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Letters from the week of March 19

"Superhero Anonymous," Joel Warner, March 12

From Zero to Hero

This article about the Wall Creeper, though well-written, is infuriating. Is this news? Some stupid kid in a stupid costume on which he stupidly spent almost $1,000? Why are you encouraging the city's morally-just-but-socially-insufficient kids with no friends and no party invitations to go out under the cover of night with swords and slash up bad guys? I mean, swords?! You've got to be fucking kidding me. What did he think that he was going to do with a sword, slice people in half? This isn't the fifteenth century. Even if you are good with a sword, guess what: You're never going to come across an Oxycontin dealer with a sword and then duel him.

The bad guys use guns now. They don't even have to be close to you to kill you. Hockey pads don't stop bullets. I doubt that they would even stop a sword, should one be miraculously brandished against the Wall Creeper. I have more news for you: Tae kwon do? Not a super-power. In fact, it is widely regarded by serious martial artists like myself as the joke of the martial arts world, at least in this country. If you don't have a super-power, then you are not a superhero. Don't try to save my life with some goddamned tae kwon do and some lame D&D weaponry that you bought on the Internet.

There is certainly a touch of excitement in the idea of masked heroes actually existing in the world. But when you finish the story with a kid admitting he can't handle a city this big (when Denver is, in fact, a tiny city), you effectively delete what came before. I welcome the idea of a policeman or detective, sanctioned by the municipality in which he works and paid with my tax dollars, patrolling the streets with such zeal and dedication.

Go become that, then, you dork.

Nick Mavrick

Chicago

I kept looking at the date of this issue to see if it was the April Fool's edition. Joel Warner's "Superhero Anonymous," though enjoyable on some level, was a waste of fifteen minutes of my life and six of your pages. Paragraph after paragraph of this guy's tortured psyche, yet no mention of actual crime-fighting. The story comes off as depicting a man on the verge of losing it mentally rather than someone helping to fight crime.

Anthony Pasquini

Denver

If I was a superhero, I'd have the power of super procrastination, because I believe in setting achievable goals. I'd call myself Doctor Tomorrow...with his teenage sidekick, Fuckit.

Owen Good

Hilton Head, South Carolina

"Double Trouble," Patricia Calhoun, March 5

Free Association

I just read your account of being "held hostage" by Steve Horner's civil-rights claim. I agree that he is a jerk; unfortunately, the letter of the law gives that jerk some grounds.

Growing up at the end of segregation and witnessing pervasive discrimination against blacks, I very much understand why non-discrimination laws were adopted. But we are now at the point where those laws do far more harm than good, for four reasons:

1) We have extended these laws to everyone and every cause; 2) These laws greatly harm freedom of association; 3) These laws allow and encourage widespread legal extortion, as you are suffering; 4) Racism still exists but is not nearly as bad a problem.

It is time to adopt the libertarian position of freedom. Government should not discriminate in its own services, hiring or contracting. Government should otherwise repeal all non-discrimination laws and affirmative-action programs, and eliminate every bureaucracy devoted to these laws and programs.

When we restore freedom of association, we will be able to hire or fire, and to buy or sell freely with persons of other races, genders, orientations and abilities, all without looking over our shoulder for a legal threat.

Martin L. Buchanan

Denver

 
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