Insensitivity Training

Letters to the Editor

A matter of principal: I've been reading Westword for years, and I believe it's a wonderfully informative paper. As I was looking through the pages of the December 7 issue, however, I came across a comic -- Kenny's Be's "Holiday Cards From Local Celebrities" -- that wasn't very comical. It was in very bad taste to use Frank DeAngelis as the brunt of a joke. He has beean a pillar of strength and courage for thousands, and here you have him cowering in a gift box as if in fear. There is no joke here, or do you think what happened at Columbine was funny? I don't know anybody who thinks it's funny. To be honest, I was appalled and disgusted by what I saw. I couldn't believe my eyes. How could you possibly have the gall to print such an atrocity? The Columbine massacre has had an unexplainable effect on our community, as well as the nation and the world. This being the holiday season and a time to come together with our loved ones, the cartoon is not a very respectful way to remember the ones we have lost. Do you think it was appropriate to make fun of a man who is looked up to by many as the role model of perseverence? The appropriate thing to do is to print an apology to Frank DeAngelis and the Columbine community.

What? Westword emotionless. Who knew?

Bryant DeAngelis
via the Internet

Italian dressing-down: It has come to my attention only today because I was away in the civilized world that your October 5 issue contained a cartoon -- Kenny Be's "The Best Darn Discovery Dude Parade Ever" -- insulting my country with racist and typically ignorant innuendos. I do not believe the creator of that cartoon is able to read this letter, because he must be a graduate of one of the higher-learning institutions of this country.

First of all, there are not enough floats in the Rose Bowl parade to show a minority of Italian accomplishments in the world culture. Did that moron ever hear of names such as Michelangelo, Dane, Leonardo da Vinci, Galileo, Verdi, Fermi, Marconi, Vespucci, Marco Polo, Vivaldi, Puccini, Meucci, Pacinotti, Volta and a few thousand more?

What is your contribution to the world culture? Coca-Cola, chewing gum and Bill Clinton? Without Columbus's courage and vision, Russell Means and his tribes would still be hunting buffaloes and living in teepees. Did anyone ever hear of Italian embassies being blown up or Italian flags being burned?

A copy of this letter is being forwarded to the Italian Embassy in Washington, D.C., for appropriate action with your State Department and against the local "Honorary" Consul, whose duties include the protection of Italian interests in this area. I ask you to publish this letter and issue a letter of apology to the Italian community.

Carlo B. Amato

Boiling Mad

Lobster trap: Well, I'm sure the live lobsters Whole Foods sells were obtained humanely. What a stupid thing to say.

This pretty much says it all about Kyle Wagner's December 7 review of Whole Foods, doesn't it? Are all (even the big corporations') media people really, really stupid? Or is that answer obvious? Where do you find these brainstems who write for your paper? Are they fresh-out-of-college, wet-behind-the-ears, pimply-faced people who have no clue as to what really goes on in the world, and you provide their training ground for life as well as work experience so they can move on to supposedly bigger and better things after they've gotten a clue? Or are they destined to be clueless all their lives, simply because they are stupid? Wait, don't answer that. I already know the answer. It is obvious.

C.J. Bishop

Sowing Wild Oats: Having been disappointed with Wild Oats for various reasons, we thought we'd try out Whole Foods. We filled up a grocery cart before noticing that they sell live lobsters. According to Kyle Wagner's "The Whole Truth," they were "humanely obtained" -- so that some lowlife could take them home and boil 'em alive.

We couldn't believe it. We left the cart where it was and left the store. Corporate greed has no boundaries. We'll never shop there again. Wild Oats looks pretty good right now!

Bill Stevens

Heavy petting: Your article glorifying Whole Foods as a caring place just reinforces my belief that your publication is the most animal-unfriendly one in the Denver area. No matter who says it, the facts are plain and simple: Lobster is not a humane product. They are boiled alive! Simple. Logical.

