Letters to the Editor
What's So Funny?, Adam Cayton-Holland, October 26
"Life has meaning when you measure yourself against a worthy challenge." As rodentia, squirrels, like the poor, shall always be among us. This said, the answers to Adam's problem are easy:
1) Surrender. Yes, that's right: Start feeding the little buggers. As they are rats, they will eat almost anything that explodes in a microwave and then some: apple cores, pumpkin shells, Halloween candy, you name it. Once you have achieved status with them by freely providing them your detritus, you may scold them for storming the feeder and they will listen (glare at them while chattering and shaking your finger!).They may even curb (not cure) their behavior somewhat, as long as you give a little something every day, aka la mordida.
2) Put out a few bucks at Wal-Mart for a squirrel baffle for your feeder, a plastic dome that will provide you with hours of mirth as the tree-rats jump for the seed, splay themselves on the bell and slide slowly and harmlessly off onto the ground, spitting and cussing squirrel.
P.S.: You are putting out water, aren't you? Cold in the summer, warm in the winter?
I have been telling people for years about the Denver squirrels. They are insane. I've been around squirrels from all over, and none of them compare to Denver squirrels. It is possible they are a government experiment sent here. Just sayin'.
Adam's article made me tinkle a little. It was that funny.
"What's in a Name?," Adam Cayton-Holland, October 26
I was enraged after learning that a Denver bank actually labeled a man a terrorist based solely on his name. This would have never been an issue pre-9/11, and I can honestly say that I am disgusted in the way Americans have adapted their views since. Even though 9/11 happened over five years ago, we have used this tragic incident to create a new racism towards people of Indian and Arab culture and have made it acceptable to ostracize this entire race of people without actually knowing much about the background of their ethnicity.
Instead of blindly placing the blame on an entire culture of people who could not all possibly have been involved with planning the attack on America, we should be looking at our corrupt government and questioning our congresspeople and their motives. It was an attack a long time coming on the twisted leaders of our country, which innocent Americans got the brunt of. Instead of holding the powerful people responsible, we have been taking our anger, sadness and dissatisfaction out on a culture of people who were used as a scapegoat for George W. Bush's ill-thought-out decisions. I hope now with the Bush administration having successfully made a laughingstock out of the U.S, we can become better-informed Americans and make our own decisions when it comes to the acceptance of different cultures. And stop the racism.
Off Limits, November 2
Who is going to finally say it? The new DAM does not work as a space for art or for viewers of art. The truth is, to borrow from the Brothers Grimm, the emperor (Daniel Libeskind) isn't wearing any clothes! The building is a showstopper from the outside -- and then you enter what seems to be a badly designed seagoing vessel -- disorienting, uncomfortable and awkward on all counts. (And this is from a lover of art and a museum supporter who has visited three times -- so far.)
1) The angled interior walls and splaying steps make descending the stairs a challenge (even to a young museum employee).
2) The gallery spaces are nothing but a challenge to curators. And for the visitor, the feeling of being in a funhouse at a carnival takes over as you try to figure out where you are and where you are going.
3) The wasted space both in volume and in floor space is stunning. What is the point of the large and uninteresting foyer between the two buildings? Before Daniel Libeskind, the DAM could exhibit about 3 percent of its collection -- now it's up to 6 percent. Hmmmm.
4) And then there are the omnipresent ticket-scanning stations. Get your ticket, even if you are a member, at the inconveniently located booths across the plaza from the entrance. Then have your ticket scanned as you enter, as you leave the museum shop, as you return from the "old building." Let's think about the cost (and the inconvenience) of that system.
So are there any redeeming qualities? Of course. The building should attract visitors to the city and to the museum -- and the sculpture deck is terrific (if you can find it). However, the team that blessed this effort seems to have lost sight of the purpose of a museum. It is a home for art and for those who come to visit it. Like any home, it should be interesting, comfortable and welcoming. Above all, it should function well and easily. At an early event with Libeskind, he was asked what the key moment for him would be for this project -- and he said something like, "When the building is open and being used by people." I wonder what his feelings are now.
"Blogs 2.0," Michael Roberts, October 26
It's good to see it wasn't necessary for Patricia Calhoun to rush out of her penthouse suite down to Westword, howling "Stop the presses!" when she saw media maven Michael Roberts's views on what makes a good journalist in the frontier of "news" reporting on the web: the blog. However, given the intellectual acuity of the typical J-school graduate these days, I think it's necessary to pare the Gospel According to St. Mike down to a few easy-to-read points to help apprentice blogger-journalists into the bidness.
In order to qualify as blog "journalist," you:
1) Must be officially certified as a Barking Leftist Moonbat. See any newspaper editor for the forms. Pick up your regulation self-nomination for the Pulitzer and autographed still of Dan Rather (your choice of a sweater or a suit) at the same time.
2) If you've suffered a closed-head injury that causes occasional twinges of conscience when slanting your "objective news" so far to the left it makes Ward Churchill blush, not to worry: Simply keep a mirror nearby, and when such pangs strike, look into it and shriek, "I'm not a lefty propagandist masquerading as a journalist! Imma progressive!"
3) If that same head injury causes you, despite your leftist leanings, to strive to be objective, or if (horrors!) you actually went ahead and had the lobotomy and you lean more than a millimeter to the right of Noam Chomsky, then you really have no right to call yourself a "journalist" anyway, you cheap, yellow party hack. So get the hell off of the progressives' Internet before we sic the Internet Police on you! And maybe the Phone Police, too!
Ask a Mexican, Gustavo Arellano
When I first saw that picture of the Mexican on the Ask a Mexican page, I resented it that Gustavo Arellano would think that Mexicans look like that. I would have called him a jackass -- but that would have offended the jackass!
Then I read that Gustavo was honoring his dad with the picture. I still don't like it, but I will give him credit for that. Also, I am learning a lot from Gustavo even though I think he is a bit sarcastic and rude -- but the knowledge that he is passing around is very insightful and informative. So to him I say thank you.
Andrew M. Armenta
"A Man in Uniform," Jared Jacang Maher, October 26
We are two of Fred Andrews's sisters. It is clear from Jared Jacang Maher's original article, "The Impersonator," in the August 31 issue, that Brett Andrews is a troubled and troublesome person. The indications in the story that Brett helped his father don't jibe with the fact that the bars on Fred's house were put there in order to try to keep Brett out. Why spend that kind of money and effort? Because Brett took his father's driver's license, Social Security number and checks for his checking account. With his "expertise" in computers, Brett seems to be able to do as he wishes with Fred's money.
We have tried many times to get Fred to press charges against Brett, but the father/son relationship, however misguided, has so far prevented this. We feel that Brett has unfairly and possibly criminally misused his father. We fear this could have included or grow into physical abuse. We have attempted to work through these issues with the police, but have not been able to come up with the approach to get through the bureaucratic, jurisdictional and evidentiary steps to succeed -- especially without Fred's full support to get it done.
We felt we needed to add more truth and a different light to Brett Andrews and his problems -- which unfortunately become problems for Fred and his family, as well as for many other people. If allowed to continue, they will almost certainly grow into a full tragedy in the not too distant future.
Names withheld on request
Jared Jacang Maher responds: Although Brett Andrews was facing a maximum of ten years in prison, the 22-year-old serial pretender took a deal with prosecutors and pleaded guilty to criminal impersonation. On October 30, he was sentenced to fourteen months in prison and a year of mandatory parole.
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