Read It and Leap
Patricia Calhoun: What happened to you? Your April 17 column, "Look Before You Leap...to Conclusions," was sensible and well-reasoned. In short, it was a refreshing change from your usual strident harangues.
Denver P.D. Blues
Regarding Karen Bowers's "Sliced and Dicey," in the April 17 issue:
I find it interesting to note that mention was made of several off-duty Denver police officers who apparently were in possession of concealed handguns. I would like to give all of the officers who were there that night the benefit of the doubt concerning their intake of alcohol, but considering the late hour and the location (a nightclub), it seems reasonable that at least a few of the off-duty officers would have had at least one alcoholic drink. I have no problems with the concealed carry of guns by off-duty Denver officers--considering their jobs and the responsibilities we place upon them, this seems only reasonable. I am concerned, however, that it appears as though the off-duty officers at Pierre's that night did not consider it inappropriate to carry their guns into a "supper club," where we presume they had a beer or glass of wine with dinner.
With the current debate in the legislature (and elsewhere) over the merits of uniform criteria for the issuance of concealed-weapon-carry permits, it seems reasonable to assume that one of the places that citizens would not be allowed to carry concealed weapons would be establishments where alcohol was served. The rationale for this prohibition would be that someone who has consumed alcohol would have impaired judgment; I think that this is a reasonable concern. I wonder, though, if the Denver Police Department considers it reasonable for their off-duty officers to carry handguns into places where alcohol is served.
Because Denver police chief Michaud has indicated that he considers it ill-advised to issue concealed-carry permits to average citizens, I would be interested to know what limitation--if any--he considers appropriate (as it pertains to off-duty concealed carry) for himself and his officers, and whether he would be willing to have his own people abide by the same rules that he wants the rest of us to live by.
via the Internet
Cut on the Bias
Cut on the Bias
Great article on the newspaper wars ("All the News That Fits," April 10). Alan Prendergast explained why I do not take either Denver paper. I gave up on the papers about three years ago; they are really about style over substance. Too bad he didn't go into the obvious bias of both papers' news sections. The Post is a leftist paper, and the News's editorial page is moderate at best.
I wonder what the metro area would do with a conservative paper?
Lyle K. Marti Jr.
Here's my response to the story on the newspaper fight: Who cares?
Both Denver dailies are bad, and I wouldn't miss either. In fact, I probably wouldn't even notice if one disappeared.
Older and Wiser
Regarding Dorsey Hudson's letter about Channel 7 in the April 3 issue:
The firing of Dave Minshall from Channel 7 for being 53 years old (and for doing hard news) represents a growing--and alarming--trend nationally of firing the Bob Palmer types long before they reach maturity and replacing them with "suits and skirts," men with football shoulders and blow-dried hair and women with fashion-model photogenic looks. Hey, don't they all look alike, huh?
Thus do we observe the dumbing-down and the watering-down of the news by relative youths: untried, untested and untrue (no pain, no gain). And the standard becomes "All the news that's fit to sensationalize" rather than "All the news that's fit to investigate"--the agenda left to the alternative media such as Westword that has to dig for its news ore.
I drove a cab for eleven years in Denver, and over that time, I had three passengers whom I'll remember with a smile--good souls, good listeners, with hearts of gold. One of those three was Dave Minshall. Thousands of you have been interviewed by him over the years and know and remember him likewise. Dave's now engaged in the fight of his professional life, contesting the right of veteran newshounds with integrity and dedication to have access to the visual media, not just print and radio.
Do you suppose, just suppose, that Westword might have some readers in their fifties (and over) who are offended at Dave's firing? I'd encourage those readers to call Channel 7 and its advertisers and raise a little hell. Write some letters. Call some talk shows. Let them know we mean business. Isn't it time to give Channel 7 a wake-up call to the real news?
Gene W. Edwards
Small Craft Warnings
Bravo to Michael Paglia ("Life's a Stitch," April 10) for revealing what really lurks behind that arbitrary distinction drawn between "art" and "craft": balls. As a student of the fine arts in the 1970s, I was always disappointed by the work dredged from the past to demonstrate that "women artists" (painters) had really existed--those privileged few allowed by circumstance to pursue and follow what men had defined as art.
More likely, the important women artists of the past sat at a loom or potter's wheel or wielded a needle. And their work, because it didn't hang safely on a wall, has been lost to us.
With the political and social liberation of women in the late nineteenth and twentieth centuries, women became integral to the art scene on their own terms. So should "craft."
In conversation with a friend recently, he noted that according to Westword gallery listings, there are over a hundred venues to see art in the metro area. That seemed a remarkably high number to me, and I decided to check it out. I tried calling some of the places I was unfamiliar with; over a third do not list themselves in the Yellow Pages under galleries. When called, many numbers were either disconnected or clearly someone's home answering machine. Many others belonged to pizzerias or coffeehouses that happen to have occasional art decorating their establishments.
With an impending international media convergence on Denver for the G-8, might I suggest a little thoughtful editing? There are quite a few legitimate art venues that Denver can be proud of--nonprofit, alternative spaces and for-profit galleries that need our support.
In this case, I believe less would be more.
