Home for the Holidays
I have read Westword for a long time, and during that time there have been a lot of great articles--but none as great as Kyle Wagner's "Trash Landing," in the December 19 issue. I would just like to compliment you and the Mulherns for the wonderful article! I admire their Christmas spirit.
The story was a great way to start the spirit of Christmas.
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A Cure for the Common Cole
T.R. Witcher's December 12 article, "Neighborhood Botch," was a fine piece of journalism, giving color, human interest and an impartial view of $6 million in taxpayer money being utilized to aid a neighborhood in distress, with little to show for the millions spent.
I was curious about the $100,000 spent by the taxpayers on getting 16- to 24-year-old youths to get their GED and some training, and why they dropped out of school. In schools today you can call the teacher an SOB or MF or shoot the finger, and nothing really will happen--no learning, no discipline, and a 30-40 percent dropout rate. And drugs? Just a ride downtown, a bus ride home, and dealing again. Why bother? School and the legal system are a joke. Having spent a lot of time in Thailand and Nepal volunteering to teach English, I was amazed that these countries have no discipline problems, as students have respect for their teachers--and yes, they do spank. When you land at the Singapore airport, they have a big sign: "Smuggling drugs is death."
So it all sounds very nice and liberal to help the Cole neighborhood until you realize that the aid comes from the waitress at Denny's or the schoolteacher, whose paychecks are legally plundered by Uncle Sam to help the public at the expense of another public. Who gains, who loses?
Paging Mr. Pagan
Regarding Stuart Steers's "Ire of Newt," in the December 19 issue:
If indeed Nicholas Bull has correctly summarized the tenets of modern-day Asatru, then it is no wonder this pagan revival has won converts. Any philosophy that teaches "As long as you're not a coward, all is forgiven" must appeal to the morally lazy. But who, or what, is doing the forgiving--and why? If Nicholas actually wants to act out this "Norse" religion, then he should learn to dress the part. The sword he is holding in the accompanying photo is a reproduction of a claymore, and the original dates no earlier than the sixteenth century. The Scots who developed and used this sword (my ancestors among them) were neither Norse nor pagan.
Stuffy and Nonsense
Regarding the December 12 Off Limits:
In view of the recent Channel 7 report on homelessness, in which a photographer and two reporters lived among the homeless for several days, I think that the criticism of KMGH's new focus becomes less substantial. If anyone wants hard-hitting reporting, this is it. This series was done during a particularly difficult time, when the weather was horrid. It would have been very easy to change the plan and do this report later.
I'm sure we won't see anyone from Westword out there. Perhaps Westword is getting stuffy in its old age?
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I want to congratulate Patricia Calhoun for running those nasty letters about how she is just jealous of Natalie Pujo. Does anyone else notice how people always attack women about personal things rather than professional matters? And did anyone else notice how, two weeks after Calhoun wrote about the Platte in her December 5 column, "Homeless for the Holidays," Channel 7 decided to follow her lead?
As more people become homeless, there is less compassion for them. Former president Reagan was quoted as saying most are homeless because they want to be--probably an answer given because the reason wasn't known.
I have the unsettling feeling that Michael Roberts spoke too soon in his column about recent positive changes at KTCL (Feedback, December 5). Ever since then, my girlfriend and I have observed a definite Peak-y quality creeping into its music rotation; this morning it was old U2 and Tears for Fears (cheesy Tears for Fears) in the same half-hour. We smell a Dennis Constantine-opolization in the works, and it doesn't smell good.
The other part of it that makes me worry about this is the way the KTCL/Jacor folks sounded like they felt the Peak was the last speed bump on the road to total domination. I hope that doesn't mean they'll try to steal Peak listeners by turning KTCL into the Peak mirror station.
Thanks, as always, for the radio coverage. Have good holidays.
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The Art of the Matter
As one of Michael Paglia's few predecessors, I wonder if it's me he's referring to--and misquoting?--in "Remembering Rigsby," his December 19 review of work by the late David Rigsby. Background: I did indeed cite Rigsby in the January 1, 1986, paper, a combination of the "Worst of Denver" and the "Year in Review." However, my criticism didn't fault Rigsby's "support of public funding for art," shrill or otherwise; arts funding was never mentioned. The "award" concerned a Spark Gallery panel discussion on alternative galleries, where "every fruitful comment from another panelist set off a venomous stream of old-axes-to-grind digressions from Rigsby." Period.
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I later wrote glowingly of Rigsby's 1988 Barcelona/color show. That work was wonderful--and apparently, it's even better now.
Bete noire, indeed. Rest in peace, David.
(formerly Nancy Clegg, Westword art critic 1983-92)
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