All's well that ends oil: It was a very nice surprise to read Alan Prendergast's "Duke of Oil" article in the September 8 issue, very reassuring to know there are federal employees like Bobby Maxwell who are dedicated to serving the public interest. His work has demonstrated integrity and intelligence, qualities that seem to me remarkably absent at the highest levels of federal government. It's even more remarkable to me that, rather than use his financial settlement to take life easy, he has chosen to continue working in the public interest.
I applaud his efforts, as well as Westword's in publishing this story of quiet courage, competence and commitment.
Be here now: I can't recall ever sending a letter to Westword, but I thought it was the right time now to finally share my admiration of the creative and talented mind behind Worst-Case Scenario. Kenny Be is an absolute genius, and on par with Gary Larson of "The Far Side." I especially enjoyed "Enterprising Higher Education," in the September 8 edition.
Kenny is really the main reason I pick up Westword every week. I love his slant on the issues of the day and his amazingly cynically, funny viewpoint. I just couldn't imagine life without his contribution. He would probably be an interesting and fun person to meet.
Here's a tip: In Adam Cayton-Holland's September 8 What's So Funny, we find out that his friend who has been in China for three years is displeased that there are so many damn hipsters around now when he was the only one here three years ago, or something along those lines.
Let me start by telling the story of how I ended up reading this article: I saw a friend of mine, who'd I'd worked with at this crappy, underpaying job about six years ago, and he was bummed about losing his girlfriend, and we ended up talking about it and just people and politics in general. Anyway, someone suggested that he read that What's So Funny because it referred to him. (He's the prissy faux-hawk kid who wasn't tipped because of his appearance.) The more I thought about it, the more I wondered if someone might not tip me because they didn't like my appearance. The last I heard, tipping is a direct result of good service -- I don't not tip my waitress because I think she reminds me of some sassy Jerry Springer guest or not tip my bartender because he reminds me of some cocky prick on The Real World. If Darren likes Asians so much, he should go back to China.
Until then, he should keep his slander of local businesses and their employees to himself. I think a better problem to address would be the chain restaurants, the chain radio stations and the overall yuppie influence that is running this town, not the so-called hipsters. Because the hipsters are the only people going out and supporting the local stores and the creative bands and DJs in this town. It's not the name-brand-wearin', martini-bar-drinkin', chain-restaurant-eatin', cover-band-listenin' Joe Shmoes like Darren (who was so much cooler than anyone way before anyone was cool). I guess it's cool to pick on people who have service-industry jobs hardly making enough to get by dealing with rude, spoiled Americans all day!
Oh, and by the way, Celebrity hasn't been around for a lot longer than three years.
The joke's on him: Adam Cayton-Holland! How long have you been writing? "Kind of Blue," the piece on Josh Blue in the September 1 issue, was a very well-written article! It kicked ass!
Funny business: Moved back to Colorado after a brief stint in Cali and am dismayed to see such a decline in the caliber of writing that Westword now allows. What a proper heading for Adam Cayton-Holland's column; last week it definitely left me asking "What's So Funny?" Perhaps Westword should ask Josh Blue to give this column a go -- now, that guy's funny.
Name withheld on request
Street dreams: Regarding Amy Haimerl's "Main Street, USA," in the September 8 issue:
Used to be Colfax was cool. Sure, you could score some really low-quality drugs. But the reality is that most meth labs are in affluent suburban locales.
Used to be Colfax was cool. Sure, you could get subpar sexual favors. But now those are solicited via the Internet and go for $300-plus an hour. And those porn shops that the gentrifiers rail about -- truth is, the ones in the 'burbs cleverly disguised as "lingerie boutiques" do ten times the business of their counterparts on the Fax. In fact, reliable figures indicate that over 50 percent of all adults watch porn.
Used to be Colfax was cool. But now affordable housing in Denver means million-dollar lofts, forcing those despicable types earning less than $100K to exit for distant wastelands like Kansas City.
