Mayhem madness: Laura Bond's atypical rave article, "Home of the Rave" in the February 22 issue, was something I would like to thank you for. She provided an overview of the situation without resorting to phrases such as "drug-fueled mayhem" and the like. If only more papers could take such an intelligent, well-researched view as you did, then perhaps there wouldn't be so many problems.
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The agony and the Ecstasy: Whatever happened to smoking a joint and drinking a cold beer? As far as I know, that never put anyone in a coma. And what's with the pacifiers and doctors' masks? Sorry, I just don't get it...
Girl, interrupted: Here's my perspective of the Boulder-Denver rave scene in the mid- to late '90s.
I enter my teenage daughter's bedroom. Clothes that stink of cigarettes, pot, alcohol, sweat and Calvin Klein are piled in every corner. Big baggy jeans with ragged cuffs, oversized T-shirts, chains, visors and layers of vests have become my daughter's uniform. Junk-food wrappers, Coke cans, unidentifiable pills, counterculture literature, pacifiers, condoms and rave leaflets litter her floor, along with quizzes and assignments marked with "F." On nearby shelves sits evidence of her childhood: a baseball mitt, Barbies staring blankly, tiny Beatrix Potter books and a copy of Alicia en el País de las Maravillas. I find letters from her high school warning that she has too many absences and risks failing. It's too late. She's dropped out. She needs to sleep all day to recover from the raves she attends all night. She comes home so wired she listens to throbbing house music until she fades into sleep. She defies me. I can't control her. Her friends pick her up. One boy with blond, spiky hair has piercings that cover nearly every inch of his face. My girl walks around with a haggard face and has no energy or ambition to do anything else in her life. She tells me to "fuck off" when I yell at her to take control of her life. I kick her out. She lives with friends who support her rave lifestyle. "It's not a temporary youth trend, Mom. It's a lifestyle. It's a whole world you'll never understand. You'll never understand the love I feel when I'm on the dance floor, surrounded by my friends. Dancing, spinning, sucking, drinking water, inhaling the night away. Dancing my life away. Away from you."
Name withheld on request
Survivor: I took drugs at raves in Denver, and I survived, despite overcrowded venues, overpriced water, a total lack of ventilation and any number of other health risks. Don't kid yourself about these "legit" venues: The Aztlan is a great place to go dance -- especially when you have older men at the bar partying with fifteen-year-old ravers on vet tranquilizers. I also like the slanted floor, and the chairs, and the always-overfilled capacity that gives people so much room to dance -- watch out, don't trip on that rebar in the dark! Oh, wait, I think I almost got shot there once, too.
Raves are big business now, I guess, but there is no new talent being brought to Denver, no innovative art at the shows, no good sound systems, and for $35 at the door, can I at least get a glass of water for less than three bucks?
As a truly jaded (dare I say it) old-skool raver, let me tell you, kiddies: Commercial trance music sucks, the Aztlan sucks, you're getting ripped off every time by shameless promoters, and you all look the same! Get some flavah! The only other thing I can say is that the rave scene started with people like you and me, and we have to make The Sound ourselves. Otherwise, you're just getting taken for all you're worth by a bunch of old guys with big fliers and greedy little hearts. Rave is Dead! Long live the Rave!
Party hearty: I have been raving for a little while, but my group of rave buddies has been raving anywhere from two months to six years. The party scene means a lot to me, as it gives me a place to go crazy. This bad publicity regarding parties and the drug scene at the parties has really frustrated me. (And I would like to see parties go until 6 a.m. without having to drive to the Root and pay an extra $5 on top of the $20-to-$30 pre-sale tickets.)
Laura Bond's well-written and well-researched article did so much more then a letter to an editor ever could. Thank you so much: That article will help many rave-haters accept and possibly tolerate parties.
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The mother of all ironies: Forget "I am my kid's mom" -- I am Kenny Be's biggest fan! And you can tell that to Dr. Laura. I laughed so hard I almost cried when I saw Kenny Be's March 1 Worst-Case Scenario.
Bad enough that we hear Dr. Laura when we turn on the radio or when we turn on TV (although who's watching Channel 9 at 3 a.m.?). But to let her boss around the legislature regarding pre-divorce counseling? There ought to be a law. Oh, I forgot: That's what she wants to talk to us about.
