Letters to the Editor
Send in the Clowns: Regarding Dave Herrera's "Love Gun," in the November 18 issue:
Thanks again! First Rogue and now Love.45. Does Herrera work for 93.3? These bands suck, and based on the fact that he must have shown some credentials to get his Westword job, Herrera knows they suck. There are some solid bands out there doing quality work to represent this city, and he picks our version of Candlebox for a feature. Hell, the Magic Cyclops is far more worthy of a feature than these clowns. What's next, a tour chronicle of the Insane Clown Posse?
Leave the jocking of bad Creed acts to the professionals at 93.3. Your paper has too much integrity for that. You're semi-independent; please start behaving like it.
P.S.: If either Rogue or Love.45 have ever been in Herrera's car CD player, he needs to leave the publication immediately.
Sour apes: While I am happy to see a few local boys garnering national renown, I was appalled at the audacity it must have taken to actually ask -- on the November 18 cover, no less -- if Love.45 would be the band to "break" Denver. As the premier publication of music news in Colorado, Westword should know better than that. Bands like Love .45 and the Fray (which was just signed to Epic) are good at what they do, but they definitely don't add anything new to the musical landscape; both bands are just re-hashing the unk/emo/hardcore sound that already infects popular music. All we can do is hope that a) they don't get lost in the multitude of uninspired music already taking up space on record-store shelves, or b) their contracts are such that they will have the freedom to branch out.
Unfortunately, that's asking for a lot from the corporate music industry. Getting signed to a major label may sound great to them now, but it may be the beginning of the end for both bands.
On top of that, I think a lot of people from Denver do not want our city to be known for bands like these. We have such a diverse blend of musical talent here, and it is really sad that the two bands that recently "made it" sound pretty much the same. I would rather that Denver be known for bands like Uphollow, DeVotchKa, the Very Hush Hush, Tin Tin and the Tarmints -- which all put on great shows and have a distinct (read: not derivative) sound -- than be known for bands that just ape what Viacom is already shoving down our throats.
Hands on the run: Regarding Amy Haimerl's "Cornering the Market," in the November 25 issue:
I think it's ever so important for Westword to toe the corporate line of the Downtown Denver Partnership by giving the impression that all the panhandlers you see begging for money are freeloaders and frauds. If we can convince enough people that they are getting ripped off instead of being charitable, that they are contributing to someone's disease instead of exercising compassion, then we can vacuum up all these untidy mendicants and export them to, well, somewhere else. A program or something. Who was that guy who said the poor shall always be among us? Somebody should investigate whether he was drunk or mentally ill or scamming. Ms. Haimerl?
She likes to watch: I was fascinated by all the letters about David Holthouse's November 11 "Bada Bing, Bada Boom!" that ran in the last issue of Westword. Those letters, and the follow-up story in the same issue, were almost enough to make me check out the discussion on the Other Board. Almost, but not quite.
I think I'd rather sit back and let Westword do the work. Thanks for showing me a part of Denver life I would never have thought existed. I really enjoyed David's story...and the responses!
via the Internet
Professional courtesy: As a man who lost his wife after twelve years of marriage, I would like to write in defense of the women who choose to work in this profession. I have found two women who I spend time with once every couple of months. We talk about our families, and I find them to be the most caring, educated, traveled and interesting people I have ever met. In many cases, they have other professional jobs. It is not a substitute for a caring wife, but it is far better than no relationship at all.
Master baiters: Is this Pittsburgh, or is this Denver?
In its November 16 edition, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette ran a story about the Boulder High/Bob Dylan "Masters of War" controversy. What has Westword done? In his November 25 Message, "Gunny for Governor?," Michael Roberts wrote a yuk-yuk glorified piece about "Gunny Bob" instead. Gunny Bob is one of the Clear Channel talk-show hosts who laid into the Boulder kids for daring to stand up and speak their minds right after the election. The conduct of KOA's Gunny Bob and Mike Rosen, as well as KHOW's Peter Boyles, could do nothing but fuel cynicism and contempt for the young among boomer listeners and could only reinforce the apathy among the up-and-coming generation -- at a time when a lot of us anticipated the largest youth-voter turnout in our history.