Used to be honest working citizens relied on NAPA, Arby's and 7-Eleven. Now those types of businesses are deemed not low-carb or upscale enough to attract the new, moneyed Denverite.
Wake up and save the Fax while we still can.
Main man: Those of us in Capitol Hill who are nourished by the deep, exciting and frustrating culture of Colfax were thumped in the head and brought up short by the generosity of Amy Haimerl's "Main Street, USA."
We have disagreed about clean environments, constructive neighborhood engagement with in-your-face vulgarity, and the lofty ideals of urban life, the cultural advancements and the threats to economic success on Colfax. Through our civic and social ideals, we've looked to the city and the state governments to lead our dreams of a wonderful, thriving Colfax.
Thank you for the calm and the goodwill, the cathedral quiet of your voice and the softness of human dignity in this piece.
Eugene L. Keyser
Editor's note: On Monday, September 12, the Denver City Council unanimously approved the Main Street Zoning plan. More than thirty neighbors showed up to speak -- many of them from the 1400 block of St. Paul Street, which was profiled in last week's "Main Street, USA." Parking was the one point of concern, particularly for representatives Doug Linkhart and Jeanne Faatz, and the council agreed to have a parking management district consider those problems before the new zoning goes into the implementation phase six months to a year from now. And the fight for Colfax continues.
Bayou leave: Regarding John Nova Lomax's "What It Means to Miss New Orleans," in the September 8 issue:
Thank you for such great words for my home town. I hope that there is as much help in the rebuilding of New Orleans as there appears to be now with the relief effort. If the rebuild is managed properly, I feel NOLA will be looking at the beginning of a renaissance of culture and design. We need more articles that focus on the inherent beauty of that city which cannot be lost, rather than on the age-old political corruption and incompetence that -- well, let's face it -- are kinda part of Louisiana's history from the beginning, and possibly its charm.
Full of himself: Regarding the September 8 Cafe section:
Do you pay Jason Sheehan by the word, or is it just that his columns are so badly written that not even your editors can stand to read them?
Elvis lives! In Dave Herrera's September 1 Now Hear This piece on John Mellencamp, he sounds like he is from the East Coast media instead of Denver. It is amazing how the media still thinks Springsteen (whom I love, by the way) is the messiah, and Midwest rockers like Mellencamp and Bob Seger are second-tier talents. Mellencamp has made some great music since the '80s.
I guess Herrera is probably one of those people who thought Elvis was just an overweight guy with a white jumpsuit who ate peanut-butter-and-banana sandwiches, instead of the greatest voice of the twentieth century in rock music.
Jock steady: In response to Luke Y. Thompson's review of Underclassman ("Assault 'N' Prepper," September 1), in which he poses the question "Do you know anyone who's excited about Cannon's new action comedy?," the answer is yes. Nick Cannon rules, you dickbags! You're not fit to hold his jock, bitches!
P.S.: Jason Heller touches himself where he pees and listens to Cher's "Believe" while he does it.
Michael Scott Howard
Man made: In Jason Heller's September 8 "Let Us Prey," Alan Clements says that he is the first American monk ever having been ordained in a Buddhist country.
I'm afraid he's wrong. The Ajahn Chah-tradition in Thailand yielded American monks prior to Alan's ordination. However, that doesn't mean that his efforts in spreading the Buddha-Dharma should be overlooked.
via the Internet
The show must go on: Regarding Michael Roberts's "No Access," in the September 1 issue, here are six reasons to save Denver Community TV:
1. Democracy Now with Amy Goodman.
2. Krishnamurti: Conversations with physicist David Bohm, professor Alan Anderson, psychiatrist David Shainberg and many more.
3. Speaking Out With Rich Andrews: Social justice and peace issues.
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4. The Atheist Viewpoint with Ellen Johnson, president of American Atheists.
5. Democracy University: Voices from the progressive left, including Noam Chomsky, Ralph Nader, Michael Parenti, Bob Avakian, Helen Caldicott, Ward Churchill, Michael Albert and many more.
6. Free Speech TV.