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Letters to the Editor

Double Trouble

Beer today, gone tomorrow: Regarding Julie Dunn's "The Light Stuff," in the January 23 issue:

I just moved to Colorado and have always loved Coors Light. That's why it's so disappointing that I now have to boycott Coors's products (and so do several of my friends) because of their ridiculous advertising campaign. Why do we have to encourage young men to continue their fascination with twins? It's incredibly disgusting. It's great that Coors wanted to target that young age group, but could they use just a slight amount of intelligence or creativity? Not all of us in that age group are mentally challenged or attracted to incest.

Lauren Self
Denver

This Bud's for you: I can understand Coors taking a new approach and trying to appeal to the 21-27 age group when advertising their beer. However, can they try to appeal to their female audience just a teeny, tiny bit? I don't mind bikinis, and I'm not a femi-nazi in the slightest, but the first time I heard Coors's "Love Songs," my initial reaction was: "Did they just find a drunken freshman frat boy and hire him for their marketing department?"

My roommate and I drink beer at least three nights a week, and women make up more than 50 percent of TV's consumer audience, and we drink beer -- can you believe it? I'll have a Bud Light, please.

Katie Syverud
Denver

Native truths: As a Colorado native living abroad, I have imbibed many a case of Coors Light and defended the product to countless people (e.g., "It does not taste like piss but with less flavor"). This "and twins!" ad campaign, however, has completely turned me off. I hope Coors grabs a large chunk of the young male demographic, because they've definitely lost me for life.

Sadie M. Brillat
via the Internet

Two for the road: Regarding the Twins, "Here's to whacking off alone in your car and going home to drown your sorrows in beer." But they sure are hot!

Karey Riemersma
via the Internet

The unbearable lightness of being Coors: I was incredibly disappointed by Julie Dunn's "The Light Stuff." It was disheartening to see a female journalist ignore the issue of objectification to promote beer. Although this is nothing new, that doesn't mean it isn't as bothersome to women as when we first raised the issue many years ago. Had she interviewed more women, it is possible she would have had a balanced and more complete picture of how twenty-somethings really feel about those ads. What Coors fails to consider is that half of the audience they are targeting are women, and the women that I know not only hate those ads and flip them off when we drive by them on the highway, but have also decided never to drink Coors again.

Hopefully, both Julie and Coors will consider the "invisible" women in the future, because we have a lot to say, and we're not satisfied with being the ignored demographic.

Jessica Lipkind
Denver

Taste the rookies: I'll say what Julie Dunn didn't quite in "The Light Stuff." Cheers to the shameless bozos at Coors for devising and celebrating a pathetic marketing campaign redeemed only by the poetry it creates: tasteless morons lured by moronically tasteless ads to an utterly tasteless beer.

Kathleen Stolle
Denver


Fresh Thinking

Critical ass: The grand opening of the new Fresh Art gallery was a long-awaited event for Denver's art community, and it showed, with the 2,000-plus people who showed up to check out the space throughout the night. Crowds spilled into the street as people, packed like sardines, made their way through the crowds. I am glad Michael Paglia reviewed the show ("Moving On Up," January 23), but I could do without his bitchy-queen comments: "At this point, I dismissed once and for all the idea that the show is made up exclusively of newcomers." If it bothered him that not all artists were "truly newcomers" to the Denver scene, then he should write about the ones who are not and stop his whining.

His review of the opening of this new gallery is definitely worth noting, though, as he has a knack for reviewing the same galleries over and over (Rule, Andenken, Edge, Pirate), probably because they are the ones that kiss his ass the most. I am glad people are smart enough to take their critics with a grain of salt and go see for themselves the rich pool of artists in the community.

