The Morality of the Story

Letters to the Editor

Past imperfect: I picked up the September 13 Westword to get some relief from the awful news on television and found myself engrossed by Jonathan Shikes's "Forward Into the Past." What an important moral that story on Camp Amache holds for all of us! It turns out that Colorado is not so removed from world events after all; one of the ten internment camps was located right here.

As we begin to hunt down those responsible for the bombings, we cannot let ourselves get swept away in the sort of patriotic fervor that also sweeps up innocent citizens. We should remember what happened to the Japanese-Americans at Camp Amache and the other camps before we take action against American citizens who happen to be of another color.

Suzanne Hampshire
via the Internet

Rush to judgment: Your article on Camp Amache appeared just after the horrific events of September 11. Our despicable treatment of those of Japanese descent in World War II is, properly, being more openly discussed. "Forward Into the Past" is one example; Snow Falling on Cedars is another.

For me, among the most tragic events following the stories from New York and Washington, D.C., was the trailer on TV announcing the temporary closure of the Colorado Islamic Center and news reports of harassment and attacks on Muslims and those of Middle Eastern origin in this country. This is a time to learn from our history and not to condemn people simply because of religious faith or ethnic origin. Fanatics come from all backgrounds, as Tim McVeigh proved. I am deeply saddened that members of Denver's Muslim community took the steps they did, but I cannot blame them for doing so. I had hoped that Mayor Webb and Governor Owens would take the time Tuesday to go on camera at the Colorado Islamic Center to make the point that Colorado's Muslim community is no more responsible for that day's despicable events and is as patriotic as any other group in our community.

Governor Big Ed Johnson stood up for the Japanese in 1942. We all should stand up for our Muslim community in 2001.

David M. Abbott Jr.

Taking Out the Trash

Vocabulary lesson: Even if some of Bill Gallo's facts were accurate in his September 6 "Tour de Lance," the man shows several nasty sides of his nature: arrogance, vindictiveness and hatred with a capital H, all the traits that Gallo freely and falsely attributes to the French...and then some! His diatribe is enough to make you gag. He manages to lower himself to become despicable and pathetic.

Shame on Westword for printing this repugnant piece of trash. This is not the time to add new conflicts to the world's ills.

Evidently the word "magnanimous" is not in Bill Gallo's vocabulary.

S. Mittenaere

And So It Grows

The lone ranger: I just finished reading Stuart Steers's "Branching Out" in the September 6 issue and found myself very excited about the article. This "experimental" plan is a fresh, and long overdue, approach to the way developers use our land, and in my opinion it will be well received once completed, whenever that is. We both know that people are growing extremely frustrated with the traffic that we are forced to sit through every day. It creates delays, builds anger in otherwise gentle people, and fills our beautiful Colorado air with an ugly brown color nobody enjoys looking through or breathing.

I grew up in Sacramento, California, then headed east for college at the University of Colorado at Boulder and fell in love with Colorado. After graduation, I moved to San Francisco to work, but found myself stuck in traffic all the time. The problem with that city is that there are essentially only three ways to enter/exit: The Golden Gate Bridge, 101/280 (or, the worst highway in the world), the Bay Bridge and 101 South. Hopefully, Denver will be able to avoid the problems SF is faced with through its expansion -- although I see the same thing happening to I-70. It's not that easy to pave a new highway through the Rocky Mountains. We don't want Denver to become another Los Angeles, either. My advice: Look at what California has done, and do the opposite.

I moved back to Colorado last week. This Lone Tree development could be the answer we are all looking for! Thank you for writing this article, as it will help expose others to alternative-growth solutions.

Todd Snyder
via the Internet

Fixing for a Jones: Just wanted to drop a quick note and let Michael S. Jones know how much many of us appreciate his recent growth letters published in the August 16 and August 30 issues. Any chance you can offer this guy a regular column? While you're at it, see what you can do about getting it syndicated nationally. Thanks!

Michael Lysek II
Portland, Maine

A Tangled Web

To serve and protect: Steve Jackson's story on Mike and Cassandra Harris, "Caught in the Net," in the August 30 issue, read like a movie -- but this is real life. And the dangers they are fighting are real.