Actually, the attack on the "kids" was cloaked in an assault on a popular conservative-radio target: teachers, who supposedly instigated the Boulder High sleep-in and aided the group singing Dylan's "Masters of War" a couple of weeks ago at the school's talent show. Whether it was blasting a teacher who puts in longer hours than any talk-show host or grilling a sleep-deprived student who had been up all night at the sleep-in, the Clear Channel guys had a field day. Gunny Bob lambasted some of the protesters because they wore dreadlocks. Don't you know he just had to throw into his rant that such "kids" worship a dead Jamaican? Meanwhile, the musical side of Clear Channel continues to play songs from the politically neutered side of Bob Marley's legacy. "Them Belly Full, But We're Hungry," "Crazy Baldheads" and "Concrete Jungle" were not heard anywhere on Clear Channel's "very own" airwaves.
And now we have Gunny Bob testing the waters for governor, right in our very own weekly. Funny stuff, but who's laughing?
Up-to-the-minute reporting: I recently returned to Denver after ten years in Seattle. You might want to do a little more fact-checking in the future, and tell Michael Roberts that unlike in his "Gunny for Governor?" piece, Dave Ross was on KIRO radio from 9 a.m. to noon prior to his run for Congress. I checked KIRO's website, and that is still his schedule.
Oh, about his loss to Dave Reichert, of Green River fame: For a Democrat to pull 46 percent in the most Republican district in western Washington is a pretty good showing. Had Dave Ross run in any other district on the other side of the Cascade Mountains, he would be going to the other Washington now.
Diane de Vaux
Response team: The November 18 Message did a great job of showing once again the irresponsibility of the Colorado media. Stories like Michael Roberts's "About Face" are why Westword is the best. Did you happen to catch news4.com's "exclusive" video on the attack at the Aurora Mall on November 18? Not one word in that video was exclusive. Typical. I guess they all think facts and the truth are not that important.
Generation gap: As a gay Latino man fortunate enough not to be living with HIV/AIDS, but with a few friends living with it and an uncle who passed away from it in 1996, I would just like to say "thank you, thank you" to Laura Bond for "A Grim Prognosis," in the November 18 issue, and to Westword for putting it out there in a paper that draws in a younger generation. Awesome!
Community service: Thanks for doing an in-depth story on this devastating disease that is tearing through the Latino community. I am an avid reader of Westword, and I love to see articles about people from my community doing good work for our people. Great job!
Toasted: Wednesday, November 17, was my birthday. And how did Westword celebrate? No Drunk of the Week in the November 18 issue. Patrick Osborn is my hero, and you leave me empty. I retrieve the publication weekly in great anticipation of the best article -- or as I like to call it, Osborn's "guide book." I am disappointed, Westword. Please do not let me down again.
Making book: I am writing to express my concern for the quality of movie reviewers currently employed at Westword, and specifically about Luke Y. Thompson's review of The Machinist in the November 25 issue. Personally, I thought the movie was great, and deceptively complex. However, I have a special insight that leads me to believe so: I've actually read a few books.
The conclusion of Thompson's review suggested the idea for the movie was gleaned from Rob Zombie, as opposed to Dostoyevsky's Crime and Punishment. If he had read the book or asked someone who had, he surely would have realized the close tie-ins and complexities, including why The Idiot was prominently displayed and why an epileptic fit of a youth began his process of realization and ultimate atonement.
It's not so much I'm upset that Thompson gave the movie a poor review, as it is I'm embarrassed that you would publish a writer who mistakes Rob Zombie for one of the greatest authors of all time.
No kidding: In the November 18 Westword, Robert Wilonsky discusses the movie Kinsey and says alleged sex researcher Alfred C. Kinsey "blurred the lines between the normal and the abnormal, between the moral and the immoral."
In the book Kinsey: Crimes and Consequences, Dr. Judith Reisman exposes the real Kinsey. Chapter 7 goes over the around-the-clock sexual experiments performed on children aged five months and older. Kinsey was involved in sexual experiments with five-month-old babies: Perhaps Wilonsky thinks this is only a blurring of moral standards, but in most of America, these heinous acts are felony child abuse.
No-point landing: I read Eric Dexheimer's "Sky Pilot," his column in the November 18 issue about the late Rick Bobbitt. I was impressed with the amount of research he did (assuming he is not a pilot); however, I did not appreciate the sensationalism of the article. Nor did I understand the point of the article. Was Dexheimer pointing a finger at someone? Was he telling the world how dangerous flying is? I still don't know.
There are three groups of people who fly aerobatics. Joe Pilot with his/her little airplane doing rolls through the sky and having fun are the majority of the people; they never enter a contest and are never asked to fly in an airshow. I would bet there are thousands of people who perform loops and rolls each year who we will never know about.
