Stress for success: Peace out, Westword! First you have that wild cover on Let Out, then you get all blissed out with Laura Bond's positive story on Buddhism, "Across the Buddhaverse," in the July 29 issue.
Although I liked Laura's article, Westword is better when you're bad than when you're good, if you know what I mean.
via the Internet
What a way to go: My ex-girlfriend, Wendy Woo, had her mother cremated at Shambhala Mountain Center a few years ago. By cremated, I mean she was placed on a large, hibachi-type thing engorged with firewood and sent to her glory, with a funeral party of 200 in attendance. It was the most amazing funeral you can imagine, almost anti-sad. It fucked me up for a while, but in a positively good way.
I'm so happy that Laura Bond is getting a positive feedback to herself from that place. It does that to everyone who goes there. Usually, it's not until after you leave that you see real results. Meditation, I feel, has made me a better musician (I'm in Opie Gone Bad). Could you imagine if all of our kids were taught meditation as a rule -- similar to teaching please and thank you? Children are amazingly receptive individuals. They would get it.
Loving Laura's writing more and more.
Attention, K-Mart shoppers: In your July 29 issue, the Off Limits item on Jeffco public schools' financial problems made me pause about halfway through "Solid Gold," Bill Gallo's column on "a 26-year-old man wearing a beautifully cut pale-gold suit." The piece on Kenyon Martin, the Nuggets' new "golden boy" whose $92.5 million over seven years blends nicely with Mrs. Martin's enthusiasm over Denver having "a Neiman Marcus," stands in frustrating contrast to the story of Jeffco students who "begged through the evening rush hour" for donations to help defray Jeffco's budget shortfall.
Again we see an example of our citizens' values. The Nuggets are able to pay K-Mart this much because fans continue to fork over their hard-earned dollars. Our society has an inexhaustible willingness to pay athletes and other entertainers far more than they would ever consider paying for other commodities. (I was inclined to say "more important" commodities, but that would have been presumptuous; perhaps I am actually of the minority opinion here, and my chagrin over what seems to be profoundly misplaced values and affections is irrelevant.) Kenyon Martin is a fine person and an extraordinary athlete. Most entertainers are of the elite in talent, and often character as well. I certainly agree that they are special and deserve to be rewarded.
The teacher who touches a kid and gets that kid reading, wondering about things and turning off the TV is also special. The teacher who inspires a kid to push toward accomplishment and to recognize just what "accomplishment" means is also special. The teacher who is emulated by students because that teacher has put in countless hours to get those students to realize, sometimes for the first time, that someone actually thinks they're wonderful, unique and so very worthwhile is also special. These teachers and educators and all the folks comprising our school systems are special. They, too, deserve to be rewarded. In my estimation, it would be a fine day when fans, upon picking up their pens to ink the check for season tickets, remember the labors of all those educators who willingly took less in salary in order to contribute to society. Finally, might we properly reward them? Might that check be best spent elsewhere?
Left field: Liberals seem to have an almost pedophiliac urge to use kids. Seems like every time I open Westword, there's another story about some Aqualung lefty enticing kids into the dank alleyway of their dogma. In the July 29 Off Limits, it's the Beggin' for Cindy event organized by Y-Vote, which sent fifty Jeffco public school students out to elbow legitimate panhandlers off street corners and beg for money to "help" with the district's budget shortfall.
I don't suppose it occurred to Nathan Havey of Y-Vote to tell the kids the truth about why Jeffco is broke. Did any of these kids -- or their proud parents -- know that the red ink flooding Jeffco schools comes not from evil conservatives bent on depriving innocent kids of arts classes, but because teachers recently muscled the district into granting them hefty pay increases despite the district's contracting tax base and a drastically shrinking student population?
We just saw four days of Democratic mutual masturbation in Boston, so we know that to liberals, distortion, hypocrisy and lying are like a fresh tube of KY at an S&M convention. Still, is it too much to expect that liberals occasionally tell the truth...for the children?
Rag, rag, rag: Please do me a favor. Actually, do the country a favor. Please explain the motivation behind your news reporting. What is your mission statement? What are you trying to accomplish? In a matter of three short years, you have turned a reputable newspaper into an opinionated rag driven by extreme liberal biases. When it comes to the "news" portion of your newspaper, you have a responsibility to present the news, both good and bad.
