The English Patient
Kenny Be, you dunce--don't you keep up with the news? Your March 13 Worst-Case Scenario, "What the World Now Owes Brad Irwin and Suzanne Terry," contained at least two mistakes. The big one was depicting British prime minister John Major attending the G-7 Summit this summer. Your error is that Britain must have an election before June, before the G-7, and John Major has less chance of winning re-election than George Bush had. It is time, Kenny, to learn how to draw Labor Prime Minister-apparent Tony Blair.
Too bad Kim Campbell or Maggie Thatcher aren't around to be the bride's attendants.
David W. Olson
It should be noted that Helmut Kohl is Germany's chancellor, not president. Roman Herzog is the German president. Still, Kohl does make a stunning bridal attendant.
The Fat Lady Sings
Thanks to M.S. Mason for the best musical howler of the week. In "Verdi Requiem," her March 20 review of Opera Colorado's production of Verdi's La Traviata, Mason has Violetta singing a great aria called "Sempre livre." This should read "Sempre libera," which does indeed translate as "always free."
"Sempre livre" would translate, at least into bad French, as "always heavy." And so, indeed, many opera stars are.
It may be a good thing to copy reality, but to invent reality is much, much better.
The Numbers Game
Reading Eric Dexheimer's "Buy the Numbers," in the March 20 issue, was a lot more entertaining than playing bingo. I still don't understand who would play the game, but at least I now understand why people host bingo games.
As usual, people like Freda Poundstone are the winners--and the taxpayers are the losers.
In reference to Eric Dexheimer's "Buy the Numbers," I've had my own unpleasant experiences with the Doyles.
I was elected a director of Fathers for Equal Rights (FFER) in June 1993. We are a 501(c)(3) nonprofit parenting organization. In September 1993 I heard that the FFER board of directors was meeting at Jim Runyon's Bingo Bug. Concerned because regular board meetings were held at the FFER office, and not aware of the directors calling this meeting, I attended. Runyan, Homer and Kevin Doyle, and another man showed up. They then proceeded to vote out the current board and install their own board of directors: themselves. Shortly thereafter, the Doyles sued the legitimate board of directors, myself included. In November 1993 the Secretary of State's office informed me that an application for renewal of our bingo license had been made by Marty Paris, an employee of Homer Doyle's. The attempted renewal was denied and the lawsuit dismissed.
The Secretary of State's office was well informed of all of this. I met with Rick Young, Patrick Ryan and the chief bingo investigator, Joe Estrada, many times. They were professional, courteous and very capable. Their investigation was quashed. Something stinks at the Colorado Secretary of State's office. The last I heard, BRAVO, aka Kevin Doyle, and Concerned Parents, aka Homer Doyle, had their grubby fingers in dozens of bingo operations.
There are huge amounts of money associated with bingo. In 1994 FFER showed gross receipts of $674,000 in our bingo game. Bingo is a wonderful funding opportunity for nonprofit organizations.
It is also a wonderful opportunity for crooks to line their own pockets.
In Dobson We Trust
Regarding Ward Harkavy's "Focus Pocus," in the March 6 issue:
What a concept, having someone in the White House who would actually restore the moral fiber of our once-great nation to the high standards we once enjoyed. Someone actually basing his decisions with his faith in God guiding him, unlike the greed and arrogance that Clinton and the Congress are using today.
Regarding that crap about Gil Alexander-Moegerle's concern that James Dobson running the country based on his religious convictions would be a violation of church and state, I would suggest that he reread American history. This country was founded with the concept that church and state were together. Our founding fathers wrote the documents that formed the very outline of what this nation once stood for based on their beliefs and faith in God. Thomas Jefferson was quoted as saying that he feared the day that we no longer held God and religion in the highest regard.
If living in a country that might once again hold its head high among other nations is more than Alexander-Moegerle can stand, I offer him a one-way ticket to the Middle Eastern country of his choice, where his only religious decision would be to kneel before that country's God or die.
David M. Hammond
I recently read Stuart Steers's February 20 article "Readin', Writin', and Rabble-Rousin'," and it once again appears that the misinformed Denver media is sensationalizing without all the facts. Sell the paper, full steam ahead.
A point of Colorado statute is that all school boards are non-partisan volunteer boards, elected by majority vote of their electorate. Personality-bashing serves only the purpose of divisiveness. It does not solve the problem of how to make today's schools as good as they once were.
Steers champions the liberal-socialistic mindset that advocates the elimination of hard work, responsibility and self-actualization. Competitiveness becomes a dirty word. All of these are replaced by government-manipulated "self-esteem"--not self-esteem through success, but rather through attainment of being passed through an educational system that fails in "readin', writin' and 'rithmetic."
