Comic relief: I just wanted to congratulate Westword on adding more comics -- and by locals! Although no one will ever replace Kenny Be in my heart, I laughed out loud over both Overheard Conversations and Rebels of Reality in the last issue. Ethan Wenberg can fling poo at me any day!
Child's prey: Regarding Jessica Centers's "Teen Angles," in the September 15 issue:
So Focus on the Family (gasp!) hosted a teen confab in Colorado Springs (gasp!). They keep pitching softballs, and the professional journalists at Westword'll keep knocking 'em outta the park!
You just can't make up the hilarious stuff Westword professional (and one assumes, adult) journalist Jessica Centers got when she went fishing for ad-lib "reasons" why some kids practice their ridiculous faith. And what about them Christian rock lyrics? Nothing at all like the poignant musical poesies of a P. Diddy or 50 Cent, dat's fo' sho'! What's next for Centers 'n Westword? A yukfest over the Rocky Mountain News's annual printing of letters from teens who so eloquently wonder w-why we c-can't all just get along, or who each and every year pose the entirely original lament that old people are killing our Mother, the Earth?
Well, that'd just be mean. Some of those kids might not be Christians. Having a bit of nasty fun at the expense of Christian kids who don't come off as Harvard theologians is just good fun! And with a scant 2,000 kids attending Dare 2 Dig Deeper, it's no wonder Ms. Centers wasn't able to find a few who were both prepared and better able to handle some cynical ink-stained wretch fishing for quips to make them seem dopey.
Introspection is not generally high on most journalists' lists of "Things to Do During My Next Stay at Arapahoe House," but I certainly encourage all members of the Fourth Estate (or is that a 5th column?) to engage in a little actual thought about why it is that they are so hostile to Christianity and to begin cultivating the balls it takes to try this sort of crap with adult Christians, rather than picking on children.
Porn again: I would like to thank you for Jason Sheehan's excellent writing. I've been faithfully (obsessively?) reading his column since he started at Westword, despite the fact that I am a lactose-intolerant vegetarian who now lives in Philadelphia. I liken it to forbidden omnivore food porn -- it's not what I actually do, but somehow I crave it as a fantasy. His writing is captivating, and drives me to read Westword every week and pretend for a minute that I'm not so far from home.
"All I Need," the September 15 Bite Me, really got me with Jason's line about his first takeout meal on the floor of his first apartment. Tears, actually. I never thought a food column could bring me to tears, and that is a testament to his writing. Jason just seems to get it, and I can't thank him enough.
The name of the game: First, I love Jason Sheehan's column, even if it is over the top now and again. Allowing free rein to brain-driven sentences appeals to me, and his use of personal experience lends a trench-given touch that most "critics" try to stay above. And how dumb is the term food critic, anyway? If you were critical of food, you wouldn't be in the industry.
Second, thin-crust pizza is way overrated. I'm from the Rust Belt -- western Pennsylvania, and I lived in New York City and Buffalo -- and give me Chicago-style. Dogs? Toss-up for those cities, but the Hebrew National ad with "I've got a hot dog and it's for you" sold me on store-bought. Same for "real" Italian. I've had some of the most godawful red sauces and rubber gnocchi in the East. Chef Boy O Boy could compete -- though I grant you, there are exceptions of stunning quality. But the neighborhood Joe Lunchbox famous spots that Sheehan showed so much angst over are rarely to die for. They're sort of like what the NoCal folks think of as Mexican food to those of us who lived in Albuquerque.
Lastly, I wish to ban further use of the word "eponymous" in reviews of any kind. Not only has it become the writers' piatti d'giorno, word-wise, but hardly anyone knows what it means. Those of us who do recognize that the usage is often incorrect. An "eponym" is heroic or mythical in proportion, a namesake of classical origin. If you believe Rochester was named for Jack Benny's butler, it doesn't make him an eponym. If Lincoln, Nebraska, or Washington, D.C., were named for presidents of heroic stature, they would be eponymous.
If I opened a bar named Ken's, it would be egotistical. If Emeril opens an Emeril's, it is "self-named." If St. Patrick opens a pub called Pat's, that would be eponymous!
Demolition derby: How long has it been since Michael Paglia was in Littleton? I read his September 1 "Memory Lane" article, and decided it must have been some time. The building at 1950 West Littleton Boulevard was demolished recently. It had been the Douglas H. Buck Senior Center, which Mr. Buck established about twenty years ago, but the politicians and developers decided it should go. There are a lot of disgruntled senior citizens in the area because of this.
There's a new building on the grounds of the Court House, a huge structure mostly devoted to swimming pools and gyms. It was named for Douglas Buck because his family gave a million dollars toward its construction. The seniors meet in this new building, but it certainly isn't what we had in the former medical building. My hope is that Douglas Buck and Eugene Sternberg, from their location on the "other side," will decide to haunt the new buildings.
Fortunately, the Law Center at 1901 West Littleton Boulevard is still standing. And the last time I looked, Arapahoe Community College is still there. But who knows for how long?
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Remembrance of things past: I want to thank you for Michael Paglia's warm and appreciative tribute to Eugene and his work, along with that of Jane Silverstein Ries, in the September 1 Westword. It was totally unexpected. In this forward-looking culture, little media time or space is normally devoted to the contributions of those who have passed away.
Eugene put so much passion and energy into his architectural and planning projects. It is very satisfying to me and to my family that someone as young as Michael, and as knowledgeable about architecture and the arts, could perceive that aspect of him, even though he met him only in his advanced years.
Barbara E. Sternberg