Justin Sivey
via the Internet

The Name Is Bond. Laura Bond

Bond girls: The problem with the last Wasteword music editor is that he championed the less-than-mediocre scenesters in this town, like Boss 302 and the Hectics. Have you ever read their CD reviews in national rock magazines? They're not very pretty. Anyone with any sense of rock and roll would not cover Hemi Cuda (Backwash, December 7) unless they rubbed elbows with them, much like the last editor did with the previously mentioned bad bands. Hemi Cuda is the most bland, boring stuff I've heard in this town since Boss 302, not to mention its sophomoric musicianship to go with the moronic lyrics. It seems lazy of Laura Bond not to find other bands in this town that warrant acclaim and can hold their own nationally, and instead write about another crappy Denver girl band whose members have to dress like hookers to detract from their mediocrity. Call it what it is: not very good.

Alan David Weiss
via the Internet

To tell the truth: Over the past couple of years I have not endeared myself to Westword writers; as I have previously stated, I seek the truth at all costs.

Again, I will bring up the blunders Ms. Laura Bond so casually brings to your paper. Earlier this year she reviewed the Gil Scott-Heron show at the Lion's Lair. She remarked that he played an organ. I called and informed her that he has never played an organ; it was a Fender Rhodes electric piano.

The December 7 issue takes the cake. She writes in great detail of a lawsuit where Johnnie Johnson is suing Chuck Berry for copyright theft. Then Ms. Bond goes on to say that Johnnie Johnson played guitar and he is the inspiration behind "Johnnie B. Goode." That, I will say, I am not sure about -- but what I am certain of is that Johnnie Johnson plays piano. He never has played guitar! I know because I have performed with him in the past, both here and in New York.

Come on, can't we please have someone who at least would pick up a book and research the topic about which they write and not show total arrogance because they write for Westword?

Mark Bell

Laura Bond responds: Even though I've never had the pleasure of seeing Mark Bell perform with Johnnie Johnson, I should have known better. My apologies.

The Rhyme of Their Lives

When verse comes to worse: The next time Steve Jackson feels the need to write about Allen Ginsberg and his junior butt-pals, et al. ("The Beats Go On," November 30), I would suggest you gather around Kenny Be's latest amateur porno illustrations in the back room at Westword and whack off instead. Poetry is a valiant effort that needs to be taken seriously in this country, not debased by losers and fools such as the many fuckoffs who attend the Boulder poetry pretend college.

D. Townsell
via the Internet

Changing Corso: I enjoyed reading the article about Allen Ginsberg and the poetry posse. Steve Jackson did a great job of organizing and contextualizing Peter Hale's extensive reminiscences of Ginsberg. Allen would have appreciated the level of detail. For the record, I'd offer a couple of comments and corrections.

First, there's a lot more to Gregory Corso than craving dope, heckling poets and leering at women. This kind of journalistic reduction overlooks his considerable charm, not to mention his genius. Maybe the article will inspire some new readership for the writer Ginsberg considered to be the best of the Beats. Then there's the anecdote about Gregory's arrival in Amsterdam. Corso was not deported. He was admitted to Holland with an apology from the offended and offending cop, after we posted sufficient cash to guarantee that he could purchase a ticket back to San Francisco. Finally, there's the medicine cabinet. I worked closely with Allen for more than twenty years; contrary to Jackson's assertion, he was no hypochondriac. He did have diabetes, a heart condition, high blood pressure and kidney stones.

Otherwise, thanks again to Steve Jackson, Peter Hale and Westword.

Steven Taylor
via the Internet

A classic: Thank you to Steve Jackson for continuing to put forth exceptional work. To this day I often contemplate the haunting series he did on Brandy DuVall in early 1999. I will carry the DuVall story with me the rest of my days, as others may hold close a classic novel through their lifetime.

Tom Wolf
via the Internet


Although Tommy Tsunami's Pacific Diner, at 1432 Market Street, will be open on New Year's Eve, the special listed in our New Year's Eve guide last week was incorrect. The restaurant will be serving its standard menu, as well as champagne. For more information, call 303-534-5050.

Meanwhile, the complete -- and now completely accurate -- guide, featuring hundreds of entertainment opportunities at local clubs, hotels and restaurants -- is available on the Web at


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