Musgrave reservations: Westword is a publication that I enjoy reading, and I will continue to do so. It functions much in the same way that Radio 1190 in Boulder does, providing a useful forum for viewpoints that otherwise would be ignored.
In a letter in the March 4 issue, Sonya Decman accuses Patrick Osborn of sexist abuses in his Drunk of the Week column. While she has a point, Osborn's opinions pale in comparison to the attack on Marilyn Musgrave in that same issue's Off Limits. To understand that this column was written by a female does nothing to lessen this incredibly sexist statement: "The only reasonable explanation for Marilyn Musgrave, our marriage-minded congresswoman, is that she needs to get laid." How interesting that a woman ceases to be extended protection against sexist attack when her politics no longer link up with the liberal cause du jour.
While Congresswoman Musgrave's cause is one that I personally do not champion, the argument at hand deals with the need to respect others and their choices. While I am a conservative person, I would like to think that I am respectful of others' beliefs, whether I view them as flawed or not. I cannot accept sexist personal assaults as an argument for greater understanding. To publicly air a viewpoint and to use public office to advance an agenda are privileges enjoyed by both conservative and liberal lawmakers, yet only the liberals seem to view each proposed law as license for public character assassination.
If your opinions differ from those of another, present your argument in a clear, concise and decent manner. Leave the name-calling to the juveniles.
The name of the game: Marilyn Musgrave, before I begin, I want to acknowledge the fact that you may not hear any of what it is that I have to say. I would feel like I was not doing my duty as a human being, however, if I opted not to write to you. I am deeply saddened by your attempt to create a state in which all people are not treated equally. I understand that your views concerning gay marriage are probably rooted in religion and, therefore, respect the fact that you may believe that God agrees with you and that you are in this position for that reason -- that God put you there to punish gay people. But I am wondering...well, I believe in God, too. And I thought that there was only One, and so I am confused, because my God loves me and supports me. So I was just curious: What is your God's last name? And did He have a son named Jesus?
It would be really weird and sort of frightening to learn that, after thirty years of calling on this fellow, I was, in fact, calling on the God that you have -- which, I guess, would answer the question of why I never won the lottery or why I got a speeding ticket that one time when I prayed for that cop to just give me a warning. At first, I was thinking that God just didn't want me to be wealthy, or that He wanted me to slow down, but this would explain everything. My prayers were probably intercepted by your God, and because I am gay, instead of helping me out, He laughed and laughed and thought to himself, "It's going to be a cold day in hell before I help this homo." So, anyway, I was just wondering if you could e-mail me His last name, so I can have a little peace of mind.
The last laugh: Besides Bill Maher, Dan Savage, Kenny Be and Patrick Osborn are the only ones who can make me howl with laughter. I look forward to the Drunk of the Week column every week. It lampoons everyone equally -- like the time Osborn poked fun at Colorado drivers. I read him all the time, so I know he is left of center politically, and I was astonished by Sonya Decman's March 4 letter spewing vitriol at Osborn's remarks about women and football. I'm a feminist, and I wasn't offended by the gentle satire in the stereotype of women lacking interest in football. Decman herself made an outrageous stereotype about men being incapable of multi-tasking. Why would anyone so uber-sensitive read Westword? The humor is, more often than not, raw, edgy and crude. Perhaps she reads it only for the articles? For the record, not all feminists are Church Ladies of the Left; Decman should evolve a sense of humor.
Drummed out of the club: Laura Bond's "Club Dread," in the February 26 issue, has to be the worst depiction I've ever read. It is obvious that you did not do your homework on Pierre's Supper Club. I've been to Pierre's several times over the last couple of years, and it has only improved. I can't believe you would publish something like this!
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Crime and punishment: In his February 26 "Naming Rights," Michael Roberts wrote an interesting piece about the vagaries involved in the media naming (or not naming) alleged sexual-assault victims in the CU scandal.
One minor point: Roberts states that Los Angeles shock jock Tom Leykis revealed the identity of the alleged victim in the Kobe Bryant case in a simple-minded campaign to blindly support Kobe. It's not that simple. I read an interview with Leykis in which he explained his reasoning: If sexual assault is a crime that should carry no stigma for the victim, then there should be nothing wrong with naming the alleged victim in any sexual-assault case. If we're really serious about ending the stigma attached to sexual-assault cases, then let's treat sexual assault cases just like other serious crimes. Meanwhile, withholding the victim's name actually prolongs the stigma, Leykis argues.
