Letters to the Editor

From the week of 3/1/2007

"Holy Shat!" Tuyet Nguyen, February 22

Shat Happens

Jeez, I was positively inspired by Tuyet Nguyen's article on the band Shat and their tune "I Threw Up on Her Cunt." I mean, I've been playing guitar for many moons now, have six CDs out, was just featured in Guitar Player mag's February issue as one of its "101 Forgotten Greats and Unsung Heroes," taught a seminar at Berklee College of Music in 2004, and much, much more...but I've never been able to get Westword to write a feature about me. So I've realized that I am obviously not quite hip enough, and in reaction to that sobering insight, I'm writing a piece called "Porking It to a Small Asian Girl While Eating Weasel Entrails, and Fantasizing the Ghost of Mao Tse-Tung Butt-Fucking the Rotting Corpse of Anna Nicole Smith Onstage at Boettcher Concert Hall During the 2008 Democratic Convention." I think that should do it.

Tuyet, hope to hear from you soon.
Neil Haverstick

"Period Piece," Dave Herrera, February 15

Of Meese and Me

I just read the column in which Dave Herrera reviewed the Born in the Flood/Photo Atlas/Nathan & Stephen/Meese show, and I must say that I'm impressed. Never before have I seen someone stretch the words "I told you so" into that long of an article.

Now, I've come to expect some snobbery from Westword over the years -- it's your shtick and you play it well -- but Dave has really stepped up his game here. I mean, he managed to downplay the opener, throw some friendly jibes at the up-and-coming band, applaud the minor success of the two headliners and forecast the doom of the scene -- all without any visible stitchwork. Hell, he even managed to pat himself on the back for knowing the "label head" of Morning After and for coming up with all of Nathan & Stephen's good ideas. And in less than 750 words! That boy has skill.

I think my favorite line was probably this: "I'd watch the then-unknown act try to cram its arena-rock ambitions into a dank LoDo basement to the bemusement of a few dozen people." Let's run through the list: In it from the beginning? Check. Knew they'd be huge even then? Check. Melancholy amusement about the whole thing? Three for three! Damn. Ship this guy off to NYC; he can compete in the big leagues. No, seriously, ship him off to New York.

I've gotta say, I doubt even the bandmembers know as much themselves as Dave Herrera does. I've been following Nathan & Stephen's progress for well over a year, and now I feel like the incipient shmuck that Dave will no doubt think I am should he ever read this letter...and that has me worried, because if Dave thinks I'm a shmuck, then I probably am a shmuck. Dave knows all.
Walter Kovacs

"The Magic Number," Jared Jacang Maher, February 15

Social Insecurity

Thank you for "Identity Crisis." I thought Jared Jacang Maher highlighted a real problem, and personalized it, without resorting to hysterical immigrant-bashing. He added information and understanding to the problems that are driving this kind of identity theft. Thanks to Maria, as well, for opening her life to this kind of scrutiny.
Chaer Robert

I was enjoying the article on the two Marias and the identity theft that takes place in our country until I read these words: "because anything can happen when a system creates a subclass of people who must assume the lives of others in order to survive." These people have stolen from others in order that they may work, and thou shalt not steal.

Don't come here illegally. Go through proper channels and attain citizenship legally. I ask you, is it so wrong to want everyone to follow the rules?
Jeff Noble

I've been meaning to tell Jared Jacang Maher how much I enjoy his writing. The piece he did on identity theft was enlightening and really hit home. Seven of my employees are illegal and use false Social Security numbers. I know that sounds like an awful thing to admit, but many of these people have been with me for years -- not to mention the fact that they're great employees and have families to support. They desperately want to become legal; I think I want it almost as much as they do. I'm just waiting to be raided or fined. My only hope is that I'm too small to be of any real interest.

Unfortunately, it's a colossally fucked-up system. After much cajoling from me, one elderly man who'd worked for me for six years went back to Mexico in an effort to become legal. He was assured by immigration authorities that it was a sure thing -- but after four months of utter bureaucratic bullshit, he was informed he didn't have a chance in hell. This man owns a home in Denver, and all seven of his children are here; staying in Mexico wasn't an option. So he forked out thousands more dollars to cross back over the border.

I was shocked to learn Swift was using Basic Pilot and still got raided! We get letters every year telling us that our employees' Social Security numbers don't match up. When we call the Social Security Administration, they tell us, "Don't fire anyone -- just let them know their number isn't valid." Real helpful, huh? This story scared the shit out of me. I thought that moron Bush was actually going to accomplish something good last year with immigration reform. Something needs to change.
Name withheld on request

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