Special delivery: I read Michael Roberts's comments in the March 1 Message about various issues with the JOA. I, too, have one of those Rocky subscriptions where I get the newspaper six days a week. I'm low-income, so I gladly renewed last August for a ridiculously low one-year fee. But I assume somewhere in their agreement with me are those ubiquitous words "price and conditions of service are subject to change without notice." Even if they honor their agreement, I shudder to think what next August's renewal fee will be.
I'm puzzled, however, by Roberts's concluding commentary. Okay, so they shifted him to a Tuesday-Sunday schedule. I'm already on that schedule. I will still get six newspapers a week, just like I was before. Granted, I probably won't get the Sunday Rocky columnists like Bill Johnson, Gene Amole, etc., and not as much commentary, although I hope they find room for Vincent Carroll or Linda Seebach. (I wouldn't mind if the Denver Post retired Al "The homos are coming, the homos are coming!" Knight, but that's another issue for another day.) It's still six newspapers a week. That's what they promised, that's what we'll get.
via the Internet
Hey, big spender: I don't feel terribly sorry for Jake Jabs and the amount he spends on advertising. How about how much we spend on the subscription? Granted, the $3.13 for two years was a great deal. Now it has to be renewed at $66 for only one year. (Three years ago, it was $20.80 for one year.) That's a price increase that Pat "I can do anything as long as I give the mayor free tickets" Bowlen can only aspire to.
Name withheld on request
Joker's wild: Les Shapiro, as quoted in Michael Roberts's February 15 Message, is undoubtedly right. I have not seen Denver TV news since a 1993 visit, but if it is anything like the news I see now...
Lack of quality in broadcasting and telecasting is not just an arena for sports. It seems to be the thing these days to do every news story live, even if it means a rookie reporter is standing in front of an empty, dark building at 10:15 p.m., eight hours after something happened there, stumbling through his report. In Albuquerque and El Paso, TV reporters seem to have a fixation with the word "now," using it endlessly to start sentences, instead of as an indication that something has changed from a previous report. And every report seems to begin with "Well," and the name of the anchor who introduced the reporter.
Television news is a joke. In my 38-year journalism career, I've refused to even consider TV, as I don't want to be associated with the talking heads who make fools of themselves daily and nightly. And not only are they unprofessional, but they butcher the language. How many times have you heard a reporter refer to a person as "that" instead of "who," as in "the policeman that accompanied the prisoner..."? The quality of reporters who are on TV today is so poor, one wonders how many actually studied English. Radio and newspapers, sadly, are not far behind.
Bird-brained: In the February 15 "Hide the Light," Julie Jargon reports that some Curtis Park denizens are being zonked by a "creepy blue glow" from the nightlight Qwest sign ("I felt like we were being invaded by aliens") and that birdies may die from flying into it. Mr. Marsters does not represent all Curtis Park residents in demanding that Qwest take down the sign or tone it down in intensity. Gimme a break! Curtis Park Neighbors Inc. needs to come back to planet Earth and deal with sign troubles at eye level. And how about dealing with crime, drugs, boarded-up buildings, uncivilized behavior (drunk, roaming garbage-eaters), a plethora of missions and flophouses, and on and on?
Are these folks in touch with reality?
In this neighborhood, Qwest provides some comfort with its blue glow to fend off the darkness and the lurking danger of the 'hood. Curtis Park Neighbors needs to apply its time and energies on down-to-earth reality -- not errant birdies flying into skyscraper signs or an invasion of the body snatchers. How about taking on the do-gooders who don't see the gross infestation of pigeons as a health hazard in the area?
Name withheld on request
The blight stuff: We, too, regurgitate at the sight of the Qwest sign. Not only does it make us sick, but it depresses us because such a display is bush-league and embarrassing.
via the Internet
Colorful Colorado: Like it or not, Qwest is now a part of the Denver skyline that some Curtis Park residents say they want back. Although my house is a bit farther away, in the north City Park area, the night view of downtown is enhanced by Qwest's blue lights. Whether it's art (like the green neon accents that tower over Holy Ghost Church) or blatant self-promotion like Qwest's, what's wrong with a little color in the night skyline?
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Blinded by $cience: Juliet Wittman's "Swiss Miss," in the February 15 issue, reminds me why many people are starting to refer to our health-care system as "$cientific Medicine."