I think the notorious Leykis may have succeeded in making a valid point that goes beyond mere blind cheerleading for Kobe Bryant.
Passion pit: Regarding Robert Wilonsky's "Suffer Unto Mel," in the February 26 issue:
Yes, yes and yes! The Passion of the Christ was a grossly inaccurate, sadistically melodramatic, excruciatingly hyperbolic depiction of a day in the life of a historical (perhaps even holy) man. Playing god in director shoes, Mel Gibson has managed the impossible: He's mangled a story that survived (albeit barely intact) centuries of scrutinizing and "poetic license" by multitudes of maniacal devotees and people otherwise bent on making a buck off a man whose main objective was preaching equality and love of all peoples.
WWJD no longer, but WWMGD.
Rebecca D. Anthony
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Bastard child: Bravo to the author of the most intelligent review of Gibson's brainchild. Lucid, witty, levelheaded and, most important, devoid of heady religious polemic.
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Love your enemy: Wow! That was truly a heavy review on The Passion of the Christ. I just saw the movie, and I suppose I did fall into the group that was enlightened and maybe even enriched. I found it hard to watch, yet I could feel the compassion pouring off the screen through Jim Caviezel's performance. In the world that we are living in these days, I believe that it is okay to love your enemy no matter what they may do to you. I am not Jewish, nor did I once look at the cause of the movie to start a religious uprising, as so many of you critics like to cause.
Anyhow, I think all viewers should take it as it was intended and not read too much into it. Thank you, and keep up the great work.
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Small-town minded: Wow, I am blown away by Nathan Dinsdale's "Murder He Wrote," in the February 12 issue. He tore into Cube pretty good. My question for Mr. Dinsdale: Who the fuck asked you in the first place?Ice Cube has solidified himself as a cornerstone of the rap game for over a decade, and you dare to challenge him to check himself before he wrecks himself. Sir, you are blindly going down a road that you know nothing about.
You state that you were introduced to Cube in Boyz N the Hood. Wow, did you miss a whole lot. There is a natural progression in all walks of life, and if you jump to step three before completing steps one and two, you have missed most of the building blocks in understanding the subject. Cube started this gangsta shit, and this is the muthafuckin' thanks he gets: a person from Small Town U.S.A. telling him he sold out. You are right on a few points, though. You don't know Cube, and my guess is that you don't know anyone even remotely like him.
Cube has literally built an empire from the ground up. He has been a voice for many people like myself from the real 'hood -- not the 'hood that Wiggas call home in Highlands Ranch or Boulder -- people who have seen, heard and felt what he is talking about. And you dare say his words ring hollow. Just because you feel you are a part of this whole thing doesn't give you the right to slam someone for doing what it takes to get by. When does your debut album drop? Before you put the final touches on your new disc, you should call Cube out and see how you get twisted on wax. If you can do it, well, you are no longer a hater. Now you have street cred, and I applaud you. If not, who fucking asked you?
J Gordon Baker
Righteous brothers: As a first-skool hip-hopper and founder of the Miami Chapter of Afrika Bambaataa's Almighty Universal Zulu Nation for "Da Bottom," I must commend Brotha Nat for a righteous essay on the meltdown of Ice Cube. He is right on point with O'Shea's sellout. He could have easily substituted Cube for many of the "hard-skool" and Afrocentric-movement hip-hoppers of the late '80s and early '90s who have gone soft and entered the mainstream, in contrast to their posturing and image.
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SHOW ME HOW
Hip-hop was created as an alternative to the thug life and to spread positivity and knowledge not learned in the miseducational system of Amerikkka. Public Enemy, KRS-ONE and others led the way until NWA with Cube proved there was money in fakin' gangsterisms. The deaths of Tupac and the Notorious B.I.G. only added to the rapid elimination of positive hip-hop with the perpetuation of stereotypes.
After all, the major multi-national label owners would prefer keeping the upcoming generations at the bottom of the ladder rather than see them educated and vying for positions of power and influence.