In the March 6 issue you printed a letter from Joy McCullough, a teacher at Boulder High School, responding to your article about Stephanie Hult, president of the Boulder Valley Board of Education. It would be interesting and fair to present a student perspective on the education issues in Boulder. Here are excerpts from an article I wrote for the student newspaper at Boulder High School, The Owl:
"In the growing debate between the stagnant liberal doctrines and the conservative, yet progressive, ideals, many factions have arisen within the educational system which misconstrue the facts with emotional, personal attacks. In Boulder, one of the most active of these groups is a powerful assembly of teachers who could better spend their time preparing the youth of America than participating in petty political disputes.
"In order to compensate for their shortcomings, this group accuses their opponents of superficial character flaws. Nothing can show this more clearly than the attacks that are constantly hurled at school board president Stephanie Hult. The archrival of Boulder's educrats, Hult is best known for her forceful, unrelenquishing persona; the red hair, the formidable dress, and the strong voice all contribute to this. The fact that she does not submit to the barrage of political pressure results in petty accusations like "rude," "fanatical" and "elitist."
"Not only does Hult not warrant such extreme charges, in reality, she is not particularly radical. Instead, she supports academic achievement, honest education, qualified professionals and basic hard work. In some twisted way, it is incomprehensible that the teachers who would rather approach their job halfheartedly would consider such proposals as sweeping reforms. However, merely requiring someone to do his or her job with efficiency and effectiveness is not only the "real world" but also something some educators don't seem to understand.
"The division in this district is not nearly as complex as many would like to make it. In fact, it is reduced to simple self-preservation in which the sluggish professionals of past years are fighting against the source of needed reforms in a system riddled with negative inertia. Many of the members of this outcrying faction of educators do not feel they are responsible for earning their right to teach through a devotion to excellence. Contrary to what many in this group seem to believe, teaching is one of the greatest responsibilities any person could have in a society. Lately this fact has been ignored, and if it takes a fiery redhead with a loud voice to snap education back into reality, so be it. In the meantime, the silent majority must look beyond the superficial charges and allow education and its opportunities to shine above the refuse of corruption."
The Unkindest Cut
In the March 13 Off Limits, Dennis Britton's ending remark concerning Howie Movshovitz says a lot more about Mr. Britton than it does about Mr. Movshovitz. One need only line up Mr. Movshovitz's many years of reviews at the Denver Post (like them or not) to see what a "cute," quick, false and utterly mean comeback this was. May Mr. Britton be summarily dismissed someday in the same fashion he's dealt with his longtime employee.
Regarding Susan Froyd's Thrills opener in the March 13 issue:
What does it mean calling somebody like Sheryl Crow "ballsy"? I assume it's a compliment, especially if it's meant as a comparison to Marcia Ball, but I don't think so. Maybe I'm being sexually incorrect. Or at least inappropriate. Never mind.
I'm having a hard time enjoying your publication because of all the negative articles you write about Leftover Salmon and the Grateful Dead (Michael Roberts's Hit Pick, March 20). I can't understand why a newspaper like yours, which is so into music and entertainment, would put down such bands. Leftover Salmon is a wonderful band, as is the Grateful Dead, and I would appreciate you writing some favorable things about them. Obviously, we all have our own interpretation of music, but I think there should also be someone else who would write favorably of good music besides just going by what your taste is.
Tales From the Darth Side
In Michael Sragow's unfair rip of The Return of the Jedi ("Ewok, Don't Run," March 13), he made some important criticisms but missed many other important points. True, Jedi does not have the dark fervor of The Empire Strikes Back, yet how else would you suggest the trilogy end? This mythological story couldn't very well end in the ominous, tragic direction that Empire suggested. I guess Luke Skywalker could turn to the Dark Side, the Rebellion could be crushed, and Han Solo could die in his carbon freeze, but it's not very likely. Tantalizing, perhaps, but not a mythological conclusion.
There are some great moments in Jedi that Sragow neglected to mention. Mark Hamill's performance as the black-clad Skywalker is great; the maturation and transformation of his character is engrossing. Likewise Carrie Fisher's Leia. Maturity, in fact, is the theme of Jedi, just as adolescence was for Empire. Even Darth Vader's character matures. The only disappointing performance is that of Harrison Ford, whose Han Solo is a mere shadow of his riveting performance in Empire.
Yes, I think all of us serious Star Wars fans could do without the damn Ewoks, although the refreshing beauty of Endor is an essential component in the movie's theme of triumph and peaceful resolution. It's a lovely, beautiful planet on which to end the trilogy.
All in all, I agree that Empire is a better movie, but Jedi rests closer to my heart. Anyway, may the force be with you...always!
Be a Sport
Have you ever considered publishing collections of Kenny Be's cartoons and Bill Gallo's columns in book form? Be is a wonderfully inventive and original cartoonist.
In Gallo, you've got a sportswriter who is in a class with Red Smith. (No hyperbole there.) I can't think of any living sportswriters who are in his class, even at Sports Illustrated. Publishing his stuff in book form would not only be a great cultural service, but it wouldd cut down greatly on my expenses for scissors, paste and scrapbooks.
Regarding the add-on to Bill Gallo's March 13 column about the Bronco's exhibition game in Guadalajara: Right on! I just wish his remarks on this matter could have wider circulation.
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