meet Jason Sheehan, this generation's Upton Sinclair of food journalism. Oh, the humanity. Oh, the hilarity. Oh, the stupidity.

As an aside, do you really hold such disdain for the people you work with every day (that is, if you do work every day), those provincials in advertising, the ones who see to it that you can make rent on your little studio apartment? That's probably why you dine alone in the Westword lunchroom so much, staking out your little table by the soda machine, with your little hipster shirt on and your little sack lunchŠ. Man, that's sad. But I don't feel your pain.

Anyway, I propose a duel. Rotten hot dogs at twenty paces on the East High esplanade at high noon. Short of that, I'm going to put a bounty on your head. That's right, a bounty. In the immortal words of that true orator Reg Dunlop, captain/coach of the mighty Charlestown Chiefs, "a hundred bucks to the first guy who really lays into that creep." Verbally, of course.

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