I want to thank them, and the rest of the Jefferson County team, for what they are doing to save our children. Since it seems that parents cannot protect their children from the dangers of the Internet (or are unwilling to make the effort to do so), we are fortunate that law-enforcement agencies are up to the task.

Joy Fitzgerald
via the Internet

Strike while the irony's hot: Bravo on Steve Jackson's searing piece of social commentary, "Caught in the Net," in the August 30 issue. The sexy and threatening teensploitation cover art, the graphic descriptions of chatroom seduction, the disturbing and hot e-sex "dialogue" between "predators" and "minors": It all adds up to pitch-perfect satire. You nail American society for what it is: one titillation after another, each cloaked in its own righteous motives. Hats off to Steve Jackson for a creative cherry on top that not even Nabokov would have conjured -- the macho cop and his childlike sidekick who replicate the crime so often they are doomed to fall in love. Oh, the ironies of sexuality and justice! Jackson may have gone a bit overboard in having us believe his puritan cop is hanging photographs of his wife-as-jailbait on the office wall; perhaps the author was trying to aid the reader across America's grayest line, between brutal realism and brilliant satire.

But thanks to his publishers at Westword, anyone who missed Jackson's nod was surely delivered to the punchline by the witty, self-referential inclusion of ten straight pages of sex ads at the back of the paper. I'm sure readers laughed most heartily at the sardonic metafictional device on page 126: "Catholic School Girls Gone Bad!! Visa/MC. In/Out. 24/7."

Robert Strong

Net gains: "Caught in the Net" was really moving. If the dailies ran stories like this (word for word), people might want to read them.

Amy Alkon
via the Internet

Station Break

Steer clear: It may be a little late to be writing in on this subject, but I'm so thrilled that someone else is finally speaking out against Clear Channel. I've been complaining about them (and Jacor) for years, and everyone treats me like I'm crazy. I'm going to have Michael Roberts's "Taking on the Empire," from the August 23 issue, laminated so that I can pass it around to all my friends.

It's bad enough they came in and literally ruined all of our good stations; thank you so much for validating all my other theories. Now I can prove it to my friends (let's just hope some of them have the integrity to join me in my boycott of Clear Channel). I'll now not only be wearing my famous "Get Clear Channel out of Colorado" pin, but one that expresses my support for Nobody in Particular Presents as well.

Good luck to them, and thank you.

Jessika E. Stone

The '90s and beyond: I stopped listening to KTCL about five years ago due to its repetitive running of Pearl Jam and Green Day tunes. I've recently been trying to give KTCL another chance, but every time I switch it over, I get the overplayed songs of 1995 (including Nirvana, Pearl Jam and Green Day).

I'm interested in getting a playlist from KTCL; I'm guessing that these three artists take up over 20 percent of the airtime (not including commercials and the station tooting its own horn). Stats on KTCL's playlist would go nicely with your recent articles praising NIPP vs. Clear Channel.

Dan Klint
via the Internet

Clear the airwaves: If I were the owner of a public-oriented journal like Westword, I would list all of the venues under the control of Clear Channel Communications, so an informed public can make clearer venue choices.

Furthermore, it is time for stations like AM 1190 KVCU (best station on the planet) and FM 88.5 KUNC to be heard and promoted throughout the Front Range more vigorously. NIPP needs all the help it can muster, and we, as an informed public, can do our parts by boycotting Clear Channel venues, promotions and stations. We can hit them below the money belt.

Along with refraining from listening to any Front Range radio stations except those listed above, I will now never see a show at the Fillmore (especially since they have removed Maker's Mark from their liquor shelf), the proposed City Lights will never see my presence and neither will Red Rocks if the Clear Channel deal goes through (a bummer, for sure, but I'm willing to fight the fight for what's right). There are plenty of other venues along the Front Range that offer much cheaper, more entertaining and more intimate music settings, anyway.

My actions as one person may not make a difference other than my own personal enjoyment of free artistic expression, but at least I'm helping a little. I'm also keeping my sanity by not listening to shlock-filled canned radio programs on a seemingly endless repeat-button program.

Name withheld on request


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