"She Got Served," Joel Warner, November 22
I'm a Starkey grad living in the Denver area. I read Joel Warner's "At Your Disservice" in the August 9 issue and was impressed that Mary Louise Starkey was quite fairly dealt with. Although her actions weren't acceptable, her motivation and creation of a program to professionalize home management were honored.
I was disappointed to see the photo used for last week's follow-up article. I'm sure it was to drive home the point that she was concerned about others' appearances when she, herself, wasn't always at her best. The fact that her face is scarred and she isn't very naturally photogenic was a bit of a low hit. There are plenty of actions of Starkey's to question, but basic appearance is more a matter of fate than choice.
I truly wish she had stepped out of a position of power years ago. It certainly was suggested to her by many people. Now, not only is she suffering, but those of us who might care to use our credentials for employment are somewhat disadvantaged.
I can sum up the entire Starkey debacle with one word: "Schadenfreude."
Name withheld on request
"Dirty Sexy Money," Jason Sheehan, November 22
It figures. I had all but given up on finding the perfect mix of high-cholesterol foods and ejaculatory fluids when out comes Jason Sheehan's review of the Corner Office. Reading this was a strange blend of sensations and emotions, which I will now attempt to extract from my still-reeling mind. First, the review actually made me gain weight, not just because I was gorging myself on pretzels and OJ as I read it, but more because each piece of food reviewed would probably give my ass that much-coveted cottage-cheese texture. Second, I noticed a painful burning in my nostrils that I can only attribute to laughter so powerful that I snarfed said pretzels and OJ onto the paper as I read. Finally, and most peculiar, was the overwhelming urge to simultaneously buy an SUV, handcuff a Taiwanese prostitute to my radiator and stock up on Pepto-Bismol for the digestive fallout — all of which would probably help me fit in at the Corner Office.
Jason is clearly at his best when he is throwing out punchlines rather than praises — a fact glaringly shown in his scathing but funny review of Mama's Cafe ("Night Hawks," November 8), a place that any sober person would recognize as a shitty little all-nighter just by looking at it — but here he hands out both positive and negative criticisms with an even hand. Jason has done an admirable job of piquing my interest in a dining establishment I might have otherwise skipped over in my quest to avoid coke-snorting business executives, and I certainly plan on investigating the Corner Office as soon as Liu Ming's new handcuffs arrive.
Honestly, you can't leave those Taiwanese prostitutes unshackled for a minute.
Letters About "Mr. Wizard," Jason Sheehan, October 25
In his response to my November 1 letter, Richard Hart missed the point of the quote (from a two-year-old review) that I included in my praise of Jason Sheehan's writing style. The passage was not a diatribe, as Hart charged, but simply a bit of satire that I cited as an example of Sheehan's sense of humor. If Hart has read other Sheehan reviews, he should know that.
Mr. Hart omitted this essential part of the quoted passage: "and when the Grim Reaper sneaks up on you 198 years from now and your friends find you face-down in your Grape Nuts, they'll ask, 'How did that happen?' He looked so healthy.'" Grim Reaper? Sneak up on you? One hundred and ninety-eight years from now? Face-down in your Grape Nuts? Does that sound like a diatribe? Does it sound like anything except goofy, funny remarks?
In fact, it was my choice to include it, not Sheehan's. It has nothing to do with O's restaurant and its emphasis on molecular gastronomy and cooking with liquid nitrogen. In his review, Sheehan was definitely not referring to people with serious health concerns who need to be selective about their diets or any related environmental matters that might affect them.
Hart also wrote that "...another person's lifestyle that does not affect me is the least of my concerns." It seems that the lifestyle of a letter writer (me) who enjoyed the humor of a restaurant reviewer (Sheehan's) did indeed affect him. As the cliche goes, Richard should "lighten up."
Bar Back, Jon Solomon, November 22
I have Google alerts for Tom Waits and enjoyed Jon Solomon's column on Whiskey Dick's. Not only for the Tom Waits reference, but because I just drove 22 nearly straight hours from Columbus, Ohio, to Tabernash with six Tom Waits CDs revolving in the trunk and the jacket that he sold through the ACLU on eBay riding shotgun. It was a great drive with Waits, he being more than appropriate for a sprint through the Midwest in November. I will say, I started to lose my sense of humor somewhat when "Falling Down" came on as I started up U.S. 40 through the pass from Denver.
Anyway, thanks for a great piece. I'll raise a Bloody Tampon to you the next time I have the opportunity.
"Condensation Nation," Chuck Wilson, November 22
I have got to write a rebuttal to the review of The Mist. It is true that this movie is not the greatest movie ever filmed, but it's not a bad film, and it's definitely not a disaster. It's a film that you either love or hate. I find it interesting that everyone who doesn't like the film talks about prehistoric creatures or dinosaurs when none exist in the story, for these beasts are not of this world.
Chuck Wilson states that he's disappointed with the lack of "people-eating." This movie may be listed as horror or sci-fi, but that is the backdrop. The core of the story is an attempt to look at how people behave in a stressful situation, when the world no longer makes sense. I found Frank Darabont's depiction of how truly stupid the human race can become when confronted with the unknown and fear sets in prophetic in nature. And in my opinion, this movie is more akin to The Crucible or the original Invasion of the Body Snatchers — in other words, it's an attempt to look at and examine our polarized world torn apart by religion and the politics of today, of red and blue.
As for the end of the movie, I will not say that I liked it, but I will not say that I was offended by it. If you feel that there is no hope and all is lost, and in a few moments you are about to die an agonizing death, what would you do?
"Poisoned Pen," Alan Prendergast, November 15
In his excellent article on Fort Lyon, Alan Prendergast stated that "under federal law the DOC is required to provide facilities for a wide spectrum of inmate religious beliefs, including sweat lodges." I don't know when the federal act was passed, but Colorado did this in 1992. I was the chief House sponsor of the measure, SB 197.
"Hard Evidence," Luke Turf, November 8
I am a former police sergeant from New York City. I have worked as a private investigator for defense attorneys for about ten years now, and I want to thank you for the attention you gave this matter. I specialize in police misconduct and am an expert in police procedures. I know what the boundaries are, and as I started to look into charges filed against a new client, I knew that Glendale would go to great lengths to minimize the criminal conduct by its staff (I really feel that referring to these guys as officers is inappropriate, considering their actions). The mishandling of evidence that was very detrimental to the department was something I predicted.
The Westword influence should be used to put pressure on the Arapahoe County District Attorney and Attorney General John Suthers to further investigate criminal activities involving the Glendale Police Department.
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"Party Preview," Michael Roberts, November 15
Michael Roberts's excellent take on the DNC walk-through and the challenges facing bloggers who cover the convention illuminated the clash between old and new media and the different needs and obligations that come with each.
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