Letters to the Editor
"A Tear in My Beer," Patricia Calhoun, June 28
Your mocking tone in the ladies' night article is unjust. If it were men's night, white people's night, good-looking people's night, blond people's night, thin people's or fat people's night, would you still mock it? You seem to think it is not possible for men to be victims of discrimination. As a white, 43-year-old, married father of two, I see it every day. I see and hear it every day on sitcoms and national news programs. I read it every day in the newspapers and magazines. White men are the cause of every evil in the world; we are all intolerant, loud, angry buffoons.
Believe it or not, while I've searched high and low for many years, I have not been able to find the "White Men Holding Power Association," the "White Men Perpetuating Institutional Discrimination Society," the "How to Be a Dopey, Incompetent Uncaring (About Anything But Sports) White Husband and Father Meeting" or even the "Good Ole Boys Club." Maybe I'm not looking hard enough. Can you tell me where any of these groups meet?
According to articles, Steve Horner has been an anti-feminist since his wife left him, taking his kids; he feels the courts discriminated against him as a male. Now he's out to sue, at $500 a pop, any club that "violates his rights" by trying to draw women with special promotions, estimating that filing lawsuits could net him $3,000 to $4,000 a week, "easy." What a dope and a nuisance.
Clubs will find a way around this petty prick. I remember skirt nights at a Boulder watering hole. A surprising number of guys borrowed skirts to join the nightly special, but nearly every woman was there flaunting a flirty hemline. Heck, I would volunteer to stand outside a bar and pass out No Cover cards to women in the line.
Horner's anti-feminism stance deserves a little scrutiny. What really went on in that divorce court? How do women really feel about his cry of discrimination? What in the hell does this "corporate speaker" talk about: discrimination in the workplace because most sexual-harassment suits are brought against men by women? Or because more women receive maternity leave than men?
Too bad Horner has no just and important causes on his agenda other than quashing ladies' night frivolity. How about same-gender marriage? According to state law, I have to marry a lady, or no "marriage" for me! I feel discriminated against.
Ladies: It appears all of you have to pay for whatever caused Horner's lady to leave. Chances are, if Horner had snagged some tail at ladies' night, this issue would never have come up.
Finally, somebody who acknowledges the subtle damage done by these illegal, discriminatory policies like ladies' nights. Why, despite laws specifically written to prevent discrimination, do we continue to accept a "Curves for Women" health club in every town, while a "Men Only" gym would result in an immediate outcry of discrimination and sexism?
The double standard is a big elephant in the room. Bravo to Steve Horner for finally forcing people to acknowledge it.
San Diego, California
I kinda thought ladies' night was a way to partially make up for the fact that we earn 23 to 54 percent less than men do in equivalent positions. We don't hear Steve Horner bitching and moaning about that, do we? I think the Colorado Division of Civil Rights should take note of the recent Supreme Court decision that sets a 180-day limit on the filing of such claims (starting from the time one becomes aware of the practice) and tell Horner that his complaints are not timely. Oh, too bad, so sad, all those filing fees!
Name withheld on request
"You Do the Meth," Joel Warner, June 28
I tend to pick up Westword when I see it at coffee shops and burrito places, and I always find an article or two that are particularly amusing and informative. But I was simply blown away by Joel Warner's "You Do the Meth." Upon finishing it, I felt informed, enraged and optimistic. A strange combination, yes, but one that left me wanting to do all I could to aid the subjects covered — both the users and the government workers. Thus, in my eyes, eliciting the exact response every article should.
Props to you, Mr. Warner, for writing a wonderful article on a not-so-wonderful subject.
I pick up Westword almost every week, usually over lunch at one of the local places smart enough to carry it. The feature piece often looks interesting, but the actual story always goes on, and on, and on, and on and on.
You ever hear of editing? I don't need to know the color shirt every person was wearing, and exactly what they were feeling, and what they did every frigging second the reporter was with them. Get to the point already!
And while I'm ranting... This Modern World is the most hateful, mean-spirited and unfunny comic on the planet. If Tom Tomorrow were targeting anyone but the love-to-hate conservatives, you would have pulled that crappy strip years ago.
Chris R. Hotz
"Entree, Stage Left," Juliet Wittman, June 28
It seems that the Gods of Dinner Theater have struck Juliet Wittman down for having the temerity to criticize Boulder's Dinner Theatre's latest production of The Sound of Music; they managed to strip the "hell" out of her review. However, it goes to show just how far the Gods have fallen: They failed to exorcise the online copy of the review, and Ms. Wittman had her final say there, at least. The high point of her prose (for me, at least) was her succinct comment referring to The Sound of Music's drivel as being "just plain icky." How many times have I, as an American in Salzburg, been forced to hang my head in shame and embarrassment for my fellow tribesmen as they flock all over that wonderful city (where real, actual magnificent musicians have been plying their trade for centuries!) seeking out this or that spot where that syrupy silly applesauce was filmed: The Sound of Money, indeed!
And indeed, can it not also be said that dinner theater itself is also "just plain icky"? Where in the world but here would anyone want to pay good money for bad food and bad theater? Ms. Wittman says that "if any production could make me like The Sound of Music, this would be it." I heartily assume that the remainder of this syllogism goes thus: No production could make me like The Sound of Music; therefore, this one isn't it.
Editor's note: Our apologies to Juliet Wittman (not to mention Sound of Music cynics). Owing to a production error, the last half of her review of the current Boulder's Dinner Theatre production did not appear in last week's print edition — but the entire review remains available on the web, at http://www.westword.com/2007-06-28/culture/the-sound-of-music/.
"Gang Way," Off Limits, May 31
I would like to comment on the reporting done by Alan Prendergast for the Off Limits item in which he criticizes the Colorado History Museum's Italians of Denver exhibit and curator for not providing visitors with enough information about the Smaldone family.
If Alan had called the Colorado History Museum, he would have learned that a flip-book about the Smaldone family is among sixteen exhibit flip-books still in production. Given the amount of time needed for the editing, review and production of more than one hundred family stories, not all had been installed in the exhibit at the time of the opening. Furthermore, we could also have provided him with a much higher-quality photograph of Clyde Smaldone's paintings, rather than the shoddy picture taken through the exhibit-case glass.
Exhibit curator Alisa Zahller has worked with the Italian-American community for the past five years, scanning and digitizing thousands of photographs, collecting hundreds of artifacts, and documenting personal stories and family histories from extensive interviews with Italian-American families — from the poorest to the most wealthy, the most unknown to the most notorious — so that these histories will be preserved and available for future generations. The exhibit is just one part of this larger project.
We are always pleased when a writer takes the time to see an exhibit and critique it, whether good or bad. But Alan's attempts to reduce this exhibit to the inclusion of a single object from a well-known family does a disservice to the Italian-American community and to Westword readers.
Director of the Collections and Library Division, Colorado Historical Society
Alan Prendergast responds: The exhibit is impressive and worth seeing, but I wasn't trying to critique it — that's the job of a reviewer. I was simply pointing out that there was a lack of information about a particular painting of some historical interest, by Clyde "Flip Flop" Smaldone. To say that you're going to someday get around to putting in a flip-book about Flip Flop is a bit like a film producer saying she's going to recut the movie after it's been released; is that fair to the people who come to see the show as soon as it opens? The exhibit's neglect of the painting's backstory and the Smaldones' contributions to Denver history — positive and otherwise — was reason enough for a quickly posted blog item that later appeared in our print edition. I am pleased to learn that the museum intends to correct its omission.
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