"Duck, Duck, Noose," Adam Cayton-Holland, September 27
Holy lord, that commentary was genius. It was missing just one thing: the tears of one Scott D. Clark, recently unemployed federal prison inmate, to make it even funnier.
I am a teacher and decided to share it with my after-school poetry club, and we all wrote him letters with poems about what we thought of him. Absolutely priceless. I just wanted to thank you, as I wouldn't have had the idea without Adam's piece.
Well, great news! Scott Clark is not from Denver! He's from Powersville, Missouri! He grew up here and, yes, we are a little backwoodsy, and ripping the heads off fowl so you can cook them and eat them is not that unusual here. Best-case scenario, they belong to you, though. Our family (I'm not related to Scott) used to get together on a fall weekend every year to butcher chickens, which included ripping heads off several dozen. It was one of the best weekends of the year, with the whole family working together to prepare chickens for the freezer.
Scott is a very nice boy, and you are being a little unfair. So, you never got drunk and did something silly or that you later wished you hadn't done? Give the kid a break. By the way, I don't know why you come up with him being gay. He's about as far from gay as a guy can get.
Artbeat, Michael Paglia, September 27
An appealing subject matter is not a requirement for art and has not been so since some long-past century. I have pity on Michael Paglia and his delicate sensibilities. Kudos to Michael Brohman for sharing his investigations into perceptions about human nature, mortality and significance. I sense that he melds humans and animals not to blatantly outrage, but to force us to see our essential nature as bare-boned creatures surviving in a natural but tricky and dangerous world. He seeks to nudge viewers out of their resigned acceptance of a daily deluge of pablum from multiple sources. Perhaps some outrage is required to make us see beyond our often limiting and self-absorbed scope.
"Dead Reckoning," Juliet Wittman, October 4
Thanks, Juliet Wittman, for the review of My Name Is Rachel Corrie. Would that we had more activists like Rachel, and more people risking their careers to make sure these heroes and the causes for which they work — and too often die — get the attention they deserve.
I saw My Name Is Rachel Corrie and was so very moved by the authenticity of Julie Rada's personae as Rachel (at many ages and stages in her young life) and as her mother. She inhabited the roles and in front of my eyes became them.
I had the great honor and privilege to work for an American construction firm with an office in Palestine. From January 2006 to February 2007 (plus some shorter assignments from late 2003 on), I lived and worked in Ramallah. I was so inspired by the kindness and generosity of the people: the vegetable seller who invited me for dinner with his family; the family who rented me an apartment and became like extended family; the clothing-store owner who told me of his disappointment with U.S. foreign policy while shaking my hand and saying, "You are my brother."
Above all, I witnessed the way in which the Israeli state has cut Palestine into hundreds of little fragments, with walls and checkpoints hindering or barring transit from one town to the next. Most amazing to me was the stoic bearing of these outrages by the people. If a foreign army instituted roadblocks that partitioned Denver into ten to twenty areas so that it took two hours to travel from downtown to the University of Denver or three hours to Aurora, how could you keep your job, get to school or see a doctor? With a resolve bordering on passivity, the people of Palestine plod on, hoping for justice and for a future.
Thank you for the review, which shows some awareness of the context for this deeply moving drama.
If I could be only half as brave as Rachel Corrie — and given what I've heard, half as brave as Juliet Wittman for writing a positive, inspiring review about a play that's caused such controversy. Thanks.
"Not So Hot," Juliet Wittman, September 20
I always enjoy Juliet Wittman's theater reviews, and it was with great anticipation that I looked forward to her review of Anna in the Tropics. Therefore, I was crushed to discover that she found so much to fault. I enjoyed the play immensely. The juxtaposition of a dense novel with the two-hour format of a play was quite a challenge, and I thought that the playwright met the challenge by creating such passionate dialogues between the characters. The performances were so compelling that on the night I attended, the audience applauded after many of the individual scenes, which is almost unheard of in modern theater.
I still look forward to Juliet's reviews, even though I must disagree with her on Anna.
"On the Edge," Adam Cayton-Holland, September 6
We here at Home Sweet Home have a question for Adam Cayton-Holland: Who do you think you are?
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Obviously, you know who you are, but where does a person like you get off? You are more than welcome to come into Home Sweet Home and ask for an interview, and we would be more than happy to oblige. We had no idea that you were doing a story about Sheridan Boulevard, let alone a piece on us. Not only should you have informed the owner of your visit, but you should have informed the worker you spoke with. It's slightly ironic that every other author who wrote for "On the Edge" was capable of writing about the store, not about a small percentage of its customers, yet you were not.
Some people may be fans of yours (including the girl you spoke with), but after reading your piece "about" Home Sweet Home, your fans surely are disappointed. Was it your personal agenda to bash us? Or was that what you were told to do? Have you met Jennie Porter or her son, Golden? They would have been happy to tell you all you ever wanted to know about Home Sweet Home. Jennie could have told you about the history of her business, and how they've been on Sheridan for thirty years. Golden could have told you stories about the crazy pipes he's invented and what it was like to grow up with parents who own a head shop.
You see, Adam Cayton-Holland, there was a story to be told. Not about ICP fans, and not about Pierced Tongue (whose name happens to be Dani). The story is this: Home Sweet Home has a great history, one that is filled with heartbreak, success and a small business that has unintentionally lent a hand to the pipe industry.
Name Withheld on Request
Editor's note: For the complete, unedited Home Sweet Home response — which arrived in our office last week, four weeks after the original story was published — click here.