I'm not talking about the sports page and some reporter motivated by some hidden agenda against a coach or a player. What appalls me is your constant display of liberal bias and the total disregard for the consequences of your actions when it pertains to life and death and real-world issues. Do your job and just report the news. Let the reader decide.
One size fits all: Alan Prendergast's "The Doctor Is Out," in the July 22 issue, was very interesting. I'd always heard that Trinidad had a reputation as the "Sex Change Capital of the World," and the title really applies now! Just having that city in the same state where she lives must give Marilyn Musgrave fits!
Prints charming: I know about the good doctor, and it is nice to see in print what a lot of transsexuals are ostracized for. Maybe some of the religious morons will read the story and comprehend -- although that's doubtful.
Gender bender: Thank you for doing a story on Dr. Marci Bowers. I had my gender changed with her, and I also run a group on the Internet for her many patients. As a journalist myself, I found your story very good.
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I must hand it to Wyatt Jenkins. Of all the letters you published last week regarding David Holthouse's "Where the Wilding Things Are," from the July 22 issue, his was far and away the most intelligent and measured. C'mon, Erik Wiesner, do you really believe, as you stated, that the bloody dude pictured on that issue's cover "is from a rich high school and college Daddy paid for" and "works a white-collar sissy job"? How do you know? Is he a personal friend? Did you take a census last Saturday night? Ask all the drunkards about their education, where they went to high school, which Ivy League university they attended and how much money Daddy has?
And John Cassella's letter was simply inane. A "right-wing/fascist dictatorship that has seized control of our nation"? Are you kidding?
No, Wyatt hit the nail on the head. The bottleneck is the time frame. People, regardless of their race, age, sex, financial means or type of music they listen to, will always get drunk. Sadly, many of them will do stupid things when they're drunk, including fight, drive and puke all over themselves. Denver certainly isn't unique in this situation -- as residents of Vail, which has experienced similar mayhem on the 4th of July and New Year's Eve holidays, can attest. And, as Jenkins correctly points out, the solution isn't rocket science.
Uptown girl: I read with great interest and mild amusement David Holthouse's "Where the Wilding Things Are." First of all, I applaud the efforts of the Denver Police Department for trying to control the alcohol (and who-knows-what-else) demons that ooze onto the LoDo streets in the wee hours. And it's great that they are collaborating with the club/bar merchants to see what works best, even if it changes often.
I remember a few years ago when suburban kiddies were afraid to come downtown for dining and dancing, thinking it was "dangerous" somehow. Those of us who knew better really had a good time before LoDo got hip. Now it appears the tables are turned: Those of us who know better party somewhere else, anywhere else, besides this area.
I hope to come back to a safer, saner downtown.
That's a rap: I want to respond to Kostas Kouremenos's comment in "Where the Wilding Things Are" that "I don't want to be racist about it, but 95 percent of the trouble I see is because of the hip-hop issue." Um, excuse me, but, hello, you just made a racist comment!
I'm confused. Does he think that by putting a qualifying statement in front of the racist remark, it would not be racist? I am so tired of people blaming hip-hop/rap for all the ills of the world. Come on, people, be a little more original and put the blame where it should be, not on a type of music that happens to have artists and fans who are people of color. And for the record, hip-hop is not music. It is a culture. Rap is the music.
Turn up the mike: Thank you for Adam Cayton-Holland's article on the open-mike scene in Denver ("Get Up, Stand Up," July 15). His perspective captured the best of both first and third person. His writing was perceptive and very funny. Westword has found a fresh and interesting new voice in Cayton-Holland, and I look forward to further efforts on his part. Keep up the great work!
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In the kitty: I enjoyed the July 8 Off Limits story about the dumpster cat that got to be a movie star! There used to be over 200 stray cats languishing under the boardwalk in Atlantic City, but four years ago, Alley Cat Allies (www.alleycat.org) set up a TNR program. Now there are only a hundred happy, healthy, high-roller cats living in front of billion-dollar casinos!
Tuckerton, New Jersey