Botas Teran
Boulder


A Failure to Communicate

Making airwaves: Regarding Michael Roberts's "Green-Light Specials," in the January 23 issue:

 

The Federal Communications Commission (originally the Federal Radio Commission) was created by an act of Congress officially known as the Communications Act of 1934. The act established the concept that the airwaves belong to the public, not the broadcasters. Rules and regulations under which stations were licensed and operated were issued and updated by the FCC. On-air transmitter operators were required to actually know something about the equipment they were operating and had to pass tests to obtain the operator licenses that legally allowed them to do so. Radio-station frequency allocations as well as the enforcement of technical standards were controlled by the FCC. Radio-station licenses were issued with strict requirements that a station operate in the public interest as a trustee of those public airwaves. And, most important, business entities were prevented from owning all of the media outlets in a given city or region, in the interests of free speech and diversity of ideas.

Unfortunately, virtually everything in the previous paragraph no longer exists. Big radio apparently bought off the regulators, who then seemed delighted to sell the public airwaves (and the public) down the river with the Telecommunications Act of 1996. Big radio doesn't give a damn about the communities their stations serve. They only care about the bottom line.

This was evidenced during the recent disaster in Minot, North Dakota, in which an train derailment caused the formation of a toxic cloud on the outskirts of the city. The one minimum-wage operator on duty at the six Clear Channel-owned radio stations in Minot didn't bother to answer the phone when the emergency call came in. As a result, these six local stations, all programmed from somewhere else, merrily continued to broadcast music and commercials as though nothing had happened. The public, which formerly owned the airwaves, had no idea they could be killed or seriously injured simply by breathing in the wrong part of town.

As a former broadcaster, I find this to be unconscionable. People rely on local radio for local news and emergency information. A giant corporation owning and programming local stations from a central source effectively prevented emergency information from reaching the public they are supposedly there to serve.

Ed Ryba
via the Internet

Dumb and dumber: I'm all for free-market competition, but it doesn't seem right to have the government regulatory personnel in big radio's pocket. There are those who believe the FCC should regulate nothing more than frequency assignment and interference avoidance. In principle, I agree; however, a quick and blatant lifting of rules will open the floodgates to a feeding frenzy of big-radio groups buying every broadcast property available and using them for their own personal and political agenda. It also opens the doors for reverse political influence and the government having free rein to more easily use broadcasting to control the masses. Anarchy will reign for at least a while.

My biggest concern is that the bottom line will affect the quality of broadcasting and programming, each outlet putting out what amounts to cookie-cutter, non-regional, non-local "do-it-the-cheapest-possible-way" shit. Ratings will reflect that the "public" (Nielsen families and PPM carriers) will watch the "best" of this shit (still shit mind you, but it's all that's available), and the resulting numbers will encourage more of the same shit. What do we have? Shit by any other name is still shit, my friend. It's yet another step to the dumbing down of Americans.

I mourn the loss of my friend, "broadcasting."

Dusty Baker
Bothell, Washington


Mistakes Were Made

No sympathy for the devil: I recently received Westword. Thank you for retaining the high quality and standards I grew to love while growing up in Lakewood.

Although I was unable to read Alan Prendergast's December 19 "Death on the Installment Plan," I was intrigued by the January 2 response of JM Schell. I agree that, for the most part, inmates are treated better than some members of the general public. Additionally, I side with Schell when he speaks of ways to "predict failing health" -- especially, "stay out of prison." While I'm not familiar with Colorado's correctional system, even in our "Hotel Draper" in the Utah Department of Corrections, we experience the stabbings, lockdowns, etc., like our bigger, meaner "brother" institutions. It really is a stressful lifestyle, but life is about choices.

I don't subscribe to the notion that "life" is to blame for the faults of individuals and thereby places them in their current position within society. Specifically, this applies to the inmates ignorant of the fact that they are solely to blame for their incarceration. Consequently, I made the choice to come to prison when I took the life of another human in 1991. I deserve no sympathy for my inability to follow the law. Stupid people make stupid choices.

 

However, since that time, I have made the intelligent choice to change my life for the better. It is ultimately up to every individual to grasp the change in their lives. For those who feel inmates should be locked up and the key thrown away, take the words of Dostoyevsky: "The degree of civilization in a society can be judged by entering its prisons." We've made mistakes, but we shouldn't be shunned by the society that created the "correctional" system. Should we?

Douglas Luna
Draper, Utah


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