Then you have the 400 or so who compete in aerobatic contests around the U.S. who take their aerobatic flying much more seriously. These people practice more, get coached and trained, and generally spend more time perfecting their flying. They are a more social group of pilots and take great satisfaction in flying the maneuvers better than their friends.
After these two groups, you have the small amount of people who become airshow pilots. Rick Bobbitt was both a competition pilot (which means that he was incredibly careful) and an airshow pilot (which means he was incredibly good).
Those of us who fly, especially those of us who fly aerobatics, know the risks. We attend a funeral or two each year for friends who didn't make it. However, we won't stop; we can't stop. We know that there is a chance of getting hit by a bus crossing the street -- and prefer to do what we do.
via the Internet
Accident alert: I have a few comments regarding Eric Dexheimer's liberal use of literary license in "Sky Pilot." If he is going to mention the handful of incidents related to pilots performing aerobatics, why not mention the overwhelming number of incidents that have been avoided because pilots were trained in aerobatics?
I have yet to meet a fellow aerobatic pilot who didn't get his/her start in the sport by taking a spin-training or unusual attitude-recovery course as an adjunct to regular pilot training. You never read about ordinary folks flying their plane who saved their own lives and the lives of their passengers because they were experienced in aerobatics and able to recover from an unusual attitude caused by a passing jet's wake turbulence because an air traffic controller didn't do his job. (There is a whole story to be written about that, don't you think?) Like much of the media, Dexheimer has chosen to focus upon and sensationalize the dark side of the story. The part of the story he failed to tell is the large number of safer pilots in the air because of aerobatics.
As a flight instructor specializing in making pilots safer, I am proud of the fact that some of my very own students and students of fellow aerobatic instructors are alive today because of the aerobatic training that they received.
via the Internet
Striking out: I just read "King Pin," Richard Kellerhals's article in the November 11 issue about the new bowling alley that opened in the Denver Pavilions. Is it a strip club targeting a male audience? If not, I can't figure out why there is a rather offensive illustration that portrays a woman bent over with her behind in the air, a bunch of men peering at her as she is spread over the bowling ball, her gigantic breasts falling out of her shirt as she lamely sets up to launch the bowling ball down the alley. Are women not expected to visit this establishment? Is it a men's -- I should say prepubescent boys', based on the picture -- hangout? Really tasteless.
via the Internet
Fair-weather friend: Keep up the good work! "Fair and balanced" news is Westword!
via the Internet
Warming trends: It warms the cockles of my heart. And next to roasting a lib's chestnuts on an open fire, there's just about nothing as pleasant as a chestful of warm cockles this time of year!
As another eeevvviiiilll registered Republican who could've phoned in his vote this year (but unlike a Dem, only once!), it's gratifying to see letters like the November 11 missive from puling libbie Steve Coffman, screeching his fury and frustration at having been so thoroughly repudiated by the American electorate. And make no mistake about it, libs, that is exactly what happened, regardless of our sophisticated betters in urban Colorado handing the Statehouse over to Democrats who will (5-7 odds, anyone?) rapidly worsen our budget woes.
I am told by my more milquetoast brethren and sistren on the correct side of the political aisle that now is not the time for gloating and giggling, but for "building bridges." Horseshit. Now is the time for borrowing some of those 500-pound bombs we're killing Islamofascists with in Iraq, blasting those bridges and leaving shrieking, platitudinous, lying conspiratorial lefty-nutjob libbies like Coffman to drown in the gurgling, turd-choked waters of the left's ideological sewer.
Watch out for the chunks, Stevo! Especially the ones with $200 coifs.
Breaking camp: This is in response to Robert Walton, who wrote this about Michael Roberts: "It turns out you are just another part of the media that's too ignorant to realize we are involved in World War III, fighting for our survival."
Holy rhetoric, Batman! Walton's response has just about the same level of melodrama and camp that the old TV show did. Let's aim for some balanced debate and avoid the super-villain speechifying.
So happy together: I missed Westword! Five months ago I came to the United States, and I was located in Denver. I was reading you all the time, because I really liked your news about music, clubs and nightlife. But now I'm back in my country (Lithuania), so I can't see you anymore. But today was a red-letter day to me: I was looking for news about Denver on the Internet, and I found your web page! So I'm happy to see you and read you again!