Editor's note: Unlike our art-review page, where Michael Paglia is encouraged to be highly opinionated, our gallery listings are intended as a comprehensive and non-judgmental guide to where readers can see art in the Denver area--and not just art we approve of. Or, heaven forbid, that the Yellow Pages considers worthy of listing under galleries.
Hip-Hop to It
I'm a native New Yorker, who grew up in the Bronx and currently lives in Denver. To put it simple, however, I live for hip-hop--which all my peeps will surely attest to. And as one of those in attendance at the Jeru/Shadow show (Feedback, April 17), I was incredibly disappointed. But my disappointment goes far beyond the insanity that ensued--to the perpetration of these so-called hip-hop heads running around with their pagers and boots, Nautica baseball caps, baggy jeans and such, claiming to be true, when they don't know shit about the culture I grew up in nor what it's becoming.
Jeru is dope. No doubt. But how many know why? Seriously, how many of you who think you're heads can honestly tell me why Jeru is dope? How can you say the man is dope, listen to his music, and then go out and support the nonsense he as a diehard head is so against?
The reason Jeru is so dope is that despite the current trends going around in hip-hop, Jeru isn't afraid to say what he feels. He has the voice, and he has the flow. That's what hip-hop is about--a no-holds-barred expression of how one feels through a tight flow. Not that he's from New York. Not that he's from Brooklyn. Not because he's got a nine. None of that. It's because he's got skills.
Lastly, to Westword: Get someone who knows something about hip-hop shows, not just someone who can observe crowd responses. Michael Roberts doesn't know shit.
David "DSI" Dodson
via the Internet
This is in response to the Feedback column about the Jeru/Shadow concert in Boulder. I've known Sam for three years and I'll tell you where you're wrong. You're wrong to call him a meathead: He is a college student in Portland. Second, rarely are his rhymes amateurish: Jealousy will get you nowhere. Third, Sam didn't swing at Jeru: Jeru took a swing at Sam. And I'm wondering why you think it's ironic that people call him "Africa Sam"--he lived in Nigeria for the better part of fifteen years.
Do your homework before you start running off at the mouth, reporter boy.
Name withheld on request
Just want to acknowledge the fact that Westword continues to inform the public and review music created by local composers and musicians who are not signed or supported by major corporations. Michael Roberts has made a point of regularly including even cassette albums in his column, despite the fact that there is a lot of CD and major label advertising revenue in your paper to lure him in other directions.
There is still hope for the little guy.
via the Internet
In his March 27 Playlist review of U2's Pop, Michael Roberts enlightened Westword readers on several points:
1. U2, probably the world's most popular band for the last decade, gets a lot of hype.
2. Pop is not the Magna Carta (although October is often favorably compared to the Communist Manifesto).
3. The album is heavily influenced by U2 (yet no special thanks in the liner notes).
4. Ticket-buyers won't enjoy the new songs live, but freeloaders will think they "sound okay."
A warning for Michael Roberts: The odds are that U2's next album will receive a good deal of attention. Perhaps he should try the novel concept (for Westword) of reviewing that album not based on hype, but on how it sounds.
When I saw the names Bum Kon, Soak and Child Abuse in Michael Roberts's April 3 Feedback, I got excited: I was hoping to see a fresh new band.Then I read further, only to see the band Mrs. Larvae at the top of the paragraph. What? I've seen Mrs. Larvae twice. Once with the band's first guitarist, Larry Derning, and later with replacement Joe from King Pin.
There was a definite history of punk greatness when I saw the band the first time. But a year later, it was a heavy-metal mess with no sign of any punk essence at all. I don't know what happened, but it wasn't the same band. I wish you would have left Bum Kon out, because people could get the wrong idea about Mrs. Larvae. Bum Kon was a legendary band, and I can't see any relation between the two. Maybe you can make it clear to those who love punk-rock nostalgia.
Or maybe you already did when you ripped on them (slightly) in your article. Keep up the good work.
I have to disagree with some parts of Kyle Wagner's review of Taj Mahal ("Stuff and Naan Sense," April 3)--but not totally!
It's very true about Goofy. I don't know if we've been served by him on our visits to the Taj, but definitely by his brother! However, in my opinion, his kin also work at Gandhi and India's. Taj Mahal's food is expensive, and the portions are not large--but again, India's and Gandhi are about the same. And the room is indeed weird.
I've never been for lunch, but the dinners my companion and I have had have been quite good. I recently lived in England for four years and ate lots of meals at the Indian restaurants that country offers, so I have some experience with the food. (Indian and Chinese are about the only good food experiences in that land.)
Okay--I'm rambling here. What I'm trying to say is that the Taj compares favorably to the other Indian restaurants in town. They all seem to be pricey and have small portions and "interesting" waitstaff.
I read Kyle's page each week. As a Denver resident, I find her comments and suggestions invaluable!
Love Kyle Wagner's work and believe everything she said about Yia Yia's ("I'm OK, Euro OK," April 17). I have eaten at their Overland Park and Wichita outlets and have had excellent meals and service. However, just last weekend my family went there to celebrate my wife's birthday. I must be honest: I was extremely disappointed with the meal. I know this place can do better. I suspect that the quality-control team was sleeping in and that the second string was on duty. I thought you might be interested in my experiences.
via the Internet
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